Benchmade’s Newest Fixed Blade Tactical Survival Overlanding Knife
The 202 Leuku is a no-nonsense high quality knife for any situation
Never one to sit on its hands, Benchmade is always looking forward and creating products that address the needs of knife and tool users. One of its newest offerings, the 202 Leuku, is a fixed-blade outdoor survival knife that also dips into the edge of the tactical and overlanding worlds. The word "Leuku" is Finnish and loosely translates into "Big Knife". The 202 Leuku is inspired by the Sami people, who run coastal fisheries, fur trapping, and herding of reindeer and sheep. The Leuku is the larger version of the smaller everyday Pukko knives Sami carry every day. We got our hands on one of the knives in first production run of 700 units (ours is No. 603), so we could spend some time with it before bringing you our impressions.
Benchmade 202 Leuku Construction
With a satin finish on its 5.19-inch drop-point CMP-3V steel blade, the 202 Leuku features a plain blade edge for consistent cutting. With a 60-62 HRC, the edge retention is excellent, and the 202 Leuku arrived razor sharp and resisted dulling over the course of our use with it. The blade thickness is 0.14-inch, and the overall knife length comes in at 9.69 inches. With a handle thickness of 0.8-inch, it's easy to get a complete grip no matter what your hand size. The handle is Benchmade's Santoprene material in Ranger Green color, which isn't as hard as plastic but is firmer than rubber. It feels a bit like polyurethane, with some slip-resistant bite to your fingers that's enhanced by the grip's faceted surface. The cross-hatched diamond texture on the grip provides a great purchase. There is a lanyard hole, but the 202 Leuku comes sans lanyard, and the leather sheath has both a belt loop and a snap-loop for mounting on rigging, cross bars, or what have you.
Benchmade 202 Leuka as a Survival Knife
Typically, survival knives are packed with features, gizmos, and widgets, but there's nothing fancy about the 202 Leuka. It's simply a no-frills knife that's super sharp and durable, which in a survival situation is often all you need. The edge is super fine, and the drop point tip is very sharp. We trust it to hack brush and even do some moderate prying, but in a survival situation without access to medical aid, we'd be careful about stabbing anything. The lack of a finger guard, quillion, or other means to prevent your hand from slipping forward off the handle and onto the blade makes us a little nervous when using the 202 Leuka to puncture things, despite its very good grip shape and texture. A nice feature of the sheath is the loop that is designed to hold a Ferro Rod, so you'll always be able to start a fire.
Benchmade 202 Leuka as an Overlanding Camp Knife
The 0.14-inch blade is much thicker than your average kitchen blade, but even still, it makes a very handy kitchen knife out in the boonies when camping or overlanding. There's no flex or give to the blade, so filleting a fish would prove challenging, but cutting, chopping, and hacking turnips and beef are no problem. The shape of the drop-point blade is very useful for slicing raw meat, as well as fruit and vegetables. And with no deep voids, pivots, or crevices to collect junk and debris, it's very easy to properly clean. The blade is plenty long enough for carving cantaloupe and watermelon, and it's thick and sturdy enough to chop bone, wood, or plastic.
Benchmade Ferro Rod
The PN50023 Benchmade Ferro Rod is a super-slick fire-starting tool that packs two pieces of waterproof tinder in the O-ringed body and features a replaceable threaded ferro rod that you can use to strike a knife against and quickly create a shower of sparks to get a fire started. The bright anodized blue color makes it super easy to spot if you drop on the ground, and the cap features a loop to which you can attach a thin lanyard. The Ferro Rod fits perfectly in the loop on the Benchmade 162 Bushcrafter, 200 Puukko, and 202 Leuka sheaths. Just slide it in the loop, and don't worry about where your next survival or campfire is gonna come from.
Benchmade 202 Leuku Specs
Blade Steel - CPM- 3V (60-62 HRC)
Blade Shape - Drop Point
Blade Length - 5.19 inches [13.18CM]
Blade Thickness - 0.14-inch [3.556MM]
Open - 9.69 inches [24.61CM]
Weight - 5.31oz [150.54G]
Handle Thickness - 0.8-inch [20.32MM]