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Last Updated: July 26, 2019
The Benchmade Nimravus is one of Benchmade’s original fixed blade designs. It has stood the test of time and remains popular to this day. A “Nimravus” is an ancient cat with large teeth. I’d say that’s fitting when you consider this blade’s profile.
Benchmade has offered the Nimravus in a number of blade steels and colors over the years. Today I’m checking out a 154CM version that has been blacked out completely.
General Dimensions and Blade Characteristics
The Nimravus has a blade length of 4.5″, a total length of 9.45″, weighs 6.2 ounces, and is made in America. This is a lightweight tactical fixed blade. Generally, a tactical fixed blade is going to be primarily used as a utility knife, but it needs to be able to serve in a defensive role as well. The Nimravus has the ability to flex into both of those roles. The 4.5″ blade gives you plenty of options. This knife will get plenty of work done, but can also be used as a martial blade if necessary.
The Nimravus comes both tanto and drop point versions, and you can get it with a plain edge or partially serrated. I opted for the drop point with partial serrations. Partial serrations can be handy for cutting rope and other fibrous materials, and it doesn’t dull as quickly as a plain edge, which can be helpful for use in the field when you may not have ready access to a knife sharpener.
My drop point blade has been given a high flat grind. The blade gets thin behind the edge, and this knife can assist with food prep, baton smaller pieces of wood, and take care of the myriad of small tasks that crop up in the out-of-doors. There is a partial swedge, that is mostly for decoration. The tip is fine and must be used carefully.
My blade has been coated in BK1, Benchmade’s proprietary poly-ceramic coating. BK1 is tough stuff, but it does show wear. Personally, I’m not a big fan of blade coatings, and would prefer to see Benchmade offer this knife in a stonewashed or satin finish. Especially since this knife is offered in stainless steel.
Speaking of stainless steel, my Nimravus came in 154CM. 154CM is the same workhorse steel that Benchmade uses on their Griptilian. It’s an excellent all-round steel, exhibiting good edge retention, corrosion resistance, and easy sharpening. This is a proven steel that is a good choice for this smaller fixed blade knife.
Handle and Ergonomics
The Nimravus is a full tang knife that has two hard-anodized aluminum handle scales. Handle construction is simple and neat. The scales are fastened to the handle with large torx hardware. Everything has been meticulously finished. The edges of the handle are chamferred and sit slightly proud of the aluminum scales. The scales themselves are deeply textured for traction.
This is a very grippy knife. The handle scales provide excellent grip, there is a large finger choil to keep the knife securely in hand, and there is a row of toothy jimping. I find the jimping too toothy without gloves. It digs into the pad of your thumb, and can be uncomfortable. Thankfully, the aluminum handles have been milled so you can hold the knife in a pinch grip. I find that to be more comfortable.
The balance point of the knife is right behind the finger choil. It gives the knife a neutral feel and hand and helps the Nimravus feel fast and balanced.
Rounding things out is a metal pommel with a hole for a lanyard. While it isn’t designed to be a glass breaker per se, this pommel could be used to break some glass or as an impact device.
The Nimravus a sturdy nylon sheath with a kydex insert. The sheath offers several methods of attachment and you can remove various straps and connections to modify the knife as you like, however, I much prefer the optional kydex (hard plastic) sheath.
As far as nylon sheathes go this one is top notch, but the durability of the kydex sheath is hard to beat. Keep in mind that it’s a $40 option, which may seem pricey but I assure you that it is money well spent if you are going to seriously carry this knife. In a perfect world I’d like to see this come with the knife.
A final thing to note about the nylon sheath is that it comes MOLLE compatible. For those that use MOLLE (a system of attaching gear to yourself and your equipment) this is a nice feature that you don’t find with a lot of sheathes and it is worth taking a moment to mention.
Benchmade Nimravus Review – Final Thoughts
The Nimravus is a lightweight and capable knife that could fit the role of a large EDC or tactical blade. One thing that I may not have communicated through the review is the quality and level of fit and finish. This knife is well built. The blade is thinly ground, the balance is good, and the finish is everything you would expect from Benchmade. This is a durable blade and a convenient size to get real work done.
Here is the Nimravus next to my Ka-Bar BK-16, a more inexpensive tactical fixed blade:
It is lightweight enough to be a backup blade, but it’s got enough length on it that you could use it as a primary field knife or tactical option. For those seeking a piece of Benchmade history, or simply a good fixed blade knife, the Nimravus is well worth considering.
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