Benchmade's Black, Blue, and Gold Classes of knives and tools, the company also
offers the Hunt Class, formulated to meet the needs of the hunter without
folksy compromises or faux traditionalism. In fact, thanks to Benchmade's
combination of research, laboratory analysis, and countless hours of field
testing, the company has formulated a class of tools that respects hunters'
quest and brings 21st century materials to bear on the challenges hunters face
in the great outdoors. These Hunt Class tools draw from the advanced materials
developed for aerospace programs and surgical theaters, add the polished
aesthetics of clean design lines, and build in the wilderness-ready durability
that spells performance.
Benchmade Hunt Series 15100-1 Nestucca Cleaver is just such a tool. Defined by
its premium powder-metallurgy steel, its fresh take on a traditional blade
shape, and its practical flexibility, this tool restates what hunters deserve
in a form that all of them will understand and want.
Welcome to a
21st century reinvention of the classic ulu, or "Inuit woman's
knife," that tackles virtually every chore that Yup'ik and Aleutian women
entrust to it. The uluís blade carves one 90-degree quadrant out of a full
circle and concentrates force into the middle of the cutting edge. This broad
curve produces an enormous handle belly, giving the ulu the ability to function
as a one-handed tool. Applied in a rocking motion, the force of one hand cuts
steadily without any need for an ancillary tool because the ulu holds down the
material at the same time that it slices through it it. It's as if you could
use a table knife without requiring a fork to hold your food in place.
The ulu is a
very old tool fixed-blade tool. Archeologists have found exemplars dating back
to as early as 2,500 BC. In the families in which uluit pass from generation to
generation, these tools take on heirloom significance. Traditional belief
states that each ulu acquires and passes on the knowledge of everyone who uses
it, making it a treasured artifact as well as a practical implement.
differentiate among the intended uses of individual uluit, look at the size of
each blade. Small uluit cut garment pieces out of animal hides. Larger uluit
form general purpose implements for household or hunting use. Alaskan peoples
use the ulu to cut everything from igloo building blocks to food, hides, and
hair. They skin and clean game with this tool, scrape, chop, thin leather, and
use an ulu for anything that requires a sharp edge.
traditional ulu combined natural materials that didn't require metal smelting,
a manufacturing technology that was absent from the environment in which this
tool took shape. An early ulu combined a slate or even a copper blade with a
handle fashioned from wood, bone, antler, horn, or ivory. Although the modern
version of the traditional ulu often features a steel blade, it's likely to be
fabricated out of another cutting tool such as a saw blade. Some commercially
made uluit use plastic handles.
styles of uluit developed in specific geographic locations. The differences
among them often involve how blade and handle fit together. Some ulu handles
attach like a stem to a flower. Others square off the shape of the blade into a
triangle. Despite these variations, the function and the flexibility of the
tool remain the same.
Hunt Series S15100 Nestucca Cleaver alters the traditional shape of the ulu to
reflect the tool after which this knife is named. Its full tang blade features
an enormous belly with a clipped edge coming off the spine. The result is a
cutting tool with a large radius. Where spine and clip meet, a series of
jimping grooves eases the task of applying pressure directly to the spine. A
second set of jimping grooves appears on the clip itself from the forward end
of the cutting edge toward the spine, covering roughly half the edge of the
At the edge
of the blade, a band of chamfering extends all the way around the curve of the
belly, thinning down the edge. A large finger hole in the center of the area
formed by the blade profile makes it easy to use the Benchmade Hunt Series
S15100 Nestucca Cleaver with an alternate grip. You can hold the tool by its
handle, its finger hole, and even its spine, depending on the size of your
hands, and the nature of what and how you're cutting. The cutting radius
provides a sharpened edge larger than you'll find on virtually any blade other
than a sword or a circular saw.
applies a satin finish to the blade of the Hunt Series Nestucca Cleaver.
The gleaming expanse of metal makes this tool look as much like a work of art
as a practical implement. A black coated blade would appear out of place on
this minimalist design.
personalize or identify your Benchmade Hunt Series Nestucca Cleaver,
choose optional lasermarking to add your name, a favorite saying, a graphic, or
any other combination of text and imagery, to the blade in a permanently
engraved form. Benchmade applies these extras using the same type of laser
equipment that adds the company's butterfly logo, the names of its blade
steels, and other identifiers to its knife blades during the manufacturing
process. The cost of these options depends on what, and how much, you have
Industries' CPM S30V forms the premium stainless steel of the Benchmade Hunt
Series 15100-1 Nestucca Cleaver's blade. Tough and hard, measuring between 58
and 60 HRC on the Rockwell Hardness Scale, this high-carbon (1.45%) alloy
demonstrates superior wear resistance, excellent edge retention, and a superb
degree of corrosion resistance, all wrapped up in an expensive package that
many think is worth every penny because of its desirable attributes for knife
"CPM" in the name of a Crucible Industries steel stand for
"Crucible Particle Metallurgy." Patented, trademarked, and
proprietary, the CPM process represents Crucible's unique take on a
revolutionary step forward in modern steel production.
