Knife review of the KA-BAR Becker series BK-16

My

BK-16 review

Features Of This Knife

• Overall length 9.25 inches

• Blade length cutting edge 4.38 inches

• The blade is a Sharpened Drop Point

• This is a Fixed Blade knife

• 20 degree edge angle

• Full tang

• Flat grind blade

• Black Ultramid® handle with a extra set of coyote tan interchangeable scales.

• Comes complete with a BK15S – Tan Cordua® sheath

• The knife is Designed by Ethan Becker a well known knife designer

• Knife Made in USA

• 1095 CRO-VAN steel

• Blade thickness 0.165 in

• Blade width 1.25 in

• MOLLE compatible tan Cordura® sheath. Made in china (crap)

Total cost for this knife as per KA-Bar website $120.00 US

For this price point this knife would be highly recommended in my opinion

It is a rugged, durable, multi functional light to medium or even some medium-heavy duty tasks.

Recommended use

⁃ camping

⁃ boating

⁃ Light prying tasks

⁃ Light buttoning 4” wood and under

⁃ Digging

⁃ Fire starting

⁃ Striking fire steel

⁃ Hunting

⁃ Signalling

⁃ Rope cutting

⁃ Food prep

⁃ Keep with bug out bag

⁃ Keep in a car

⁃ Hammering tent pegs

⁃ Breaking glass

⁃ Chopping small diameter brush

⁃ Cooking

⁃ Camp crafts

⁃ Bush craft

⁃ Self defence

⁃ Skinning wild game

⁃ And so many other tasks

I would not recommend this knife for the following

⁃ heavy prying tasks

⁃ Heavy Chopping

⁃ Splitting larger (over 4” logs) (camping fire wood to make kindling out of, is perfect)

⁃ Not recommended for survival although any knife you have in that situation is a good knife to have.

⁃ Underwater activities (eg. Diving)

ADDED BONUS FEATURES

•can easily be sharpened in the field with River rock,

• limited lifetime warranty from Ka-bar guaranteed. However if you plan to be the next Bear Grills or Survivorman then this warranty is not going to work for you. And you may want to look at ESSE Knives instead

•Additional Features of this sheath include an external Pouch

•so many external options for upgrading this knife weather you buy a set of Micarta handles to upgrade from the 2 sets the knife comes with in the box

Or maybe you’d like to change the colour to a highly visible hunter orange suitable for spending time in the bush for some outdoor wilderness adventuring like I have ordered for my knife, pictured below.

NEGATIVES ABOUT THIS KNIFE

First off, about this sheath.

I despise this sheath

⁃ this sheath is made in China. It is of very thin cheap nylon material

⁃ Mine had a tear in it straight out of the box as well as one of the 2 snaps used to secure the knife to the sheath was broken right out of the box. I’ve removed the 2nd snap from above pic. I could have returned this item for warranty but I never plan on using this sheath anyway once the ones I order arrive anyways

⁃ Other than the fact this sheath is Molly compatible to have the ability to secure it to a back pack the best part or feature of this sheath, is that it is easily replaceable with many great options from many other companies easily found through Etsy, or Amazon or any surplus store.

⁃ I am going with 2 options myself. 1st option is a Kydex sheath with traditional TEK-LOC belt clip.

I have gone with this option for several reasons and applications for how I personally use my knifes. 1st because of the steel the BK-16 is made of, (1095 carbon steel), it has a tendency to have the potential to rust (if not taken care of properly). So the Kydex is a hard mouldable plastic designed specifically to hold your specific knife, tightly in place, with a custom fit (no rattle) (great for hunting) and has drainage hole incase you find yourself in wet conditions,

-this sheath will not retain moisture.

The cons of the Kydex sheath is that you must order each piece as an add on, (SOLD SEPARATELY) such as a ferro rod holder, ferro rod, belt clip, and leg cordage. (If you want those options). Also the additional cost for an additional sheath raises the cost of this otherwise reasonably priced knife into a medium to high price point as far as knifes go.

Knife with Kydex sheath

Or maybe you want to go with a leather sheath instead?

The leather sheath is durable, looks amazing has many available different styles to choose from creating almost any desired look / style you want.

The downside to a leather sheath is that it retains moisture and some people have decided to strip their Ka-Bar BK16’s of the thick layer of black protective coating on the blade itself, by stripping the coating off this blade you will get a better edge on the spine of the knife for striking fire steels and you will find that food prep is a fair amount easier (much cleaner cutting abilities with a stripped down knife)

With a stripped knife using a leather sheath, there is a much higher chance your blade will rust if not properly taken care of.

I myself have decided not to strip down my knife so that I can use my knife with a leather sheath when I choose to. The one below is the one I have just ordered off Etsy for $70.00 plus shipping total cost is $95.00 CDN after tax.

