Bear OPS Dark Grey T/E OTF Automatic Knife Review

Bear OPS Dark Grey T/E OTF Automatic Knife

Bear and Son has a rich family tradition in knife making. They have a skilled and experienced work force capable of performing many of the extra hand operations that go into the making of their products. The Bear & Son factory is unique: it is full self-contained. While some companies only assemble parts brought form various suppliers and put their names on the product, Bear & Son does everything in-house from building their own blanking dies to heat treating, grinding and assembly, and hand finishing their products. It is these steps that 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 their experienced work force. Their customers and consumers can look for even more new and exciting products as a result. Their ongoing commitment is to make them in America and make them affordable. They want everyone to be able to afford what they are proud to make.

Bear OPS Knives is a new subsidiary of Bear & Son Cutlery. Because they take their obligation of duty to our country very seriously; their goal is to manufacture the best tactical knives available for those who serve. Bear OPS knives are made with Operational Precision for Superior Tactical Knives, or OPS, that can be relied on for any situation.

Bear OPS only uses USA manufactured parts, material, and a dedicated workforce. Bear OPS uses only premium 154CM and CPM S30V steel for their blades and use their own heat treat, waterjet, and CNC grinders to finish the blades. Bear OPS is designed and engineered by the experts in their R&D and their in-house tool makers. You will always be proud to carry a knife from Bear OPS.

Bear & Son Cutlery has already and will continue to manufacture the “best knives made in the USA” that will now include tactical and military knives made in the USA. Today, we will be discussing the Bear OPS 110-AIBK-S Dark Grey T/E OTF Automatic knife.

Bear OPS Dark Grey T/E OTF Automatic Knife
Bear OPS Dark Grey T/E OTF Automatic Knife

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Sandvik 14C28N Steel. Sandvik Steel Company explains this steel by saying, “Sandvik 14c28N is the latest development in Sandvik’s range of knife steels. Optimized chemistry provides a top grade knife steel with a unique combination of excellent edge performance, high hardness and good corrosion resistance.” This steel is ideal for knife blades, because this steel grade allows for the highest attainable hardness without the compromising of micro-structure integrity. This steel is often used in high end knives. With this steel, sharpening is a breeze and the blade maintains its edge for long periods of item. This steel reaches a hardness level of 55-62 HRC. This steel also sports a high corrosion resistance, which is ideal for a tactical knife such as this, because you never know what environment you are going to end up in. This steel is actually an upgraded version of Sandvik’s 13C26, through the addition of Nitrogen, which helps with corrosion resistance.

The blade has been finished satin, which is the most common blade finish that you are going to find in the cutlery industry today. This finish is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction, with increasing levels of a fine abrasive. The abrasive that is most commonly used is a sandpaper. This finish is a very traditional finish, because its luster falls right in the middle of the spectrum. This finish is used to showcase the bevels of the blade as well as show off the fine lines in the steel. The satin finish even helps increase the corrosion resistance levels of the Sandvik steel, although not enough to be super notable.

The blade has been carved into a tanto blade shape. This blade shape is not designed to be an all-purpose blade style, but instead has been designed to do one thing and that one thing exceptionally. With the tanto blade, that one thing that it excels at is piercing through tough materials. This blade style originates from Japanese long and short swords, which were created for armor piercing. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that Cold Steel modernized and popularized the tanto blade shape for common cutlery. The blade is created with a high point and a flat grind, which is where you get the crazy strong point that excels at stabbing into hard materials. The tanto blade shape has a very thick point that contains more metal around the tip than your average knife style, so it is capable of absorbing the impact from repeated piercing or tough piercing that most other knives could not withstand. The front edge of the tanto blade shape meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, rather than your usual curve. Because of this, the tanto blade does lack a belly, which you have to sacrifice to get such a strong tip. It is because of the lack of belly that makes it more of a one-task blade shape instead of your everyday carry/ all-purpose blade shape. By choosing this Bear Ops knife, you will be prepared to take on the toughest of materials. The tanto blade shape and the high end steel equip you so that you can trust this knife when the going gets rough.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this Bear OPS knife is made out of aluminum. Aluminum is a very popular knife handle material because it has quite a few major benefits. For starters, aluminum is a low density metal, so while it is tough, it is also lightweight. This is also a benefit because aluminum gives the user the heft that they want from a knife to feel like they can take on most tasks, without actually weighing the knife down. When an aluminum handle is texturized correctly, you will be able to have a pretty secure grip on the handle. Aluminum is also a comfortable handle to hold, even if it is for long periods of time. The only times that it can start to feel uncomfortable is during the colder months or in the colder environments. This is because aluminum has high conductive properties and if you are in a cold environment, the knife handle can feel like it is biting into your hand. Unfortunately, aluminum also has a limited resistance impact, which just means that it is prone to scratches, dings, and dents.

