Knife Preview: Ka-Bar Becker BK-9

Image: Chris Dumm

I didn’t get any guns or ammo at this weekend’s gun show with TTAGer Joe Grine, but that’s not to say it was a complete bust. When I saw this Ethan Becker-designed Ka-Bar BK9 for just $65, I knew I’d hit the jackpot. “Dude, get the huge one!” Joe urged me. After looking at a few other discounted Beckers, I did just that.

Image: Chris DummThis 1-lb. beast is more than fourteen inches long, with a .188″-thick bar of 1095 Cro-Van at its heart. When you hold it, the word you think of isn’t ‘knife’ or ‘machete’ but ‘gladius.’

Image: Chris Dumm

From batoning firewood to splitting an elk pelvis to battling the barbarian armies of Viricinovix in Gaul, this blade looks like it can do just about anything. Except EDC duties.


  1. Aharon says:

    Chris, congratulations on your new Becker. They’re addicting knives to own.

    Beckers are great knives. I’m a proud owner of the BK5 and BK15. Mine have had the black protective coating removed and a vinegar patina applied. The knives have also had the factory grivroy handles or grips replaced with micarta.

  2. jwm says:

    These look and no doubt are great knives. But too heavy. If you actually need a knife of that size(I know it’s not about need; buy what you want) you probably need a hatchet or even ax.

    1. tbhride says:

      I bought my BK9 as a dedicated tool to baton and chop with in camp. If the wood you are splitting has uneven ends (therefore can’t stand up on end) the big knife is much easier than an axe, and much safer if you are in a small camp site as you aren’t swinging a large tool around other people.

      Per my post below it is then good enough for some of the other tasks you need of it as well. Yes it is heavy but is actually a lot easier to use than I thought it would be for finer tasks. Maybe not ideal, but certainly usable. The grind is very high so it is a decent, if not good slicer.

      For the record I don’t carry it on my belt, preferring a fixed blade in the 4.5 inch range instead.

      1. jwm says:

        Valid points. Especially about the uneven ends.

    2. Acepeacemaker says:

      What are you talking about? My BK9 is the lightest bowie size knife I own.

      1. jwm says:

        For me, that’s too much knife for the belt. But if that’s the way you roll, go for it.

  3. tbhride says:

    The BK9 was my first Becker as well and the thing is a monster! I used to take a camp axe and a machete camping, but now I just take the Becker.

    Splitting most firewood is easier (this being a camp setting) and safer with the Becker, and limbing is just as easy as with the machete. Raw chopping power would be better with the axe but there usually isn’t much call for that when I’m camping.

    With the coating removed, it also pulls double duty in the camp kitchen, so I’ve replaced three tools with one!

  4. Daniel says:

    A great knife for sure but pretty damn heavy. Camp knives are rising in popularity recently, and it might be because big blades have big appeal.

  5. Adam says:

    I’ve had a BK9 for a few years as well as several other Beckers and Ka-Bar products. It should go without saying that they’re excellent. As for the guys that say it’s too much or carry an axe or whatever, tbhride nailed it. I’ve been in similar situations where an axe or hatchet would have been too heavy for what I was trying to do. Big knives my not be your preference but the nay sayers should at least try it before condemning it. I have axes, saws, machetes, and knives of all sizes. They all have their place but the BK9 is the most useful and versatile tool I own as far as camping and the outdoors goes.

  6. Sepherus says:

    Who says you can’t edc a knife this big? I used to edc a Cold Steel Laredo Bowie. You just have to find the proper carry method. It probably won’t be doing small utility tasks though. I now carry my BK7 though, it’s a better utility knife than the Laredo.

  7. Joe Bob says:

    Too small to be a machette and to large to be a knife. Hate the blade shape and the grips. Sold mine.

    1. Renato says:

      Hi Joe Bob,

      What didn’t you like about the blade shape and the grips.
      The Beckers do have a lot of fans.
      As is the case with ESEE and Busse,
      Not a fanboy myself, I like straight forward honest opinions.

      1. Renato says:

        By the way,
        I do own several Beckers, the BK-5 , the 7 and the 9.
        And I like them a lot. Blade, and Handle especially. But It’s always interesting to hear someones else’s opinion.

        “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” – George S Patton

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Knife Preview: Ka-Bar Becker BK-9

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