Brous Blades - Bionic XL
The exclusive KnivesShipFree everyday carry (EDC) choice from Jason Brous, the goal for the Bionic XL was to create a hand-filling, light weight, easy to carry and affordable EDC. The hollow ground D2 blade rides on Brous' proprietary ball bearing pivot system making the deployment quick and easy. The CNC machined handle scales are made from air craft grade 6061 Aluminum and feature a stainless steel liner inlay which provides a strong and sturdy lock up for a lifetime. The Bionic flipper can be deployed 2 ways, using the flipper tang or using the manual opening option with the groove cut out above the grind. This design has been brutally tested and has been repeatedly reliable.
- Overall Length: 8 3/16"
- Blade Length: 3.5"
- Blade Thickness: 1/8"
- Blade Material: D2
- Lock: Linerlock
- Handle Material: Anodized Aluminum
- Closed Length: 4 5/8"
- Weight: 3.9oz.
What a great EDC knife! I grabbed one of these on closeout, and must say, I am not disappointed: for the price, this is an amazing piece.
This is my first and only manual flipper and bearing equipped knife: I bought it to test both of these concepts out in a reportedly high quality knife. And I liked the whimsical organic (bonkers?) look of the Brous more than the “industrial” styles of the competition (Zero Tolerance etc.). Oh yes, and the price was right. I have a lot of knives (of all sorts), but bear in mind my basis for comparison of this particular type of knife is limited.
So on to the highlights! In the plus column for me are the following:
1. I like D2 steel in general. It takes great edge, is easy enough to keep it (I use quick touch ups with a strop and/or ceramic rod) and is is near enough stainless in my experience so I don’t hesitate to leave it in my sometimes sweaty pockets and gear. On the Brous, the hollow ground blade is long, and whether you call it a modified Wharncliffe or a drop point, it slices, cuts, carves, and does all the EDC knife things very, very, well.
2. The ergonomics are great! The handle of the Brous Bionic XL feels awesome and is secure in my size large hand, (The Brous is nearly identical in grip length and depth to my Benchmade Griptilian) yet disappears in the pocket. I love the details of the design that make this knife smooth, comfortable, and sleek in both the open and closed positions: a lot of thought went into this knife’s design, and it shows in its feel. Furthermore, the pocket clip is unobtrusive both when wearing or wielding the knife. It is quick and easy to deploy and close one-handed with either hand. For daily general use, this knife excels.
3. This is a well made knife, on par with or better than anything else I’ve seen in the price range. The blade is well-ground and centered, the lockup is tight, there is no play whatsoever in anything, and the flipper and detent are well tuned (and fun!).
4. I am a fan of the unique organic (nay, “bionic”) look. The Bionic XL presents like a quirkier, more detailed and daring Kershaw Blur, with some evil alien DNA thrown in. The design and flow (and lack of lettering or thumb studs) just look and feel great to me.
Now for some notes as to the few things that are not completely awesome about this knife.
1. After playing with this knife (too much), I’m not sold on bearings being smoother than bronze washers. The Brous is plenty smooth and fun to flip, but honestly, my (de-assisted) Kershaw Blur and my Benchmade Axis Lock blades (especially my 940-2) feel smoother and require less thought and effort to deploy than the Bionic XL. Perhaps I need to acquire more examples of bearing-pivot flippers to see if this holds absolutely true (my checkbook just scurried under the rug)?
2. Some other quirks to note: First, the all-aluminum handle is fairly slippery when wet or greasy (compared to the Blur and more so the Grip). So take another knife when you go flensing or open water fishing. Second,I have some difficulty opening this knife with my thumb alone using the blade groove. I need to so an awkward maneuver involving my index finger to get things to open. Now I just use the flipper (which is awesome), but that night be something to consider. Finally, the jimping on the blade spine seems to be placed too far forward. My thumb seems to want to rest naturally on the handle well behind the jimping. Third, the liner lock was a bit clunky to disengage at first (it felt like it would release, but then it would catch on something when friend to close the blade), but is now a lot smoother (or I’m learning to operate it properly).
In summary, this is a competent, well-crafted EDC knife with an awesome design and a unique personality. Furthermore, at their current prices, they are truly an enormous amount of bang for the buck!