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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Benchmade 15000 Bone Collector > Test Report by Michael Mosack

BENCHMADE 15000 BONE COLLECTOR KNIFE
TEST SERIES BY MIKE MOSACK
LONG-TERM REPORT
September 13, 2011

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Mosack
EMAIL: mosack(at)earthlink(dot)net
AGE: 47
LOCATION: Lakeside, CA USA and Afghanistan
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 240 lb (109.00 kg)

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, doing solo and group trips, with and without kids. I do day trips, weekenders and week-long or longer trips throughout the year. I backpack in all climates and seasons, from summer desert trips to Spring/Winter camping in Michigan, California and Grand Canyon, Arizona and I've worked in Afghanistan for 4 years & rely on my equipment constantly. I prefer to go lighter when possible and am always trying new items. Quality and reliability of items are paramount to me over price and weight.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Benchmade
IMAGE 1
Image from manufacturer's website

Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: www.benchmade.com
MSRP: US$ 100.00
Model - 15000-1 Plain Edge/ Layered Green & Black G10 Handle
Overall Length: 8.00 in (20.3 cm)
Measured Overall Length: 8 in (20.3 cm)
Listed Weight: 3.46oz. (98g) - Knife only
Measured Weight: 3.42 oz (97g) - Knife only
Pocket Clip: None but a Sheath is Included
Lock Mechanism: Fixed blade
Sheath Material: Leather 2.18oz (62.06g) Dyed black color
Sheath measured weight: 2.08 oz (60g)

Other details:
Blade Length: 4.00 in (102 mm or 10.16 cm)
Measured Blade Length: 4 in (102 mm)
Blade Thickness: 0.125 in (3.17mm)
Blade Material: D2 Tool Steel
Blade Hardness: 60-62HRC
Blade Style: Utility
Handle Thickness: 0.590 in (1.5 cm)

This knife can be purchased directly from the manufacturer's website.


INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The 15000 series of knives has variations to include options for six different handle and blade configurations. The actual knife I requested and received was the 15000-1, which consists of a plain edged, fixed blade with a layered green and black G10 handle. The packaging consisted of an attractive box that is black in color with a green and white logo and text. The Bone Collector name is prominent and stands out against the box. It is a simple design that looks very well conceived and appealing. I felt a little excited opening the box to see what was inside. The box contained the sheathed knife and product and warrantee information.

IMAGE 2
Package contents



The knife fits well within the sheath and it slides in and out easily, yet feels secure and stable when sheathed. The knife blade runs through to the butt end of the handle as a solid piece of steel (full tang). The blade I chose has a plain edge (no serrations) and arrived from the factory already sharpened. The handle I chose is green and black in color. There are two green and black handle pieces that are fixed to the blade material with two Allen head screws for a wider grip. The handle has a ribcage style pattern shape to it for grip and the look is appealing and seems fitting for the style of the Bone Collector name.

The sheath is constructed of leather which is dyed a black color. The sheath also has a pressed Bone Collector logo design on it and a strap with a snap to lock in the knife. The sheath has a belt loop which is sewn and the stitching all around, looks professionally done.

Over all, the knife, sheath and packaging all are attractive and seemingly very well constructed.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

There are numerous web links available on the manufacturer's website relating to their knives and outdoor activities.

The manual is easy and enjoyable to read and written in English. Product care and maintenance of the knife as well as Benchmade's LIFESHARP service are covered within the manual. LIFESHARP service is where the manufacturer will resharpen the knife to a factory edge. There is a $5.00 fee for U.S. customers to cover shipping and handling. The manual also includes in it information on the manufacturer's lifetime warrantee for his knife and includes a registration card.

TRYING IT OUT

The sheathed knife arrived in its box. I found that the knife came already sharpened by the manufacturer. The knife feels solidly built, but the balance is a little to the handle side. I have larger than normal hands and the handle seems a little on the small side for me. I have a preference for a handle that is a little larger and often wrap my knife handles with paracord or hemp for additional size, grip and the added bonus of having extra cord or fire starter if I ever need it. I'll wait until the test is over before I do this minor modification to my knife.

