When selecting a good EDC blade, simplicity often equals strength. Having fewer parts also means having fewer fail points and fewer production steps. While this results in a no-nonsense knife, it often also winds up being tough as nails and free of a premium price tag. This is precisely the case with the Bear Cutlery Model 114 Framelock. This hefty folder hails from the Bear Edge line and is everything you need in a daily-carry knife. Best of all it’s from a brand that we trust and is inexpensive enough to keep in every vehicle, bug-out bag, and underground bunker that you’re praying the gub-mint don’t know about.
The 4-3/8” blade is forged from 440 stainless steel and features a bead blasted finish for simple, effective corrosion resistance while remaining easy to sharpen. This blade carries a modified clip point profile that is accented with a false edge, giving it good properties for stabbing as well as slashing. This makes for an invaluable tool as it can be used for tasks that involve structural strength as well as those that require a smooth cutting action. The “modification” to the traditional clip point comes in the form of a relief that is ground towards the rear of the spine. This improves ergonomics and control should you wish to ride your hand that far forward.
If you choose to maintain a more traditional grip, jimping is cut into not only the blade, but the frame as well. Ambidextrous thumb studs are mounted on each side to ensure that you can get it open in a hurry. The blade is operated by spring assist ,and we found that it took a fair amount of pressure to open. This isn’t a bad thing, as it also means that it’s less likely to open by accident.
The frame is the most defining feature of this knife. Instead of installing a separate, thin piece of metal to lock the blade in place when opened, the Framelock uses a unique split-frame design to accomplish the same task. As the frame is stronger and more solid than typical locking mechanisms, this strengthens the overall construction while simplifying the design. Aside from being structural, the frame also houses a touch of flair with its red spacer that is designed for a lanyard while offering a reversible clip for carrying in a pocket or about your footwear.
During initial handling I found the knife to be a tad blade heavy, which usually lends it nicely to throwing. Most would call it foolish to throw a folder but I just call it “science.” To see exactly how tough this knife was built I tossed it into the back of my workshop door from 15 feet away. The knife survived 10 consecutive blows, including one direct hit on the steel door knob. The blade loosened a bit from the handle but was easily retightened via the Torx hardware that holds it all together. The edge held up perfectly without so much as a glint and the point was also 100% intact. Although to be fair it only had to survive the one occasion when I got it to stick. The only parts that suffered damage were the thumb studs (but that’s why you don’t throw folders, idiot).
My overall impression of the Model 114 was mission accomplished. Bear Cutlery hit the mark on providing a tough as nails knife that can handle whatever you throw at it…or it at. My testing represented some rough use and even a tad of negligence, such as the kind that occurs when you might drop it in your driveway or off of a ladder (might wanna use that lanyard after all). Aside from holding up structurally (sans thumb studs) the finish didn’t take any major damage either, despite ricocheting onto a tile floor nine times. The jury is in; this just might be the best $65.99 you can ever spend on a knife that you want to treat like you hate.
For more information visit bearandsoncutlery.com.