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on July 7, 2013
This knife is exactly what I expected when I ordered it. It is a rugged, no frills, knife; built to be "soldier proof" and able to stand up to hard use. The knife exhibits the type of fit and finish you would expect on a military issue combat knife. Nothing fancy, but well made with good fit and finish. The stacked leather handle of the 498 Marine Combat Knife is 5" long; it is weather proofed with some type of black coating, and features a Steel buttcap. Some have recommended removing this coating but I see no reason to do so.. This is a full-tang knife with a 7" clip point blade that is made of tough, tested 1095 carbon steel with a Zinc Phosphate finish. It is .165" thick, The knife comes with a substantial, black leather sheath. The belt loop on this sheath is large and will fit a military pistol belt.

The knife comes with a reasonably sharp factory edge but this can be improved with a stone and ceramic "steel". This knife is built to stand up to hard use and will likely be passed down as a family heirloom. A touch of mink oil or neatsfoot oil on the leather handle and some mineral oil on the blade from time to time will keep the knife in good shape. A real bargain and Made in USA to boot.
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on December 15, 2014
I love this blade. Just not the sharpest tool out of the box.

1. Nice grip, easy to hold and use
2. The butt plate is perfect for striking.
3. The blade needs to be sharpened upon arrival and oiled occasionally, but maintains a nice, solid edge during heavy use.

4. The leather sheath is nice. It allows for just about any size belt but may slide around a bit.

5. This is not the 'pretty' knife. This is the knife for survival, thrashing and trashing. It is a good starter survival type knife for those with not a lot of cash, as well as a great edc pack knifeel and/or backup knife.
I've cut a large plastic above ground pool to bits (to fit into the trash bin). I've chopped through 2"-3" tree branches, and simply refinished the edge. For lots of chopping I'd get something a bit more purpose made, but this will come through in a pinch.

Five stars for practical use and quality and value for the money.
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on March 27, 2014
Great substitute for ka bar. I prefer the parkerized finish as it seems it will hold up better over time. I'll save most of the commentary on how awesome this is for all the other posts and delve into my modification.

The rough handle, or pommel burs actually cut me as i removed the knife from the sheath. I removed the tacky finish on the handle following another reviewers suggestions, smoothed the rough leather around the pommel and oiled it. The finish was beautiful however I decided to make it a little more utilitarian and hold up to water and moisture better, while keeping the finish safe. I sprayed a light coating of plastidip on the leather handle, pommel, and guard bright orange (though black would've looked more tactical, I'm thinking practical) as it would also work for emergency signaling. The spray is completely removable without damage to the leather should I decide to one day in the future. It also provides a little extra grip especially when wet. This is a knife I'll use daily. I'll reserve my ka bar for my collection. As others have said. Factory sharp, but needs sharpening for razor edge
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on January 9, 2016
I used to own a Camillus ww2 era USN MKII knife. It was recently stolen. I thought this would be a good replacement. I have owner Ontario products in the past. I wasn't looking for anything fancy and for less than half the price of a real k-bar I got the knife I wanted. It has a very tough phosphate finish. The sheath is full grain leather. The only thing I really had to do to this knife was condition the sheath and handle with Lard, and touch up the edge on the blade. There were some burrs, but it was very sharp out of the box. It is about ten times sharper now. I have only had it a few days, but it its anything like my old USN MKII, then its worth the money.
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on May 1, 2013
My brand new Ontario 498 combat knife, which came from the factory in a plastic bag, looked like it had spent 6 months being dragged through the sand in Afghanistan and arrived only semi-sharp, so i put it on my Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener and after just a few passes adjusting with different belts this little machine put a shaving sharp edge on it.

I've not had an opportunity to put the knife through any tests yet, but already I like it better than my two Ka-bars which this will replace while the Ka-bars will be passed along to my son who is in Korea.

I like the painted handle just fine so don't think I will be striping the paint off as others have suggested, but I should know for sure by the end of the weekend. I'll be going to the Columbia River and do some wood battoning, chopping, digging and general survival tactics. This is a beautiful knife which is a working knife; not a show knife; you won't want to put this into any kind of display case.

Hopefully I will return to update my experience.
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on January 27, 2017
Parkerize 1095 steel blade with a stacked leather washer handle. I would have preferred plain leather like Ka-Bars version. This has a sticky black coating on the handle. Of course Ka-Bar paints their versions blade rather that parkerizing it. Ka-Bar has the better looking sheath but both are similar in construction. Ontario plain black leather. Ka-Bar use brown Leather with your choice of branch stamped on the sheath face.
$45 vs $70. Make your choice.
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on October 20, 2014
I purchased this knife from Amazon over a year ago and I'm very pleased. I did some research and found that since the mid 70's, Ontario has been the largest contract supplier of these knives for the military and this is an actual military issue knife. I've found it to be tough and ugly, but especially tough. It's not as pretty as the Ka-Bar, but when you need a large sharp blade, this is the go-to knife. I use it as a camping/outdoor/bushcraft/utility knife. After beating up on it, it still holds a nice edge. The carbon steel is easy to sharpen and hard to dull. This knife is a winner.
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on August 6, 2014
I'm not a knife expert but I do graphic design for military personnel so I personalize these pretty frequently (names, ranks, msgs, logos) & the quality of the Ontario knife is as good as the K-bar but half the price. I purchased 2 & gifted them both. Recipients loved theirs!
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on June 29, 2012
Ordered this item as an economical substitute for a Ka-Bar.
The received blade is @7" long x 1-1/4" wide x 3/8" thick. The design is a basic clip-point with a sharpened false edge. It has been parkerized. Edge bevel appears good, knife arrived factory sharp. It is stamped at the base with "Ontario" and "USA". Being carbon steel it will hold an edge well and be sharpen easily Because it is carbon steel it will rust easily so light oiling is mandatory.
The guard appears to be a thick piece of stamped steel.
The handle is just shy of 5" in length and 3-7/8" circumference. It is painted black and feel slightly tacky. Gripping is very comfortable.
The tang appears to be anchored by a large pin at the pommel side. The end of the tang is flush with a rectangular hole at the base of the pommel. It is not peened.
POB is approximately just behind the guard.
The sheath is heavy-weight leather, single-stitched with spaced rivets and well made.
Fit of the blade to guard to handle is very tight with little visible seams.
The knife is light in the hand, due to the POB behind the guard. Construction appears overbuilt and robust.
For the money this is a good substitute for a Ka-Bar.
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on November 14, 2012
Do what the Doc says
but i used my gf nail polish removed and it worked great

It's a much nicer knife after you do the following:

1. Improve the factory edge.
2. Remove the black paint from the handle with paint stripper:

- Spray entire handle with Jasco Paint Remover or Dad's Easy Spray and leave for 30 minutes.
- Remove black paint with soft toothbrush or soft nylon brush under cool running water.
- Dry leather with hair dryer.
- Buff leather with 0000 steel wool to smooth rough and/or frayed areas.
- Apply extra virgin olive oil and allow to absorb.
- Optionally, you can rub in some Obenauf's LP or Sno Seal for water protection. Use the hair dryer to heat what doesn't absorb, and then rub in with your fingers. Repeat as necessary.
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