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Busse Badger Attack 3
Combat Knife Review

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Story - In 2002 Busse Combat discontinued Badger Attack E model. However with the announcement of BA E discontinuation, it was announced that the new model was pending. And in 05/02 Busse mailing list subscribers received an email announcing 2(!) new knives from Busse Combat - time Badger Attack 3(BA3) and Groove Master(GM). Obviously I wouldn't want to miss 2 new, very interesting and original offerings from the favorite maker. Therefore I've placed an order on both the same day. Glad to note that at this time waiting period was less than a month. I was very excited to receive the new knives that quick. At this point of time both knives are designated users. Later one of them may become preferred choice, but for now I am using them both.

General

 - BA3 doesn't have much in common with its predecessors, it's rather a short version of another, relatively new and very successful design from Busse - Satin Jack of which I already own 4 :) BA3 is straight handle, straight blade knife. Blade itself measures 4 inches, and OAL is 9 inches if I am not mistaken. I'll post exact specs little bit later. One more specific of the new blades - they're both 3/16 thick, which is thin by Busse standards :) In general one would consider 3/16 kind of thick for 4 inch blade, but considering that those are nuclear tough Busse knives, 3/16 is thin. I definitely wouldn't mind 1/8 thick INFI blade either, and I do hope one day I'll get one. Badger comes with standard crinkle coating and the new cordura sheath, with kydex insert. No QC problems, fit and finish are perfect. The new nucarta handles look very nice. Sheath is well designed and it's fine for this knife.

Blade

 - Badger's 4 inch long blade is nothing complicated. Classic, straight one, with slightly dropped point. The NIB edge was really sharp, shaved without irritating skin and easily sliced through the free hanging paper. As I've mentioned above the blade is 3/16 thick, full flat grind. Obviously for the knife of this size 3/16 thickness is preferable over 1/4. Besides the famous INFI steel is really tough one, and I doubt I'll ever have problem with Badger strength :) That is, I won't really hesitate to do prying with it. Ostensibly, for chopping 4 inch knife is a poor choice, but badger will hold it's own I am sure.
    One more interesting detail about my Badger. As usual all Busse combat grade blades come with Busse asymmetrical(one side convex, another V) edge. So is the Badger 3, however the edge was ground really thin. I'd estimate probably 50% thinner than the Groove Master(GM) that came with it. I guess it was rather an accident, but it worked out so well. Well, I don't want to give you wrong impression, when I say thin here, I'm comparing it to other Busse blades and comparable blades from other makers, of course it's still much thicker than the edge on the kitchen knives ;) Anyhow, the edge is really thin and because of that BA3 is a very efficient cutter. Which is exactly what I want from this knife. Heavy duty cutting and chopping isn't the designated area of use for it, hence I am interested in cutting efficiency and edge retention. And Badger really shines there thanks to its thin edge. Once again I've appreciated INFI steel toughness as well. Even though NIB edge was shaving sharp I've used CrO loaded strop to see if I could improve the edge. In general INFI responds to stropping very well and takes really sharp edge. This time, I guess because of the thinner edge the results were even better. The edge took quite nice polish and was able to shave without irritating the skin in both directions, also now it would push cut through the paper.

Handle

 - Badger 3 handle is identical to that of the Satin Jack. I'm referring to dimensions and the handle geometry. Overall I find it very comfortable and versatile. It proved to be very user friendly during the times when I was using my SJ CG, therefore I was not expecting anything different here. Some say the handle may be too big for 4 inch long blade. Well, it's all about the preferences. For me personally it is just fine. Fits my paws perfectly :) Like I said the relatively simple geometry of the handle makes it quite versatile. It's equally comfortable in any grip and I have no complaints regarding its security either. In my opinion it's very good for the user knife, not too abrasive to become annoying and not slippery at all. The difference is the handle material - Nucarta which is some mix of Micarta, I guess it's Busse proprietary. Looks very cool to me :)

Edge Retention, initial testing

 - After stropping the NIB edge, I've conducted several small cutting tests during the weekend to get the first impressions. Initial test cutting obviously started with cardboard, after approx. 100 inches I didn't notice any edge degradation, still push cutting through the paper. Next was an old piece of linoleum. Which is quite hard on the edge, stiff, dirt, glue, and other stuff on it, all that doesn't make it easy to cut. BA3 handled that just excellent. Once I was done with the linoleum I've checked the edge, no visible damage, I couldn't see any chips or rolls. Although the edge was dulled somewhat, still able to slice through the paper, but not push cut through it. At this time I've tried steeling. That restored the original edge I'd say 90-95%. Of course it's hard to come up with precise numbers here, it's all subjective.
    Anyway, after some steeling BA could push cut again, it would miss a hair or two when shaving in the opposite direction, and that was all. Next came the plastic box and a few soda cans. Again, no problems, even though I've been torquing the knife. And the last test in the series was some cable cutting. I've picked the usual set, TV, audio and don't know what kind of wire it is, copper + steel. I've made 5 cuts for each type, using different methods, which is push cutting, slicing, and finally cuttng a loop with the knife in it, by pulling the cable and knife in the opposite directions. As usual this kind of cutting produces edge rolling on the thin edges. BA 3 was a winner this time too. No rolls, for the reference no chips either :). Edge check showed that Badger was still able to slice the paper and shave. To restore the edge I've had to use 1000 grit ceramic rod. 15 strokes on the V ground side and couple more on he convex side produced the edge which could again shave in both directions and push cut through the paper. In short very good results. Of course next series of tests are planned, whenever I get to use my knives I sure will do that, and post the results here.

Specifications:

  • Model - Badger Attack 3;
  • Blade - 101.60mm(4")
  • Thickness - 4.76mm
  • OAL - 228.60mm(9")
  • Steel - INFI steel at 58-60HRC
  • Handle - Micarta
  • Acquired - 05/2002 Price - 99.99$
  • Warranty - Unconditional Lifetime;

Last updated - 09/01/11