417 of 432 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2009
Pretty much anyone reading this will be familiar with Ka-Bar and its history of hard-core reliability for everyday chores, as well as its unquestioned lethal efficiency in last-ditch combat applications.
Well- it is likely that anything you've ever heard about this legendary blade is true. The original pattern, almost identical to the one carried and relied on through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam and now in constant use by present day heroes serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world, has always had features worth far more than its price would dictate. Exceptional steel, the blade will take, and hold, a shaving edge, and it can be re-sharpened in the field with just a bit of effort. ( I use a V-shaped ceramic rod sharpener on mine and have always been able to get that razor sharp edge again after just a dozen passes.)
The leather-stack handle provides an excellent grip, and the balance of the knife is perfect. The shape of the blade is extremely well done - a very sharp point, sufficient curve, or belly, to allow slicing / skinning/ dressing, a long enough straight portion for anything else, and enough heft to make thrusting, chopping or slashing all second nature in a combat situation.
There ARE different blade sizes and configurations available in the Ka-Bar line, some of these come with partial serrations, some with a semi-tanto style point... I suppose to each his own. But this original style gives one a feeling of stone-solid reliability and confidence, like having a friend at your side who will always cover your back.
You can certainly find more exotic, more appealing and more 'tactical / cool looking' knives than this, and it is true that some military guys will shell out from 100 to 500 dollars for a high-grade custom style combat knife. Fine. But if you only have fifty bucks or so, get this one and take it into whatever situations you deal with. It will never let you down.
662 of 706 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2008
In 1968 I was home on leave from the USMC before I shipped out. My father (a career Marine himself) handed me a package wrapped in oil skin and said "Here, son, you may need this some time. Keep it sharp." I said I would and he went back in the house. He was a man of few words and fewer emotions so it meant a great deal to me that he gave me the KaBar he had carried through the Pacific in WW2. His words were prophetic. I would not be here today if it weren't for that knife. Sadly, it was stolen shortly before I was discharged and I never recovered it. I was happy to hear that Ka-Bar is mfg these knives to the original mil specs. Many of our troops take them to Iraq and Afganistan. I purchased this knife for camping, but mostly as a rememberence of my father. 5 stars for sure.
234 of 249 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
This is probably one of the best knives you can buy. I've read alot of negative things about this knife and sheath, so, I would like to give my opinion. I am looking at this from a hunting/survival standpoint so as to help you better understand the following.
First...My knife didn't come with a razor sharp edge either, which I'm glad for. This way I could put my own angles on the cutting edge without having to fight the factory edge. Anyone who knows anything about knives should be able to sharpen their own knives like they want, not complain about having to take it to a specialist. What 'chu gonna do when it's dull and there is no specialist?
Next...The steel is 1095 CroVan, which is awesome. Stainless is very hard to achieve a good edge on without the proper honing instruments, such as ceramic. If your out in the middle of nowhere without a sharpening stone or any other store bought tool, you can sharpen this steel on virtually any rock you find with decent results. Not so with stainless. Sure it can rust, which brings me to my next piece of input.
The sheath...Leather is one of the toughest things out there. Sure it's made in Mexico, but, do you really know anything about Mexican leathercraft? It is some of the best there is. I live in New Mexico and have plenty of expierience in the matter. When you get your sheath, soak it really good with neatsfoot oil or olive oil really well. I mean REALLY well. The oils in the leather will make it waterproof and keep most moisture out, plus, everytime you sheath it, you will put a fine coat of oil on the blade. Rust problem solved. Plus, you can ALWAYS repair leather with needle and thread, not so with the synthetic sheaths.
Anyway, there's my two cents on the matter.
137 of 156 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
As a former Marine I thought it was finally time to purchase a replacement for the KA-BAR that disappeared nearly 20 years ago.
