The Bear and Son 115 Silver Vein Balisong Review

The Outdoor Wire put together a perfect history of Bear and Son Cutlery: “This company all began in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners bought the Parker Edwards knife facility, a sister plant to w. R. Case and Sons in Jacksonville, Alabama, to create Bear MGC Cutlery. A lot has happened since then to establish Bear and Son Cutlery as a rising force in the knife industry.

After a series of twists and turns, including a time when the firm actually as owned by Swiss Army Brands, Ken Griffey still heads the operation as president. His son Matt, who began working in the factory when he was 18, is vice president, as is Ken’s wife Sandy, who has played a key role as vice president of purchasing and premium department.

With their supervisors and management team, they bring a combined knife experience of more than 290 years, including positions with Gerber, Case, Buck, Parker Edwards and Schrade. They head a skilled team of 82 craftsmen.

As Americans become more and more concerned about jobs lost to overseas sources, they resent it when they see the words “Made in China” on a product. And they have less confidence in the quality and reliability—especially if it’s a knife.

Bear and Son Cutlery meets the test because 100% of their high quality knives are made in their state of the art Jacksonville, Alabama plant, where they do all their own tooling, pressing, heat treating, grinding, hafting, finishing and assembly.

‘Our fundamental positon is clear and absolute: we make high quality knives, and we make them all right here in the USA,’ said Ken Griffey. ‘And when we say Made in America, we mean everything—set steels, every component right down to the tiniest screws, and of course every step of manufacturing. We’re a family company and we are dedicated to keeping it exactly that way.’

With a wide range of knives—from big Bowies to popular Butterflies—Bear and Son covers almost every knife need. Bear and Son Cutler is a family business that insists on top quality knives and is dedicated to America.”

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 1095 Carbon Steel. This is the most popular 10 series standard carbon steel with low corrosion resistance and average edge retention properties. So why would you even want 1095 steel? The appeal here is 1095 is a tough steel that’s resistant to chipping, it’s easy to sharpen, takes a crazy sharp edge, and is inexpensive to produce. This makes it desirable for larger heavy duty fixe blades and survival knives which are going to be subject to more abuse than your typical EDC.

The finish on this knife is a coated black finish. This coating finish reduces the reflection and glare while reducing wear and corrosion. Unfortunately, ALL coatings can be scratched off after continuous heavy use and the blade will then have to be recoated. Coatings can prolong the life of a blade by preventing corrosion or rust. Quality coatings add cost to a knife but provide more corrosion resistance, less reflection, and do require less maintenance.

The blade has been carved into a drop point blade shape. If you are looking for a great all-purpose knife that can stand up to anything, then you’ve come to the right place.  A drop point is one of the most popular blade shapes in use today. The most recognizable knife that features a drop point is the hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, including the larger blades in Swiss army knives. To from this blade shape, the back, or unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, creating a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip. While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. Because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use, drop point blades are popular on tactical and survival knives. Because the point on a drop point blade is easily controllable, they are a popular choice on hunting knives. The lowered, controllable point makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. There is really only one disadvantage of the drop point blade and that is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. However, it is this broad tip that provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives. It is this tip strength that is crucial in survival knives. When you are choosing a knife with a drop point blade, you are choosing a knife that is going to help you in a wide variety of situations, whether it is the expected situations or the unexpected.

The Bear and Son 115 Butterfly knife has a plain edge. The plain edge is one continuous sharp edge and is far more traditional. The plain edge is better than the serrated when the application involves push cuts. Also, the plain edge I superior when extreme control, accuracy, and clean cuts are necessary, regardless of whether or not the job is push cuts or slices. The plain edge is going to work better for applications like shaving, skinning an apple, or skinning a deer. All those application involve either mostly push cuts, or the need for extreme control. And, the more push cuts are used, the more necessary it is for the plain edge to have a razor polished edge. Plain edges are going to serve a much wider purpose as their most useful application is what most of us think of when we think of using a knife: a strong, steady pressure. Another one of the key advantages of a plain edge is that it doesn’t snag or fray when cutting through some ropes, though with other ropes, particularly ones made of plastics or other synthetic materials, the blade may simply slip instead of cut. A plain edge cuts cleanly.

