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gunguy
12-14-2011, 09:29 PM
I guess it's kind of foolish to post this when I'm trying to sell the thing but this is only my opinion and your millage may vary. There are many woodsmen more capable than myself that love the BK2. There are tons of positive reviews about the BK2 this just isn't one of them.

Let me start with letting you BK2 lovers know that Iím about to tick you off. I didnít want to but Iím here to tell people the truth. Mind you this is not a review against Becker or Kabar. I love Kabar and Becker and thatís why Iím comparing the BK2 to two of Kabars other excellent utility/camp knives.

Hereís a picture of the BK2. It certainly is a handsome knife once you get the stealth ninja coating off.
http://www.coloradobushcrafter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/P1030630.jpg

I posted my initial thoughts about the BK2 a few weeks ago. When I first got the knife I was generally unimpressed but once I stripped the coating off and convexed the blade I began to like it or at least I really wanted to. I thought it was a pretty good all-arounder. I did some quick tests for my initial impression and it did perform most things adequately if not well. After a month of use my opinion has changed a bit.

Now that Iíve had it for about a month and have used it quite a bit more Iím afraid Iím back to my initial impression (generally unimpressed). Donít get me wrong I really really want to like the knife but there are some things that you should know.

The BK2 is marketed as an all around camp knife, itís even called the campanion by Kabar/Becker. So, I performed a few comparison tests with two other knives (from the same company, made of the same steel) that I consider to be excellent all-arounders. The USMC Kabar which is in the same price range as the BK2 and the Kabar Potbelly is a bit more expensive but weíll address that later.

Here's a shot of the three cousins
http://www.coloradobushcrafter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/P1030685.jpg

The USMC Kabar is the tool by which all other general camp knives are judged for me. This is the Colt 1911 of the knife world as far as Iím concerned. The USMC Kabar has a 7″ blade but itís considerably thinner than the BK2, so it weighs much less. The USMC Kabar performed better in finer tasks like carving, making feather sticks, and cutting notches, thanks to it's thinner blade. The USMC Kabar was able to batton larger pieces of wood thanks to the extra inch and a half over the BK2, although battoning did take a bit more effort with the USMC Kabar. All in all the USMC Kabar is a superior general purpose camp knife compared to the BK2 in my hands. On top of that itís much lighter.

The Potbelly outperformed them both at everything, I mean every single task. The Potbellyís blade is just as thick as the BK2 but itís well designed handle and hollow grind really give it an advantage when it comes to cutting performance. You can choke up farther on the Potbelly for the fine stuff or move back on the handle and youíve practically got a hatchet. That hollow grind makes a huge difference in cutting performance, it somehow allows the 1/4 inch thick blade to cut like a much thinner knife. If a scalpel and a sledgehammer made a baby this would be it.

The chopping portion of the test was an eye opener for me. First, I set the Standard with the Potbelly, it cut all the way through in 17 strokes. So I gave the BK2 and the Kabar USMC knife 20 strokes each. Itís hard to tell in the picture because the log was turned a little different for each knife but the performance was about the same between the BK2 and the USMC fighting knife. I think thatís because even though the USMC fighting knife weighs less, the thinner longer blade could bite in deeper and had a bit more leverage. So, the USMC Kabar even performs as well in the one area I thought the BK2 had an advantage. I knew the BK2 didnít stand a chance against the Potbelly but címon a one pound knife that doesnít even out chop a Marine Kabar? The BK2 is just too thick for itís own good.
http://www.coloradobushcrafter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/P1030684.jpg

On top of the performance shortcomings, the sheath dulls the knife and it does it really really fast. I donít mean it ruins the edge, you can still chop and cut stuff with it but it does dull it to the point that performance is significantly reduced. I know, I knowÖĒyouíre buying the knife not a sheathĒ and ďitís a great value even without the sheathĒ. Well, I disagree and even if the BK2 alone was a fantastically performing knife it doesnít change the fact that Kabar included a sheath that absolutely ruins the performance of the knife. On top of the dulling issue it flops around like crazy on your belt if you leave the snap undone because of the super chincy nylon belt loop. You will have to spend nearly the cost of the knife if not more to get another sheath just to make it worth carrying and youíd still be better off with something else in my opinion.

Once you spend the money on a sheath you now have an $80 Ė $100 dollar knife and thatís a problem. The one really good thing about the BK2 is the $50-$60 price tag, for that price it makes a decent all around entry level camp knife IF you could use it as it but you canít (or at least I canít). With that said a Kabar Potbelly is under $80 shipped on Amazon and will outperform the BK2 in every way. The Kabar Potbelly comes with a sheath that not only doesnít ruin the performance of the knife but improves it. The Potbelly sheath comes with and carries a second smaller knife and has a pouch to put your fire kit ect in. Both of these knives are made by Kabar but the Potbellyís sheath is light years ahead of the silly piece of junk sent with the BK2. Check out my Kabar Potbelly review (http://www.coloradobushcrafter.com/equiptment-and-knife-reviews/kabar-potbelly-knife-review/) for some shots of the sheath and the things I keep in the pouch. If you canít spend the money on a Potbelly then I recommend the USMC Kabar itís cheaper and performs better than the BK2.

