First Impression: Busse Basic Model 7 in Black

Kodiak PA

Gold Member
Dec 3, 1998
Well, I got my Busse Basic 7 yesterday and couldn’t wait to take her out for a quick knife test today. I got my knife from Frank Norman from Little River Trading Co. Frank is a wonderful person to work with and his communication & many emails to me during the delays from Busse were outstanding. To see Frank’s site Click Here

I climbed Mt. Old Woman today (I know I always climb a mountain to test my knives
) and Old Woman has a forest at its base with plenty of dead lumber to cut, plane and chop.

First of all, the knife is very attractive. The handle is very comfortable and has a hard rubber feel to it. It has rubberized nonslip serrations on its sides and thicker rubber inlays or at least they look to be inlays for an added grip just behind the serrations. There is a good size lanyard hold near its butt.

The blade is a 7 inches with a black epoxy coating over the modified infi steel. The unusual edge geometry that Frank reported does not give it a unusual look but the right side of the blade has a convexed edge and the left side is flat and the edge is very, very sharp! It really is an attractive looking knife. It shaved right out of the box. The spine of the blade is nice and thick and this knife screams out that it is tough!

It has a nice balance to it and has just the right amount of heft to it IMO. I like a knife that is a little on the heavier side. Of course there is another lanyard hole near the coil or is that for fixing the knife on a rifle? I have no idea. It does look cool, though.

The kydex sheath works for this knife. I have seen nicer systems such as an Edgeworks Sheath that Scott Evans makes but for a production knife I have no real complaints. It comes with a adjustable leg strap and a belt loop with a detachable strap that fits on the belt loop which I assume is for shoulder or pack retention. There is also a retention strap for the handle on the belt loop. Wearing the system, the knife hangs fairly low and the leg retention strap does a nice job helping to facilitate drawing out the knife. The snaps on the sheath system work fine. The black screws on the sheath scratch fairly easily so it might be a good idea to put some rust inhibitor on them. My biggest problem with kydex sheath systems is that I can never figure out all of the carry options. That is why I am a leather man. There is a recessed hold in the system that lines up with the choil hole on the knife and the leg strap is adjustable.

OK…now the juicy parts…how is this knife?

Well, it is a great knife! The first thing I wanted to do was to chop and plane. I found some large branches and I started to chop them very hard bordering on wailing and in no time the branches were off of the tree. Not a mark on the bevel and the epoxy coating held up well. Planing with the proximal portion of the blade near the handle works very well since plaining with the belly is a little more difficult. I would imagine that the Busse Model 3 or 5 would make a great skinning knife—better than the Model 7. Whittling various pieces of wood was no problem and when I got home the cutting edge was as sharp as it started out. No chips, dents, edge deformation or scratches on the epoxy coating. The rubber handle is very comfortable when you are chopping. I know this was a limited test today but I figured with all of the folks getting the Model 9’s from Mike, you would enjoy a little light anticipation reading.

It‘s a wonderful knife and I do not think anyone is going to be disappointed. I will report back later after I break it in a little more and I would really like to hear everyone else’s opinion on this knife. I did not challenge the point this evening but there is always tomorrow.



[This message has been edited by Kodiak PA (edited 23 September 1999).]

Another "teaser" eh? Just kidding! I always enjoy your descriptive jaunts around Kodiak Island. The fact that you're scoping out a new knife at the same time makes the post even more enjoyable. It's interesting that you commented about the 7" size versus shorter blades. This usually elicts a lot of replies about optimum blade length for specific tasks. I agree that a 7" blade is too big for skinning and detail oriented camp chores. The 4 to 5 inch size excels there. Given that a 9" Busse exists and should be the superior chopper of the lot, where would you place the 7" length design? Is it a compromise length or do you feel is is an optimal length for specific tasks?

-=[Bob Allman]=-

I did NOT escape from the institution! They gave me a day pass!

BFC member since day one
AKTI membership pending
VHA and NRA member

Hi Bob,
I feel that the 7" model is a perfect camp knife as is the 9" but for manual dexterity for skinning or finer work IMHO I would rather have a smaller blade such as the 3" or 5". Even the big fish I fillet up here (25lb salmon, 150lb Halibutt) I use a small blade no larger than 4 inches.

Initially I was debating between the 7" or the 9" and I chose the 7" since I figured it would be easier to carry and could do just about anything that the other categories do.

