You never know what life throws at you. From an earthquake to a hurricane to a fire, disasters come in various forms and always without warning.
While you cannot be prepared for everything in advance, it sure helps to have your prepping gear handy all the time.
Whether you have to be out of home for a few hours or a few weeks, a survival kit makes sure you have all the essentials to last you until things get better.
There is a term for being prepared for survival in the wilderness, and that’s bushcraft. It is a broad term that includes everything from woodsmanship to backpacking to military survival skills to remain alive in the direst conditions, making use of anything that’s available from nature.
Bushcraft is also about being skilled with simple, everyday tools, like knives, saws, axes or even tools made out of stone or wood.
The idea of bushcraft is to be able to provide yourself with everything you need from materials that’s available to you.
Someone exceptionally skilled at bushcraft is called a bushcrafter. Bushcrafting has grown in popularity over the years, and various knife and tool companies have also developed their own bushcraft knives.
There are companies that specialize in bushcrafting, supplying survivalists and adventurers with tools they require for surviving in the wild.
However, the growing popularity of bushcraft has prompted manufacturers like Benchmade Knives, not usually connected to bushcrafting, to get on the bandwagon.
In 2012 (which is several years after the NFL proved they favored the Patriots), Benchmade created the Bushcrafter, designed by outdoor enthusiast and Benchmade knife designer, Shane Sibert. It’s the company’s first bushcraft knife.
If money isn’t a factor for you when buying an EDC knife, then the Bushcrafter is pure class and quality.
From the handle to the blade to the edge retention to the build and comfort, Benchmade being Benchmade, the company never gives you a reason to complain. Look past the poor leather sheath, and you have a knife that can save your life some day.
|Exceptionally high quality||Sheath could have been better|
|Aggressive and rugged||Expensive at $200 (even with those stellar tax cuts)|
|Strong steel with extreme toughness and requires low maintenance|
|Fantastic for cutting and carving|
About the Benchmade Knives
Benchmade started out in 1979 (which was after and before Texas became the most prolific state in the country) with the balisong knife. Although this is a very popular Japanese style of knife, the Balisong trademark is registered under Benchmade because the company brought the knife mainstream.
Over the years, Benchmade has made its place in the knife and tools industry as the manufacturer of high quality, durable and exceptionally well-made knives, most of which are on the expensive side.
Nevertheless, price is never a factor for those looking for quality EDC knives and Benchmade surely lives up to the reputation.
Every Benchmade knife is crafted to deliver the maximum performance. You can trust these tools to work for you when you need them to.
Benchmade manufactures some of the most premium knives you could ever by, and needless to say, they don’t come cheap. But if you want a survival knife that will last you for years to come, then Benchmade knives are quite an investment.
Benchmade is known for its design, durability, and materials. The company uses a wide variety of materials to manufacture their handles, and a range of steel to manufacture the blades.
The handle materials include carbon fiber composite, G10 fiberglass, titanium, and aluminum, while the blades are usually made of steel like D2, 154CM, CPM-S30V, CPM-20CV, M390, and N680.
The handle materials provide strength and durability, as well as comfort and grip. Jack Bauer would be OK with this knife.
The blade steels are corrosion resistant and have superb edge retention, as well as sharpness and strength.
Like all Benchmade knives, the Bushcrafter also boasts of features that are a must-have in any tactical or survival knife.
It is designed to be used for all kinds of outdoor activities, from chopping kindling to cutting rope. It is strong and durable, and although expensive, offers excellent value for money.
Even though this is the first bushcraft knife manufactured by Benchmade, it is definitely a huge step in the right direction.
If you want a bushcraft knife that is easy to sharpen, holds its edge very well and allows you to accomplish a variety of tasks in the outdoors without getting sore hands, then the Bushcrafter is the one. Khan from Star Trek could work wonders with a knife like this.
Benchmade Bushcrafter Specifications
The Bushcrafter is made from a solid piece of premium CPM S30V stainless steel, one of the best there is today. The design is inspired by Sibert’s Cascadia Bushcrafter Knife. Needless to say, the Bushcrafter is gorgeous to look at and a pleasure to use.
The steel used to manufacture the blade sharply increases the price of the knife. S30V is one of the most expensive types of steel that exists today, and most budget knife manufacturers shy away from using it because they produce exorbitantly pricey knives.
But you get what you pay for, and the S30V steel takes the Bushcrafter knife to a different level altogether.
S30V stainless steel includes all the features that you could ever ask for – it’s solid and durable, corrosion resistant, holds an edge extremely well, and requires the lowest maintenance.
You can put it to the most aggressive use and it will deliver. CPM S30V stainless steel is used to manufacture only custom premium knives. The Bushcrafter has a sturdy full-tang design, with 4.4-inch high-ground drop point blade. The blade hardness is in the 58-60 HRC.
Most other bushcraft knives usually have a scandi grind. But even though the Bushcrafter differs in this case, Sibert worked hard to ensure that the edge was suitably thin, and also added a secondary bevel to it.