 

The Handle:

The knife handles on this Butterfly knife are a speckled black and grey casted zinc. Having zinc knife handles is one of the most unique aspects about this knife. Zinc is not commonly used in knife handles; however, zinc has been here for years. US architects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries relied on the chemical substance for making sheet based roofs. Zinc is currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity due to increasing demand for eco-friendly products. Zinc is known as spelter in commerce and is a silvery white metal that is mined from the earth. Long before zinc was used to manufacture alloys such as brass, which is a combination of zinc and cooper, and was used throughout the world for a variety of applications that included weapons buckets, and wall plaques. By the end of the 18th century, Europeans had begun smelting zinc and the process spread to the US by the mid-19th century. Some of zinc’s best qualities is its ability to keep away corrosion. In fact, because of the ability to keep away corrosion, zinc is used for coating iron and steel to inhibit corrosion. Another advantage of since is that it is one of the most durable metals out there. Thirdly, zinc is the 24th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, so it makes sense to use it for everything we can. Plus, zinc is considered a “green” material. Zinc is known for being eco-friendly because it requires less energy for production than other metals because of its lower metal point and because zinc is completely recyclable.

Because this is a butterfly knife, there are actually two handles that unfold and attach together to form one larger handle. There are oval cut outs all the way down both of the handles.

 

The Mechanism:

Bear & Son 115 Butterfly
Bear & Son 115 Butterfly

The Bear and Son 115 is a butterfly knife, which is also known as a balisong, a fan knife, and sometimes even a Batangas knife. This type of knife was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. Hollow ground butterfly knives were also used as straight razors before conventail razors were available in the Philippines. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. Manipulations, called “flipping”, are performed for art or amusement. Blunt versions of these knives, called “trainers”, are for sale to practice tricks without the risk of injury.

While the meaning of the term balisong is not entirely clear, a popular belief is that it is derived from the Tagalog words baling sungay (broken/folding horn) as they were originally made form carved caribou and stag horn.

This specific balisong is called a sandwich constructed balisong. This means that the knife is assembled in layers that are generally pinned or screwed together though may sometimes use a ball bearing system. They allow the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rest between the layers.

There are a couple of main parts on a balisong that we will go over. First, the bit handle. This is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade and will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. This is the handle that usually has the latch on it.

The second part is the choil. The second part is the kicker. This is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. This is sometimes supplanted by an additional tang pin above the pivots.

The third part is the latch. This is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Magnets are occasionally used instead. It also keeps it from opening up when the user doesn’t want it to.

Fourth, the latch gate. This is a block inside the channel of the handles that stops the latch from impacting the blade.

Fifth, the tang pins. This pin(s) is meant to hold the blade away from the handle when closed to prevent dulling and in some cases, a second pin to keep the handles form excessively banging together while the butterfly knife is being manipulated.

Sixth, the safe handle. This is the handle, which generally is the handle without the latch, that closes on the non sharpened edge of the blade.

 

Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 4 inches long. The knife has an overall length of 9 inches long with a handle length of 5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 5 ounces. This knife is made in the United States of America.

 

Conclusion:

The 115 series of butterfly knives are one of several new knives released by Bear & Son Cutlery this year. This line of knives has expanded off of the popular 114 and 113 series of knives by offering different handle colors with the same traditional blade finishes and options. Offered in a wide variety of sizes, colors and finishes, these butterfly knives showcase pin construction and the blade smoothly operates on bronze phosphorus washers and precision ball bearing surfaces. This model, 115, features speckled black and grey casted zinc handles, a closing latch with a double tang pin design and a drop point style blade in a black finish. The zinc handles are eco-friendly and one of the most durable materials that you are ever going to work with. The drop point style blade is going to help you work on a large variety of tasks, form the everyday tasks that you expect to the unexpected emergencies that tend to pop up. Pick up your new favorite butterfly knife today at BladeOps.

 

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Benchmade Materials and Mechanisms

Benchmade has a rich history that dates back over 30 years. Benchmade is the product of many dedicated employees, a never quit demand for excellence and the de Asis family’s vision and total commitment to culture, service, and innovation. It was in 1979 that the Benchmade adventure began. Les de Asis wanted a knife that reflected the latest in materials and manufacturing technology to replace the cheap butterfly knives, known as Bali Songs, he played with as a kid. He used his high school shop skills and blueprinted his dream knife. He eventually met Victor Anselmo, who helped him grind the first ever pre-Benchmade Bali Song prototype. Paired with handles that Les sourced from a small machine shop in California, he assembled and finished his first Bali Song in his own garage. Proud of his creation, he took this first Bali Song into a local gun store and the owner asked, “Could you build 100 more?” When he was coming up with a name for the company he recognized that there was “handmade” and “factory made”, but it was “Benchmade” that described the quality of Les’ product. He was building an operation that made precision parts, but with hand assembly on the finished products. This was a “bench” operation and Les wanted the name to reflect the marriage of manufactured and custom. In short, it describes Benchmade’s position in the market.

