If you’re looking for a good all-around survival knife that you can throw in your bug out bag, take on a camping trip or leave in the back of your Jeep, you could do far worse than the Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Campanion Fixed Blade Knife.
It’s a high quality, well balanced knife. I actually like it better than my $26 Cold Steel GI Tanto Knife (which feels more like a pry bar than a knife, although $35 less expensive) whereas the Becker, due to it’s shape, allows for more finesse and control.
The Becker is a nice knife. It feels good in the hand and is well balanced. This knife has been called a poor man’s alternative to the Tom Brown Tracker knife (which costs $260+). I’m not sure I’d go quite that far, as the Tracker has a fairly unique design and the Becker BK2 is more of a traditional all-purpose survival knife design that many knife makers copy. I have a Condor sitting in my desk that looks almost identical to it. Unfortunately, the sheath that came with the Condor doesn’t even appear to be for the right knife, but I digress. Get me talking about knives and I can go on, forever.
As for my comparison to the Cold Steel GI Tanto Knife: To be perfectly honest, I keep the Cold Steel knife in my truck bag, as I figure it’s unlikely I’ll ever actually need it, and for the price I won’t cry if it ever gets stolen. Don’t get me wrong: It’s a decent knife, but for the extra $35 dollars the Becker is a more refined tool whereas the Cold Steel is more crude. I keep the Becker with me if I’m out in the yard or on a camping trip where I might need a knife.
They’re both popular knives: The Becker has 462 four and five-star reviews at Amazon, whereas the Cold Steel GI Tanto has 233 out of 248. (Take any of the Amazon knife reviews with a grain of salt, as half are from kids and the other half from mall ninjas who’ve never actually used the knife outside of chopping carrots).
I looked at prices on a few different sites for the Becker and they seem to sell in the $75 dollar range. Amazon’s actually got it on sale right now for $59.99, which– if you were already considering buying one of these knives, is a price I would jump all over because as inflation begins to take hold I wouldn’t be surprised if these same knives will be selling in the $90-$130 range soon.
In sum: Either of these knives are worth the money, although I’d be more inclined to buy another Becker before I would buy another GI Tanto unless I was on a tight budget and had six teenage kids and I wanted each kid to have a decent knife rather than a cheapie piece of junk– which the Cold Steel is definitely not. So, if tight on coin, go for the Cold Steel. If you’ve got a little more to spend then the Becker is an all around better knife.