Benchmade Back with New Gold Class Crooked River

Benchmade is dressing up the Crooked River for a new Gold Class release. The 15080BK-191 will be priciest version of Benchmade’s beloved modern classic, and among the most expensive Benchmade models ever released.

With a four-figure price tag, the Gold Class Crooked River is among the most expensive knives that Benchmade has ever made. According to the company’s Matt Glass, while not a full fledged custom knife, the Gold Class Crooked River is something even more special than the typical limited edition model. “[It] is a work of art,” he says. The team of designers and craftsmen that create this model go to amazing lengths to find, develop and integrate new materials and techniques that push the limits of what is possible for a knife that is not a custom one-off.”

The Gold Class Crooked River makes adjustments to materials across the entire 9.3-inch length of the large outdoors folder. Blade steel moves from S30V to 20CV with a black coating, and the bolsters are pieces of Vinland pattern Damasteel. The 2/3rd’s length scales are carbon fiber with a unique, almost wood-like grain pattern.

Of course, Benchmade plays with higher-end steel and even some exotic materials on non-Gold class releases, like the upgraded Proper models or the limited edition Python Micarta Mini-Loco. It seems to be the details that really boost a particular release from Blue to Gold class. On this Gold Class Crooked River, several visible pieces of hardware – meaning the handle screws, thumb stud, and the pivot collar – have been given a blue PVD coating, and the liners have been hand-polished and given a cracked ice finish, a la a Todd Begg knife.

Another low-key material swap regards the pocket clip, which here is made from titanium instead of steel. It has been given a blue anodization to compliment the PVD-coated hardware elsewhere on the knife.

Limited editions have always been a big part of the Benchmade style. “There is always strong demand from our customers for variants, limited editions, exclusives and Gold projects,” Glass explains. “The design team is always driving to create unique pieces.” As one of the most popular models of recent years, the Crooked River was an obvious candidate for such a treatment. “[It] brings together a classic profile and amazing modern materials,” Glass adds.

The 15080BK-191 is available now, with an MSRP of $1,500 dollars. It is limited to 500 pieces.

Knife in Featured Image: Benchmade 15080BK-191 Crooked River

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