‘Size matters not’, a jedi master once said. I can’t really find a phrase that would more accurately describe the Ka-Bar BK11 knife, which, despite it’s small size, is perfectly capable of a performance to many typical outdoor knives.
Ka-Bar BK11 is a neck knife (meant to be carried on your neck, rather than belt), and as a result it is 171mm long. The knive’s surface, with an exception of the grind, is covered with a matte coating. The coating is durable, although as the knife was used the layer began to rub off.
The blade of Ka-Bar BK11 has a drop point shape, it is 8cm long and 4m thick and has a full flat grind. Together with it’s material, the ‘1095 Cro-Van’ steel, these parameters translate to a high durability of the knife, while the good cutting properties are still retained.
The knife has a full tang design, in other words, it is made out of a single piece of metal, which provides the highest resistance and reliability possible. In other words, if there’s nothing that can brake, it won’t break. Unfortunately, however, a new knife has a bare metal handle, which it is best to wrap in paracord to improve the grip and the comfort of use (alternatively, you could also purchase a set of micarta scales). At the end of the handle the manufacturer has placed a bottle opener.
Together with Ka-Bar BK11 you’ll receive a black sheath made of a durable plastic. Unfortunately, it isn’t a commonly used Kydex sheath, which holds the knife firmly without a need for any locking mechanisms. In order to hold the knife securely, the sheath of Ka-Bar BK11 features a locking mechanism with a plastic element that has to be place in the right position. This solution isn’t as good as a well-molded Kydex, but it nevertheless works and doesn’t interfere with using the knife – you just need to make sure it is locked properly. Together with the knife you also receive a piece of paracord, which is long enough to carry the knife around.
The key part of the Ka-Bar BK11 is its size. The knife is small enough that you can comfortably carry it around as a neck, but at the same time it is still big enough to work well for most of the typical outdoor uses, including such techniques as batoning.
The handles of the knife fit well in you hand (unless you have very big hands, then BK11 might be tad small), and a good design ensures that the knife is simply easy to use and works well for a wide range of applications.
Ka-Bar BK11 is a well designed and versatile neck knife, which gets the job done even in the more demanding jobs around the campsite, while its small size means that carrying it around won’t get in the way or cause you inconvenience.
Special thanks for giving us a chance to test the Ka-Bar BK11 goes to the Polish distributor of Ka-Bar knives, specshop.pl!