This brings the knife set once again into their medium to higher price range, and In my personal opinion I have only done this for this knife myself because I absolutely love how this knife felt in my hand and I know this is the perfect knife for everything I utilize a knife for with the activities I do personally, and on a regular basis, otherwise there are better knives out there for the price point. You will pay for this knife with all the upgrades.

Although you cannot order this knife through KA-Bar itself they advertise the knife around $125.00 US, which converts to $160.00 CDN.

I actually found mine in a surplus store for $135.00 CDN but because of the broken snap on the sheath as I was purchasing the knife, they sold it to me for $114.00 CDN. Otherwise on Amazon this knife sells at approx $185.00 in CDN funds.

With all my upgrades at full price in Canadian dollars this knife would cost the following

Kydex version, $33

-paired with belt clip, $20

-ferro rod holder, $15

-ferro rod itself (fire starter kit), $20

Pic of Ferro Rod

-Micarta handles (whatever colour you choose) $53

-& rubber coating stripper if you so choose to ( I did not choose this option) $20

Shipping costs $36

Total $180.00 plus applicable taxes (in add-on’s alone)

Ka-Bar BK16 $185.00

COST (is approximately)

$365.00 CDN

Total cost of (MY) set up but with the orange handles (yet to arrive ) &even with my discount when I purchased my knife

$230.00 CDN plus I bought the KYDEX sheath version above. So I’ll actually have over $300 into my set. Once it’s said and done.

But remember this leather set up with the knife (above) at regular cost would be approximately

$367.00 + tax CDN (no discounts)

My conclusions

Buying a decent knife is a very personal choice. I have gone through several medium priced knives over the past 25 years. Each knife I buy I have given to my sons and the next purchase has always been a long drawn out process of research and personal preferences to find my next perfect blade for me. My personal needs and choice of a knife may not fit the needs and choice of the next person and to be honest I have yet to find a perfect 1 knife that could do everything I need a knife to do but this Ka-Bar BK16 is definitely getting closer. Lol

I found the cost of the knife on Amazon, at $185.00 CDN was reasonable however if KA-Bar upped the cost to $200 but paired with a Kydex sheath and Micarta scales for grip, then this knife would be as next to perfect as it gets. But because you have to source out your own, now the cost of this knife soars into the next price point to where there are really better built knives and set ups for the price, however because of the feel of the knife and how it handles I find that even at around the $300 CDN price tag that I have into this knife, (for me), this is going to be a very loved and well used blade. And I’m happy with the money I’ve put into this product to make it exactly what I want.

If I had the perfect combination of outdoor tools it would be the following

My BK16

An Esse 6

Both paired with Kydex sheeth’s and complemented with a

21” to 24” bush saw

“And”

A decent full length 5lb axe.

Of course if I were car camping I would bring a chainsaw and probably a tent as well lol I’m not trying to prove I can do these things in the bush, I already know I can. I’m trying to go in as light as possible with just the right amount of usable gear to make life easier. I don’t need or even want to run around in the wood with nothing to prove to a few friends and some strangers I can survive the wild with nothing but a stick and a prayer lol.

Now when your car camping all that is no problem to haul along right? but when your kayak, or back bush camping, then less is better and maybe only 1 knife is all the room you can spare.

What knife would you choose for you and your outdoor adventures?

Let me know in the comments what your all time favourite knife of choice is and what you’ve paired it with? Or especially how you might have tricked out your BK16?

What would you pair (if anything) your knife with to make the perfect outdoor set?

I replaced my Gerber Strong-Arm with this BK16

They look similar to the untrained eye I know but they have some very different features I assure you.

My Strong-arm is still a great knife but as for me I am dedicating it to my newest born son (3 months old now) and when he’s old enough it will be his, just like I’ve done for my other 2 sons. They each got my knife I had used in the field

My eldest son got my first survival/ bush crafting knife, the Gerber Bear Grills survival knife.

And my now middle son received my Buck knife

I used extensively while I was guiding the Canadian north as a fishing guide.

Both of those knives had served their purpose for sure but I had stepped into a new level of outdoor utility knife with the Gerber Strong-Arm for sure, and only time will tell if I’ve made the right choice with my BK16.

Well that’s me nerding out to one of my passions. Survival, and bushcraft, knives, gear, as well as hunting.

Thanks for reading

2 responses to “Knife review of the KA-BAR Becker series BK-16”

  1. […] For our outing to the back lakes I chose my new KA-Bar- Becker BK-16 (see my review blog on this knife for specs) https://mathiasbushcraftingsurvival.wordpress.com/2022/01/05/knife-review-of-the-ka-bar-becker-serie… […]

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