I got regular emails from Paul as the knife came together. Filling me in as to where he was at in the process, and updating the ETA for me. He was rushing to get it done in time for our big BWCA gear test trip, which we greatly appreciated as it is the ultimate proving ground for any equipment we test. As a small knife shop, Beebe doesn't usually have much of an inventory of knives, so nearly every knife out the door is made to order. Squeezing us up to the front of the line didn't go unnoticed.
The first thing you notice when you hold it is that the balance of the knife is impeccable. It simply feels weightless in your hand. The blade is made from CPM S35VN stainless and has a matte-grey sandblast finish, which seems indestructible. The full tang handle is exposed on both sides of the slightly undersized micarta scales. I haven't tried to remove them, but the scales look to be easily interchangeable via 3 stainless steel screws should you want to give it a different look, or if you beat up the originals. A slight ramping of the spine of the knife provides great leverage for your thumb, and aggressive jibbing makes sure it doesn't slip during more aggressive cutting jobs. It came with a black leather pouch style leather sheath, and the knife stays securely inside when strapped to your belt.
I hiked, paddled and portaged all over the BWCA with this knife on my hip this summer and never once did I worry about losing it. It was always there when I reached for it and made short work of every task I threw at it. The edge stayed razor sharp only needing one light touch-up sharpening yet. From slicing through braided fishing line to grilled pork chops and shaving tinder for the fire, I felt like I had a pocket sized light-saber, literally nothing put up a fight.
We were about as impressed by Paul Beebe's knife as we have been with any piece of gear we have ever tested. Utilitarian but with a modern style that any outdoorsy type can appreciate. If you spend even a reasonable amount of time in the woods, do yourself a favor and call up Paul and have him make one of these for you. It'll be a staple for every outing going forward and one your kids will inherit one day.
Retail price: $320