A few years ago I really started the search for the ultimate outdoors knife (ultimate for me YMMV) and it did not take long to see all the references to Becker knives. My first was the BK7, which is an awesome knife, but I still felt I was looking for something else. When I got my first BK9, I knew I had found what I was looking for. Using these knives extensively in the outdoors, I have made some great discoveries. Some are obvious, others I gladly learned through my own use of these wonderful knives. 1. I don't need the latest super steel - in fact, for chopping, batoning and other hard uses, 1095 is EXACTLY what I need. 2. Carbon steel works just fine - My rust worries were mostly unfounded...the more I used my knife, the more the patina seemed to protect it. Add to that the oils from food prep and maintenance, and it does just fine. 3. Field maintenance...especially sharpening, is going to be a necessary "evil" - I found out that damaged edges might happen (see number 4) and having a blade you can actually resharpen fairly easily is important. 4. With Beckers, I find myself confident enough to do things I might not with another knife. Although I never recommend outright abuse, I decided pushing it in a non-life threatening scenario was better than finding out the hard way that your equipment is not up to task. I have used my BK9 to chop, baton, pry and even dig. I accidentally chopped into a rock once but was surprised what little edge damage there was. I was able to get it back into shape fairly easy where many blades would have chipped, seen a lot more edge damage, or would have been difficult to sharpen. 5. I do not need a Rockwell hardness akin to diamonds, adamantium or Mjolnir to get the job done - There are other factors besides just how hard the steel is that determines how useful a knife is to me. Yeah, I don't want some pot steel softy in the field...Becker knives work perfectly for me. 6. Edge geometry - I have owned knives that I thought would be perfect, only to find the thickness behind the edge was just not practical for delicate tasks...nor do you want an edge that is too thin. I have used my BK9 to chop, but I have also carved spoons and forks (I actually used them too...in fact my cousin still uses one of the forks I carved when he does competitive BBQ). I also use it for field dressing and final meat prep, food prep and hundreds of other tasks. Many laugh at first when I start using a 9" blade for these tasks, but always seem pleasantly surprised at how well it gets the job done. On a final note, let me make a comment about this forum. I have seen many discussion forums and boards quickly digress into a virtual shouting match of disagreement. I have always been happy and how the ladies and gentlemen of our little corner conduct themselves. Thank you all and thank you Uncle E!