The Neck Knife that I chose is the Ka-Bar BK14 Becker Eskabar Neck Knife! I decided on the BK14 because I already own a Ka-Bar BK7 Becker and love it. Click here to view current price on Amazon.
After choosing to once again go with a Ka-Bar product, I then had to decide if I was going to go with the BK11 or the BK14. The reason why I chose the BK 14 because of the different reviews I read and just the fact that its evolution to the BK 11 was worth it.
The handle is smoother and will leave your hand less fatigue if you tend to use it for great lengths of time. The BK 14 Eskabar is a collaboration kneck knife between the two companies of Ka-Bar and ESEE. You will notice on the pictures that one side of this blade has the emblem of ESEE Knives and on the other side has the Becker Knife and Tool Logo.
Of course, those familiar with the ESEE Izula will want to know how these two knives compare with each other. To answer that question, the dimensions of the EsKabar and the Izula are identical from the handle, which measure 3.75” long. The EsKabar incorporates the large quillon from the Becker Necker, as well as the larger Necker blade.
The blade on the EsKabar measures 3.25” as opposed to the 2.63” blade on the Izula. The EsKabar also has a larger belly than the Izula. The difference in thickness is only 1/100th of an inch with the EsKabar being the thicker knife at 0.165”.
The BK14 Eskabar comes in a skeletonized neck knife form, but most people either use the paracord that comes with it to wrap around the handle. You can also buy a custom set of handle scales for the BK 14, which I’m probably going to end up doing. Either that or im just going to buy an orange paracord to wrap the handle. The flat grind is fantastic and comes sharp right out of the box.
With the thickness of the blade, you can do a little bit of chopping and splitting of small wood. This knife is also great for small intricate carving and smaller detailed task. It shouldn’t fatigue your finger if you hold the BK 14 with your thumb pressing on the top of the blade, I find it very comfortable but I guess it would depend on the person.
The coating of the Eskabar is the same as any other Ka-Bar Becker knives. The surface does scuff up quickly, but that doesn’t matter to me. If scuffing the blade is a concern to you then you can always consider the Ka-Bar BK 24 Becker. Some people scrape a bit of coating off to make a significant fire starter companion with a Ferrocerium Rod. The 1095 steel is reliable and also easy to resharpen.
The sheath is very generic, and I would suggest buying a custom-made high-quality sheath for your BK 14 Eskabar. I find that Ka-Bar skimp out on the sheaths, they most likely do that to keep the cost of their high-end blades affordable to most people. I’m honestly okay with that.
The sheath has six large paracord lashing holes to mount it any way you want. It also comes with screw holes if you’re going to buy a belt clip for this knife. There is a bit of rattling if you shake the blade but the retention of the sheath is excellent if you’re going to wear it around your neck, as a neck knife is intended for with its slim profile.
Philosophy of Use
The philosophy of use for the BK14 Eskabar is a small EDC blade, and it’s also great to have with you on camping and hiking trips. The BK14 Eskabar is an excellent companion blade if you also have a Ka-Bar BK7 to do all the small detail work like preparing shavings for kindling or even food preparation.
Any knife can be forced into being used in a tactical role. The BK14 Eskabar has a more prominent belly, and its design is more for EDC Bush-use. This knife is not going to pierce very well, and it’s not going to be the best at skinning an animal, you can certainly make do in a bind but its just not made for that in my opinion.
If you want a tactical knife, then you might want to go with something with a better piercer. I will have a review of an urban tactical EDC neck knife whenever I make a decision on which one I’m going to buy.
I love this knife and Im certainly recommending it as a great neck knife to have with you in the wilderness. You can even make a small survival kit out of the sheath by adding a little compartment for a ferrocerium rod and some other small items. You can make something great by using a bit of imagination.
This particular neck knife is for wilderness use vs. being a knife I would carry on my person when I’m out in the world in an urban environment. That is, however, my opinion, some do buy this knife for urban EDC, it’s all in whatever you’re personal preference is of course. Click here to view current BK14 price on Amazon.
What Exactly Is a Neck Knife?
A neck knife is small to a mid-sized knife that you can wear on a lanyard or chain around your neck. The neck knife provides you with a blade that’s always on your person and that you can use for multiple survival purposes. A significant number of people also use a neck knife as a form of protection, without it being noticeable to those around you. Your neck knife would appear to be a simple necklace to most people but would provide you with a greater sense of security when you’re out and about.
Should Your Neck Knife Sheath be leather or Kydex?
The type of sheath is something that is a matter of personal preference. I find that for neck knife sheaths that has a downward facing tip, they can be either leather or Kydex. If you’re going to carry a neck knife that the tip is facing up, it should be Kydex. The reason for that is because with Kydex you will get better retention of the knife. Kydex is also going to eliminate any worries about your sheath retaining moisture that could be damaging to the blade long term.
Are The Sheaths Similar In Sound While Ejecting?
There are also the differences in the sound they make while ejecting and injecting the neck knife back into the sheath. The leather sheet is going to be almost silent when you extract it from the sheath. The Kydex sheet on the other hand with make a sliding noise that’s loud enough to hear if you don’t want anyone or anything alerted to your presence.
You will also hear a clicking sound when you place the blade back into the Kydex sheath. That’s something to take into account because if you want a sheath that is ultra silent and wouldn’t tip anyone off on your location, the leather sheath is the way to go. If you don’t care about sound all that much, then you can go with either sheath.
Is it Hard to Access a Tip Down Neck Knife?
Nope, it’s not. Some people avoid the tip down neck knives altogether because they seem to think they won’t be able to quickly or easily access the blade when needed. Here’s a trick you all of you that’s scared of the tip down neck knife, flip the sheath upside down. That’s right, All you need to do is grab the sheath and quickly flip it upside down and pull the knife out. Easy Peasy right?
Practice, Practice, Practice
Some would say that a neck knife isn’t a perfect self-defense weapon because you don’t have a consistent draw stroke. Think of a gun on your belt; a gun will always be in the same spot so your draw stroke will never change after you find the best way to draw your weapon.
It’s a little bit different with a neck knife because the knife won’t always be in the same spot because it will swing from side to side on your chest if you’re moving around too much when attacked. You can remedy this by merely practicing and having a method to compensate the movement of your neck knife and finding a way to draw it from the same location even if you’’re unbalanced.
Is there a choking hazard with a neck knife?
Nope, there isn’t. First of all, you will most likely be wearing your neck knife underneath your shirt thus reducing not only the visibility of your neck knife but also the choking hazard. Also, if you attach your neck knife around your neck with either a ball chain or double fisherman’s knot, your lanyard will stretch if someone pulls it in hopes of chocking you.
Is there only one way to carry a neck knife?
Don’t believe all the internet hype until you’ve tried wearing a neck knife yourself by applying logic to your carry style. Yes, most will merely carry their neck knife around their neck but if you don’t like that notion, you can buy or make a more extended lanyard and wear it around your neck and one arm horizontally in the small of the back.
I hope this Ka-Bar BK14 Review was of help to you and that you found the general neck knife tips helpful. Please leave a comment to let me know what you think of this knife or any other neck knife you may have purchased. Share this review with anyone you think would benefit from it.