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Knife Review: Bear Ops Bold Action XI Automatic Knife

Posted by SD on Oct 2nd 2019

The Bear Ops Bold Action XI Automatic Knife

Bear OPS Knives is a new subsidiary of Bear & Son Cutlery, which is a family owned company that was started in 1991. Their mission was to design and manufacture the “best knives made in the USA”. They proudly introduced Bear Ops because they take their obligation of duty to our country very seriously. Their goal with this subsidiary is to manufacture the best tactical knives that are available for those who serve. Bear OPS are made with the OPS (Operation Precision for Superior Tactical Knives) that can be relied on for any situation.

With a Bear OPS knife, you are going to find only USA manufactured parts, material, and a dedicated workforce. They make sure to only use supreme materials so that these knives can stand up to anything. Some of these premium materials that they choose to use are 154CM and CPM S30v steel for their blades, with their own heat treatment, waterjet, and CNC grinders to finish the blades.

Bear OPS knives are designed and engineered by the experts in their R&D and their in-house tool maker. With every Bear OPS knives, you will find a Lifetime Limited Warranty. While Bear & Son is continuing to manufacture the “best knives that are made in the USA,” you can find the “best tactical and military knives made in the USA” at Bear OPS. Because of the dedication, premium materials, and extreme detail that go into all of Bear OPS knives, you will always be proud to carry their knives.

Bear OPS products are definitely not your every-day knives. They are tough, well-made, and able to tear through just about anything that is unfortunate to be in your path. You can remain confident with these knives, because they are not going to let you down when you need them most.

Today we will be discussing the Bold Action XI Automatic Knife.

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of Sandvik 14C28N Stainless Steel. This steel is especially known for manufacturing knife blades because it encompasses a wide variety of characteristics that people search for in their knives. That being said, this is a premium steel, usually used for high end knives, so it is going to raise the cost of your blade a little bit.

This steel has the capability to attain the highest hardness possible without compromising the micro-structure integrity. This means that it can get to HRC 55-62 while still having a resistance to micro chipping, rolling, or folding with the edge. This steel also features a high corrosion resistance which is especially useful in kitchen or survival knives. This knife will be able to resist most moisture or residue that it encounters throughout all of its messy jobs.

Bear OPS Bold Action XI Auto

This blade is also easy to get a fine edge on, again and again. This steel is an upgraded version of 1428CN, but this version has a little more chromium and a little less carbon, but you’ll also find the addition of Nitrogen, which is where you get the exceptional corrosion resistance. The biggest advantage that this steel sports is how crazy sharp you are able to get it, time and time again.

The blade has been finished with a bead blast. This finish is created when glass or ceramic beads are blasted at the metal at a high pressure. This process gives the steel an even, gray finish, which does mean that glares and reflections are going to be reduced. The look of the blasted finish is appealing. It guarantees that the blade looks nice and classy, but the blade odes not steal the show.

However, the blasting does create increased surface area as well as micro abrasions in the steel. Both of these characteristics do lead to a lower level of corrosion resistance. In certain cases, a blade that has been finished with a bead blast can rust overnight in the worst of environments. You shouldn’t have to worry about that, because the Sandvik 14C28N steel has such high levels of corrosion resistance. That being said, you will want to make sure that the blade is clean and completely dry before folding it back into the handle. No need to test a knife like that.

The blade has been carved into the classic drop point blade shape. The drop point blade shape is the perfect cherry on top of an already great blade. The shape ensures that the blade is going to be tough, durable, and reliable.

For starters, the spine extends out of the handle in a straight manner, until it begins to gently slope to the point. In the straight section of the blade, there is a row of finer jimping, which will give you added control when needed. The shape of the spine creates a lowered point, or like the name implies, a dropped point. The lowered point is going to give you a better ability to control your cuts and slices. It gives you enough control that you will be able to perform fine detail work with this blade.

The next major characteristic that sets the drop point blade shape apart is that the point is relatively broad as well. It is the extra broadness that is going to give this blade shape the strength that people have come to associate with the drop point blade shape. You will be able to take on the toughest of tasks without worrying about the tip breaking. It is not a fine tip, like it would be with a clip point, so you can rely on it a little bit more.

All of that being said, the broad tip is also one of the biggest drawbacks to the drop point blade shape. Really, it is the only drawback to this blade shape. Because of the broadness, you will not be able to pierce with this Bold Action XI.

