This company all began in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners decided to buy the Parker Edwards knife facility, which was a sister plant to W. R. Case & Sons in Jacksonville, Alabama, to create Bear MGC Cutlery. Since then, a lot has happened to really establish Bear & Son Cutlery as a rising force in the knife industry.
This company has gone through a series of twists and turns, which includes a time when the company was actually 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-resident, 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, Bear and Son has a combined knife experiences of over 290 years. Needless to say, they head a skilled team of 82 knife craftsmen.
Americans are becoming increase more and more concerned about jobs lost o overseas sources, but Bear and Son Cutlery meets the test. 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, heating, finishing, and assembly.
Ken Griffey has said, “Our fundamental positon is clear and absolute: we make high-quality knives and we make them all right here in the U.S.A. And when we say Made in America, 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 OPS is a new division of Bear and Son Cutlery. When they first introduced the line, Bear and Son released this statement: “Bear and Son is product to introduce our new line of tactical knives—Bear OPS. Because we take our obligation of duty and to our country very seriously; our goal is to manufacture the best tactical knives available for those who serve. Bear OPS knives are made with OPS (Operational Precision for Superior Tactical Knives that can be relied on for any situation.”
Today we will be going over their Silver Bear Song VI Balisong Butterfly knife that sports a 1095 Carbon blade.
1095 steel is a basic from of carbon steel, and is most commonly used in the construction of various knives. This steel boasts a carbon content of .95% which serves to harden the steel, and also works to reduce the amount of wear that a blade will have to endure over time. Even though you do get the decreased wear because of the high presence of carbon, 1095 steel is not as tough as other types of steel because it does have lower levels of manganese, which is what hardness different steel types. However, manganese also does make blades more brittle, so this steel is not going to be as brittle as other steels. 1095 steel will make this blade hold a great edge and as a bonus is very easy to sharpen. While a heat treatment to this steel can be used to increase its overall strength, if the steel gets too brittle, it is going to break on you. This steel is also usually used on blades that are not too thin, because the thickness behind the blade keeps your knife from easily breaking. To keep this blade rust free for the longest time possible, make sure that you are rinsing it off after every use, make sure that you wipe it clean, and also that you oil it once a week. The oil will help to form a barrier that prevents moisture from reaching the steel. Because the properties of this type of steel do make it prone to rusting easily, you will often see knives with this steel finished with a coating.
And a coating finish is exactly what this blade has. While you can get this blade in a variety of different colors, the version that we are talking about today (B-600-B) sports a black powder coated finish. This coating is also known as a black paint and has one of the lower qualities out of blade coatings. Coatings provide corrosion resistance, but they will scratch off eventually. And because the powder coating is on the lower end of the quality spectrum, this coating is going to scratch off quicker than other coatings would. One of the benefits of a coated finish is that it is a matte finish. Because Bear OPS is a tactical line, the coating finish is the perfect option because there will be no reflection off of the blade to give your position away in a tactical situation.
The 1095 blade has been carved into a full-bellied drop point style blade. This blade shape is one of the most popular blade shapes that is in use today—and for very good reason. This blade style is strong, versatile, and will equip you to take on almost any challenge. One of the most common places that you are going to find a drop point blade is on a hunting knife. This is because the point on a drop point blade is lowered, which means that it is easily controllable. It is this lowered, controllable point that makes it easier to avoid accidentally nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. But, you are going to find this blade shape on a variety of knives that are not hunting knives. For instance, the drop point blade shape is a very popular blade option on tactical and survival knives. This is due more to the way the shape is formed. The unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight from the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds so much strength to the tip. And while the tip on a drop point blade is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is so much stronger. It is this tip strength and its ability to hold up to heavy use that makes the drop point blade shape such a good option on tactical and survival knives, such as the Bear OPS Silver Bear Song VI Balisong Butterfly knife. The drop point, especially the drop point on this particular knife, feature a very large belly, which makes slicing a breeze. Drop point blades are really only known to have one real disadvantage (which is also one of its advantages), and that is its relatively broad tip. This broad tip does make it less suitable for piercing than the clip point, but you have to remember that it is this broad tip that provides the point strength hat is not going to be found on clip point knives.
