The Drop Point Blade Is One Of The Most Utilitarian Blade Styles. From Outdoor Knives To EDC Folders, The Drop Point Is The Way To Go.
The drop-point blade is perhaps the most useful shape for outdoor knives. It’s an excellent cutting tool and the point makes it good at puncturing too. Whether it’s cleaning a kill or just opening up a gift box, the drop point is an excellent all-rounder that any knife lover should have.
Ka-Bar/Becker Knife & Tool BK16 Short Becker
It is a midsize knife that is easy to carry, handle and use. The 4-inch blade of flat-ground 1095 Cro-Van steel can hold a respectable edge and sharpens quickly in the field. The black textured epoxy coating is non-glare and corrosion-resistant.
The Zytel handle is a typical Becker design—highly ergonomic with a palm swell that fills the hand nicely. The handle edges are rounded to eliminate hot spots. Part of the tang is exposed for the lanyard hole. There’s also traction notches on the spine to choke up for added control. When you hold the BK16, notice how solid it feels. Even though one of the smaller knives in the line, it still feels capable of handling most cutting or camp tasks.
The sheath is a ballistic nylon with a rigid plastic liner. An accessory pouch holds a small lockblade folder or sharpener. The knife secures in the sheath via two button-snap nylon straps. The BK16 holds snugly inside the sheath with no rattling. Made in China, the sheath is of very good quality.
The BK16 is a workhorse. The drop-point shape is utility friendly and covers a broad range of general camp chores, from food prep to field dressing. The flat grind ensures optimum slicing.
The handle shape is classic Becker. A forward finger recess forms the lower guard and a palm swell mid-handle seats the hand comfortably. All edges are rounded for maximum comfort during prolonged use. The BK16 comes with two sets of scales: black Zytel and coyote tan. I opted for the tan. I love the contrast with the black blade.
I successfully batonned the knife through wood. The knife shrugged the task off and repeatedly came back for more. Whittling was easy. The ergonomic grip is comfortable and you’re able to use the exact pressure needed. The BK16 handles food prep with confidence.
If you need a compact fixed blade capable of tackling large tasks, the BK16 is it. Made in the USA, it has an MSRP of $132.
Fallkniven F1 Pro
The Fallkniven F1 Pro features an extra-heavy-duty build and ELMAX high-performance stainless blade steel, which offers enhanced edge holding and toughness. With a 4-inch, convex-ground blade and 8.5-inch overall length, it is a formidable knife, weighing in at 6.1 ounces.
The blade stock thickness is .19 inches, fairly thick for a knife this size. The full tang extends through the Thermorun rubber handle and is exposed on the butt for excellent torsional rigidity.
The handle sides feature a heavy checkering pattern for an excellent grip with wet or dry hands. The Thermorun material has a sort of a grip-you-back quality, similar to Kraton. The oblong handle shape rests in your grip comfortably so that you feel in control of the knife.
The sheath is well made of heavy-duty Zytel with a nylon webbing belt loop and button-snap retention strap. At first, the nylon webbing may seem a bit cheap but in reality it’s very smart.
Why? The webbing allows the sheath to move freely at your side in case it gets snagged by branches, or to self-adjust when you are seated in a chair or a vehicle. Most rigid sheaths do not allow for this. Not to mention, the nylon webbing material is weather and moisture-resistant.
The knife locks into the sheath via the guard as it engages a spring-loaded tab in the sheath’s side. This alone is enough to hold the knife inside, but securing the handle with the snap strap guarantees the knife stays put until you release it. The sheath’s bottom is open to allow moisture to escape and resist blade corrosion.
The F1 Pro and the BK16 are the heaviest-duty ones of the test bunch. The F1 Pro easily completed baton work. The thick blade stock and flat grind split wood like a wedge. For whittling, the convex edge has a ton of bite. It shaved off thick chunks of wood as I carved multiple stakes to a point. It made fast work of the task but, at the same time, was controllable and made precise cuts when needed.
In some respects it worked as hard as a larger knife. In the kitchen, don’t dismiss the F1 Pro due to the thick blade. It slices vegetables with precision, proof this beast of a knife can handle delicate tasks as well.
There were no problems with the Thermorun handle. My hands got a bit sweaty during outdoor use and the handle never felt like it was going to slip in my hand. The checkered texturing is the right amount and not overly aggressive to your skin.
With an MSRP of $407.95, the F1 Pro ELMAX is one of the most expensive knives you will find in this class, but the chosen materials and highest quality of build offset the cost. You get what you pay for and this is a high-quality tool.
White River Knife & Tool Hunter
The White River Knife & Tool Hunter is a simple design, with a 3.5-inch drop-point blade paired with an ergonomic handle. Blade steel is CPM S35VN high-performance stainless, and the handle comes in several material options. The 8.25-inch overall length is well-suited for field dressing and possible bushcraft use, too.
The blade is flat ground for optimal cutting performance and the steel offers toughness and high edge-retention qualities. A polished finish makes the blade a snap to clean and also seals micropores, thus helping prevent rust. It’s kind of unusual to see a mirror polish on such a blade due to it being a labor-intensive finish; most such blades have either machine satin, stonewash, or even bead-blasted finishes.
A large finger recess helps index your grip, and a significant palm swell rests the knife in your hand comfortably. The butt has a bird’s beak pommel to prevent your hand from sliding backward.
