BK&T Brute...Initial Impressions and a little chopping too!

Jul 9, 1999
This is one of those knives that is aptly named. The Brute!
My first impressions are of the sheath. Very well made, thick Kydex that is held together by twelve large eyelets. The knife is secured into the sheath by an integral snap-lock lip of Kydex at the top of the sheath and is further secured by a Cordura snap.
A REALLY cool feature on this sheath is the fact that it is ambidextrous. The knife will snap into the sheath either way. And it snaps in tight with no annoying rattle or excess movement. It has a Cordura belt loop that is attatched to Kydex with four connectors that are backed with washers to prevent the Cordura from ripping free. The sheath has four slots milled into it to provide for a leg tie down and a length of Cordura with a fanny pack type snap is also provided as a leg tie-down.
The belt loop is my only concern about the sheathing system. Being Cordura, I'm concerned about wear and tear. I've trashed Cordura sheaths in the past just by wearing them. Wearing them out apparently.

Nonetheless, I like the overall sheathing system for this knife.
On to the blade:
The knife is quite chunky. The grip is very hand filling and may be too large for a person with smaller hands. The blade balances right where the blade grind plunge begins, about 1/2" in front of the handle. This means it's blade heavy. Good for a chopping type knife and this is most definately a chopping knife.
Just for fun when I got the knife home I took a piece of paper towel and attempted to slice it. I've found this is a good way to check the sharpness of the blade and easily snags on any deformation that may be in the edge. You know, tiny knicks and such. I really didn't think it would slice the towel as huge knives like this generally don't do well for me in this test, but, the Brute sliced the towel with relative ease nearly the entire length of the blade.
You could've bowled me over with a feather when I did this. This tells me that they did a really good job at the factory in putting the edge on this knife. Well done, Will!
I took the Brute out to give it a test spin on about twenty Oak and Camphor tree saplings that are trying to choke out my Azaleas and Camelias. They were all about 1" in diameter and the Brute powered thru these saplings in one to two strokes every time.
Please keep in mind that I am still recovering from Cervical Fusion surgery that was performed last month and I am unable to generate a full power swing when executing a chopping stroke at this time. I really didn't have to as this knife's momentum and edge geometry, when put into motion, are awe inspiring in their power. The sweet spot on the Brute is right on it's belly. The saplings were cleaved in one stroke when they were caught by the belly. I like it...I like it a lot!
The thickness at the edge is fairly thick but not too thick. (Yeah, I know, "hey misque, could you be a little more vague, please!")

Like many, if not most knives, it gets thicker out toward the tip of the blade.
The spine of the blade has an interesting grind. It, the spine, starts out full thickness at the base of the blade, then has a distal like taper out to 6", then it goes to full thickness again(!) for about 1 1/2" then tapers again the rest of the way out to the tip. I'm assuming that this is for pounding purposes, as it looks like a good spot ot pound on. Go figure...

All in all, I like this knife so far. I haven't done any edge retention tests yet, but, I have a good feeling about it.

This knife has all the makings of a good chopping type work knife and I have a feeling that as I use it more, it will become my favorite heavy duty "go to" knife.
I highly advise that the buyer immediately place a lanyard on the knife as if it gets away, it could really hurt ya. Theres a whole lotta knife here and you don't wanna take any chances with this much sharpened steel flying around and possibly going on an unscheduled flight. I say this because I got careless and the knife took a little trip as I was happily whacking away. I loosened my grip, that's how it happened. No harm, no foul though. Whew!

Mikey likes it!

The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Sun Tzu
I just got mine and it is one nice hefty piece of steel. It is very front heavy, which will make it a good chopper, no doubt. The recurve should help in that department also.

I love that fact that the handles are bolted on.

I've always considered the CS knives to be the sharpest knives from factory. I have yet to consider otherwise. Except were the brute is concerned. This knife is as sharp as any CS knife I have ever had, and I have several. So sharp that you do not want to run your finger even lightly over the edge.

