The Bear Swipe IV Rescue Knife from Bear Ops is an EDC blade with a couple of extra useful tools. That’s good because you never know how your day will turn out. Bear Ops, of course is the tactical /duty line from Bear & Son Cutlery. I’ve long been a fan of their brand that typically provides quality blades at a fair price. And it doesn’t hurt that many of their knives, including this Bear Swipe IV Rescue Knife, are still made start to finish in the U.S.
This Bear Ops Bear Swipe IV is an Assisted Opener
Let’s start with the basics. This folding knife is an assisted opener with a powerful spring that kicks in with authority with a flick of the flipper. The black coated straight edge blade features a tanto point, great for penetrating, but very useful for just about anything you need to do with a knife. The steel is Sandvik 14C28N, a Swedish stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness of 58-60 that’s provides good corrosion resistance and edge retention. Bear & Son recommends using a diamond or ceramic sharpener with a steel this hard. There is no wobble when the blade is open. It secures in place with a simple liner lock that engages positively. The flipper serves as a finger guard when the blade is open, something I always appreciate.
Getting a Grip on the Bear Swipe IV
Textured, black G10 grip panels cover the steel liners and they provide for a secure hold on the knife without being abrasive. I don’t want a knife to slip in my hand, but neither do I want it to give me blisters or wear out my pockets. This grip is excellent. While ergonomics can be a subjective thing to some extent, I found the Bear Swipe IV was contoured to fit my hand very well. Its size maintains a good balance: it’s small enough to carry comfortably all day, every day, yet its big enough both in grip and blade to handle cutting chores comfortably.
Spacers between the liners keep this an open design. Lint settling inside a folding knife can absorb moisture and lead to corrosion. An open design lets most debris fall right on through. And it’s easier to clean out after messing chores, such as field-dressing game.
A sturdy steel pocket clip is situated for right-handed, tip-up carry as are a great many knives these days. My personal preferences are for left-handed, tip-down carry. No matter; most of the time I don’t use a pocket clip at all. I don’t want to advertise what I’m carrying and on a couple of occasions I’ve had a knife with a loose-fitting pocket clip walk its way up and out of my pocket during my normal movements over the course of a day.
Useful Extras Could be Lifesavers
Okay, what about those extras I mentioned? This knife is labeled as a rescue knife and as such it’s equipped with a fixed glass breaker tip at the butt end and a very nice folding seatbelt / strap cutter that’s accessible with a thumb stud near the back of the grip.
Sure, you can cut a seat belt with most any blade, but you don’t want to cut flesh when you’re doing it. It’s a matter of having the right tool for the job. And a glass breaker is much more efficient than using a police baton or tail end of a flashlight to bash it. Besides, flashlights aren’t a foot and a half long any more.
Don’t think that these tools are handy only for military personnel or first responders. I was trapped in my personal vehicle one day after a car blew through a stop sign and sent my SUV into a sideways roll down a slight embankment. Fortunately, I was able to unfasten my seatbelt, turn sideways and kick open a door, but the situation impressed upon me that I should have the tools at hand should I need to extricate myself another way.
Bear Swipe IV is Plenty Sharp
I’m getting long winded here, so I won’t go into boring detail about all the things I cut with this knife while I was testing it. It came super sharp from the factory and held its edge throughout. When I first opened the knife (And for all of you who know lawyers, here’s a disclaimer: Don’t try this at home! ) I shaved some hair off the back of my arm with only the slightest amount of pressure.
If you use the Bear Swipe IV Rescue Knife for knife chores and not as a substitute for everything else in your toolbox, it will serve you long and well. The folks at Bear Ops know this and they back the knife with a lifetime warranty. And with the glass breaker and the belt cutter that’s out of the way until you need it, this everyday carry might just carry the day and save a life. For more information on the Bear Ops Swipe IV Rescue Knife and all the Bear & Son Cutlery products, go to www.BearAndSonCutlery.com. And be sure to check back with KnivesIllustrated.com for more of the latest news from the knife industry.
Model: Bear Swipe IV Rescue Knife from Bear Ops
Type: Assisted opening with flipper
Lock Type: Liner lock
Length Closed: 4 ¼ inches
Length of Blade: 3 ¼ inches
Blade Steel: Sandvik 14C28N
Configuration of Blade: Tanto blade, black finish
Handle Material: Textured G10, black
Weight: 4.1 ounces
Other: Folding seatbelt cutter; glass breaker rear tip; pocket clip for right-handed, tip-up carry; made in U.S.
Editor’s note: A version of this article was published in the Winter 2019 issue of Engaged Media’s Concealed Carry Handguns magazine.