If youíre willing to just get over it and replace the sheath then youíve got a great looking knife that holds itís edge well thanks to itís top notch steel, chops poorly for itís weight, makes feather sticks adequately, cuts notches ok, battons through anything under 5 inches, and will crudely help you cut up some veggies for dinner when youíre done. Seriously, I donít care if Ethan Becker is a chef and he designed it. I would bet you that you wonít find any 1/4 inch thick knives in his kitchen. I went to a private culinary school and am a chef myself and this thing absolutely sucks for food prep.

I believe the blade thickness is the major downfall of the BK2. Since itís a full 1/4 inch thick it weighs a friggin pound (the potbelly weighs 1.1lb). That means that it needs to compete with knives that are longer and thinner since they weigh the same (or less). I personally would rather have a knife with a 7 inch blade that weighs a pound than a knife with a 5 1/2 in blade that weighs a pound. It will cause your pants to sag the same amount and Iíve got more use for a 7 inch blade. Hell, if you must have a Becker then get the BK7 at least then when you replace the sheath youíll have an awesome knife.

For $52 shipped from amazon the BK2 would be an amazing deal if it came ready to go but it doesnít. If Kabar would thin down the blade a bit and include a decent sheath it would be one of, if not the best camp knife out there. The shape of the blade is great, the handle is comfortable and confidence inspiring, but itís just too thick for a 5 1/2 inch knife.

Could the BK2 keep you alive? You bet! I just feel like it has some shortcomings and you may be better served by a different knife until they are addressed.

Hereís a shot of if taking a break from chopping on some fat wood I came across. I will say that itís a really good looking knife.
http://www.coloradobushcrafter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/P1030674.jpg

Here's a shot of it warming up next to a fire it helped light.
http://www.coloradobushcrafter.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/P1030678.jpg

OK BK2 lovers, let the flaming begin (but please do your own side by side comparison first).:p

Also note that as usual this review is available on my blog as well. The blog link is bellow in my signature.

EDIT: After reading the comments I have a couple things to add.

Keep in mind that I didn't perform these tests or write this review with any bias. I had and have nothing to prove.

I'm not saying the BK2 is a bad knife. I'm just comparing it to a couple other knives. The BK2 is a quality knife made by a great company. The quality of the knife was never in question just it's capabilities. It will do anything you ask of it. There are just other knives that perform better for ME.

It's been mentioned several times that if I would hold the BK2 by the pommel that it's a great chopper. I did hold it by the pommel during the chopping portion of the test and it wasn't a great chopper for me. I also held the USMC kabar with about half my hand hanging off the back during the chopping test.

Also, chopping was only a small part of my test. The BK2 was outperformed in most other areas as well.

So, once again the BK2 is a quality knife that will do anything you ask of it. It just doesn't excel at anything.

It has also been mentioned that it's a great battoning knife. Well, it is but keep in mind that it won't batton anything over about 4 inches. Which is quite limiting in my opinion.

Thanks for all the feed back and keeping it civil. That's what I love about this place.

blind & lost
12-14-2011, 09:42 PM
Interesting review thanks for your work....decisions, decisions.....

hellhammer
12-14-2011, 09:45 PM
I understand your review here. I own all three of those and have to say the potbelly is the best of the three. In fact I too have considered getting rid of my BK2 and would do so if it wasnt an actual Becker. Mine came with out a sheath so I made my own. It is a nice knife but I agree that it is slightly challenged at some points.

SCB
12-14-2011, 09:47 PM
How would you rate it's handle ergonomics compared to the other two knives?

dwightp
12-14-2011, 09:52 PM
I don't think any tool does every job. It depends on your needs. I used a BK2 last summer when I camped for over two months up in Western Canada. It was what I used to baton firewood every night. Was the blade "scary sharp"? No. Not even close. But that isn't what I needed. But for what I needed, it performed its job superbly.

Hiwa
12-14-2011, 09:56 PM
I appreciate your review Gunguy. I have the same feelings towards my BK-2. There are a lot of knives I have with less weight that I can do a heck of a lot more with , my BK-7 , Esee 6 , and USMC to name a few.

I just find too thick a blade a hindrance to a lot of tasks. I like the design of the bK-2 ; it just needs to be 3/16" instead with a full flat grind instead of sabre grind ; then it would be more useful Imho. I feel the same way about my Esee 5 , even though the cutting geometry seems better than the Becker.

I find any knife over 3/16" thick is just too thick and heavy for me , irreguardless of blade length. :cool:

gunguy
12-14-2011, 09:59 PM
How would you rate it's handle ergonomics compared to the other two knives?

The becker is the most comfortable of the three but that's not to say that the other two are uncomfortable. Plus, the Potbelly's handle is amazingly functional. The Potbelly's handle may look a bit wonky but it really works. It gives you three different grip options: choked all the way up, mid, and all the way back. You can move your hand back on the other two but it's not the same and you can't really choke up on them.

Hope that makes sense.

gunguy
12-14-2011, 10:53 PM
I appreciate your review Gunguy. I have the same feelings towards my BK-2. There are a lot of knives I have with less weight that I can do a heck of a lot more with , my BK-7 , Esee 6 , and USMC to name a few.

I just find too thick a blade a hindrance to a lot of tasks. I like the design of the bK-2 ; it just needs to be 3/16" instead with a full flat grind instead of sabre grind ; then it would be more useful Imho. I feel the same way about my Esee 5 , even though the cutting geometry seems better than the Becker.

