• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Review: Bark River Cub EDC

535 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

I love the large Cub, but this latest incarnation may be even handier. It might be the best choice for you

by Leon Pantenburg

I was pre-disposed to love the Cub EDC. My original Bark River Cub was field tested under extreme, uncomfortable conditions on a deer hunt in November, 2020.

Bark River knives, best hunting knife, deer hunting knife

The original Cub is a superb hunting/survival knife.

The doe had gone about 100 yards onto a muddy field after I squeezed the trigger, despite having a pulverized heart and lungs. As always seems to happen, I was racing the sun down to field dress and haul out the whitetail doe. The rain dripped off my hat, and the field was so muddy I could barely drag the animal.

My Cub earned its keep in the next half hour, as I gutted, skinned and quartered the animal. I was very pleased with the knife’s performance. Read the original Cub review.

The EDC has a blade the measures under 4-inches long, making the knife legal in California and New York. Be aware of local regulations!

So there was no reason why I wouldn’t appreciate a lighter, more compact version of the Cub. But there are some variances between the Cub and the Cub EDC that might make a difference to other buyers.

Here are the Cub EDC specs:

  1. Overall Length: 8.25″
  2. Blade Length: 3.875″
  3. Blade Thickness: .125″
  4. Handle Thickness: .89″
  5. Tang: Full
  6. Blade Steel: 3V
  7. Weight: 5.3oz
  8. Country of Origin: USA

For the sake of discussion, here are the original Cub specs:

  1. Overall Length: 10.25″
  2. Blade Length: 5.375″
  3. Blade Thickness: .187″
  4. Handle Thickness: .93″
  5. Tang: Full
  6. Blade Steel: 3V
  7. Weight: 9.52oz
  8. Country of Origin: USA

There are significant differences. The Cub EDC overall is two inches shorter; with a blade that is two inches shorter than the original. The EDC weighs 4 ounces less. Handle length and thickness are about the same. The EDC blade is .125-inches thick, versus .187-inches of the Cub.

The Cub EDC is compact and lightweight and fits easily into a fanny or daypack.

What’s the difference?

Handle design:  There doesn’t appear to be much handle difference in between the two knives. The Moran-style design makes this knife a pleasure to handle and use. At one point during field dressing the doe, I had to dip my hand and the Cub into the bloody slurry from the pulverized heart and lungs to cut the esophagus. The handle never got slippery or dangerous to handle with my bare hands, despite being covered with the bloody goo. The micarta seemed to get “grippier” and tacky.

Blade thickness: Thick blades, IMHO (and all this is my opinion!) are not necessary and don’t work as well as a thinner blade. I’m not the only one who believes this. The EDC’s .125-inch blade thickness is an improvement over the thicker .187-inch thick Cub blade. The EDC will slice and skin better than the Cub, and you don’t have to worry about breaking the blade.

 Steel: My cutlery collection has (probably too many) knives in all variations of steels, and some of the super steels leave me lukewarm. I’m developing an appreciation for Magna-Cut steel. But over the years, CPM 3V and A2 have emerged as my blade favorites.  My go-to hunting knives feature these steels. My UP Bravo has an A2 blade, and my hard-user, long-time favorite Ambush Tundra has a CPM 3V blade.

You will be happy with the steel in the Cub EDC.

Weight: At four ounces lighter, the EDC saves weight.

Length: The EDC is about two inches shorter than the Cub. This makes it more compact and easier to carry.

Blade length: In some areas, such as New York and California, it is illegal to carry a knife with a blade that is four inches or longer. This seems unbelievable given that they are already in kitchens, for example, and longer blade knives are readily available at stores across the United States.

So the Cub EDC, with its 3.8-inches would be legal to carry in many places where the bigger Cub could not. This is good to know if you’re backpacking or recreating in different areas. This is not legal advice and don’t accept it as such. As always, make sure you understand any local knife regulations.

The good news is that a four-inch blade will handle just about anything you need a knife for. I don’t consider the Cub EDC’s blade length a disadvantage at all.


So do you need a Cub EDC?

If you’re in the market for a solid knife that  can handle hard use, the EDC might be what you’re looking for. It has a proven, classic design, with features that will endear it to outdoorspeople who do more than hunt and fish. I like the EDC very much, and I’m guessing you would too.

Order your Cub here.

Get a Cub EDC here.

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