My only concern and complaint is that the handle is a little on the smooth side and may slip off when wet. I think a little texturing on the handle would be a good idea. Also I think the handle should be a little longer. My hand pretty much fills up the whole handle, with no room for movement.
Is the handle flat or swelled on the sides? What is the edge geometry? How much does it weigh?

The spine grind is interesting, has Camillus commented on the design?

The handle swells outward, but not to a great extent, but noticeable. The edge geometry appears to be between 22 and 25 degrees. I know this is vague, but I really suck at making this kind of determination. Sorry.

And the weight? In the link: http://www.bladeforums.com/ubb/Forum21/HTML/000195.html
Drat! I can't get this link to work, so I brought the topic back to the top in the Camillus Forum. It's called something to the effect of: "Machax or Brute?"
Will Fennell states the weight of knife and sheath weigh 1 lb. 12 oz.

The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Sun Tzu

[This message has been edited by misque (edited 05-19-2000).]

[This message has been edited by misque (edited 05-19-2000).]
According to the UPS website, my Brute should be here on Monday! Thanks for the sneak preview. Looks like I've got good reason to be excited.

"Oderint dum metuant"
Riddler, Hoodlum, Bon Vivant.
Yo, Cliff.
I held one at the local shop today.
The spine is ground with a false edge; BUT about two inches down, there is a spot where it is not ground (for about 1" x 1/4") then the false edge continues.
The reason is fairly obvious. It is meant to be used as a hammer, if needed. I wondered why they would continue the grind further down the edge, but the answer hit me right away. To reduce the weight.
I hope this helps.

I've got one of the older original Brutes which was made of 1095 steel and gray powder coated. In my chopping I found it easily outperformed traditional bowies like the big Cold Steel but fell short against HI Khukris. None really unexpected given the differences in designs. Unquestionably the big Brute is an excellent compromise between a bowie and khukri.

All that having been said, I have a new Camillus BK&T Companion with a TacTool en route. Extrapolating I'd say the newer Camillus Brute version with it's superior steel, better coaating, and improved handle contours ought to be superior in use. I'm not sure but I also have reason to believe that Camillus modified the edge geometry a bit which should again notch up the newer model's performance over the original.

The last issue is sheaths. Anything has to be an improvement over the original's leather sheath with it's fully rotating (not anchored) snap fastening handle strap and 4 thermoplastic leg tie down loops afixed to the sides of the sheath's body. Clunky is too nice a description.

I say this having already posted elsewhere that I was thinking of selling off my old Brute to obtain the newer one
! I may be impeaching the value of my older knife but these are my views and, as always been my practice, I call 'em like I see 'em.

-=[Bob Allman]=-

I did NOT escape from the institution! They gave me a day pass!

BFC member since the very beginning
Member: American Knife & Tool Institute; Varmint Hunters Association;
National Rifle Association; Praire Thunder Inc.; Rapid City Rifle Club;
Spearfish Rifle & Pistol Club; Buck Collectors Club (prime interest: 532s)
Certified Talonite(r) enthusiast!

[This message has been edited by bald1 (edited 05-20-2000).]
I think your right about the Brute being kind of the middle of the road between a Bowie and a Khukri. It seems to me that it would be the bastard child of both if they mated.

Forgive the crude assessment, but it does appear to be a cross betweeen the two.
At any rate, I think pretty highly of this knife in the short time I've had it so far. My main concern about the knife was really the belt loop on the sheath being Cordura. Well, it is a heavier grade of Cordura than you find elsewhere and I'm sure this'll hold up much better than the Cordura I'm used to dealing with. Anyway, the sheathing system sounds like it's worlds better than the one provided on the original model. Thanks again, Will!

When you guys get your Brutes, I hope you'll get as much or more enjoyment than I'm getting from mine!

The individualist without strategy who takes opponents lightly will inevitably become the captive of others.
Sun Tzu