BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

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Sasquach
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BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Sasquach » Sat May 21, 2022 1:42 pm

I own a few Bear MGC/Bear & Son knives and I have found that their quality ranges from just acceptable to excellent. I didn't see any specific threads about Bear so I though I'd start one to find out what others think of their products. Those who know me from other threads know that I am primarily a collector of canoe patterns. Below is one of the Bear products I consider to be top notch and one that I consider mediocre at best. The pearl canoe is a work of art while the Keen Kutter contract canoe is so-so. I'm interested in hearing what others think...
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Bear & Son MOP.jpg
Keen Kutter 1.jpg
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by CluelessNick » Sat May 21, 2022 3:05 pm

I don't own any Bear knives but I do have a few Parker-Edwards that I think were made in the same factory. They also have varying degrees of quality. I still like them though.
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1.jpg
Clueless as usual

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Mumbleypeg » Sat May 21, 2022 4:39 pm

Charlie the keyword search capability (found in the drop down menu when you click on Quicklinks on the upper left of this thread) is your friend! ::tu:: There are hundreds of posts about Bear & Son or Bear MGC. Here’s a typical thread viewtopic.php?f=2&t=59287&p=682809&hilit=Bear#p682809

And another viewtopic.php?f=4&t=47847

They’re generally the same theme - quality is hit and miss, wish they were more consistent quality.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by cody6268 » Sat May 21, 2022 5:01 pm

Bear and Son really needs to put a focus on quality control in their processes. Some of the ones I have are so bad, they are actually dangerous. I have one 3" Trapper by Remington that is decently put together, as is their "Minuteman" penknife.

Moore Maker supposedly QCs every knife they sell before they go onto the customer, but the Bear-made lockback I bought had a black spot from someone slipping up during sanding, and the tip was burnt. It later developed wobble with light use.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by OLDE CUTLER » Sat May 21, 2022 5:41 pm

As I have stated in those other threads on Bear & Son, I have found their quality to unacceptably low. Cracked handle materials and unfinished blades go out of their factory on a regular basis.
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by cudgee » Sat May 21, 2022 10:40 pm

I have purchased 3 Bear & Son knives, and they are not cheap over here. One word- Rubbish. It's a shame, there is a market for well made, made in USA knives, but they don't cut the mustard. :( :( :(

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Sasquach » Sat May 21, 2022 11:55 pm

So I'm not the only one who thinks they turn out some shabby work. On the other hand I have gotten some that are very well made with good fit and finish. Is it just me or did the quality get spotty after the name changed from Bear MGC to Bear & Son? Below is a Bear MGC Bowie from the '90s and it is very well made with rams horn scales. Not a single gap, no loose parts, guard is solid and even though it has been sitting on a knife rack for years the blade is razor sharp. Makes one wonder, if they're capable of turning out a knife like that why would they let so many poor examples hit the market? I also have three other Bear & Son canoes, two bone and one mammoth ivory. The one bone, like the Keen Kutter in my last post, is barely acceptable, the other bone is better but not what I would expect, and the mammoth ivory is sweet. Doesn't make sense to do business that way.
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Bear MGC Ram's Horn Bowie.JPG
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Reverand » Sun May 22, 2022 12:10 am

In their defense, I believe that most of Bear and Son quality problems comes from their annual factory sale of seconds. They do not mark their second-quality knives in any way, and they sell them at a great discount. I believe that a lot of unscrupulous people buy them and re-sell them online without disclosing the condition.
If they would grind off the tang stamp or something like that at the factory, I believe it would improve their reputation very quickly.
I know that I have carried a small Bear MOC Stockman since the 90's and it has been a great knife. I also bought some knives at their factory sale last year, and plan on repairing and reselling them (with full disclosure!). They are well-made knives with Moore-Maker and Remington tang stamps.
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by cudgee » Sun May 22, 2022 12:24 am

Not the ones i bought, they were from a dealer over here, and were firsts, not seconds. He told me he has had nothing but trouble since stocking them.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Sharpnshinyknives » Sun May 22, 2022 12:52 am

