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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.