Benchmade 317-1 Weekender Pocket Knife Review
As far as outdoor pocket knives go, few can hold their own in the wild better than the Benchmade 317-Weekender pocket knife.
So why is this knife receiving praise and preference for outdoor use? It is because this knife was primarily manufactured for outdoor use, as is with a lot of the knives on the Benchmade roster. Benchmade strives to serve the needs of its users.
Most of the features the designers put into this particular product's overall design and construct were devised to help make it easy to use. They are also for convenience in outdoor environments.
It is a big reason why anglers, campers, and hikers love this knife and prefer it over similar models. This knife is ideal for those who like spending a lot of time outdoors and love going on adventures in the woods.
However, its compact size, ergonomic design, and assisted opening features help make it a great everyday carry.
If you're looking for a pocket-size, great outdoors, and everyday carry knife, look no further than the Benchmade 317-1 Weekender. It's got most of what you need.
This detailed knife review will highlight some of the features that make this knife great and a few of its shortcomings. In addition, we have included a buying guide to teach you the best features of knives that can withstand the demands of the wild.
So let’s dive into it, starting with that buying guide.
What to Look For In Good Outdoor Knives
It's never good to settle for a knife that lacks a comfortable grip, especially when you plan to use it outdoors for different tasks. The handle usually determines how easy-to-use the knife will be.
Smooth handles are easier to hold than their rugged counterparts, but they may slip easier too. Make sure the knife fits naturally in your hand and feels comfortable when slicing, cutting, and piercing different objects.
Another thing you should consider is the material used to make the knife handle. Go for the materials that will provide you with a comfortable grip in all weather conditions. It is especially important if you plan to use the knife outdoors primarily. Also, ensure it's a long-lasting material.
The G-10 material on the 317-1 Weekender handle offers great grip and resiliency. The carbon fiber material is also a great option, mainly because of its waterproof features.
On the other hand, titanium material is ideal for those looking for supper corrosion resistance and great durability. But it slips when it's wet, so keep that in mind.
One of the most important aspects of a good outdoor pocket knife is the metal used to make the knife's blade.
Since there's a high chance you will use this knife in outdoor environments, you need a tough, durable blade and easy to use. It will ensure the knife can withstand the demands and requirements of the wild.
You want a blade that can easily cut, slice, and pierce through many objects and materials. The best metals to use for outdoor knives are stainless or carbon steel.
Both stainless and carbon steel make agile, flexible knife blades that retain edges well. In addition, they are also very durable and incredibly strong, providing excellent resistance to both pressure and knife impact.
Finally, stainless and carbon steel blades do not rust, which means users can utilize them in most weather conditions.
An outdoor pocket knife has a plain, serrated, or mixed blade edge. The knife with a serrated edge feels like a saw when slicing and cutting into objects.
Most people that plan to use the knife for outdoor activities typically prefer serrated edges because they are better for survival. Serrated-edged blades usually are better for slicing and cutting ropes and wood.
However, several disadvantages come with serrated-edged blades. For instance, you won't be able to get a clean, precise cut because of the shape of its teeth. Furthermore, serrated-edged blades are harder to sharpen than plain-edged ones.
It is why many people would rather go for the plain-edge blade, especially for everyday carry. A blade with a plain edge might not hold its edge better, but it offers a wider range of applications. In addition, it slices things cleaner and does very well when cutting through objects.
Features of the Benchmade 317-1 Weekender
The Benchmade 317-1 Weekender is the modern version of a classic. This outdoor pocket knife is like a more conventional pocket knife remake. The 317-1 Weekender is a multi-bladed pocket knife designed to handle the demands of an escapade in the wild.
This outdoor pocket knife has all you need to handle basic camp tasks and chores with a bottle opener and two blades, from opening a cold brew to whittling by the fire.
Furthermore, its compact size keeps it from being considered a weapon in urban surroundings. However, this doesn't mean you won't always have enough features to be prepared when outdoors.
