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Anyone own a USMC Ka-Bar knife?

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posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 02:15 PM
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I've been looking for a sturdy, reliable, SHTF knife. I've gone through all of the exotic shapes and styles, from bowie's to tantos to kukri's to double-edged pig stickers to swiss army knives and have come full circle back again.
I have settled on a basic full sized USMC Ka-Bar. They seem to be exactly what i would need for the majority of the time surviving in the woods and possibly on the run if need be.
My only concern is whether or not the leather handle would come apart if it was repeatedly wet.
I'm also curious as to how tough the pommel is and whether or not you can use it to hammer with.
So anyone own a good 'ol Ka-Bar? How do you like it?
Thanks.

[edit on 16-6-2010 by Romans 10:9]




posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 02:28 PM
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Yes, I own, and have used a couple USMC Ka-Bars. They are nice knives, but they are not the best choice for an all-around utility knife. You don't need to worry about the leather handle coming apart, it's plenty tough. What you need to worry about is the stick tang fracturing at the hilt. There is a sharp angle beneath the handle, where the handle ends and the hilt is attached, which creates a stress riser, and can cause a catastrophic failure of the knife (IE- breaks in two) under heavy use/ abuse. Under normal, careful use, it's not a huge problem, if you know what you're doing and baton properly. I have not broken any of my Ka-Bars, but I know their limits, and don't abuse them. I do not use them as field knives.

Hammering with the pommel of a Ka-Bar is not recommended- there is only a small pin holding that thing on there. The leather washers can compress slightly, and the pin can shear off if you hammer with the butt of the knife.

The USMC Ka-Bar is an interesting knife with a great history behind it, but there are much better options on the market for an all-around field knife.

For about the same money, you can get a Becker BK-7, also made by Ka-Bar, which is a much more robust knife. Other great choices in roughly the same category would be the ESEE RC-4 or the Ontario Ranger RD-4. These are smaller blades, but great all-rounders. A Condor Rodan or a Mora Craftline Allround would also be worth looking into.

If you have money to burn, a Bark River, a Fallkniven, a Fehrman or a Busse would all be good choices. Good luck!



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 02:34 PM
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I have one but do not think to much of it.

The steel is low quality does not keep a edge and the grip is mediocre.

Just what you would expect from a low bid government knife.

It does make a good camp knife that you would not worry about losing.

I found mine and it had a military day/night flare taped to the sheath for some reason.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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Not anymore it got stolen years ago, but mine was a genuine USMC non serrated old school type.
If you were thinking of getting one they rock, there’s a reason why they are so widely used.
For my fixed blade knife I have a cheapy, but if you have the money to spend and want quality that is definitely a good choice.
I’m sure they are still made the same as they were years back, and if so no there are no problems with the handle. Hell my grandpa still has his in his fishing kit, it’s a WWII and he’s almost 90.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 02:54 PM
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Thanks for the info. I looked at the Becker BK-7 and it's $300.00. The Becker Combat Utility looks nice for cheaper, but it's the same 1095 Cro-Van steel as the USMC Ka-Bar, so i dunno about that one.
I haven't looked into the others you mentioned yet, but i will....thanks.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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I don't have a USMC - I had to leave it behind with a friend when I moved out of the States - BUT - I was lucky enough to get my 'baby' through.

I've had it for ages and it's a fantastic tool. Yeah, the good ol Cold Steel Tanto!



And no, that isn't me in the video, lol.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:06 PM
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if you are looking for a good SHTF knife, my suggestion would be to get a multitool.

victorinox by swiss army and various leatherman models are the ones i would recommend.

the knife may not be as big and intimidating, but you can do a whole lot more with a good multitool.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:08 PM
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Lol, i just found this site:

www.knifetests.com...

I'm about to check it out....it looks pretty informative.

EDIT: Haha, that site kicks a$$! Awesome!

[edit on 16-6-2010 by Romans 10:9]



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by Romans 10:9

Thanks for the info. I looked at the Becker BK-7 and it's $300.00. The Becker Combat Utility looks nice for cheaper, but it's the same 1095 Cro-Van steel as the USMC Ka-Bar, so i dunno about that one.
I haven't looked into the others you mentioned yet, but i will....thanks.


