BEST Survival Knife Review / Ka-Bar BK7 Becker Under $100
The Ka-bar BK7 Becker is the Jack of all trade of survival knives due to its size and weight makes it a good middle ground between carrying a knife and an axe. We saw many reviews about this knife and all were overwhelmingly positive; so we decided to buy one for ourselves and let me tell you, we weren’t disappointed! Click Here to directly go to Amazon to check out the Ka-Bar BK7 Becker!
This knife is extremely sharp and will work wonder if you need tinder shavings off a piece of birch bark. The quality of the Ka-Bar BK7 combat utility knife is awe-inspiring the moment you grab it in your hand. This isn’t a “novelty” knife or a gimmick. It is a perfect blend of utility, durability, and affordability!
Ka-Bar BK-7 In a Nutshell
Many reviewers are undoubtedly correct that you won’t find a better knife under $200. Even if you chose to spend more money, you will probably not be getting a better blade than this one! I was reading Ka-Bar’s product philosophy, and it’s apparent that they invest in excellent engineering skills and pour a lot of money into producing the highest quality blade! At roughly $75 (USD), the Ka-Bar BK7 doesn’t have fancy customizable parts or accessories; and this is the reason it’s able to keep cost down by merely making an outstanding tool and keeping it basic.
The Ka-Bar BK7 Simple Design
Designed specifically for soldiers and adventurers who need a sturdy yet lightweight combat knife, the Ka-Bar Becker BK7 all-purpose utility knife is built to stand up to hard use. The knife blade is made of 1095 Cro-Van steel, an easy-to-sharpen carbon steel that keeps its edge well. The Swiss-made Grivory handle, meanwhile, is constructed of a glass-fiber-filled nylon for added strength. It also has an impressive coating, thicker and much more substantial than I had expected. With an occasional thin coat of lubricant, I’m confident this blade will resist moisture and corrosion very well.
There’s no question that the substantial heft, long edge, excellent balance, and sharp piercing tip will make this knife very efficient as a defensive weapon if the need arises. The thumb ramp on the blade is also unexpectedly convenient. It does not interfere with any standard grip or use of the knife, yet it provides a stable, comfortable spot to park your thumb which also seems to allow a little extra leverage during repetitive slicing.
Many blades have jimping on the spine for enhanced grip, but when slicing into anything that offers resistance, you still have to tighten your grip and exert noticeable pressure with the thumb in a way that eventually fatigues the palm muscles. The BK7’s thumb ramp permits a little extra leverage and, though hard to describe, kind of lets you lock out your thumb to transfer more force from the wrist/forearm muscles (i.e., with less exertion of the thumb or palm). It feels like it may translate into noticeably less fatigue from your grip over time.
The factory-equipped handles are made from “Grivory” which appears to be a high-density plastic or nylon. It’s very smooth in texture, so the grip is a bit more slippery than I would normally wish for on a knife; especially at this size and sharpness. Other reviewers have noted, that the slippery grip can be remedied by scuffing/etching them with sandpaper or wrapping them with grip tape. However, despite the slippery texture, the shape and contour of the handles fit my hand so perfectly that any firm grip simply will not slip.
The only real danger here is if you relaxed your grip, stopped paying attention to what you’re doing without re-sheathing it; and then dropped the knife in a way that could injure yourself or someone else (most likely by dropping it on a foot). When I ordered this knife, I had expected to need a set of replacement handles right away, but now I’m not sure. The factory grips seem quite nice, and for some of you, that would find their smoothness deeply disconcerting are probably over-thinking the problem. A wrap of electrical tape could fix you right up.
Some reviewers on Youtube had made some rather negative comments about the sheath, I expected the Ka-Bar BK7 to come matted with a flimsy strip of plastic or cheap velcro. Thankfully, that is not the case whatsoever. I don’t find the sheath nearly as terrible as others have suggested, considering the low price point and high quality of the blade.
