Bear & Son Bolsters Bear OPS Line with CA-Legal Auto

2021 is shaping up to be a big year for fans of production automatic knives. Bear & Son Cutlery is the latest to get in on the genre, with the Bear OPS Bold Action 14, a diminutive auto EDC, legal for carry in California.

As a sub-genre, “California legal automatic” means tiny blade lengths. The Bold Action 14 arrives on the scene with a 1.75-inch drop point blade. Now obviously that length precludes a fair number of demanding cutting chores, but the Bold Action 14 should be more than capable of most mundane, day-to-day tasks. A button just aft of the pivot fires the blade, and disengages the lock once the knife is open. Further down the handle, a secondary blade safety tab can be toggled on and off.

Steel choice has never been Bear & Son’s strong suit, but enthusiasts will be happy to hear they’ve chosen an adequate (if not extraordinary) steel for the Bold Action 14. 14C28N is a solid stainless, and a marked step up over Bear & Son’s usual choice of 440C; expect solid edge retention and corrosion resistance with this one.

Bear & Son gave the Bold Action 14 a clean, simple handle design, more or less rectangular, with a single elongated corner at the back end. The entire chassis is made from aluminum and, like the 110 slipjoint before it, comes in a variety of different colors. A deep carry loop over pocket clip takes advantage of the Bold Action 14’s tiny footprint; and with a weight of just 1.3 oz. it should disappear in the pocket.

Automatic knives have been getting a lot of love in the production realm lately. Böker rolled out multiple automatic models this year, and from Benchmade we saw the Auto Adamas, Fact, and the brand new Claymore models in January. The Bold Action 14 is the smallest of any of these, and also one of the least expensive, with a sub-$100 price tag.

Knife in Featured Image: Bear & Son Bear OPS Bold Action 14