Bark River Ghost II Karambit

Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
5
HI Guys,

I'm new to the forum and I figured I would start off with a quick review. I recently purchased a Bark River Ghost II. Before I bought it I looked around online and couldn't find much info on it. So I figured this would a good blade to review, not to mention that I really like it!:D

14498798006_1fb6a1a6c4_c.jpg
[/url]IMG_0082 by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

Not only is this my first karambit but it is also my first Bark River knife. I got the karambit bug a few weeks ago and spent a lot of time looking at different models trying to find the right one for me. First off I don't like folders, too many moving parts, so that narrowed it down. Right off the bat I liked the design of the Ghost II. It's not to flashy. Some karambits really go crazy with the blade design, and sure, they look cool but I like a simple knife. One of the things that drew to me to the Ghost II was the tip. A lot of karambits have a tip that seems like it will snap off if you look at it the wrong way, but the tip on the Ghost II looked nice and sturdy. I also like the impact points on the retention ring, just incase you don't want to rip a huge hole into your assailant. A nice crack to the dome with those will make you think twice.

14498520916_39cabf5df5_c.jpg
[/url]Bark River Ghost II In Hand by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

The full tang design means that its got some strength to it. It won't be snapping under normal daily use or if I ever have to fend off a bad guy. The finger ring provides plenty of room for even my large fingers and ensures a good grip.

14334847940_cb502c587e_c.jpg
[/url]Bark River Ghost II Finger Hole by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

It came with a convex edge that was pretty sharp out of the box. After a quick strop it was hair popping. I'm hoping that the strop will keep it sharp because I have no idea how I would sharpen it if I ever let it get dull. For the past week I've just run it over the strop a few times if it got much use that day and it seam to have held the edge so far. This is my first experience with A2 steel so I can't really comment on how well it holds up, but so far so good. Keep in mind too that is not a survival knife. I don't plan on putting too much stress on the edge.

://flic[/url]Bark River Ghost II 1 by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

Fit and finish is second to none. The scales are beautiful and perfectly matched to the tang. Together they feel like one piece of material. I chose to go with black linen micarta but there are many color and material options offered. Check out the Bark River website if you want to see them all. Seriously, there are a lot of options.

The only gripe I have about this knife is the sheath. It's ok, but no better. The construction feels solid, but I still have some issues with it. First off, I don't like the draw angle. The knife is held upright on the belt and if you're like me and have a little paunch on you those impact points on the retention ring may cause a little discomfort. It's not a huge problem but you may find yourself readjusting your knife throughout the day. Also I wear an inch and half belt. I don't think that's too uncommon. Lucky for me my belt is made of flexible strapping that can bend through the loop, but if you wear a leather belt of the same thickness you may not be able to get it on your belt to begin with. Other than those issues it seams ok. I will still probably set myself up in the coming weeks to make a new kydex sheath.

14520074494_d367afd947_c.jpg
[/url]Bark River Ghost II In Sheath Front by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

I purchased this knife from DLTtrading.com. This was the first time I had done business with them and I was very pleased. I ordered the knife around 2:30 am eastern time, yeah I was up all night thinking about whether or not I should buy it, and they shipped it out first thing Monday morning. For an extra $5 it made the trip from Wisconsin to New Hampshire in 2 days. I was very happy with their service and would be happy to purchase from them again.

Well that's about it. Hopefully the review was helpful and my pictures came out alright.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
39
They have a no question lifetime warranty and should it ever need a spa treatment they'll fix you up for 15. I also love dealing with DLT. I'm not a part of either, just a happy customer. Nice table top review. Put it to task and let us know how it goes.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
5
Bark river will also sharpen the swedge for free, you just pay shipping. Although I don't know why you would want that. Even in Nh that's illegal to carry.
I have been using it as my EDC knife for a week now and it has preformed very well. I was a little worried about the odd blade shape but it has done everything from cutting zip ties, vinyl, cardboard, plastic, I even cut some lemons with it. I even used in the garden a little, which was the original purpose for this kind of knife. It hasn't offered any issues so far. I'm going out of state for the weekend so it will be going into the safe and I'll go back to my old stand by the Esee Izula.
 

