Benchmade Saddle Mountain Skinner
I’ve been ogling my coworker’s knives that they carry which can vary from SOG, Swiss Army, Gerber, Leatherman, to Zero Tolerance blades. Some are multi-tools while the rest are folding knives. I was carrying a SOG SlimJim Knife and it has worked very well for the things I normally do.
But there comes a certain ego with knives and their size and function. I know that I’m out of the multifunction tool race because there are only so many options out there and I definitely have the mid-range level. Well, more importantly, I know that the other guys that have the more expensive stuff don’t even use it. So size and function were part of my next purchase. I shopped around for a new knife for about 6 months and finally decided on the look and feel I wanted to portray. At first look, I wanted to get the OOOoooo and Ahhhh. A lot of wow factor; that combined with an appreciation of a great look and feel followed by a discomfort of knowing what this knife can do.
Months were spent contemplating folding, assisted, how assisted, what’s legal, how am I going to really use it, and what other people would be deathly afraid of. By the 4th month or so, I narrowed it down to the company I’d like to use which was Benchmade. I chose Benchmade because of their company philosophies and their customer care/support when it came to their knives. Second place was Zero Tolerance but mainly because of the knives I’d see on NCIS. However, if we are to go knives I see on TV, I think Benchmade would still win especially with their cameos in Grimm. I do love the Infidel. After narrowing it down from blade to blade to blade, I finally reached the conclusion to get a fixed blade with surgical steel and had a gut hook. The gut hook decision was mainly for the discomfort factor of knowing what this knife can do.
So even after making that choice, there were many options, to look at: utility type, hunting, hunting with wood handles, hunting with synthetic handles. It took me another month to go over the pros and cons of each of them. Even after the month, I didn’t jump on what I wanted to get. It took visit to the Benchmade factory in Oregon for me to make my final decision.
The experience at Benchmade was amazing. They had all the knives…yes, all the knives displayed were in the showroom. It was like being a kid in a candy store. Actually, I had the same feelings when I went to the Jelly Belly factory and had the option to get as many flavors as I wanted. I tried all the ones I was thinking about getting and even the new stuff that didn’t hit the websites/internet. If I wasn’t determined on the Hunt series, I would have definitely gone with the Bushcrafter or even went with the automatic Infidel but I remembered California laws. It finally came down to the Saddle Mountain Skinner knives so the question was with the gut hook or without. But after holding both of them I immediately knew to go with the one with the gut hook. There was a certain kind of weight that I loved with the one with the hook. It was not a lighter weighted front blade it’s still balanced the same but the feel was a little bit more firm. I know, not too exciting of a story but at least I got to see the headquarters.
If ever driving through Oregon, I recommend visiting the headquarters and picking up a knife. I think my next one will be the Bushcrafter.
Visit Benchmade.com to see their selection.