I find any knife over 3/16" thick is just too thick and heavy for me , irreguardless of blade length. :cool:

I agree, with a 3/16th" thick blade and a full flat grind it would be dang near perfect.

jpbeck
12-14-2011, 11:10 PM
Man I was about to buy a BK2 -- I'll keep saving for a Blindhorse I guess.

Mr.Black
12-14-2011, 11:16 PM
All I want to say is Its good to see the Sierra saw get some action I think that is a very underrated tool used it quite a bit even when Fanno specialized saws were laying all over the work sites
Take care Great pics
M/BK

Grizzly
12-14-2011, 11:21 PM
I can say that I kinda agree with this review. The BK2 is a solid knife and tougher than nails, but I generally grab other knives when I am headed for the bush.

One Legged Josh
12-15-2011, 12:56 AM
I think Becker should stop including sheaths with their knives for a while, but keep their prices the same.

johncarbaugh
12-15-2011, 03:57 AM
We can't all like the same thing what fun would that be. You make a lot of valid points but I still like my BK2. I use it more as a pack knife for chopping and splitting. I always have a smaller knife for finer work. Guess I just love sharpened leaf springs like the BK2 and ESEE5. Once I get a little better skill with an axe I will probably ditch the large blades also.

LECTER
12-15-2011, 04:34 AM
I think Becker should stop including sheaths with their knives for a while, but keep their prices the same.
This would also keep a lot of the same type of threads to a minimum! ;)

My rule is 2=1 and 1=0 so, when I'm out and about, I have different tools in my toolbox for different uses.

I've had my 2 for a while and have used a lot of knives in my life and the Becker, BK2 is one of the best all around knives I have owned for the price.

styx
12-15-2011, 04:37 AM
Good review. And it's nice to see it compared to products that are made with same steel and HT. It is certainly not the best, but it's not the worst either

One Legged Josh
12-15-2011, 04:43 AM
This would also keep a lot of the same type of threads to a minimum! ;)

My rule is 2=1 and 1=0 so, when I'm out and about, I have different tools in my toolbox for different uses.

I've had my 2 for a while and have used a lot of knives in my life and the Becker, BK2 is one of the best all around knives I have owned for the price.

I agree, In my opinion if people spent the same amount of time making the sheath work as they do complaining about the sheath, they would have a huge leg up.
Or if they took as much time sharpening the knife, as they did complaing about the edge bevel, they would be light-years ahead.
I think the BK-2 is a bombproof, budget, and functional addition to a woods
kit.
On the other hand....different strokes for different folks. If we all had the same likes and dislikes...how fun would that be?

Bill Cox
12-15-2011, 05:08 AM
I agree, In my opinion if people spent the same amount of time making the sheath work as they do complaining about the sheath, they would have a huge leg up.
Or if they took as much time sharpening the knife, as they did complaing about the edge bevel, they would be light-years ahead.
I think the BK-2 is a bombproof, budget, and functional addition to a woods
kit.
On the other hand....different strokes for different folks. If we all had the same likes and dislikes...how fun would that be?

I couldnt agree more Josh.

After owning a BK2 I dont care for it much because of the plastic handle, that being said for what it is its a hell of a knife.

tennecedar
12-15-2011, 05:20 AM
I haven't had the chance to own a BK-2 yet. I'll keep in mind all your observations when I get one. Would the same knife with micarta scales, a kydex or leather sheath, and a convexed secondary fix most of the detractions you experienced? It seems like alot of Companion owners do these mods.

LECTER
12-15-2011, 05:26 AM
I agree, In my opinion if people spent the same amount of time making the sheath work as they do complaining about the sheath, they would have a huge leg up.
Or if they took as much time sharpening the knife, as they did complaing about the edge bevel, they would be light-years ahead.
I think the BK-2 is a bombproof, budget, and functional addition to a woods
kit.
On the other hand....different strokes for different folks. If we all had the same likes and dislikes...how fun would that be?
I concur and isn't it fun to play around and customize it? ;)

GreyOne
12-15-2011, 05:30 AM
Hmm, reckon I just need to get rid of my BK-2, then, it being such a 3rd rate performer and all. Maybe I will one of these days, when Hades drops below zero degrees Centigrade. ;)

To each their own, but the BK-2 fits my hand far better than most other blades, and is truly versatile in chopping , splitting, and batonning. Granted it is a mite massive for very fine work, but then I carry a Mora or a Puukko for such uses.

LECTER
12-15-2011, 05:35 AM
Hmm, reckon I just need to get rid of my BK-2, then, it being such a 3rd rate performer and all.

Better send it to me, I'll dispose of it for you. ;)

GreyOne
12-15-2011, 06:09 AM
Better send it to me, I'll dispose of it for you. ;)


Uh huh ! Like I said, it will happen soon after the precipitate drop in ambient temperature in the netherworld. ;) :)

PropThePolecat
12-15-2011, 07:11 AM
Good review...I owned a BK2 too at one point, but I couldn't get over the weight, so I sold it. It simply is way too thick for it's own good. I haven't regretted the sale one bit.

gunguy
12-15-2011, 09:28 AM
Josh and Lector

As always I respect you guy's opinions but I made my own sheath (which my sierra saw now rides in cause I've got more use for it) and I put a wicked sharp convex edge on it. I love customizing my stuff and nothing comes perfect from the factory. BUT only part of my review was about the sheath. The rest was about it's sub-par performance compared to 2 other comparable knives. As I mentioned the BK2's real problem is it's thickness. Further more many guys can't make their own sheaths so it's important to let them know the faults of the factory sheath.