The sheath is made of good quality ballistic nylon with double-stitched piping around the external edges. The upper belt loop has a quick attach/remove feature that allows it to open with velcro and a single snap. This makes it so you don’t have to remove your belt to attach the sheath. When secured shut, I am confident it will stay shut and cling securely to my belt. At the lower end, the sheath has a smaller sewn loop as well as two rivets–either of which will retain a strap to secure it the tip end to your thigh or a pack to prevent it from flapping or wiggling freely.
The Small Sheath Inside the Outer Pouch will not Accommodate the BK14 or BK11!
The small sheath inside the outer pouch is for the BK13 Remora knife. There is a plastic sheath inside the pouch where the BK13 goes, then there is room inside the pouch for other supplies or even a Leatherman or other multi-tool. The BK13 used to be included with the BK7, but that was when the BK13 was made in Taiwan. Now, the BK13 is made in Olean, NY and is purchased separately. I’m fine with that, as I’d rather have a US-made knife, even though Ka-Bar’s Taiwanese made knives are still great quality for the price. The BK13 is available on Amazon for around $23-27 dollars, so it’s not an expensive addition if you’d like to pick one up separately to have an additional knife for detail work.
Will The Ka-Bar Becker BK7’s Blade Rust?
Any knife will have issues with moisture. Of course the only part you would need to worry about rusting, would be the blade. If you strip the coating off the knife as many people have done, then you have more areas to worry about. Keep the knife oiled and dry when possible, and it will serve you much.
What is the warranty on this knife? Is it covered for life?
The limited lifetime warranty is covered by Ka-bar company and warrants the knife against manufacturer defects in materials and artistry for the life of the original purchaser. The warranty does not cover damages caused by misuse abuse and normal wear of the knife. Having that said, from what I know & heard, Ka-bar has exceptional customer service, and I personally wouldn’t put too much worry on any future warranty issues.
How to Make Sure You’re Not Buying a Fake Knock Off Ka-Bar BK7 Knife?
The Knife will have Ka-Bar Logo and “USA” stamped into the metal. In the box, there should be official literature from Ka-Bar; about the knife and history of the company. The blade will also be a full tang knife, it does not mean much but a quality that does separate itself.
Does the knife rattle around in the sheath at all?
Mine rattles a little, but only if I hold the sheath in my hand and give it a good shake. If you’re wearing it on a backpack or a belt, it shouldn’t rattle, even if you’re running. Other reviewers have however said that it does rattle a bit more than they would like; If that’s the case, boil some water and place the flat part of the sheath under pocket in the water till it gets soft. After a few minutes, carefully take the sheat out of the water and lay it on a flat surface. Pressing down on the sheat for a few minutes with a towel should fix your rattle issues.
Is the spine of the knife 90 degrees, for easy use of a fire steel and shaving tinder?
Yes, it is. However, the black coating on these knives will not work on a fire steel. You will need to strip off the coating from the blade. This can be done by using Jasco Paint and Epoxy remover spray. Use caution with these types of products since it’s an acid and has corrosive elements. If you decide to do this, wear gloves and put the knife on something that will allow the Jassco to do its thing. It will eat the epoxy right off the blade no problem. I love the knife, but it does not work well for sparks, I’ve tried it. What it does have on the sheath is a nice pouch where you could keep a Ferrocerium Rod, and storm proof matches.
This is one heck of an impressive knife. I consider the Ka-Bar BK7 to be comparable in quality to RAT and ESEE knives. The BK7 is, however, significantly more affordable because Ka-Bar doesn’t include handle and sheath upgrades in the up-front cost. I’ve had this knife now for over a year and I’ve beaten on it harder than just about any tool I’ve ever owned! It just keeps going, and going!
It excels at most bushcraft chores. From fine tasks like feather sticks all the way up to hard-abuse tasks like chopping through a limb as a make-shift axe or batoning through 5″ diameter logs to make kindling. And after all this time, the black coating has held on like a champ. I can’t believe how durable that coating is, and unless you’re going to customize your knife, I would recommend you leave it in place because it does a superb job protecting the metal from corrosion.
If you want an excellent all-around knife for wilderness survival, hiking, and camping, you can’t go wrong with this one. Highly recommended!