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Review: Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion

November 2, 2011

Knives, Recommended Purchases, Reviews

The Ka-Bar BK2 Companion Knife

Before making most any purchase, I enjoy thoroughly researching a product. I go online and look for unbiased reviews of the item, I visit Amazon.com to look at how other consumers have rated it, and if possible I go to local retailers to touch and feel the item I’m considering.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I was a kid. I’d seen a cool new toy advertised on Saturday morning and I had to have it. I didn’t care what others, including my parents, said about its quality and fun-factor. I had to have. So I saved my money and bought the biggest piece of expensive junk toy that you can imagine. Fortunately, my mother returned it for me and I didn’t have to live with the consequences of my blind wants. But I learned the lesson nevertheless.

So, now I research thoroughly.

And that’s what I did before buying the latest addition to my survival tool chest: the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion.

“And the Survey Says”

In the weeks and months prior to buying the BK2, I researched fixed blade knives from a variety of sources. And then, fortuitously, one of the blogs that I really enjoy reading regularly had a very helpful review. Jarhead Survivor, over on the SHTFBlog.com, compared a Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Knife to his trusty BK2. I took notice.

And I also viewed Amazon.com to see how it was rated by people who’d purchased the knife. It received 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 200 reviews. Pretty good. Digging into the reasons behind the lower rated reviews, I discovered that many were due to a cheap sheath. Other’s didn’t like the thickness of it and its weight.

I decided to take a chance.

The BK2 Companion Specifications

The knife is impressive. The first thing you’ll likely notice is that its spine is a full 1/4 inch thick. That’s incredibly thick for a knife blade. It’s made from 10-95 Cro-Van steel, a hard blade that holds an edge very well. The blade is 5.25 inches and the overall length is 10.5 inches.

Many of the Amazon reviewers commented on the knife’s ergonomically designed handle. I’d have to agree. The handle is very comfortable in your hand; it feels good. But should you decide that it’s not for you, it can be removed and replaced with another custom handle of your choosing. The knife, of course, has a full tang.

To round out the specifications, the knife blade is a drop point and has a 20 degree edge.

My Experience

Since receiving the knife, I haven’t had a chance to give it a full workout. But I have used it to do some normal, around the homestead activities. I’ve used it to harvest and process three turkey and a goat. And while the blade is generally a bit thick and deep for some of the finer work, it handled. The edge maintained its sharpness very well, even while slicing through the fatty portions of the animals and the teflon-like, fibrous sinew.

Over time, I’ll give it more of a workout. I expect to be able to use it to split relatively small pieces of fire, up to 4 inches in diameter so, along with other camping and survival activities.

So my initial impressions are that the reviews that I’ve read are spot on – the BK2 Companion is a good, well-made knife that will be with you for a long time.

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24 Comments on “Review: Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion”

  1. Beck Says:

    I remember that “cool new toy” aka “piece of junk” well. I’m thankful that remembering that lesson has paid off. It was a difficult lesson for a young boy. I’m sure you have shared the lesson with your children several times.

    Can’t wait to see your new knife. I know, after all the research, you will be satisfied with your purchase for many years.

    Reply

  2. dustintarditi Says:

    BK2 is a fine knife cursed with a cheap sheath and slippery handles. Many upgrade the handles to canvas micarta and get a quality aftermarket sheath – at which point, you have almost spent as much as purchasing an ESEE 5 (could be a kissing cousin) which has a lifetime no-hassle guarantee.

    Lots of people love their Ka-Bar/Beckers, and I’m not here to knock them – just go in with your eyes wide open.

    The geometry, grind, thickness, weight, and other fundamental properties of the knife are simple to find out beforehand – people who are surprised by them should probably not be handling sharp things anyway.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Hi dustintardltl –

      Thanks for mentioning these.

      You know, I’d read so many negatives reviews on the sheath and my expectations were so low that anything better something that would come in a happy meal would have exceeding what I was expecting. I don’t think the sheath is good, but I do wonder if they’ve improved it some as result of all the negative reviews. Or perhaps I just haven’t worn it enough to know.

      As for the handles, you’re right. They can be slippery, especially when wet. I should have mentioned that in the review.

      Joe

      Reply

    • ChrisC Says:

      Yes, everyone and their grandmother likes to toss out that “by the time you’ve upgraded the handles and the sheath, you’ve spent as much as you would have on an ESEE 5” line, along with the “no-hassle guarantee/warranty” bit. I’ve seen what issues have come up with folks’ BK-2s handled by Ethan Becker himself on his forum at BFC. And if not him, then “Tooj”, who works for Ka-Bar. So far, I haven’t seen any warranty issues posted there that haven’t been resolved, and rather quickly, too.

      As for the handles, I’ve seen & read enough reviews of the ESEE knife, by people who’ve owned or used both, to know that the ergonomics of the two knives are not the same. Some people prefer the shape & feel of the Becker grip, some prefer the ESEE. So it’s not just a matter of buying the knife that comes with micarta handle scales and a sheath that some feel is superior. Personally, I’m happy with the handle on the BK-2 and just added a little grippiness and cushioning by slipping on some ranger bands, a.k.a. bicycle inner tube. Didn’t cost me nearly as much as getting micarta.

      Reply

  3. Jeff Says:

    That looks like a good quality knife, but being an old Marine I still stick with my USMC Ka-Bar!! Hooo Rah!!

    Thank you for the review

    Reply

  4. David Farley Says:

    I have the BK3 (and love it so far). I’ve used it literally as a replacement for a hatchet. The reason I mention the BK3 in this discussion regarding the BK2 is that they have the same handle. And I would like to present for consideration one unforeseen possible VERY negative for this knife.

    I was splitting small- and medium-sized kindling for use this winter the other day, and really enjoyed another opportunity to use the BK3. It handled marvelously, and with very little hand fatigue surprisingly. After the job was done, while picking up all of the pieces from the ground, I noticed that one of the bolts was missing from the handle! When [miraculously] I found both the bolt and the nut, I eagerly went to task putting it back in the handle.

    One problem: they use a HEX NUT in the handle.

    I realized that this could be a very bad thing if lacking access to modern tools for whatever reason. This might be a simple fix (replacing the hex bolts with slotted), however it should be taken into consideration when making a purchase.

    Bottom line in my opinion is it’s a very solid knife that I would love to have in duplicate. Would I recommend a Ka-Bar/Becker to a friend? Absolutely, however I would highly recommend replacing the bolts as quickly as possible (do not procrastinate on any prep that you can make today… we’re not guaranteed a normal tomorrow).

    Hope this is useful to at least one person.

    G’day.

    – David

    Reply

    • colt45 Says:

      i would not advise trying to put different bolts in you will likely strip the threads and be unable to replace the handles.

      Reply

    • Tom Says:

      Why cant a person put in some lock washers in the handle to prevent the nuts from backing out? I could be missing something concerning the problem. However, that is what I plan to do.

      Reply

  5. john Says:

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    Reply

  6. renee Says:

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    Reply

  7. rhys Says:

    great knife! worth the price……. tough as nails and it will get any job done for sure!!!

    Reply

  8. Frank D Slovenec (@TshirtFrank) Says:

    The BK2 is still my go too after years of buying knives, you cant beat it. No knife that I own in that size range will beat it in a chopping test or even just cutting small stuff. It is awesome!

    I actually replaced the sheath on mine with a skystorm leather sheath. The sheath was like 100 bucks or so but it is made to order, custom and freaking awesome. For me it was worth it as it will undoubtedly last a life time.

    Overall this knife is a heck of a deal.

    Cheers,

    Frank

    Buy Becker BK2 Knives and accessories.

    Reply

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