Bowman Made Knives is owned by custom knife maker Corey Bowman, who specializes in making hard use outdoor fixed blades. Today we will be taking a look at his Dugout model. The Dugout has a simple yet visually unique design, great ergonomics, superb performance, and excellent fit and finish.
As always let’s start with some specs; keep in mind this is a custom knife so you can expect some variation between individual knives. The over all length of my Dugout is 7.5 inches with a 3.5 inch blade. The weight is coming in at 4.23 ounces, and 4.94 ounces if you include the awesome Jumbo lanyard bead the Corey made for mine. The steel on mine is 8670, one of my favorite steels due to its durability, edge retention, and ease of sharpening. The handle scales are made from beautiful Koa wood that pictures just can’t do justice!
The spine of the blade is sharp enough to strike a fero rod and perform standard scraping tasks. The blade edge is sharp, so sharp, making it ideal for wood processing tasks. It also performs nicely in animal processing tasks, and well and plant material processing tasks.
The Dugout comes with a exceptionally well made leather sheath the is shaped and fit perfectly for the knife. The leather is supple, and the stiching matches the color in the bead which was a very nice touch.
The handle shape of the Dugout is very visually appealing, the taper towards the back and the thinning of the blade towards the front creates a balanced look that my brain really enjoys.
Outside of looking great the handle is exceptionally comfortable in hand during use. It has a full hand grip, which I very much appreciate during extended use and the weight distribution in the handle make you favor angled cuts. The handle it self is relatively round, similar to a broomstick, so there are no hot spots when using it for a prolonged time.
The Dugout is relatively light despite its size making its light on the belt and nimble in hand. The blade is long enough and tough enough to be very functional in hard use tasks, but not so long that it feels clunky when performing finer carving tasks.
Like all knives I test, the Dugout went through a three part process of wood processing, animal processing, and foraging tasks. When it comes to processing wood, the Dugout cuts into it like a hot knife through butter. Easily shaving bark and tinder off branches as well as resin filled fat wood. I was able to easily carve off both large and fine pieces of wood to help get my fire going. Notching out wood was also a breeze, and it performed nicely when attempting to create some small notches.
Animal processing testing was done with chicken this time around as well as some triming of a pork shoulder. The sharp blade made easy work of separating chicken skin and cutting away excess fat from the pork shoulder. Getting into the pork shoulder bone was a simple task due to the size and shape of the blade. All in all I’d say the Dugout would do a fine job processing game if that is what you choose to do with it.
In foraging tasks, I found the Dugout well suited for general plant processing, getting through thicker stem materials, and even some thinner tree branches. Thick roots materials were sliced through with ease, and fine cutting leaves into small pieices was quite doable. The blade shape is not really conducive to digging, but the knife wasn’t really designed for that purpose.
Over all I’d say the Dugout is one phenomenal knife for bushcraft, hiking, or any other outdoor activities you are planning on partaking in. While this is clearly designed to be a working knife the excellent fit and finish, attention to detail, unique aesthetics, and beautiful material choices makes the Dugout equally as viable for a collector as it does for a hard user. While this is the first knife I have personally owned from Bowman Made Knives, I have handled quite a few, and can honestly say the attention to detail and unique aesthetics carry through his entire line up. Personally I look forward to seeing more excellent knives from Corey!