So, I made my own sheath and convexed the edge. Those things improved the knife but they didn't transform it into an amazing performer(for me).

Thanks for you guys input!

gunguy
12-15-2011, 09:30 AM
Hmm, reckon I just need to get rid of my BK-2, then, it being such a 3rd rate performer and all. Maybe I will one of these days, when Hades drops below zero degrees Centigrade. ;)

To each their own, but the BK-2 fits my hand far better than most other blades, and is truly versatile in chopping , splitting, and batonning. Granted it is a mite massive for very fine work, but then I carry a Mora or a Puukko for such uses.

LOL

I'm glad you like yours, that handle is super comfortable and confidence inspiring.

SlayerOfBunnies
12-15-2011, 09:45 AM
Man I was about to buy a BK2 -- I'll keep saving for a Blindhorse I guess.

Don't let one review drive your decision. Nothing against the other two knives, but if you hold the BK2 correctly for chopping (by the pommel swell), it out-chops the Kabar USMC (and BK7, etc.) by a fair margin. Haven't tested it against the Potbelly, but I'd expect the Potbelly to win that contest - that's a great knife too, I just can't get past the handle.

As to fine tasks, the OP gave the edge to the USMC because of the thinner blade - fair enough. I give the edge to the BK2 because of the shorter blade. It's a matter of how you prefer to use the knife. Neither is right or wrong, I'm just saying your mileage may vary.

As to the sheath - just keep the spine of the knife against the sheath (rather than the edge) when you draw and you're good to go. You should probably do that with high-end sheaths too.

To the OP - I disagree vigorously with your review, but you will notice a complete absence of flames in my reply. I feel a rousing chorus of Kumbaya coming on... :D

LECTER
12-15-2011, 10:19 AM
Don't let one review drive your decision.

Exactly! Take a look over at the Becker forums and judge by yourself about how great a knife this is!

Becker BK-2: Survival Knife Test, Equip 2 Endure - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mM-Z_k1buM)

tommysjr4045
12-15-2011, 11:08 AM
The longer I hang out here - the more I realize that once you have the basics for a good knife: reliable heat treat, basic handle ergonomics, basic quality control, general functional design - the rest will be a taste matter that is beyond complicated.

I have to go with gunguy and +1 his review here.

Though I really liked the "feeling" of my BK2 in my hand, I just don't think I'm skilled enough with a knife to make it work. So I traded mine away. I wish I could say I miss it, but I prefer a hatchet - or a boys axe.

I don't think it's a bad knife at all. If I could keep multiple knives - I would have kept it. But alas - I really have to keep my gear inventory lean and if it isn't getting used - it needs to go. Once I got the feel for my Hultafors GK - the BK2 just wasn't needed anymore.

Certainly a bombproof knife though - I'll probably miss it when the apocalypse comes :4: :4:

Leonard E. Jonsen
12-15-2011, 12:05 PM
Thank you for this review. I've been considering a BK2 for awhile now. I'm looking for a heavy duty knife, but am concerned that the BK2 is a little too heavy. So, I am considering instead the Condor Rodan. It is similar in size and design. The blade is a little thinner and not as heavy. I have heard better feedback on the Condor sheath versus the Becker Sheath. And it is half the price of the BK2. Maybe some folks with the Rodan can share their opinions.

JC1
12-15-2011, 12:32 PM
Josh and Lector

As always I respect you guy's opinions but I made my own sheath (which my sierra saw now rides in cause I've got more use for it) and I put a wicked sharp convex edge on it. I love customizing my stuff and nothing comes perfect from the factory. BUT only part of my review was about the sheath. The rest was about it's sub-par performance compared to 2 other comparable knives. As I mentioned the BK2's real problem is it's thickness. Further more many guys can't make their own sheaths so it's important to let them know the faults of the factory sheath.

So, I made my own sheath and convexed the edge. Those things improved the knife but they didn't transform it into an amazing performer(for me).

Thanks for you guys input!

I agree with your review. I contacted kabar and they sent me another sheath, "bulk-hard plastic sheath/bk2" is on the invoice. Made in Taiwan...

The new sheath dulled the blade but not as fast as the glass one did.

Now I am looking at selling or trading it

There are vendors here making custom or semi custom blades that will out perform the bk2. Spend your money on one of their blades and you will not be disappointed.

LECTER
12-15-2011, 01:20 PM
I agree with your review. I contacted kabar and they sent me another sheath, "bulk-hard plastic sheath/bk2" is on the invoice. Made in Taiwan...

The new sheath dulled the blade but not as fast as the glass one did.

Now I am looking at selling or trading it

There are vendors here making custom or semi custom blades that will out perform the bk2. Spend your money on one of their blades and you will not be disappointed.
Sure, spend a few hundred on a custom. :rolleyes:

JC1
12-15-2011, 01:39 PM
Sure, spend a few hundred on a custom. :rolleyes:

Whats your point? You can get great custom knives for ~$100

If you cant afford that its not my problem... Dont knock me because I choose to spend MY money on quality products

NorthernBushcraft
12-15-2011, 01:51 PM
While I always appreciate feedback from other members and value their opinions, I don't always have to agree with them. :44:

I cannot make a direct comparison to the potbelly and the USMC as I have owned neither, but my BK2 is my go-to heavy use knife when I worry about the durability of my other knives. I purchased mine not as a general duty camp knife, but as a reliable survival tool. In that regard it is miles beyond anything else I own.

