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kabar bk line?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by dudethatlikesblades, Nov 22, 2014.

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  1. dudethatlikesblades


    Nov 6, 2014
    I've been looking at the Kabar line of knives but don't think they are very practical. I hear a lot of reviews about people saying that they had to modify theirs. But what's the point in that. Shouldn't you get a knife that already suits your needs anyway. What do you think about this and what knife recommendation do you have for what you like to use it for?
  2. Silvanus

    Silvanus Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2012
    It's usually not a "need" when they modify it. Usually it's more of a personal preference. I stripped some of mine and polished the flats and force patina'd the grinds. The Beckers are plain and are perfect for making your own. As they come from the factory, they don't "need" to be modded to perform properly.
  3. EChoil

    EChoil Banned BANNED

    May 22, 2014
    They are a good line of knives. They offer many base models for good reason. Sometimes people customize them even further.

    They are as "practical" as any knife can be I suppose.
  4. timbo813


    Jun 24, 2014
    They don't need to be modded but many people like make them their own. The most common change is stripping the coating which I understand is cheap and easy. The bk line is good bang for the buck and can be customized IF desired.
  5. bdmicarta

    bdmicarta Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    They are perfectly good knives as they are, and a good value. People modify them just because they can and they like to.
  6. edh3007


    Sep 26, 2014
    1 which knife from the BK line is it that you don't think is very practical? Why?
    2 SOME people say they desired to modify their knife - never "heard" anyone say they HAD to do so.
    3 You should get a knife that meets your needs or suits your fancy or just because you wanna!
    4 My recommendation is for you to buy one of each BK knife and discover the practical use of each.

    cheers Ed
  7. link2derek


    Oct 8, 2010
    Understand that many folks actually enjoy modding their knives - not out of necessity, but because they simply enjoy it.
  8. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    They are good knives as-is.
    The construction method makes for an easily-upgraded product, and so attracts the "modders."

    The most common modifications I see are handle upgrades/swap-outs and stripping the coating. Neither of these make the knives more 'practical' or functional.
  9. bored2deth


    Feb 27, 2011
    They are good all-round knives, well-made, tough, and reliable. They tend to be inexpensive, and come with fairly good sheaths. Ive used the same bk11 for four or so years (gave it away at one point, got it back in a trade).
  10. timbo813


    Jun 24, 2014
    The handle upgrade gives more grip and removing the coating lets them slice through things with less resistance. Both can be an improvement but neither is necessary. Both are also done sometimes just for looks.
  11. inkynate


    Sep 4, 2010
    I only have one Becker, the BK-15.

    It was a good knife as boxed, but it didn't suit my personal preferences the way it came, so I modded it. Now I think it's a great knife.

    The things I did so far are fairly simple:

    -Strip coating
    -Use a file to knock back rough edges exposed after coating was removed (the jimping was painfully sharp)
    -Flatten the grind aggressively and lower the edge angle on stones

    It really is one of my favorites now. I may go the extra mile down the line and do custom scales and sheath, but that would just be gravy. For me, the above were pretty muched "needed" mods.

    So why buy the knife if it needed so much work?

    -I like the pattern
    -Price is right (now it's stoopid cheap, btw)
    -Ethan Becker and Jerry Fisk seem like swell guys
    -1095cv seemed like a suitable steel for a camp knife and I trusted Becker to do a good job on it (again reputation).
    -I knew it would be fairly easy to get it to where I wanted
    -+1000 man points for grinding some steel
    -I get to post this pic a lot:

  12. snippy


    Apr 1, 2014
    I have the BK-9 and I find it to be my most used knife. It is simply built to work. I made the handle slightly fatter by adding liners made from a CD case (simple bolt on handle - easy!). It is easy to sharpen and the balance in hand makes it a powerful chopper. I highly recommend this knife.


    For an all-around knife look at the BK-16. Hard to beat at that price.

    There are lots of good knives out there. These are some of the best for the money.

  13. NJBillK

    NJBillK Custom Leather and Fixed Blade modifications.

    Mar 27, 2014
    I found quite the contrary to be true.