This is the second time Benchmade has made its way into the slip joint world. The traditional multi-tool and two-knife offerings inspired this pocket knife with two blades. It's a new hybrid between new and old and a unique style for the knife manufacturer to explore.
Benchmade 317-1 Weekender Review
Now that we've looked at what you need to know before buying an outdoor pocket knife let's see what the 317-7 Weekender offers.
The Benchmade 317-1 Weekender has a 3-inch Clip point blade and a 2-inch spear point blade, both made from CPM S30V steel.
This two-blade design allows for versatility, eliminating the need for you to carry two different knives. The two blades allow you to manage several tasks with a single everyday pocket knife.
The bigger clip-point knife blade is a great general-purpose solution, with a longer belly that helps it excel at slicing duties. You will want to use the smaller spear-point knife blade for all the smaller stuff, such as whittling and pairing.
And while the bottle opener addition seems like a Benchmade afterthought, it is a fantastic addition that will come in handy once you're done with all your daily camp activities and are sitting by the fire looking to relax and enjoy a cold one.
Crucible Particulate Metallurgy (CPM) S30V steel is a high-end stainless steel material high in Vanadium, Molybdenum, and Carbon that provides a good blend of great edge retention and high wear and corrosion resistance.
Its chemical composition consists of;
- Carbon (1.45%)- which improves corrosion/wear resistance and hardness
- Chromium (14%) - for edge retention and tensile strength. This component also helps improve wear and corrosion resistance.
- Molybdenum (2%) - helps increase strength and machinability.
- Nitrogen (0.2%) - helps improve edge retention and strength.
However, the big question is, does this steel rust? Unfortunately, steel will rust if you neglect to maintain them for long periods. But, the 14% of Chromium in S30V stainless steel does an exceptional job resisting corrosion.
Once you're done with the knife, all it needs is a simple wipe down to help keep rust at bay.
The Benchmade 317-1 Weekender comes with a 0.4-inch thick, green canvas Micarta handle. The Micarta material is popular in the outdoor knife handle space because it's durable and lightweight, two essential aspects of a great outdoor pocket knife.
The 317-1 Weekender uses canvas Micarta, a laminated canvas sheet that features thermosetting resins mixed with a green canvas cloth.
Canvas Micarta comprises several canvas layers smashed together using high pressure and heat. This results in a dense, thick material that can be fabricated into many different sizes and shapes. In this case, a very effective knife handle.
This material has many benefits. It is incredibly robust and durable, for starters, so it is such an excellent option for outdoor knives.
Furthermore, it's a thermostat plastic material that can comfortably withstand extreme cold and heat, doesn't get brittle as it grows older, and resists moisture exceptionally well. This is why knife handles manufactured using this material last so long and are durable.
The handle on this outdoor pocket knife won't collect dents and scratches. It can handle anything the outdoors has to throw and is comfortable to boot. In addition to this, it is also relatively easy to maintain.
The Benchmade 317-1 Weekender has a 3-inch Clip point blade and a 2-inch spear point blade.
The clip-point blade is one of the most common outdoor knife blades. These types of blades are popular among both laymen and outdoors people specifically because of their level of versatility.
They are great all-around knives, and that's why it is used as the general-purpose option in this case. Each part serves its function that you can use whichever way you please. Also, they're called clip-point blades because of how they look.
The blade's upper spine will clip off close to the last fourth, third, or half of the blade nearest to the point, resulting in an extra-fine point perfect for both puncturing and piercing.
One of the most extraordinary things about this specific outdoor pocket knife is its 3-inch Clip point blade and 2-inch spear point blade. This two-blade design allows for versatility and means you won't have to carry around two different pocket knives when you have this on you. The two blades will allow you to handle all sorts of different activities.
Another great thing about this knife is that, even though it has that tactical green canvas look, it is still sleek and elegant enough to go unnoticed in your pocket as an everyday carry. It is not as outdoorsy as the display pictures portray.
So, should you buy it or not? Sure, some may offer better performance in different scenarios, but that doesn't mean less consideration. Short answer, yes, you should get the Benchmade 317-1 Weekender.