Benchmade Mini-Barrage Knife
A good knife is worth its weight in gold in the times you need one the most. Weather its routine work around the house or camp, cooking, or butchering an animal, a quality knife not only cuts better, but it often times will hold an edge much longer.
The picture above is my knife, and as you can probably tell, I've been using it quite a bit. I got the knife about 6 months ago so there has been more than enough time for me to get a true feel of what kind of knife this is. Here is my take on it:
This knife is made with S30V steel, which is widely considered one of the best blade materials out there today. Its tough, corrosion resistant, and holds an edge for a long time. That being said, because the knife is made using premium steel, it comes with a premium price. Benchmade lists the blade for $185, but you should be able to find one for much less at a sporting goods store. I got my knife from Field and Stream, and if I remember right they had it for right around $140, still pricey, but hey...it is one heck of a knife!
I've used this knife for a little bit of everything so far, and I have to say its preformed perfectly for everything I've needed it to. From cleaning catfish and bass, to cutting up a 200lb hog, its done everything I've needed it too and held a sharp edge the whole time (with some slight touching up on the blade every once in a while).
Another thing that I love about this knife is the length of the blade. The blade is long enough to trim meat off bones and cut away a pig or deer hide, but it is also small enough to skin smaller game like squirrels. The drop point design is also one I really like for gutting, since I can do long cuts with the belly of the blade, and precision cuts with the tip. Before I got this knife I was using a small case knife for most of my meat trimming, and my Ka-Bar for the heavy duty work, like cutting the hide off a deer. The Mini-Barrage can do both, which is really nice because now I really only ever pack this one knife when I go hunt, and even at home I use this knife for 90% cleaning an animal.
THE HANDLE & MECHANICS
So Benchmade really hit the nail on the head with the design on this handle! The handle doesn't get slippery at all when bloody or wet, even when your wearing latex gloves. The design also makes it very easy to hold and maneuver around in one hand, which is important because of how the mechanics of this knife work.
This knife has a pretty powerful open assist system so Benchmade actually put a safety on the spine of the handle to keep it from opening up in your pocket (I did not use the safety and guess what happened?), it's locked when switched forward, so when you pull it out of your pocket all you have to do is flip it back and it is unlocked and ready to be flipped open. A slight push on the knob attached to the blade is all it takes to engage the assisted opening system, making this perfect for one handed use. I can easily pull the knife out with one hand, open it, cut with it, and close it all while dangling 18 feet up in a tree in my linemen's belt.
Bottom line, I would buy this knife again. Great steel, thin design, wicked sharp, and very easy to maintain. Even if I'm too lazy to clean and sharpen it myself, I can send it to Benchmade and they will clean, and re-sharpen for free! Every once in a while I will touch up the edge on my Smiths knife sharpener and its good as new. This blade is EXTREMELY sharp from the factory, and I know a lot of other blades are too, but this knife can easily be re-sharpened back to, or even past factory sharpness at home without too much trouble, that right there is what premium steel gets you! I would highly recommend this blade to anyone, and I'm sure Benchmade will get more of my business in the future!