Bear OPS Manual Folder Knife (Zytel Handle) Knife Review

Bear OPS Manual Folder Knife (Zytel Handle)

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. Come pick up your favorite Bear OPS knife today at BladeOps.

Today we will be discussing the Bear OPS manual folder knife that features a Zytel handle.


Bear OPS Manual Folder Knife (Zytel Handle)
Bear OPS Manual Folder Knife (Zytel Handle)

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of CPM S30V steel. This steel is made by Crucible, which is a United States based company. This steel was designed specifically for knives, which means that you are going to get all of the best qualities for your knife out of this steel. It is often used for high-end premium pocket knives and expensive kitchen cutlery. S30V steel has excellent edge retention and resists rust effortlessly. Crucible added in vanadium carbides which work to bring extreme hardness into the steel alloy matrix. When you look at this steel dollar for dollar, it is regarded as one of the finest knife blade steels with the perfect balance of edge retention, hardness, and toughness, which is one of the hardest balances to get out of a blade steel. There is only one drawback to this steel: this steel does prove to be hard to work with, which does increase the overall cost of the steel. Also, the steel is going to be tricky to sharpen, because of how hard it is to work with.

The blade has been finished with a bead blasted finish. This finish is created when ceramic beads are blasted at the steel at a high pressure. This creates an even gray finish. A blasted finish also reduces reflection and glares due to its even matte surface. The blasting does create an increased surface area and micro abrasions make the steel more prone to rust and corrosion. A blasted blade, even from stainless steel can rust if left in a wet or humid environment.

The blade has been carved into a clip point blade shape. The clip point blade shape is a great all-purpose blade as well as being one of the most popular blade shapes in us today. While the Bowie knife is the most common place you are going to find this blade shape, it is popular on almost any blade style and you will find it on many pocket knives and fixed blades alike. The shape is formed by having the back edge of the knife runs straight form 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-out” and is curved. This section is also referred to the clip, which is how the shape got its name. Clip point knives look as if this section have actually been clipped out. The point on this knife is lowered, which means that you are going to have more control when you are using this knife. And because the tip is controllable, sharper, and thinner at the spine, a clip point knife will be more equipped to stabbing. The clip point has less drag during insertion and faster withdrawal because of the shape. One of the reasons that this blades shape is so versatile is because the blade has a large belly that is ideal for slicing. There is really only one disadvantage to the clip point blade, because of the narrow tip this blade point does have a tendency to be weak and break pretty easily. The drop point and the clip point blades are often confused with each other, because they are the two most popular blade shapes on the market today. They are each versatile and great for a large variety of purposes. The biggest difference between the two is that the drop point does have more strength behind the point, however, because of how broad they are, you do lose out on most of your piercing abilities. The clip point has a finer point, so you cannot take on harder tasks, but you do have your piercing abilities. These are both great blade shapes, but you have to choose which of the advantages you want out of your knife.


The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of Zytel. Zytel is a type of Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon, which is a thermoplastic material which was introduced by American chemical company, DuPont. Zytel is very strong, very resistant to bending, resistant to abrasion, and is practically indestructible. All of these things, and it is even cheap.

In this material, the nylon fibers are arranged haphazardly throughout the material, which means that it will be strong in all directions. Zytel is very similar to G-10, Carbon Fiber, and Micarta, except that those materials have the fiberglass strands aligned in a single direction. That is why the other materials are brittle, but Zytel is almost indestructible.

Many people did not warm up to this material because they said it felt cheap and even hollow. Plus, Zytel does provide less grip than G-10 does.

This material is inexpensive because it can be injection molded into any desired shape and texturized in a multitude of ways in the production process. All of these characteristics leads to high volume manufacturing and a low cost.

The handle is simple and completely black. The spine of the handle curves to fit inside of your palm perfectly. The bottom of the handle has three curves and finger grooves that span the length of the handle. The first one is the deepest and least elongated. It gives you a comfortable place to rest your fingers. Lastly, there is a slight finger guard to protect your fingers from getting cut if you do slip.


The Mechanism:

This is a manual folding knife that sports a dual thumb stud and features a liner locking mechanism.

The thumb stud is one of the most common ways that a knife can be opened with just one hand. The thumb stud replaces the nail nick found on more traditional knives. This mechanism is also very straightforward to use—you hold the folded knife, place the tip of your flexed thumb on the stud, and extend your thumb to swing the blade through its arc until the blade is fully open. And because the stud does extend through the blade, which means that it is protruding on both sides, the knife is ambidextrous and can be opened with either hand. One of the only drawbacks is that because it does protrude from the blade, some people feel like it gets in the way of their tasks. The other drawback to a thumb stud is that when you are using this opening mechanism, it does put your fingers very close to the blade, you just have to be careful when you are getting used to the thumb studs.

The liner lock is the most common of today’s blade locking systems. The handle is made of two plates on either side of the blade. When the knife is opened, one side of the knife’s liner, often called the lock bar, butts up against the backend of the blade and prevents the blade form closing. The lock bar is manufactured so that it angels toward the interior of the knife, creating a bias for the locked positon. To close the knife, the knife user applies manual force to move the lock bar to the side so that the blade is unblocked and can be folded back into the handle. The liner provides a secure and convenient way to make using this knife even safer.


The Specs:

The blade on this knife measures in at 2 7/8 inches long, with a handle that measures in at 4 3/8 inches long. When this knife is opened, it measures in at an overall length of 7.5 inches long. This knife was made in the United States of America.


The Pros of the Bear OPS Manual Folder Knife:

  • The S30V steel is strong and tough.
  • The steel maintains an edge for long periods of time.
  • The steel has the perfect balance between hardness, toughness, and edge retention.
  • The steel also has the ability to resist rust easily.
  • The bead blasted finish creates an even grey finish.
  • The clip point blade shape is all-purpose.
  • The clip point blade features a large belly.
  • The clip point blade excels at piercing.
  • This knife was made in the United States of America, so you can be proud to own, carry, and use it.
  • The Zytel handle is strong.
  • The Zytel handle is tough.
  • The Zytel handle requires zero maintenance.
  • Zytel is an inexpensive material, so it will keep the overall cost of the knife down.
  • The handle fits comfortably in your hand.
  • The thumb stud is ambidextrous.
  • The liner lock makes sure that you don’t need to worry about your blade closing in the middle of use.
  • The liner lock is a secure and convenient way to make using this knife even safer.


The Cons of the Bear OPS Manual Folder Knife:

  • The steel is hard to work with, which means that it will be hard to sharpen.
  • The bead blasted finish creates micro abrasions, which means that it can rust overnight if left in the worst environment—so keep up on maintenance.
  • The clip point blade is prone to breaking.
  • The Zytel handle does have a cheap plastic feel to it.
  • The Zytel handle is not going to provide as much grip as G-10 would.
  • Some people feel that the thumb stud gets in the way of things.



The Bear OPS Bear OPS MC-110-B7-P Manual Folder Knife features a S30V modified clip point plain edge blade with a bead blast finish. The blade opens easily with the ambidextrous thumb stud.   Built by Bear OPS (a division of Bear and Son Cutlery) this knife features a black Zytel handle that is very comfortable in the hand. The knife opens smooth and locks tight into the open position with a liner lock. This knife is tough, durable, and you know that you can rely on this knife. Pick up this knife today at BladeOps.


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