I do agree that the BK2 is limited in its ability to perform fine tasks, and it will drive you nuts shredding paper, but then again, I don't shred much paper or do fine carving in the woods. At best I may whomp up a crude tool, build a shelf between 2 trees, bang out some stakes etc., and pretty much any knife will do for that.

For me the BK2 is about piece of mind in a sturdy tool, and as I say, nothing else I own even comes close.

As far as chopping goes, I rarely chop with a knife other than my Kukri. I have a 'hawk or axe for that. I don't really get the obsession with knife chopping. I prefer to gather appropriate sized wood for the task at hand be it fire, shelter, or convenience. I don't consider a sub 12" bladed knife to be a chopping tool.

I cannot disagree with the sheath complaint though. I hear ya on that one. Bad design period. As for the pants on the ground syndrome, an extra notch on the belt takes care of it, and taking the 2 or 3 seconds to snap the handle strap keeps the knife from flopping around.

I have not experienced adverse edge degradation due to the sheath so I will have take your word on that one. I keep all my knives very sharp and touch them up after use. Never an issue.

So, to sum it up, I can see how you would come to your own conclusions and I cannot disagree with your tastes or experience, but I can say that I stand by my BK2 and when my personal safety and the safety of my other cutting tools is a factor, the BK2 wins hands down and will be a part of my kit for a very long time.

I do appreciate the time and thought that went into your review, but respectfully, I disagree on the overall opinion.

SkyPainter
12-15-2011, 02:00 PM
+1 on the Potbelly. I own both the KaBar, and the Potbelly (and many others), but the Potbelly is the best chopper I have found/used by far! The regular KaBar is a fighting knife - made for slicing and stabbing - not for bushcraft chop chores. The PotBelly, on the other hand, is designed as a chopper foremost, THEN a finer-use tool! And by altering your grip, because of the unique blade design, you can move the forward-throw weight around, making it useful for many applications.

Don't have a BK2, and have no reason to get one.

Sky

LECTER
12-15-2011, 03:16 PM
Dont knock me because I choose to spend MY money on quality products
Always the same ol' tune with you, isn't it?

Becker makes quality knives!

And I can afford just about anything I want, thank you very much.

econnofoot
12-15-2011, 04:00 PM
I give props to the OP for speaking out against the BK2, which on certain other forums might amount to heretic status and get one ostracized. Seeing that we are all adults here, and that I got a loaner BK2 I'll chime in my opinion as well. And this is strictly off some limited useage of the BK2 just mucking about not really in the field.

1: Way too heavy..thing is a boat anchor.

2: Crap Chopper, for the mass....I prefer length to girth, but it's all in how one uses it. I think it sucks as a chopper.

3: Stock edge is crap, now this is a loaner and I could easily fix this but it isn't my knife.

4: Sheath is beyond crap, honestly KABAR and Ethan know this and really since we all end up replacing our BK&T sheaths anyway, why not just make a proper sheath and raise the price?

Okay now I'm not totally against it for what it is, a splitting wedge, thing is a batoning beast,but I carry a hatchet, for this but to ea their own. For fine work? meh I don't see it...still waiting to try some things....I was loaned this one in an effort to decide between it and maybe a BK7, I'm leaning more and more to the 7.

And there are better all around knife options in the 50-60 range that far out perform the BK2, for those that don't want to drink the Kool Aid.

Tradewater
12-15-2011, 04:09 PM
Like someone above mentioned, when held by the pommel swell the BK2 chops quite well. That same extended pommel can be used to crush and grind various things such as acorns, nuts, wild wheat..etc. along with giving you a surface to pound the point into a log to split it. It's like most things. The more you use it the better you learn the nuances of the design and learn to appreciate what the designer had in mind. I thinned the blade a bit and put a nice high convex on it. Handles any camp chore including food prep quite well and it's not going to break on me when I need it the most. I find it a comforting weight to have on my belt when I'm doing anything with the chance of having to count on a knife. That's the beauty of having so many great knives these days to pick from. Find one you like and fits your hand or keep looking. Oh, I agree that the sheath sucks. I replaced the stock sheath with a Spec-ops.

econnofoot
12-15-2011, 04:18 PM
I think with the new line of knives coming out that Ethan has been doing some thinking and listening, like I said I'm not totally against the BK2,personally for me....it really doesn't work, not that I won't eventually buy a BK2 I know I will, I do find that it is a poor choice that is all too frequently suggested to people as an end all do all knife...and it isn't, least IMHO.

CCMI
12-15-2011, 04:18 PM
While I like my BK2 a lot, I can understand your criticisms too. Unless you really change the knife it's not going to be a slicer by any means. It's kind of a jack of all trades, master of none (unless you need to cut a lawnmower in half :4:)

For those who wanted a 3/16 blade, this isn't exactly what you wanted, but I think you'll really like it. Yet to be released BK16: 4.375" blade, approx .165 thick

http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/ccmi/Small-Beckers-12-1-11-003-XL.jpg

The official debut is scheduled for Shot 2012 and should be available some time in March (per sources more reliable than myself).

