Bark River Knives of Escanaba, Mich. is a family-owned business, specializing in some of the most elegantly designed, simple, work/hunting/survival knives going. I see hundreds of knife designs every year, but only now and again do any really stand out to me. I confess most of that has to do with my family moving onto acreage in Missouri. Here, a bold, brawny knife, not afraid to chop, bang, dig and otherwise tackle big jobs, is what finds itself in my hand these days. Handgunner’s own Pat Covert brought Bark River to my attention, saying, “Roy, this company makes the kind of knife you like!” He was dead-on.
Bark River is a “semi-production” shop, which offers the ability to turnout enough products to meet the high demands, but still offer custom features, and the kind of attention to detail a custom maker delivers. While it was difficult to pick one out to test, the Golok photo on their website jumped right out at me. With an 11.25″ blade and .19″ thickness, it’s long enough to get some velocity going if you’re swinging it, but doesn’t turn it into a brick, like a full .25″ blade tends to be. At about 16.25″ overall, it’s long and sturdy enough to chop, cut, notch, split wood, clear trails, use as a draw knife, build a shelter or a thousand other things you can think of.
The A2 tool steel the blade is made of just might be one of the best steels you can find. It’s harder than 01, a bit more difficult to sharpen, but once sharp, holds that edge well. It can rust, so you need to take care of it with a bit of oil now and again. The sheath, supplied by Sharpshooter Sheath Systems, is one of the most practical I’ve ever seen. It holds the Golok high and tight to your body. I chose the standard (rounded) point, but there are other options. This is a “carry it all day” cutter, and I simply couldn’t be happier with it. You’ll be too. For more info: (906) 789-1801, www.americanhandgunner.com/bark-river or firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her we sent you.
By Roy Huntington
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