Review Bear Ops VIII balisong

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by stonproject, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. stonproject


    Nov 22, 2013
    Wanted to do a quick review on this knife. Myself, and many others have been burned by Bear Ops / Bear and Son in the past. Of the 3 balisongs I've owned by them, they all ended up being over priced garbage. Poor tolerances, deformed tang cups, tang pins not properly sized, the list of complaints from the community goes on with these knives. Bear and Son acquired the rights to the Bradley Kimura and did their own rerelease of the iconic balisong. And it was seriously, meh.

    I give this background info to create context as to why I approached this new batch of knives with trepidation, and why it seems they've turned a new leaf in their balisongs... Sort of.

    BladeHQ says the following : "Experience flipping action like never before—via the use of ball bearings, the Bear Song VIII has managed to obtain flawless, smooth motion while eliminating blade-play completely. That's right: the Bear Song VIII has no play in the blade whatsoever. "

    Out of the box, the knife in fact had zero handle play, but the action was too tight. After loosening the pivots, the action became extremely smooth, and the knife was still left very little handle play. Theres no blade tap/rub, and everything came already doused in oil and loctite.

    The blade has a nice satin finish, clean lines, and came with a very sharp edge, mostly. You see, either out of carelessness or a stroke of genius, they left the very first 1/4" or so of the blade unground. This was either a major flaw, or they did it with the intent of leaving the "flippers" less likely to get themselves if they did a twirl on the wrong handle. Either way, I was pretty disappointed to see this.


    It has a good size, bigger than it's obvious inspirations of the original Kimura series, and the Benchmade 6x series, but not as large as the other big names in the game, BRS, HOM, etc. It feels nice and substantial in the hand, it flips really nice, if thats your gig, but it's not as long as other balis made purely for tricks.


    The latch is spring loaded, just like the older benchmades. It pops open when you squeeze the handles together, and keeps the latch out of the way as you manipulate the knife. The safe handle uses a barrel spacer. The bite handle has the spring latch assembly, therefore the assembly itself acts as the spacer. If you squeeze the bite handle together, theres a tiny bit of play, but not that big of a deal.

    The pocket clip is small, and unobstrusive, but it's only drilled for the safe handle so it came off within minutes of coming out of the box.

    Overall, I feel like this is a quality knife, and a great entry level option into the balisong world, where quality options under $200 are almost non existant. I definitely wouldn't say Bear and Son/ Bear Ops have redeemed their reputation with this release, but a few more solid renditions such as this may give people a reason to give them another chance.

    Readyeseve, jux t, AntDog and 7 others like this.
  2. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    Thanks for the review, I was curious to see if they were going to step up with this new release. Granted, they basically only could go up from where they were.
    stonproject likes this.
  3. Hands


    Aug 17, 2018
    Logged back in from an inactive account to say "Thank You!"
    AntDog and stonproject like this.
  4. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    good review. as I post this only one I've found yet. thank you. decided to try one out.
    stonproject and AntDog like this.
  5. stonproject


    Nov 22, 2013
    Let me know how you like it
    jbmonkey likes this.
  6. jbmonkey

    jbmonkey Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 9, 2011
    got it today. i got the clip point version. been playing with it. fit and finish isnt bad at all for the price point. mine didn't come too tight. smooth flipping with no effort. I only do open and closed type flipping. no real tricks I ain't skilled like that.

    little to no play on handles, etc. has the same unsharpened area yours does. blade came with decently done bevels point and edge. no sharpening needed right it of the box . biggest complaint so far for me is the spring folding latch spring looks cheap and an afterthought. no big deal though.

    15793706310113555158464336765958.jpg 15793706746551973923180308174310.jpg

    who knows if it will last, looking forward to the new kershaw one, but in the meantime.....glad to see more entry/mid levels back available again that from initial appearance dont seem to be so bad.

    I'm gonna carry and use mine to cut with and see how it holds up heat treat wise and how the bearing do from use besides just open and close flipping.
    Readyeseve and stonproject like this.
  7. stonproject


    Nov 22, 2013
    I've been flipping the hell out of mine, dropped it a dozen or so times pretty hard, still running perfect. I'm very interested to hear how the blade holds up to actual use and not just being played with :D
    jux t and jbmonkey like this.

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