Bear & Son Tanto Balisong Butterfly Knife Review

Bear & Son says, “We have a skilled and experienced work force capable of performing many of the extra hand operations that go into the making of our products. The Bear & Son Cutlery factory is unique. It is full self-contained. While some companies only assemble parts brought from various suppliers and put their names on the product, we do everything in-house from building our own blanking dies to heat treating, grinding and assembly, and hand finishing our products. These steps ensure that Bear & Son Cutlery is of excellent quality and a real value for both the dealer and consumer.

This commitment to excellence has just improved due to rich family tradition in knife making craftsmanship not only by management, but also our experienced work force. Our customers and consumers can look for even more new and exciting products as a result. Our ongoing commitment is to make them in America and make them affordable. We want everyone to be able to afford what we are proud to make!”

This is a family owned company that came to be in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners bought the Parker Edwards knife facility. After a ride filled with turns and surprised, including a time when the firm actually was owned by Swiss Army Brands, Ken Griffey still heads the operation as president. His son Matt, who began to work in the factory when he was only 18, is vice president.
One of Bear & Son Cutlery’s biggest advantage and selling point is that 100% of their high-quality knives are made in their state-of-the-art Jacksonville, Alabama plant where they perform each part of the knife making task.

“Our fundamental positon is clear and absolute: we make high-quality knives, and we make them all right here in the U.S.A.,” said Ken Griffey. “And when we say Made in American, we mean everything—the 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.”

Bear & Son offers a wide range of knives—from big Bowies to popular Butterflies, Bear & Son covers almost any knife that you could want. And you know that if you purchase one of their knives, you know that you can trust it.

Today, we are talking about the Bear & Son Tanto Balisong knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this Bear & Son knife is made out of 1095 high carbon steel. 1095 is a basic form of carbon steel, and is most commonly used in the construction of knives. It has a carbon content of .95% which serves to harden the steel and reduce the amount of wear that a blade will experience over time. Despite the reduction in wear created by the high presence of carbon, 1095 steel is not as tough as other types of steel due to the lower levels of manganese, which serves to harden the steel. However, the harder the steel, the more brittle the blade is going to be.1095 steel holds a great edge and is very easy to sharpen. Unfortunately, the proprieties of this steel do give it a tendency to easily rust. To combat the rusting, you will need to make sure that you wipe your knife dry after every sue and oil it every once in a while. As long as you keep up on the maintenance, your knife shouldn’t rust.

The blade on this knife has been coated with a black powder coating. The powder coating serves to increase the corrosion resistance of the blade, which is a major advantage for this butterfly knife that is prone to rusting. The coating also adds a sleek look to the knife, which gives you an elegant look to this knife.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a tanto blade style. The tanto blade has not been designed as a n all-purpose blade style, instead it has been designed to do one thing and to do it really well. The tanto blade style is going to excel at piercing through tough materials. This style of knife was originally designed for armor piercing, the tanto blade was later popularized by Cold Steel in the late 1980s, and is similar in style to Japanese long and short swords. The tanto knife has a high point with a flat grind, which leads to an extremely strong point that is perfect for stabbing into hard materials. The thick point of the tanto blade contains a lot of metal near the tip, so it is able to absorb the impact form repeated piercing that would cause most other knife blade styles to snap. The front edge does meet the unsharpened edge at an angle, rather than a curve. Because of this, the tanto blade style does not have a belly whatsoever, but instead, you have an extremely strong tip. This knife does not make a good all-purpose knife because of the lack of belly, which means that you will not have many slicing capabilities. With this Bear & Son knife, you will not be ready to take on all of life’s challenges, but you will be able to take on any situation that you need to pierce through any type of hard material.

 

Bear & Son Tanto Balisong Butterfly Knife
Bear & Son Tanto Balisong Butterfly Knife

The Handles:

The handle on this knife is made out of zinc. Zinc is a unique metal for making knife handles, but it is used for good reasons. For starters, we all know that steel undergoes the oxidation process, which forms rust. And then once the rust is present on the surface, the steel will continue to corrode. Zinc, on the other hand, has the ability to resist continued corrosion due to a very unique reaction. When zinc is exposed to the moisture and carbon dioxide that is present in our atmosphere, a protective layer of zinc carbonate forms on its surface, prohibiting the corrosion process that steel experiences. This protective barrier provides longevity that will allow the zinc handle to last for a lifetime. That being said, if it is submerged in water, the protective layer will not form, and instead, a white rust will form. This means that if you are living in a very humid environment or if you ever use this knife in a wet condition, you need to make sure that you wipe down the handle and make sure that it is completely dry before putting it away.

One of the other unique benefits of zinc is that it can “heal” itself overtime. As it continues throughout its life scratches and imperfections that were once present will virtually disappear. This is a huge advantage when it comes to maintenance, because many metal handles to get scratched over time, which is detrimental to the aesthetic and elegance of the knife; with the zinc handle, you do not have to worry about this.

Next, Zinc is also an environmentally friendly metal for a couple of reasons. This material is 100 percent recyclable metal that can be reused over and over again. Zinc is also a fungistat, which means that it prohibits the reproduction of mold, mildew, and fungus. This will also cut down on time and maintenance.

