Bonner Knives – Pocket Butcher
Aaron Shapiro 08.21.13
For a while now one of my favorite styles of EDC blades have been the pocket fixed blade. There’s something attractive to me about the simplicity of carrying a knife that doesn’t fold. They are, for all intents and purposes, stronger and simpler to operate than a folder. This particular pocket fixed blade is made by Eric Bonner of Bonner Knives.
Eric grew up in a rural part of the country and was always around metal working in one form or another. However, it wasn’t until he decided to make a gift for his brother that he tried his hand at knife making. As Eric puts it, “It came out ok, but only made [me] want to try harder.” Eric is largely self-taught through YouTube and knife making books, and says he’s influenced by Michael Burch, Brad Blout, and most evidently Jason Stout.
- OAL: 5″
- Blade: 2″
- Steel: CPM154
- Weight: 2.5oz w/o sheath (3.6oz with)
- Handle: Ironwood (he also offer’s G10, and Micarta)
The Pocket Butcher has a subtly ergonomic handle made from Ironwood. Bonner also offers G10 and Micarta options, both of which will have a little more texture (and offer some more grip) but aren’t as cool to look at (let’s be honest, it’s factor). There are two small finger choils that orient the knife correctly in hand and further aid in securing the knife for work. It’s a three finger grip that locks in pretty securely when accompanied with the very effective jimping that Eric works into his knives (pictured below).
The Pocket Butcher is, obviously, a butcher style knife with an aggressive hollow grind. That particular grind makes the knife a pocket lightsaber, and the butcher shapes gives it a very functional tip. The cutting edge sweeps up subtly as it progresses towards the tip giving you some useable belly. The 2″ cutting edge makes the knife nice and small, easily pocketable. The catch to that diminutive size is that the blade lacks reach for something like slicing an apple, but breaking down boxes or cutting food on a plate shouldn’t be a problem. In terms of steel, it’s CPM154, which is Crucible’s powdered metal version of 154CM. I love this steel — easy to sharpen and holds an edge adequately. It’s a stainless steel with 14% Chromium composition, so it should resist stains and rust really well, and speaking from personal experience I’ve never had a CPM154 blade rust on me.
The Pocket Butcher’s sheath is great, a simple fold-over leather sheath. It rides well in the pocket alongside a wallet or cell phone. With the included lanyard it’s easy to extract from the pocket and use. However being clip-less you’ll need to get the sheath out before you replace the knife. I should say that was my choice, as I had the option for a clip and said no. So if you don’t want to have to get the sheath out of your pocket when you’re done with the knife get a clip.
To wrap this up, I just want to say that I think Eric Bonner is a great maker to keep an eye on. He’s starting to experiment with different handle materials. His knives are occasionally available through North To South Knives, he recently listed and sold one with Thunderstorm Kevlar for handles, very cool stuff. If you want to contact Eric his info is on his website. He also makes friction folders that are pretty neat too, gotta try to get me one of those.