No, the KA-BAR isn't a new technological wonder, but it's a well made tool. It is meant for fighting, but it functions beautifully as a utility tool whose uses are limited only by the imagination and the task at hand. It's built to stand up to heavy use - even abuse - and live to fight another day.
I like the fact that it's made from good old 1095 steel, yes it will rust if you don't take care of it, but it will take a razor sharp edge without having to use specialized sharpening equipment. I'm an avid hand tool woodworker so I'm very familiar with some of the more exotic tool steels such as A2, D2, M2 as well as O1 etc... Some of those steels require diamond plates and a lot of work and patience to sharpen. Not 1095, you can sharpen it on just about anything you have, including a slab of concrete or a smooth rock. Obviously using those won't yield optimum results, but in a pinch... I've also been a bit of a knife hound my whole life and have purchased many knives made from the 400 series of stainless steels, none of them takes or holds an edge as well as good old high carbon steel. The bottom line is that 1095, if treated correctly, offers about the best combination of ease of sharpening, taking a keen edge, and edge holding of any steel out there. About the only drawback is that you MUST take care of it when you are done using it or it will rust.
I see some comments by people whining that the knife isn't razor sharp out of the box. This is true, but good grief, if you are going to own a knife, you should know how to sharpen it. It took me all of 5 minutes to put a shaving edge on this thing.
The heft and balance of this knife is terrific, the workmanship is great and the materials are top notch. If you want a high quality knife that is built for the long haul, you can't go wrong with the original KA-BAR Fighting Knife, and if you are going to get one, you might as well get one stamped with the service that first adopted it and made it famous - USMC baby!
Oh, and do yourself a favor and skip the serrated version. Serrations are primarily useful for cutting bread, if you keep your knife sharp, there is no need for the stupid things, and it's almost impossible for the average person to sharpen a serrated knife.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2014
I received my KA Bar knife today from Amazon. It was shipped in a box 5 times the size of the box the knife comes in. All the packing air filled pillows were to one side, throwing all the weight to one side of the box. There was one wrap of tape across the top and bottom to hold the flaps down. The top of the box where the tape falls over the sides was ripped open so the top of the box could be raised up like a tent. During shipment the empty like box was crushed by heavier boxes it was shipped with.
The Knife is beautiful. It is razor sharp!!! So be cautious. I got two small cuts already. Nice shape and look to the handle. Very happy with the purchase.
The leather sheath is nice and has a large enough loop to hang it off a real wide belt. At the bolttom of the sheath is a hole to pass a small cord through if you want to tie the end down to your leg. The Sheath is stictched and has 8 rivets in it. Legnth of sheath is 12 &3/4"
Sheath - Made in Mexico
Knife Made in Olean, NY.
104 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2008
Well, at some point i was lookin for a knife, especially for camping and outdoor, but something like an "all around" knife that i could use in many situations.
After some research on the internet i found out this knife, that i didnt know of...(i am not really a knife guy), but the USMC Ka-Bar was highly rated in every site i looked.
I decided to buy it and am very happy with it...its a beautiful knife,very sharp, the weight is perfect,its not too big or too small,its very compact and the materials are awesome.
6 stars!!! ;)
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2010
The Ka-Bar is a perfect edged weapon... classic in form and brilliant in function. Marine designed, Marine approved...
I purchased this knife as a "Thank You" gift for a retired Marine neighbor who told me a story of modifying his Ka-bar in 1968 and regretting it ever since.
His tremendous delight(and a few tears) reflects the appreciation for this particular bit of gear of all those for whom this blade was designed.
