Benchmade Hunting Knife

Benchmade Hunting Knives Just Got an Upgrade

Benchmade just gave its line of fixed-blade hunting knives a facelift. Here’s what hunters can expect from a new Benchmade hunting knife in 2020.

Benchmade makes a few of the best hunting knives on the market. But it can be tough to cut through the competition with lots of strong brands. So to stay competitive, the Benchmade made some small (and a few large) changes to six of its cornerstone hunting knives for fall 2020.


The changes hit Hunt Class knives in the Saddle Mountain Skinner, Steep Country, and Hidden Canyon families.

These names will be familiar if you’ve flipped through the Benchmade catalog. But the brand contends that this is “not a fresh coat of paint slapped on an old model.” The ergonomics and in-hand design have been updated for each, along with the sheath systems.

Benchmade HUNT: S90V, SelectEdge

Benchmade will offer multiple models of the Saddle Mountain Skinner and Hidden Canyon knives. There is a base model, which has S30V steel similar to previous models. But the big changes come in new “-1” model variants.

These “-1” model variants are premium versions with S90V blade steel, a Richlite/G10 handle, and the new SelectEdge technology. Oh — and higher prices.

S90V is an exceptionally hard steel that holds an edge for a very long time. SelectEdge is a new sharpening technology from Benchmade that polishes a very fine 14-degree edge in a way that maintains an extremely sharp cutting surface. Check out the video below for a little more on that technology.

Benchmade launched SelectEdge in the Meatcrafter, a knife made for meat processing after a successful hunt. Check out our full Benchmade Meatcrafter review here.

The premium models also have Richlite handles. Made from resin-infused paper, it’s extremely durable, versatile, and highly sustainable. It can be found in a range of applications from countertops (due to its antimicrobial characteristics for food prep) to architectural exterior cladding.

Each of the other models will use S30V steel and a stabilized wood or Santoprene handle, with the traditional Benchmade edge.

15006 Steep Country

Benchmade Steep Country

The Steep Country marks the only Hunt Class knife for which Benchmade will not offer a “-1” model. But this $111 knife is a well-rounded performer that should hit a sweet spot for a lot of hunters.

The newly redesigned, versatile fixed blade has a high-visibility Santoprene handle with redesigned handle texture. With precision in mind, the updated blade thickness and jimping location aim for ease of use and ergonomics.

  • Blade length: 3.54” (8.99 cm)
  • Open length: 7.76” (19.71 cm)
  • On sale: September 2020

Saddle Mountain Skinner

saddle mountain skinner

The 15002 Saddle Mountain Skinner ($153) is a premium hunt fixed-blade designed for big-game hunters around the globe. Based on in-field feedback, the new model has improvements to the jimping location, ergonomics, and blade profile for increased comfort and control. An updated sheath design ensures that your knife stays protected.

  • Blade length: 4.20” (10.67 cm)
  • Open length: 8.70” (22.10 cm)

You can also upgrade to the 15002-1 Saddle Mountain Skinner, which has the premium S90V steel and SelectEdge, for $213.

And for those who want a blade with a gut hook, the brand also offers the 15004 Saddle Mountain Skinner ($162). It’s the same knife, but with a gut hook on the spine.

15017 Hidden Canyon

Benchmade Hidden Canyon

The new 15017 Hidden Canyon Hunter ($136) is a small-framed fixed blade for precision cutting tasks. Despite its compact profile, this knife provides ample real estate throughout the handle and cutting edge. Benchmade intends it for big game and smaller species. The 2020 improvements include changes in the jimping location and ergonomics.

The Hidden Canyon Hunter also comes in the 15017-1 version, with the upgraded steel, handle material, and SelectEdge for $195.

  • Blade length: 2.79” (7.09 cm)
  • Open length: 6.42” (16.31 cm)

Other than the Steep Country (which hits the market in September), these hit the market this week. Check them out at Benchmade’s website, or place a preorder (or order last year’s models at a discount) at BladeHQ today.

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.