Jun 29, 2010 at 12:18 pm #1260656
Companion forum thread to:Jun 29, 2010 at 2:16 pm #1624592
Nice review! I'm constantly searching for a nice, lightweight knife which often seems to be a seemingly impossible combination.
The detail shots with the yellow backgrounds show an older 440C steel blade but your specs are for the 154CM. You mention that you replaced your original model. Was this your first one? The differences would be nominal, although the older 440C *may* have better stain resistance paired with ever-so-slightly poorer edge retention.Jun 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm #1624594
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Give the man a Brownie Point!
Yes indeed, the photos were taken of the first knife I had, and I didn't notice the switch in steel from 440C to 154CM when writing the Review. Thank you for flagging this.
Mind you, both steels have seemed to be pretty good!
Edit: The Caption for the photo in question has been modified to reflect the switch in steels.
CheersJun 29, 2010 at 4:33 pm #1624619
@killerbLocale: Pacific Northwest
Thanks for reviewing something a bit outside the norm. I'm not a big "blade guy" but have never been able to subscribe to the get-by-with-an-Xacto-blade style either. A real knife, either fixed blade or locking folder, has been useful too many times to do without and at two ounces this looks great.Jun 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #1624646
@erdferkelLocale: S. California
I'm a big fan of the axis lock, it locks up tight and it's very secure. I have the Benchmade Ritter RSK1 because I think it has an idea blade design, not a fan of pointy false edged knives.Jun 29, 2010 at 5:54 pm #1624650
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
+1 on the Axis lock. I have the Mini-Griptilian, as I like drop-point blade designs…Jun 30, 2010 at 2:06 am #1624779
@lushyLocale: Lake Mungo, Mutawintji NPs
Nice review Roger. Thanks!
I think I will make a similar investment myself.
And what's on the menu at a Caffin bushwalking breakfast in the Swiss Alps? Bread, plum jam and an unidentified dairy item….?Jun 30, 2010 at 3:48 am #1624793
The Mora Clipper knife is an ultra-light, ultra-sharp, and affordable knife. A fixed blade is typically lighter and stronger than a folder, with less maintenance involved.Jun 30, 2010 at 5:29 am #1624813
If you're in the market for a knife, don't forget to consider Opinel knives.
These guys are originally (maybe still are) from France and first purposed for truffle hunting.
The wood handle feels great
The locking mechanism is safe.
They sharpen easily.
They are affordable.
They are light.Jun 30, 2010 at 5:36 am #1624815
@fre49Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
I had for a few years a benchmade 910 axis lock, thats a great mechanism but when i want something really strong i prefer a small fixed blade like my Wm1.
Otherwise a cheap opinel n°6 fits the bill for less than an ounce ( lower weight one doesnt have the locking mechanism ) and fills the hand much moe than my ladybug.
a big opinel ( at least for BPL ) like the n°8 is less than 2 oz thats the one on my photo, i used it a lot before i tried to lower my weight.Jun 30, 2010 at 6:51 am #1624832
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
I currently carry the Benchmade 530 while backpacking. It's the best knife i've found to date for the weight. Easily replaced for the price too. I picked up two at REI with an extra 20% coupon I had.Jun 30, 2010 at 7:24 am #1624840
@herman666Locale: Northern Virginia
Selling a knife for $100 makes mugging people look like honest work.Jun 30, 2010 at 7:49 am #1624851
@junctionLocale: Atlanta, GA
The average price is $85 and they sell them on eBay for $70.
FWIW, $70 is nothing for a good quality knife. They get a whole lot more expensive. That's why they make different models and brands of knives. So everyone can find something that works for them. Don't put down a good knife because it's too expensive in your opinion. Price/worth is a subjective topic. To each his own, but let's keep on track and stick with quality and it's correlation with UL backpacking.Jun 30, 2010 at 8:37 am #1624867
It is hard to argue wiht the quality of Benchmade knives, but there is a trio of great knives made by AG Russell. Often overlooked because they are not very “sexy”, they are the Deer Hunter, Trout and Bird Knife, and Hunter’s Scalpel. Fixed blade knives with thin, drop point blades, they have black fiberglass reinforced nylon handles and sheaths.
Hunter’s Scalpel: for the knife only 0.5 oz. for a 2.5” blade and overall length of 4.75”. It is probably about an ounce with a sheath. $19.95 Blade is AUS-10
Trout and Bird Knife: 1.9 oz. for a 3” blade and 6.75” total length. $29.95 in AUS-8 also available in VG-10, ATS-34, & D2 for $44.95
Deer Hunter: 3.4 oz. for a 4” bland and 8.25” total length. $39.95 in AUS-8 also available in VG-10 and D2
http://www.agrussell.com/ag-russell-deer-hunter/p/AGDHhhhD2/Jun 30, 2010 at 8:42 am #1624870
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Thanks for the review! I'm happy to see a step beyond a razor blade for wilderness equipment.
Benchmade makes several knives that are excellent of excellent quality at a fair price. I like the Axis lock very much. You can flick open most Axis lock knives by just pulling back on the lock– the thumb stud isn't needed. Be careful reversing that process to close the knife one-handed– you can remove your fingertips if they are hanging over the edge of the handle.
