All posts by Jake Mitchell

My Personal Bark River Smoke Jumper Knife Review

I have the Smoke Jumper knife a few weeks back, but I didn`t had the time until now to review it. I first wanted to have enough time to use for several tests to see its full potential.

Overall Features

The Smoke Jumper knife`s 50-100B blade is made from carbon steel and has a thickness of 3/16 inches. It has a cutting edge is of 5 3/8 inches and a length of 6 inches. On the knife`s top a beautiful false grind can be found which makes for a sharp tip which is still powerful enough for good penetration.

The Bark River Smoke Jumper knife includes a double-quillion guard (some knives have only one quillion) and a handle which is pretty nicely contoured which completely hides its tang. The knife will come in a great leather sheath made by Sharpshooter Sheath Systems.

Immediately when I took the knife out of its box, I noticed how light it feels in my hand. It gives you the feeling that it is weight forward, but yet ideally balanced at the very same time. It`s blade looks like it cannot wait to start cutting. This great knife feels as powerful as a tank, although it is surprisingly light in its weight. No matter the selection of grips, the handle is quite comfortable.

Bark River Smoke Jumper Knife

Knife Field Testing

The very first thing I did was to take it and do a little batoning. It wasn`t really necessary, but I was rather curious to see it in action. This knife batons quite well through all the size pieces. The false edge did not really hinder the entire process from what I could tell. I beat on it quite hard to cut some parts of the wood. I do not really know what sorts of wood I`ve mixed, but some part of it were quite tough to cut. Even though is quite light in weight, the Bark River Smoke Jumper knife bites quite deep.

Additionally to being a fighting knife, this seems more like a survival knife. I do not really have the right avenues to test it properly, so I want to stick with what I know. I look around for a few simulated survival-type tasks. The very first thing I noticed was a massive fatwood stump which had been cut, I think, by the Forest Service, so I was it first. Because this stump had a few unique thin ridges on its edge, it was pretty easy to split a few strips.

Final Conclusion

All in all, this knife has a lot more applications than just combat and survival. It`s well suited for just about any cutting tasks you throw at it. Its light weight makes it perfect for hiking or backpacking. You can even take it to fishing and realize its great potential. It is even great to have it around for day-to-day small tasks. You do not want to miss out this great knife.

My Bark River Hudson Bay Camp Knife Review

I just had the chance to test the Bark River Hudson Bay Camp knife on a recent canoe trip and I got to tell you, this knife is beyond great.

If the Hudson Bay Camp knife is used as a knife for various camping tasks, either for slicing, cutting or chopping, you`ll see that not only the knife will excel, but will most definitely go beyond your expectations. I can`t put my finger on what it was, but it was something rather interesting about using a regular blade for regular, small tasks. Unlike many other knives with “painted” handles, the Bark River Hudson Bay Camp knife does not look like threatening or military-style.

Basic Aspects of the Hudson Bay Camp Knife

This specific review is here to show the small difference between what you need and what you desire. There are a lot of knives out there overbuilt. Tough handles that have deep checkered handle slabs, or thicknesses of 0.250 inches which is more than too much, these aren`t necessary features for a knife that would be handled in the woods. Although this type of features might seem wonderful in movies, or used by models in knife catalogs, they have no purpose whatsoever if the real field. On the other hand, the Hudson Bay Camp knife from Bark River Knives & Tool is the ideal combination of style, craftsmanship and functionality. From the period-correct sheath to the polished brass, this knife is a state-of-the-art tool. With a length of 8.25 inches, the blade is just thick enough to use for some really tough duties. Mixed with a convex edge, this knife`s blade is surprisingly sharp and will give the impression that can remain so for a long period of time. The great attention to detail isn`t really something a lot of knife manufacturers offer since it take more skill and time to design. Having 13 inches in length, this knife isn`t a fixed-blade knife for day-to-day carrying. For such purposes, you may want to have something like a 4-inch blade knife.

Field Testing Is a Must

The Hudson Bay Camp knife was used not only by me, but also by some of my friends. Anyone who used it said it had a good hand-feel and cut quite nicely. Probably the best possible use of this knife came with a small course on batoning we gave a couple of children we had on our group. I would venture a bit and say a small child using this knife improperly could put as much strength on its blade as an adult user. No matter if bad or good form, the Hudson Bay Camp will have more than a satisfactory performance.

As a one purpose knife, this great tool will most likely pass each test you throw at it. There are is absolutely nothing you can do to this knife to “slow it down.” Splitting wood, slicing meat or shaving sticks, the great Hudson Bay Camp knife from Bark River will succeed on pretty much any task.

