Benchmade has been designing and making high
quality knives for many years, and Gunblast has been using
Benchmade products for several years now without failure.
While not the only knives we use and enjoy by any means,
Benchmade products utilized by Gunblast are high-quality cutting
tools that we use and abuse and that serves the purpose for
which they were intended. Most are made in America.
They have a lifetime sharpening service.
And, Benchmade has a great group of cutlery designers
that do a super job of creating great designs that are expertly
made into high-quality cutlery products by Benchmade’s
manufacturing staff. Benchmade
seems to do a much better job than many knife manufacturers of
designing and manufacturing products that meet market demands,
and delivering these products to the market at attractive price
points. The two
knives that are the topic of this article are great examples.
One of Benchmade’s premier knife designers
is Mel Pardue. Mel
has been designing good-looking and effective quality cutlery
for a long time. The
association with Benchmade has been good for both the designer
and the manufacturer. And,
as we can attest, the end user as well.
The subject of this test are two Pardue-designed
Benchmades, the Pardue Rant Bowie and the Pardue MDP.
Both knives, under initial evaluation, exude
Benchmade quality. They
have good composite handles that give good grip even in poor
conditions. They are made of high-quality steel. They hold an edge well.
And, they hold up to abuse.
We received these knives more than a year
ago. One of the
knives is still as it was the day it arrived at Gunblast’s
offices. The Rant
Bowie is new and unused (so far).
The other, the MDP, has been used.
Well, the word “used” doesn’t seem to do it
is a much more reflective adjective.
Therefore, the knife under review is the MDP.
The Pardue MDP stands for “medium drop
acronym describes the blade design.
It is a relatively heavy-use knife with a medium drop
point blade design that proves effective in many situations.
I chose to put the MDP through extensive
tests over the past 12+ months because I considered the blade
design to be one of many purposes.
The blade thickness is good enough to keep it intact
under stress, and yet is ground fine enough at the blade edge to
cut and hold an edge well.
That said, after more than a year of abuse,
and hasn’t yet been sharpened, it is time to sharpen the
blade. I can do that, but will instead send it off to Benchmade for
free sharpening. Yes,
Benchmade has a free sharpening service.
If you own a Benchmade, send it to the factory and they
will sharpen it for free. For
as long as you own the knife.
Now, that is service!
The MDP has served many purposes over the
past year. It’s
blade design works well as a hunting and skinning knife, and it
has served that purpose. It has been a good knife for whittling and basic cutting
chores, from cutting rope to cutting tie wire (arrghh). Beyond that, I asked things of the MDP that one shouldn’t
ask of a knife, yet it is still intact.
To state that my wife loves flowers is a
humorous understatement. Our
4-acre place in Tennessee looks like a botanical garden.
Last spring, I used the MDP to cut holes in landscape
fabric for new planting chores.
I even used it to cut out old landscape fabric to replace
with new, fabric that had 2 years of decomposed mulch, leaves,
and other debris. When
placing new fabric, I used the handle of the MDP to drive in
fabric staples. I
pried up staples from old fabric.
I dug up rocks out of the soil with the MDP.
And, I actually gave the knife to my wife which was used
for 2 months in digging in dirt planting bulbs.
She thinks the blade design actually worked better than
her small hand spade to plant new small bulbs.
The ground here is rocky and the earth hard, and the MDP
cuts through the dirt and handles rocks much better than her
hand shovel. The
MDP was used as a small hatchet.
It was used as a pry bar.
And, it was ran over by a lawn mower and four wheeler
(glad it was in the sheath for the benefit of the tires), and
was actually lost in the yard for more than 2 months before it
was found again, buried in mud.
Most people would not ask of a knife what we
asked of this Benchmade. While
we didn’t put it through well-engineered tests at a factory,
we did put it through real-life tests, much like you as a
Gunblast.com reader would do.
And then some. It performed well. I
still like the knife. I
like the blade design. I
intend to send it off, have it sharpened, and continue the same
abuse over this next year.
In fact, my wife wants it back for bulb planting chores.
I will most likely use the Bowie this next
hunting season. I
expect it to perform as well as the MDP.
Yet, the MDP will remain active in our household.
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