I have mixed experience with Bear knives. I bought a half Congress with Damascus blades that I gave to a Marine that was going to Iraq. He raved about it and how it held up when other Marines were breaking their knives. He got made fun of for having an “old man’s knife”, but he was the one laughing when they broke their blades over and over.
I had several from the NKCA and they were all great knives. The fixed blades I’ve had were all good quality builds. The knife I think that Bear does the best work on is their Barlows. The Barlows have nice rounded corners that go well in the pocket.
But I have had some that had issues that were glaringly obvious and you have to wonder “what were they thinking?”
It’s best to look them over and handle them first, if not, buy from someone that will be honest about any flaws.
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by philco » Sun May 22, 2022 11:46 am

I've had two or three Bear made knives and so far, I remain unimpressed.
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by OLDE CUTLER » Sun May 22, 2022 1:29 pm

These are the two I mentioned above. I bought both of them from a local farm supply store and they were not considered seconds as they both were full retail price. I bought both without looking at the knives in their boxes before purchase. I wont do that with Bear knives again.
Cracked thru the rocker pin hole on both sides.
IMG_4737.JPG
Back of this sheepsfoot blade was not finished.
IMG_4740.JPG
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by cody6268 » Sun May 22, 2022 4:04 pm

And to clarify, the Moore Maker came from a tack retailer in Texas that is one of their dealers, NOT a third party.


It's also a shame in that it is the only TL-29 relative I can buy locally without having to special order the thing since Klein went to Asia, ceasing the long relationship they had with Utica. I expect when I go to my knife store, every one they will have in stock will have some issue. But, that is also why I am NOT ordering it online.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Sasquach » Mon May 23, 2022 1:32 pm

This one is a solid trapper with no issues. Fit and finish is very good. no gaps, good snap, just a tiny bit of blade wobble on the master blade and none on the secondary blade. Here again this is an older Bear product from the "MGC" days.
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Bear MGC Oak Trapper.JPG
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by OSCAR » Mon May 23, 2022 1:56 pm

Sharpnshinyknives wrote:
Sun May 22, 2022 12:52 am
I have mixed experience with Bear knives. I bought a half Congress with Damascus blades that I gave to a Marine that was going to Iraq. He raved about it and how it held up when other Marines were breaking their knives. He got made fun of for having an “old man’s knife”, but he was the one laughing when they broke their blades over and over.
I had several from the NKCA and they were all great knives. The fixed blades I’ve had were all good quality builds. The knife I think that Bear does the best work on is their Barlows. The Barlows have nice rounded corners that go well in the pocket.
But I have had some that had issues that were glaringly obvious and you have to wonder “what were they thinking?”
It’s best to look them over and handle them first, if not, buy from someone that will be honest about any flaws.
I agree. I have had some great Bear knives and others that weren’t so good. I ALWAYS buy these at a store so I can check them out first. Online it’s a gamble.
"The Edge...There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Sasquach » Tue May 24, 2022 2:12 pm

Adding to the mixture of Bear quality, this is a new addition to the collection the I acquired from Kennedy Knives AAPK Store is a 1994 NKCA club knife made by Bear MGC. The knife is solid, the materials are of good quality but it does have some minor fit and finish issues on the handle where the stag meets the bolsters and around the edges where the stag and bolsters meet the full tang. No gaps but not a smooth transition from scale to bolsters and tang. Flaws easily avoided by a more conscientious finishing process.