Twindog

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
3,393
Thanks for the nice review. You seem to like the mild point because it's sturdy, and no doubt you're right there. In my own mind, I'd think a more pointy point would be more useful.

The karambits I've seen -- read about -- have thick tangs and low grinds, so it seems like it would be tough to get a decent edge profile on it. Is that your experience?

I looked at the Ghost II karambits on the KSF website, and one thing just jumped out at me: Whoever grinds these things doesn't have much consistency. The grind lines are all over the map.

I have a Spyderco Superhawk that I use for a desk knife, and for a while I struggled to find a good way to sharpen it. I settled on freehanding with a Sharpmaker rod. It's not the best approach, but it works. I suppose sandpaper on a round wooden dowel would be better and give me more grit options. Wicked Edge has some large curved stones that might work better, too, but I haven't tried them.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
5
The point has been working out great for me. Not once have I wished it was more pointy. It cuts right thorough everything like a dream. No doubt a more norrow point would stab better, but this one sinks right into everything too. So long as it stays sharp I don't think it'll be a problem. And there's no question that a broken tip won't stab very well at all, that's what I'd like to avoid.

As far as sharpening, this particular karambit comes with a convex edge. I've never dealt with that before and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to sharpen it. I did some research though and what I came up with is working well so far. I bought a mouse pad and a few different grits of silicon carbide sand paper (600, 800, 1000). I cut the mouse pad into strips about an inch wide and fastened the sand paper to them with double sided tape. I use them like a strop, pulling away from the spine rather then pushing towards it. I also put some stropping compound on an old leather 1 1/2 belt and have been stropping on that. The thin surfaces allow the material to conform the curved blade shape. I learned as a kid that dull knife is a dangerous knife and as adult I may take that a little to seriously. If my blade is hair popping it won't leave the house.

I have read that other people put sand paper on a dowel or broom handle. If it came with a beveled edge that's the road I would have taken. But the system I've got is working well for me.

I looked up those wicked edge curved stones. Pricey! I bet the sand paper on a dowel will work just well and only run you 10 or 20 bucks. Plus like you said, more grit options and you can customize the length to your needs. They won't look as nice though.
 

Twindog

Gold Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
3,393
Glad that robust point works for you. On my Superhawk, the thin, pointy point is what I like best, so I've been looking for something like that in a karambit.

The sharpening issue is interesting. I wonder how Bark River puts a convex edge on their karambits. I presume they use a belt grinder, which would mean that most of the sharpening is done on the outside edges of the belt. Do you put a backing on the mouse-pad strips? It sounds as if you don't, which would make the sandpaper conform more accurately to the curved edge. How do you avoid rounding the tip?

I like V edges more than convex edges, so for me a curved backing is what I need -- or the edge of a Sharpmaker stone.
 
Joined
Jun 26, 2014
Messages
5
I'm still learning about the convex edge. Every other knife I have owned has had a beveled edge which is much more straight forward to resharpen.

I do not put a backing on the mouse pad. I hold it at a 45 degree angle on the front edge of my desk and let the sides take the shape of the blade. I just use a very light pressure also, just enough so that it's touching everywhere.

As far as not rounding the tip. I go slow. I don't make any fast movements and I use care when I get to the tip. So long as you don't let it wander into the center of paper I don't think there is to much risk in rounding it over. I do this as soon it starts loosing the edge so only minimal work is needed. Three times in two weeks of daily use.

I tell you, I'm not in a rush to go putting a convex edge on a any of my other knives. It's not giving me too much of a headache on the karambit but a V edge on a straight knife is a lot easier to care for.
 

Bladite

ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb
Moderator
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Messages
19,633
Bark river will also sharpen the swedge for free, you just pay shipping. Although I don't know why you would want that. Even in Nh that's illegal to carry.
I have been using it as my EDC knife for a week now and it has preformed very well. I was a little worried about the odd blade shape but it has done everything from cutting zip ties, vinyl, cardboard, plastic, I even cut some lemons with it. I even used in the garden a little, which was the original purpose for this kind of knife. It hasn't offered any issues so far. I'm going out of state for the weekend so it will be going into the safe and I'll go back to my old stand by the Esee Izula.

cite on law?

last i checked, with KnifeRights help, almost all NH knife laws are null and void.

that is: sharpened swedges are just fine afaik, but, ianal...

like this knife a lot. reminds me of a tarani, which i also am fond of. perhaps i should get two? :D
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
7,743
If the belt loop is close in size to a leather belt (I know yours isn't), you should be able to wet the loop, pull your belt through and let dry.