steel making melts the recipe of an alloy in an electric arc furnace, applies
some post-smelting processes to it, and then pours it from a ladle into ingot
molds. The drawback to this process arises as the metal cools. The homogeneity
of its combination of elements begins to settle into a segregated mixture that
can't offer the performance of its original elemental blend. Some post
processing steps can roll back some of the segregation, but the effects can't
be counteracted completely, and they're all the more likely to affect complex
alloys than simpler ones.
process changes all that. Instead of pouring steel into molds, the molten metal
sprays through a small nozzle under high pressure from inert gas. The stream of
liquid changes to a spray of tiny droplets, each of which cools into a tiny
spherical particle that forms a minuscule ingot. Next, the cooled powder loads
into a canister in which it undergoes the combination of heat and pressure,
turning it into a compacted form. Because the individual particulate ingots
retain their homogenous, uniform composition and don't segregate, the powder
that loads into the canister also retains that unsegregated form, and the
heat-and-compression cycle doesn't disrupt the elemental composition of the
alloy. Toughness and wear resistance increase, final heat treatments have
maximal effectiveness, and the resulting alloy can be ground into effective
blades that hold an edge so well, their cutting edges can abrade a honing steel.
incorporates 1.45% carbon, 14.00% chromium, 0.50% manganese, 2.00% molybdenum,
0.50% silicon, and 4.00% vanadium. Chromium increases corrosion resistance and
boosts hardness. Manganese raises hardness and wear resistance. Molybdenum
increases edge retention. Silicon magnifies hardness. Vanadium contributes to
toughness, wear resistance, and edge retention.
one drawback of this premium steel is its resistance to developing a mirror
finish. The satin finish that Benchmade uses on the Hunt Series S15100 Nestucca
Cleaver gives the blade a beautiful uniformity. An alloy with this much
vanadium will wear out polishing tools without ever reaching a mirrored shine.
CPM S30V originated as an alloy for use in making dies for injection molding,
not knives, and manufacturing equipment doesn't require the kind of shine that
knife makers want their blades to display. The brushed finish of a satin
surface results when the metal undergoes sanding that stops before the process
reaches ultra-fine grit sanding. This option makes a better alternative for a
high-vanadium steel than an only partially successful attempt at mirror
makeup of a steel tells a part of the story of its performance in a knife
blade. The final step that determines the effective in-use behavior of a blade
comes when the manufacturer applies heat treatment. Benchmade has developed a
series of specialized recipes, each one attuned to a specific alloy, that wring
the best combination of attributes out of each steel.
natural materials that tradition uluit use for handles, the Benchmade Hunt
Series Nestucca Cleaver features contoured, textured G10. This
enduringly high-tech material forms from the combination of multiple layers of
continuously woven glass fibers and epoxy resin, subjected to high amounts of
pressure and then baked. The result is virtually impervious to water, and
doesn't shrink or conduct electricity: Attributes that go a long way toward
explaining G10's prevalence as a substrate for the creation of printed circuit
boards. G10 yields a lightweight, rugged material that keeps its shape even
when exposed to humidity and moisture. It's called a thermosetting fiberglass
composite because it requires heat treatment to reach its final form. The G10
handle scales of the Benchmade Hunt Series Nestucca Cleaver are tinted
surface of the G10 handle scales on the Benchmade Hunt Series Nestucca
Cleaver makes them resemble slabs of an exotic orange wood. Near the blade, a
milled depression on the left scale provides a resting place for the tip of the
thumb. Around the lanyard hole at the butt of the handle, the G10 scales are
milled away, revealing a corner of the blade tang in a sculptured design that
gives the cleaver a very modern look. The entire tool fastens together with two
an implement of this size neither requires nor benefits from the addition of a
clip, given that the Benchmade Hunt Series S15100 Nestucca Cleaver would exceed
the dimensions of most pockets. Affixing hardware to the handle scales would
clutter the design without offering any practical benefit.
supplies a top-stitched brown leather sheath with the Hunt Series 15100-1 Nestucca Cleaver. Shaped in an arc that repeats the curve of the cutting edge,
this sheath covers only the blade, not the handle. It features the Benchmade
logo and fastens with a snap closure. The thick leather offers rigidly
protective security for an enduringly sharp tool.
Knife Dimensions and
It measures 6.58 inches in overall
length, with a 4.41 inch blade length, for a handle length of 2.17 inches. The
blade measures 1.40 inches thick; the handle, 0.57 inches thick. The cleaver
weighs 4.95 ounces.
both the name of a river in Benchmade's home state of Oregon and an American
Indian word for part of a river. The Benchmade Hunt Series S15100 Nestucca
Cleaver clearly shows two sets of design influences: The traditional uluit of
Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, and the butcher's implement of European descent.
Once you acquire this sculpturally exotic tool, broaden your usage expectations
to include at least some of the ulu's multitude of applications, as well as the
cutting and chopping motions that typify a standard cleaver. If you explore the
possibilities of the tool, you'll quickly find that they're limited only by
your imagination and the circumstances you encounter. And if your game hunting
excursions leave you with more memories than results, try the Benchmade Hunt
Series S15100 Nestucca Cleaver in your kitchen.
S15100 Nestucca Cleaver
leather with snap closure
suggested retail prices