Knives aren’t like guns, but they do have a bit of a peanut butter and jelly type relationship. Or perhaps is more like Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliot. Wait, they just lost… Let’s try that again. A knife to a gun guy is on the one hand mission critical while at the same time second rate. As some wise sage told us, “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” But truth be told, on a day to day basis I use a knife more than I use triggers and that’s probably true for most of us. So maybe we should take a look a few more of these, starting with the Bear Edge 61106 Zytel.
In my opinion, knives typically aren’t as sexy as guns, and the 61106 Zytel really is kind of bland at first take. It’s neither a giant knife, nor an auto knife, nor a glamorous knife that your friends will drool over like a porterhouse steak. Which might just make it perfect, actually.
Bear and Sons Cutlery is a company I’ve kept my eye on for several years. We cross paths every year at SHOT Show, the Shooting Hunting Outdoors Trade Show. Bear and Sons usually have several things that catch my eye and occasionally we get one in to review, no strings attached.
The Bear Edge 61106 Zytel is readily found online in the same price range as a cheesy big box home improvement store offering, but this one is a solid knife. There’s nothing cheesy about it. At the same time there’s nothing about it that screams, “Steal me!!” And for only $16 from one online seller (is it a fake? I don’t know), you could readily replace it. I also found it for $25, though MSRP is $39.99 which still seems like a good deal to me.
This side lock knife is a utilitarian 4.5” long with a 3.5” stainless steel blade. It comes in any color you want as long as that’s black. Pull this out of the box, grip it and you might just raise an eyebrow, though.
I’d say 85% of the grips surface areas are serrated, and quite aggressively along the handle’s spine and opening edges. Spine serrations extend to the rear of the blade as well, so we have plenty of grip on the Zytel 61106.
And what is Zytel, you ask? It’s a versatile resin Dupont holds the patent on that is used in automotive applications, consumer electronics and obviously knife handles. Its super powers include stiffness and heat resistance.
Speaking of stiffness, open this knife and it feels as stiff as a fixed blade. Way better than I’d expect for the price of a Chinese home improvement store generic knife. Maybe that’s because the knife is actually built right here in the USA. I doubt the parts could all be sourced here, I don’t really know and given the purposes I’m keeping this knife for I don’t really care.
Use either thumb and pop the blade open. It has dual thumb studs. Thanks to the assist, the blade smoothly flies open locking with a solid thud. Okay, maybe “thud” would be too low pitched, like a big book dropped on a wood floor. But “click” would infer something too light, too high pitched. So perhaps the sound the 61106 Zytel makes when locking open is halfway between “click” and “thud.” Either way, it’s way better than clicking a ballpoint pen for entertainment. I hate to admit how entertaining I actually find this action…
The knife has a typical metal clip, reversible to carry in either pocket. In my experience these will ruin pocket edges on a good pair of jeans so I don’t always use them. I guess it depends on the jeans, the occasion, whatever.
Given the Bear and Son’s Full Lifetime Warranty policy, the price of the Bear Edge 61106 Zytel and its quality, I’d say if you’re looking for a really nice utilitarian knife for yourself or as a gift this one is a winner. I intend to carry it for a while.