Specifications (From KA-BAR’s website)
Weight – 1 lb
Blade length – 5.25″, Overall length – 10.5″
Steel – 1095 Cro-Van
I recently purchased a Becker BK-2. I was looking for a knife that would suit most or all of the frequent camper or avid outdoors man. I have previously owned KA-BAR’s in the past and I started looking on their website. I found the Becker BK-2. I started doing research beyond what was just on their website. From what I had read, all of the buyers had at least a mostly positive response to their uses with it. Most were outstanding and the problems people had were minimal. I looked around for a good price and I was able to purchase the knife for $55 plus shipping.
When I received the knife in the mail, I was instantly surprised. I had found through reading that it weight one pound. When I first held it in hand it felt hefty and strong.
When I was able to go out and test the BK2, I was surprised. I took it out and tested it with the factory edge and had not done any modifications at the time. The weather was pretty bad. It was wet, muddy, and cold. There was still some snow on the ground and it was just above freezing. The first thing I did was test it on an old tree. I went to a branch (about 2.5-3 inches (6-7cm) in diameter). I did 3 swings and cut through the branch. It was so easy, I decided to do another larger branch and that took a couple of minutes to get through. After that, I checked the blade and there was no damage at all.
Then, I went on to some dry firewood. I batoned through a few logs without much effort. The scratched up the black coating of the knife, but that’s it. The thickness of the knife really comes into play here. Separating pieces of wood is no big deal with this 1/4 inch (6.4cm) thick knife. I then went on to chopping a dead oak log. The diameter was about 5 inches (12.7cm) thick.I almost finished the log when I noticed the screws holding on the grivory scales started loosening. I stopped so that they didn’t fall off and make it difficult to find.
|Smaller of two logs shown. Split effortlessly.|
|Thicker of two logs shown. About 5 inches in diameter at the top and about 7 inches in diameter at the bottom.|
I knew that KA-BAR intentionally did not tighten them as much as they could. In my research, everyone that had mentioned that, said that they had to use an adhesive to set them in place. I was expecting this to happen so when it did, I was not surprised. I used an adhesive to keep them from moving and I tighten them and I continued testing.
I check the blade again and no problems. There was no chipping or rolling and the black coating was still in good shape. I finished cutting the log no problem.
I went on to cut military grade nylon webbing. I first started with Type 12, 1-3/4 inch wide, 0.030 inch thick, 1,200 lb tensile strength nylon. The knife cut right through this, twice. I then went on to Type 24, 2 inch wide, 0.070 inch thick, 5,500 lb tensile strength nylon. I was able to cut through this with some resistance, but overall pretty easy.
I concluded the test because it handled I came to the conclusion that because of the results I saw that it could handle whatever you put it through.
KA-BAR advertises this knife as a field knife that could skin game and split kindling. I have no doubt that it could do exactly that. I have a few issues with the BK2 though. I was first worried about the strength of the grivory scales. When I had removed them to put adhesive on the screws that keep it held together, I noticed that they are very strong and well made. Even if the scales broke or came off, this new version of the BK2 has punched holes in the handle. This does not effect the strength of the blade. From this 550 cord could be wrapped around or one could do without any real handle at all.
This brings me to modifications. Many of the other reviews I have read about this knife have stated that they do not like the grivory handles. Some of the complaints stated that cold hands would have difficult time using this knife. When I was doing the testing outdoors, it was around freezing with wind blowing and I intentionally did not wear gloves. My hands were very cold and using this knife was not difficult or uncomfortable. I have not found a problem with them. Micarta scales are available if the stock scales do not suit your needs. Some people have added stippling through their own methods.
As for the sheath, it is basic, but very well made. It is ambidextrous. It can be mounted on a belt. I have added a leg strap to mine just as a personal preference.
Overall, the Becker BK2 CAMPanion is an excellent knife, especially for the price. It does everything that it is advertised to do and more. Some have called it a sharpened pry bar. In fact, it is thicker than some pry bars. I would be confident that if I took this with me camping, that it would do all of the tasks needed.