So today, despite the cold and the snow, the postman finally delivered! Not the expected knife but the Mini Butcher which the tracking had barely said had “arrived in the country” and that I wasn’t really expecting until Wednesday or Thursday.
The replacement postman who was supposed to deliver the BM940 had “forgotten” to let a message on that and simply let it stay at a post office for me to pick. Which I gladly did.
All in all, two very nice knives arrived today and I couldn’t be more pleased with them. Both are extremely well made, very sharp, small but comfortable in the hand. Here are some quick first impressions and some Q’n’D pictures:
1° The Mini Butcher.
This might be the steal of the year, provided the steel is what they say it is (s35vn). It’s very impressive in terms of build quality, smoothness, tightness… I could easily compare it to knives in the 200 to 400 dollars “mid-tech” category. Yet it was about $50!
One thing, though, is that this was probably the knife on which the least money was put on anything other than the cutting instrument. The box is a crude, plain, thin folded white cardboard affair, in it comes a basic transparent plastic pouch (not a zip-closed one) and some bubble wrap. In there, the knife, a bit too oily, like in the good ole days.
Once out and flipping, it really shines. And despite its small size, feels good in the hand (it’s a rather thick and sturdy little beast).
2° The BM940-1 clone.
That one is a straight down replica, branding included. I’m not too happy with that but hey, if you can manage to produce a replica that has a great quality (like this one) so that it isn’t immediately obvious that this wasn’t produced by “BigNameCompany”, then you’re not giving them a bad name, if anything you’re doing them some service by disseminating their work while putting pressure on the pricing. All good and fair particularly for consumers (and that’s who the market should be centred around, isn’t it? Not the fat cats?). Now if the quality is bad, the customer that gets the wrong one for the price of the right one gets robbed but deservedly so, and the others, well let’s say they’re not affected.
Overall, while not condoning the full replica thing, I’m definitely not as opposed to it as many, who might be eventually playing against their own camp in that they don’t let the full power of competition apply to all goods, bringing better quality, innovation, lower prices, you name it! In this case the quality really is here, the CF is perfectly smoothed, the blade is sharp (and seems to be in a hard strong steel, “they” say s90v, but who knows).
So, with the exception of the pocket clip saying “Benchmade” instead of “Benchmade USA” like the original, this is pretty much a spot on re-creation of the BM940-1. Very light piece, tough enough while rather elegant and small, one would say the perfect gentleman-utility-EDC. I also have the impression (but it’s been quite some times since I last handled the original BM piece) that the sculpting of the CF handles is slightly less contoured and that the markings on the blade are blacker and thicker (all of that by less than a thin hair). The stonewash on the blade also seems to me slightly different. Could be my memory playing tricks, thought.
Well, they’re both wonderful, good looking, super-EDC-able. And the 940-1 goes in my pocket immediately. The mini-Butcher will certainly replace it soon.