• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Review: Bark River Water Moccasin – A multi-task performer

568 400 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

This knife is a combination of paring knife/slicer and Every Day Carry knife. It could have a place in your survival gear.

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer: Bark River supplied to product for this review. I don’t work for Bark River, and I was not paid to review this knife. This following in my opinion, and nobody had any input into the post.

My most impartial knife reviewer is my wife Debbie. She is used to new knives appearing in the knife drawer and uses them as needed in the kitchen. She grabs whatever knife is handy and appears to be useful for the task at hand. It didn’t take but one use for her to latch onto the Water Moccasin.

“This is a great paring and kitchen knife,” she said. “It stays in the knife drawer.”

The Bark River Water Moccasin is a handy, compact user knife. It is equally at home on the trail or on the kitchen counter.

Most of my knife reviews start in the kitchen. My reasoning is that a useful knife is useful in a variety of situations. If the knife can handle cooking chores, it may work out well when used outside. So the Water Moccasin joins the Mountain Man, Fin and Bone, Sportsman, Petty Z, Kephart, Bird and Trout and others that are relegated to  the kitchen. I will sneak them out during deer season, but otherwise, they live on the knife rack.

Here are the Water Moccasin specs:

  1. Overall Length: 7.75″
  2. Blade Length: 3.75″
  3. Blade Thickness: .125″
  4. Handle Thickness: .52″
  5. Tang: Full
  6. Blade Steel: MagnaCut
  7. Weight: 2.93oz
  8. Country of Origin: USA

Here is the good stuff:

Point: The upswept point gives the distance from the point to the edge a nice belly. This makes it a good skinning blade, particularly around the neck and shoulders of a whitetail.

The upswept point makes it a good skinner and also a good kitchen knife.

Grind: All Bark River knives are convex grinds. This is one reason I have so many of them – the grind just flat-out works for me. The grind is easily sharpened and maintained, and this becomes a big selling point in the backcountry.

Full tang: This means the blade steel runs all the way through the handle. It is the strongest option for a blade/handle combination. It is the only option, IMHO, for a knife that might end up in a survival situation.

Steel: I’m a hardline A2 and CPM 3V user. My pet user knife (right now, anyway) is my BR UP Bravo in A2. It has gotten used hard since I got the UP Bravo and UP Gunny three years back, and I have no complaints whatsoever. I also have knives in a variety of other steels that work very well for me.

My pet knife before I got the UPs was a custom Ambush Tundra in CPM 3V that Pete Winkler re-handled for me. It was used to process several deer and elk, went on several canoe trips and performed wonderfully at any task.

I’m not one who has to have the latest super steel in a knife. That said, I’m really liking the MagnaCut steel in the Water Moccasin blade. It holds an edge nicely and seems almost stainless. I deliberately smeared and left some mustard on the blade to test the stain resistance, and the steel cleaned up well.

Handle: Available in a variety of materials, the handle is .52-inches thick. My Water Moccasin is in green micarta. For a working knife, micarta can’t be beat.

Then there’s this ( Ticky nitpicking so you know I’m not writing ad copy!):

Handle: The handle is .52-inches thick, which is too slender for my glove-size large hands. It could easily be thickened to about .8 inches, and that would make this more of a user knife for me. The handle fits my wife’s hand nicely. Since she will be using it more than me, it’s a good fit.

Blade thickness: The blade needs to be thinner. The blade design is wonderful for paring knife use, but it doesn’t need to be as thick for ordinary use. This knife is not one I’d chose for gutting a deer or elk, but it could certainly work well as a small game knife.

                                                               Order your copy now!

So what’s the verdict?

Any knife is better than nothing, and any knife may end up as a survival knife. I wouldn’t want a Water Moccasin as my only knife in a survival situation but there is a place for it in my hunting and fishing gear. It would make a great small game knife, and would be incredibly useful around camp.

With its quality components and design, the Water Moccasin is a keeper – even if it never makes it out of the kitchen!

Get a Water Moccasin here.

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