Ka-Bar Becker BK2

9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (9.6)/10

Editor rating: 9.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 2 user ratings
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Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Review Facts

Ka-Bar Becker BK2 has gained the respect and admiration of many. Nearly everyone seems to love the thick, sharp and seemingly indestructible blade; the heavy duty, made in the U.S. construction; and the excellent performance in the field, especially for the price.

For years the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 has been accepted by many as the go-to survival or camping knife. The BK2 is a stout tank of a knife that was designed by outdoorsman Ethan Becker.

Becker products are high-quality products. The co-van steel is an upgrade from standard. The knife is manufactured by Ka-Bar in the U.S. It is a thick blade, fine edge, utility knife made from ¼-inch 1095 cro-van carbon steel.

The overall length of the BK2 is 10-⅝ inches. The blade is 5¼ inches.
The handle slabs of a BK2 are fashioned out of Zytel which is a sturdy, classical material. The BK2 comes with a nylon and plastic sheath.

It is sturdy, lightweight, and simple. If a person is looking for a shorter length survival knife that will do most tasks for building shelters and preparing wood, he or she cannot go wrong with the Ka-Bar Becker BK2.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Budget-friendly
  • Jack of all trades knife
  • Quality hardshell sheath included
  • Premium 1095 cor-van carbon steel blade
  • Safety features incorporated
  • Belt must be removed to attach the sheath
  • Powder coating wears off the blade
  • The knife does not excel at one particular task

Primary Use

The BK2 is a combination of a hatchet, pry bar, and knife. It is a knife for the backyard, truck, or campsite, not something a backpacker wants to use that will add a pound to the load. The BK2 can accomplish a lot of tasks within its small footprint. It is useful for batoning and splitting wood.

Campers have used the knife to prepare stacks of wood for bonfires. It can be used for some carving or to whittle shavings or tinder to start fires. The knife is a bit flimsy and thick in the hands to be used for serious carving.

Considering its size, the knife is a decent chopper. The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is a short knife. It does not chop like a big fixed blade or an ax. The knife will do some limited chipping on a campsite, prepping foods, and building fires. It is not an ultra-fine knife for carving or a dedicated chopper. It is a tough ‘do it all’ option.

It has a solid drop point that makes it a tip kit perfect for piercing, poking, and bushcraft tasks like drilling. The BK2 comes sharp, ready for fine cutting slicing, and skinning tasks. The cut out on the BK2 can be a fire tool striker.

The jack of all trades knife does not excel at one particular thing. It is decent in all it does but master of none. The knife is not great at delicate tasks. It chops well due to the weight which is one pound.

For being such a large knife, it batons well — the knife blasts through things that are batoned. The butt can be used to hammer tent pegs. The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 can clear branches, split wood, and do a lot around a campsite.


The blade is stamped BK2 on one side and the Becker insignia on the other. From tip to butt, the BK2 is 10.6 inches with a 5.2-inch blade that is about 1¾ inches wide. It is made of a ¼-inch slab of 1095 cro-van carbon steel. It is a wide, heavy, thick blade compared to some other knives.

The classsic drop point shape of the blade has a sturdy tip and flat grind. A heavily textured powder coating is used on the knife. The blade edge is a flat grind with an edge angle of about 45°. There is about 20° on both sides of the blade.

A flat grind edge is an excellent all-around choice for a survival utility knife because it is durable and easy to sharpen in the field. The balance of the knife is a bit blade heavy. A heavy blade is advantageous with a knife as big as the BK2. Some people complain about the heavyweight and the fact that the knife will rust without proper care.


The BK2 is equipped with one of the most excellent quality hardshell, black nylon sheaths. Two of three reviewers agree. The knife snaps firmly into place, and the handle is secured by a nylon strap and snap.

The knife makes an audible click when it is popped into the sheath. There is no rattle whatsoever. The sheath is one of the best retaining sheaths on the market. It holds if the sheath is upside down.

There is an excellent thumb ramp that helps in pulling the knife from the sheath, especially when it is new. There is a broad and somewhat floppy, when not attached to the handle, nylon belt loop that can be easily reversed for a left or right-hand carrier by removing and repositioning the mount and four bolts on the back.

The sheath includes six grommet holes and four slats that could be used for attaching additional gear to the sheath or lashing into a pack. It has lots of options for paracords. There are two screws each on the back for the belt mount.

They can be moved up or down a bit. The belt mount can be taken off if not wanted. One of the reviewers, who liked the sheath, liked the huge nylon belt loop he could put his hand through. It can be used with all types of belts.

The reviewer also likes the handle strap to hold the knife in place. He likes the button and is glad it is not velcro. A downside is the fact a belt has to be removed to feed the sheath through the belt loop.

The reviewer who did not like the sheath felt it dulled the blade when taken in and out of the sheath. He thought it hung ‘funky,’ and he didn’t like the button snap that holds the knife in place.


The 1095 cro-van carbon steel used in the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is hearty and inexpensive. Cro-van carbon steel is similar to 1095 high carbon steel with a bit of chrome for some stain resistance and vanadium for additional hardness. The 1095 cro-van carbon steel works well. It is an excellent option for the knife.

It is easy to sharpen. The knife holds an edge, especially when using with wood. If the tough blade chips the edge can be salvaged. The blade is covered in a very durable, nonreflective black coating to protect all the knife’s steel except the edge - at least until the knife is beaten up a little from use.

The BK2 is full tang, which means the blade runs the entire length of the knife through the handle. It is the strongest way to build a knife. With the tang of the BK2 being thicker than most knives, users can beat the tar out of it.

When chopping with the knife, there is nearly a zero chance of breaking the beast of a knife. The BK2 is not stainless steel. It will rust when exposed to moisture and not cared for well. Keeping the knife dry with a thin coat of mineral oil on any exposed metal should prevent rust.

