Benchmade Knives – The Hidden Canyon Hunter
By Brock Akers, Rokslide Moderator
When hunting traditions are passed down from generation to generation, they carry a lot of meaning. Often times, you will see pictures and hear tall tales of Granddad’s knife, the knife that seems to have graced the hand of each hunter before him. To some, it’s a sign of respect to carry such a tool. To others, a way to honor.
At the Western Hunt Expo in Utah this past winter, Rokslide Editor, Robby Denning, and I were talking with Kendall Card of BlackOvis.com. He introduced us to the guys at the Benchmade Knife booth. They had many knives on display at their booth. As I gazed into the glass at all the different designs, they asked “Which one jumps out at you”? I’d been eyeing the Hidden Canyon Hunter so it was an easy question to answer.
When I held it in my hand, the balance was the first thing I noticed. It didn’t feel too big and bulky. With a blade length of just over 2.5″ long, it felt like my index finger had been replaced with a wicked sharp cutting edge—an extension of my hand if you will. The second thing I noticed was the craftsmanship. It had a beautiful dymondwood handle and a very nice looking leather sheath. The knife had my attention.
With an upcoming hunt in Alaska for spring bear, I knew the knife would see some action. At first I was skeptical about going away from my trusty Havalon. After all, it has over a dozen animals under its blades in the last couple years. But I was willing to give it a try and into the kill kit the Benchmade went, bound for Alaska.
The first night of hunting proved to be successful, with my hunting partner, Paul, pulling off a textbook stalk and arrowing a nice boar at 25 yards. We started breaking down the bear with a mix of knives. Paul and another partner had replaceable blades and I had the Hidden Canyon. We traded around several times to get a few different opinions on the new knife. We all agreed it did a great job.
I was able to place my index finger on the jimping located at the very end of the blade, turn my hand upside down and open the hide up along the belly and then make a cut up the legs with ease. This then allowed for me to cut the joint at the paws and move onto the next step quickly.
The large radius of the S30V steel blade did very well skinning. It really excelled over the replaceable blades when it came to removing the skull from the carcass. It was nice to have a little more leverage without breaking a replaceable blade when cutting through everything at the base of the skull. The process was repeated on another bear the following evening with the same results. The blade held an edge well (I didn’t bring a sharpening stone) and the knife proved to be a handy tool around camp.
Benchmade stands behind their knives. Case in point: their lifetime sharpening service. At the end of the season (or when needed,) ship your knife back to them or to an authorized service center and they will completely restore your blade and go over the entire knife to make sure everything is still up to their standard.
At the time of this review, I have not utilized this service yet as I just haven’t needed it. The Hidden Canyon Hunter is still extremely sharp and I am convinced I can make it through the fall before sending it in.
I don’t think I will be replacing my Havalon with the Benchmade but it has definitely found a spot in the pack for my future hunts. The Hidden Canyon Hunter weighs in at 4.25 oz on my scale (including the sheath). This is the kind of knife that can last generations and I would love to be able to hand it down someday along with the wealth of stories it might tell.
You can view the entire selection of Benchmade Knives at BlackOvis here
You can ask Brock questions or discuss this article here