Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review: Kershaw Bear Hunter II [Fixed Blade Knife]

Official Specs

  • 8Cr13mov Steel 
  • Full flat ground (FFG) blade
  • Co-polymer Handle
  • Blade length 4 1/2 inches (11.4 cm)
  • Total Length 9 1/2 inches (24.4 cm)
  • Weight 5.3 Ounces
  • Real Leather Sheath

My review sample was purchased from Amazon.com.

Design


This is your standard fixed blade, drop point camping / hunting knife with a real leather sheath and rubberized handle. One thing that stands out though is its full flat grind (FFG) blade with the aggressive jimping on the back. It's a simple, practical, design.

Blade


The drop point blade is a full flat ground (FFG) made of 8Cr13mov Chinese steel. This is the same steel used on other great budget knives like the Spyerco Tenacious. The flat grind is well suited to camping tasks. There's nice, aggressive jimping on the back of the blade. As you can see in the pictures below, the blade has a nice thickness to it and it feels as solid as it looks in the pictures.

Handle


The handle is made of "co-polymer", whatever that is. It's basically injection molded synthetic rubber. It has a nice, grippy feel to it, even with wet hands. The contoured fingers are OK but not as good as I had hoped. The handle has a solid feel, but bordering on awkward. I guess the problem is that the handle is just a tad too big for my medium sized hands. But it's still perfectly acceptable, and forgivable since the knife is so light. The little bit of extra handle isn't reflected in the weight. All things considered, I wish the handle was a little smaller.

Sheath


The sheath I believe is real leather. It's obviously not high end leather, but it's remarkably good for how cheap the knife is. The leather itself is decent quality and the stitching is decent too. It's plenty thick, and the clasp has a good fit to it.

First Impressions


The first time I held a $15 Mora, I was amazed at how good a cheap knife could be. Is the Mora perfect? Hardly. And neither is this knife, but it gives me the same wow factor that the Mora did. I do like the "scandi grind" of the Mora, and it's easy for a novice to put a scary-sharp edge on it, but the flat grind is just more useful for common tasks.


Fit And Finish


Overall, excellent. The stitching on the sheath isn't 100% perfect, and the blade on mine came with a decent edge but nothing spectacular. Small imperfections of the grind - all things that you'd be surprised not to be on a $25 knife. Nothing really major except mine seems to have either come with a few light scratches on the flat of the blade, or somehow I made them by gently unsheathing it. Some grit in the sheath maybe? They aren't getting any worse, so I am not worrying about it.

This knife is a tank, and the scratches are a badge of honor.

Usability


While I have not taken this knife out in the woods yet, I have tested it extensively in the kitchen, since I intend for this knife to do lots of food prep while on camping trips.

Conclusions


This might just be the perfect camp knife I have been looking for. It's cheap, well-designed and pretty much indestructible. I'm so glad I stumbled upon the Bear Hunter II because at first glance it looks just like every other cheap Chinese fixed blade knife. One of the reasons I bought it was because someone had said it would be a better food prep knife than my Moras. Also, the fact that the Moras are not stainless steel didn't seem like such a big deal before I used them in the wilderness and brought them home looking a little thrashed. I think I'll just stick with stainless most of the time.


Gallery


Kershaw Bear Hunter II: Packaging
Basic, simple packaging

Kershaw Bear Hunter II: Model 1029
Dunno why they named it the 'bear hunter' ... seriously, bears are scary

Kershaw Bear Hunter II: Knife and sheath in packaging
Again, simple packaging. Nice touch with the silica gel

Kershaw Bear Hunter II knife and sheath out of packaging
It came with a little protector for the tip

Kershaw Bear Hunter II Grip 1
It's got a solid grip to it

Kershaw Bear Hunter II shown with Mora Companion
Shown with a Mora Companion

Kershaw Bear Hunter II shown with Mora Companion out of sheaths
Shown with a Mora Companion out of sheaths

Kershaw Bear Hunter II Grip 2
It's got a great feel but notice the handle sticks out about an inch from my medium sized hands

Kershaw Bear Hunter II stuck into deck
You're not a knife blogger until you take a picture of it stuck into something wooden

Kershaw Bear Hunter II on deck
The handle is a little big for the blade, but overall this is a solid knife

Kershaw Bear Hunter II in sheath on deck
The sheath is surprisingly good. I didn't expect a sheath this good on a $25 knife

Kershaw Bear Hunter II cutting the cheese :)
Sophomoric humor goes here

Kershaw Bear Hunter II dicing onions
This is a good food prep knife, as you would expect with the FFG blade

From top: Cold Steel GI Tanto, Kershaw Bear Hunter II, Mora Clipper
From top: Cold Steel GI Tanto, Kershaw Bear Hunter II, Mora Clipper

From top out of sheath: Cold Steel GI Tanto, Kershaw Bear Hunter II, Mora Clipper
From top out of sheaths: Cold Steel GI Tanto, Kershaw Bear Hunter II, Mora Clipper

Kershaw Bear Hunter II closeup of sheath - front
Closeup of the front of the sheath

Kershaw Bear Hunter II closeup of sheath - back
Closeup of the back of the sheath - notice the belt loop

Kershaw Bear Hunter II closeup of blade
Closeup of the blade with the best steel China has to offer

Kershaw Bear Hunter II closeup of blade scratches
Dunno how it got these scratches. I've been fairly easy on it

Kershaw Bear Hunter II jimping on spine
Love the jimping on the back of the blade

Kershaw Bear Hunter II - closeup of blade versus Mora Clipper
The blade is a good bit thicker than the Mora Clipper

Kershaw Bear Hunter II in cargo pocket
It fits nicely into my cargo pocket for EDC around the property

7 comments:

  1. Very nice & detailed review man! Loved the comparison pics!! I'm wanting a beat around budget knife & you just sold me lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By the way Mark, if u get time, check out my knife reviews on YouTube...Just google: joey owen...I should be the 1st to show in the search results. God Bless.

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    2. Thanks, I'll check it out. And yeah, the Bear Hunter is definitely an under-rated blade. Mine lives in my office desk drawer and I use it for everything, especially if I reach into my pockets and don't find a pocket knife :)

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    3. Thanks to you too sir for checking out my channel. It's not Pro, but maybe u will find something useful in one of my vids...

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  2. I need this knife for hunting ! can you tell me what is its price?

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    Replies
    1. I got mine for about 20 bucks from Amazon. It's probably a decent knife for hunting, especially if you have large hands.

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