The last major characteristic and feature of the drop point is that the belly has plenty of surface area, with a larger curve. This is going to let you excel at slicing. As you can see, all of the characteristics of the drop point really add up to a perfect blade shape.

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of G10. This material is a grade of Garolite that is a laminate composite made out of fiberglass. This material has very similar properties to carbon fiber, although it is slightly inferior to carbon fiber, yet you can get this material for a much smaller cost. Although this material is cheaper to produce than carbon fiber, it cannot be injection molded like FRN handles, so it does still have some cost behind it.

To create G10, the manufacturer takes layers of fiberglass cloth and soaks them in a resin, then compresses them, and bakes them under pressure. The material that they end up with is very tough, very hard, very lightweight, and still very strong. Out of all the fiberglass resin laminates, G10 is considered the strongest. It is even stronger than Micarta, although it is going to be more brittle than Micarta.

Texture can easily be added to the handle, which is going to give you a solid grip. Tactical folders benefit from G10 highly because G10 is durable, lightweight, and non-porous. All of these characteristics help to keep the maintenance time down on this knife.

The handle has two sections of jimping on the spine. The first portion is at the top of the spine. This section of jimping is going to assist you when you are cutting, because you can easily angle the knife with your finger and your finger won’t be able to slip. This is especially useful if you are ever working on fine detail work.

The second section of jimping is near the butt of the blade. It starts about halfway down the spine and then continues to the butt. This is going to add texture so that when you are doing heavier duty work, you will have full control over the knife.

The G-10 has been textured throughout the entire face of the handle to add in grip and texture. This means that you can work in nearly any environment without worrying about slipping or losing control. Near the elongated finger groove, there are four grooves etched into the handle scale. Each one gets a little bit longer as it moves down the length of the handle. These will add in even more texture so that you will have a better grip.

The center of the handle does bulge outward, which will fit comfortably in your hand. The butt is slightly pointed. There is a lanyard hole near the butt of the handle, in line with the spine. This lanyard hole is an elongated rectangle.

The Pocket Clip:

The reversible pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only, but it is eligible for a left o right-handed carry option. This does mean that it is going to be ambidextrous friendly. The clip is sliver, which matches about half of the hardware. The rest of the hardware is black, which matches the G10 handle.

The clip is kept in place by two screws. The clip does taper toward the butt. In the middle of it, “BearOps” and the logo have been stamped.

The Mechanism:

This is an automatic knife, which does mean that it is going to fall under a strict set of laws in the United States. These laws state that automatics are not legal in all states, cities, or areas. It is your responsibility to know your local knife laws before buying or carrying this knife.

This is a push-button automatic knife that has been equipped with a convenient slide safety to prevent accidental firing. A push-button automatic is an automatic that deploys the blade simply by pushing the button on the face of the handle. Once it is pushed, the blade will eject out of the side and lock into place, ready for use. The push-button on this handle is in a bright silver, which contrasts nicely with the black G10 handle. This way, you will be able to easily locate the button in most environments.

This leads me to the biggest advantage of an automatic knife: there is not going to be any fumbling with it while you try to open it. When every single second counts, this model is going to guarantee that you move as quickly as you can.

Of course, because there are more moving parts to an automatic knife, it is going to be slightly harder to maintain. If some of the innards parts rust or break down, the automatic mechanism can also begin to break down and work a little less. Always make sure that the knife handle (and inside of the handle) are clean and dry before putting it away.

The Specs:

The blade measures in at 3.5 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4.125 inches long. This creates an overall length of 7.625 inches long when the blade has been deployed. The Bold Action XI weighs in at 4.1 ounces. It was proudly made in the United States of America.


The Bold Action XI knife is the next installment and one of several new automatic knives released by Bear & Son Cutlery/Bear OPS this year. This line of push-button side-open automatic knives features an entire arsenal of knives that offer a more tactical look and feel. Offered in a wide variety of sizes, colors and finishes, these knives showcase ergonomic styling, rapid firing and a convenient slide safety to prevent accidental firing. This model features black G-10 handles, stainless steel liners, a drop point style blade in a bead blasted finish and the reversible pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only but is eligible for a left- or right-hand carry option.

This BearOPS knife is currently in stock at BladeOps. However, quantities are going quickly, so if you want to secure yours, click here