This is the first Benchmade’s review for a long time. Why ? Not because of the quality of Les De Asis company’s products but because I was not really excited by their production in the last decade after a huge love with their AFCK back in 90’s, and also with Nimravus and all those blades in M2HS which is a tungsten high speed steel, the granddaddy of CPM M4.
I still got a AFCK in M2HSS and browsing that blog, you will find it here.
So here we go, two words has caught my attention on that new Benchmade: Puukko and CPM3V.
“CPM 3V is a high toughness, wear-resistant tool steel made by the Crucible Particle Metallurgy process. It is designed to provide maximum resistance to breakage and chipping in a high wear-resistance steel. It offers impact resistance greater than A2, D2, Cru-Wear, or CPM M4, approaching the levels provided by S7 and other shock resistant grades. CPM 3V is intended to be used at 58/60 HRC in applications where chronic breakage and chipping are encountered in other tool steels, but where the wear properties of a high alloy steel are required.” Source Crucible.
C Mn Si Cr Mo V
0.80 0.30 1.00 7.50 1.30 2.75
To quote my friend Max Wedge:
“3V loses 1/3 of the toughness going from 58hrc to 60 hrc (still 1/3 above A2 at 60 hrc, and A2 is indestructible… almost). Both 4V and Cruware start to shine around 60-62 Hrc… so, 3V for choppers, 4V or Cruware for slicers, Cruware having best corrosion resistance ( trait appreciated by soldiers & foresters)”
So this tough short blade made of chopper steel is at a very good bargain !! Let see what it is all about.
The leather sheath is beautiful even (if there is a loop in the stitching… I will upgrade it into a kydex for pocket carry.) and cleverly designed as a dangler. You can remove the loop to transform it into a classical sheath.
There is a place for sparkling rod in the Bushcraft fashion. I don’t care about carry a knife of that size attached to my belt. I prefer to have it inside my pocket or my bag.
The blade is an eye candy for some reason it reminds me the small SOG Seal Pup knife with no false edge but that’s me… Is this a Puukko ?
That handle is made in some kinf of thermorun… but it is rubberized Santoprene is a soft, non-hygroscopic elastomer which exhibits excellent surface appearance, a durable soft-touch feel, excellent colorability and excellent “processability”… made by Exxon.
It is made from underground forgotten dinosaurs and jurassic biomass aka “petroleum” hence the look of scales on it ? Because that handle looks like some sort of snake or cold blood creature. I love it.
Now is this a scandi ground blade ? Nope. There is a secondary bevel. Is the knife sharp ? Yep, very sharp but could be better. Later/soon on that.
It is a hidden tang construction and you can see the steel in the lanyard hole. This knife is solid as CPM3V is really tough !!
Hidden tang are great when you work in cold weather, protecting your hand from a frozen steel.
That blade is short but handy: it asks to be used hard like… Snake Plissken’s hard actually ! Because 3V is magic in toughness ! 😀
Compared to a Mora or the Urban Hunter (from Pekka Tuominen) the Benchmade 200 stands its ground.
Here are two vision of CPM3V industrial use. Ed Schempp Spyderco Tuff is pure business. So that BM200 should be even tougher as a fixed blade.
Teamed with a Manly Wasp, you got a great combo.
But a puukko (in my book) needs a thinner edge and it is time to scratch that blade to de-shoulder all that. Diamonds do scratches but then scratches will be polished later. Thinner convexed edge is destin to go deep and get twisted; this is a tough steel.
Diamonds, ceramic and leather. Who needs more ? CPM 3V is really like chewing gum you need abrasive medium to form that convex edge.
A some compound with the leather stropping is mandatory to erase those scratches
See ? Now it is convexed and will be smooth on whittling wood. No worry for that edge stability again 3V is perfect for that use.
Standing next my Serrata which is my only naturally serrated knife.
So now, I just need some white ceramic to keep it sharp and some stropping. It is ready for testing. The Puukko shape is more for me a “Coutelas de Rahan” shape actually (French people will understand but here is the link: Rahan in Wikipedia.
making this little tough knife very appealing to bring it everywhere.
Everywhere is a good point to start. 😉