Full Bark River Bumble Bee Knife Review

When most people think at Bark River knives, the first names of products manufactured by this company that come in their mind is the Bravo-1 or Little Creek knife. However, there are also other great knives made by Bark River Knives & Tools, one of which is the Bark River Bumble Bee knife.

Overview Features

With an overall length of 5.96 inches and a blade length of 2.350 inches, the Bumble Bee knife from Bark River doesn`t have a threatening aspect for public carry. The blade thickness of 0.120 inches of this 52-100 @58rc steel will make it a great camping knife, while the cutting edge length of 2.250 inches will turn it into a perfect tool for multiple daily tasks. Weighing just 3.625 ounces, this knife it`s pretty easy to feel when handling it for all those small cutting chores which might arise during a day.

The Bumble Bee knife has a thin grind to its blade, so the knife becomes an effective slicer. This knife may be honed quite fast to a razor edge. It can be even used for small tasks like open envelopes or packages.

You`ll get your knife along with a wonderful sheath made from leather. The sheath will hold your Bumble Bee well, but you`ll be able to get your knife out quite easily. You`ll notice the sheath is well made and quite comfortable when wearing it on your belt. On daily uses, the knife will never get in your way. If you want to wear it behind your gun, it`s even better.

Handling and Testing the Bark River Bumble Bee Knife

When you get your Bumble Bee knife, held it in your hand grab its feel. You`ll see that this knife is so comfortable that you can still consider it a “4-finger” knife. For various grips the knife will work fine, but it is quite nice to use for choking up as well.

Bark River Bumble Bee Knife

If you are an outdoor person, meaning you like to spend a lot of time outdoors, you may enjoy using a small knife like the Bumble Bee knife. You can use it to cut fruits or vegetables, fishing lines peeling or whittling, and you can also use it for minor carving. The blade`s shape is made in such a way that will provide maximum efficiency when cutting is involved.

If you`ll use this knife often, you`ll notice after a while that its little blade is so easy to control because it has the right geometry to get fine curls when cutting wood. The Bumble Bee knife is also great if you want to split tiny sticks when exposing the drier wood inside.

Overall Conclusion

Generally speaking, the Bark River Bumble Bee knife is handy tool to have for your daily tasks. After using it for a while, you`ll most likely become addicted, and the knife will surely become a wonderful addition to your own collection.

Complete Bark River Aurora Knife Review

A lot of people have heard about Bark River Knives and the quality the brand puts in its products, but still the average customer would be interested in knowing more in-depth information about certain types of knives.

In terms of durability or quality, there is not much to say as most knife enthusiasts know that Mike Stewart, the person behind this great brand, puts in a lot of effort in detail and leaves nothing to chance. This applies to the Bark River Aurora knife as well.

Is Bark River Aurora my Knife?

If you open the box of a Bark River Aurora knife, the handle may seem a bit large, but after you handle this great knife for a little while, your thoughts will go away.

The Aurora knife is a great tool for multiple tasks, and could be well designated as a “bushcraft knife.” Its 4.5-inch blade made from A-2 steel is only 3/16 inches tick. This type of blade has a nice edge geometry that makes it a great slicer without showing any weaknesses.

Bark River Aurora Knife

This knife has a very nice balance as its point is inline with the knife`s center line. The fit and finish on the Aurora is quite great.

The Bark River Aurora knife comes in a high-quality leather sheath designed in a bushcraft style. You`ll find no problems when wearing this type of knife on your belt.

Putting the Aurora Knife to Work

The Aurora knife was designed for bushcraft tasks. One of the first things most knife enthusiasts like to do with any Bark River knife is to make a baton with a little weight to it. This knife will make peeling the baton`s bark a breeze. It will cut through all the small knots without finding any problems. Going down to the harder part of the wood, the Bark River Aurora knife will again shape the baton with almost no effort.

This knife has a nice blade to use when preparing camp food. Its blade is long enough to cut small slices of potatoes quite nicely, and you`ll enjoy the comfort that this great knife will offer when using it. The blade`s geometry allows the edge to bite deep enough for just about any material you use the knife for.

As an idea, if you are an outdoor person, this will make a great companion. The Aurora knife is suited for backpacking, camping or hiking, and it`s capable to handle a lot of tasks.

