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102 of 109 people found the following review helpful

UPDATE AS OF 8/26/2013 at the bottom of this review!

I bought this knife for batoning firewood, when I camp, and find it very good for that purpose, which I will get back to in a moment.

At the time of this writing, this particular knife is made in the USA, which is why I bought this particular model. That is very important to me.

There where two knives I was considering. This one, and the Ontario RTAK II. I bought this one, because I easily identified that it was made in the USA, and it was less expensive. These are both excellent knives apparantly from the reviews I have seen and read, but this one I verified was made in the USA, and was cheaper.

I give it four out of five stars because One the bolts through the handle weren't loctited, and came loose, and one fell out, and two, less of a big deal, the black Patina has worn off rather easily. .

Rather than go over all the specs, you can read for yourself, I will say this is a very large knife with a nice solid, heavier feel to it. The whole package looks like quality to me, escpecially for the price. it comes with a nice sheath, that is made of nylon, which is fine with me.

I spent some time today Batoning firewood to see how it worked, and it performed like a champ. After testing it on batoning firewood, it surprisingly, still had a sharp edge the entire length of the blade.

I just put a review up on youtube, so if you would like to see, go there, and type in "the suburban hippie survivalist" into the search field.

Hope this helps!

I have had this knife quite some time now, and have split quite a lot of wood with this. I go camping a lot, and have cut wood with this about 20, or 30 times with it. I have driven the knife through knots, and only touched up the blade one time for sharpness. This blade holds an edge for a loooong time. It is rather amazing, considering I am driving this through wood!

I just sharpened this for the first time. I touched up the blade once when I first got it, but this is the first time I have done a real sharpening. I can't believe this blade. Not only does it keep an edge for a looong time, it is very easy to sharpen to a shaving edge. Meaning it only takes minutes to sharpen this edge enough to shave the hair off my arm. I have lots of knives I sharpen( Kitchen knives(low and high quality) and various other knives, and by far this is the FINEST blade I have. I really wouldn't expect it to be easy to sharpen, and keep it's edge long. That is mind boggling to me..

Mark :)
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124 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2009
The BK9 "Combat Bowie" is a pretty big knife but it can stand up to some pretty heavy duty jobs. I have one of these knives in the storage building at home and one in the tool box of my truck while my wife has a BK7 in her SUV. These knives are tough enough to chop wood if you need to chop wood but they maintain their edge for finer cutting. They are handy for camping chores as well as home landscaping when an axe or machete is too much and a pocket knife is not enough. I bought the Becker knives several years ago when the prices were substantially lower than what they are today, thus the multiple units I own. About the same time I bought the Becker knives, I also bought a semi-custom knife from a well-respected company with a reputation as one of the strongest, sharpest heavy duty knives around. That knife cost over three times the price of the Becker BK9 and, honestly, it's not any better, any stronger, any sharper or any nicer although it did come with a nicer sheath.

While the price of the Becker has increased over the years, it's still a bargain in comparison to the competition. There's no reason to spend the extra money for a heavy-duty utility knife as long as the Becker BK knives are around.
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77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2009
I have owned a number of "Outdoor Bowies" but I find this one to be the best of them so far. I have a Cold Steel Trailmaster, fine knife but expensive and heavy, the BK9 does all the TM will do and and it is a LOT cheaper, plus you get an extra, smaller BK13 knife included with it to do those "small knife" tasks. The BK9 is the complete package for me, the thinner blade makes chopping and batoning a lot easier to do but the knife is still plenty strong enough to accomplish these things without breaking. The top of the blade has a nice finger rest area with good jimping for a non-slip grip and control for the tasks that require a bit more of that, this is lacking on most larger bowies. The only thing wrong with this knife that I find is the scales of the handle are very slick. It is a very comfortable grip but since the scales are so slick, when wet the knife is not easily held on to and even dry the grip is precarious at best. This can be quickly remedied with a wrap of electricians friction tape or skate boarder's type of grip tape if you are less in mind of looks. You can also easily remove the plastic scales and craft your own out of wood, then bolt them on instead if you are more handy with the crafts.