Aluminum is often compared to titanium, which is considered its brother because they have many of the same characteristics, with titanium being the higher-end metal. However, because aluminum is softer, it is easy to work with and machine, which is ideal for keeping costs down when producing an automatic knife, such as this one.

The overall pros to the aluminum handle is that it is strong, light, durable, and resistant to corrosion. The overall cons to an aluminum handle is that it can be cold to hold, it will be a little bit slippery, and it is susceptible to scratches and dents.

To help add texture, enhance your grip on this knife, and make it aesthetically pleasing, Bear OPS has added a chevron pattern near the top of the handle and near the butt of the handle. These grooves will give you the texture that is needed to keep a secure grip on this knife in most tactical situations. Plus, the manufacturer has added a few portions of jimping down the sides of the handle. These sections of jimping will help give you a more secure grip while you are working with this knife. The handle is rectangular with very few curves. However, the spine and bottom portion of the handle do curve ever so slightly to fit better in your hand and help give you a little bit comfier of a grip.

The aluminum handle has been anodized a dark grey. The anodization process not only adds a sleek color, but also increases the materials corrosion resistance, strength, and durability. And because the anodization process changes the face of the metal, instead of just being applied onto the metal, the dark grey color won’t chip off.

 

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip down carry and only on the traditional side of the handle. This is a drawback of the knife, because it means that it is not even a little bit ambidextrous.

However, along with the pocket clip, this automatic knife is equipped with a glass breaker, which may come in handy in many tactical situations. This glass breaker extends from the butt of the knife and can be brought into play quickly.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is an automatic Out the Front, double action knife. An Out the Front knife is commonly known as an OTF knife. This is a style of pocket knife with a blade that opens and closes through a hole in one end of the handle. This is different than your typical pocket knife that has its blade stored in the side of the handle. OTF only refers to the basic portion of the knife’s mechanical operation where the blade slides parallel with the handle to deploy.

Then, OTF knives can be further divided into either a manual OTF knife or an automatic OTF knife. This Bear OPS knife is an automatic OTF knife. That being said, because it is an automatic knife, it does fall under the same strict laws that a traditional automatic knife would fall under. Automatic knives are not legal in all states, cities, or areas of the United States, and it is your duty, as the user, to know your local knife laws. BladeOps is not responsible for your consequences. An automatic OTF knife blade travels within an internal track or channel in the same manner as a manual OTF knife. But the automatic main spring drive and switch mechanism enclosed within requires an automatic knife handle to be thicker and longer than a similar size manual OTF knife. The sliding switch rests on the spine of the handle. The switch does have stepping on the side of it to give you a better hold when you are trying to deploy your knife.

Then, there are also two kinds of automatic OTF knives: the single action and double action. This knife is a double action, which means that the blade will deploy and retract with a multifunction switch and spring design. This contrasts with a single action OTF knife, which would deploy automatically, but must be manually cocked or retracted to close. This being a double action automatic knife is an advantage because you can bring this knife into play and put it away just as quickly. Plus, closing the knife can be a one-handed operation.

 

The Specs:

The blade on this OTF knife measures in at 3.25 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4.25 inches long. When the blade on this knife has been deployed, the knife measures in at an overall length of 7.5 inches long. This knife weighs in at 3.2 ounces and was made in the United States of America, so you can feel proud to own, carry, and use this knife.

 

Conclusion:

Bear OPS is a tactically-inspired division of the Bear & Son Cutlery brand with a sole mission of providing top-end products for those who serve. These products are 100% Berry Compliant–offering USA-only manufactured parts, materials and labor. It comes as no surprise that Bear OPS now offers a brand new automatic knife into their arsenal–a double-action out the front complete with smooth contouring, aggressive styling and a glass breaker function to enhance its versatility. This model, the OTF-110-AlBK-S, features a dark grey anodized aluminum handle, a tanto style blade in a satin finish and a pocket clip that is statically designed for tip down carry only on the traditional side of the handle. Pick up this fantastic tactical knife at BladeOps.

 

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