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Bear & Son Knives Any Good?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Guyon, Jan 11, 2009.

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  1. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    Ever since I saw this company's product in a Sierra Trading Post catalog, I've been a little intrigued by them. The factory is only about 45 minutes from where I grew up in east-central Alabama, and they appear to have a decent line of traditional knives. They also claim to take measures to keep production as "Made in the U.S.A." as possible.

    If anyone is just interested in a look, their Traditional line and their 4th Generation line offer a number of different slipjoints: http://www.bearandsoncutlery.com/ I may call the factory some time to see if they have a gift shop or, even better, offer tours of the plant.

    My questions: Has anyone here owned one of their knives? How good is the carbon steel? What is quality like as far as fit and finish?

  2. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    I have heard others say that they've been none too pleased by the fit&finish, but I can't speak from experience,yet.
  3. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    Well, I finally got a search to work and saw the same thing in several threads. Others purported that they were quite happy with a B&S knife. Two or three posts recommended hand selecting rather than ordering blindly.

    I still might try to stop by the factory some time. Since the knives are made so close to where I grew up, I'd like to own one, but I think I'd also like to pick it out myself.
  4. RobbW

    RobbW Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    I got one in damascus a few years ago. The steel was so soft I ended up gifting it to a non-knife nut friend. It would not hold an edge, or even take a sharp one. I didn't like it at all.

    I hope their quality improves, I'd like to have another made in the USA alternative, but for now B&S is not it.
  5. texbaz

    texbaz Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    Thanks for passing that info on. I had always thought they were the type of operation that distributed Chinese product. But, after reading their "About Bear & Son" in your thread and on the web page I couldn't be more wrong. I will definitely consider them for a purchase in the future.
  6. DVM


    Jan 29, 2006
    Bear has made some very nice knives.I think you need to see the knives in person.Some are better than some.The Stag on the knives can be great sometimes.
  7. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    I have a small stockman in oak
    The quality is so poor it is embarassing

    On the other hand, MooreMaker use them for their economy line
    And Mike Latham carries them

    Go figure!!
  8. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    In another thread, someone mentioned they were at Blade last year. For me, it might be worth stopping by their table this year and having a look.
  9. Berkley


    May 5, 1999
    I have a Moore Maker yellow Delrin small stockman made by Bear & Son. One of the bolsters stuck up so far above the frame that I finally took a file to it so I wouldn't have to feel the sharp transition. The scales don't mate up with the corners of the bolsters. The rest of the fit and finish is similar. The materials and design are OK, but the workmanship is inferior to any Rough Rider that I have seen. Maybe I just got one that slipped by quality control.
  10. Bastid

    Bastid Goat herding fool and resident vermin breeder. Staff Member Super Mod

    Feb 27, 2001
    I have owned a few in the past and was not impressed at all.
    Fit, finish and blade action were sub par even for the reasonable price.
  11. sunnyd


    Jul 17, 2004
    In the beginning they produced some really good quality knives. I got a fixed blade that was superb in every respect back in the early 1990's from a friend for Christmas. NKCA even used them for their Club Knives in 1993 if memory serves. I had one of these in Stag and it was also of very high quality..

    .. However, the recent slipjoints I've seen and handled by them are sub-par to say the least, compared to there early days of inception.

  12. navihawk


    Feb 21, 2006
    I have a need for pins. I like pins in my scales. They have some nice looking patterns, but they look unfinished without the pins.


    Jan 6, 2004
    It was fairly well put together. While looking at the blades I closed the second one I looked at and it came down squarely upon a liner and chopped the dickens out of it. I had a heck of a time digging the blade out of the liner with my thumbnail.
    Afterwards I sat down and wrote a nice letter to BEAR&SON telling them my problem and enclosed the filled out warrenty card.
    To the very moment I write these words I've yet to receive an answer to my letter. You can call me names, you can insult my ranchita, and I'll pretty much blow it off as the hot air it is; when you do not have the common decency to answer a pleasant letter explaining a problem I have with a product you made that I spent my money upon, you will be on my SHIQLIST forever and a day and someday you will pay, one way or the other.
  14. mckgreg


    Nov 18, 2001
    Forgot I had this "MGC" until I started reading this thread. Picked it up about 8 years ago and it wasn't new then. I liked the look of the stag and damascus together and it's built well. Tight, straight, flush and blade falls dead to center. Being a lockback ( 5 inch ) it should be easy enough to get most of it right. I haven't used it or tried to put an edge on it. The factory edge is ok but that doesn't tell you much. I read that Swiss Army bought Bear MGC in 1998 and it has since become Bear & Sons. I don't know if they still own it now or not. The "Bear" knives, whether "MGC" of the past or "Sons" has never been on the top of the list as far as I'm concerned. There were just too many of them that resembled parts stuck together and never finished.

  15. Ice Tigre

    Ice Tigre

    Dec 17, 2004
    I've had 2 trappers in damascus, one marked Bear and Son, and one from when they were Bear MGC...

    Great lack of spring snap, I'd say 3/4 of the spring that Case trappers tend to have... but great steel.. took razor edges and held for a while.. good fit, but not polished out super duper shiny like most other brands, but not rough finished either..

    I've seen some of the regular non damascus line and they seem to be a step down in fit... I'd hate to pay full retail for one, but they don't look extremely bad- hand picked would be good to do..

    I remember reading a couple years back that The original owners bought it back(or maybe just tried to) from the Swiss Army folks...

  16. Durwood


    Dec 10, 2003
    I had a MOP peanut about 10 years ago that was actually quite nice. The f&F was far above the average Case knife from the same period. The pearl was very fiery... I never could get past the single pin in the center of the scales, though:confused:
  17. Wildone39


    Dec 17, 2007
    I own one of there upswept skinner fixed blades and I love it. It takes and holds a good edge and the blade is thicker than other skinner blades that I have. I mean the tip is thicker as well. The sheath is well made. I love my Bear and Sons knife and will buy another if I need one.
  18. JHB


    May 25, 2004
    I bought a small lockback once. I found the the blade steel to be a bit coarse, and for stainless thought that it was a bit odd. A buddy thought it was a sharp looking knife so I gave to him. He still carries it with him.
  19. Guyon

    Guyon Biscuit Whisperer Staff Member Super Mod Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2000
    Saw some today at a local Ace Hardware. They had the "Bear MGC" stamp. Nothing to write home about, but they looked decent enough for a working knife. I might get them to open the case and let me look at one up close next time I'm in.
  20. yobbos1


    Mar 29, 2002
    Only Bear I have is a keychain multitool. I like it alot, well built and reasonably tough.
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