A lot of people probably don’t know this but Bear Edge is a line of fixed blade and folding knives that is offered by the knife company Bear and Son. Bear and Son is most known for their low cost but respectable balisongs (a.k.a. butterfly knives), of which, I have owned a few and I liked them. With that being said, I recently purchased one of the Bear Edge folding knives in good faith but was totally let down. It was bad in many ways.
First things first; let me talk about the blade. The Bear Edge Model 61105, which is listed as the 4 1/8 in. Aluminum Sideliner W/Trigger And Ball Bearing Washers on the Bear Edge products page, sports a 3.2″ (8.1cm) 440 stainless steel drop-point blade with a bead blasted finish. So Bear and Son doesn’t disclose what grade of 440 steel they use but from what I know all 440 steels are superior to the ubiquitous 420 High Carbon steel at least as far as hardness and wear resistance are concerned. Sadly, the knife came pretty dull right out of the box. The area closest to the tip of the blade wasn’t too sharp and the area that is closest to the pivot was also in bad shape. This goes without saying, but knives ought to come paper-slicing sharp out of the box. Customers can’t be bothered with having to sharpen the new knives they buy. The means of deployment on this knife include some perfectly functional, plain-jane thumb studs and a flipper. The thumb studs work and they aren’t uncomfortable. The flipper probably could have been done away with. It just wasn’t comfortable for me, plus the action is not smooth.
That brings us to the next point. Out of the box, the action of the knife was slow and rough. Keep in mind this knife is unassisted so you have no mechanical action helping to open the knife. This fact adds to the overall crappy ergonomics that this thing has. I had to apply a few drops of GunZilla CLP to the pivot and the lock area to try to smoothen things out. It mildly improved the conditions. Even though the Bear Edge 61105 utilizes caged ball bearing washers as apposed to normal flat pivot washers, it is noticeably less smooth than every other knife I have. Knives that have nylon pivot washers are still faster and smoother than this. I actually tried to remove one of the handle scales to get a look at the pivot to see if I could clean it up but was unable to because the first screw I tried to loosen stripped-out even with precautions taken to prevent such a frustration. So that was pretty cool. The worst part of the action, and the whole knife in general is the liner lock. It is very, very stiff. I can say with great confidence that it out paces any other folding knife I have ever owned in the liner lock stiffness department. Furthermore, the texturing on the liner lock is more closely related to blade serrations than to normal grip adding features. It is not really that bad but it is still thumb-abusingly sharp. The liner lock sharpness is reason enough for me to never consider carrying this abortion of a knife.
Now onto something slightly positive. The bead blasted aluminum handle scales make for decent “grip-providers”. They have a tame looking texture pattern that does a good job at giving you something to grab onto and the outer edge of the scales has some roughness to it that adds to the grip factor. For my large sized hands I can get a solid hold on this knife even though it is not large with an overall length of 7.5″ (19.1cm). Also, the handle geometry helps me with keeping my hand in place. After looking at the scales for a bit I’d say they are a component that is formed in a press. Not that that observation is relevant to most people, I’m just interested in manufacturing in general, so I just wanted to point that out.
Hey, here is another positive point with the model 61105. It is outfitted with a deep carry pocket clip that is set up for tip-up carry for right-handers but it can be switched to left-side carry. The clip holds onto the pocket securely so no worries their. What you may need to worry about is your pockets getting abraded by the handle scales. Like I alluded to earlier. They aren’t exactly smooth slabs of aluminum.
And that’s what you need to know about Bear Edge 61105. It is very uncomfortable and underwhelming considering it has an M.S.R.P. of $49.99. It sells for under $34 on eBay. You may think “Doesn’t it have a warranty? Why don’t you take advantage of the warranty?”, and to that I tell you that I already reached out to Bear and Son about getting a new one. I would have to pay for shipping to their facility and include $8 to pay for return shipping. I for one, am not a fan of paying $12 more dollars and taking the time to pack and ship an item that was new and should have been good from the start. So to those who suggest I give Bear and Son another chance I say, go pound sand!
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