Yet another small knife from Busse Combat. As I have mentioned in my Busse FFFBM knife review, I got this knife in a trade, when I have bartered several Busse knives for another bunch of several Busse knives. That was how I parted with Busse SJTAC, Combat Grade Satin Jack (SJCG) and a few other things. To be honest, I'm not all that much into small knives to begin with, and then lately I prefer my small knives in a thinner configuration, like 1-2mm thick :) Still, I was curious about this knife, since it has generated quite a few positive reviews. For the record, the Game Warden, or GW in Busse acronym classification, appeared around 2006. Initial version of GW is unknown to me, but I've seen all sorts of variations of the Game Warden, which includes different finish options, very wide variety of the handle options and even a skeletonized version of the Game Warden was produced at some point, if I am not mistaken. I've doblechecked on that one, and yes there was a skeletonized GW. So, one way, or another I got this knife, because I was curious.
General- Game Warden(GW) is a small, utility or survival type knife. Probably more on the survivalist side, because I don't really see the reason to have utility knife which has 76.00mm(3") blade that is ~7mm(0.27") thick, and given that thickness I am assuming it was one of those Fatty versions. If you are not familiar with Busse Combat knives, then you might wanna know that: 0.25" is normal, 3/16" it thin or lean, anything thinner is considered to be Anorexic, but knives over 1/4" thick are fatties. Actually, the fatty Game Warden is quite heavy because it is so fat. 227.80g(7.7oz) for the knife with 76.00mm(3") blade is real heavy, for comparison many of the 270mm Gyuto knives I have, weigh about that much or even less. The tuxedo variation I have features black micarta handle slabs and satin finish blade. Overall, I like knife proportions(handle/blade ratio), quite utilitarian blade geometry and overall looks. As far as I am concerned, and remembering Busse policy, it would've been just the knife for the original owner. I got the knife with a kydex sheath from bladetech, complete with tek-lock belt clip. The blade fits the sheath ok, drawing is easy, but it's not very secure in the sheath, if I shake the sheath holding it upside down, I can dislodge the knife, although it does take a few energetic shakes :) So, for the normal outdoor use probably that's not a problem, although in the bush I'd prefer something more tight. Except, I don't really remember when was the last time I actually went into the bush. To complete the overview, fit and finish are very nice. Full tang blade has the micarta slabs attached to the tang using three tube type fasteners. Blade spine is very nicely machined, smooth satin finish as well. Handle slabs are very precisely cut and flush with the tang. Grind lines are even and symmetrical. So, no complaints in quality control department from me.
Blade- Busse game warden is a small knife, you already know that. So, 76.00mm(3") will be no surprise for you. However, ~7mm(0.27") thick blade makes the Game Warden rather unusual small knife :) I already explained Busse combat thickness classification, so all I can say is that this is one fat small knife. It is because of its thickness I consider it more of a survival knife than the utility blade. Should the need come, you can use it for batonning, heavy prying, whatever... You won't break a knife that thick made out of the INFI steel. Other than that, game warden has about 27mm wide slightly drop point, full flat ground blade. The blade also features a very small choil, not really for practical use. The edge was the one from the factory, the original owner never used it as far as I could tell. Convex grind edge, about 40° total. Edge finish was about 600 or 800 grit, that's my best guess anyway. I did strop the blade on 0.50µm diamond crystal loaded leather strop. That did improve edge sharpness considerably; well that was the expected result anyway. I figure, you have already heard about Busse proprietary INFI steel, elsewhere or in other reviews on this site, so I'll skip INFI discussion, here is the INFI steel composition for your quick reference, well both of the compositions in fact.
Handle- The handle is one of the best parts of this knife. Like I said above, it is a full tang knife, with black micarta slabs. Slabs are nicely textured, plus micarta itself is grippy, so the handle security is pretty good, without becoming annoyingly harsh. As for the handle ergonomics itself, it's just superbly nice in my opinion. I mentioned above, game warden slabs are fitting the tang very precisely and the exposed tang surfaces are very smoothly machined and polished. So overall, the knife feels right at home in your palm. There is a small hole next to the choil, placement is to low for lanyard hole though. The usual skull crusher type butt is missing on the Game warden, perhaps and most likely because of its small size. On the other hand, the butt is still quite hefty to do considerable hammering for the knife of this size, considering its extra weight - 227.80g(7.7oz);
Usage- Probably I should call this usage attempts section :) Practically, I didn't use the tuxedo game warden at all. Once I did couple test slices on the cardboard, another time sharpened a pencil and that was it. Main problem for me is the thickness of the blade. Too thick to be an efficient cutter to my liking. Like I said, I got used to much more thinner knives. I don't have the need to use such a small knife for harsh cutting works, so, in the end I gave up, I figured I'd either sell or trade it, and not screw up the knife.
Conclusions- My conclusion is that this is the tuxedo game warden is a good knife, and when necessary or required it can and will take a lot of use and abuse. However, this is not your usual small knife. On the other hand, there are a lot of guys out there who like small knives in this configuration, i.e. 5mm thick and more. Obviously, quite a few people have their use for this type of knives, so if you are one of them, by all means go for it. You won't be disappointed :)
- Model - Game Warden tuxedo;
- Blade - 76.00mm(3")
- Thickness - 6.80mm
- Width - 27.20mm
- OAL - 175.00mm(6.89")
- Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
- Handle - Micarta
- Weight - 227.80g(7.7oz)
- Acquired - 07/2008 Price - 207.00$
- Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;
Last updated - 09/01/11