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Knife Review: Bear & Son 112 Steel Flipper

Posted by SD on Jul 15th 2020

The Bear & Son 112 Steel Flipper Knife

Bear & Son says, “We have a skilled and experienced work force capable of performing many of the extra hand operations that go into the making of our products. The Bear & Son Cutlery factory is unique. It is full self-contained. While some companies only assemble parts brought from various suppliers and put their names on the product, we do everything in-house from building our own blanking dies to heat treating, grinding and assembly, and hand finishing our products. These steps ensure that Bear & Son Cutlery is of excellent quality and a real value for both the dealer and consumer.

This commitment to excellence has just improved due to rich family tradition in knife making craftsmanship not only by management, but also our experienced work force. Our customers and consumers can look for even more new and exciting products as a result. Our ongoing commitment is to make them in America and make them affordable. We want everyone to be able to afford what we are proud to make!”

This is a family owned company that came to be in 1991 when Ken Griffey and two partners bought the Parker Edwards knife facility. After a ride filled with turns and surprised, including a time when the firm actually was owned by Swiss Army Brands, Ken Griffey still heads the operation as president. His son Matt, who began to work in the factory when he was only 18, is vice president.

One of Bear & Son Cutlery’s biggest advantage and selling point is that 100% of their high-quality knives are made in their state-of-the-art Jacksonville, Alabama plant where they perform each part of the knife making task.

“Our fundamental position is clear and absolute: we make high-quality knives, and we make them all right here in the U.S.A.,” said Ken Griffey. “And when we say Made in American, we mean everything—the steels, every component right down to the tiniest screws, and of course, every step of manufacturing. We’re a family company, and we are dedicated to keeping it exactly that way.”

Bear & Son offers a wide range of knives—from big Bowies to popular Butterflies, Bear & Son covers almost any knife that you could want. And you know that if you purchase one of their knives, you know that you can trust it.

Today we will be talking about the Bear & Son 112, which is a new arrival at BladeOps.

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is made out of 440 high carbon stainless steel. This steel is a relatively low cost, highly corrosion resistant stainless steel. This steel is used in many production knives because it has a good balance of edge retention and it is easy to re-sharpen. This is a good all-round steel that has now been overshadowed by many of the newer super-steels on the block. Because it is a high carbon, but still a stainless steel, you get a wide variety of benefits. The stainless-steel aspect of this steel is that they generally have at least 12% chromium, which does tow things. For starters, it makes the blade able to resist rust and corrosion a lot better than high carbon blades, but it is going to be softer than a carbon steel. Because 440 steel has a high level of carbon, it is not going to be as soft as a regular stainless steel. With the high carbon aspect of this steel, you get strength and hardness which means that it is going to retain an edge for long periods of time. Overall though, with this steel you are going to get a blade that can get the job done. You are going to be able to rely on this blade to last when you need it to and to not break or chip. However, you should keep in mind that you do get what you pay for, so when being compared to other newer types of steel, it isn’t going to measure up.

The blade has been finished with a satin finish. The satin finish is going to be the most common blade finish that you are going to find on today’s market. It is such a popular option for a couple of reasons. The first is that it gives the blade a perfectly classic look. It is created when the manufacturer repeatedly sands the blade in one direction with an increasingly fine level of an abrasive. This process works to show off the fine lines of the steel, which is where the classic look stems from. The other great aspect is that it does fall in the middle of the spectrum in terms of luster. This means that the satin finish is not going to steal the show from the rest of the knife, but it is going to look rather sleek. The last major benefit of the satin finish is that it does increase the corrosion resistance of the blade slightly. This is not enough for you to be able to fully rely on it, but since it is already a stainless-steel blade, you can expect it to give it a slight bonus of lower maintenance.

The blade on the 112 has been carved into a classic drop point blade shape. This is an all-purpose knife that can really stand up to almost anything. This is also one of the two most popular blade shapes that is in use today. It will be easiest to find this blade shape on a hunting knife, although it is used on many other types of knives as well, from your small EDC knives to larger Swiss army knives. To form this blade shape, the back edge of the knife runs straight form the handle to the tip of the knife in a slow curved manner, which creates a lowered point. This lowered point provides more control and adds strength to the tip.

