-Price Paid: $57.00
-Used for Outdoor/Survival
-Owned for 3 months
Overall, I think The KaBar Becker BK-2 "Campanion" is an excellent knife. I was very happy to find that KaBar is producing the Becker designs again. I like this knife so much I recently bought a second one for a back up. I bought my first for about $57 from Amazon.com. I think this is an excellent field/utility knife that would also certainly serve well in a survival situation.
It's a very robust knife, just a hair under 1/4 inch thick, full tang*, weighs a little over a pound or so, holds an edge well, and it's not too hard to sharpen. It's made of 1095 steel, coated with a smooth black protective coating. I have the second version, which has the tang extended slightly beyond the handle into a pommel useful for pounding. This is a very solid knife which holds up well to: cutting, slicing, scraping, chopping, batoning, and even digging, prying, hammering, and cooking.
The original handle scales are black "Grivory," which is fiberglass impregnated nylon plastic, I believe. It's very light and strong and should be impervious to weather, but the handle scales are where I have my main criticisms. First, they are a comfortable shape and fit my hands well, but they are quite smooth. This can be easily fixed with some skateboard tape or other wrapping, or by scoring or checking the handle scales with a file or Dremel tool. Second, as many others have noted, the handle scales can come loose a little too easily. The scales are fixed to the knife with three hex-head bolts and nuts. Apparently these are not well-torqued at the factory. This can also be easily fixed in several different ways. Simply using a hex key wrench to tighten the bolts. Wrapping with tape or cord as I mentioned above also works. My solution was to remove the bolts and coat their threads with LockTite, then properly torque them down again. They haven't loosened at all since I did this.
The knife comes with a black Kydex sheath which holds the knife well and includes a nylon belt loop and retention snap strap, although the Kydex holds the knife very securely without the strap. The belt loop will fit belts up to five inches wide and is removable in case you want to attach the Kydex sheath to your gear with its grommets and slots. I believe the sheath would hold the knife securely without the retention strap even in a tip up position.
Finally, I'd like to add that although I'm very please with this knife as it came from the factory, I have modified it a bit. I replaces the handle scales with the Micarta version that KaBar sells about $40. They are a little heavier and of course they add quite a bit to the overall cost of the knife, but they do improve the grip, since they're "rougher" than the original Grivory scales. They fit perfectly with the original nuts and bolts, but as I said above I used LockTite on the bolts when I installed the Micarta grips. So far I'm very pleased with the improved grip. They also seem to slightly improve the sheath's grip on the knife, which was already very good. Of course, I also think they improve the appearance of the knife, giving it a more "organic" look and feel. I also added a short 550 cord lanyard.
*I said full tang above, and I believe it does meet this definition, but I did find, when I removed the scales, that the tang has two cutouts between the bolt holes. I suspect this was done to improve the balance of the knife. I don't believe this affects the structural strength of the knife at all.
I would like to hear others' thoughts on this knife, so I hope more will post here soon.