Down Under Knives is a new knife company created by knife aficionados with a decade of full-time experience in the knife industry.
In fact, the owners of Down Under Knives have been working with metal and leather. They have also been making and selling knives for most of their lives and thus, they are highly experienced craftsmen.
After creating their vision of the ultimate bowie knife in the form of the Outback bowie knife and then turning their attention to a smaller version called the Razorback, the company decided that it was time to turn their attention to a companion detail hunting knife for their two larger knives.
The Down Under “Bushmate” hunting knife features an overall length of 8 1/2” inches. It has a highly polished 4 inch, spear point, 440C stainless steel blade that measures 5.5mm (1/4”) in width. The blade has a slightly curved edge, a shallow saber grind, a fuller (blood groove,) and a “finger groove” Ricasso.
The Outback also features a brass quillion with a partial tang covered by an Ebony wood/stacked leather handle and a brass pommel. Last, the knife is supplied with a heavy-duty leather sheath.
According to Down Under:
“With the large and extra-large hunting knives firmly covered, we turned our attention to detail work.
There is a lot to be said bringing enough knife for the job but sometimes there’s no substitute for the precision of a moderately sized blade that doesn’t extend too far from your grip. We feel this type of knife is all about finesse and control, so we gave it just that: an unshiftable grip and plenty of surface for your thumb and index finger to keep the knife exactly where you want it.
Coupled with a classic, proven, blade design and a gently curving, tapered back for extra smooth gliding properties this knife doesn’t just feel like an extension – it feels like a part of your hand.
The rigid leather sheath ensures smooth one-handed retrieval and stowing, and places the knife at a natural height where it can ride all day with perfect comfort. Classic decretive braiding, antique finish and embossed BM logo complete the style to make an ageless package you can wear with pride in any hunting party.”
You know, it seems to me that most modern, production, hunting knives have lost the aesthetic appeal that used to be common amongst the big name knife manufacturers.
Instead, today, the blade shapes are poorly designed, the blade metal is mediocre at best, and the look is all matte finishes and grey Micarta or black G10 handle slabs. None of the beautiful blade designs are stag horn or exotic wood handle slabs of old.
Instead, they seem to emulate tactical knives instead of true hunting knives.
Thus, it seems that if you truly want a NICE hunting knife these days, then you have to employ the services of a qualified custom knife maker. Consequently, that is why it SO REFRESHING to see Down Under Knives on the market today because they drastically raise the standards by which production hunting knives are judged!
Made from 440C which is a venerable and highly respected blade steel that is both tough and hard with a Carbon content of 0.95-1.20%, a Manganese content of 1.0%, and a Molybdenum content of 0.75% (which increases toughness and hardness in steel) as well as containing 16% to 18% Chromium which makes the steel corrosion resistant, 440C has been chosen by custom knife makers for years as the quintessential blade steel.
In addition, like Down Under’s Outback and Razorback knives, the Bushmate is a pretty knife for a change as well as being very functional in its intend role as a smaller hunting knife. The short, wide, spear point blade acts like a drop point blade in order to position the tip out of the way when skinning game while providing excellent control for fine work and the thumb and forefinger grooves provide the user even greater control over the blade when needed.
Also, both the width and the thickness of the blade makes it well suited for prizing hip joints from sockets and separating vertebrae.
Moving on to the grip, the stacked leather handle combined with the Ebony wood make for a striking combination that also provides excellent grip and the incorporation of the small sub-hilt provides a little extra retention. However, I REALLY don’t like brass quillions or a brass pommel on a knife because no matter how much tin the brass contains (brass is a alloy of copper and tin,) it always tarnishes without repeated polishing. Thus, I would have preferred for them to use stainless steel instead because it’s much harder and it doesn’t tarnish.
All in all, I believe that the Down Under Bushmate hunting knife is an excellent design made from excellent materials and would be an wonderful hunting knife on its own or combined with a larger hunting knife such as the Down Under Razorback or Outback.