Bark River Bravo-1 Knife Review

No matter the reason for which you want to buy a knife, either for hunting or survival, the Bravo-1 knife from Bark River is a great choice. This knife is considered by most people the best knife manufactured by this brand, and this is mostly because it can do a little bit from any task you could imagine.

The Bravo-1 knife highlights great quality details if we had to put the overall conclusion into a few words, but better yet, let`s get into the details a bit.

The Bravo-1`s Sheath

First of all, the knife usually comes with a sheath made from good quality leather that has a light brown color and a firesteel loop. But you also have the option of using a Kydex sheath, which first appeared before 2010 and still available today. This sheath can be changed from left to right hand carry, but also inverted or upright carry. Most knife users like this sheath better because it doesn`t hold water and it doesn`t keep moisture next to the knife`s blade. This is a really well-thought out sheath, really functional with kind of strong feel. Once you put the knife in this sheath, the knife won`t come out unless you want it no matter what you do with the sheath. It`s not elastic, but it can be adjusted according to the user`s desires.

Main Features of the Bravo-1 Knife

This knife comes with a lot of variations, depending on what you enjoy the most on your knife. The Bravo-1 comes with a CPM 3V or an A-2 steel blade that has 4.250 inches in length and has a blade thickness of 0.217 inches. The blades that are made from CPM 3V steel have more toughness than the ones made from the A-2 steel, and they don`t have to be Babied when used because of their Vanadium content. With a fast wipe down when you finish your task, you`ll be good to go. For most purposes or intents, the CPM 3V steel seems to be the ideal choice of steel.

Bark River Bravo-1

Unlike other Bark River knives, the Bravo-1 knife has been developed with the assistance of the Force Recon Division of the United States Marine Corps. What they did is purchased many knives on the market and tested them all without letting know any of the manufacturers.

The overall length of 9.065 inches and its weight of just 7.575 ounces puts the Bravo-1 in the medium sized category of knives. The balance of the Bravo-1 knife it`s one the first finger. To achieve this balance, the tang was skeletonized so the weight can be put evenly over the position of the first finger.

Overall Conclusion

The price of this knife varies depending on the features it includes, but in general you can find it at over $200. For what the Bark River Bravo-1 knife can offer and do, the price is a steal. No matter your reason for buying it, either hunting or survival purposes, this knife will certainly not let you down.

6 Reasons to Buy Bark River Knives

I`m being asked almost all the time what kind of knife do I recommend. If we are talking about knives with fixed blades, almost always the answer will be Bark River knives. This brand is among the oldest distributor of knives and their products are the finest in the market. Bark River manufactures only high quality knives at prices that are pretty affordable, and here is why I can stand behind their products.

1. Made in U.S.

All knives manufactured by Bark River are made in the U.S., in the area of Michigan. This is considered a legendary area, and is home to customer knife-makers for more a century. Manufacturing high-quality knives runs in the blood of most people in this specific region and those making such knives have a great passion for what they do.

2. High Quality

Each Bark River knife is made with pride and much attention to all details which can be seen in almost each piece. Beginning with some of the highest quality materials that include true steels like CPM M3 and 3V but also the popular A2, Bark River offers fixed blades with beautiful shapes. The band adds the user`s choice of handle types of natural materials to durable Micartas and great burl woods.

3. Heat Treat

Each knife will be heat treated to the requirements and specifications of Mike Stewart, a popular cutlery legend. Mike Stewart is used to set protocols personally for each steel that is being used and tries to get as much out of each steel any professional knife maker would do. Edge retention will meet with complexity and harshness in such a way that quite rarely is duplicated.

4. Convex Edges

These knives are predominantly used convex edges, and for a good motive. This specific edge is almost impossible to scratch at normal use and as such very few brands put so much commitment to convex the edges of their knives.

5. Community

Bark River is a company that participates in social media or forums in an active way offering a unique experience to the market. What other knife business is willing to chat with its customers on a daily basis? Add specific events like the Camp-In & Grind-In and you have a business where the customers are treated as family.

6. Warranty for Life

And if we are talking about warranty, well, each knife has warranty for life without any exception. If something should happen with your knife, send it back and it will be fixed or replaced no questions asked. Because the business is U.S.-based, it will not cost you too much money in shipping to have things done. Spa services that will bring your Bark River knife back to its original status is normally available for a specific fee as well. People who have used these services have remained pleasantly surprised with the results.

Purchase any type of knife from Bark River and you`ll most likely agree – it`s among the best examples of American-made quality in the industry for outdoor activities. But remember this – as soon as you`ll purchase one, you`ll most definitely want more, a few more!