Casey Underwood and Benchmade are back for the second round of limited edition Artist Series releases. The canvas is once again the Benchmade Mini Crooked River, but this time the art on the blades and bolsters reflect the start of hunting season.
We’re guessing the Mini Crooked River is a knife you know all about already, but if you didn’t get in on the first Artist Series batch back in 2020, here’s the lowdown: Benchmade partners with an artist who embellishes a selected model with their work. In the case of these Mini Crooked Rivers, there is custom artwork on the blade itself as well as the bolster.
As an artist, Underwood specializes in depictions of outdoor life and landscapes, with a detailed, bold-lined style that brings to mind classic woodcuts, or maybe the scientifically accurate drawings of a wildlife textbook, but tuned for beauty rather than study. Underwood’s first four Artist Series Knives were all fish: Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, Steelhead, and Tarpon. This time around, Underwood depicted a pair of birds and a pair of land mammals. There are Pheasant, Mallard, Bull Elk, and Whitetail to choose from.
Beyond the bedizened blade and bolster, the standard scales are swapped out for four different varieties of DymaLux ones instead. Furthermore, the pivot collar is custom anodized to match the rest of each knife’s aesthetic. As for blade steel, that remains the same, good old-fashioned S30V.
This is the first time we’ve seen hide or hair of the Artist Series since August ’20. Given that the pandemic was in full swing at the time, we’re thinking it may have played a role in the two-year interim between runs. Either way, these new Artist Series Mini Crooked Rivers are limited, and won’t be around for too long.
Knife in Featured Image: Benchmade x Casey Underwood “Mallard” Mini Crooked River