Pros: Handle Material, Overall Quality, Handle Feel, Weight, Ease of Opening, None
Cons: Pocket Clip, Lock Type
Pretty decent for the price
Got this trainer in order to use as a more beat-around trainer that I wouldn't mind flinging around or dropping, unlike my main flipper which is the Benchmade Model 51. At around $100, it's just around the borderline level of price that would get you a decent flipper that wouldn't just fall apart. As a background information for those who don't know, the B-200 was actually designed by a couple of very skilled balisong flippers and the design was then manufactured by Bear and Son. Since it's been designed for flipping in mind, I had a relatively high expectation for this knife. The handles are long (good for manipulation) and the G10 handles are grippy and won't slip from your hands easily. It is very aggressively textured though, so flipping it for a long time might get uncomfortable, especially if you are doing fanning moves. I would have preferred the feel if they had cut some rounded grooves into the G10 instead, although I can understand that would probably reduce the weight too much and compromise the strength of the handles, since there are no metal liners in them. Although the handles are G10, the end of the handles have metal latch gates which distribute most of the weight of the handles to the ends, which is great for carrying momentum. That was definitely a design choice with flipping in mind. The overall weight of the knife puts it in the medium-to-light flipper category. Some people would probably like this, some people might not. The tang cups on the handles have really sharp edges which is going to scrape up your finger if you try to do Chaplins on it. Fortunately, the handles are G10 so you could just file down the edges to be nice and smooth pretty easily. All the screws came tight on mine, which made flipping pretty much impossible. The leaflet that came with it suggested that you could adjust the screw tightness to your liking, but you'd better watch out since all the screws already came loctited so they won't come out easily. The screw that held the latch was so tight that you could see that the G10 was bent inwards. I stripped that screw trying to get it out. After adjustment of course you will want to re-loctite the screws. The latch is a manual latch that flops around when you are flipping. This wouldn't cause a problem 99% of the time but the other 1% the latch would hit the safe handle, which screws up the momentum of your moves. Since the knife was made for flipping, one would expect that they would put special consideration into the latch design to prevent this. Another knife designed by the same people, for example, have shaped latch heads which are designed specifically in order to prevent the latch getting stuck between the handles, so this is a silly oversight. You could remove it altogether, but I prefer my flipper to have a latch on it. If you are planning to do a lot of aerial moves, it's probably a good idea to remove the latch too, because if you catch the end of the bite handle and that latch lands on your palm, it hurts like all hell. The knife also comes with a pocket clip that you can put on if you want. My suggestion is don't. The clip is huge and ridiculously heavy. With it on, the grip on the handle completely changes, and it's so heavy that it messes up all the handle balance of the knife. I understand that many flippers also prefer their knives without a clip anyway, but personally I prefer to have one as it is a quick, tactile way to tell if you are holding the bite handle. Doesn't matter on a trainer, of course, but if you ever plan to flip a real knife you should always be practising watching out which handle you are holding. Either way, since this knife was supposed to be designed for flipping, you would think that they could design one that would not get in the way of flipping should one choose to use it. For all their flaws, at least the knife was designed so that the latch can be installed on either handles and the clip could be put on either sides of either handles, which would have been excellent if the latch and clip were any good. The orange G10 is a nice colour but it gets dirty really easily, especially inside the tang cups where they strike the tang pins, which transfer black gunk of metal onto the cups. I tried cleaning the pins and sanding out the dirtiness, but after some flipping it just goes straight back to being dirty again. Despite the negatives, at this price range this knife can't be beaten as a trainer, and I would recommend it to anyone. The "main" parts of a flipping knife which is the weight distribution, the size of the handles, the durability, etc. are all here, but I was a bit let down by design oversights in the latch and the pocket clip when the knife should have been designed with flipping in mind. Of course, this is a trainer so maybe these don't matter too much but I think most of these criticisms would carry over to the live-bladed version of this knife as well, where having the latch and clip would actually be useful if you wish to EDC as well as flip it. As a final note: I contacted Bear and Son to get some spare screws for this knife since I stripped one. The cost for a complete set is 8 dollar, not including shipping. I asked how I could send them the money and they only accepted US money order and credit card, neither of which was convenient for me. It didn't seem worth the trouble for an $8 set of screws so I just forgot about it.