Master Bladesmith John Smith crafts another winner. Dubbed the MKC Blackfoot 2.0, this remarkable knife is the ultimate do-all hunting knife capable of handling any chore you put in its path.
by Jace Bauserman
One of my all-time favorite Christmas moments was when I was 11. My grandpa gave me a folding-blade knife with ivory handles. On each ivory scale was an engraved wildlife scene. It was a beautiful knife, and sliding it into my pocket gave me overwhelming joy.
Grandpa didn’t take the time to wrap it or fill out a to/from card. That wasn’t his style. Instead, he handed it to me and said, “I got this from a knife store in the mountains. I was up selling Christmas trees, and I traded one of my best trees for it.”
That was a great day!
Since that first knife, which I still have, I’ve become a knife freak. I’ve amassed quite a collection from bowie knives to clips to straight back to drop points.
One reason for the collection is that I love knives and enjoy to pass specific makes on to my kids and friends. Another is that I’ve always been hunting for the perfect do-all hunting knife.
I thought I found it once. I discovered a replaceable blade knife I liked. However, after snapping eight replaceable blades while breaking down my father-in-law’s moose, I discarded my “best” knife find thought.
Don’t get me wrong, replaceable blade knives have their purpose, but they aren’t the do-all many make them out to be.
Montana Knife Company
Some top-notch bladesmiths have brought their knife builds to market in recent years. I’ve been fortunate enough to try several of these high-end knives, and while I’ve been impressed, I still haven’t found the “one.”
At the time, I’d heard about Montana Knife Company but had yet to yield a blade.
The Blackfoot 2.0 – Orange & Black is stunning. I cheer the Black Parkerized blade finish and bulletproof orange and black G-10 handle scales.
The blade is a drop-point, my favorite all-around hunting blade style. A drop-point blade typically measures between 3.5 and 6 inches (the Blackfoot 2.0 is 3.5″), and the point is lower than the center spine of the knife. Most drop-points have a big belly and elongated edge, allowing precise cutting action and skinning.
The full-tang construction is apparent, and at 7 3/4 inches, the knife felt excellent in hand, and it’s light. Weighing only 3.6 ounces, this knife is ideal for horizontal or vertical carry on a belt, and it takes up little room in a backpack and can be worn on a waist belt or backpack strap.
This season, I had one of those falls we all dream about. I was blessed to harvest three bull elk, a pronghorn, two whitetail bucks, and a massive 564-pound black bear.
I don’t tell you this to brag — that’s not my style. I tell you because I want everyone to know I used my Blackfoot 2.0 – Orange & Black on all three elk and the black bear. And you also need to know I’ve found the best do-all knife ever crafted.
Yes, that’s a bold statement, but it’s true. The knife is so versatile. I had no trouble making minor precise cuts while caping out my largest bull. At the same time, I could move from caping-style cuts to long, precise skinning cuts because of the knife’s bigger belly and long, continuous edge.
A Do-All Knife
The blade has enough tip and enough edge to accomplish any hunting chore. Its lightweight nature and compact length also proved valuable.
The first bull I harvested was in early September, and the heat index on the Colorado plains was torrid. I needed to break the bull down fast. With the Blackfoot 2.0, I could work around leg joints, pop the atlas — the first neck bone closest to the skull — carve around and free the hip joints, and quickly break the bull into quarters.
The 52100 high-carbon ball-bearing steel blade held its sharpness throughout. I never stopped to touch it up, and the blade proved tough as nails. Twice, on that first bull and several times since, I dropped my Blackfoot 2.0 on shale-covered hillsides. The G-10 scales didn’t crack or break, and the blade resisted abuse.
As mentioned, the handle feels great, and even when covered in blood, I had no problem with hand slippage. The contours of the handle provide exact hand placement.
I am okay with a leather sheath, but it’s hard to beat the durability and exact hold a top-tier Kydex sheath provides. After reading this article and deciding to purchase your own Blackfoot 2.0, you’ll know your new do-all hunting knife comes complete with a custom MKC Kydex sheath. ‘
The sheath showcases a built-in retention screw so you can carry your knife at any angle, including handle-down. The sheath also features a clip that lets you carry the knife easily on a backpack strap or belt loop horizontally or vertically.
I have tested Montana’s Blackfoot 2.0 – Orange & Black, and it has reigned supreme. Yes, the price point ($300) is high, but not when considering what you’re getting. A quality knife is worth its weight in gold, and you won’t find one better than the Blackfoot 2.0.
After breaking down four animals, I can tell you the knife will take abuse, hold a remarkable edge, and sharpen like a dream.
It quartered and cleaned an entire bull elk and half of another before I touched the blade with a sharpening device. Take care of this knife, and it will take care of you.
I will save my pennies to purchase a second Blackfoot 2.0 as a backup knife. Besides Orange & Black, the Blackfoot 2.0 comes in scale colors of Black, Green & Black, Tan & Black, Grey, and Olive.