The handle is slightly textured and very hard. It stands up well to being batoned, dropped, thrown, and otherwise abused, most of the time without showing any scratches at all. Toward the butt, there is a generous lanyard hole and an exposed pommel quite capable of cracking and otherwise destroying hazelnuts, breaking stones and grinding up tree bark for tinder.

One reviewer rated the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 a very rare five out of five stars in the $50 to $80 price category for its beastly build and rugged edge retaining steel. The knife is about as durable as a knife can be.

The reviewer felt the only downside to the knife is the fact that it requires a minimal amount of attention to prevent rusting. It is a good trade off considering the quality of knife, especially for the price. The sheath is a heavy plastic that is hollow but very strong.


The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 weighs 16 ounces. Those looking for an ultra-lightweight knife will want to look elsewhere. The weight was seen as a downside by one of the reviewers. The knife is great for the tasks it does but is twice the weight of many other knives.

He does point out it will do twice the work. It is worth considering the survival options needed before purchasing the knife. The blade length of the knife was a concern of the reviewer. He felt the heavy five-inch blade held him back.


The BK2 has a large Zytel handle over the full steel tang. Zytel is a high-density plastic. The design of the handle is fundamental. Ethan Becker, the maker of the knife, spent much time designing what he feels is the perfect shape of the handle. It is found in all of his knives.

The Zytel handle was not a favorite of one of the reviewers. He recognized the knife feels ergonomically good in the hand. Even with gloves on, the hand fits nicely on the handle. With a lanyard, the hand can be moved further back to use the knife for hacking. It has a nice bevel to the handle.

However, the handle is slick and smooth which is what he disliked about the knife. They can be replaced with Micarta scales. The handles are available for those who want more grip on Amazon. They cost nearly as much as the knife.

Two of the men who reviewed the knife made suggestions for those who do not like the handle. One of the reviewers plans to use a Dremel on the handle to add some groves to give the handle better texture.

Also suggested was to go to a skateboard or sporting shop to get skateboard or hockey tape to put between the screws on the handle. It will give the handle sandpaper-like texture. Two of the reviewers felt the handle left something to be desired.

The humble handle material is lightweight and sturdy. The handle slabs are locked into place with three quality hex nuts, making the handle a perfect complement to the BK2’s heavy duty blade. All of the hardware is buried in the handle.

It has no sharp edges. There is an exposed pommel, that is used for crushing and hammering, and an oversized lanyard hole. A double paracord could likely be run through the lanyard hole. A hard handle is usually equated with being uncomfortable and slippy. Three reviewers horned in about the handle. They differed in opinion.

Reviewer Number One felt the premise of being slippy and uncomfortable was not the case. The rounded, wide, ergonomic curve provides excellent balance to the knife. He thought it was comfortable to hold and use.

The design is highly functional. It will execute and clean. It feels straightforward as the appearance indicates. This thick handle has a generous palm swell. Those with large hands have plenty of room.


The coating provides some rolling resistance when cutting deep into something until it becomes smooth from use. Two of the three reviewers providing information for this review were not fond of the coating.

The coating was described by one reviewer as so-so, like all Becker products it is going to show some wear and tear quickly. The knife does what it is supposed to do so that reviewer was not concerned about the coating. It shows the knife has been used which is a good quality.

The lack of gimping and aggressive texture is meant to permit working with the tool for long periods without causing blisters on the thumb. The high tension yields a satisfying snapping sound when shoving the knife in place. The knife does not rattle at all. The blade will not fall from the sheath. It also has a drain hole.

Toward the handle, at the very end of the edge, there is a small cut out. The cut out is often included on a blade to allow sharpening the entire edge of the knife without running into the handle.

Front and rear guards keep the handle from slipping of the knife. Because of the bulbous rear guard curve and flares, it is easy to wrap the thumb and forefinger around the lower grip to get leverage for chopping tasks.

This sheath ideally complements the knife. The snap fastener is flat. There is no danger of cutting into it when the when the knife is drawn. A simple nylon belt loop features a snap fastener that provides extra retention.

It can be removed with a Phillips heald screwdriver. Rivets hold the plastic sheath together. The slots and holes leave options for webbing, paracord, Tek-loks, and molle locks. At the bottom of the sheath there is a hole to allow water to drain through the sheath in wet weather.


For a knife that sells for about $65, the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 is an impressive knife. The user gets a high-quality tool for the money. Those looking for a budget survival knife, have an excellent option in the BK2. The reviewers said they purchased the BK2 for about $65. Amazon sells them for about $73.

Key Features

* 20° angle edge
* 1095 Cro-Van steel
* Blade length of 5¼ inches
* Blade thickness of ¼-inch
* Drop point shape
* Fixed blade
* Flat grind
* Overall length of 10½ inches
* Weighs one pound
* Zytel handle material

Bottom Line

The Ka-Bar Becker BK2 has a simplistic design, quality materials, and an extremely high level of finish and fit. The stout geometric blade is excellent for processing wood. The handle is nearly as comfortable as it can get.

It has a functional and lightweight sheath. The BK2 earned a reputation and following. It is a compact, but stout survival knife or indestructible camp knife. The knife’s simple, no-frills design accommodates a wide range of survival and utility tasks from fine to heavy work.

The Ka-Bar BK2 is kick butt, heavy duty, jack of all trades knife that makes a reliable and potentially life-saving companion for any wilderness adventurer. It is an excellent one knife solution for camping, hunting, backpacking, preppers, bushcraft, emergency survival kits, bug out bags, and anyone who wants a ridiculously heavy duty tank of a utility knife for a shop, home, or camp.