Bark River Mini Northstar!!!!!

Joined
May 19, 2006
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3,721
Hi all,

I had the pleasure of playing with my first Bark River today. Mike was gracious enough to sell me a mini northstar he had and I have to say: this knife rocks!

I'm much more of a slicer than a chopper, in terms of everyday usage. Sure, I like to throw knives into wood, but mostly I love a good slicer.

This little girl did not disappoint. As a matter of fact, it's the best slicer I've ever had.

Being in foodservice, I test all slicers on food. Below are some pics I just took in my kitchen, messing with some squash.

A nice before pic of the squash and the barkie, happily coexisting. Little did the squash know....

mmillerlittleone008.jpg


The barkie sliced this one down the middle like a hot knife through butter...

mmillerlittleone009.jpg


Fine slicing is really where this knife excels. Look how thin these slices are...

mmillerlittleone010.jpg


Then, I had a little fun. I sliced the squash as thin as I could and then overlaid it on a piece of paper with BFC written on it to see if I could read it...

mmillerlittleone013.jpg


After the veggie, I took it to paper to see if I could make fine curls. NO PROBLEM!!!!

mmillerlittleone015.jpg


I'm REALLY IMPRESSED! As a matter of fact, I'm so impressed, I'm now contemplating my next BRKT....great, like I needed another company to drool over....

Thanks for looking.

Brett
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,093
Nice review, Brett. You didn't waste any time getting one banged out!:thumbup:

The Mini-Northstar is just about perfect. It's compact and light enough for unobtrusive carry but will surprise you in the field. The MNS was my first stainless knife that not only did not disappoint me but it impressed me as being better than a number of production CS blades I have owned. I was making a fire once and batoning some kindling out of a chunk of wood when it dawned on me that I had just beat the snot out of my MINI-Northstar and not my Nothstar:eek:. I don't know what I was thinking - I guess just NOT thinking but the little knife stood up to the pounding. It's definitely one of those you could count on in a tight spot but is a pleasure to use daily, in the kitchen or as an EDC.

Nice catch, Brett.

EDIT: Oh, and as for your "next BRKT," god luck with that. There's so many to choose from that I went through a full two dozen trying out as many as appealed to me. I have kept a few and for my own uses, the Canadian Special is tops but the Kephart is about even. I also have a Mikro-Canadian and Pro-scalpel left, either of which are simply amazing little knives and can be tucked away about anywhere.

Second Edit: So, did you ever EAT that squash or did you kust play with it?
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
3,721
thanks Jeff. i am really smitten with it. I didn't even realize it was SS untiil you mentioned it. I'm shocked to be honest!

Well, I plan on having some more fun with this one...;)

what should I get next????????

brett

Nice review, Brett. You didn't waste any time getting one banged out!:thumbup:

The Mini-Northstar is just about perfect. It's compact and light enough for unobtrusive carry but will surprise you in the field. The MNS was my first stainless knife that not only did not disappoint me but it impressed me as being better than a number of production CS blades I have owned. I was making a fire once and batoning some kindling out of a chunk of wood when it dawned on me that I had just beat the snot out of my MINI-Northstar and not my Nothstar:eek:. I don't know what I was thinking - I guess just NOT thinking but the little knife stood up to the pounding. It's definitely one of those you could count on in a tight spot but is a pleasure to use daily, in the kitchen or as an EDC.

Nice catch, Brett.

EDIT: Oh, and as for your "next BRKT," god luck with that. There's so many to choose from that I went through a full two dozen trying out as many as appealed to me. I have kept a few and for my own uses, the Canadian Special is tops but the Kephart is about even. I also have a Mikro-Canadian and Pro-scalpel left, either of which are simply amazing little knives and can be tucked away about anywhere.
 
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
3,721
fried it up nice and brown with some butter, sea salt, and garlic.

It was very yummy....:)

Brett
Nice review, Brett. You didn't waste any time getting one banged out!:thumbup:

The Mini-Northstar is just about perfect. It's compact and light enough for unobtrusive carry but will surprise you in the field. The MNS was my first stainless knife that not only did not disappoint me but it impressed me as being better than a number of production CS blades I have owned. I was making a fire once and batoning some kindling out of a chunk of wood when it dawned on me that I had just beat the snot out of my MINI-Northstar and not my Nothstar:eek:. I don't know what I was thinking - I guess just NOT thinking but the little knife stood up to the pounding. It's definitely one of those you could count on in a tight spot but is a pleasure to use daily, in the kitchen or as an EDC.

Nice catch, Brett.

EDIT: Oh, and as for your "next BRKT," god luck with that. There's so many to choose from that I went through a full two dozen trying out as many as appealed to me. I have kept a few and for my own uses, the Canadian Special is tops but the Kephart is about even. I also have a Mikro-Canadian and Pro-scalpel left, either of which are simply amazing little knives and can be tucked away about anywhere.

Second Edit: So, did you ever EAT that squash or did you kust play with it?
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
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1,093
....what should I get next????????

brett

That's what I was saying about "good luck." It's hard to choose. If you see any you like, let me know and I will tell you what I can about them. I reviewd several on another forum. The Northstar and Fox River are tough to beat but the thing that eventually caused me to go another direction is the curved spine (which is not as pronounced on the MNS) and the way the handles taper toward the ricasso. If either of those, especially the Northstar, had a straighter spine, I would probably still be using it. There are (intentiaonally) elements of the MNS and E.L.K in the ones I designed recently but I straightened it out and added other features. The CS is boringly capable. I don't use it because, realistically, I wouldn't need any other 4" knife if I just stuck with that one. Wait on the Kephart. In about a month the new full-tang version will be out. Mike is swapping me one for my 1st Production Run due to a handle issue on mine - something happened to it before I got it and he insisted on replacing it with the new model. He's a real stand-up guy when it comes to warranty and his warranty is incredible. The Fox' is great save for the spine and handle thing but I prefer a spearpoint myself - not a big issue. I may be the only one to not like the spine and handle thing so, you may like them. Kevin Estella is a big fan on the Fox' and I think he knows a thing or two about the outdoors.:D

OK, I better shut up. Hit me up and I will tell you what I can - objectively. I will dig up pics if I have them.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
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Nice knife Brett, I had my eye on the mini northstar for awhile, and your not making it easy on me to say no!
 