This blade does feature a row of small, shallow jimping right where the blade meets the handle to add some added control when you are slicing with this butterfly knife.
The handle on this Balisong knife is made out of 6061-T6 aluminum. Aluminum is one of the lower-density metals that is commonly used in knife making. This material is extremely corrosion resistant. The majority of knife handles that are made out of aluminum are made out of the 6061-T6 alloy, which has one of the highest tensile strengths of all the aluminum alloys. This name just means that the type of aluminum is 6061 and it has been T6 tempered. This aluminum alloy has also been known as aircraft aluminum, because it is used extensively in aircrafts. This metal is a very durable material for knife handles, and although it is a low density metal, it still gives you a nice, hefty feel to your knife without weighing the knife down. When an aluminum handle is properly texturized, it can provide you with a reasonably secure grip that is also comfortable to use—even for extended periods of time. But, aluminum does have high conductive properties, which means that if you are using this knife during the colder months, the handle is going to feel like it is biting into your hand. Aluminum is usually considered inferior to its stronger, but also more expensive brother Titanium. Some of the pros about an aluminum knife handle is that it is going to be strong, light, durable, and very resistant to corrosion. However, it is going to be cold to hold, more slippery than some knife handles, and is susceptible to scratches and dings.
The two handles on this knife are silver, with plenty of grooves carved into them for aesthetic as well as helping with your grip. These handles are also slightly curved to give you a more comfortable hold on the knife.
This is a butterfly knife. This style of knife is also known as a fan knife and in the Philippines it is known as a balisong knife. This style of knife is a folding pocket knife, but it has a significant distinction from traditional folding knives—it has two handles. These two handles counter-rotate around the tang such that, when closed, the blade is concealed within the grooves in the handle. This type of knife was commonly used by Filipino people, especially those in the Tagalog region, as a self-defense and pocket utility knife. In the hands of a trained user, the knife blade can be brought to bear quickly using one hand. This knife style has also been used as an art form and entertainment form, with the art form of “flipping”.
This style of knife is actually now illegal or restricted in many countries, often falling under the same laws and for the same reasons that switchblades are restricted. This particular Bear OPS Balisong is known as a sandwich constructed balisong knives, which means that the handles are assembled in layers that are screwed together and sometimes use a ball baring system. They allow the pivot pins to be adjusted more tightly without binding. When the knife is closed, the blade rests between the layers.
One of the key components of a butterfly knife that other styles of knives don’t have is the latch. This is the standard locking system, which holds the knife closed. This latch holds the two handles together and attaches them at their butts when the knife is opened, having them form into one single handle, without the fear of them coming apart in the idle of using this knife. The handle without the latch is considered the safe handle and closes and typically closes on the non-sharpened edge of the blade.
The blade on this knife measures in at 4.125 inches long, with a handle length of 5.125 inches. When this knife is opened, it is going to measure in at 9.25 inches long. This knife weighs in at 4.9 ounces. This Bear OPS knife was proudly made in the United States of America.
The Bear OPS Bear Song VI is one of several new knives released by Bear & Son Cutlery this year. This line of balisong butterfly knives feature an entire arsenal of knives that offer a more tactical look and feel. Offered in a wide variety of sizes, colors and finishes, these butterfly knives showcase screw construction and the blade smoothly operates on bronze phosphorus washers and precision ball bearing surfaces. This model, the B-600-B, features gently curved silver anodized aluminum handles, closing latch, double tang pin design and a full-bellied drop point style blade in a black powder coated finish. The 1095 steel used for the blade offer you high wear resistance and make it easy to re-sharpen the blade when needed. The black, coating finish is going to help fight of corrosion that this blade is susceptible to. The combination of the steel, the blade shape, and the handle material make for a truly tough butterfly knife. Pick up your Bear OPS Silver Bear Song VI Balisong Butterfly Knife today at BladeOps.