THE BEAR & SON BEAR OPS RANCOR VII TITANIUM FLIPPER IS A LIGHTWEIGHT CARRY OPTION
Let’s run down the list of desirable traits associated with an EDC knife. Obviously we want a knife to be sharp, and if it’s made of good steel, it should stay that way with just minor touch-ups needed occasionally.
“…for a general-purpose knife intended to be carried and used every day without weighing you down, the Rancor VII is excellent.”
The blade should be configured for the type of cutting tasks we regularly encounter, and the handle should provide a good, comfortable grip.
Ideally, it should be lightweight, carry flat in the pocket, be easy to open with one hand, be equipped with a pocket clip, and feature a secure lock that’s sure to engage and easy to disengage. If it’s made in the U.S., for me that’s a big plus. Those features could sum up the Bear & Son Bear Ops Rancor VII Titanium Flipper.
ADD THE PLUSES
Bear Ops is the more tactical side of Bear & Son Cutlery and there are some pretty good knives in the company’s lineup. The Rancor VII that I tested features a 3-inch drop-point blade of S35VN steel. It was sharp when I got it, so check that box.
The handle is stonewashed titanium. I prefer to keep and carry knives that are rather subdued in appearance. I don’t need it to signal rescue helicopters, nor do I need to attract undo attention from alarmists who practically faint at the sight of a knife should I take one out to trim a string. That titanium keeps the knife light—just 2.8 ounces overall. Closed, it measures just 4 inches.
The knife features a flipper on the tang. I find a flipper to be easier to operate than thumb studs with either hand under stress. A flipper also functions as a finger guard when the blade is open. Opening the Rancor VII was a smooth operation. The ball-bearing pivot helps with that.
The frame lock is a simple and secure mechanism that’s out of the way when using the knife. There’s little to worry about with this type of lock. The lock on this knife provided plenty of engagement between the locking bar and the blade.
For durability, a piece of stainless steel is screwed to the end of the frame bar that engages the blade. The lock was easy to manipulate when closing the blade, typical of this type of lock.
The included pocket clip was reversible for tip-up carry. When I do use a pocket clip, I like the reversible option. I regularly carry a concealed handgun inside my waistband on my right side, and when I do, I opt to carry my knife clipped to my left pocket. If it’s a knife that I carry the few times I’m ballistically challenged, I might decide to carry in a right pocket.
CUTTING IT ALL
While working with the Rancor VII, I put it through some typical chores. I opened packages, cut rope and cardboard, and even used it for a bit of food prep when I was either too lazy or in too much of a hurry to walk over to the kitchen knife drawer. Besides, I wanted to test the knife on a range of tasks.
The Rancor VII met every challenge I presented to it and then quietly, unobtrusively took its place in my pocket, patiently awaiting the next time I’d need it.
RANCOR RANKS HIGHLY
Bear & Son Cutlery has produced a good EDC knife with this Bear Ops Rancor VII. I might choose other knives for specialized jobs—hunting for instance. But for a general-purpose knife intended to be carried and used every day without weighing you down, the Rancor VII is excellent.
“Rancor VII met every challenge I presented to it and then…took its place in my pocket, patiently awaiting the next time I’d need it.”
Your pocket space is valuable. There are lots of things you’d like to carry. But you don’t want your pants to resemble chipmunk cheeks after a day of nut gathering. The Rancor VII is easy to carry, takes up little room, and is capable of handling the day’s challenges. While the MSRP is listed as $303.99, don’t despair. I’ve seen this knife going for considerably less on the open market.
Bear & Son Bear Ops Rancor VII Titanium Flipper
Type: Flipper-operated folding knife
Lock Type: Frame lock
Blade Steel: S35VN
Blade Configuration: Drop point with taper grind
Length of Blade: 3 inches
Handle Material: Titanium with stonewashed finish
Length Closed: 4 inches
Weight: 2.8 ounces
Other: Ball-bearing washers; pocket clip reversible for tip-up carry
THE EXECUTIVE VIII: A SMALLER RANCOR OPTION
If you want a slightly smaller, lighter version of the Bear Ops Rancor VII, look for the Rancor Executive VIII. This also features a flipper blade and titanium handle. But the S35VN blade is 2 3/4 inches long, allowing for a pocket-friendly knife that’s just 3 ¾ inches closed and weighs a mere 1.7 ounces. The Rancor Executive VIII has a suggested retail price of $226.99.
Bear & Son Cutlery
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the November 2021 print issue of Knives Illustrated.