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Swamp Rat vs Becker?

Discussion in 'Swamp Rat Knives' started by taiChiFighter, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. taiChiFighter


    Aug 20, 2011
    For a hard use survival knife can anyone explain the practical advantages, other than prestige, of a Swamp Rat (rodent 6 or similar) over a Becker BK-7? I posted the same question on the Becker forum so that I can cross reference and eliminate the "bias" that is bound to effect the responses I get.
  2. leatherman

    leatherman leathermoderator Moderator

    Nov 30, 2001
    No bias here, I have both. :) Under use, you wont notice any difference.

    As far as looks goes, its personal preference, I like both, but some like either one or the other.

    The BK7, the one I had was a Camilus version, was fantastic! The closest to it I can think of is the Camp Tramp. If I had to decide on one or the other, then no, I couldn't. Both have their pros and cons.

    In short, I wont tell you one is better than the other, and I hope no one here will tell you such, I see them as equals on a playing field, none either better than the other.

    Sorry I am of no help, its been a long weekend. :p
  3. Gravelface

    Gravelface Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 8, 2005
    I would compare another 7" model, like Leatherman stated, the Camp Tramp is excellent and the grip is very comfortable. Or the new 711 or Chopweiler. Maybe something will get released at Blade this weekend.

    Believe me, you don't get a Swamp Rat for prestige. Its for practicality.

    Enjoy them both, I have had a few Beckers along the way. The BK9 was very affordable excellent knife. But I own more Rats.......for a reason.;)
  4. wildmike


    Nov 17, 2007
    The handles on the Becker are far less ergonomic than the Swamprats. The Swamprat's will take and hold an edge better. Swamprat has a better guarantee and customer service. I prefer Swamprat's designs as well.

    In use both will do the job.
  5. RUNIT


    Mar 26, 2011
    There is the same thread in the Becker forum.

    Should have just posted this in General and not the sub-forums in question. I'm just sayin'.
  6. Maddogg774


    Sep 19, 2011
    I would trust sr101 far more than 1095, it's a better steel.
  7. leatherman

    leatherman leathermoderator Moderator

    Nov 30, 2001
    Yep, agreed to a point, but it is interesting to read the responses in both forums.

    Here, and in the Busse sister forums you will get more crossover owners.
  8. bobbystoney


    Dec 13, 2010
    I have owned a lot of Beckers and a lot of Swamp Rats and I know what I like better. Opinions vary though and that is why we get to choose from so many awesome knives.

    As for practical advantages? They both cut and stab just fine.
  9. taiChiFighter


    Aug 20, 2011
    I appreciate the thoughtful attempts at objectivity. I actually didn't expect it.
  10. elof_alv

    elof_alv Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2009
    You were expecting Becker trashing? See, the difference is that the Busse & kin folks arrive to those knives in a journey, where Beckers are more of a first love kinda thing, you can buy them off the shelf without braking the bank... So, if you ask for performance to price ratio, well Beckers will win, if you ask about performance...
    I've been beating on SYKCO 711 in SR-101 today guilt fee for a few hours in total, have BK9 in the car and did not bother taking it out.
    Are they good knives? Sure, they are... But the personal preference will always make qthe difference.
    There was a thread on Becker sub forum few months ago about choosing BK9 or 711 and the SYKCO took a huge beating, why? might have something to do with some guys there having to save up for the Becker - Price seamed to be the biggest factor, lack od sheath the second...
  11. leatherman

    leatherman leathermoderator Moderator

    Nov 30, 2001
    I saw that as well, but for sheaths being a breaking point seems redundant, there's an awful lot of sheath makers over there keeping busy. Why not save a few bucks and put it towards the sheath of your choice?
  12. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    I have had both and now only have one--Swamp Rat. For me, $ was a non-factor as well as the fact that the Swamp Rat did not come with a sheath. The lifetime no-questions-asked Swamp Rat warranty did merit some consideration, but not much given that I did not intend to ever use either knife such that I would need the warranty. Instead, the deciding factor for me was the handle ergos, which I found to be better with Swamp Rats. I would agree with others that the Becker, from a blade function and durability standpoint, probably does offer more "bang for the buck", but I could not justify having 80% of what I wanted in a handle when I could have 100%, even if it meant twice the price.
  13. clich


