In the world of sharpshooters, the name Ka-Bar is almost synonymous with the knives of the US military. We all know their famous knife, the USMC Fighting / Utility Knife, which has become emblematic, used by the United States Marine Corps and has been in production since 1942 in the midst of the war. But not about this knife I want to talk today, but about another model, much more recently.
Over time, Ka-Bar has increased its number of models considerably, making it a fairly beloved series (the Becker Knives series), which was achieved through collaboration with the Becker Knife & Tool Company. About a knife in this series I want to talk about, “neck knife” Becker Necker, also known as BK-11.
Technical Specifications Of The Ka-Bar BK-11 Knife
- Total length: 17.2cm
- Blade length: 8.2cm
- Weight: 90.71g
- Blade thickness: 4mm
- Blade profile: “flat grind”
- Type of steel: 1095 carbon steel
- Handle: “skeletonized”
- Teacă: plastic (glass filled nylon)
The knife comes with a piece of black parachute cord, long enough to provide both a wrapping – for a more friendly grip – as well as a possible neck (by hanging it). For those who want to invest a little more in this knife, Ka-Bar also provides a thumb-shaped handle that is screwed together, as well as a sturdy metal clip that attaches to the sheath also with screws and ensures a very secure grip on the belt.
Unfortunately, the micrite handle, which I was told you can buy separately, costs just the knife, which does not make it very tempting. Also, for the most demanding and deeper pockets, the knife comes in the more expensive version, San Mai, made of laminated steel, where we have a layer of “Hitachi white steel” wrapped between two layers of “410 stainless steel”. This variant is almost double in price, and beyond the performance of steel, in my opinion, it is better and aesthetically.
Positive Aspects And Limits
Starting with what I like
First of all, the fact that it is small, compact, lightweight, but thick enough to seem perfectly designed to cope with and in case of more aggressive, abusive use.
Almost a small chisel, so it can also be struck with a thicker brace (batoning) to split a smaller diameter (suitable for the size of this small blade) or another branch. Batoning is anyway a relatively controversial issue amongst knower enthusiasts, so little care must be taken, especially when in the woods we can easily find branches of almost any size we want.
Even if it is a “full-tang” knife (where the blade continues with the handle) and does not pose the problem of a vulnerable transition area, that does not mean that a knot could not come up with the blade and wake up, so with a scumbag of all beauty. Being a “flat grind” blade, the portion next to the cut is considerably thinned.
Steel must also be mentioned in the pluses. It is made of steel that has proven its potential over time, representing an excellent compromise between retaining a suitable cut and resisting use (chipping/bending). It is very easy to pinch. We do not even need a sophisticated and expensive stone to sharpen it. We can go to any auto shop to take a few 500/1000 grain sandpaper and ready, we’ve got everything we need to get a cut or to repair micro-cracks that can occur under certain conditions. Then we can give it a bit on the inside of a strap and we should be in front of a satisfactory cut. Besides, it’s not a knife for carving, so you do not have to shave your hair just like a razor,
Also on the plus side, I like the shape too. We must be honest and accept that the first criterion when we are considering buying a knife, is the aesthetic factor. What the knife looks like, what we’re talking about, how we see it.
As in most cases, the beauty here is in the eye of the viewer. Some prefer a particular type of blade or handle, others altogether and differently, and these preferences go beyond the functionality often. Personally, I really like how this knife is presented, even though the shape is not necessarily ideal in terms of ergonomics – which I will talk a little bit further about.
To put it right, I like more than the Eskabar mentioned above, although I am aware that Eskabar’s handle offers a better fit and that its shape – in relation to the blade – makes it possible to apply a higher force in use.
I find it very interesting that it is a knife that we can easily customize even if we are deprived of any skill. A little imagination to be. If we have some dicking hands and something aesthetic feel, the better. Even choosing the color of the parody and its winding pattern can make the difference.
Besides, with a little patience, we can get rid of that black coat with which the Ka-Bar blades covered the wine with the idea of being protected from rust. In military or tactical ones, the role of this layer is also to prevent light from being reflected at night. As you can see in the pictures, such a make-up (patina) I did, because I thought it would give it an aesthetic plus. I got to the shade and pattern after I sank it in vinegar for two hours and then applied the common mustard for a few minutes. Vinegar contains acetic acid and forms an oxide film that, beyond the old, archaic aspect, is intended to make rust formation difficult. Very interesting patterns, even in relief, can also be obtained by dipping into hydrochloric or even sulfuric acid (they are much more corrosive).
Last but not least, I will mention here that there are two tools in the “queue” that seem to do their job satisfactory (visible in the last picture). It’s a “wire cutter” and a cap cutter. To cut the wire, insert the knife (in the sheath) with the wire in the wire that we want to cut and then move it until the wire gets weaker and finally crashes.
The Stuff I Didn’t Like
When it comes to the lesser parts of a tool, I think it’s easier for us to be objective. Such a minus, not too big, I would say, would be the fact that it is not an ergonomic knife (at least not with a parody version). The lower portion, where the index finger lies, gently “thrusts”, and the fact that the blade is so wide makes it difficult to present itself to the carved chapter.
If we do not have a comparison term, it is possible that this issue does not leap even so much in our eyes, but if we compare it to any Mora model, let’s say, we will find a huge difference. The problem here is the design of the blade. From my experience, the blades that bite the lightest of wood, with less effort, are the least lean and where the blade comes in line with the handle. I said it was not a very big minus just because it was not a knife for carving. It seems rather like a back-up knife, like a knife to cut/punch anything we have to cut/pierce without excellence in a task or another.
And now I’m going to review the biggest flaw of this knife.
In fact, improperly said defect of the knife, because it is about his sheath. It is relatively aesthetically successful in the sense that it is carefully crafted, has multiple holes through which we can slip a piece of parody for different ways of wearing, but it is slightly big compared to the knife and the material from which it is made leave it to be desired. As far as I’m concerned, I think it would have been good if it had been a little smaller. It would have been more appropriate, considering the fact that we are dealing with a knife worn on the neck.
As for the material, nothing to say about its resistance, which I do not think anyone is challenging (actually, here’s the problem, it’s too loud), but it’s very easy to cut the edge. And when I say he’s chopping it, then he’s really coughing him, especially if he gets to play a little in the sheath. From what I saw, almost all Becker Necker users have reported this problem and complained about the unfortunate choice of the material. The problem is that it is reinforced with glass fiber. I noticed this shortcoming when I wore the knife a little longer in the sheath. I was introducing him super sharp, that is, how much to shave my hair, and when I was barely taking it out if he was cutting something. The most unpleasant surprise we had when I got out of the bike and wearing it,
Per total, a nice, elegant, neither expensive nor inexpensive knife made of the right steel for such a knife, which you should consider if you are a fan of knives. I will not give him a final note – everyone can judge and can come to his own conclusion based on the points highlighted during this review.