Benchmade’s Crooked River Hunter
Brings Class And Quality To The Hunt
By Pat Covert
It’s been well over 50 years since the venerable Buck 110 kicked off the “folding hunter” genre. In turn, the tactical folder wave of the early 1990’s overshadowed all hunting knives by virtually sucking all the oxygen out of the room. All of which makes Benchmade’s Crooked River Hunter a breath of fresh air!
The Crooked River Hunter is a welcome addition to Benchmade’s HUNT series. At 9.3 inches overall the knife is nicely sized to handle a wide range of field and game processing chores. The 5.3-inch handle is an attractive blend of bead-blasted aluminum bolsters and brown Dymondwood scales, topped off with an orange pivot collar and back spacer. The 4-inch stonewashed clip-point blade is premium CPM-S30V stainless steel that locks up tighter than a drum with Benchmade’s patented AXIS lock system.
The Crooked River’s handsome package makes it easy to overlook one of the knife’s strongest features. The AXIS lock (which is thumbed down to release the blade) is—by design—a very sturdy and compact system. It takes up little more space inside the handle than what you see externally. This allows the frame to be opened on either side which, in turn, allows for simple and easy cleaning. Get mud, grime and viscera in a closed-frame folder, especially one with a locking leaf, and cleaning is a much harder task.
The suggested retail on the Crooked River Hunter folder is a highly palatable $210. Benchmade kept the price in line by using stainless steel frame slabs and accessorizing the scales in aluminum and Dymondwood as opposed to more expensive materials—which is fine because this is a knife meant for doing messy, grubby tasks. Who says you can’t do dirty work without looking like a million bucks?
CROOKED RIVER HUNTER
MAKER: Benchmade Knife Company
300 Beavercreek Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
Steel type: CPM-S30V stainless steel
Blade length: 4.0 inches
Overall length: 9.3 inches
Weight: 5.41 ounces
Handle: Aluminum bolsters, Dymondwood scales, AXIS lock
Carry: Tip-up pocket clip
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