User Review: KA-BAR Becker Companion
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ~$60
A great knife, if you use it for the right purpose.
- Ergonomic handle
- Well built
- Holds edge well
- Sheath (kind of)
I've had the Companion for a little over a year now and have gotten to use it more than a few times.
The knife is a little on the heavy side, and can be a pain to carry on a hiking trip, if you carry on a belt any not in a pack. My trouble with it has been that I have not been able to find a place to keep the knife on my belt were it doesn't bump into me as I walk. Initially it's not a problem and I hardly notice it, but after a couple miles it begins to feel like a baseball bat hitting me over and over. I admit though, that may be a "me" problem, and no fault of the knife. I prefer to blame the design of the loop that attaches to the sheath, it isn't very stiff and allows to knife to swing too much.
It is a good knife to use on camping trips however. It does work great around the camp site. The thickness and toughness of the blade allow it to be used for chopping wood for the campfire. It really is great for cleaning up dead fall limbs for the fire. It will trim the smaller branches off without much argument. The weight of it does make it useful for tapping tent stakes in, using the butt of the knife of course, and in my use the ground has been just a bit too tough to push the stakes in by hand. Obviously, if it takes a sledge hammer to drive your stakes in, this knife isn't going to work, but in eastern forest land it has proven to be just right.
The Companion is not necessarily a large knife at 10.5 inches overall, and 5.5 inch blade length. So, using it in places where you would normally use an average size pocket knife may be a little awkward. Say, if you like whittling on smaller sticks, or something like that, it could be more trouble than it's worth.
The weight can be an issue again over prolonged use. It can tire the wrist and hand after a while. Luckily the handle is made so it is easy for me to hold. I have big hands though, someone with smaller hands may have trouble comfortable holding the knife for any period of time.
It does come in the black finish as seen in the picture. The black will wear off some during normal use and sharpening. For some it is a badge of use, for others it looks bad. That's something you may want to think about before purchasing.
The bottom line for me is, it's a good knife when used in the right place. It's probably not the best knife to pack on a weekend hiking trip, unless you just like carrying the extra weight. For extended trips into the wilderness, use around the campsite, or in survival situations it is a great knife. It is versatile in its abilities, holds an edge for a while, is easy to sharpen when it does start to dull, and will last a lifetime.