Benchmade Brings Jared Oeser’s Tengu Tool into Production Realm

Benchmade is already providing a line expansion for the new for 2020, Jared Oeser-designed 601 Tengu. The 602 Tengu Tool is a shrunk-down friction folder that also brings a bit of multifuntionality to the table.

The Tengu Tool immediately makes an impression by its size. The original Tengu wasn’t a particularly large knife, but this one is downright tiny, with a squat tanto blade measuring just 1.14 inches long. Due both to its size and its non-locking nature, the Tengu Tool will be relegated to smaller cutting jobs – but it should hold up well in that role: Benchmade retained the premium steel from the Tengu Tool’s bigger brother: CPM-20CV.

As a friction folder, the Tengu Tool is opened with an extended tang; users roll their thumb or finger across the tang in a similar manner to a front flipper in order to open the knife. This tang is also the source of the Tengu Tool’s multifunctionality. A bottle opener feature is built in, as well as a flathead driver that may also be able to pull double duty as a mini pry bar.

The original Tengu design is echoed faithfully in the handle design and construction. The shape is the same, very mildly arcing handle shape, albeit in a much truncated form. The scales are made from contoured black G-10, with a shield inlay on the show side scale. Just like the 601, the Tengu Tool does not have a pocket clip; instead Benchmade is including a leather slip with each knife. The Tengu Tool, unsurprisingly, weighs very little: just 1.04 oz.

The Tengu Tool is modeled after an Oeser custom of the same name. The custom version sports different handle materials, and there are other blade shapes available too. Benchmade hasn’t indicated that any other variations will follow but they have definitely been emphasizing options lately. The Tengu Tool follows close on the heels of the surprise debut of the 9400 Auto Osborne and, earlier last month, the Mini Freek got a deluxe variant with improved materials across the board.

The Tengu Tool is slated for release at the end of the month.

Knife in Featured Image: Benchmade 602 Tengu Tool