Saturday, December 5, 2015

You Big Bastard!

It's not very often that a knife and tool company makes a blade that reminds me of my favorite character from an Austin Powers movie, but today I can honestly say it's true. Although their blades aren't in any way named after a movie character; still makes some big ass beefy knives - the one pictured above and reviewed here is the BIG BASTARD. Borne In Fire's founder, Thomas Rice, has over 25 years of experience in both the field and shop, as a master metal-smith and soldier. This blade is a testament to the quality in his work.
When the guys from approached me to review one of their handmade Big Bastard knives, I immediately noticed its sheer size (I know, I know....that's what she said). The blade length alone is 12" inches! Needless to say, this is NOT an EDC blade by any means. Naturally being the curious minded knife owner that I am, I wondered what the specific purpose would be for such a big knife. According to their website, the Bastard Series of Functional Knives©, are created from ¼ inch thick 1095, hot rolled steel, made right here in the USA and the goal was to take on several roles and are intended to effectively take the place of several knives and/or tools.
A Quick Note About 1095 Steel
There are literally thousands of types of steel. Not all are created equal and not all make great blades. 1095, which is .95% carbon, is probably the most common steel used for knife blades. 1095 steel keeps a great edge, is easy to sharpen and has more wear resistance than most other steels, but would also be less tough. The major drawback to this type of steel is that it rusts easily. Because of this issue, you will often see 1095 blades with some type of coating to combat rust - which does offer.
If you're normally one to only carry a big chopper and a small hatchet into the field, then this is your blade. The blade is BIG and THICK enough (.250") to chop like a small machete but with more girth. During our initial testing, it's extra weight really helped break small and medium sized tree beaches and chop larger pieces of fire wood rather easily, which would be great for survival shelter building or batoning firewood. However, if you're into bushcraft, this blade might be too large and beefy, just my opinion. However, some users may like a larger blade for that. Many people seem to prefer big and heavy knives in a "survival" knife because all things being equal, big and heavy = hard to break. This beast isn't breaking. But, with the purpose of survival in mind, would you want to use the Big Bastard to fillet fish or field dress a deer, probably not (however I just recently learned it has been done). This tool is made for bigger, tougher jobs.
Some other badass blades made by the
As for ergonomics, the blade feels like a small sword in your hand. It's heavy, but very well balanced. The aggressively checkered G10 grip is a little short even for my average sized hands, and it really bites into your hand as you make contact with whatever you're chopping; which means you'll probably want to wear some decent gloves to protect your dishpan hands. Still, the blade feels very sturdy and adds some additional protection with the use of its unique cross guard - which I thought was a nice touch.
The cross-guard also called a quillon, is produced from a single piece of structural steel, tapped into place and secured with two tool steel pins and the same structural adhesive used to hold assault helicopter rotor blades together. That's some pretty impressive glue! This design has two strike points, one at the base of the cross guard and the other at the butt of the knife. Among other things, this feature allows the knife to be used safely to remove the glass from automobiles windows in order to rescue a trapped occupant. The butt strike point has been tempered for durability as well.
Every Born In Fire knife carries a lifetime warranty against failure in the field. Again, I really don't see one breaking, but in the event it does, you're tool is totally protected. If the knife fails under use, the user only has to return the knife to the company, along with a letter of explanation, a story if you will, and the knife will be repaired or replaced.
In summary, if you're looking for a great quality handmade field blade that you can trust with your life and not be afraid of throwing everything at it....purchase one of these BIG BASTARDS. If you're interested in picking up one of these badass blades for yourself or if you want to learn more about these them, visit and tell them we sent you.
Big Bastard Specs:
  • Blade length 12"
  • Blade width: 1.3 inches
  • Blade thickness: .250" (Strong!)
  • OA length: 12 inches
  • Handles: G10, black, 10 lines per inch full depth checkered.
  • Handle length: 4.75 inches
  • Fasteners: 6-32 Flat head Stainless Steel screw and bushing.
  • Cerakote ceramic epoxy weapon's finish, original design.
  • Selective drawdown tempering in areas such as the guard and striking area of the butt.
  • Differential hand tempered blade


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