This is going to be a quick and dirty addition to the above mini review.
Well well well, it looks like my other bird hunter tool has arrived in the mail. I had the postal ticket yesterday, but could only pick it up today. That is perfect timing.
First impressions with the Remington Bird Hunter's Tool:
I am in complete agreement about this being a knock off of the Bear & Son Bird Shears. On the vacuum packaging, it does clearly say that it is made in China as opposed to the Bear & Son which is made in the United States. Now what does that actually mean for you and me?
If I compare the two like MTs, this is what I get.
1. The Bear & Son's folding tools have a better positive spring action into the open position. The Remington Bird Hunter's Tool has a wishy washy feeling when you open the tools. They don't have a very satisfying spring when you open or close them. In fact, there is very little resistance that you encounter when closing a tool…that is a bad thing. Score 1 for the Bear.
2. Both tools do not feature locking mechanism other than for the main Shears. If we looked closely at the main locking feature of the shears, the better implementation goes to the Remington. The metal is slightly bent downwards, giving a more positive locking action. The Bear’s is slightly bent upwards, meaning that you can bypass the mechanism while you are trying to engage it. I believe a pair of pliers will help in bending it downwards. This could be my copy alone..who knows. Score 1 to the Remington.
3. The handles are nicer looking on the Bear, but due to its high polish, are harder to grip. The Remington doesn’ t have as nice a finish. Because it is not so polished, it has a better grip. Cutting hairs I know, but I don’t like a tool that slips and slides on you when you are using it. Score 1 to the Remington.
4. Handle shapes are far superior on the Bear. The Bear has rounded sheet metal edges. They didn’t fold it over, but somehow finished the edge itself . The Remington has square sheet metal edges that dig into the skin. Score 1 to the Bear.
5. The folding tools selection is very similar. However, the Remington goes that extra step with a shotgun choke wrench and a flathead screwdriver combo. Compare this to the flathead screwdriver that the Bear has, and it’s a score of 1 to the Remington.
6. Fit and finish of the folding tools is rather different. The Bear has the better quality folding tools in both fit and finish. Score 1 to the Bear.
7. The sheaths are very different. I am sort of likeing the shape of the Remingtion camo version, however, in all truth and honesty, doesn’t quite fit the tool properly. It is in fact a tad small. Hopefully, in the field with wear and tear, It will get a little larger and will fit better, but who wants to break in a new sheath like a pair of shoes? The Bears is larger, and has some leather on it. Score 1 to the Bear.
8. The shears on both are the same shape except that there is a notch cut out of the Remington. This feature is actually carried over to their newer Wingmaster model. This bone notch is supposed to make it easier to cut through bones, and I can believe it. Without something to hold a bone in place, there is little to prevent it from getting pushed away by the scissoring action of the shears. It also can double as a wire stripper and wire cutter. You can do these features on the Bear, but it would be just a little harder. Score 1 to the Remington.
That is 4 for the Bear, and 4 for the Remington. Conclusion
To sum this up, yes, the Remington Bird Hunter’s Tool is a rip off of the Bear & Son Bird Shears model. Anyone who takes a look at them side by side cannot help but see the resemblance. With that said, if I had to buy one, I would go with the Bear simply because the fit, feel, and finish all speak of a quality tool. The only thing that I do not like (the shear locking mechanism) can be easily fixed…that is if your copy needs it. I can’t slash a whole tool based upon one sample. The Remington Bird Humter’s Tool does add a few extra features, building upon the Bear’s solid foundation. The bone notch, although weird, does add some functionality to the shears that would be much appreciated by people who need to field dress game. That tie was rather surprising. I was prepared to give more points to the Bear until I gave the various items some thought. Although the Remington may feel cheaper, and the quality isn’t as good as the Bear, it is a very serviceable tool. Besides, the price is commiserate with the quality.
You can see a further refinement in the newer Remington tool, the smaller LED bearing Wingmaster. The Wingmaster does increase the quality fit and finish over its older Bird Hunter’s Tool model.
All 3 have their good and bad points. It would be up to you to figure out which one you would prefer for your hunting needs.
Now time for some photographs.
Showing their respective Sheaths. From left to right: Bear Bird Shear, Remington Bird Hunter’s Tool, Remington Wing Master.
From left to right: Bear Bird Shears, Remington Bird Hunter’s Tool, and Remington Wingmaster.
From left to right: Bear Bird Shears, Remington Wingmaster, and Remington Bird Hunter’s Tool. Note that both Remington models have a bone notch cutout into one blade.
Showing their tools. Note that both Remingtons have a shotgun Choke wrench.
Showing the knives. From top to bottom, Bear Bird Shears, Remington Bird Hunter’s Tool, and Remington Wingmaster. The Bear blade is nicer, and sharper then the Remington models. Also, both knives are serrated, but the Bear does a better job of this.
Showing off the saw. Top is the Bear, bottom is the Remington.
The gut hook. The Bear is better made.
And last but not least, showing the screwdriver tool. Note that the Remington has an additional shotgun Choke wrench on their screwdriver. The Bear is lacking this feature.