The snap closure on the sheath secures the knife well and it does not allow the knife any wiggle room. The grip has divots cut or molded into it to match the knife design and I'll report how well this handles wet conditions. My first impression is that this knife and handle could handle anything asked of it.

SUMMARY

I am initially impressed by this knife. I like the manufacturer's website and the information they provide to the consumer. I also like the attractiveness of the packaging and the knife and sheath. Everything gives the appearance that this product is of good quality and professionally constructed. I am looking forward to testing this knife.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

During this testing phase, I used my knife in Afghanistan and Big Sur, California U.S.A. During my trip to Big Sur for five nights and six days, the outside temperatures were approximately 48 F (9 C) to 59 F (15 C) and the elevations ranged from sea level to about 400 ft (122 m). The terrain consisted of well worn foot trails, rocky outcroppings, sandy beaches, and paved roadways.

IMAGE 3
My knife



I was in the area of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan for 30+ days and nights. The temperatures ranged from 50 F (10 C) to 125 F (52 C) and the altitudes were from approximately 2000 ft (610 m) to over 7500 ft (2500 m). The terrain consisted of open desert, gravel roads, dust, sand, and rocky conditions.




PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have used my knife daily for a plethora of tasks. I have found that the blade holds it edge as I have cut open many items, which include plastic military meal (MRE) pouches and heavy canvas material. I have used the knife to cut up food, trim meat and hides, and used it to cut 550 lb (250 kg) test nylon line with ease. I have cut up webbing and used the knife to surgically cut threads, removing sewing machine stitching and sewn patches. I have sharpened pencils and cut up hemp rope and even whittled to pass the time.

This knife has performed very well throughout and maintains a very sharp edge. I like how it feels in my hand and I find that I keep the knife close and available to me so it is always ready for my next job. If there was a negative, it is a personal vice of mine in that the sheath is only available in a right handed option; meaning that the design of the sheath, is such that it caters to a right handed person. If I carry my knife on my belt, it will be hanging off of my right side. It would be much better for me, if we had the choice of either an ambidextrous type or a left handed sheath.

I have passed the knife around to some of my friends who all agree that they really like this knife. It seems that this knife is the favorite of our group. I have to watch it closely though because I am confident that it might disappear with one of my friends if I don't!

IMAGE 4
Bone Collector in Big Sur, California USA




SUMMARY

So far, I have found that the knife is very well made. It is sturdy, has a very stiff blade that holds its edge and the grip provides a secure grip. I am really looking forward to my next phase of testing!


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

During this testing phase, I used my knife in Afghanistan daily. I was in the area of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan for 54 days and nights. The temperatures ranged from 80 F (27 C) to 130 F (54 C) and the altitudes were from approximately 2000 ft (610 m) to over 7500 ft (2500 m). The terrain consisted of open desert, gravel roads, dust, sand, and rocky conditions.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have used my knife a lot during this testing phase. I have made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carved up some deli meat, cut up a few fish and more than a few steaks. I have pried open containers and made a few soda can alcohol stoves and used the knife to cut up the cans and cut 550 lb (250 kg) paracord for weaving more bracelets among other items.

IMAGE 5
Lunch cuts



I am consistently impressed with my knife and it has easily handled everything I have asked of it without failure. The handle design still allows the knife to be manipulated without slipping out of my hand even when wet. The knife blade has not shown any obvious wear and maintains a fine edge. My knife slices through many different items and still cuts with a clean edge.

SUMMARY

I have enjoyed having this knife. Not only that, but I have experienced many times when I have had to recover my knife from friends who liked it as well! This knife has shown that it is of fine quality and I have become quite fond of it in these last few months. I have only one recommendation which would be my selfish side coming out and that is for Benchmade to offer a left handed version of the sheath. It would just make life less complicated for me as I have to carry my knife on the "wrong" side and switch hands after drawing it out. Having said that, I will keep my knife as a part of my gear and continue using it both in the field and at home.

I would like to thank Benchmade and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this knife.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Knives > Fixed Blade > Benchmade 15000 Bone Collector > Test Report by Michael Mosack



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