I will be interested in hearing everyone else's comments.

To tell you the truth, I think I would like the whole series (3,5,7, 9.5)!

Kodiak is a lot of fun to test a knife. Very low chance of someone catching me cutting down a tree with a knife and laughing very loudly.

Seriously, these knives are major winners. Any knife that can chop off branches like that and stay razor sharp with no edge deformation is a winner in my book.

I really think you guys will love those Model 9's!



Great write up Kodiak,

I am glad to see that you have tested this knife. I am waiting for Frank to get me one so that I can compare it to the BM and the Badger that I have.

I am also waiting for comments to be posted on the other 7's and 9's that have been delivered.

Come on forumites, lets hear from you.

Thomas Zinn
Greg, what kind of grip does the rubber give? Is it very secure or does your hand move around with the impacts? Does the rubber tend to get slimy with use like the Kraton on the CS fixed blades? Does it look to be fairly durable in respect to scratches / punctures? How about long term wear?

Hi Greg -- Thanks for the review. Look forward to hearing more of it.

I agree regarding the usefulness of a 3" blade for skinning type chores. However, a 1/4" thick, 3" long blade, to me, seems like overkill. It would be pretty stout on the 5", but on the 3", I can't imagine the benefit of the extra strength considering the reduction in slicing ability.

Anyone care to let me in on what I am missing?


Clay Fleischer
AKTI Member A000847

Specialization is for insects.
By planing, do you mean draw cutting, grabbing the handle and the blade spine and pulling towards yourself?

It made me wonder how the asymettric blade edge would effect the ability of the blade to perform in that manner.



[This message has been edited by Steve Harvey (edited 23 September 1999).]
The rubber handle felt very secure and comfortable when I was chopping--no hand slippage at all. I also think that this handle will be resistant to dings and scratches. My initial thought is that it is quite durable. Tonight I will do some chopping under a waterfall (I will get wet for my fellow BF members
) and report to you if it gets slippery. This handle feels much better to me than my CS Master Hunter with its Kraton handle. I always feel if I grip too hard on kraton I will start ripping it away.

Harv: By planing I meant that I grabbed the handle and the spine and cut away from me. I guess I could cut towards myself but I try to avoid that since I am klutzy at times
. The asymetrical edge on this knife wouldn't even be noticed by an average knife user IMHO. It has very smooth transition lines. I really like it.

This is a knife to get excited about. I can't wait to hear the comments regarding the Model 9's.


Greg,, I got my Busse #7 last week. My first impressions were very similar to yours except that mine was not quite as sharp as you state out of the box. My field test was short and sweet. I took the knife to the citrus county management area where I have a quota permit for bow season this year. After finding a suitable tree stand location I identified several potential shooting lanes and then went about clearing them from branches. I whacked through thin branches, thick branches and bushes. All but the thickest limbs went "bye bye" with a single swipe! The heavy blade and thick spine of the knife along with the secure grip allowed me to blaze through just about everything I hit rather easily. Just for kicks I chopped down a young scrub oak that was about about 5 inches thick. No problem. The #9 would probably have been better but the 7 did fine. I would prefer a more simple sheath that just rides on your hip but this one is ok. The blade draws easily without needing the leg tie-down so I left it home. Since you can get one for under 200 bucks I seriously doubt anyone would regret getting and using one. It is a very functional knife and for the price you don't mind using and abusing it. .....Bo
CD, last time I talked to Busse I mentioned that fact. He remarked that at that time they were only getting INFI in one stock size. If the demand was there for thinner models I am sure that they would get it made. However, what is of primary importance to cutting is the initial penetration, INFI is both very hard, very wear resistant and tough. It should be able to take a very thin edge and perform well even at 1/4" stock.

Greg, I had similar problems with the Kraton. With a tight grip my hand would get covered in little bits tore off from the impacts. As for the edge, mine is very noticable, one grind is a full mm wider than the other. Most people comment on it right away. It is however a good thing not a bad one. It gives you the strength of a convex edge with the ease of sharpening of a straight one.

Frank definitely provides excellent customer service. I was on his wait list but he sold out before he got to me. So, I ordered a #9 from the bladeforums store and I should have it on Monday.
Just a follow up to my initial test. I took the knife out again to test the handle when wet and to challenge the point.

