Bear & Son is a family company that has a rich 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 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, they do everything in-house, form building their own blanking dies to heat treating, grinding and assembly, and hand finishing their 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 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 American and make them affordable. They want everyone to be able to afford what they are proud to make.
Today we will be talking about the Bear Edge 61103 Sideliner Spring Assisted Knife that is black and red.
The blade is made out of 440 stainless steel. 440 is a medium carbon, martensitic stainless steel that is very corrosion resistant and extremely tough. It can also be hardened to about RC 58. This is not considered a premium knife steel, but it does still have some very good properties for cutlery use. It takes a very fine edge, especially when heated treated properly. This is not a super brittle steel, but that also means that it is not going to keep its edge for long periods of time. In the 440 family there are three different types: 440A, 440B, and 440C. The further along in the alphabet, the better it gets. However, most blades are only classified as “440” without a letter grade. If this is the case, you can pretty fairly assume that it is not 440C, and is probably one of the lower end versions such as A or B. The differences between the three different letter grades is the amount of carbon in each of the blades.
The blade on the Sideliner has been coated in black. The biggest reason that blades are coated is to prolong the life of the blade. The life is prolonged because the coating creates a barrier between the steel and the environment, which cuts down significantly on rusting and corrosion. The coating finish also cuts down on all glares and reflections, which is ideal if you are using this knife in the field and don’t want your position to be given away. Lastly, the coating creates a very sleek look to this knife. Unfortunately, all coatings will scratch off after continuous use or even heavy use.
The blade has been carved into a modified drop point blade shape. The traditional drop point blade shape is the most popular blade shape in the industry because it is so versatile and tough. You are going to find this blade shape on a wide variety of all styles of knives. To form the shape, the unsharpened edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. It is this lowered point that gives the blade so much control. And, because the lowered tip is so broad, this blade shape is one of the strongest blade shapes that you are going to come across. The difference between the traditional drop point blade shape and the modified version on this Bear Edge knife is that the spine of the edge does have a slight dip in the middle. This adds a unique look. The bottom, or sharpened edge, of the blade also has a larger belly because it has a curve to it as well. Because of the lowered tip, you are better capable of performing fine detail work. This is also the aspect of the drop point blade shape that makes it such a popular option on hunting knives—it is easier to avoid accidently nicking internal organs and ruining the meat. One of the aspects of this knife that makes it such a good option for your survival knife is that the broad tip is not prone to breaking, especially when being compared to a clip point blade shape. One of the reasons that this blade is so versatile is because of the large belly area that makes slicing a total breeze. One of the only disadvantages to having a drop point blade as your knife of choice is that it is not very capable of piercing or stabbing because of its wide point. You need to keep in mind though, that it is that broad tip that gives you the strength that you desire out of a drop point blade shape. Choosing a drop point blade is going to prepare you for almost any situation that you may encounter—whether it is throughout your everyday life, a survival situation, or on a hunting trip. The drop point blade is the perfect option for the person who wants to do a little bit of all of it.
The handle is made out of anodized aluminum. Aluminum is a very durable material, especially when used for knife handles. This is a lightweight metal alloy, which means that it gives you the nice, hefty feel without actually weighing the knife down. When an aluminum knife handle is properly texturized, the user is able to have a reasonably secure grip on it—even if they are using the knife for extended periods of item. To add enough texture to this handle for almost any environment, Bear and Son have carved in diagonal slashes across the face of the handle. This will give you the grip that you need, even if you are in a messier situation.
On the other side of things, if you are planning on using this knife mostly during colder months or in a colder environment, it is going to feel extremely cold in your hand due to the aluminum’s high conductive properties.
An aluminum knife handle is extremely resistant to corrosion, which cuts down a quite a bit of maintenance time. Unfortunately, the handle is prone to getting scratched or dinged.
