Benchmade Knives: The Outdoor Edge

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A Benchmade knife is one of the most intelligent tools a person can carry.  Whether camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, or in everyday activities, knives are incredible useful. Knives invigorate our imaginations to create solutions to problems we could not otherwise solve.  In emergencies, they can save lives.  My father wore out several folding models during his lifetime and I carried on that tradition, assuring there was always a knife in my pocket.  As an elementary school administrator I used it every day in a multitude of ways and students’ always though it cool that the Principal carried a knife.

A Hunter’s Best Friend

Every hunter needs a knife and most carry more than one.  Small folding knives provide the sharpness and cutting require to size rope, open food containers, slice apples, and a host of other applications from a pocket tool.  A survival knife is more heavily constructed to cut, build, and craft the environment in emergency situations.  In extreme conditions, this knife my indeed save your life.  More gratifying are knives for field dressing and preparing venison for transport.  Such blades require extended sharpness and proper design to “meat” specific circumstances.

The Benchmade Brand

Benchmade builds a wide variety of knives for general and specific purposes including automatic knives that deploy at the touch of a button.  Crafting a tool that works in difficult conditions requires incredible precision within .0005 of an inch.  Benchmark makes knives for rescue, tactical, every day use, survival, outdoor, and hunting.  You’ll find a visit to their website very informative as they walk you through the entire knife building process in the “Factory Tour.”  You’ll find visual descriptions of the knife building process including the following:

ASSEMBLY

Every Benchmade knife is assembled by hand, and it’s no surprise that there are more hand operations performed at this point in a knife’s production than at any other stage in the process. An assembly technician receives all of the components — blade, liner, handle, hardware — and carefully pieces them together. The technician checks the knife for blade play (movement from side-to-side and up-and-down), and the result is a knife just waiting to be sharpened.

SHARPENING

It takes longer to master blade sharpening than any other skill. A sharpening technician puts a razor edge on the knife using a standing belt sander, and this step takes extraordinary concentration. Each blade is sharpened to a targeted 30-degree inclusive angle, 15 degrees on each side. The knife is sharp enough when it can cut through ultra-thin phone book paper effortlessly without tearing. And only then is it truly a Benchmade.
INTERESTING FACTS:

There are up to 35 different people who handle the materials for manufacturing and building a single knife.

This is how much raw material we use in a year to make our knives:

Steel – 179,000 LBS — Enough to build almost 60 SUVs

Titanium – 3,100 LBS — Enough to make more than seven exotic racing motorcycles

Aluminum – 438,000 INCHES — Longer than 121 football fields

Carbon Fiber – 153,000 square feet — 3.5 acres

This YouTube video captures it all from the very first laser cut into a blank sheet of steel to the sizzle in the pan.  It’s one you’ll want to share with friends.

For more info visit:  Benchmade.com

SOURCEBenchmade Knives
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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.

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