This has become my #1 camping, fishing and survival bowie knife set. I can easily recommend purchasing a BK9 from Ka-Bar to anyone. I gave it the four stars though because of the slippery grip scales,therwise this is easily a five star knife!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2014
I got one of the newer (current) models from Amazon (powder coat, laser printed), with prime, everything came fast.

My rating is FOR THE KNIFE, the sheath I would score a 1-2 stars tops, and I will cover after the knife.
I am giving this knife a score of 5 out of 5 for the following reasons:

1: Aesthetics: Its a damn fine looking blade, it's not elegant, or sweeping, it is brutal and utilitarian, but not without a kind of Masculine charm. Pull it free from it's sheath, and you will have to fight the urge to say - Now THAT'S a knife...
2: The blade is everything it's cracked up to be right out of the box. I have plans to do a lot of modding to this knife, but if you use it as is out of the box and you get one at the Quality mine came in, the blade is superb for a production knife. To do better, you would need to spend ten times as much and wait months.
3: This is a proven design. The balance and geometry make it an all around big knife powerhouse. You could get a blade that might do one task better, but this knife does them all. From batoning and splitting hardwood, to chopping, to fine carving and cutting, edge retention and ergonomics, I find I have a hard time putting this down or using anything else. Pair this with a smaller detail oriented knife (like a small but razor sharp neck knife) and you have all the bases covered, Whats more, despite it's size and mass, it is still lively enough in the hand that it makes for a terrific BIG fighting knife, able to deliver cuts, thrusts and pommel smashes lightning fast, but with power and authority. While a smaller or lighter dedicated fighting knife might do better, in skilled hands, this knife would hold it's own.
4: Durability seems to be everything people claim it to be, with one caveat. I do not trust the handle scales out of the box. I took the set screws apart and put locktite in them, and wrapped the grip with hockey tape. Doing that is IMHO the minimum modding you need to do if you buy this knife to ensure it will last you and be reliable.


1: DAT SHEATH! I'm sorry Ka-Bar, I have seen plenty of "acceptable" Nylon sheathes, but this one is hair brained... Whoever designed it must have been trying to save money, but ended up trying to make up for the materials by over designing it... the design is just trying too hard to be too many things to too many people, With a poor combination of Velcro and snaps that all seem to work against one another. All the useless elements seem like you guys are trying to hard to polish a turd here... A simpler Sheath like on the Ka-bar Fighter2, or the normal Marine variation Ka-Bar would have been better. despite being simpler.. This sheath is a Hot mess... The cheap plastic "box" that hods the knife rattles like a snake, and the fact that it still has the secondary box sheath for the smaller neck knife just serves to remind me that it doesn't come with it anymore... If you just need something to keep it in and don't care about noise discipline or ruggedness or utility, then this won't matter to you, if it does, either buy or learn to make your own Kydex sheath, or have someone custom make something in leather.

Minor nit pick - Powder coating - This stuff is a terrible choice for a blade coating for a knife like this. It makes it bind in wood, and ensures that dirt sticks to the blade... This is a nit pick because I remove the coating from all my blades. The only area where I plan to leave it intact are in the handle and pommel.