Oh and by the way, that Potbelly looks very nice sans coating. I get interested in it every now and again, but never pulled the trigger on one. Consider me interested again.

JC1
12-15-2011, 06:16 PM
Always the same ol' tune with you, isn't it?

Becker makes quality knives!

And I can afford just about anything I want, thank you very much.

this thread is about the bk2, not all becker knives.

If you have a problem with me or things I post you can contact me offline and not disrupt the threads

Tye Possum
12-15-2011, 06:26 PM
Interesting review, you don't hear much bad about the bk2 usually so it's nice to hear things from a different point of view. I don't own a bk2 but reviews like this make me wonder why it gets all the praise it does. I've never really understood it myself which is why I never bought one.
It's a medium sized knife so it doesn't have much blade length for battoning or chopping but it's 1/4" thick so it doesn't carve or slice well. What makes it such a great knife exactly? The fact that it can do it all? Well sure but it's not going to do anything well. When I go to the woods to do some bushcraft it's because I enjoy the experience but using a knife that's not very good at anything and weighs a pound just seems like a pain.
It sounds to me like all around it's at best an adequate knife but people like it because it's hard to break so it gives some piece of mind in an emergency. I think 3/16" thick is all the toughness you'd really need but would perform much better at the cutting tasks that you'd be using it for on a regular basis. The bk7 or similar knives look like better choices, I have a Ka-bar USMC as well and I find it works pretty well as an all around knife too.

IdahoSpud
12-15-2011, 07:22 PM
Tye I would encourage you not to be discouraged from something because of a persons opinion, they are like buttholes... and the rest you know. I respect and admire Gunguy for his honest review on his opinion but I would def. disagree with most of what he says short of the knife sheath. As with any knife purchase you weigh the good and bad opinions then jump in. I'm not trying to sell you on one just sound like from your post you made your mind up after reading this post. There are quite a lot of us out there that have been bushcrafting for years that really like this knife. Again to each his own, just my 2 cents, or 3 however you want to look at it.

Tye Possum
12-15-2011, 07:52 PM
Tye I would encourage you not to be discouraged from something because of a persons opinion, they are like buttholes... and the rest you know. I respect and admire Gunguy for his honest review on his opinion but I would def. disagree with most of what he says short of the knife sheath. As with any knife purchase you weigh the good and bad opinions then jump in. I'm not trying to sell you on one just sound like from your post you made your mind up after reading this post. There are quite a lot of us out there that have been bushcrafting for years that really like this knife. Again to each his own, just my 2 cents, or 3 however you want to look at it. Well thanks but I didn't make my mind up after reading this one review and I have seen plenty of good things said about and done with the bk2. I'm sure for some people it's a fine knife but judging from my own experience with knives for bushcraft it just seems a little like overkill on the thickness to me, at least for a medium sized knife. Like you said though to each his own.

IdahoSpud
12-15-2011, 08:00 PM
Well thanks but I didn't make my mind up after reading this one review and I have seen plenty of good things said about and done with the bk2. I'm sure for some people it's a fine knife but judging from my own experience with knives for bushcraft it just seems a little like overkill on the thickness to me, at least for a medium sized knife. Like you said though to each his own.

Right, well good luck then bro Ill give you one thing it is a thick monster:4:.

styx
12-16-2011, 06:07 AM
People, Becker knives are great for the money. They are low cost, solid performers. Actually with minor mods they will out preform some knives that are 4 times more expensive.
BK2 is stout. Many things can be done with it, but there certainly are better tools for the job. Considering the cost it is a price effective piece of equipment with very solid performance.

This review is also a solid review, and by no means says that it's a bad knife. Certain aspects of it are not the best, but that can go along the lines of different strokes for different folks.

gunguy
12-16-2011, 05:30 PM
Couple things:

Keep in mind that I didn't perform these tests or write this review with any bias. I had and have nothing to prove.

I'm not saying the BK2 is a bad knife. I'm just comparing it to a couple other knives. The BK2 is a quality knife made by a great company. The quality of the knife was never in question just it's capabilities. It will do anything you ask of it. There are just other knives that perform better for ME.

It's been mentioned several times that if I would hold the BK2 by the pommel that it's a great chopper. I did hold it by the pommel during the chopping portion of the test and it wasn't a great chopper for me. I also held the USMC kabar with about half my hand hanging off the back during the chopping test.

Third, chopping was only a small part of my test. The BK2 was outperformed in most other areas as well.

So, once again the BK2 is a quality knife that will do anything you ask of it. It just doesn't excel at anything.

It has also been mentioned that it's a great battoning knife. Well, it is but keep in mind that it won't batton anything over about 4 inches. Which is quite limiting in my opinion.

I usually carry an axe, a saw, and a Hargis custom scandi when I'm in the woods. Because I like to have the best tool for each particular job, not one tool that sacrifices performance for versatility. If you're only gonna carry one tool into the bush then perhaps the BK2 is a good choice for you but for me I'd pick the Potbelly as my one tool and I'd pick carrying multiple tools over either. YMMV

Thanks for all the feed back and keeping it civil. That's what I love about this place.

ScottMescudi
12-18-2011, 01:13 AM
I recognize some of those chunks of fatwood!