The standard Becker BK-7 Combat Utility shouldn't run you more than about $75 or so. I've seen them for less. The $300 version is the high-end model, with fancy steel and micarta handles, which you don't need. With proper heat treat, 1095 is actually a very good steel. It is a no-nonsense, heavy-duty carbon steel. It is the industry standard, general hard-use stuff, and even though it's been around forever, will still outperform many more "modern" stainless steels. The tradeoff is corrosion resistance. Which is why most 1095 blades are coated.

The problem with the USMC Ka-Bar is not the steel, it is the stick-tang design. The steel is fine, though it is run a bit soft so it can be easily sharpened by a grunt in the field, and thus doesn't hold an edge very long. Beckers are run harder, I believe, and will hold their edge better.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:13 PM
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I always use my grandfathers ww2 mark2 navy kabar on extended backcountry excursions. I'm always counting pounds and grams because I carry everything in and out. The kabar may be a bit heavy with the sheath but its worth every ounce.

Excellent fixed blade survival knife. Stands up to abuse. It's a tank.

You mentioned the leather handle. They do tend to rot off. I wrapped my leather handle in OD parachute chord. Completely seals off the leather, gives an excellent grip, looks bad-ass, and heck, anywhere you can stash some extra para-chord is helpful.

The thing is buying a good mark 2 is getting expensive. If money isn't an object, you might want to look into something modern that uses a 1095 High Carbon Alloy.

You can't go wrong with a mark 2, though. I'd go as far to say that you can't go wrong with military surplus in general. The army spends billions to test it's gear, they know what they are doing. Civilian companies don't have the same R&D capability; they will sacrifice performance for style and cost. Unlce-Sam's stuff is almost in every case cheaper and better performing. I'd take that into consideration for any piece of gear you are planning on bringing into the field.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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Originally posted by Romans 10:9
Lol, i just found this site:

www.knifetests.com...

I'm about to check it out....it looks pretty informative.


Lolz indeed.
The guy who runs that site is kind of a laughingstock in the knife community. His tests are not very.... scientific shall we say. Check out the Busse Fusion Battle Mistress though- his assessment on that knife is correct. It is pretty much indestructible. I have three.


For an excellent resource on knives (and a great community as well)- check out:
www.bladeforums.com...

Great site. I have over 6,000 posts on there (same username).



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by Romans 10:9
 


Lol that site was awful.

No offense to you. lol



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:40 PM
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dont' forget there is always hand made
there is some excelent knife making info floating around on the net
good to Know if you ever need to replace post SHTF
especially what type of steel is found in what type of items and tempering info

let me tell you
a peice of glass can be one sharp item too
for certain jobs

[edit on 16-6-2010 by Danbones]



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:48 PM
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Originally posted by KillenfizzenHumboflorator
reply to post by Romans 10:9
 


Lol that site was awful.

No offense to you. lol


How so?
Putting knives through whatever it takes to break them is dumb? I think taking them to complete failure is interesting as it tells me alot about the durability.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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www.knifecenter.com...

[edit on 16-6-2010 by thaknobodi]



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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I'm diggin the Barker River Bravo-1 right now.

Hmmm...

www.knifeworks.com...



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by Romans 10:9
 


The "testing" on "Knife Tests" doesn't really tell you much about anything, because they are so unscientific in nature. They are not uniform tests- they are not repeatable or measurable in any meaningful way. They are sometimes good entertainment though. The founder of that site is not taken seriously by anyone in the cutlery industry. He is humored by some manufacturers, because lots of people go to his site and don't know any better.

Anyone looking for solid information on knives would do far better to visit BladeForums.com or KnifeForums.com. You can interact with the actual designers, manufacturers and company owners of most knife companies on those sites, as well as many custom makers, and very knowledgeable collectors. Most of the major players in the industry are active on the forums, are friendly, and are easy to get to know.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 04:26 PM
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Originally posted by Romans 10:9
I'm diggin the Barker River Bravo-1 right now.

Hmmm...

www.knifeworks.com...


Yes. You are correct. That is my favorite all around knife. I have one on my belt right now. Make sure to get the leather sheath though, because Bark River's kydex is awful.



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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The best bang-for-your-buck is the Scrap Yard Scrapper 6.
Nearly indestructible and all around awesome.
Here's a link to the knifetests.com review on it.

Here's their official website at scrapyardknives.com.

IMO, the Scrapper 6 would outlast ME in a post-apocalyptic world. $100 well spent.

Cheers!



posted on Jun, 16 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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Cool. I prefer leather anyway. I'm gonna pick one up soon. Seems to be right up my alley and a really solid knife.
Thanks.



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