Modding plans/suggestions -

1: I plan to make my own Kydex sheath for this. I think it's worth learning to do for those who don't know how... its one of the easier "big mods" that pretty much anyone with an oven and 20$ worth of home depot hardware can accomplish. Also if you make your own, you can make it exactly how you want it!
2: STRIP THE COATING - If you use their knives for real, you know that the black coating on almost ALL blades is garbage. I tend to leave the coating on "fighting/self offense" knives that don't see any utility use (like tactical folders, Karambits etc)... Those knives IMHO should not be used for everyday tasks the same way utility knives are. In that case the coating is an easy to maintain way to keep your blade like new for a long time. However on a utility knife like this, you really should strip the coating, and force a patina instead. This knife has a VERY rough (as in gritty sandpaper rough) texture, and binds easily when used for cutting, chopping or splitting. So unless you plan to use the blade to file your nails... strip it ASAP.
3: After stripping the coating I will be forcing a patina, I plan to leave some of the coating around the handle and pommel, but the blade itself will be stripped. The patina will serve to protect it very nearly as well as the powder coat, but will be smoother. This blade IS a high carbon steel and WILL rust. But a smooth, patina on a blade will only rust if not properly cared for, or stored improperly. Still a small amount of surface rust won't destroy a blade, it just makes it look bad. You could also blue it with professional gun blue chemicals.
4: Edge re profile - At some point I will sit down and really alter the edge to have a solid Convex edge, however, the edge my knife came with is one of the BEST edges I have ever seen right out of the box from any company. I can make it shaving sharp with a few minutes on my sharpening kit, but out of the box, it's very respectable, esp for a large bowie.
5: Flint striker - Somewhere on the spine I need to make the edge sharp enough to throw sparks from a Swedish fire steel. This should be easy enough once stripped.
6: New grip scales - There are Micarta scales for sale on Amazon that sound nice, or I could carve my own from hardwood. The scales that come with the knife are adequate, and if properly secured with locktite and hockey tape will last a long time. But I think a better handle would make this go from a 80$ blade, to a 150$ KNIFE.
7: Kydex sheath... Will take this from a 150$ KNIFE, to a 200$ SYSTEM.

If you read this far, thank you, and understand that sometimes a flawed item is worth 5 stars. Because after all, this blade is a bargain IMHO, and all the cons are easy to fix, and IMHO if you are buying this knife as a survival/self reliance BIG knife, then you NEED to learn to modify and improve your tools, not just buy them as is. I have never gotten a knife AS IS that was correct or perfect out of the box, even my really expensive knives needed some custom work to make them work for me with my self reliance kit/mentality.

So, I think all outdoors oriented people, need to know how to make a Knife THEIR knife... When I am done, this will be as much MY knife as it is a Bk9.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2013
It is a beautiful knife. All the way from the way it feels to the fit and finish. I love that heavy duty black coating. Buy will be happy with it and are supporting your country by buying USA. There is no over the top proof video or some silly heavy set car salesman promoting some knife made in Taiwan. If you want to take your yen elsewhere and get some cold steel. Well,,,,it is your money.
I say support our workers and those that fought so we have a freedom to make such a great product.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2010
Many people have said a lot of nice things about this knife and I agree but I do have one word of warning. This tool is best transported by machine if the distance is significant. It is heavy at 1.6 lb and with the sheath it is not compact. Trying to wear it on a belt is at best awkward. Inside a backpack or attacked to a frame might be better. It is the same size as the big bowie knives a lot of volunteers showed up with at the start of the Civil War and nobody was carrying after a couple of 20 mile marches.

If you absolutely need something for making kindling then the BK7 or a light hatchet like the cold steel Frontier _might_ be a better option though at 19.1 oz for the Hawk and 1.6 pounds for the BK9 I admit that the difference in weight is trivial between the BK9 and the cold steel Trail Hawk.

Of course a wire saw is _very_ light but those are subject to breaking but you could always take two. ?8^)

Have fun, enjoy your new knife, and don't forget to oil the blade.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2010
The knife performs well, after you unscrew the handles and add a little LocTite to the three screws holding the handles on to keep them from working loose. Otherwise, the blade is good quality and well worth the price. The sheath is cheaply made, so I had a custom leather sheath made for my new Ka-Bar. I would purcahse again and recomend this knife. It's a great value for the budget minded outdoorsman.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2012
There's not much that can be said on the BK9 that hasn't already been said by so many other satisfied customers. The platform is simple, durable, reliable and satisfactory to many even under hard use. It's time tested and proven. The warranty of the KA-BAR company is highly desirable for something that'll see hard use by bushcrafters, wilderness survival enthusiasts or anybody else that needs a big, strong knife. The balance point is just forward of the hilt so it's surprisingly agile and nimble in the right hands rather than being blade heavy like a machete.

