BENCHMADE MINI BARRAGE: A SHARP, COMPACT KNIFE FOR EVERYDAY USE
If you read my review of the Benchmade Mini Adamas posted last week, you know Benchmade sent me two knives. This review focuses on the second knife, the Mini Barrage. The Benchmade Mini Barrage is quite different from the Mini Adamas in many ways, so let's get to it.
The Mini Barrage and the Mini Adamas are quite different, but they do share some features. Both knives ship in a nice, foam-lined box, with sharp, quality steel blades. Like the Mini Adamas, the Mini Barrage also has Benchmade's Axis Lock which does an excellent job of keeping the knife open. That's really where the similarities end.
The Mini Barrage is quite a bit smaller and lighter than the Mini Adamas. Weighing in at just 3.38 ounces, you barely notice it in your pocket. It fits perfectly into the fifth pocket on a pair of jeans, and the clip holds it securely. The clip can be attached on either side, so the knife will work for left or right-side carry.
APPLICATIONS & TESTS
The Mini Barrage cuts through sisal rope, nylon cinch straps, and every other diameter and type of rope or cordage I could find. The knife is very sharp right out of the box. It will cut 550 paracord, #13 bank line, and hay bale twine with little effort.
After doing my best to dull the blade without abusing it, the Mini Barrage is still sharp enough to easily cut through paper and cardboard. The compact size and sharp blade make for an agile knife that can produce feather sticks or whittle small tree limbs without any fuss.
For a smaller knife, it performs impressively in the field and daily tasks. It is so easy to carry that you don't notice it is in your pocket, but it is there when you need it.
SPECS & MATERIALS
The Mini Barrage I received came in a color called Blue Canyon Richlite. It is a dark blue, almost denim-type of color with a somewhat rubbery set of scales. This assists with retention when working in wet conditions. The knife is 2.91” with a closed length of 4” and an overall length of 6.91”.
It features a satin-finished blade with a drop point style, and it is made of CPM-S30V tool-grade steel. It is S30V can be difficult to sharpen, but it offers excellent edge retention. It also offers excellent corrosion resistance. The Mini Barrage is designed by Warren Osborne and, like all Benchmade knives, made right here in the USA.
VALUE & CONCLUSION
As is the case with most quality knives, the Mini Barrage is not a cheap, Chinese knife. At the time of writing, this knife is available on KnifeCenter.com for $270 in Blue Canyon Richlite, but they do offer a very similar version of the Mini Barrage in Black Valox for $171.
It is an excellent knife for collectors and enthusiasts, but it is not the most economical choice for everyday use. Like many things, value is subjective. Ultimately, value is determined by the end user. If the price dropped a bit, I would have no reservations about recommending this particular knife to friends, family, and fellow bush crafters.
The knife has a great feel and made quick, work of every task I threw at it. The Benchmade Mini Barrage is a high-quality knife, and it is manufactured domestically, but that comes at a premium. Benchmade's LifeSharp maintenance and sharpening program offers additional value and ensures your knife will endure years of use.