Benchmade 200 Puukko Voted Best New Outdoors Fixed Blade 2018

Presented by: Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpeners

We are pleased to announce that the Benchmade 200 Puukko is the KnifeNews Readers’ Choice for Best New Outdoors Fixed Blade 2018. This modernized take on one of knife history’s most well-known knife patterns snagged the award over competition that included the Arno Bernard Badger, KA-BAR Kephart, and Spyderco Zoomer.

Anybody knife user looking at the 200 knows that it’s a puukko. It’s a profile that is known the world over for its enduring functionality, and Benchmade stuck to the essentials when they made this modern interpretation. The simple, barrel-shaped handle and narrow blade shape are present and accounted for.

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But it’s also easy to see where the 200 breaks away from its forbears. A traditional puukko usually has a wooden handle and, most often, a simple carbon steel blade. But Benchmade outfitted their take on the format with 3V tool steel, renowned for its extreme toughness. Puukkos have been used for many chores over the years but this is a perfect steel choice for an outdoor knife. 3V holds an edge well, is relatively resistant to corrosion, and soaks up abuse like few other steels. An outdoors knife needs to be something you can rely on, even in extreme or otherwise unlikely circumstances; the 200’s 3V blade offers that reliability.

Ergonomically, Benchmade performed a gentle revision of the barrel-shaped puukko handle: they thinned it out somewhat and, instead of wood, they chose rubberized Santoprene over a polymer core for the handle. The dragon scale patterning over the whole handle both adds further traction and helps the 200 stand out as something special.

“Putting a fresh spin on an old favorite” has been done so many times that it needs a fresh spin itself in order to feel unique. Benchmade managed to pull off this trick with the 200, their first ever puukko design. They walked a perfect tightrope between loyalty to the subject matter and subtle but significant modern contrivances. This blending of old and new make the 200 an ideal outdoors knife for the modern user, without sacrificing the spirit of the tool that inspired it.

“The Puukko is purpose built for adventure,” says Benchmade’s Matt Elliot. “The design platform is very versatile and an absolute classic, but the materials in this particular knife are anything but conventional.” In particular, he notes the importance of the steel to the design. “3V is the strongest steel we’ve ever built into a knife.  So much so that our side load break strength tester failed to break it; it bent to 90 degrees without breaking.  We’ve never seen that happen before.  With the need for reliability in and adventure focused fixed blade, 3V was an excellent choice.”

Visit tomorrow to find out the winner of the KnifeNews Readers’ Choice Award for Best Knife Upgrade 2018.


Monday, November 26: Best New Tactical Fixed Blade 2018 (WINNER: ZU Bladeworx Shrapnel)

Tuesday, November 27: Best New Fixed Blade for EDC 2018 (WINNER: TOPS Little Bugger)

Wednesday, November 28: Best New Outdoors Fixed Blade 2018 (WINNER: Benchmade 200 Puukko)

Thursday, November 29: Best Knife Upgrade 2018 (WINNER: Ontario RAT 2 in D2)

Friday, November 30: Best New Slipjoint/Non-Locking Knife 2018 (WINNER: Isham Bladeworks Blackstar)

Monday, December 3: Best New High-End Knife 2018 (MSRP of $300 or more) (WINNER: Zero Tolerance 0470)

Tuesday, December 4: Best New Value Folder 2018 (MSRP of $100 or less) (WINNER: CIVIVI Baklash)

Wednesday, December 5: Best New Manual Folder 2018 (WINNER: Spyderco Chaparral FRN)

Thursday, December 6: Most Innovative New Knife 2018 (WINNER: WE Knife Co. Double Helix)

Friday, December 7: Best Overall New for 2018 Lineup (WINNER: Spyderco)