May is Benchmade month at BladeOps, so to celebrate we are breaking down Benchmade part by part. Today, we are going to be talking about the Benchmade edge and what gives them their edge: the materials and mechanisms that they choose to use.

When Benchmade was talking about the mindset that established their reputation, they said, “For over twenty-five years, Benchmade has been designing and manufacturing world class products for world class customers. When Benchmade was founded, the mission was to create something better; something exceptional. Today, we continue to innovate with the goal of taking performance and reliability to the next level. To exceed what is expected. Whether you are using a Griptillian for every day duties or taking the fight to the enemy with the Infidel, our knives are built to perform. When you choose to purchase a Benchmade, you do so because you want the best. You demand it. And programs like our LifeSharp Lifetime Service and Warranty are the foundation of our commitment to excellence. We live it and breathe it, and we know what you mean when you say: It’s not a knife. It’s my Benchmade.”

 

Materials:

Because Benchmade is building knives for the most demanding customers, ranging from special operations forces to elite backcountry hunters, and building for the best requires the best raw materials. They select premium blade steel and pair them with aerospace grade handle materials to create premium grade knives and tools that provide great value for our customers.

 

Handle Materials:

G10:

This is an extremely durable makeup of layers of fiberglass that have been soaked in a resin, then highly compressed and baked. This material is impervious to moisture or liquid and physically stable under climate change. This material is extremely tough, hard, very lightweight, and strong. However, this does tend to be a brittle material. While you are most likely to find this material in black, they do offer other colors.

 

Carbon Fiber:

A contemporary premium composite of thin strands of carbon tightly woven into various weave patterns, then impregnated with resin which is most commonly clear but can be color tinted. It offers great looks and is exceptionally strong for its minimal weight. This is a strong yet lightweight material that is also rather expensive. And while it is strong, it is far from indestructible and suffers from being brittle. This is because all of the carbon fibers are woven in a single direction, so while it is strong in that direction, it will break apart when stressed in other directions.

 

Dymondwood:

This is a birch powder composite material that has been backfilled with resin, Dymondwood is much more resistant to environmental hardships than natural wood. This is also sometimes known as stabilized wood, because it is almost as if the wood has been injected with plastic. This material bodes well to long term and heavy use.

 

Aluminum:

This is a nonferrous metal originally developed as a premium aircraft grade aluminum, it offers a solid handle form and function at a nominal weight. This material is typically color anodized. Aluminum is a very durable material for knife handles. This is a low density metal that provides for a nice, hefty eel to the knife without weighing the knife down.

 

Grivory:

This is an amorphous nylon copolymer with exceptional dimensional stability. Benchmade uses 50% or greater glass fill.

 

Santoprene:

This is a thermoplastic elastomer that is molded to specification. It offers excellent flexibility with high tear strength and fatigue resistance. Resistance to many harsh chemicals. These features contribute to improved performance in a rage of tough jobs.

 

Titanium:

This is considered an exotic metal alloy with an excellent strength to weight ratio that offers exceptional performance in a knife. Titanium is corrosion resistant to natural elements as well as many industrial chemicals. Titanium actually offers the best corrosion resistance of any metal. This is a very similar material to aluminum but it is a little heavier. Although it is considered a lightweight metal and is much stronger than aluminum Something unique about titanium is that it is one of the rare metals that has a warm feel to it, so it doesn’t make you suffer nearly as much in the winter times as something like aluminum.

 

Blade Materials:

154 CM:

This is an American made stainless steel with well-rounded characteristics including good edge retention, overall toughness, and corrosion resistance. This is a solid choice for most applications. This is considered a high end steel which is basically an upgraded version of 440C through the addition of Molybdenum. This steel has decent toughness that is good enough for most uses and will hold an edge well. It is also not too difficult to sharpen with the right equipment.

 

D2:

This steel is air hardened tool steel developed to cut other steel. This American made steel offers fantastic toughness and edge retention for hard use applications. It is, however, a semi stainless steel, so care is required. A semi stainless steel means that it falls just short of the required amount of chromium to quality as full stainless yet it still provides a good amount of resistance to corrosion.

 

CPM 20CV:

This steel has excellent edge retention and great corrosion resistance, which is a rare combination to find in steel. This steel is a great choice for someone who is looking for low maintenance cutting performance. This is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel.

 

CPM S30V:

This steel is made by Crucible and offers excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. It was designed in the US and is typically used for the high end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. The introduction of vanadium carbides brings extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. Dollar for dollar, this is generally regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the optimal balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness. However, this steel does tend to be tricky to sharpen.

