Entrek Bison Outdoorsman Knife Review


Bison Outdoorsman Knife


The Evolution of Entrek USA

Ray Ennis: Professional Knife Smith

Ray Ennis, the manufacturer and designer, and maker of Entrek USA employed cold forged and shaped his first knife with the use of a bran spike. In 1973, Ennis made $10.00 upon selling his first durable custom knife. This slightly curved knife was made from the leaf spring of a vehicle. Because of this sale, Ennis officially became a professional high-quality knife smith.

The First 01 Tool Steel from Young Manufacturing

A little after that event, Ennis bought his first O1 Tool Steel from Young Manufacturing in Grand Forks, ND, and then he learned to grind, heat treat and polish his knife blades.

In 1977-78 Ennis studied gunsmithing at the Colorado School of Trades. The learnings he had on this term in machining and polishing techniques were then incorporated into his knife smithing.

Aside from focusing to knife smithing, Ennis worked on related jobs. He worked as a gunsmith, a machinist, a tool and die maker, and a tool designer. As of the present, however, he went big and full-time on knife smithing.

Mission Purpose:

As a knife smith, his stated mission is “to provide customers with more knives than they expect for less money than they expect to spend.”

All the skills he accumulated from his studies and hands-on experience, along with the latest technologies like laser blanking combined with the old yet trusted and proven methods such as drill fixtures to provide the topmost quality handmade knives in multiple quantity production, are the main things that help Ray accomplish his goal.

For this, you can expect all Entrek knives to be top-quality handmade products.

Entrek Knife Manufacturing Process:

As a matter of fact, each Entrek Bison Outdoorsman knife undergoes an austere manufacturing process that consists of the following methods:

  1. blanking

  2. surface grinding to flat and parallel

  3. marking the blade for grinding

  4. a freehand rough grind (40 grit)

  5. a freehand finish grind (120 grit)

  6. drilling the handle for quillions, handle screws, and thong hole

  7. tapping the screw holes

  8. heat treating

  9. assembly of the handle components

  10. hand sharpening the blade

  11. sandblasting for a non-reflective finish; and finally,

  12. proofing and finishing sharpening

In all these processes, it is important to note that all work except blanking and heat treating are done in-house.

Blade Steel

As for Entrek’s blade steel choice, Ennis has been very mindful of choosing 440C stainless steel exclusively. The logic behind this choice is in the fact that 440C stainless steel has proven itself as a very reliable steel for hard-use combat. This steel also makes great blade flexibility for survival knives because it is tough enough to resist all but the most extreme abuse whilst being hard enough to take and retain a very sharp edge when properly heat treated, subzero stabilized, and then double drawn to 57 – 58 RC.

440C stainless steel also has 17% Chromium making it one of the most corrosion-resistant blade steels available.

For all this, each Entrek Bison Outdoorsman knife is proof of the company’s truthful promise of providing every customer with more knives than they expect for less money than they expect to spend. The Entrek Bison Survival Knife is a great example. And in this review, I will talk to you about it.

Entrek Bison Outdoorsman Knife Features:

The Entrek Bison measures 14 1/2”  overall and has a 9” Persian style Clip Point Bowie blade made from bead-blasted, 1/4”, 440C stainless steel of Rockwell Hardness 57-58. It’s steel features a stainless steel bolster with double quillions and handle slabs made from black canvas Micarta fastened to the full tang with three stainless steel rivets. Plus, it includes a black Kydex sheath.

As I have stated in other articles I have written for this website, when given the choice, I always prefer a two-knife system over a single survival knife when I am in the field. Also, I like for one of my knives to be a dedicated heavy chopping tool and for the other one to be a combination camp knife and hunting knife. In addition, my largest knife must have a heavy enough spine to be able to withstand hammering with a small log to spit kindling and yet have a fine enough edge to be an effective cutting tool.

Stainless Steel:

The Entrek Bison nicely fits this bill with its hollow, saber ground bevel. Also, 440 C stainless steel is one of my favorite blade steels for survival knives because it contains a blade thickness of 0.95% – 1.2% Carbon (thus making it a very high carbon tool steels) and 16% to 18% Chromium (which makes it highly corrosion resistant) with 1% Manganese and 0.75% Molybdenum as it only other alloying elements.

Handle Material

Last, canvas Micarta is one of my absolute favorite handle materials for heavy-duty because it is made from multiple layers of linen canvas that has been impregnated with an epoxy resin and then heated and subjected to extreme pressure to create a finished material that is impervious to water absorption as well as to chipping, cracking and splitting.

Plus, the man-sized handle is very ergonomic since it incorporates integral quillions, a rounded belly, and a Bird’s Head grip to help the user maintain a secure grip on the knife when chopping.


Consequently: the Entrek Bison Outdoorsman Knife is a fine camp knife and would also serve well as a dedicated survival knife. Plus, when paired with a smaller knife such as Entrek’s “Backup Utility” or a folding Spyderco knife, you would have a very serviceable survival knife system

The Entrek Bison Outdoorsman Knife stands as a testament to precision craftsmanship and durability, embodying the essence of reliability in the great outdoors. Its robust construction, versatile functionality, and ergonomic design make it an indispensable companion for adventurers, survivalists, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. With its exceptional performance and unwavering reliability, the Entrek Bison knife proves itself as a trustworthy and essential tool, ready to tackle any challenge nature may present.

The Out sider

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