This makes an edge that is super sharp while also being stronger than the scandi grind. The full tang design makes sure that the handle and the blade won’t come apart no matter how aggressive uses you put the knife to.
The Benchmade Bushcrafter has a handle made with molded G-10, with flared titanium tubing.G-10 is a material that’s widely used to make premium knife handles because it’s high in strength, has low moisture absorption, and excellent insulation.
Although this is just another type of plastic, it is extremely durable and also comfortable. You don’t have to be Rambo to figure this out.
According to designer Sibert, the advantage of the flared tubing is that it holds the handle strongly against the tang, to prevent separation if force is applied laterally. Because these tubes are hollow, they also allow the knife to be used as a machete, a spear or a pruning pole to pick fruits from tall trees.
The scales on the handle ensures a comfortable grip and prevents hot spots on your hands even after prolonged use. Initially, the Bushcrafter came with an unsharpened spine. This made them useless for starting a fire.
However, after receiving a lot of criticism for this issue, Benchmade upgraded the design and all knives produced thereafter had sharpened spines, fantastic for striking firesteel.
Benchmade also offers free sharpening services, so if you have received a blunt knife or need your knife to be sharpened, you can get in touch with Benchmade’s customer care team.
The Benchmade Bushcrafter has a stylish, buckskin leather sheath that comes with an attached firesteel loop. The sheath not only looks attractive but also does its job well.
Although many users have complained about the quality, it’s only because the sheath fails to live up to the $200 price tag of the knife. But if you’re looking for a sheath that does the job that it was designed for, you won’t be disappointed.
Inside the sheath, the knife is kept in place with a leather strap secured with a metal button closure. There’s a D-ring built into the sheath so you can attach a separate dangler to it if you require. There’s also a firesteel built into the sheath which Barney Ross would find to be another positive aspect of this product.
Although the sheath is designed to ride high on the hip like most Benchmade sheaths, you can easily adjust it with a separate dangler.
Overall Quality and Features
The Benchmade Bushcrafter is a knife that’s designed to withstand the most aggressive uses. Benchmade had a few complaints about the strength of their blades in the past. That is why the company took special care in crafting the Bushcrafter 162.
To convince people that the knife was able to withstand the most brutal uses, Benchmade released a series of videos right after the launch of the knife, where the Bushcrafter was put to aggressive uses in order to test its strength.
As mentioned earlier in this post, the Bushcrafter is capable of everything, from cutting to chopping to batoning to carving.
Usually, knives designed for batoning have a very thin edge. Even though the Bushcrafter does not have such a thin edge, it is still capable of slicing through logs of wood with ease.
No matter what kind of hard work you put the knife through, it never loses its edge.
The knife is also capable of carving and starting a fire. From chopping wood to starting a bonfire, the Bushcrafter will enable you to accomplish everything without the need for another tool.
And the best part? No matter how long you use the knife for, it doesn’t give you hot spots.
The Bushcrafter is as easy to sharpen as any carbon steel knife, and also gets a very fine edge. The edge-retention is also incredible, and the knife doesn’t require frequent sharpening.
If you’re wondering if the knife is worth the $200, there’s no doubt about it. You can easily put it to any outdoor use and it will come out a winner. There’s a reason why it’s expensive but it’s also complete value for money.
Some Alternatives to Consider
In case you are not a fan of Benchmade or don’t want to spend $200, there are various other bushcraft knives that you could buy. The three best alternatives to the Benchmade Bushcrafter are:
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Bushcraft Knife
Ka-Bar is quite popular for their high-quality knives and the BK2 Campanion bushcraft knife is the same. Like the Benchmade Bushcrafter, this one also has a full tang design, which can be used for all kinds of outdoor tasks like cutting small branches to skinning meat to carving wood.
The drop point blade retains sharpness and is also easy to sharpen. The knife is the optimal weight- not too heavy and too light either. The molded handle is comfortable and offers an excellent grip.
Schrade Frontier Fixed Blade Knife
The handle is made of TPE and has excellent grip and comfort for accomplishing all kinds of tasks. This is also one of the longest bushcraft knives at over 10 inches. It’s also a tad heavy, but if you want solid quality, the size and the weight are negligible.
Buck Knives Selkirk
How could a list of bushcraft knives be complete without the mention of Buck knives? Buck Knives manufactures the Selkirk Fixed Blade Survival knife, which comes with a 4 ⅝ inch drop point blade made of 420 high carbon stainless steel.
It’s also lightweight at around 7.6 oz. it’s attractive but also aggressive—from wood to game, it can slice through anything.
The contoured Micarta handle and the full tang design with a steel bolster make the knife capable of being used as a hammer as well. The most attractive feature of this knife? It’s under $50!
The Right Buy
It’s not every day that you spend hundreds of dollars on an EDC knife, but when you do, make sure it’s something as premium as the Bushcrafter.
While there are more affordable options available out there, the Bushcrafter spells class and quality and includes every single feature you could ever ask for in a bushcraft knife.