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Busse Groove Master
Combat Knife Review

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Story - The story is the same as with the Badger Attack 3 since I got those two(BA3 &GM) together :) Hence, nothing new to tell. In short BA3 and GM were offered on the Busse Mailing list in 05/02. Once again Busse Combat made an offer that I couldn't refuse. Nuclear tough and stout small fixed blades in legendary INFI. Gotta have them. So I did. Besides, as I understand GM is a special piece, it will not be offered in standard combat line. In that case it's already a collectors item, though I intend to use it. Too good to be the safe queen ;) For slightly more details regarding the story check BA3 review.

General

 - Groove Master is on of the most unusual piece of cutlery ever to come out from Busse Combat. It's an original design. Shortly one would say it's a skinner. As one Busse forumite noted, it's a skinner on steroids ;) Which is very true. 3/16" thick, 4 inch long blade made on INFI steel. That's a one tough piece of metal. Beautiful piece to be precise. As you can see on the picture GM blade is one curve. Practically there is no straight edge line. On the back GM features not one, but two thumb ramps. The end of the first one is the beginning of the second. In conjunction with straight Satin Jack style handle those thumb ramps make it very convenient for slicing, skinning and other fine cutting tasks, as they allow various grips for different cutting. When necessary you can really choke on the blade using those. What else? Well, GM came in the same, new style sheath from Busse Combat, which is Cordura, with a Kydex insert.

Blade

 - GM sports 4 inch log 3/16" thick blade. As I've mentioned it's a single curve. For particular cutting tasks such as slicing, skinning, it's perfect. The NIB edge was shaving sharp and was able to slice through the free hanging paper without any problems. As with the BA3 I've used CrO loaded strop to improve the edge. I've mentioned in other reviews and in general folks out there agree that INFI responds to stropping very well. GM was no exception. After some stropping GM took nice polish on the edge and was able to shave in both directions without skin irritation. I didn't any significant cutting with GM yet, just a few cuts to get the feel of the blade. GM slices like crazy. Also, I've tried some wood whittling and plastic/linoleum cutting to evaluate those grooves on the blade spine. Very well done knife. True utility blade I'd say.
    The reason I am not using it currently is that, like I already said, GM came with BA3 which had a lot more acute edge. BA3 scored perfect in all the cutting tests I've conducted so far and it was good enough to convince me to thin down the edge on GM as well. In my opinion, me it is well worth the resharpening efforts. I've had both knives in my hands cutting the same materials with one and another and the difference was very clear. In short sometimes soon I'll be thinning down the edge on GM. Most likely I'll do that freehand. I want to keep the semi-convex or even put convex edge on it. Once I am done GM will take it's rightful place amongst my favorite user knives for sure :)

Handle

 - GM handle is the same as Satin Jack and BA3. Basically that's the only straight handle Busse Combat produces currently. I've commented regarding that handle in other reviews. What I'd like to mention here again is that this handle works very well with GM grooves on the blade spine. Two thumbs up for sure. I have no complaints neither to handle security, nor its comfortability. In my opinion it's very good for the user knife, not too abrasive to become annoying and not slippery either. Handle slabs are made of Nucarta, which is some bred of Micarta, Busse proprietary.

GM in the kitchen

 - Ok, I do have number of quality kitchen knives, so why take this blade there where it would have disadvantages (mainly because of the thick stock) compared to normal kitchen cutlery? Because it's interesting, because it is realistic testing, and because for certain things it could work better. Mainly I was comparing groove master to the small utility knife - Global GS-1. As you can see these two knives have fairly similar blade geometry. However GM is more than twice as thick compared to Global GS-1. Nevertheless on a lot of cutting jobs GM did just fine. While cutting cheese was quite difficult compared to GS-1, for skinning or cleaning meat GM was more comfy thanks to its unusual spine, allowing more precise operating by choking down on the blade. Besides when working with bony meat I felt more comfortable with GM because of its thickness and strength. Overall, I didn't leave it in the kitchen permanently, but it does see occasional use there. Once I have time I'll update this section with more details.

Specifications:

  • Model - Groove Master;
  • Blade - 101.60mm(4")
  • Thickness - 4.76mm
  • Width - 33.45mm
  • OAL - 228.60mm(9")
  • Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
  • Handle - Nucarta
  • Weight - 242.00g(8.18oz)
  • Acquired - 05/2002 Price - 270.00$
  • Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;

Last updated - 09/01/11