The Bark River Bravo 1 3v – Quite Possibly the Perfect Hard Use Knife
As the owner of DLT Trading as an avid outdoorsman I get asked a lot what knife is likely on my belt on a Saturday when I am working out on our farm or just enjoying the great outdoors. Although the choice I make can vary depending on what exactly I am doing, oftentimes you will find me carrying Bark River Bravo 1 3V. Out of the literally thousands of fixed blade knives I have access to you may ask – why this particular knife?
I think a good working knife built for the hard-use chores that come along out in the field should have the following attributes:
- Fixed blade of around 4-5.5” with an ample sized, comfortable handle. The blade should be large enough for tough chores yet easily small enough the knife can easily be carried on your belt. The handle needs to be comfortable and hand-filling so that even with prolonged use you won’t have hot spots or pain points. The handle should be large enough to give you sufficient leverage and control of the knife not only to allow tough tasks to be completed but also to provide safe control of the blade.
- Blade steel that is laterally tough as well as reasonably abrasion and stain resistant. 3V is the perfect choice here. Built tough for cutting, light chopping and even a reasonable amount of prying/scraping. There are certainly steels with more edge holding (abrasion resistance) than 3V but few match edge retention with the great edge stability and toughness of 3V. Although I don’t need a true stainless steel for my work knife having the stain resistance of 3V is really a nice bonus. For a fixed blade, heavy-use knife I always say it is the “Goldilocks” choice for blade steel. It is just right!
- Geometry built for the field. Sure, cutting phone book pages folded and stood on edge with a push cut is really cool. I love this type of geometry and edge for a straight razor but adore it less so for my knives I use in the field. I want something really sharp of course but it has to maintain a good working edge. Convex grinds do exactly that. They are deceptively sharp and stay sharp longer thanks to thickness behind the edge. Field sharpening with a strop is a snap with convex edges once you get the hang of it as well. There is no need to drag out complicated systems to put an edge back on your knife.
- It should have a leather sheath. In certain use cases I like Kydex. To a lesser extent injection molded sheaths can be ok but look and feel cheap to me. Leather is timeless in appearance, tough as nails, and quiet in the field. For me, that is a winning combination. There is nothing I hate less when I am in the woods than unnecessarily making noise. Even when I am not hunting I still relish the opportunity to experience all of the amazing wildlife the Creator has provided us with. Leather is quiet – enough said.
- I absolutely LOVE hidden tang knives. Those who know me know I love lever action guns, cast iron cooking and the timeless look of hidden tang (especially stacked leather) handles. For a hunting knife they are simply impossible for me to resist. But, for my hard working field knives I prefer the confidence provided by the durability of a full, exposed tang knife. Do I need it to be a full tang? Probably not. Do I like the piece-of-mind and comfort provided by a fixed blade when I am really working hard? Absolutely.
- The knife should be covered by a lifetime warranty. No explanation needed here.
If you use these qualifiers to choose your next knife you would be hard pressed to find a better choice than the Bark River Bravo 1 3V. American made with an unconditional lifetime warranty and built by skilled craftsmen of the best materials on the planet, this knife will not only handle whatever work comes its way but will do it with ease and comfort. At the end of a hard day in the field you can still have an edge sharp enough to harvest some wildflowers for your loved one back at home.
Great writing – I have to agree with you on all those points.
Great read and I agree that you can’t go wrong with a Bark River Bravo 1. It is a favorite of mine.
I really think this knife doesn’t get the amount of attention it should !! As a first purchase fixed blade outdoor knife, there is no other choice !! If you never get another knife, you’re fine with just this one. Cuts like a razor, tough as any and beautiful. It’ll last multiple lifetimes and and do it’s job too perfection !! Mine is in cpm m4 but 3v is a better all around steel .
Well done, Jason. Excellent points all around.
Yes sir. Great article, and all true. The Bravo 1 in 3V is an all around winner.
Nice write up Jason,spot on and totally agree with you on all points I’ve always had a Bravo 1 in my rotation of fixed blades. Takes a beating and easy to maintain..
I have to agree. I waited way too long to get one. When I finally did, I got the full thickness Bravo 1 Field. I like the subtle jimping and have learned that I always get the ramp removed so it’s perfect. It’s a favorite of mine for all around outdoor use especially if I have an EDC sized blade and maybe an axe too if I’m lucky.
Agreed. I got a bravo 1 lt 3v from dlt and absolutely love it for 99% of outdoors work.
Not sure who’s idea was behind the Bravo Clip Point but it’s what I’ve been wanting for years. I would have added jimping much like the field knives and a Jenna Martin sheath but not a big deal… Thanks Much…