Blade Brothers Knives is a small veteran-owned business in Ukraine that specializes in high quality knives designed for various combat applications. While they have a very wide selection to choose from, each with its own purpose, I will focus on the three that I chose to acquire.
BB Knives was born from the war between Ukraine and Russia. The CEO, Sasha, was wounded in combat while serving with the Ukrainian Army. After his road to recovery, he began training Ukrainian Special Forces in knife combatives. Through this process Blade Brothers began to develop a line of knives that fit the bill alongside fellow veterans and knife enthusiasts. When I asked Sasha where he got his inspiration for the knife designs he said, “All our knives are designed for fighting… Initially, we were looking for an EDC knife for our fighting techniques, did not find anything suitable and designed our model – Ira Domini”.
All knives are made of 65g steel, it is a Ukrainian high-carbon steel, elastic enough but holds a solid edge around 55-58 HRC. Being a high carbon steel it is susceptible to corrosion, therefore a special polymer coating that protects against rust and gives anti-glare properties is applied to the blade. Recently they have started to make the same models in Austrian steel K110, it is harder (60 HRC) and only slightly susceptible to corrosion, so these knives are not coated. All the knives are made by hand; the blades are cut and shaped then fitted with scales composed of polyurethane, then fitted to a sheath of pressed ABC plastic that is similar to kydex. Each sheath has a built-in belt clip that favors appendix carry, while I definitely found this to be an excellent position for proper employment of the knife, I would like to see more options for carry in the future like inside the waistband belt loops, tek-lok, etc.
The company has four employees including Sasha, three of them are veterans of the Russian-Ukrainian war. While many may question certain aspects of their designs it is important to note that each of the knives is completely legal for everyday carry in Ukraine and comes with proper documentation, should you be questioned by authorities. Not having a hilt is a very distinct feature that makes this possible.
While their flagship knife is the Ira Domina, I opted for the Vendetta initially; a dagger style blade that is nimble in the hand yet reassuring in its tough design. Its sleek design makes it ideal for stabbing/piercing techniques while it still maintains the ability to slash effectively. It comes with a false edge on one side (again a legality based feature) and an excellent factory edge on the other. By wedging the butt of the handle into your palm in a modified fencers grip, it can be employed to great effect in a CQB scenario, enabling space to be created between you and an attacker. It works exceptionally well in a reverse/ice pick grip and the scales give incredible traction to that effect.
My next selection was the Orkney Claw, a knife described on their website as a, “knife design borrowed from the ritual dagger found in the tomb Maeshowe on the Mainland Orkney Islands. The knife was created to conform to the Philippine fighting style that focuses on fast chop cuts.”
I found that this made an excellent EDC knife because of its smaller size but unique blade design. While the only serious use it’s seen has been slicing sausage and cheese, I would feel very comfortable relying on it in a self-defense scenario. It handles very fluidly and with a curved belly allows for relative ease in slicing while its thick spine gives it weight and makes me feel like it would be suitable as a pry bar.
Finally I had to get my hands on the Reaper, a bold blade designed for close up clinch scenario fighting. Its large belly and flat grind make it a monster when it comes to constricted power slices. It came into existence when the company was given a request to meet these very specific requirements. Its elongated shape and size call for a modified sheath that features an overlapping thumb paddle giving retention over the spine of the knife. With a simple push of the thumb, it pops free and is able to go to work. This feature also offers solid retention in the case of a grappling scenario where an enemy combatant may attempt to unsheath your knife or simply keeping it from freeing itself and falling out. I will admit that it took some practice before I got the hang of it though.
These are just few of the blades available, and I can honestly say I am incredibly impressed with the overall quality of the product. The price point makes it an easy choice too considering they average around $65. Edge retention was amazing and I had no trouble sharpening them either. Some things I would like to see in the future would be jimping on the spine and a variety of sheath mounting options, but other than that, I really have no complaints. If you have any questions for them or would like to look into getting a knife for yourself, you can reach them on Facebook or at their website (bbknives.com), they are very friendly and will happily assist you. You can also browse the selection there and look up the individual specifications of each knife.