By Jenn K.
I must say this knife is a beauty! The black/blue handle (CNC Milled Black/Blue Layered G10) and the black nickel hardware are stunning! The Kulgera is designed by Warren Osborne, a custom knifemaker that was raised in the farming and ranching industry. Hence, it is one of the Benchmade knives in the Osborne design collection. It is designed with a slim profile, one-hand ambidextrous function, and for lightweight everyday carry.
The 930 Kulgera has a straight edge, modified-drop point blade. Meaning that, it has a slow convex-curved drop in the point of the blade. Per the manufacturer, this type of point lowers the point for control but adds strength to the tip. This type of knife is used for hunting, slicing, and has all-around functionality. The blade length measures 3.60 inches and is 0.115 inches thick. It is made of what is called S30V premium stainless steel. This is an American made premium grade stainless steel. Per the manufacturer it offers excellent corrosion resistance and superb edge qualities. On the side of the handle where the blade does not come out are two sections of ridges (on the steel liners), which I believe are to prevent slippage when handling and using the knife. When I used the knife to cut some cord my index finger rested on the ridges closest to the blade. When closed the Kulgera measures 4.40 inches and has length of 8 inches when it is opened.
The Kulgera weighs 3.25 ounces on my digital scale. I am no knife expert, but it does not feel very heavy to me. It has some weight to it, but I know it weighs less than other knives I have held that have a similar blade length.
What is really nice about this knife is that it has ambidextrous dual thumb-studs to open it. Also the black nickel clip is a tip up style that is reversible by removing the three attachment screws and by fastening it to the other side of the knife. It comes set up for right sided pocket carry, but I found the clip to be easily mountable for left sided carry. I can open the knife with the dual-thumb studs, but it needs some force to open the blade (it is not assisted). There are two ways I can use the thumb-studs to open the knife. The first way is to hold the knife in my left hand and put my index finger and thumb of my right hand of the studs. I then rock the knife open using the thumb-studs. I have to fully rock it open so that it locks into place, otherwise it will just drop down. This can be dangerous! The second way I found to open the knife with the thumb-studs is to place the knife in my right hand and place my right thumb on the stud to release it slightly. I then flick my wrist towards the right and the knife opens fully. I have to make sure there is enough force when I flick it to lock the blade in place. Again if it is not locked in place it will drop downward.
Another great feature of the Kulgera is the AXIS locking mechanism. This is a feature that allows for ambidextrous use and I found it also excels opening the knife. The AXIS locking mechanism locks the knife in place. Pretty simple! But it really is not that simple, there is some thought and engineering behind this. Quoted from Benchmade (because I can not explain this feature): “AXIS gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar which rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spanning the liners and positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped, tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Two omega style springs, one on each liner, give the locking bar it’s inertia to engage the knife tang, and as a result the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself.” The easiest way for me to explain the AXIS mechanism is to relate it as a way to release or drop the blade. When I pull down on the stud I can see the steel bar moving to drop or release the blade.
To use the AXIS feature to close the Kulgera (this is the only way the knife closes), using my right thumb (for right handed use) I pull down on the handle stud that is spring loaded and I drop the knife slowly and push it closed; or I can drop it some and flick my wrist to the left. I found that I can open the knife by using the same handle stud. To do this I hold the Kulgera in my right hand, pull down on the handle stud and by moving my wrist to the right I can flick it open. The Kulgera is easier for me to open this way, but I have to be more careful as well. I have to make sure I have the right momentum that the blade locks in place. Because, if I have too little or too much; the blade will drop. That is why I have to be careful.
Benchmade 930 Kulgera Knife Update 4/22/10
During the past month I used the Kulgera on day-hikes in Southern California and while camping in Death Valley National Park. Mostly the Kulgera has been used to cut fruit, open packages, and to cut cording.
I am not a person to wear a knife in my pants pocket. Typically I attach the knife to my side backpack pocket or store it in one of the hip belt pockets. There is no exception with the Kulgera; for no other reason than my style preference. I still have the clip set up for right handed use and I see no reason for me to change it. When storing the knife clipped to my side backpack pocket or the hip belt pocket I have it on the right side; just because I am right handed.
Still the easiest way for me to open and close the Kulgera is to use the handle stud. It is much quicker for me and uses less strength than using the thumb-studs. Once in a while I use the thumb-studs to open the knife, but it is not often. The Kulgera still opens just like when it was new. It is not sticking at all!
So far, when the Kulgera is closed it stays closed. The Kulgera has not accidentally opened in the side pocket of my backpack or in the hip belt pocket. If I do not drop the blade properly it will not lock, but that is expected.
Out in the field I used the knife to cut oranges, apples, avocados, cheese, and cording. I also used it to cut threads off my clothing and to open plastic packaging. I was very impressed how smoothly the blade passes through to cut food items such as oranges and avocados. The Kulgera is sharp and I don’t have to put much effort into cutting a variety of items. After cutting the orange I noticed that the cut was clean and not jagged. Also it was not difficult for me to get a straight cut. One day out in the field I accidentally sliced my finger with the blade. I just brushed my finger and I got a small cut. So far there has been no reason for me to sharpen the blade.
There are times that out in the field I could only wipe the blade clean with a damp cloth. When I got home the knife was slightly sticky. I cleaned it easily with soap and water and dried it with a cloth. It has not rusted and cleans up nicely.
Benchmade 930 Kulgera Knife Final Update 5/24/10
It has already been a month since my last update on the Benchmade 930 Kulgera Knife. Since my last update I have used the Kulgera on day/night hikes, for shaving wood, and at the trail head for a simple mountain bike repair.
The knife is still in perfect working order. There are times in the field that I could not get the blade completely clean. Sometimes I had to wait until I got home to clean the knife or I had to wait until the next day. The knife has not rusted from having food particles on it or from storing it while it was sticky or slightly damp.
On the trail I used it to cut cheese/fruit, to cut open plastic packaging, and for cutting some vegetation. While I was waiting for my friend to catch up with me on the trail I used the Kulgera to cut down some invasive Black Mustard plant. I did this because the Black Mustard was well overgrown and I wanted to see how the knife performed cutting the plant. Black Mustard has a slender stalk, and the Kulgera had no problem cutting it. The Kulgera also had no problems cutting apples and quartering oranges on the trail.
At the beach I used the Kulgera to cut some twigs and shave off small pieces of soft wood to make some kindling for a campfire. The knife did a fine job of cutting through thin pieces of wood and it excelled at shaving the wood.
I also used the Kulgera at a trail head to cut off the ends of my rubber mountain bike handlebar grips. The knife sliced right through the rubber with little effort.
Mainly I carry the knife clipped to a side pocket on my day pack. The pocket on my one pack has an elastic band on the top and the Kulgera clip at times gets stuck on the band while removing it from the pocket. I have no issue removing the Kulgera from the pockets of my other packs that do not have this elastic band.
For two days I carried the Kulgera clipped to my jeans pocket. I was bending, squatting, and walking around town while working an event. The Kulgera stayed in place and I could not even notice it was there. From time to time I reached down to make sure I did not lose it. I noticed that when I pulling it out of my pocket that the thumb studs got caught on some material and the knife opened slightly. I noticed this right away and I paid close attention while removing it from my pocket.
Still I am using the handle stud to open the knife. I can open it much quicker this way, plus I feel much safer using the handle stud instead of the thumb studs.
I have been very pleased with the Kulgera and I plan on continuing to use it on my day/night hikes, camping, and for tasks around the house as needed. For more information on the Benchmade 930 Kulgera, please visit www.benchmade.com.