Benchmade has confirmed it is working on a smaller version of the 2016 smash hit Crooked River. The company says that it has not yet established a release date and the earliest a Benchmade Mini Crooked River could start shipping is the summer.
“With Benchmade, a mini version is always a natural progression. So we knew that a smaller Crooked River was down range at some point,” Benchmade’s Derrick Lau tells us. With its 4-inch blade, the Crooked River is a suprisingly large knife and if there were ever any complaints, it came from users who preferred to carry smaller folders. Benchmade hasn’t finalized just how much smaller the Mini will be but Lau confirms it will be geared to every day carry users. “Customers loved the full-size model, but there’s always a demand for smaller versions of popular knives. This should bridge the gap into EDC,” Lau says.
The original Crooked River was unveiled just ahead of SHOT Show 2016, and generated a huge buzz with its mix of modern materials and traditional styling. But the company wasn’t prepared for the feeding frenzy that followed. “We knew it would be cool,” says Lau. “But I can safely say we didn’t expect it to be as big as it was.”
Lau tells us that even with the company’s recently expanded facilities, it has been a challenge staying on top of demand for the Crooked River. He sees an equally bright future for the smaller sequel as it takes a winning formula into an entirely new market category. “It’s definitely going to blow up,” he says.
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Like the original, the Mini Crooked River will come in S30V blade steel with an aluminum bolster, and a choice of G-10 or Dymondwood handle scales. According to Lau, Benchmade has no plans to extend the line into fixed blades at this time, but they aren’t willing to discount the idea either. “It’s not something in the works at this current moment. But you never know.”
Knife featured in image: Benchmade Crooked River