While the tip on a drop point is not as sharp as the tip on a clip point, it is much stronger. It is because of this tip strength and the ability to hold up to heavy use that drop point blades are also popular on tactical and survival knives. Drop point knives also feature a large belly area that is perfect for slicing. There is one main disadvantage to the drop point blade and that is its relatively broad tip, which makes it less suitable for piercing than the clip point. However, the broad tip provides point strength that is not found on clip point knives.

The Handle:

The handle on this pocket knife is made out of stainless steel. The stainless steel is a semi-popular option for knife handles. This is because it does have a high level of corrosion resistance, which does make it a lower maintenance material. It also adds a lot of heft to the knife. In a larger knife, this would add too much weight to the knife, but since this is a smaller knife, it adds a good amount of heft. This is where the bulk of this lightweight knife comes from the stainless-steel handle.

The stainless steel does have a couple of disadvantages though. The first one is that it is prone to getting scratched. And, since it is such a bright, clean silver, the scratches will show up on the handle. Another one is that it does not offer as much grip as you could get from a different handle material.

The stainless-steel handle has been finished with a satin finish, which matches the blade. It also creates a very sleek and traditional look to the knife that will never go out of style.

The handle is pretty simple, especially for a Bear & Son knife. The spine of it curves down slightly from the handle to the butt. The belly does have some aspects that make it unique. It has a slight finger groove that is going to create a better grip for you. After the groove, there is an elongated curve that extends nearly to the butt of the handle. This does create a better grip for you, which is needs since the stainless steel does not offer you the best grip.

There is only a slight finger guard, but the flipper greatly enhances that when the knife si opened.

The Pocket Clip:

The pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle. This does mean that it is not going to be an ambidextrous friendly knife. You will not be able to carry this knife in the way that is most comfortable to, unless you fit the description of a “traditional” knife handle carrier.

This is not a deep carry clip, although it does span a decent amount of the length of the handle. This means that it should stay pretty securely inside of your pocket, even as you move about your day and tasks. The clip bulges out near the middle of it, but dips down near the end of it. This dip is going to allow the clip to stay a little bit more securely on your pocket.

The clip is kept in place by two silver screws, which do match the rest of the hardware on the Bear & Son knife.

The Mechanism:

This knife has been equipped with both a thumb stud as well as a flipper. This is a small triangularly shaped protrusion that extends off of the blade and out of the handle when the blade is closed. You can pull back on this protrusion, which will swing the knife open and lock it into place. There are a couple of things that make this a safe and preferred mechanism for opening the knife.

For starters, it does not put your fingers in the path of the blade when you are swinging the blade open. This does mean that it is safer to use than a knife with a thumb stud. Another aspect of safety is that once the knife is opened, the flipper acts as a finger guard. Another thing that people love about the flipper is that it does not get in the way when the knife is opened. Some people feel as if the thumb stud gets in the way when they are trying to use the knife, because it extends off the front of the blade. While the flipper is a little bit harder to get the hang of, it is a great option for your opening mechanism.

The thumb stud is the most common opening mechanism. It is a small stud that sits on the blade. You use your thumb to push the blade open with this stud, where it will lock into place. The thumb stud is easier to use and easier to get the hang of than the flipper, but it is slightly less safe, per the reasons mentioned above.

The Specs:

The blade on the 112 measures in at 3 inches long with a handle that measures in at 3.875 inches long. This creates a smaller knife size overall of 6.875 inches long when the blade is opened. This is definitely a smaller knife, weighing in at only 2.4 ounces.


It all began in 1991 with Bear & Son Cutlery as Ken Griffey and his two partners acquired Parker Edwards knife facility--a sister plant to W.R. Case & Sons. What makes this tried and true company so unique is that their knives are made in the USA--where they do their own tooling, pressing, heat-treating, grinding, hafting, finishing and assembly. Each frame lock designed flipper is ultra-thin and operates ultra-fast. This model features stainless steel handle scales, a drop point style blade in a satin finish and the pocket clip is statically designed for tip up carry only on the traditional side of the handle.

You can purchase the Bear & Son 112 right now at BladeOps or shop all Bear & Son brand knives here