Benchmade has crafted a new blade with grunts in mind. The 375 fixed blade -- which was on display at Modern Day Marine 2011 -- is made from one of the toughest steels on the market and replaces the usual, eye-pleasing fit and finish with no-nonsense design features.
When Benchmade officials decided to make a new fixed blade, Shane James, a project manager at Benchmade, went to his old unit, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, for advice.
Rangers he talked to told him "hand position is key." They wanted a comfortable, ergonomic handle for tough cutting jobs. The 375 features a thumb ramp and several sections where the handle is notched for improved grip.
There's also no handle material such as the aluminum panels on Benchmade's popular Nimravus, which "cost a ton of money," James said. The handle has holes to reduce the weight and allow users to wrap it with 550 cord.
The 375's blade and handle is made from D2, an extremely tough tool steel. The drop-point design, which is roughly four inches long, features wide, thick serrations on the top of the blade for cutting thick rope. The knife is also treated with a liquid ceramic coating designed to reduce its infrared signature, Benchmade says.
Sometimes, you have to have a piece of steel that you can just beat on ... you can beat the dog out of this because it's tough steel, James said.The 375 also comes with a molded sheath that features a Tec-Loc belt attachment and lashing holes for different carry options. It has a tension screw on top that holds the knife firmly in place and a ballistic nylon strap to secure the blade for airborne ops.
The 375 retails for $130 and about $100 for military personnel. That's a pretty good deal since other knives with D2 steel and similar features always seem to cost a lot more money. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Ranger Assistance Foundation, James said. The 375 is available in tan or black.