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Mar 21, 2006
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10,035
right on brett...:thumbup: i'm glad you like it man.. it's a crazy sharp knife for sure...:eek: as with all barkies...
 
Joined
May 19, 2006
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Yep! Wish it was A2 though. But just because I like patinas!

I was really surprised that it's not CS. It slices like a freaking dream. I whittled some wood today and it worked like a charm.

a great little knife.

brett
 
Joined
Dec 20, 2004
Messages
3,863
I have the regular size Northstar, which I like very much. I bet the mini is just as good. For food use, I was thinking of getting a Lil Nessy because I thought the pronounced belly would be useful for slicing. However, the Northstar seems able to do everything I've used it for so far.
 

lmalterna

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Joined
Dec 12, 2002
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3,596
I recently got into BRKT- have the Golok, Aurora and a first production Fox River. The Little Creek or Mini Northstar are next. The Fox River and Aurora make it tough to choose which I like better. Do you think the MNS would work as a necker or pocket sheath knife? Thinking of the MNS as a do it all small knife.

2Door
 
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Feb 14, 2008
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1,093
I was really surprised that it's not CS....brett


Guess I should have kept my big mouth shut.:eek: Hope I didn't ruin it for you.
Have no fear about that 12C27. I don't know if it's the steel, what Mike does with it or (more likely) BOTH, but you would not have convinced me it was stainless based on its performance. I honestly thought it was a bit of misinformation floating around until I looked a little harder. The Mini-Montana Guide (MMG), Pro-Scalpel, Mikro-Canadian II an Kephart are all 12C27, I have or have had each and I'm telling you that you will have a completely new view of "stainless steel" after using this puppy for a bit. My Keppy, I still have and it us a wonderful blade. The MMG was so close to being the perfect 4" fixed blade it wasn't funny but the blade was too short, handle too long. Hard to find too. I still have a Pro-Scalpel and, believe me, it is appropriately named.

Any way, back to 12C27 and the MMG - holds an edge like I have never seen "stainless" do, takes an edge easily and it stood up to some serious pounding as the MMG was my "heavy use" knife at the time. By the time I decided to move any of these, which I had used quite hard, they still looked NEW after a quick couple swipes on some 600 or 800 grit. I can't promise that "12C27" in and of itself assure such performance but, the way it comes from BRKT, it's amazing.
 
Joined
Feb 14, 2008
Messages
1,093
I ...... Do you think the MNS would work as a necker or pocket sheath knife? Thinking of the MNS as a do it all small knife.

2Door

It will work as both a necker or pocket sheath. I have done sheaths for both modes and they worked out great - leather or Kydex, either way. This is a very versatile knife. The Little Creek (LC) is a sweety as well. just smaller and mor concealable/portable but, obviously not going to be as comfortable for big jobs/extended use. MNS is more practical for all 'round use but the LC is a gem as well and makes a good "second blade" while the MNS can stand on its own. I personally see the LC as a backup to a 4" blade or EDC where the sight of a knife could induce panic where the MNS is capable of overlapping the LC and the 4" blade functions. That is my own personal perspective so sort it out on your own as to whether that logic suits your own requirements.
 
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May 19, 2006
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Jeff,

No sweat on that. I'm not a steel snob by any stretch. I just didn't expect it to be ss.

Brett
Guess I should have kept my big mouth shut.:eek: Hope I didn't ruin it for you.
Have no fear about that 12C27. I don't know if it's the steel, what Mike does with it or (more likely) BOTH, but you would not have convinced me it was stainless based on its performance. I honestly thought it was a bit of misinformation floating around until I looked a little harder. The Mini-Montana Guide (MMG), Pro-Scalpel, Mikro-Canadian II an Kephart are all 12C27, I have or have had each and I'm telling you that you will have a completely new view of "stainless steel" after using this puppy for a bit. My Keppy, I still have and it us a wonderful blade. The MMG was so close to being the perfect 4" fixed blade it wasn't funny but the blade was too short, handle too long. Hard to find too. I still have a Pro-Scalpel and, believe me, it is appropriately named.

Any way, back to 12C27 and the MMG - holds an edge like I have never seen "stainless" do, takes an edge easily and it stood up to some serious pounding as the MMG was my "heavy use" knife at the time. By the time I decided to move any of these, which I had used quite hard, they still looked NEW after a quick couple swipes on some 600 or 800 grit. I can't promise that "12C27" in and of itself assure such performance but, the way it comes from BRKT, it's amazing.
 

kgd

Joined
Feb 28, 2007
Messages
9,786
I've had my eye on this one for awhile. Thanks for the review.

Now if you want to really impress me with the mini-north food performance - do the same thing with butternut squash!!!!
 
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
3,721
I've had my eye on this one for awhile. Thanks for the review.

Now if you want to really impress me with the mini-north food performance - do the same thing with butternut squash!!!!

mmm...a challenge. I just might do that...:)

Brett
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
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6,325
Nice review. The Mini NS has always been my favorite Barkie, with the Little Creek a VERY close second.

Jeff
 
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