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Knife Review: Bear OPS Bold Action XII Titanium Automatic Knife

Knife Review: Bear OPS Bold Action XII Titanium Automatic Knife

Posted by SD on Dec 16th 2019

The Bear OPS Bold Action XII Titanium 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 talking about one of the newer releases at BladeOps: The Bear OPS Bold Action XII titanium automatic knife.

The Blade:

The blade on this new edition to the Bold Action series is made out of 154CM stainless steel. This is a Crucible Industries steel, which does mean that you can expect a higher quality of steel than from many other manufacturers. Crucible is known for making steel that is specifically for higher end pocketknives such as this one, so when it comes to the characteristics of the steel, you are going to get everything that you want and nearly nothing that you didn’t.

Bear OPS Bold Action XII Titanium Auto Knife

154CM steel is a high-end steel, but it is not the equivalent of a super steel. This steel is known to be an upgraded version of 440C steel. So how did they upgrade the base steel? Well, Crucible added in Molybdenum, which is used to help the steel have high levels of hardness, which translates into a top-notch edge holding ability. Plus, this steel is going to keep the high levels of corrosion resistance that 440C has, even though it does have less Chromium. The Molybdenum really does add quite a bit to the steel.

154CM steel is tough enough for most jobs that you are going to come across. This is great, because normally when a steel is this hard, it is not as tough as many would desire. You get the best of both worlds from 154CM steel.

The blade has been finished with a dark stonewashed finish. The stonewashed finish is known for the textured look that it has. The texture is created through the tumbling process. The textured look is also going to hide the scratches and smudges that do accumulate over time, which is going to make this a low-maintenance blade finish. The stonewashed finish does cut down on some glares and reflections, because the texture does give the blade a more matte look to it.

The dark stonewash finish undergoes nearly the same process as the regular stonewash would, except that it does have one extra step. Before the process even begins, the blade undergoes an acid treatment. This treatment oxidizes the blade, which adds a darker color to it. Then, the blade goes through the rest of the same process that the stonewash finish does. It is tumbled with small ceramic stones, removed, smoothed out, and polished. This process ensures that the textured look is still there, but that the blade is actually smooth for ease of use. The dark stonewash finish does look a little bit more rugged, because it does give the darker color, instead of a medium gray. All in all, this dark stonewash is the perfect option for the Bold Action XII.

The blade has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The thing about a tanto blade shape is that it is not designed to do everything at all. In fact, it is actually designed to do one thing and to do that one thing incredibly well. The tanto has been designed to excel at piercing into hard objects.

The history of the tanto blade is fairly unique. The shape of the blade stems from the ancient Japanese and Chinese long and short swords that were designed for piercing through armor. Cold Steel actually modernized the design and popularized it in the modern knife era.

The modified version of the blade is just as great for piercing things through hard targets. The shape is made up of a spine that extends almost straight out of the handle. On the Bear Swipe, though, it does angle down a little bit near the tip. The belly is not a belly at all, instead, it is also a straight line that extends out of the handle until about three quarters of the way up. At this point, it angles upward to meet the tip.

There is no belly, which does sacrifice some of the utility aspect of the tanto, but in return, you get a lot more strength out of it. Also, the tip is not lowered, so you aren’t going to have quite as much control over it. But, again, you get a lot of strength from this.

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of titanium. Titanium is known as being very similar to aluminum, except that between the two it is the superior metal. Titanium is a lightweight metal alloy, just like aluminum. Titanium is the heavier between the two metals, but with the extra weight, you get incredible strength. Although it is considered to be the heavier of the two metals, Titanium is not hard—it is definitely still a lightweight metal that will keep the overall weight of the knife down. However, because it is stronger, it is harder to machine, which also means that it is going to be more expensive to machine. Out of all the metals, this titanium is going to give you some of the best rust resistance.

Titanium differs from aluminum because it actually has a warm feel to it instead of having high conductive properties. This isn’t going to make that big of a difference if you are using this knife in a warm environment. However, if you plan on using this knife in cooler environments, this is a big advantage.

The handle has also been finished with a dark stonewash. The dark stonewash will provide the same advantages that it does on the blade.

The handle has been semi-skeletonized to cut down on weight. The upper portion of the handle is solid, but the lower half has geometric shapes carved out of it. The spien has a slight curve to it that extends from the blade to the butt of the handle. The spine also has two rows of jimping. The first row is closer to the blade and thicker. The second row is near the butt, and not as prominent. Both of these rows of jimping will provide texture and grip that the aluminum cannot do on its own.

The belly of the handle does have an extreme finger groove with a shallow, more elongated finger groove following it. On the butt of the handle, there is a piece of titanium added on that has the lanyard hole in it.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip on this knife is designed or tip up carry only. It is also finished in a dark stonewash, which means that the entire knife has been finished in a dark stonewash. The pocket clip does have the Bear OPS logo etched into it in black. While this is not a deep carry, this is a smaller knife, so the standard pocket clip is going to work to keep this knife safe and secure throughout your day.

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 the same stonewashed titanium that the rest of the handle is, but it does have a lot more texture that the rest of the 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 on this version of the Bold Action measures in at 2.875 inches long with a handle that measures in at 4 inches long. This means that when the blade has been deployed, the overall length of the knife is going to come in at 6.875 inches long. This is a smaller knife, as most typical EDC’s are closer to 8 inches. However, this knife is made out of high-quality materials, so you won’t need to worry about this knife begin able to take on what you need it to.

With the smaller length, you are also going to get less weight. This Bear OPS automatic knife weighs in at 2.8 ounces, which is definitely on the smaller side. While this knife won’t weigh you down as you go about your day, you may not feel that you have enough heft to really take on anything you want to. This knife is built with high quality materials, so you will be able to take on most things, but you do miss out on some of the heft that it could have.

This Pro-Tech was proudly made in the United States of America.


This automatic knife features a semi-skeletonized titanium handle in a dark stonewash finish, a tanto style blade in a dark stonewash finish and the pocket clip is designed for tip up carry only.

The new Bold Action XII push-button auto features jimping on the top of the blade and handle and an index finger groove for a more secure grip. Additionally, the slide-safety prevents accidental deployment and the dark stonewash finish throughout will aid in hiding wear.

This Bear OPS knife is currently in stock at BladeOps. Order yours today by clicking here.