For those of you have known me for any length of time you already know that Benchmade knives hold a special place in my heart. I received my first Benchmade for my high school graduation and have acquired many more since. The very name “Benchmade” seems to conjure up images of luxury and top of the line performance.
You say Benchmade like you would say Corvette and expect people to know what caliber of knife to which you are referring.
That is exactly the thought that came to my mind when I was asked to review a new Benchmade knife. I expected to see a sleek stylish folder with a black handle, like the majority of Benchmades I have seen in the past. What I received was something quite different. This Benchmade was not designed for military or law enforcement use, nor was it particularly trendy in appearance. It looked to me like a simple a wood-handled hunting knife. The knife reminded me of an old style hunting knife that was good enough to get the job done but was quite forgettable. Boy was I wrong!
The Benchmade Bone collector is a well built cutting tool. Ideally it was designed to clean and quarter that trophy with four legs, but since this isn’t furry animal season I brought it along on several fishing trips in the middle of Michigan. I don’t know how well it works on trophy fish, but it sure cleans the barely-keepers nicely. Here you can see the Bone Collector set next to a 14 inch Large Mouth Bass.
At the end of the trip we found several keeper large mouth bass, a nice 30 inch Northern Pike, along with numerous pan fish- mostly Blue Gills. The Bone Collector made quick work of all of these different fish. Gutting and taking the head off of the fish was a piece of cake. Cutting through the belly with the gut hook was easy, and there was no chance of piercing any organs. The blade went through the ribs and even the thick spine of all the fish. If you have ever tried to cut through the spine of a large pike, you know it is not done easily.
Let’s break down the knife bow to stern. To start with the Bone collector knife is crafted from high quality D2 steel. Overall dimensions are an overall length of 8.13 inches and a blade length of 4.1 inches. The Benchmade Bone Collector also ships with a leather sheath. The sheath is sturdy and efficient. The belt loop is stitched in and a retention strap with a snap crosses the handle of the knife at the point of the finger recess to lock it in place. With little give once in the sheath, the Bone collector will always be there when you need it. The knife is available in several configurations. You have three choices in handle scales: Black G-10, layered green and black G-10, and walnut wood. Blades are available with or with out a gut hook, and with or without partial serrations. That is a total of 12 combinations, so there is no excuse for not getting the combination you really want. The blade I got my hands on has walnut scales and a gut hook, no serrations.
The blade is sharp, and even after cleaning several fish and using it for many other chores around the house and camp site for a couple of months, it still does not need to be sharpened. As I mentioned the gut hook works flawlessly and also holds its edge very well. The walnut handle scales on the Bone Collector are smooth to the touch with two screws that are counter sunk. The spine of the knife has ridges that are recessed. These ridges are a huge addition to the grip of the knife. At first glance the recessed ridges look gimmicky and trendy, but I can say that even through the slime of a decent sized Pike my grip on the knife was firm. The ridges leave just enough bite to keep the blade in your hand, but don’t seem to make the grip uncomfortable.
Everyone knows a good camp knife has to do more than just process game. If this is truly going to be the only knife you bring to camp then this is going to have do some kitchen patrol as well. How does the Benchmade Bone Collector do on KP you ask? The answer is that it more than holds its own. I took the Bone Collector through the course of cutting vegetables and some light garden duty as well. This is all after cleaning the fish, and it is still as sharp as the day it arrived.
As I said, the Bone Collector is not flashy or stylish. That is not to say that is not an impressive looking knife, it just isn’t cool or trendy. Having said that, it is a tough knife that’s been designed from the ground up to be a great tool. So, whether you are quartering game, cleaning fish, or just cleaning up around camp, the Benchmade Bone Collector will rise to the challenge. This knife definitely lives up to the Benchmade name, even though is not the traditional military look that we have come to expect from the Oregon Knife Company.
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