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Busse Nuclear Muskrat
Combat Knife Review

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This little knife first showed up on bladeforums Busse forums. There was another ganza event there in Feb. 2009, called CupidGanzaaaa2. I assume that was for Valentine Day. After all what's a better buy for Valentine's' ;) Anyway, I have enough, or let me say a lot of the big and hefty Busses, for the complete list see Busse Combat Knife Reviews. Besides, Nuclear Muskrat was unusually thin by Busse standards, plus the clip point design was really attractive for me, so I went for it. Now, if you're not familiar with Ganza events, it's on first come, first served bases. At predetermined time the sale starts and you send the email with the desired knife or knives list. Winners are determined later, by email arrival/sent date. So, I got lucky this time and I was first to claim Nuclear Muskrat combat knife ;) Which can be a quite tough job, considering the number of people hunting after rare and not so rare Busse knives. I won the knife and in a few days it was at my home. Also have to state that I got the honorary Busse Hog discount, in other words official Busse Collector Club member discount, so my total was 203$. Which, I consider a very good price for a Busse knife. As for the name, Muskrat is a rodent. Not sure why this particular knife got that name, but I already have another rodent related to it, Swamp Rat Howling Rat Knife.

General

- Nuclear Muskrat combat knife arrived tightly packed in a box. With mandatory S.S.S.S - Swine Shaving Sharpness Sheet, click on the link to see what exactly that S.S.S.S is. The knife doesn't come with the sheath, like most of the Busse knives. Although, that wasn't a big problem, as I've acquired a nice kydex, neck sheath for it few days later from the fellow forumite, namely steelnut. Initial inspection commenced immediately, as I was waiting for it very impatiently. Actually I wait very impatiently for all the knives I buy, but Nuclear Muskrat was really special. Fit and finish were excellent. Smooth grind lines, no scratches, handle slabs very well fit and flush with the tang.

As for the knife, it can be described as general utility use small fixed blade. Very tough fixed blade, as all the Busse knives are. Made of Busse Proprietary INFI steel, which is a very good performer in both toughness and wear resistance area. All that translates into superb edge holding ability, even under high stress cutting. Clip point, thin blade is very convenient and suitable for multitude of cutting tasks. Obviously, it is not a good chopping knife, and will not compete with Fusion Battle Mistress, or even the Original Busse Battle Mistress, but that was neither expected, nor required. It is a small knife, perfect as a companion knife for its big brothers like the Battle Mistresses mentioned above, or Busse Fusion Steel Heart.

Blade

- Nuclear Muskrat's 89mm(3½") long clip point blade is only 3.125mm(0.125") thick. Out of the box knife had approximately 35°-40° included angle edge on it, that was finished somewhere around 2-3K grit, that'd be my guess. Sharpness wise, the paper that came with it, S.S.S.S showed clean cuts, and I've tried hair shaving test which was passed successfully. Later on I gave it a few passes on 0.25µm diamond crystal loaded strop followed by plain leather strop. Which improved edge finish and sharpness considerably.

For many other makers 3.125mm(0.125") would be a thick knife, but given Busse's preference for thick blades, it is quite thin :) Well, actually for most of US knife makers that is a thin blade, may be Phil Wilson would consider that a tad thick for his knives, but again, Wilson specializes in high performance cutters (see Phil Wilson knife reviews here), Busse's specialty is super tough combat knives, so each has its own place. To me clip point design is very versatile blade geometry. Has enough belly for slicing, well relative to the knife size of course. The point is fine and pointy enough for fine works, be it wood carving or stemming strawberries. On top of all that it's an INFI steel, which can take a lot of abuse, including significant lateral loads, and still cut very well. As for the size, it's pretty much perfect for a small fixed blade. So, in the end I am very happy with the newcomer - Nuclear Muskrat.

Handle

- Quite simple, straight handle, typical style found on Busse Knives. Which by the way is a patented handle style. That is the two holes on the handle. Anyway, never really used those two holes, but a lot of Busse owners do, for lanyards. Other than that, the handle fits my paws perfectly and it feels comfy. No hotspots on the handle, I already said above, fit and finish is perfect. Feels equally good in reverse and straight grip. I've played with the blade for a while trying various grips and cutting techniques, worked fine for pretty much all of them, except may be for the pinch grip, but then again, the blade is too narrow for comfortable pinch grip :). This is not a gyuto after all. Compared to other Busse knives Nuclear Muskrat has more rounded handle than let's say Old Battle Mistress of the original Busse Steel Heart II, but it's clearly reminds the famous Busse Mean Street handle. That's pretty much it about the handle. Well, I'd have to mention that the Micarta slabs have nice and smooth texturing, and at the same time provide secure grip. I didn't mess with the oil, but with wet hands the grip is still very secure.

Usage

- Pending.

Specifications:

  • Model - Nuclear Muskrat;
  • Blade - 89.00mm(3.5")
  • Thickness - 3.12mm
  • Width - 19.50mm
  • OAL - 203.00mm(7.99")
  • Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
  • Handle - Paper Micarta
  • Weight - 90.30g(3.05oz)
  • Acquired - 02/2009 Price - 212.00$

Last updated - 09/01/11