Benchmade 158BK CSK II
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- Last updated: 14/12/2016
Readers may recall that I tested a Benchmade Rant 515 drop point, fixed blade recently. The knife I’m looking at – the 158BK CSK II to my eyes is similar in many ways apart from the blade length. As the name suggests this is an all-purpose field design that is perhaps more aimed at service personal. However, there are shooters out there who appreciate something larger too.
I really liked the Rant and this in many ways is more of the same. The blade is a flat ground, 6” clip point made from 1095 carbon steel with a hardness of 57-60HRC. In keeping with its ethos it’s black powder coated to doubtless resist corrosion.
It’s a solid build with a thickness of 0.180”, which is maintained at the spine for 4/5th of its length, so no problems there. The handle is as the Rant. Made from a rubber-like synthetic called Santoprene and moulded on to the tang and shows a short half guard with heavy checking on the sides and cross cuts on the top and bottom. The shape flares out in the centre section to fill the hand with a low stop at the rear that in conjunction with the guard helps to locate the grip. At the back end is a brass-lined lanyard hole.
I would consider this a medium/large build by British standards given it’s 10 ¾” long and weighs 7 ½ oz. Definitely too big for some, but although I like a blade at around 4” I had no problems with this at all. Balance is as you might expect is a little nose-heavy, but not that much of an issue!
The clip point style is angled enough for getting into tight areas and the extra weight/heft does offer good leverage and cutting ability for bigger chores too. So if you like a medium/large build that’s tough and able this knife is well worth a look.
My one moan about the Rant was the sheath’s belt loop was a bit skimpy; no such worries on the 158BK. The design is blocked leather with rivets at critical points backing up the stitching. Retention is by a strap and press stud around the hilt with a leather lace included for the lanyard hole if you want belt & braces. There’s also another at the bottom if you want to tie it off around your thigh, or lash it to your gear.
Integral is a 2” belt loop and at the rear a synthetic, QD, MOLLE® sheath Malice clip. This allows it to be mounted on any vest or gear that uses this flat loop attachment system. In the field I use a Maxpedition Malaga Gear Slinger pack with MOLLE points and find it a great way to carry a knife ready to go, without all the hassle of it being on your belt.
Overall a tough and practical design, if perhaps a bit on the larger side.
For: Tough and strong, no nonsense field knife
Against: Might be too big for some, plus not everyone likes the military look
Verdict: If a larger blade floats your boat, then well worth consideration