• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Knife review video: First look at the Benchmade Meatcrafter

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The Benchmade™ Meatcrafter™ may be one of those knives you need in your hunting gear.

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer:  I did not get a free knife to review, and nobody had any input in this review. All that is ever promised in any review is a fair shake.

You stand over the fallen big game animal and look down on it with a measure of pride, satisfaction and hopefully, a tinge of regret and sadness. You have just been blessed with a winter’s supply of high-quality organic protein, and how fast the meat is cooled determines how good it will taste. You need the right knives.

Or maybe you have a mess of fish to clean, or are slicing peaches or apples for canning. In camp, you may need to prepare food. You need the right knife for the job.

I’m always on the lookout for efficient knives, and ordered a Benchmade Meatcrafter as soon as one became available. The blade design and handle are familiar to me, and I bet the knife would work well.

The Benchmade Meatcrafter is a no-nonsense, working tool that can perform well for many different tasks. (KSF photo)

Here are the Meatcrafter specs:

Overall length: 10.5 inches

Blade: 6 inches

Handle: 4.5 inches, .5 inches thick

Blade thickness: 1/16 inch

Grind: Flat, with micro bevel

Point: Trailing

Most of my big game hunting is done in the mountain backcountry or southeastern swamps. I’m often on my own and have to pack the meat out to the nearest road. My sled makes this easier, and the right selection of  knives makes backcountry meat cutting a lot faster, more efficient and safer. Two knives can do the work: a skinner/gutting knife and a boning/fillet knife. Make good choices in both categories.

Here is the good stuff:

Steel: CPM-154 is a “martensitic stainless steel, having less chromium and very little nickel as compared to Austenitic steels,” according to knifeup.com. “When compared with 440C, the standard by which most stainless knife steels are measured, CPM-154 has better edge retention and chip resistance, plus dimensional stability.”

The Bark River Sportsman, top, is my most-used knife, both in the kitchen and outdoors. The Meatcrafter looks very promising.

I will be checking out how well this steel holds an edge. So far, I’m impressed.

Blade thickness: The 1/16-inch thick blade has a 14-degree edge, which makes this knife a laser-like slicer. It works well on apples, meat, tomatoes and anything else that needs slicing. This is a great configuration for a fillet/boning knife.

Grind: Flat grind with a micro bevel. It will end up being a convex grind after enough use and stropping. The 14-degree edge on the CPM-154 blade makes quick work of meat slicing and deboning.

Handle: I wear size large gloves, and need a four-inch handle if I’m going to get a four-finger grip. The Meatcrafter handle fits my hand fine. The only color option is blaze orange, and that’s a good choice. In the excitement and euphoria of a successful harvest, it is too easy to drop a knife and overlook it in the forest duff. Been there, done that.

Sheath: This knife is designed to be carried in your pack. There is no provision for carrying a Meatcrafter on a belt, and you don’t need one. The Kydex sheath is blaze orange on one side and black on the other.

Warranty: Benchmade Knife Company, Inc. (“Benchmade”) warrants to the original purchaser that their genuine Benchmade knife purchased from Benchmade or one of its authorized sellers will be free from defects in materials and workmanship from the date of purchase for as long as said purchaser owns the knife that was purchased. This warranty applies only to knives that were purchased from Benchmade or an authorized Benchmade seller with proof of purchase unless otherwise prohibited by law.

This is what I’ve got so far. The knife has performed well in the kitchen, slicing apples, sausage and other stuff. I’m between hunting seasons right now, and it will be a few weeks before I get back to Oregon and can field test any knives at Addy Custom Meats.

But one of my fishing buddies has trotlines out, and he is notoriously successful. So I’m hoping there will be some catfish to clean. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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