KA-BAR Full-sized Fighting Knife is a fighting knife that is, while at the same time, capable of serving your other needs. Ka-Bar has been a famous name in the history of knives and has been quite a name in the field since 1942! Though initially, it was popular only among the US Marine Corps, later on, it came to be used among the Navy and Army too!
KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife Review
The history behind its name is also very interesting. It is said that a fur trapper had sent a letter to the owner of Union Cutlery stating that he had used a fighting knife to kill a bear when his rifle got jammed. In his letter, the letters ‘k’,’a’,‘b’, ’a’ and ‘r’ were only legible. It was from there that the knife got its name!
The dimensions of the knife are somewhat like- 11.875 in length, 7 inches in length of the blade and it is 11.2 ounces in weight. There is a shorter version available where the blade length is 5.25 inches. However, the handle here is too small. So unless you have a very small size of palm, do not go for this one! It is made using great quality materials for both blades and handle and is imported. An excellent craftsmanship takes the knife to a higher level.
Let us discuss the features of the knife one by one:
Blade: The first thing that comes to our mind when we think of a knife is its blade. The blade here is black-coated and flat ground. It is manufactured using 1095 Cro-Van steel, which assures great quality and durability. Being an alloy of Chromium and Vanadium, it has both edge retentive and resistive properties. It is also termed as Sharon steel by the manufacturers of the knife. The rating of this alloy in the Rockwell C hardness scale lies in the range of 56-58.
The blade is a bit offset as compared to the handle. It is just below 1.25 inches in width. The smaller version of the blade is without this offset.
The blade slowly narrows down at the edge and finally ends in a point.
Sharpening the knife is a bit too difficult as compared to a regular 1095 steel blade. However, it is worth the extra effort that you put in since it proves to be a great performer in the wild!
The spine side of the blade has an inbuilt 2.5-inch fuller which makes it feel lighter than its actual weight and without compromising its strength. This fuller is called by a Blood Groove by many since it is believed that the fuller helps in draining out the blood and allowing fresh air to come in and lessen the suction so that the knife blade can be pulled out of the body of the creature that you have attacked.
Initially, it used to come with its blade sharpened but this became a problem with many as it was against the norms and they stopped the practice.
The edge of the blade is straight and it is thus capable of slicing in a better way and is suitable for your self defense.
Pommel: There is a gold-plated bass guard along with pommel. The pommel here is made up of steel and is capable of withstanding some amount of pounding. There is a slightly curved cross-guard present at the blade end of the handle which offers some amount of protection from danger.
Handle: It is oval in shape and 1 by 1.25 inches in dimension. It is tapering at the top and bottom ends to offer you full grip. It is made of pure leather and can also be made of Kraton depending on the version you choose. The leather one will weather with the passage of time but combined with the oil from your hand it will offer an excellent grip. The Kraton, on the other hand, proves to be helpful in humid and saltwater regions. So you may select one depending on your place or nature of use. It will thus be a better performer than even a factory knife- ‘Old is Gold’!
Comfort Level: One of the most important things that people look at while choosing a knife is its level of comfort- how comfortable you are holding or gripping it. The Kraton that is present makes the grip comfortable. Be it resisting or staying in your hand, Kraton is going to prove helpful.
Sheath: It is encased in a leather sheath provided you are buying the version which comes in stacked leather. On this sheath, the logo of the region of service will be included. On the other hand, if you choose a Kraton handle, there will be a plastic sheath covering the knife. Both the sheaths are great from the functional point of view and also make the knife look better.
The leather is of a very high quality and involves excellent stitching. You can even wash it when dirty. Similarly, if you go for the plastic version, you will get a high quality sheath.
Full tang: When fully open, the knife has a full tang. The pin of the flat pommel extends through the tang.
Its Cutting Abilities: It is capable of performing great cutting tasks right out of the box. Thanks to the extraordinary manufacturing process of the knife, it is able to cut things like none other.
Wood: We first began with wood. A survival is expected to cut wood and it will provide a great proof of both its strength and sharpness. After all, you would need your knife to cut through the wood that you need for your shelter or for lighting the fire!
It performed fairly well at it. Though, it felt as if we were using a secondary option rather than the most suitable one which would be the axe or saw in this case.
Dressing Meat: When you are in the wild and looking forward to hunting beasts for your meals for the sake of survival, dressing meat would become a necessity. No matter whether you have hunted the animal with the help of this knife, it will be of great help when you sit to dress the meat before your dinner.
De-heading Fishes: You are in the wild so you will not get the de-heading machine at your disposal. So better use this knife for the task. You will find it worth the hype.
So is the knife survival or tactical?
A question which people ask a lot about this knife is whether it is survival or tactical. The answer to it will be that it is survival since it has been designed with the main purpose of self defense or survival. If you are looking for something that will help you in special combat situations, then you are wrong.
Here are a few reasons why people consider buying this knife over the other commonly found models:
It has the USMC fame- it was given to the United State Marine Corps during the Second World War and then gradually became popular in the entire world. So, owning a knife that has such huge fame as your personal knife is indeed great!
The heredity: It can be inherited from one generation to the other and can be used across generations in a family. Its qualities are timeless!
A few tips for using the knife:
Keep it out of reach of children not only because they may end up injuring themselves but also for they do not know anything about knife-care. They might end up damaging it badly.
The knife has done extremely well in the review sites. The customers have been overwhelmed by the performance and have given it high ratings. You will be surprised to know that 90% of them have given it five stars. About 10% of the buyers gave it 4 stars. 3 and 2 stars were given by even lesser people. One star was given by hardly anyone.
Among the very few people who rated it lesser number of stars, the reason was related to the sheath. Many people opined that the leather sheath which was manufactured not in Mexico but US was not up to the mark.
Negative reviews of the knife blaming its sharpness or quality or features are rare to find. As evident from the customer reviews and feedbacks, the knife is equipped with all the jaw-dropping features that you would expect from a product of its type.
Summary: So, as you can see, the KA-BAR Full-sized Fighting Knife is a great knife in its price range that combines a number of features that you expect from a product of its type. Starting from its smart look to the quality materials used and from its versatile functionalities to durable structure –it is the knife to look for!