 

M390:

This is an Austrian powdered steel with a uniform micro structure that provides superior levels of edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance, which makes this steel one of the most well rounded premium steels in the world. This steel is considered an ultra-premium steel and is manufactured by Bohler Uddeholm.

 

CPM S90V:

This steel is also considered an ultra-premium grade steel and is made by Crucible. This steel approaches the very pinnacle of wear resistance and edge retention. As you’ expect the carbon content is very high but the secret ingredient to this steel is the extreme quantities of vanadium, almost three times that you would find in S30V steel. This steel is definitely more expensive and it does require high amounts of patience to sharpen, but nothing will hold and edge better or withstand abrasions more effortlessly.

 

N680:

This is an Austrian steel that has been developed for extremely harsh environments like salt water. It also offers the best corrosion resistance available, and as a bonus, it is an easy steel to sharpen and has a keen blade edge. It can get such a keen edge because it has such a fine grain. This is a cheaper alternative to H1 steel.

 

CPM M4:

This is an American powdered steel that is the toughest available. This steel is able to handle virtually any task and it excels in edge retention and wear resistance. However, it does require cleaning to keep it corrosion free as it is not stainless. This is considered a premium grade steel and excels at toughness.

 

440C:

A staple American made tee lint he cutlery industry. Widely used for its good balance of hardness and corrosion resistance. An excellent value priced steel for its performance.

 

Damascus:

This is a hand crafted specialty steel that uses layers of different metal and forging techniques to create its unique look. This steel is mainly used in special applications, and while it is durable for everyday use, it is specifically designed for its unique visual appearance.

 

Damasteel:

The best performing stainless Damascus steel in the world using the latest gas atomized PM technology with very high cleanliness. IT has incomparable toughness and strength combined with excellent edge retention and corrosion resistance. This allows for a very user friendly Damascus steel that is made to be abused.

 

Mechanisms:

The mechanism of opening and closing a knife are essential to its function. Is it easy to actuate? Can it be opened with one hand? Is it ambidextrous? Will it absolutely not fail when you need it the most? These are critical considerations when it comes to the mechanism.

 

AXIS:

A patented Benchmade exclusive, AXIS has been turning head and winning fans ever since its introduction. A 100 percent ambidextrous design, AXIS gets its function from a small, hardened steel bar that rides forward and back in a slot machined into both steel liners. The bar extends to both sides of the knife, spans the liners and is positioned over the rear of the blade. It engages a ramped tang portion of the knife blade when it is opened. Tow omega style springs on each liner, giving the locking bar its inertia to engage the knife tang. As a result, the tang is wedged solidly between a sizable stop pin and the AXIS bar itself. Available in manual, AXIS Assist or Auto AXIS configurations.

 

Monolock:

The monolock mechanism is basically a locking liner on steroids. The knife liner is one in the same as the knife handle and thus it is designed and made to function as the locking mechanism. Subsequently, a thicker material is used to provide enough surface area to be functional handle and in turn creates a large surface area to lock the blade with. If executed properly, the monolock design rates very highly in strength and function.

 

Nak-Lok:

Built form the framework of the locking liner with some innovative updates. The lock engages using tensile strength, compared to the compression hold of more traditional locking liners. With the Nak-Lok, the possibility of personal injury is greatly reduced with the opening finger never crossing the blade’s path.

 

Nitrous:

This is another patented Benchmade exclusive, the Nitrous boosts the blade with ease. As the blade is closed, the two torsion arms that run the length of the handle liners are secured in place and make contact with the blade tang. As tensioned against the blade tang, the user rotates the blade open to a 30-degree angle, the torsion arms take over and continue the blade opening process on its own. The huge advantage to the Nitrous design over other similar concepts is that the blade must be rotated open to beyond a 30-degree angle which offers added user control.

 

Bali Song:

As much an art form as it is the ultimate example of form following function. The Bali Song, or butterfly knife, is of Filipino ancestry dating back to nearly AD 800. Its basic form consists of a pin hinged, tow piece handle which when closed encases the blade for carry. Opening and closing can be accomplished with a single hand, making the tool that much more utility capable.

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Bear and Son 114 Silver Vein Butterfly Knife Review — Quick Review

Bear & Son 114 Butterfly Knife
Bear & Son 114 Butterfly Knife

Bear & Son Cutlery has been making some of the best, low cost butterfly knives on the market for quite some time.  The classic model 114 consistently delights new and old butterfly users.

The knife features a 440 stainless steel blade attached to silver stardust die cast handles.  The handles boast classic mid level weight.  With five slot holes in each handle, the balance between the handles and the blade is fantastic.

