I am a rabid fan and user of Benchmade blades. Though I almost exclusively use Gene Ingram fixed blades for breaking big critters down into more convenient, portable sizes, you will never catch me without some form or fashion of Benchmade clipped inside my pants pocket or sheathed on most any piece of tactical gear I currently use. In fact, if you subtract gutting, quartering, and skinning from the list of blade tasks in which I engage, pretty much any other one you can think of is completed with a Benchmade.
You can imagine the smile my face wore when Jeremy Henricks from Pursue the Outdoors (www.pursuetheoutdoors.com) called to advise me that he had received a package from Benchmade. Immediately, visions of Griptillians, CQC7′s, and Nimravus’ danced through my head. Rushing to his house, I was presented with a choice of four new knives for being a valued contributor to the Pursue The Outdoors Field Staff program. Perusing the choices, I quickly noticed an eye-catching box.
I immediately recognized the Bone Collector brand as the trademark of Michael Waddell. The star of multiple hunting television shows, hunting videos and DVD’s, and a former turkey calling champion, I recognized Waddell’s Bone Collector brand from his popular television show and line of clothing. Giving the reader a completely comprehensive background on Michael Waddell would fill an article entirely unto itself, so I’ll encourage the reader instead to check out his website (http://www.michaelwaddell.com/) for more details on the man himself.
Now, a word on “caping” knives. I am generally loathe to drop considerable cash on a tool or item of which the use thereof is limited in scope. Simply, I won’t buy a tool with which I can’t multi-task. Caping knives are far more useful than their name would imply, however. In addition to serving duty in delicate caping and skinning chores, a well-designed caping knife is also great for breaking down birds, fish, and small game. It is also useful, though not ideal, for gutting larger game as well.
This particular model of Bone Collector / Benchmade knife gets its 4″ long, .125″ thick blade fashioned from D2 tool steel. Its overall length is 8″ and it weighs in (sans sheath) at about 3.5 ounces. This particular model has a plain edge, which I find most useful for most animal-related tasks.
The handles, which are .590″ in thickness, are made from G10 and have a rib-cage pattern which aids in maintaining grip. My model’s G10 is colored with layered green and black material and has both an attractive look as well as functional feel. The shape of the handle feels lithe and agile in the hand and its guard (just rear of the cutting edge of the blade) would likely help the user stay on the handle-side of the knife.
The handle also has metal ribs machined into its full length shaft. While aesthetic, these ribs also give the handle a more secure feel in the hand and, I suspect, are added insurance against slippage.
In addition to sporting a razor edge and the requisite Benchmade / Bone Collector brand markings, I noticed this particular model also offers ribs on the spine of the blade immediately rear of its point. These would serve as an index point for one’s forefinger, aiding in controlling the blade during very delicate caping tasks, such as working around the eyes, ears, or nose.
The sheath is made from decent black leather and is imprinted with the Bone Collector logo. It does not have the wear and feel of a custom leather sheath, but I found it to be a bit nicer than the leather sheaths which generally come with other, similarly priced offerings.
All in all, I’m relatively impressed with this particular offering from Benchmade. I’ll admit, I’m between seasons and, as such, did not have a critter on the ground with which I could give this knife the workout it (and the reader) deserves. Given the blade material is tried and true D2, I have no doubt this knife would serve any outdoorsman well. And given its $100 price tag and Benchmade pedigree, I’d highly recommend this knife to anyone who does not have the money or desire to own and use an Ingram blade. Plus, all the Bone Collector markings (and the origins thereof) give this blade a high CDI factor.
Oh yeah. . .CDI? Chicks dig it.