Nearly all of my customers have a 1.5" belt as do I. A lot of dress belts are 1". A karambit/dress belt seems like an unlikely pairing, but who knows.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
548
Looking good guys. We do send about a third of those back up to BRK to get the swedge sharpened. We just did another one this week that also got a custom engraved touch to each side.

Spacewanderer - did you ever make your own kydex? We had so many requests for it we finally had to start selling them. For this style knife, and it's primary function, I'm not crazy about needing to undo a snap.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Messages
2
HI Guys,

I'm new to the forum and I figured I would start off with a quick review. I recently purchased a Bark River Ghost II. Before I bought it I looked around online and couldn't find much info on it. So I figured this would a good blade to review, not to mention that I really like it!:D

14498798006_1fb6a1a6c4_c.jpg
[/url]IMG_0082 by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

Not only is this my first karambit but it is also my first Bark River knife. I got the karambit bug a few weeks ago and spent a lot of time looking at different models trying to find the right one for me. First off I don't like folders, too many moving parts, so that narrowed it down. Right off the bat I liked the design of the Ghost II. It's not to flashy. Some karambits really go crazy with the blade design, and sure, they look cool but I like a simple knife. One of the things that drew to me to the Ghost II was the tip. A lot of karambits have a tip that seems like it will snap off if you look at it the wrong way, but the tip on the Ghost II looked nice and sturdy. I also like the impact points on the retention ring, just incase you don't want to rip a huge hole into your assailant. A nice crack to the dome with those will make you think twice.

14498520916_39cabf5df5_c.jpg
[/url]Bark River Ghost II In Hand by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

The full tang design means that its got some strength to it. It won't be snapping under normal daily use or if I ever have to fend off a bad guy. The finger ring provides plenty of room for even my large fingers and ensures a good grip.

14334847940_cb502c587e_c.jpg
[/url]Bark River Ghost II Finger Hole by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

It came with a convex edge that was pretty sharp out of the box. After a quick strop it was hair popping. I'm hoping that the strop will keep it sharp because I have no idea how I would sharpen it if I ever let it get dull. For the past week I've just run it over the strop a few times if it got much use that day and it seam to have held the edge so far. This is my first experience with A2 steel so I can't really comment on how well it holds up, but so far so good. Keep in mind too that is not a survival knife. I don't plan on putting too much stress on the edge.

://flic[/url]Bark River Ghost II 1 by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

Fit and finish is second to none. The scales are beautiful and perfectly matched to the tang. Together they feel like one piece of material. I chose to go with black linen micarta but there are many color and material options offered. Check out the Bark River website if you want to see them all. Seriously, there are a lot of options.

The only gripe I have about this knife is the sheath. It's ok, but no better. The construction feels solid, but I still have some issues with it. First off, I don't like the draw angle. The knife is held upright on the belt and if you're like me and have a little paunch on you those impact points on the retention ring may cause a little discomfort. It's not a huge problem but you may find yourself readjusting your knife throughout the day. Also I wear an inch and half belt. I don't think that's too uncommon. Lucky for me my belt is made of flexible strapping that can bend through the loop, but if you wear a leather belt of the same thickness you may not be able to get it on your belt to begin with. Other than those issues it seams ok. I will still probably set myself up in the coming weeks to make a new kydex sheath.

14520074494_d367afd947_c.jpg
[/url]Bark River Ghost II In Sheath Front by The Space Wanderer, on Flickr[/IMG]

I purchased this knife from DLTtrading.com. This was the first time I had done business with them and I was very pleased. I ordered the knife around 2:30 am eastern time, yeah I was up all night thinking about whether or not I should buy it, and they shipped it out first thing Monday morning. For an extra $5 it made the trip from Wisconsin to New Hampshire in 2 days. I was very happy with their service and would be happy to purchase from them again.

Well that's about it. Hopefully the review was helpful and my pictures came out alright.
Nice review
 
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