The hollow ground, drop point style blade measures 3 5/8″ long.  It is attached to the handles with pins.  This means you don’t have to worry about maintaining the proper tension with torx screws. The biggest issue with many pin construction butterfly knives is that over time, they get sloppy and are not adjustable to clean up the slop.  The Bear & Son 114 doesn’t seem to suffer from this malady. The blade moves loosely in the slots at the top of the handle but it doesn’t get really sloppy over time like many low cost butterfly knives do.

The construction and materials are such that this butterfly knife stands up to some serious use and abuse.  Like most novice butterfly users, I have dropped and tossed my 114 many times.  It still doesn’t show any serious wear and tear.

One thing I learned is that if you want to learn new moves with your butterfly knife, you are probably going to cut yourself from time to time.  One way to fix this is to run a strip of black electrical tape over the sharp edge of the blade.  When you make a mistake, it still stings a bit but at least it won’t cut.

If you are looking for an entry level butterfly knife that is going to stand the test of time and abuse, check out the Bear and Son 114.  You can find it here on our website.  Let me know what you think of yours down below in the comment section.

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Blade Material : 440 Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material : Zinc (Epoxy Powder Coat)
  • Blade Length : 3-5/8″
  • Overall Length : 9-1/4″
  • Closed Length : 5″
  • Weight : 5 oz.
  • Extras : Hollow Ground Blade
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Great Starter Butterfly Knives

Looking for a great starter butterfly knife?  Check out the Bear & Son line of butterfly knives.  The 114 series and the smaller 113 series are perfect starter butterfly knives.  Each one is pin construction.  This means the pin which connects the handles to the blade is not a torx screw-it is an actual pin.  This means the handles cannot be detached from the blade.  This is especially good for beginners because it means you don’t have to worry about managing the tightness of the swing.  The other thing I especially like about these two series is that they are relatively inexpensive.  At under $35.00 for most of them, they are a great knife to start with.

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Black Tactical Kriss Butterfly Knife

The Black Tactical Kriss Butterfly Knife is one of our newest additions to our ever growing line of value butterfly knives.  This butterfly knife features a skeletonized handle and a black tactical kriss blade.  The kriss blade makes for a unique look.  One side of the blade is sharp.  This butterfly knife is built with pin construction–no need for adjustments and tightening–and the knife has good action.  A mid weight butterfly knife, the finish on the handle is just a touch rough.  This is a great practice butterfly knife–the blade shape alone will get y our friends talking.

Knife Category: Butterfly Knife
Blade Style: Kriss Blade,
Action: Butterfly Knife
Blade Length: 3 1/2″
Open Length: 8 7/8″
Closed Length: 4 7/8″
Weight: 6.5 Ounces
Lock Mechanism: Handle Latch, Bite Handle

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Yellow Jacket Butterfly Knife

Just yesterday we put three new butterfly knives into stock.  Over the past couple of months, one of our best selling value butterfly knives has been the Thug.  This knife was a bestseller for a couple of reasons.  One, it had great weight to it.  Two, it had good action.  Three, it was pin construction.  It seems that these three items make for a really excellent butterfly knife.  The only drawback to the Thug was that we were only able to get a limited number of them in before our supplier ran out of stock.  And of course, there is no word as to when they will be back in stock.  The Yellow Jacket butterfly knife seems to be of the same breed as the Thug.  Good weight, good action, and pin construction.  If you are looking for a good practice butterfly knife, this may just be what you have been looking for.
It has a mirror finish, drop point blade.  It also sports one tang pin to reduce the wear and tear on the handles.  The pin construction makes for a whole lot less fuss–no constant adjusments of the handles.  This is an all around great butterfly knife.

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Bradley Kimura II Butterfly Knife

Bradley just released their new Kimura II Butterfly Knife.  This is, by far, the best butterfly knife in it’s price point.  First of all, because no one else is competing in this price arena.  The Bear and Sons butterfly knives are all between 39 and 55.  The Kimura II should run you right around $92.00.  Then you have the big step up to the Benchmade butterfly knives or even the Spyderco butterflies.  The Kimura II has all the great quality you would expect from one of the very best balisongs on the market.  The handle is made of all stainless steel (410) and the blade is made of 14C28N stainless which gives you a great edge and also is reasonably corrosion resistant.  The first thing I noticed about teh Kimura II is the weight.  It seems to have the perfect weight.  And then I noticed the action.  Nice, smooth action that is adjustable with the two torx screws.  The Kimura II is stylish, smooth and has great action.  If you are ready to step up to a real butterfly knife, this is the route you should go.

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