Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Benchmade - Figure 5 cutter

A while ago, as I was packing up my kit to go and do the IRL Shooter: Patient Zero lasertag event, I seem to have mislaid my Gerber Strap cutter, which made me a bit sad, because I do very much enjoy having a safely cutter on hand, for a variety of adventurous reasons. 

Combat shears are all good and well, and I certainly keep them on-hand when I am out and about doing adventure things, as part of my response kit, but there are occasions where you just want to pull-place-cut your way out of a problem.

When put on a big sale, I was quick to snap up a variety of goodies, and this, the Benchmade 5 Safety Cutter Hook was one of them.

I have been carrying this one in my pocket along side my CRKT Eat'n'Tool since it arrived, and the two marry very nicely. The Delrin Snap-Fithard sheath offers a friction release carry option, and itself has a variety of features. 

With three webbing loopholes, as well as two lanyard or Tek-Lok capable holes, you can lash, loop or bolt it to pretty much anywhere. It will also take the MALICE clips from Tactical Tailor.
The deep crenelations on the spine give a really solid grip without tearing at the hand, thanks to their rounded shape, similarly, the "inside edge" where the middle finger rests, with its correspondingly smaller crenelations adds to that grip.

The main finger hole is 2.85cm (1.12") in diameter, making it a good fit, even for a gloved hand. The "mouth" of the blade section is 12.7mm (0.5") so can accommodate a wide variety of materials, and layers. 

 I will be mounting this one to my Zulu Nylon Gear CAOS Admin Pouch which in turn rides on my Bullock Echo daypack when its not in my pocket.
The safety hook aspect of it means that it is great for cutting cords, strapping and opening packaging, but as a rescue tool, there is something very reassuring about being able to go in fast hand hard to get someone out of a bind without worrying about gutting them.

The two extra holes are something of a mystery to me. They are not oxy-tank wrenches, (which are oblong), and they are in fact joined by a thin gap, that runs from the middle of the bottom, through the finger hole, and int othe second eyelet. I can only imagine these are cutting slots, and weight saving holes. Does anyone know what purpose they serve?

I cut a few things to test it out, some 1" webbing, a zip-tie and some paracord. Fast, efficient, and fit for purpose. Benchmade claim that even after 500+ cuts, the initial pull-to-cut strength is 4 times less that that of their competitors (1.8 kg or 4lbs) and will even cut 5 layers of webbing. That's a lot. I look forwards to using this more, but not NEEDING to use it, if you follow ...

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