Zinc is a very soft and malleable metal that can be worked with, with ease, which does mean that it reduces the cost of this overall knife. Overall, zinc is an aesthetically pleasing, long lasting, and corrosion resistant knife handle material that is ideal for this Bear & Son knife.

The black handles on this knife are skeletonized, with five oval cut outs going down each of the handles. The handles also flare out at the end, which gives you a more secure grip and adds control when you are cutting with this knife.

 

The Mechanism:

This Bear & Son knife is a butterfly knife, or a Bali-song knife, which is a folding pocket knife. The difference between a butterfly knife and a regular folding knife is that it has two handles that counter-rotate around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handle. This knife is also sometimes called a Batangas knife, after the Tagalog province of Batangas in the Philippines, where it was traditionally made.

This knife was originally used as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. They were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippines. This knife can be brought to play quickly using only one had. And, this knife can be used for art or amusement, when manipulations or flipping are performed.

There are two main types of construction when it comes to butterfly knives, this knife is a sandwich constructed butterfly knife. This means that the knife is assembled in layers that are pinned or screwed together. They allow the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rests between the layers.

 

The Pros of the Bear & Son Tanto Butterfly Knife:

  • 1095 steel has high wear resistance.
  • The blade is very easy to sharpen and can be sharpened into a razor sharp edge.
  • The blade steel is extremely tough.
  • The blade is also very hard.
  • The coating creates a sleek look on this blade.
  • The coating on this blade increases corrosion resistance.
  • The tanto blade is extremely strong, especially the point.
  • The tanto blade excels at piercing, even if it is through hard materials.
  • The zinc handle is not prone to rusting.
  • The zinc handle is comfortable to hold, even for long periods of time.
  • The zinc handle can heal itself overtime, which means that you don’t have to worry about scratches.
  • Zinc is environmentally friendly.
  • The skeletonized handles cut down on overall weight of the knife.
  • The butterfly knife can be used for anything form self-defense to entertainment.

 

The Cons of the Bear & Son Tanto Butterfly Knife:

  • The blade is very prone to rusting.
  • The blade does not keep its edge retention for long periods of time.
  • The coating will scratch off after long periods of use or with heavy use.
  • The tanto blade shape does not have a belly, which is why it does not make an all-purpose knife.

 

 

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at four inches long, with a handle that measures in at 5 inches long. When this Bear & Son knife is opened, it measures in at 9 inches long. This butterfly knife weighs in at 5 ounces, which is relatively lightweight for how large of a knife this is. 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, 115TANB, features black casted zinc handles, a closing latch with a double tang pin design and a tanto style blade in a black finish. The blade on this butterfly knife is made out of 1095 steel, which is tough and hard. The blade is easy to sharpen and can be brought to a razor sharp edge. The blade has been coated, which cuts down on corrosion and gives a very sleek look to the knife. The tanto blade shape is tough and can take on almost any task that involves piercing through something, although it does not have a belly, which means that it won’t be an all-purpose knife. The handles are made out of zinc, which are extremely corrosion resistant. The skeletonized handles cut down on the weight of the overall knife. Pick up this fantastic knife today at BladeOps.

 

Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife 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.”

Today we will be discussing the Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife.

 

The Blade:

440 steel is one of the most common steels for inexpensive knife blades, because it is relatively cheap but can still stand up to many tasks. This steel is not super high in wear resistance, but it does have enough wear resistance to stand up to mild day-to-day use. While this knife is not going to handle super humid environments, it is going to allow you to take on your average tasks. There are three different types of 440 steel: 440A, 440B, and 440C. The further along in the alphabet, the better it gets. The only issue sit hat often manufacturers simply mark the blade as ‘440”, instead of differentiating the letter grade, so knowing what you are actually getting can be tricky. As a rule of thumb, if it doesn’t say 440C, it is most likely A or B, because 440C can stand up to quite without losing its quality.

The blade has been finished with satin, which is created by repeatedly sanding the blade in one direction with a fine abrasive. This finish is designed to show off the bevels of the blade as well as showcase the fine lines of the steel. A satin finish is one of the most traditional blade finishes that you are going to get, which means that this blade is going to be very classic. However, a good satin finish does add a decent chunk of cost to the knife because it is a manual process.

The blade on this knife has been carved into a clip point blade shape, which is one of the most popular blade shapes that you can get. This is a versatile blade shape which means that you can find it on a variety of knife styles, from Bowie knives to regular pocket knives. The shape is formed by having the spine of the knife runs straight from the handle and then stop about halfway up the knife. At this point, it turns and continues to the point of the knife. This area looks to be cut off and on this Bear and Son knife is straight. This section is referred to as the clip, which is where the knife got its name from. Because of the clip, this knife has a lowered point, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using the knife. And because the tip is controllable, sharp, and thin at the spine, the clop point knife is exceptional at stabbing. This is because of those characteristics, the knife has less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal. One of the reasons that this knife is so versatile is because of the large belly that is ideal for slicing. And slicing is one of the most common tasks that you are going to be doing throughout the majority of your days. One of the drawbacks to the clip point bale style is that because of its narrow tip it is going to be prone to breaking fairly easily.

