Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review: Becker BK11

BK&T Ka-Bar BK11 “Becker Necker”

DISCLAIMER: The knife being reviewed was manufactured by Becker Tool and Ka-Bar, unlike the earlier models that were produced by Becker Tool and Camillus.

Knives are a hot debate between backpackers, hikers, or anyone else who has to carry all their gear on their back. Weight, reliability, size, versatility, and packability are a few things that one must take into account. Where many on the “ultralite” scene may prefer smaller folding knives, I felt that I wanted something a little more…. solid. Then I found exactly what I was looking for, the BK11, also known as the “Becker Necker.”

Perhaps one of the best things about this knife is the price paid for such high quality. It is made out of high-carbon 1095 Cro-Van steel which as is strong as an ox and as sharp as anything as well. It does not have the anti-corrosion abilities of stainless steel but it does have a black coating protecting it from the elements so this is hardly a problem. Online you can find the BK11 at most websites for $40.00 plus shipping and handling. My first impression of the knife was that it was light, weighing just over 3 ounces with the handle wrapped in 550 cord. My second impression is that it was SHARP, of course that’s expected by both Becker and Ka-Bar.

Upon using it, I came to the conclusion that it is the perfect size for me. It measures in at 6.75 inches giving it the ability to be put on the outside of a pack in the sheath without it getting in the way and without you looking like a “trail commando.” The sheath is also well made and constructed out of plastic injection molded glass-filled nylon. It provides many different attachment possibilities with four large grommet-like holes on the bottom and two on top, totaling in six. Above the four holes and below the two holes is a pair of smaller “grommet-holes,” totaling in four of those. The sheath measures 4.75 inches alone and is a total of 7.75 inches with the knife securely locked in.

For a knife of its size, the BK11 has many abilities. As I stated earlier the handle of mine is wrapped with the 550 cord provided with the knife. Not only does this increase the grip and comfort of it in my hand, but now if I need cord I have it. So now it’s a cord-carrying knife. At the bottom of the handle you’ll notice a strange cut out. This is a bottle opener. Why would I need a bottle opener in the outdoors? I wouldn’t, but you might. I personally use it to pry smaller things rather than damage the blade. So now it’s a cord-carrying, bottle opening, prying knife. But wait there’s more! The end of handle also sports what Ka-Bar claims is a wire breaker! So now you have a cord-carrying, bottle opening, prying, wire breaking knife! As stated earlier, the sheath also allows many configurations from carrying on your belt (if you buy the belt clip or use the 550 cord to cross-tie it on), on a pack strap or attachment point (my preference), or around your neck if you use the 550 cord as a necklace that passes through the sheath (hence “Necker”).

                                             BK11 attached to my ALICE pack by zip ties

                                        BK11 attached to my left Pack strap handle facing down

                                                         Bottle opener/wire breaker

“How does the knife perform?” you ask? It performs superbly. It is easily the best knife I have ever owned and has yet to let me down. The durability of this knife allows me to use it with confidence. Users of the BK11 claim to use it to field dress game; I for one tested this knife in a way that many do not. I tested this knife by cutting down a tree. Yes, a tree. I did this by cutting a 360 degree wedge in the tree and then pushing it over when it was thin enough. If the stuff it the fan, I’m confident I could construct a shelter with this knife if needed.

                                                      Tree with 360 degree wedge cut in

Tree after it was pushed over

This knife surpasses what I require in a knife. It has done me well and I’m sure it will well into the future.  It is truly a small knife that handles some big jobs. For the price and what it provides you cannot go wrong.


  1. A well done review. f

  2. I too own this knife. However, ive put it to different tasks. I do go hiking a bit and camp often and certainly will be taking it along.... But i normally use this as my edc knife. I work in a brewery and carry this perfectly compact, perfectly capable knife everyday for opening boxes, cutting co2 hoses, opening hop bags, cutting up bails of hops, opening bottles, cutting rope, lunch prep, etc... Perfect size for use and comfortable carry

  3. Im getting this soon, thanks for the insight