I carry a Benchmade Griptilian 551-ORG with a 3.5" 154CM blade and a bright orange handle every day. It is heavier than the 530 at 3.5oz, but I like the handle much better. The thinner blade of the 530 is probably better suited for food prep than the Griptilian.
And $70 for a life-time quality cutting tool is nothing. A Chris Reeves Serbenza folder goes for $330-$385 and there are endless examples for more expensive knives. Like any tool, you can see and feel the difference in quality and performance.
I think the real criteria for choosing a knife are quality of manufacture, blade steel, handle shape, and lock construction. There are many, many good quality knives out there and most of the differences come down to personal preference. Quality wise, a knife is no different than any other gear we buy– cheap doesn't last and fails when needed the most, whether it is leaking rain gear or a stove that won't light, or knife that goes dull, won't open, rusts, etc, etc.
I think it is important to remove yourself from the emotional aspect of knives when choosing one. Most folk have far more dangerous knives in the kitchen drawer than you will ever see on the trail! Many paring knives are the same length as a common 3.5" folder.
Do check your local laws when choosing a pocket knife. For example, in Seattle there is a 3.5" limit on folding knives and fixed blades are illegal in any length. This is for normal carry– there are exceptions if you have hunting or fishing gear and the license to go with, or tradesmen with fixed knives in a tool box. Locking blades aren't allowed in the UK, so keep local laws in mind when traveling.Jun 30, 2010 at 9:07 am #1624881
@filsingerLocale: Pacific Northwest
I give a second for Opinel knives. The simplicity of these knives says BPL all the way. I like the fact I can drill holes and shave down the handle to conform to my hand and save weight. The soft steel is easy to sharpen to a razor edge and if you leave one on a log you are only out a few bucks.
BillJun 30, 2010 at 9:25 am #1624888
I hope some will find this useful. this knife is my choice. lighter than this, strong, cheaper and very handy.
on sale fro 25$ here
here is the buck product page
I am most happy with this knife, again hope this helps some.
oh I should add a few more things. If you can find the older style sheath, get it instead of the newer version pictured in photos. the older one has a round bump on the sheath that fits into the round hole in handle. its a more positive hold on the blade I feel. best 1/2 oz i've added to my gear list.
this knife is very handy as you wear it around your neck. no fumbling in a pack pocket when a blade is needed.
pick one up, I feel you'll be most pleased. oh and they have a FOREVER warranty. welcome. Peace.Jun 30, 2010 at 10:18 am #1624907
I like neck knives, some people don't. But when I carry a folder I carry a Spyderco. Light, more efficient blade design, better steel, and less expensive. My Spyderco Dragon fly has replaced my SOG Twitch II as my EDC blade. I still love the Twitch II, but the spyderco is sharper and remains sharper longer thanks to the VG-10 steel (Twitch II is AUS 6) every Spyderco I have bought comes out of the box hair popin sharp.Jun 30, 2010 at 10:27 am #1624910
@mitchellkeilLocale: Deep in the OC
Wht is it with us guys and our obsession with knives?
So, I'll add my two cents to the conversation. I also love the feel and look of my Opinel knife. Soft carbon steel really takes an edge, easily gets stained (or rusted if you are not careful) and is also easily resharpened on a smooth rock. A nice way to spend a little free time in camp.
I also like the trout and Bird Knife which is all steel with a ring opening at the back to slip your pinky finger into to get a really unslipable grip on the knife.
And finally, the Swedes do know how to make inexpensive but quality non folding knives. Mora is manufacturer worth looking at even if only to admire the inexpensive craftmanship: http://www.ragweedforge.com/SwedishKnifeCatalog.html
I have at least 5 knives I alternate between on my hikes and each gives me great pleasure in using and carrying.Jun 30, 2010 at 11:24 am #1624919
A Finnish Puukko, from the arctic circle in Finnish Laapland. That's mine.Jun 30, 2010 at 11:35 am #1624922
I am really happy with my Spyderco Salt I: Light-weight, completely rust proof, and a bright yellow handle so that I am less likely to accidentally forget it on the top of the mountain like I did with my previous knife.Jun 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm #1624995
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> And what's on the menu at a Caffin bushwalking breakfast in the Swiss Alps?
Pain de compagne (wholemeal bread), butter, jam (usually a sort of blueberry which is very nice and collected from the wild), plus tea and coffee.
The 'problem' with walking in Europe on the known trails is that we seemed to go through a bottle of jam in a few days. But it didn't matter, as there are enough shops that we can just buy another one.
Um – the same problem with bread and butter actually. Every little town has a bread outlet, and they usually carry 'essentials'.
CheersJun 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm #1624998
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Wow. Roger can do a daily resupply!
–B.G.–Jul 2, 2010 at 5:46 am #1625637
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Many of you including Nate, Fred, Bill & Mitchell, expressed appreciation for Opinel knives.
My question is, are they suitable as a fish filleting knife? On their website, the blades look thin enough. Also, the weight would indicate a thin blade.Jul 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm #1625790
I only use a folding knife like this for one thing: digging catholes. I would switch to a tiny knife or razor, but I can't figure out what else to dig with. Fingernails? Tentstake?
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