As for handle material choices, they include three Micarta® flavors: natural burlap, black burlap, and black/OD green. Micarta is an excellent choice for an outdoor knife, as it is dimensionally stable and impervious to the elements and absorption of fluids. It also has a tactile feel that aids in grip retention in all conditions.
We selected the natural burlap for the test, as it has a very organic appearance, almost a wood tone. The feel is akin to that of canvas Micarta. The sheath is formfitting Kydex, with a molded Kydex belt loop that accommodates belts up to 2 inches wide.
The cutting performance is superb. The knife is efficient and simple to maneuver. The flat-ground blade sails through meat and vegetables. Being a smaller fixed blade means it can be used for more delicate or intricate cutting.
I like the burlap Micarta. It’s very durable, looks great, and has a great in-hand feel. Burlap micarta isn’t common in production knives, so this is a bit rare—for now.
The shorter-length blade handles kitchen utility tasks well. Who knows—this knife might wind up in your kitchen pulling permanent duty when it’s not out with you in the woods. The White River Hunter retails for $180 for any of the handle material options. This is a really good price for a USA-made fixed blade with premium blade and handle materials. If you like refined fixed-blade hunters, the White River Hunter is for you.
Chris Reeve Knives Backpacker
The newest fixed blade from Chris Reeve Knives, the Backpacker is for outdoorsmen and backpack hunters who want a fairly lightweight sheath knife that is quite usable with a smart design and high-end materials.
It features a 4-inch drop-point blade hollow ground from CPM Magnacut, the latest of the high-performance stainless super steels. Magnacut reportedly has the best edge retention of any high-end blade steel. The Backpacker will go the distance with edge holding. A stonewash finish gives the blade a slight industrial look. Stonewash finishes do a good job of hiding scratches that occur during use.
The handle has a hollowed-out full tang, which helps keep weight to a minimum (3.8 ounces) and improves balance. The scales are canvas Micarta in black or natural. The Micarta is sculpted to provide placement of the hand and fingers, enhancing user comfort and blade control.
Canvas Micarta has a grippy nature and seems to get better when your hands are wet, unlike other materials that may feel less tactile when wet. Two pairs of hex-head bolts secure the scales which are removable, resulting in a skeletonized fixed blade to further reduce weight and bulk.
The integral guard formed by the blade’s height is a smart design I really like. It allows you to choke up on the handle for precise control, as well as keeping your hand in place.
The Backpacker comes with a Kydex sheath which locks around the lower portion of the exposed tang that forms the guard. It does not encompass the handle scales as most fixed-blade Kydex sheaths do. This is done on purpose so if you do decide to remove the scales and use the Backpacker skeletonized, the sheath will still work and lock on the knife for safe carry.
A flat-head screw at the end allows you to fine-tune how tight the sheath locks onto the blade. Not many sheaths have this feature. The rivet spacing allows use of a large Tek-Lok belt fastener (the knife does not come with a provision for belt attachment, so it’s up to the buyer to supply such).
The Backpacker handles like a dream! The hollow grind slices easily. I used the knife to cut meats and vegetables. The cutting performance is predictable, efficient, and precise. It’s like driving a nice European sports car.
Handle comfort is first class; I love the way the Micarta feels in-hand. It’s light as a feather for a fixed blade of its size, and no doubt the minimal weight does a lot to improve handling. When you choke-up on the handle with your thumb placed on the blade spine, you can feel how the ergonomics work to lock your grip on.
The Backpacker is a high-end, USA-made hunting/camping fixed blade. MSRP: $300. A CRK knife for $300 is a great price, actually, and you get a lot in return, including high-end materials and the company’s design and manufacturing/engineering expertise.
Buck 112 Ranger
Buck makes great knives, and this folder certainly is one of their best. The Ranger is a variation on the famous 110 Folding Hunter with a drop point instead of the original’s clip point.
The knife is beautiful with an ebony handle and ethically-sourced Crelicam ivory. While the handle is stunning, the star of the show is still the blade. Made from 420 HC stainless with a satin finish, the 3-inch blade is everything you would want in an EDC. With a thick belly and thick tip, the blade slices and punctures confidently.
The heat treat imbues the blade with excellent corrosion resistance and durability. It’s hardened to an HRC 58 so the knife can handle the wear and tear of everyday use with ease. This is a classy knife at a great price.
When it comes to drop point EDC knives the Benchmade Bugout is one of the most iconic. It was designed for outdoor use which makes it overpowered as an EDC for so many reasons.
There are many versions of the Bugout, and all are excellent, but for this piece we chose the BK-2 for its affordability in relation to other knives in the line.
The BK-2 is a fully blacked out version of the Bugout with a CF-Elite handled married to the CPM-S30V blade. The steel comes in a black Cerakote finish and is treated to a 58-60 HRC. The knife shines in large part thanks to its weight. At just 1.8 ounces, the BK-2 is so light and nimble in the air that it can feel like cutting with air.
It’s the Bugout. It’s great. It’s one of the highest-quality drop point knives on the market.
Kizer Drop Bear
This knife was released over the summer and it is excellent. We have already written an in-depth review of the Drop Bear, and it’s worthy of a second mention.
The 154CM steel blade is meted to an aluminum handle. At 3.8 ounces it’s a substantial little knife that can handle the day-to-day tasks asked of it and can even be used as a kitchen knife in a pinch.
The knife’s clutch lock, Kizer’s newly-adopted Axis-style lock, is fun to use and keeps the blade secure at all times. This is an excellent new addition to the world of drop point pocketknives.
Editor’s Note: Mike Abelson provided content for this piece.
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