Pros: Materials, Finish, Handle Material, Weight, Blade Material, Blade Sharpness
Excellent, If Not Perfect
The Big Brother is as good a utility knife as the old Ka-Bars but a superb utility/*fighting* knife. As noted elsewhere, the 1095 steel is well done, the handle comfortable, the balance perfect for chopping and slicing (and decent for point-work).Reviewers often criticize the spine serrations, calling them useless or an impediment to batoning. First, the Big Brother has enough unsharpened spine along the last third of the blade for batoning. I've seen people baton with a little Para2, so c'mon--you can baton with this KA-BAR monster! Second, the serrations improve the fighting capabilities of the knife: back-slashes are wicked, and the double edge makes it more difficult for an opponent to defend against or disarm you. Sure, if you're looking only for a Bowie-sized *utility* knife, look elsewhere, but if you're looking for a Bowie-sized utility *and* fighting knife, seriously consider the Big Brother. Utility and fighting is what this knife was designed for, and designed quite well.I more or less agree with other reviewers about the tang: it could be stouter, and I prefer a full tang over a stick tang. Still, I'm not worried. I hear there's a neat invention called an "ax" out there, but I have used my BB to chop wood. The knife and I are still alive (I always chopped at a steep angle: if the blade does snap off, I'd rather the serrations not fly back in my face). So, yeah, I can't complain too loudly about the tang. The blade doesn't need to be thicker. The knife wouldn't pierce or cut as well if it were thicker; it'd be heavier, though, unless KA-BAR created a fuller. But why reduce blade efficiency? KA-BAR informed me that the blade is differentially tempered: if that's true, then the big 1095 blade should fare well with reasonable strength tests. The leather sheath is outstanding. It's rides well, and it looks and feels great. Feels like premium leather, much better than the black leather KA-BAR uses for some of their Kraton-handled blades (Does the black dye do bad things to the leather? Does KA-BAR use different Mexican leathers?) A Kydex liner might be nice, but I have no complaints with the sheath as-is.