If one looks hard enough at anything they'll eventually find negative aspects, and the BK9 is no different. However those negatives are minor in nature and have to do more with the features rather than the blade itself.

First is the grivory handles, while quite strong, are definitely slippery. This can be addressed by roughing it up a little with sandpaper, switching to the aftermarket micarta grips, or simply wrapping the handle in paracord; this has the added benefit of protecting the hand from the bolt heads that have a tendency to poke your palms.

Second is the handle design itself. If one intends to use this as a fighting knife (and it is so very tempting with the balance of the blade and its light weight) they'll need to take care to prevent their hand from sliding onto the blade and getting cut. If the forward finger guard were even a half inch longer this problem would easily be alleviated.

Third is the lack of the BK13 companion blade from earlier releases. While not a major problem in itself it's certainly a disappointment to those that don't want to pay the extra $20 to complete the set.

All things considered it's very hard to go wrong with the BK9 for any purpose, be it camping, survival or other purposes.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2009
Much like another reviewer of this knife, I took my new BK-9 out into the woods along with a, twice the price, competitors knife to compare them; clearing brush, splitting wood, chopping fallen logs, slicing a cardboard box into strips... . It would be wrong to claim that one knife was the better of the other, since their performance was evenly matched, including the balance of each. The BK-9 showed its worth particularly when chopping; it's quite formidable, able to chop through small saplings with a single swing. After working the knife, it would still easily push cut through newspaper, without so much as a stopping.

I own three Camillus-made Beckers, and consider the Ka-Bar offerings to be at least as good as the earlier version. The handle has been trimmed down, and the contour smoothed out for a more comfortable grip, when compared to a Camillus. There's also a surpise knife which has it's own slot in the nylon sheath.

Well made, dependable, at home preparing a meal or building a campsite shelter...
quite a value.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2013
First...let me review the Kabar BK9 before I share with you my 5 knives I believe one should own...IMO!

Second...take a look at my custom BK9 (picture uploaded): New handles, New hardware and a forced custom patina!!

I purchased the Ka-Bar Becker BK9 after reading review after review and figured, "go for it". I am glad I did. So will you!

I wanted a knife to get a job done quickly and efficiently and the BK9 measures up. First, for batoning...this knife "breezed" through 3 to 4 inch logs with no issue. Also, when it came to chopping, it did a great job. Overall weight and design make this a excellent work horse at any campsite or tool box.

The handle is a bit slick, so I tied some paracord to the end where I loop it around my hand for safe keeping. I replaced the handles with micarta grips with stainless steel hardware.

As one knife can't do it all, here are my 5 knives that I use, depending on the application that, IMO, all should own and keep handy: :-)

2.) Ken Onion Boa with SpeedSafe Technology. This small pocket folding knife measures just 2-3/4 inches long when closed and weighs only 1.7 ounces. This small pocket folding knife is great for your pocket and wouldn't scare most people when you deploy it.

3.) Zero Tolerance 350 Folding Knife with Speed Safe Technology. This knife is ideal for sporting and work situations in which one-handed opening is easier and safer, such as when hunting, fishing, or working with your hands on the jobsite. You can even easily deploy the blade in combat gloves using the large, ambidextrous thumb stud or blade protrusion.

4.) The DPx HEST fixed blade knife. Ideal choice for an EDC style survival knife. It's big enough without being too big and it is a very high quality thick blade that will stand up to some serious punishment.

5.) The KA- BAR Black Serrated Edge Fixed Fighting Knife measuring 11 3/4 inches long. This is my one knife that can do it all. If I had to baton...If I had to chop wood...If I had to... etc. This is attached to my bug out bag as I wanted one knife for many functions.
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