    Apr 19, 2011
    I'm a cross over owner. and my input is the same. its apples and oranges in my opinion. there are models from both that I don't like (bk7 does nothing for me and the rodent series handles turn me off) and there are models from both that I can't live without. the m6 and the bk5 being my two all time favorite knives. I lost both recently due to divorce but like some said the Becker was easily obtained (two were actually gifted to me by two guys on the Becker forum) and the m6 is going to be A LOT harder to acquire again. apples and oranges. I also have an hrlm and a bk16 that swap time as my edc fixed in my pack and a 311 gets some time as well. you be better served to try a few out and see for yourself.
  14. chiral.grolim

    chiral.grolim Universal Kydex Sheath Extension Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Dec 2, 2008
    Comparing Specs and companies for similar knives, SYKCO 711 vs BK-7, with the addition of a sheath the price for a 711 is 2x > BK-7.
    SR101 is superior to 1095 in toughness and edge-retention but not as easy to sharpen. The 711 handle is more comfortable and secure - superior ergonomics and insulation against impact-shock/vibration as well as heat/cold, provides better grip in all environmental conditions, never heard of one coming loose. The 711 blade-coating is more durable. The Bussekin warranty has no exclusions regarding use of the knife and there isn't a fanboy culture of trashing customers or competitors. And finally, the Bussekin blade will retain its original value with greater stability.

    So those are the advantages of getting the upgrade to a Becker. But is it worth 2X the price?? Well, I would definitely say NO if you have no intention or expectation of using the tool to a level where these differences would become blatantly clear. Also, if the Becker handle is uncomfortable you can modify it to your preferences with less trepidation about ruining an expensive knife. The balance of the knife and how it feels in your hand in use should be major points of consideration imho. I rate Becker in the same category as Gerber & Buck - great quality USA-made knives (if you stick with those of the other two companies) for an affordable price (for most folks), wide distribution/availability, with Lifetime warranties. BUT, if the 711 feels better in hand or the various enumerated upgrades appeal to you, or if $160 doesn't seem that much harder to spend than $80 to get what you really want in a knife (and the Becker doesn't suit you), then, well, it's your money... and you can always resell the Bussekin later (and it may not be available forever) and still buy that Becker.

    My $0.02
  15. JoeRe


    May 12, 2005
    Had a BK7. Got into a throwing contest with my brother who was slinging a cheap Ontario machete. About my third throw the Becker blade snapped in half. Never has happened with my RMD.
  16. MikeyJ


    Apr 30, 2010
    If you're throwing a knife that isn't designed to be thrown, it's only a matter of time before it breaks. As far as I know, neither Swamp Rat or Becker has released a "throwing knife". Throwing knives, stars, etc. are heat treated to a lower/softer RC and can therefore sustain repeated impacts. Knives treated to a higher RC will eventually succumb.

    To the OP: My response here will be the same as the Becker forum (just a little shorter :D ): Buy either, or both, and if you're not satisfied, sell them. Both will sell quickly...I've never seen either last very long on the exchange. Both are excellent companies who produce excellent knives!!
  17. JoeRe


    May 12, 2005
    MikeyJ can baby his knives to his hearts content. Noss will tell you any knife can be broken. A knife that snaps against a tree is a knife that would snap too easily in other chores such as vigorous batoning IMHO. Hard use knife not to be thrown pretty much defines an oxymoron in my book.
  18. clich


    Apr 19, 2011
    Spoken like a true person who knows nothing about heat treat or physics
  19. MikeyJ


    Apr 30, 2010
    :rolleyes: Let's not derail this thread any further. If you would like to discuss the physics behind batoning vs. throwing, feel free to PM me.
  20. kdstrick

    kdstrick Gold Member Gold Member

    May 27, 2007
    If by 'hard use' you mean prying, batoning, chopping, and digging among other tasks. Sr101 (52100 with the busse heat treatment) will retain a better edge and is display more toughness than any 10 series steel. This is simply due to the properties of the steel. Plenty of other steel's are tougher than 52100, and others will hold a better edge. 3V comes to mind... The only limiting factor is the size of your wallet. All steel's are a compromise in the end. Trick is to find a good steel and heat treat that meets your needs.

    That being said, I've owned a couple of the older Camilus Beckers and thought they were good knives. And despite my best efforts, I've been unable to notice any appreciable wear on my Becker Necker's bottle opener. Love that thing... it's so cool. 1095 is a fine steel. I'm certain that Beckers are a very good value for a working man's buck. Frankly most folks won't ever push a knife to the point they will notice the difference between the two steels.

    But I do. I beat the snot out of mine. :D And for that reason, I spend a bit more because I like to know my knives can be pushed hard... and not fail.

    Take a look at the Scrapyard knife co's website. It's the same great steel that Swamp Rat uses but priced a bit less. http://shop.scrapyardknives.com/cat...B232F10226989617EED.qscstrfrnt06?categoryId=4

    Good luck with your choice. :thumbup:

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