Bark River Bravo 1 REVIEW

Bark River Bravo 1:  Review, Specs, and Information

The Bark River Bravo 1 is a knife that tested under some of the most rugged conditions and by some of the most rugged people imaginable. The Bark River Bravo 1 is the most popular knife made by Bark River and was tested — unbeknownst to the company (under its original design, the Bark River Gameskeeper), by the USMC to see if it would hold up to their standards. It did and, with a few tweaks here and there, it has become one of the most popular knives among the USMC Force Recon units.


The Bark River Bravo 1 has an excellent design to it — from its full tang blade to the steel chosen for the knife. The knife has all the elements that go into a great bushcraft knife and beyond.

The Bravo 1 is made out of A2 steel. This is a tool steel that is superior in several regards to alternatives such as D2 and M2. It is tougher than either of those steels, not quite as resistant to wear but is great for very rugged applications. This knife, in fact, is made out of one of the most common steels found in combat knives and the properties of that steel translate well to survival activities.

The Bark River Bravo 1 has a total length of slightly over 9 inches, with a 4 ¼ inch blade. The steel is hardened to 59 on the Rockwell scale, certainly giving the blade enough hardness to hold up to heavy wear. The blade is .21 inches thick and the knife weighs just under 7.5 ounces.

There are several different handle options available for the Bravo 1.  Micarta is commonly used, but bamboo and other handle materials are utilized, as well. This is not an inexpensive knife, approaching the $300 mark in some versions. It is, however, one of the few knives that can say that it has been subjected to the worst abuse the US Marine Corps could think of and come out the winner, among many other high-end survival knives that were tested at the same time.

Buy it now – $179.83

The blade has a textured thumb ramp on it to get better control. It is also supplied with a hole for a lanyard, giving bushcraft enthusiasts the option to utilize that particular tool, if they wish, though the handle is excellent in terms of grip and control, even without a lanyard.

There isn’t anything about the knife that is lacking in any regard. Whether the steel is right, the handle is right or any other part of this knife is right for you will depend upon your personal preferences, not whether or not the manufacturer put high-quality materials into the design, as they most certainly did at every step of the way with the Bark River Bravo 1.

What Is the Bark River Bravo 1 Good For?

The Bark River Bravo 1 is absolutely rugged enough to hold up to the most demanding usages. This is the type of knife that people who spend a lot of time in the wilderness and who like to rely upon their knife and their skills to get them by can count on. There’s really nothing about the Bark River Bravo 1 that needs to be doubted in terms of its capability to perform; it’s simply a matter of whether, at a personal level, this is the right knife for you.

The price point means that this is definitely not a beginner’s knife. If you have a lot of experience with bushcraft, however, and want to take things to the next level without worrying that your tools are holding you back in any regard, the Bark River Bravo 1 would definitely be a knife that you should consider among your serious options.

Buy it now – $179.83

Bark River Knives

Bark River Knives is located in Escanaba, Michigan, which is quite a bit off the beaten path itself. The company is a family-owned business and makes its goal the production of exceptionally high quality knives and tools. This is a small, family manufacturer that incorporates a lot of innovative and modern designs into their products and that also adheres to quality knife making traditions.

Here’s what people are saying about the Bark River Bravo 1

This is an exceptionally well made, beautifully crafted knife.

…it stacks up great next to the best bushcraft knives out there. I love the ergonomics of the handle — very solid in the hand.

Here’s a list of similar knives for your comparison

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Title Benchmade 162 Sibert Bushcrafter Fixed Blade Spyderco Bushcraft G-10 PlainEdge Knife with Leather Sheath Bark River Bravo 1 Black Canva Bark River Knives Ba173wb Wolf River Knife Ontario 8627 RAT-5 Knife (Brown)
Manufacturer Benchmade SPYDERCO Bark River Bark River Ontario Knife
Price $163.95 $182.58 $171.00 $204.07 $75.39
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of Oct 2 10:41:53 UTC but are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the merchant site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

About the author

Jack Thompson is a seasoned outdoorsman, bushcraft expert, and knife aficionado. With over a decade of wilderness experience, Jack is passionate about teaching others essential outdoor skills and providing insights on bushcraft knives. As a writer for Best Bushcraft Knife, he shares his knowledge and adventures, inspiring readers to embrace nature and thrive in the wild.