Thursday, October 11, 2012

Initial Review of the OKC Ranger Little Bird Knife

Though my gear reviews are tediously long and comprehensive in their tests, this is my initial impression of the Ontario Little Bird knife.  Before lashing out at my general lack of cohesiveness and use of hardcore testing methods which snap blades in half, please remember that this is an initial review only.  
First of all - I have a lot of knives - a lot of them.  That said, I am extremely picky about the ones I carry.  Unfortunately, most of my knives sit unused and under-appreciated in boxes in my basement.   
There is something, when you first hold a knife in your hand, when you can tell it is meant for you.  Or perhaps you are meant for it.  Who knows what ancient chemistry awakens when we touch a fine blade?  Perhaps this is the "riddle of steel" after all.  

OKC Little Bird

Manufacturer: Ontario Knives OKC (Ranger)
Model: Little Bird II
Overall Length: 4.25 inches
Blade Length: 1.8 inches
Steel:  1095 carbon steel
Handle Material: Micarta (tan or black)
Weight: 3.8 oz
Sheath: Kydex
Why Did I Want This Knife?  
So, you may ask yourself, especially those of you with Crocodile Dundee knives, why I would actually want such a miniscule knife.  As a backpacker, SAR-team member, and general outdoorsman I have grown to love neck knives.  There is nothing handier than a fine blade around your neck - this becomes especially handy when you are wearing shell pants without pockets.
I also wanted this knife for personal protection purposes. Though I usually tote around a Spyderco Rescue as my everday carry, there are certain defense applications that a stout little blade like the Little Bird may excel at.
I've also been a big fan of Ontario knives for a long time.  Not only are they made in the USA, their plant is only a couple hours away from me in the scenic Southern Tier of New York State. I carried one of their Spec-plus knives when I was in the Army and they haven't failed me yet. 

Testing so Far:

  • General carry around neck around town and while hiking.  
  • Cutting parachute cord.
  • Cutting 4mm climbing accessory cord. 
Notes on this Knife (So Far): 
  •  The fit and finish is fine for a workhorse knife. On the glass-breaker pommel, the handle doesn't conform as nicely as I would like - but just a minor point.  
  • I have large hands, well at least my gloves are sized large or extra-large, and this little knife fits my hand fine.  The beefy micarta handle really conforms to my hand well, even with cutting tasks.  
  • The thick blade cuts nicely through nylon cord  - which is my primary cutting task.  I'll see how it works on wood.
  • The cord that came with the Little Bird is rather short for a neck cord.  I strung some 550 cord and tied it with a double figure 8 for a comfortable neck carry.  
  • In preparation for hiking, I attached a Ultimate Survival Jet Scream whistle to the neck cord. 

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