Oct 20, 1999
I have owned this piece for a few weeks now, and recently had a nice chance to put it through its paces...Here's what I found!

My buddy and I, after he inheritted a sizeable piece of undeveloped land in upstate NY, decided to take a peak at what was on it. We found streams at both ends of the property (about 12 acres of ALL woods) and a major lake within hiking distance. There is a cleared "field" nearly dead center of the property, with an access road, although overgrown, connecting it to the "main" town road.

WHAT A FIND!!! The place is awesome! However...there is literally nothing around, with water to the east and west, and mts to the north and cliffs / valleys to the south, there is barely any sight of anything other than trees.

Needless to say, in order to site out and map the area, we need shelter and the like, and that is where the Brute came into play.

I carried this knife on my pack, with a Livesay Bushi Tanto Fighter on my hip for my intricate work, and my Native Lightweight in my pocket...just in case. I used the Brute almost exclusively; cutting down small trees, clearing bushes and overgrown weeds/grass, and prying large rocks out of the way. I used it to chop kindling initally for a fire to cook, then for a large fire, then for a small shelter...NO PROBLEMS!!! We ended up with a sort of lean-too, dead center of the property, which served us well, and once we return, will probably do so again, until we get either a trailer or cabin setup there.

Heavy chopping, pounding, even hammering, all proved no problem for this Brute beast, aptly named. I do rek'mnd a lanyard though...tends to slip in REAL sweaty hands!

Sheath is great kydex rig, held up to ALOT of insertion/extraction. Knife is heavy, and fatigue IS an issue...but when you need something to get done, it def makes it easier. My buddy used a large CS knife of mine, nearly 2x the price, and although he liked the grip better, he had all sorts of little annoying binding of problems, and even a little bit of rust by the end of the 3 days we were up there.

All in all, this knife is exactly what the doc needed! Multipurpose chopping/utility knife, more like an axe then anything else; although I did filet a large fish up with it for dinner pretty good!

Kudos to Becker and a job well done!

Steve in NYC
I just received a Brute yesterday and I agree with you on your review. The Brute is huge! It was a lot bigger, heavier and thicker than I expected. I have never held a TOPS knife, but this knife seems to be in the same catagory. However, this knife is a little too extreme for me. The thickness of the edge is too much for good slicing, and the weight is just too heavy for slicing in the first place. It seems to be a prybar or chopper, but even in that task, I found the Gerber Sport Axe a better tool for the job. The Brute chops worse than that Gerber hatchet and weighs a lot more. I imagen the Machax is probably better at chopping as well. But for reckless hacking through entangled bushs and stray limbs, the Brute does fairly well due to the greater cutting surface. One problem I had with the Brute was handle discomfort while chopping. The blade twists around a lot while chopping through wood. I don't know whether this is due to the slight Kurkri shape of the blade, or the sliperyness of the handle material. I also experienced painful vibrations at the base of the handle when chopping through hardened dead wood. I was wearing insulated gloves, but I still felt the shock at the bottom of the handle where the grip curves around the pinky. But overall I would still give the Brute a thumbs up since it is a lot of knife for the money. And at half the price of a trailmaster, you could get a Machax and Brute which would be a tree's worst nightmare.

[This message has been edited by generallobster (edited 08-15-2000).]
I sold more then a few few TOPS Knives before I made several out of state household moves so, I have reasonable familiarity with them. I tend to agree that many of the TOPS and BK&T knives fall into a similar category in general. Depending on what you really want, neither knife may be good choice.

For heavy brush and shelter building (assuming no other tools) I have gotten several favorable reports on the TOPS Steel Eagle 111 which is a bigger (longer) and heavier knife.

Both the mid-size TOPS and BK&T knives are good at what they do but, they seem to fall into middle between two categories. They are big and heavy (with thick edges) which provides a lot of material for prying and mass for chopping but, slicing performance is compromised. Without longer length, you have the weight but, chopping is compromised as well.

As an option for a more then one knife/tool solution, a smaller and lighter knife with better cutting performance in combination with a small axe or hatchet serves users very well. I have gone full circle myself and have found that I really like a knife that cuts well and for chopping and other heavy work want a much bigger knife or large hatchet. I also have found sand blasted Micarta to be a preferred handle material, especially over rubber and plastic-like handle materials.

Stay Sharp and have fun!
I like the design of this knife and the bulletproof shape. The only thing I dont like is the heavy weight. I ground a full tang knife out of CPM3V that looks almost identical to this knife. The steel used was a little thinner and I flat ground it a little thinner. Testing without handle slabs has been very promising so far. After I epoxy and pin some nice thick maroon micarta slabs on this knife, I will give it a real workout. The knife did survive a hard tip first throw onto concrete with no damage to the tip. Chopping into seasoned cedar and twisting sideways while removing knife did nothing to edge. I cant wait to get this knife done!

Danbo, soul brother of Rambo
Personally I love the handles on the BKT knives. Best I ever held. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

[This message has been edited by db (edited 08-20-2000).]