    They are rather utilitarian in design and Very practical. Those that you may have had reservations about could be the bk4, which is an incredible camp knife as well as working well for back yard fire pit duty. The bk9 due to its size, though it handles /carries much smaller while still being able to perform heavy duty tasks and Possibly the up coming bk21 but im sure that one will be a home run.

    If you get one, look at the bk16, or a bk10 if you would prefer larger. In the Becker sub I'm sure that Each Becker knife has at one time or another had a dedicated threat and its devotees.

    That being said, do a search, you might be surprised to find the fan base as extensive and thorough about their likes and dislikes about a particular knife. A lot of that spawns Directly From the the customization end of the knives.

    Just because we like to change our knives from the factory, doesnt make them any less of a knife. If anything, it makes them more of a canvas to make them to your particular liking and make them your own.
    BK2 polished, stipled scales, added jimping.
  14. TravisH

    TravisH Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 22, 2014
    Not practical? For what? US Military would probably disagree. They've bought millions of them since 1942.

    Suit your needs? Not every knife suits everyone's needs. Not every knife has the same features. Take the BK5 for example. It's little brother, the BK15, has jimping which gives me excellent control. The BK5 has no jimping and feels downright slippery to me. So, to suit my needs, I'm adding jimping to the BK5.
  15. Inazone


    Aug 27, 2012
    The stories and reviews written by people who "had to" mod their knives make up a tiny percentage of those who have actually bought those knives and use them as-is every day. The same is true when reading about cars or guns or musical instruments. I've only modded one knife, a Schrade XT2B X-Timer, that I stripped the blade coating off of. I also had a custom leather sheath made for it. This was a knife that I paid around $25 for, completely usable as it came from the factory. I thought it would look better without the black coating, and the nylon sheath seemed a bit shoddy to last very long riding on my belt in the woods, but it hadn't actually proven to be so. I just decided to make a change based on preference.

    Production knives are built with the features that can easily be included during manufacture and will appeal to the broadest range of prospective buyers. I would wager that most people are not compelled to modify a knife, especially at added expense, and will simply be content with the out-of-the-box features. Furthermore, I'd likewise bet that if a knife breaks (blade, handle, whatever) that they'll swear off that brand and try something else rather than trying to improve on what might otherwise be a fine product.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The Kabar Becker line are very cost effective and practical for the price range. Like everything else, what one person likes is not what another person seeks or believes would be practical for their uses and lifestyle. My favorite Beckers are the BK-16 and BK-17 and am really warming up to the BK-15. I don't have a BK-17 but I will eventually buy one. This size of knife is my most used and carried. I know this.

    I am not into the modifications to the Becker knives other than perhaps putting different handles on them. I actually like the factory handles personally and find the sheaths adequate for my needs. Everybody does what they want to and there is a big following of Ethan's knives here. It is about fun as I Ethan and I discussed one day. I commented that the BK-9 is just too big for me (but I know for a knife this size they are very practical), and he just smiles and says it's about fun and having different tools available to you is part of the fun.
  17. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    The generic ka bar has it's faults as do beckers.
    But I do think that the full tang Becker is way stronger than a USmc ka bar..
    The bulkier plastic handles on a Becker could be improved to afford a more comfortable grip
    Which in comparison, makes the generic ka bar a pleasure to hold.
    Just my 2 cents
  18. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    Being the happy owner of six different model of Becker knives I can tell you that they're all very practical right out of the box. When you get a Becker, it'll be able to handle anything you throw at it, so long as it's within reason. My second most used Becker is the BK9, and the only things it can't adequately address, are small things that the BK14 readily does, making it my most used Becker knife.

    Usually the need to modify comes from individuals who like the platform, but have a particular style of use they prefer to employ. That's generally why there's the need for removing the thumb ramp, and adding a finger choil so they can choke up in a certain manner. But I don't do that, so I've never needed to modify anything.
  19. marcinek


    Jan 9, 2007
    Dude, I can't even keep track of your threads anymore. You need to let one play out and listen to the people in it who were nice enough to help you before you go andd open another thread. Read more and post less, Chris.

    And if you think the Beckers are impractical just don't get one. Get one of those awesome Gerbers you keep going on about. Sheesh.
  20. Charlie_K


    Jul 16, 2012
    Gentlemen, we have established BURN!
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