The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion brings back an older survival knife that became a collector’s piece after the original manufacturer — Becker Knife & Tool — shut down in 2007. Ka-Bar holds true to the original concepts of the Campanion, and the new version still comes close to the ideal of the indestructible emergency knife.
The Becker Campanion begins as a slab of 1095 high carbon steel a full 1/4 inch thick. Some care is taken not to reduce that original strength by much, and the finished knife weighs nearly a pound. The 5-1/2-inch blade of this 10-1/2-inch full tang survival knife is flat ground, not hollow ground. Sharpened with a 20-degree edge bevel, the Campanion has none of the weaknesses of a hollow-ground skinner. You could use the spine of this knife as a blunt instrument, or you could use a blunt instrument to drive it — either way, it holds up. The cutting action won’t match a hollow-ground blade because you do encounter more resistance in this stronger blade style, but if you want an edge you can abuse, the Campanion is the better idea.
Ka-Bar’s Campanion uses handle slabs of Grivory, a durable thermoplastic resin originally used to substitute for metal parts in cars. Applied to knives, glass fiber reinforced Grivory has been used for crude blades as well as nearly indestructible handles. The smooth surface of this knife’s grip depends on shape for traction, but with the dropped bolster and handle butt, it’s still a solid handhold.
Some confusion over the knife’s country of origin resulted from pairing the Campanion with a rugged, glass-filled nylon belt sheath made in Taiwan. According to Ka-Bar, the knife itself is made in the U.S.A.
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