 

The Handles:

The handle on this knife is made out of zinc. Zinc is a unique metal for making knife handles, but it is used for good reasons. For starters, we all know that steel undergoes the oxidation process, which forms rust. And then once the rust is present on the surface, the steel will continue to corrode. Zinc, on the other hand, has the ability to resist continued corrosion due to a very unique reaction. When zinc is exposed to the moisture and carbon dioxide that is present in our atmosphere, a protective layer of zinc carbonate forms on its surface, prohibiting the corrosion process that steel experiences. This protective barrier provides longevity that will allow the zinc handle to last for a lifetime. That being said, if it is submerged in water, the protective layer will not form, and instead, a white rust will form. This means that if you are living in a very humid environment or if you ever use this knife in a wet condition, you need to make sure that you wipe down the handle and make sure that it is completely dry before putting it away.

One of the other unique benefits of zinc is that it can “heal” itself overtime. As it continues throughout its life scratches and imperfections that were once present will virtually disappear. This is a huge advantage when it comes to maintenance, because many metal handles to get scratched over time, which is detrimental to the aesthetic and elegance of the knife; with the zinc handle, you do not have to worry about this.

Next, Zinc is also an environmentally friendly metal for a couple of reasons. This material is 100 percent recyclable metal that can be reused over and over again. Zinc is also a fungistat, which means that it prohibits the reproduction of mold, mildew, and fungus. This will also cut down on time and maintenance. The handle has been coated with a black epoxy powder, which increases the life of the blade by increasing the corrosion resistance. Unfortunately, a coating will always scratch off after time or heavy use.

Zinc is a very soft and malleable metal that can be worked with, with ease, which does mean that it reduces the cost of this overall knife. Overall, zinc is an aesthetically pleasing, long lasting, and corrosion resistant knife handle material that is ideal for this Bear & Son knife.

The handles on this Bear & Son Butterfly knife are black and skeletonized. The skeletonizing of the handles does reduce the weight considerably as well as adding an aesthetic look to the blade. Each of the handles has four ovals cut down the middle of each handle. These holes increase in size as they go towards the butt of the handle. These ovals also add texture to the knife, so that you can have a more solid grip on your knife when you are using it in many different environments.

 

The Mechanism:

This Bear and Son knife is a butterfly, or bali-song, knife. This style of knife is folding pocket knife that has two handles that counter rotate around the tang so that when the knife is closed, the blade is concealed within grooves in the handles.

This knife originated in Batangas in the Philippines, so it is sometimes called a Batangas. This style of knife was commonly used by the Filipino people. It was used as a self-defense and a pocket utility knife. These knives were also used as straight razors before conventional razors were available in the Philippines. This knife is also used as an entertainment tool, with manipulations called “flipping”.

There are two styles of butterfly construction styles. This knife is a sandwich construction, which means that the knife is assembled in layers that are pinned or screwed together. This style of construction allows the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rests between the layers.

There are a couple of pieces to the butterfly knife that separates it from a typical folding knife. For starters, there is the bite handle, which is the handle that closes on the sharp edge of the blade. This will cut the user if they are holding the handle when they go to close it. The other handle is known as the safe handle, which is the handle that closed on the non-sharpened edge of the blade. The bite handle is also usually the handle that has the latch on it. Then there is the kicker, which is the area on the blade that prevents the sharp edge from touching the inside of the handle and suffering damage. Then there is the latch, which is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. Lastly, there is the tang pins, which are the pin(s) meant to hold the blade away from the handle when closed to prevent dulling; and, in some cases, a second pi to keep the handles from excessively banging together while the butterfly knife is being manipulated.

 

Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife
Bear and Son 113B Compact Butterfly Knife

The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 3.25 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.8 ounces. This Bear and Son knife made in the United States of America.

 

The Pros of the Compact Butterfly Knife:

  • The blade is pretty rust resistant.
  • The blade is going to be able to stand up to any day-to-day task.
  • A very classic blade because of the satin finish.
  • The clip point style blade is very versatile because of the belly that this blade boasts.
  • The clip point blade allows you to excel at piercing.
  • This blade is a fantastic all-purpose blade.
  • The zinc handles are not prone to rusting.
  • Zinc has a way of healing itself over time.
  • The skeletonized handles keep the weight down as well as adding grip.
  • The butterfly knife can be used as a self-defense weapon, a razor, and even for entertainment.

 

The Cons of the Compact Butterfly Knife:

  • The wear resistance of this knife is not super high.
  • Satin finish adds cost to the knife.
  • Because the blade does have a narrow tip, it is more prone to breaking.

 

Conclusion:

Bear & Son Cutlery prides itself on providing excellent quality and real value to all of its customers and their butterfly knives are certainly no exception. The skeletonized nature of the handles help reduce the overall weight and the pin construction eliminates the need for adjusting which makes this an ideal entry-level model. This smaller model, the 113B, features zinc handles that are epoxy powder coated in a black finish, a satin finished clip point style blade and this model does not have a pocket clip. Pick up this knife today at BladeOps.

 

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