The handle has ergonomics that fit comfortably in your hand, with an elongated finger groove that gives a comfortable place to rest your grip. The finger groove also has a row of jimping in it that gives a more secure grip on your knife. The liner on this knife is bright red and sticks out from the spine of the handle. The liner also features a small row of jimping, designed to give you a very secure grip on your knife at all times.
The Pocket Clip:
The pocket clip on this knife is eligible for a left or right hand carry option, but it has only been designed for a tip up carry. The clip on this knife is black and has “Bear Edge” stamped across the middle of it in light grey. The black clip matches the handle, the hardware, and the blade on this knife.
This is a spring assisted knife that features a liner lock and a thumb stud.
The spring assisted knife is a knife style that is similar to an automatic knife, except that you sue your hand to partially open the blade rather than a button. Automatic knives have strict laws surrounding them that make them illegal in many areas, which is why a spring assisted knife is a great option. It is also a great option if you want a knife that will open smoothly and quickly. There is resistance after the blade is closed that will keep it closed until the resistance is overcome. Once the resistance is overcome by pushing the blade past the resistance point, the spring engages and does the rest of the work opening the knife for you.
The Sideliner features a thumb stud, which is a small stud that is on the blade of the knife close to the handle. You manually push your thumb against this stud to swing the blade out of the handle. This is a simple technique that anyone can figure out. However, it does put your fingers close to the blade, which is a drawback.
A liner lock is a folding knife with a side-spring lock that can be opened and closed with one hand without repositioning the knife in the hand. The lock is self-adjusting for wear. The modern liner lock traces its lineage to the late 19th century. But in the 1980s, the design was improved by American custom knife maker Michael Walker.
To release the lock, the user presses the lock bar back toward the handle side, at which time the blade is free to close. In the closed position, the lock bar rest alongside the handle and the blade.
The blade on this knife measures in at 3.5 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 7.75 inches long. This Bear and Son knife weighs in at 4.3 ounces.
The Pros of the Bear Edge Sideliner:
- The steel is very tough.
- The blade steel is extremely corrosion resistant.
- The blade is capable of taking a very fine edge.
- The coating prolongs the life of the blade.
- The coating cuts down on glares and reflections.
- The coating adds a sleek look to the knife.
- The drop point blade has a sharp point that is easily controllable.
- The drop point blade has a big belly that is perfect for slicing anything and everything.
- The clip is eligible for left or right hand carry, which means that it is an ambidextrous knife.
- The aluminum knife handle is strong.
- The aluminum handle is light, but still hefty enough to take on tasks.
- The aluminum handle is durable and very resistant to corrosion.
- Plenty of jimping on the handle ensures that you will have a secure grip on this knife at all times.
- Spring assisted knives will open quickly and smoothly.
- The thumb stud is easy to get the hang of.
The Cons of the Bear Edge Sideliner:
- Because the blade is softer, it is not going to maintain an edge for long periods of time.
- The coating will scratch off and will then have to be recoated.
- The drop point blade is not as sharp as a clip point blade.
- The drop point blade does not have many piercing capabilities.
- The pocket clip has only been designed for tip up carry.
- The aluminum knife handle is going to be cold to hold because of its conductive properties.
- The aluminum knife handle can be a little slippery—even though it has a lot of texture across the face of it.
- The aluminum handle is very prone to getting scratched and dinged.
- The thumb stud does put your fingers dangerously close to the blade during the opening process.
Bear Edge, a division of Bear & Son Cutlery, is making its debut this year–offering high quality products that utilize mostly imported parts that are proudly assembled in the USA. This liner lock designed model features a stainless steel blade that is deployed with dual thumb studs and the fluid action is thanks in part to the ball bearing washers it rides on. The ergonomic handle sports a diagonal milling pattern and the eye-catching red back spacer features a course jimping platform for extra security while in the hand. This model features a black aluminum handle, stainless steel liners, a modified drop point style blade in a black finish and the reversible pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left or right hand carry option. Pick up the Bear Edge 61103 Black and Red Sideliner Spring Assisted knife.