I'm happy to report that the knife is holding up just great. I chopped and planed more trees again and the edge is still holding up very well. No dings, chips or bevel deformations. One slightly negative thing I noticed was that the rubberized side serrations irritate the inside portion of my thumb when I was chopping. This isn't a big deal but I wanted to report it. I was chopping these branches and small tree trunks very hard. As hard as I would have if I were using a hatchet.

The black epoxy coating is holding up well, too. Just a tad of minor wear near tip. I feel this coating will hold up very well.

I repeatedly stabbed the tip into large tree trunks and fallen timber. The point is fine. No blunting at all.

As promised I went into the falls to chop with the kife when wet. The rubber handle is still easy to grasp firmly when chopping and there is just a slight decrease in confidence when wet. I still think this knife will hold up in all kinds of weather.

The knife is still sharp though I will touch it up on the Sharpmaker just on the flat (left) side as the directions indicate. I took off all of the other straps and am just using the belt loop.

I think for the money this is a fine knife and in my opinion, holding up to all the initial claims.

I will be looking forward to hearing the Model 9 comments.

The Busse Basic Combat Series is winner.


Hey guys! I just got my #9 via UPS today. I haven't had a lot of time to play, but so far it has been fun. I tried it out on some redwood 2x4s on which it cut clean and deep. On some of the small oaks on the property the #9 did an increadible job. The extra weight is really helpful in "creative pruning." I have only one piece of advice, if you are a collector make sure to buy two. These are great knives and so far it has been a pleasure to abuse
Now all I need to do is get a smaller Busse (#3 or #5) for a utility knife. The #9 is a little too big to be a daily carrying knife.

I really love this knife.
Greg :

One slightly negative thing I noticed was that the rubberized side serrations irritate the inside portion of my thumb when I was chopping.

I wondered about that, I have not noticed it yet but have only done very light chopping work so far.

The black epoxy coating is holding up well, too. Just a tad of minor wear near tip. I feel this coating will hold up very well.

Once again I have not worked with it long enough to comment on relative wear with one exception. I bit down on the spine to see if I could crack the coating off and it did remove it in places. It didn't fracture or anthing, it was just scraped off. The only coating I can recall not being able to do this with was the HC on the second TUSK which was very resistant to being removed.

I bit down on the spine to see if I could crack the coating off and it did remove it in places

You bit down with your teeth? On the blade spine? Or did I misinturpret? Seem like that would be kind of hard on the ol' tooth enamel.

Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show
My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website
Discounts to Police and Active Duty Military

Man, this guy is tough. I have been reading all of the knife tests that I can find that he has done, and this is the best. I can't EVEN think of duplicating this one at home.

Cliff, I am not worthy.......

Thomas Zinn
Well, I finally have something negative to report.

I took out the Model 7 today and while chopping some black birch wood about 5" in diameter (maybe a bit less) I noticed some belly and tip edge deformation when I was done. I was somewhat surprised about this.

I also noticed some wearing on the epoxy coating near the bevel.

The edge area that has some minor deformation is pretty dull and I am wondering if I will have to touch up the convex grind.

I still think this knife is a winner. I'm working this knife hard so you won't have to!

I'll reprofile the blade and let everyone know how the belly turns out. I think with the amount of force I have been putting this knife through, it is still holding up very well.

After all, it's just a knife!



I got my all black #9 today. It looks like a well made knife. The edge is dangerously sharp!
Greg :

I noticed some belly and tip edge deformation when I was done.

To what extent? This is interesting as the blades are spec'ed to be very hard 58-60 RC. I used a #7 Basic yesterday to shear through two hens. It went clean through the bone with no edge deformation. The contact with the plate underneath did impact the edge though, as expected. The indendation was sub-visble, just noticable as it caused light to be reflected off of it. To sharpen the edge I used 10 strokes of a ceramic rod, 800 grit, edge trailing, then 10 strokes on a loaded strop. After this there were only two small glints left about a mm long.

One thing that comes to mind is that the edge will get weakened from repeated impacts. If you use a steel regularly for example you will notice sudden edge deformations after awhile. There is only so many times you can push steel back into place before it will break, which is why I always lightly grind the edge off with a rod or strop if I intend to do an extended amount of work. Anyway congradulations Greg on giving your Busse some character.

Lynn :

You bit down with your teeth? On the blade spine?

Yes. If you are curious as to where I got this idea, my dog tore one of the coatings on my blades up doing something similar. He wasn't interested in how durable the coating was, he just seemed to really like the taste of the sheath.