A perfect gift for an old Warrior.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2014
I have a few old KaBar knives that I inherited from my grandfather who served in the Marines during the Vietnam conflict. I was hesitant to buy this particular knife as my friend had bought one a few years back. His KaBar was less than par and I was convinced that old KaBar knives were much better quality. However, I took a chance and bought one from Amazon. The price was much better on this site as compared to any other place I have seen (both in my home town and online). First of all the knife came in three days earlier than expected. That was a big bonus!! It was packaged very well. The knife was in the box with the blade in the cardboard covering with a proper amount of oil on the blade. This blade came RAZOR sharp. I have ordered many knives and none have come this sharp. I could shave my whole arm, face and body with this knife!! Furthermore, it looks gorgeous. My only discrepancy was that the blade that was listed has an all straight blade. My blade has a serration on it. At first I was upset as I wanted a knife with no serrations. However, playing around with this blade, I really do like the serrations, they are not eye sores and they add to the overall utility of this knife. They do work and it does add a modern touch to the knife. The sheath looked kind of crappy but it is actually decent leather, constructed nicely and fits the knife very tightly. I am very happy with this knife. This knife may say USMC, but regardless of whether you are or have been a Marine or not, this is a great knife suited for anybody. I highly recommend!
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2010
I'm a 61 y/o guy who recently re-connected with the Marines by running the Marine Corp Marathon for the second time. This stirred memories of the late 60's and early 70's and when I saw the K-bar for sale, I had to have it. It was just as I remembered it: sturdy, sharp, stamped with USMC, easy to resharpen to the extent you can shave the hairs off your arm, and that stacked leather handle that just fits my hands. It's a very useful and satisfying piece of equipment, not just a bit of memorabilia.
46 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2011
Pros: For such a large blade, it has a great weight. Not too heavy but not too light either, just the right balance. The grip is nice and uniform, fits the hand and seems secure. The blade does NOT "rattle" or move at all, demonstrating the quality and advantage of having a full-tang blade and a secure "Cap/Pin Assembly"... this blade isn't going budge even 1/100th of a millimeter. The edge came fairly sharp, but not quite to the point of "hair shaving" quality as some others have claimed. It will definitely slice you open something fierce as sharp as it comes, but it could definitely use a few passes with a fine/extra fine grit stone to give it that lethal-quality finish if you're planning on using this knife for self-defense or hunting purposes.
Cons: The Swedge no longer comes sharpened at-all, but is now a completely dull "false-edge" clip... I contacted KABAR about this before buying so I knew what I was getting from the get-go (they told me it was because our crappy Government has passed "double-edged" laws in select States), but felt it was worth mentioning. Still, not even having it a tiny bit sharpened at the very, very tip of the "back-edge" is really disappointing... this wouldn't kill no bear anymore. The advantage and purpose of having that sharpened Swedge was the versatility that small feature offered (i.e. back-stabbing/back-slashing), like as not permitting the blade to "stick" as one-sided "false-edge" clip points tend to do, but rather to cleanly and smoothly draw in/out on stabbing strikes as any good all-purpose "Survival" knife should! The sharpened Swedge just made things a lot easier and made the KABAR what it has become. For this sole reason I have removed 1 Star. The original USMC KABAR had a lethally sharp Swedge and therefore owing to the fact this has been left off of all new KABARS for the last few years, these new ones are not the original, but are a castrated and slightly lesser KABAR's for it. That said, it should be simple to fix if you have the guts to risk destroying your KABAR by restoring the Swedge's edge yourself to return this 'ole Marine to it's FORMER Glory, providing it is not "illegal" to do so where you live. I would highly recommend that you do so, or else take it in to a professional who can do it for you.
As for the sheath... I would steer clear of using it and finding a replacement of better quality and craftsmanship. Mine does not seem to want to fit or play nice with me or the KABAR and I almost cut my hand wide open wrestling with it just to get it in there to assess if I liked it or not (it pulls out awkwardly, starts off very tight and secure - requiring a fair amount of force, but then greatly reduces its hold and "jumps" in/out and that is where the danger factor plays in, in both sheathing and unsheathing this blade and where you COULD get cut). I thankfully had the foresight to go ahead and order the Kydex model for it and that is where this blade will be stowed from now on. The provided Leather Sheath is pretty much just a "oooh, aaah" item for display purposes only IMO.