Sodak
12-21-2011, 11:11 PM
Good review, it pretty much mirrors my experience as well. I like the BK2 for a stout truck knife, but it's a little thick, and more important to me, too wide for finer work. I have an old elbow injury, and big grips with wide blades are uncomfortable for me to use, unless I'm chopping or something like that.

I can't comment on the steel, all my Beckers are the older Camillus ones,very well made with excellent steel. The geometry just doesn't work for me, YMMV.

45jack
12-24-2011, 06:39 PM
I won't fault your review of the BK2, but I would never use the USMC utility / fighter as a bench mark.
Saw too many break where the handle and blade meet. Don't know who supplied them in the 60's.
I would never trust my life to one.

Rider
12-24-2011, 07:30 PM
Superb review. Two thumbs up. I was eyeing up the BK2 a while back, and honestly it was the 1/4 inch thick and only 5 inch long blade that turned me off. I just figured that it wasn't the best combo...Glad I went with my gut feeling. I enjoyed!

oldpinecricker
12-24-2011, 09:00 PM
Got an old BK-2 Camillus/Becker and Cammilus BK-7 that I never did use or really tryout in the outdoors. They look stout and tough. The only Becker Ive actually used is an Cammillus Airman.

Thanks for the honest review, i appreciate it.

Roamer
02-15-2012, 08:04 PM
Didn't see this review when it originally was posted. Anyway, thanks for the detailed report on these knives. Interesting to see how the basic surplus pilot's knife stacks up. I have an old USN Mark I fixed blade of a similar design, which I love, so it's great to see how it compares against these new models. And now you've got me lusting for that Kabar Potbelly!

LANE4
02-15-2012, 08:25 PM
This was a pretty good review. I appreciate non biased reviews and peoples true opinions. I love becker knives and the BK2 is one of my favorites. It did however take some getting use to for me. Once I did I could for sure see myself picking that for my "one knife".

http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/l4ne4/IMG_20120105_124235.jpg

I now have a BK10 crewman and that has kicked the 2 off my hip for a while. Its thinner and lighter so I guess I wont be using it as the jaws of life like I would the bk2.

MtnManJoe
04-04-2012, 02:34 PM
I got my BK2 for Christmas 2010, and used the heck out of it throughout 2011.

Indisputably, it is a Awesome chunk of steel - and If one's life depended on just one knife, they could do much worse than the BK2.

As mentioned already, It will do just about anything a knife should do ( and Many things a knife shouldn't do), and will do them All adequately.

Anyhow - For me, it was just too massive and heavy to justify carrying, and I traded it off :11:

I have evolved (devolved?) my Kit to include a 'Hawke or Hatchet, a folding saw, and a smaller lighter knife.
... and Yeah, I will admit it - 'sometimes' I miss the BK2 :(

XMP
04-04-2012, 05:47 PM
"I will admit it - 'sometimes' I miss the BK2 :( "

You'll miss it even more when you see what it has evolved into.

Still I agree that its a little heavy for me and I'll probably move it along now that I've invested all this elbow grease in it:34:

MontyJones
04-04-2012, 07:47 PM
XMP, nice Becker mod, man.

I personally don't like the look of the BK2 so I just never really considered it. Anyways, I have a USMC Ka-Bar that I got as a present whilst serving that probably fits the niche well enough.

Truth be told, the largest knife I usually carry is a small Mora. Like the #1/0, sometimes even a #2/0. I also carry a small axe and a SAK, I'd probably carry a folding saw if I had one. To be honest, my Wetterlings is shaving sharp and if I were faced with the 'one tool only' dilemma that would be the one.

Axe > knife for chopping, splitting, etc...

Some people must really love them though, and for them I'm glad it works so well. It's not often that a knife in that price range gets such a dedicated following (nothing like Mora though... $10??? you bet).

It did bum me out a little reading some of the responses here, though. Most everyone was very civil, but I guess some people couldn't help themselves. That's ok, just remember we are all a part of the same community and in the end all concerned with the continuance of our way of life. Next time you see a different opinion, just remember that while he might not like your knife, there are people who are vehemently against your right to the woods. Save some of that fight for them, we are going to need it in the years to come.

Bartnmax
04-04-2012, 08:42 PM
There are a lot of knives I have with less weight that I can do a heck of a lot more with , my BK-7 , Esee 6 , and USMC to name a few.

This is very interesting to me.

I've recently been tossing up about buying a Becker.
Choices I've been tossing about have been BK-2, BK-7, & BK-9.
The BK-9 I think will be a bit too big for my wants/needs, so I've narrowed it down to the BK-2 or BK-7.
Due to comments like above I'm slowly creepin toward the BK-7.

Bill.

Fischereco2
04-04-2012, 08:46 PM
Just skimming through this thread...

I'm not really sure why certain people keep trying to make this an issue of affordable knives like the BK2 vs. customs. The OP never mentioned customs, and he pit the BK2 against 2 other knives in the same price range, and from the same family of blades. Anyone who uses a BK2, KA-BAR USMC, or KA-BAR Potbelly has more in common with the other than most knife users. The issue the OP seemed to be addressing is whether or not the BK2 is really better than the knife it 'evolved' from, or another one of its more recent cousins.

