Image of the July 2015 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
July 2015 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Knives

Benchmade North Fork



Our Rating:

The North Fork weighs 90g and with the 7.54cm blade extended feels perfectly balanced. The smooth Dymondwood handle has a barely perceptible impression for the index finger to rest in and is slightly curved at the point where fingers grip, making it comfortable to hold.

The knife is accessed by swinging the thumb stud on either side of the blade. Closing is via the sliding locking mechanism which can also be operated left or right handed.

The S30V steel is formed under extreme pressure and rolled into sheets to be laser cut. This process creates a uniform grain structure with no weak points or bands. There’s no denying the blade looks and feels solid and is extremely sharp.  

The knife I reviewed had already been used to dress a deer and had not been sharpened since. Though clean, I decided against using it to slice cheese and salami and opted instead to have a go at dressing an animal of my own.

I acquired three possums and after watching a few instructional YouTube videos set to work. The blade cut through fur, muscle and tendon with barely any pressure applied. I soon found I had gone too deep to effectively perform the slicing manoeuvre to separate the skin from the rear legs. About 10 minutes later I had a mostly skinned possum at my feet. Possums two and three were similarly dispatched, my technique not improving one iota. During and after all that work, the blade was not dulled in the least.

I did carry out one last test: carving my daughter’s initials into a tree. This was more up my alley and proved easy.  

Comfortable to hold, easy to operate one-handed and offering a super sharp, long-lasting edge, it is a finely crafted hunter’s tool. And for those of us who prefer slicing cheese to skins, it’ll do that too.