BTW, does anyone posting here have any experience with Bear Edge and/or Bear Ops products?
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Stag Bear MGC NKCA 1994.jpg
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Ridgegrass » Wed May 25, 2022 4:25 pm

I've had 3 of their knives, 2 "MGC" folding hunters and a "Sons" baby bowie. I can't say anything wrong about any of the 3. For those who have had issues, was the company made aware and how did they respond ? Hopefully they want to maintain a good reputation in the face of foreign competition. Maybe they should be forwarded this thread. J.O'.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Sasquach » Sat May 28, 2022 1:32 pm

Here are two small lock backs and a canoe. The brass handle was carried by my Dad for about ten years before he passed. Both of these knives are what I would call good EDCs. Well made with no issues but nothing fancy. The blue unused Keen Kutter canoe made by Bear MGC, on the other hand, is a POS with gritty pivots, unpolished bolsters, poor finish on the bone scales and according to the vendor it had never been carried or used. Must be one of those seconds.
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REN.jpg
KNIFE I 222.png
more 048.png
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by OSCAR » Sun Jul 31, 2022 11:54 pm

cudgee wrote:
Sat May 21, 2022 10:40 pm
I have purchased 3 Bear & Son knives, and they are not cheap over here. One word- Rubbish. It's a shame, there is a market for well made, made in USA knives, but they don't cut the mustard. :( :( :(
Cudgee, The Bear & Son knives I have are pretty good. The company puts out some that are good and others that should never be sold. Due to the inconsistency of quality, I’ve always bought this brand in a store where I can check them out first. Sometimes I have looked over many before I made my selection. It’s a shame they aren’t more vigilant on their quality control.
"The Edge...There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Sasquach » Mon Aug 01, 2022 4:18 pm

QC was awake and paying attention when this one went out.
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Bear & Son small hunter.jpg
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by OSCAR » Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:15 pm

Sasquach wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 4:18 pm
QC was awake and paying attention when this one went out.
Sasquatch, absolutely a beautiful knife. Bear has a horrible reputation (well deserved) among collectors for good reason. Their well made knives are a great price for an American made knife but unfortunately they fall short on QC and many they turn out are garbage. I never buy one online. I’ll only buy a Bear that I can handle and check out before I buy.
"The Edge...There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Sasquach » Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:07 pm

OSCAR wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:15 pm
Sasquach wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 4:18 pm
QC was awake and paying attention when this one went out.
Sasquatch, absolutely a beautiful knife. Bear has a horrible reputation (well deserved) among collectors for good reason. Their well made knives are a great price for an American made knife but unfortunately they fall short on QC and many they turn out are garbage. I never buy one online. I’ll only buy a Bear that I can handle and check out before I buy.
The majority of the Bear MGC and Bear & Son knives I have are well made, on a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give them a 7. Having said that I have also gotten a few that don't even get a 2. Guess I've been lucky, for the most part. I'd really love to see more American made "good old fashion" pocket knives on the order of Schrade, Queen, and Camillus at working man prices.
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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by OSCAR » Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:18 pm

Sasquach wrote:
Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:07 pm
OSCAR wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:15 pm
Sasquach wrote:
Mon Aug 01, 2022 4:18 pm
QC was awake and paying attention when this one went out.
Sasquatch, absolutely a beautiful knife. Bear has a horrible reputation (well deserved) among collectors for good reason. Their well made knives are a great price for an American made knife but unfortunately they fall short on QC and many they turn out are garbage. I never buy one online. I’ll only buy a Bear that I can handle and check out before I buy.
The majority of the Bear MGC and Bear & Son knives I have are well made, on a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give them a 7. Having said that I have also gotten a few that don't even get a 2. Guess I've been lucky, for the most part. I'd really love to see more American made "good old fashion" pocket knives on the order of Schrade, Queen, and Camillus at working man prices.
Sasquatch, so would I. But those are bygone days. Just about all of the American knives are gone. I always was a big fan of Camillus and Queen. And greed has brought the prices up to a new level. I quit buying knives in this bad economy. Food is a bigger priority.
"The Edge...There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Nev52 » Mon Sep 05, 2022 1:00 pm

[/attachment]Here are a few of mine. I like Bear&Son ::tu::
Nev

Here is a black bear on my game camera ::uc::
bear barlow.jpg
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bear l set.jpg
bear lock.jpg
black bear.JPG

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Re: BEAR MGC / BEAR & SON

Post by Ridgegrass » Thu Sep 08, 2022 11:25 pm

Wondering if anyone has the date stamps for Bear knives? Have a knife with 1 dot to the left of the BEAR stamp. Thanks. J.O',

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