I think it's a pretty interesting/valid comparison, and how that get's spun into an issue of the people vs. the elite is beyond me. We're all playing for the same team here.

bharen
04-05-2012, 06:30 AM
I think a lot of folks interested in the BK-2 pick it up under slightly false pretenses. Ethan Becker designed this knife as an all-around camp knife (hence the name 'Campanion') and as an improvement to the British MOD 4 knife. In that he succeeded wonderfully.

Unfortunately a lot of folks view it as a general purpose field or survival knife and for that I think it is unsuited mainly because the blade thickness works against it for anything other than chopping.

Many pick up the BK-2 and stop right there, either because they think it's the cat's meow and can't imagine Becker/Ka-Bar making anything better, or they are so put off by the BK-2 that they thing all the other Becker offerings are just as bad.

The truth is, the BK-2 is the 'least good' of Becker's excellent line of knives. For example, the BK-7 is perhaps the best all-around combat/survival knife available, the BK-14 is my #1 go-to knife when in the woods and the BK-10 Crewman Utility Knife is a much handier package than the BK-2 but is about the same size (and the BK-10 is the one blade that Ka-Bar simply must put back into production!).

As a group we tend to become fixated on the BK-2 and ignore other more capable blades in the Becker line-up. I reacted the same way many have to the BK-2; it's a jack-of-all-trades but is really a master of nothing and was put off by all the BK-2 heavy breathing found on this and other forums. Then I picked up the BK-7 for a test and was immediately impressed. So impressed my collection of Beckers now stands at something like eight knives, to include the discontinued BK-10 and the excellent BK-12 RSK Mk2.

There's more in the Becker lineup than the BK-2. If you don't like that knife keep looking. It won't take you long to find something that suits you just fine.

SlayerOfBunnies
04-05-2012, 10:16 AM
Unfortunately a lot of folks view it as a general purpose field or survival knife and for that I think it is unsuited mainly because the blade thickness works against it for anything other than chopping.

Vigorously disagree. It can certainly chop but IMO that's one of its weaker points. If you want to point to it's forte, then batoning has got to be at the top of that list.

For me it's super comfortable for smaller tasks as well...

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/5553/20120205img1595.jpg

http://img4.imageshack.us/img4/6001/20120323img1845.jpg

Just a chopper - nah.

J
04-05-2012, 10:56 AM
Im not a fan. Ive owned 2 BK2s and they are too big and bulky for my tastes. If you use something, anything, long enough you can get it to work for you. That doesnt make it the end all be all of tools. I can carve a spoon with a hatchet, and make feathers with it too. Can also chop down a good sized limb, clean fish, and make bowdrill sets. So does that mean its better then a BK2 or Kabar? No. It means I can use a tool effectivly. Its the hands holding the tool, not the tool. Use what ya like. IMO, its too thick, too clumsy, has a crap sheath, hate the black spray paint coating, edge is too thick, weighs a ton, and is just ugly. Now of course you can Mod it to suit your desires, but that has nothing to do with straight out of the box knife. The new smaller beckers look cool though, and for the price, I will probably buy one to mod and make a project out of.

J
04-05-2012, 11:01 AM
Also guys, Let me remind you there is no selling or trading on the open forum. Must be hobbiest/supporter/vendor, and post in appropriate area.

Kilroy.45
04-09-2012, 08:09 AM
I have a BK2 just got it and love it but, really a knife is a knife, is a knife. All that matters is that you enjoy using it. Use the tool to its strengths, and above all carry it where you think you'll need it.

knochelbiter
04-17-2012, 05:47 PM
My experience with the BK-2 was similar to the OPs. Although I liked the shape, size, and steel it was just WAY too thick for my personal taste. Perhaps this is because my niche for large camp choppers is already occupied by my kukri and hatchet, which are both more natural choppers for me. But I do miss the grivory handles on the BK-2, simply the best, most comfortable and usable handles I've found on a large knife.

I ended up giving my BK-2 to a buddy of mine who's ex-military and travels around a lot, for his truck. I give it to him, he opens the box, takes out the knife and unsheathes it, then hefts it in his hand. And says: "What the %&% am I going to do with this?"

I said, "Anything you want! Nothings going to stop that thing." I guess that kind of covers it.

Prairiewolf
07-03-2012, 06:55 PM
I share the view of GunGuy and others. It was my first Becker - got it for about $60. I really wanted to be wowed by its performance. But it's too thick for anything that I do with a knife, too dull, too heavy. I have a BK7 and a BK5 that are excellent pieces, both now housed in excellent kydex sheaths from Chestnut Ridge Knife Shop, Latrobe, PA. I just don"t know what the BK2 will ever do for me.

Two Bears
07-04-2012, 02:16 AM
I just bought 3 Ka-bar Becker knives, I don't have any of them yet but the BK2 is not one of them. I bought an SRK instead, I don't like the blade geometry of the BK 2 or its size. I also don't understand, how in the world can a plastic sheath dull a steel blade, I dunno doesn't make any sense to me but OK.

Switchblade
07-05-2012, 07:28 PM
.... I also don't understand, how in the world can a plastic sheath dull a steel blade, I dunno doesn't make any sense to me but OK.

I think, perhaps it's because that "plastic" is not simple plastic, but rather some version of fiber reinforced nylon. And the "reinforcing" fiber could be glass, among other materials. (But I believe Ka-Bar/Becker took care of this problem already.)