As an avid adventurer myself, I’m always on the lookout for a jack of all trades knife for the time I spend afield – a survival knife which should be robust, reliable and in times of distress, even lifesaving. Not every readily available survival knife however ticks all those boxes, sometimes to our dismay not even the ones which break the bank substantially. A good, albeit abstract, indicator of a knife’s quality would be the degree of attachment that the knife’s survivalist owner would have with it. As for me, I’m deeply attached with my Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife.
A Nearly Indestructible Tank Of A Knife
BLADE MATERIAL: Cro-Van Steel
BLADE LENGTH: 5.5 inches
WEIGHT: 16 ounces
REVIEW STARS: 4.7/5
The Indomitable Blade
Designed by Ethan Becker, the famous mountain-climber and survivalist, the BK2 is 10.5” long from tip to butt. The Companion’s fixed straight edged blade, which is 5.5” long, about 1.75” wide and roughly 6.4 millimeters thick, is forged with Cro-Van steel, which is similar to carbon steel but reinforced with a chromium-vanadium alloy – Chromium ensures stain resistance while Vanadium buttresses material strength. The surface of the blade, except the cutting edge itself, is covered in a very distinctive matte black coating to provide additional stain resistance. The blade is full tang and runs along the entire length of 10.5” and in through the handle so as to bolster the knife’s build thus enabling it to endure relentless hammering and chopping.
The blade ends in a curved sturdy tip which provides a solid drop point to the knife, making it ideal for poking, piercing and other bushcraft tasks like drilling. The blade has a flat grind with an edged angle of about 20° on either side of the blade and the straight edge makes it convenient to be whetted afield. At the rear end of the blade’s edge is a small cut-out which has dual functionality – as a choil, allowing the entire edge to be whetted without having to run into the knife’s handle and additionally as an integrated fire-steel striker to light a fire should the need arise.
From fine slicing to heavy-duty hacking, the BK2 cuts through everything with incredible ease and accommodates a wide range of survival and utility tasks – be it splitting out kindling or prying apart joints or skinning game.
It is worth noting that the BK2’s blade isn’t stainless steel and hence will rust should it be exposed to moisture over long periods of time. However, this can be thwarted by applying a thin coat of pure mineral oil on the blade’s surface. While this might count as a drawback, I’d say it is a fair trade-off considering the premium quality of the BK2.
A Worthy Handle To Complement The Blade
Fashioned out of Grivory – hardened glass filled nylon material – to lend additional durability, the handle slabs are locked in place using three quality hex-nuts, thereby making the handle a tailor-made complement to the BK2’s heavy duty blade. Ordinarily, a hard handle often proves unwieldy as it tends to slip away from the grip but the BK2’s slightly textured handle combines with its rounded wide ergonomic curves to make for an immaculately balanced grip. The front and rear guards on the handle provide further traction and keep the hand from getting slipped off the surface while the bulbous curves on the rear guard enables you to wrap your thumb and forefinger around the lower grip thus giving good leverage for chopping activities. The handle butt comprises a generous lanyard hole and an extended pommel which is impeccable at grounding hazelnuts, breaking stones and hammering tree barks for tinder.
A Premium Sheath To Boot
The BK2 Companion comes with a Kydex sheath of premium quality. The knife snaps nicely into place and the handle is secured with a nylon Strap-and-Snap. Along the edge of the sheath are six holes (three on either side) and four slots (two on either side) which can be used for latching onto a stick to be used as a spear or on a rifle to serve as a bayonet or for attaching additional accessories to the sheath. At the bottom of the sheath is a hole to drain any water that might have seeped in to keep the moisture away from the blade.
Bang For The Buck
Going for the price, the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is an optimal one-knife-solution kit for camping, hunting, backpacking, bushcraft, extreme adventures and for anyone who wants an outlandish tank of a utility knife. In my personal experience, in the $50-$100 price bracket, the BK2 is amongst the leaders of the pack and is as indestructible as a knife can get.