KA-BAR Becker Companion

The Ka-Bar Becker Companion is a popular fixed-blade knife designed by Ethan Becker for outdoor use. I wouldn’t consider it a proper survival knife for most situations, and it’s definitely not a knife for fighting with, but when it comes to camping and bushcraft, it’s hard to beat this powerhouse of a knife.

Remember to check your knife laws, as this knife’s blade is longer than 5″!

Specs

  • Weight: 1lb
  • Blade Shape: Drop Point
  • Blade Type: Fixed
  • Blade Length: 5.25″
  • Overall Length: 10.5″
  • Steel: 1095 Cro-Van
  • Grind: Flat, 20 Degrees
  • Handle Material: Ultramid

First Impressions

This is a solid knife!  It’s a pretty beefy tool, so if you prefer lighter knives, steer clear of the KA-BAR Becker Companion.  I like to take it camping, and I like the heft that comes when I chop kindling with it.  It would probably make a good hunting knife as well, for folks who are into that kind of thing.

This knife is full tang with a lanyard hole so you can wear it around your neck if you want.  It’s a fairly imposing knife to do that with, though.  Seriously, this is a fairly big knife for an EDC.

The .25″ thick blade gives it a sturdy presence, feeling like a true workhorse tool!  The handle makes for a comfortable grip if you have larger hands.  For Sam, the weight and the handle are dealbreakers, though, so be aware that this is definitely not for everyone.

I wouldn’t take this knife hiking with me due to the weight, either.  This is something to pack along for a camping trip, not lug with you on a long hike.

This knife also bumps a bit when worn on your belt.  Part of this might be the sheath and the other part is that the weight makes it very noticeable.

TL;DR

  • Heavy, heavy, heavy!
  • Great for camping
  • Good for chopping
  • Sharp
  • Holds edge well
  • Nice grip for larger hands
  • Not so great for hiking
  • Small hands beware
  • Sheath is well-made, but not a fan of the nylon strap

Itemized Review

Need a deep dive before making a decision?  Here’s my rundown of every aspect of the KA-BAR Becker Companion:

Blade

The Companion features a 5.25″ drop point blade made of 1095 Cro-Van steel.  This is basically 1095 with some added chrome, nickel, vanadium, and molybdenum to give it some extra protection.  It’s also coated to inhibit rust, but I still wouldn’t recommend leaving it out in the rain or taking it on a fishing trip.

For such a stubby-looking knife, it has tremendous strength.  I did manage to break the tip of my first one, but that was a freak accident.  My current one is still in excellent condition.  It’s great for chopping, but the weight and thickness of the blade mean that, despite the drop point belly, it’s not that great at slicing.  Unless you really don’t care what your food looks like, that is.

Right out of the box, this blade was sharp.  The flat grind gave it excellent geometry (and it’s full tang!) and definitely adds to the stability of the KA-BAR Becker Companion.

Handle

The handle is where a lot of people run.  This isn’t friendly to smaller hands and makes doing fine work with this knife impossible.  It’s a durable handle, similar in feel to Zytel, and features a lanyard hole.  If you have larger hands, it will fit comfortably in them and serve you well.

For Sam, this is a dealbreaker.  For me, as someone with smallish hands, I have some trouble with this knife but not enough for me to sell mine.  It does what I need it to do.

Weight

Very heavy!  This knife weighs a full pound, which may seem that much on paper, but when it’s strapped to your belt, you definitely feel it.  Some people hate the weight of this knife.  I like beefier knives, especially for heavier work, so the Companion works fine for me.  I’ll never take it on a hiking trip, as it would wear me down carrying it all day, but I like having it in my truck on a camping expedition.

If you like something more lightweight to give you more finesse when using your knife, then this is one to stay away from.  The weight limits the use of this knife, but when it comes to doing things like chopping, it excels.

Carrying

There are multiple ways to carry the KA-BAR Becker Companion.  The sheath is ambidextrous with a removable belt loop that can be moved from side to side. The sheath can also be rotated vertically to allow backpack carry. Both the snapped leather and Velcro flap provide solid blade retention while still allowing smooth, quiet draws.

On a belt, the Companion rides high and tight to the body. I like that the snap strap angles the handle for an ergonomic drawstroke. While not a true neck knife, the Companion can be worn as such.  Remember, however, that it’s a big, heavy knife. The sheath’s grommet facilitates easy cord attachment.

If there’s anything I don’t care for it’s that the nylon straps feel a little cheap compared to the rest of the sheath and that it kind of bumps and jabs into my thigh if I’m wearing it on my belt.

As a side note, the sheath has a nice pocket where you can fit a small survival kit or a ferro rod and starter.  More great reasons why this is a camping knife.

Variations

Ka-Bar offers the Companion in several variations including:

    • Ka-Bar Becker Companion BK2 – The standard model with Grivory handle and black blade.
    • Ka-Bar Becker Companion BK2E – Same as above but with straight edge rather than serrated edge.
    • Ka-Bar Becker Companion BK2CN – Cerakote finish blade with textured green Micarta handle scales.
    • Ka-Bar Becker Companion BK2HC – Black hammered powder coated blade with gray Hypalon synthetic rubber handle.
    • Ka-Bar Becker Companion Kukri – Kukri style Companion with recurved blade shape.  While I prefer the standard Companion, the variations offer nice customization options. The Micarta and rubber handles provide more grip texture.

Final Thoughts

The KA-BAR Becker Companion is great for camping and bushcraft and shouldn’t be overlooked.  This is definitely not going to be the only knife I take on such trips, but it’s good at what it’s designed to do, which is heavy-duty tasks that not many other knives can stand up to.

On that note, many find the weight cumbersome, hate the handle (small hands are a no-no with this knife), or just don’t like the limited uses for this knife.

If you do a lot of chopping and heavy-duty tasks at your campsite, then give this knife a whirl and see what you think.

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