It seems as if Benchmade took all of its technology of fixed-blade technology from over the years and packaged it all into one knife: the new 539GY Anonimus bushcraft. Here’s how we tested it — and all the ways this knife shines.
When it comes to bushcraft, we’re talking about the hardest of knives and some of the most discerning customers. The blade you carry on your hip into the wild is a strategic and well-thought-out decision. Anyone who relies on a knife in the backcountry needs one that is virtually indestructible, whether it’s for outdoor utility, cooking, survival, or all of the above.
We tested out Oregon-based Benchmade’s newest full-tang blade in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado to see how it stood up to the elements.
In short: Lightweight and well balanced, from the state-of-the-art steel with a Cerakote finish to the ferro-rod loop, Benchmade really outdid itself with the 539GY Anonimus.
Benchmade 539GY Anonimus Review
- Blade length: 5 in. | 12.7 cm
- Blade thickness: 0.114 in. | 2.9 mm
- Length: 9.83 in. | 24.97 cm
- Handle thickness: 0.68 in. | 17.27mm
- Weight: 5.94 oz. | 168.40 g
- Sheath weight: 2.56 oz. | 72.57 g
Survive in Style
The 539GY Anonimus looked the part right out of the box. It reminded me of a mix between the 357-1 Fixed Adamas and the 162 Bushcrafter. It is a great hybrid of a tactical knife — light and sleek, and a beefy bushcraft knife — strong and balanced.
The CPM-CruWear (63-65) plain drop-point blade has a nice Cerakote finish, providing enhanced protection against scratches or corrosion. The low-profile knife includes a striking choil, and the Boltaron thermoplastic sheath comes with a convenient ferro-rod loop, rod not included. (Note: the sheath is not MOLLE compatible.)
The sheath fits nicely on any belt, and you can’t feel it when it’s on your hip. The handle has a tactile texture to it that will provide a solid grip in any condition, including wet weather or hands.
The handle, made from OD green G10 material, which is widely used in knife and gun handles, also fits well in a large hand, ensuring that it won’t slip or slide in the field.
Now onto more components of this blade. Benchmade’s blade guard design on the Anonimus is inspired by the Geissele trigger, so there’s a solid divider between the blade’s edge and the handle. There is a lanyard hole in the handle in case you want to add one for an extra hold point.
In terms of style points, the blade does look great. The drab olive color is perfect for bushcraft, and the tungsten gray blade complements it nicely.
Food to Fire, This Blade Handles It All
A bushcraft blade can look the part, but it’s only under literal pressure that you see how it really performs. To start, I used the knife to cut down some branches and limbs from dead and dying trees. The blade had no problem with smaller branches, but larger limbs took a bit more effort. But in the end, the Anonimus stands up.
I progressed to splitting some wood by batoning the blade into a chunk of firewood. Using a large stick as a mallet and with the secure handle on the blade, the Anonimus sliced through the wood with relative ease, producing some great sticks to start a fire.
Continuing with the fire theme, considering that is a key element of bushcraft, I tried creating some feather sticks. The sharp blade had no problem shaving down one stick after another to produce ideal kindling for a fire.
Having the ferro-rod holder on the sheath and the striking choil on the base of the knife, producing a spark to ignite the feather sticks was no problem at all. This knife will do it all when it comes to building a fire.
As for food preparation, the Anonimus is so good at cutting meat and vegetables that you could easily use this knife in your home kitchen and not miss a beat. It will do the job of preparing fruit, vegetables, or meat for a meal over a stove or fire.
While a little large, depending on the size of the catch, it can also clean a fish or small game as needed too.
The knife would prove to be a great tool in building a shelter or structure, using sticks and pine boughs. And with the Anonimus, you can whittle sticks to your heart’s content or until the sun has set.
Benchmade Anonimus Conclusion
So, what is there not to like about the new Anonimus? Very little, it seems. After our extensive cutting, chopping, and beating on the CPM-CruWear blade, it still sliced through paper like butter.
The material, CPM-CruWear, is also more wear-resistant and has a higher attainable hardness than D2 steel. This means the knife can withstand heavy-duty use and wear in the backcountry and still retain its edge.
Incredibly light, the knife weighs less than a can of soda — well worth the trade-off in terms of what it provides you in the woods.
After carrying this knife all day and using it in a variety of survival situations, it proved to handle everything I threw at it with relative ease. It’s safe to say when off the grid, this is a great bushcraft knife to have close at hand.
It’s worth mentioning that the only con could be the price — nearly 300 bucks.