The North Star was Bark River's First entry into the Bushcraft Task Arena. The North Star is a great General Purpose knife but excels at Woodcraft Tasks. The Pointed Spear Point Blade is the most popular shape for this kind of field work. The North Star has gone through a few changes and evolutions over the years.
Bark River has extended the handle slabs forward to be very close to the Plunge line of the Grind. This will give a more secure grip and enhance the notching ability of the knife. They eliminated the small notches on the underside of the handle in the Choil Area.
You have the option of using either the Hole or the External Loop -- or grinding off the external Loop (or having Bark River do it for you) -- if You feel that the loop might interfere with palm thrust style Drilling with the point.