Kabar

Submitted by Eric Daniel

To me, knives are tools.  They are to be used and abused, to accomplish the mission or die trying.  I’ve been through several multi-tools (on average I break one a year) and pocket knives come and go (they get loaned out, lost, or break) but the one knife I have always had unwavering faith in (up until the time I had to quit using it) was the Ka-Bar USMC fighting knife.

As I mentioned in a previous post, a good utility knife is indispensable in the field.  Pocketknives like the Buck 110 are great for light work, but sometimes you need something with leverage.  Whether it was cutting open MRE cases or prying the wire off of crated ammunition, my Ka Bar took it all in stride.  In a perfect world a bayonet would have done just as well for most things, had I been able to draw one from the arms room when we went to the field, but sadly this was not the case, which made the Ka-Bar all the more valuable.  Moreover, the Ka Bar’s design alone made it superior to the bayonet.  The all-leather grip worked wonderfully wet or dry, hot or cold.  The blade was thick enough that you could pry with either the point or the flat without undue fear of it snapping, and the big steel endcap, combined with the knife’s own mass, made for a fair field expedient hammer.

It didn’t bother me in the least that I was in the Army and I was using a Marine Corps knife.  That Ka-Bar was a tool, and one I deemed best available to do the jobs I needed doing.  I reasoned that since the Marine Corps used the same rifles, ammunition, artillery and armor that the Army did, it was perfectly acceptable to use “their” knife.

Silly me.  Eventually, someone vastly more knowledgeable in trans-service etiquette than I explained to me the magnitude of the military faux pas I was committing.  No, it simply would not do to be caught out of doors with such an icon of Marine Corps tradition prominently displayed on my LBE.  As a Soldier and an NCO, I should have known better.  Need to bust open those crates of MG ammunition?  No problem – smash them on the ground or kick them, or use a stick (a good NCO always carries a good stick with them for just such a situation.)  The bottom line was that Ka-Bar was a Marine Corps “thing” and it simply had to go.  No amount of pleading, reasoning, or rationalizing could resolve the situation.  I just had to learn to do without.

Of course, ten years later I’m back to carrying a non-issue “fighting” knife, but now it’s made in Nepal, not Olean, N.Y. so I guess that makes it ok…

Get your Ka-Bar here.

{ 123 comments… read them below or add one }

AUGUST M. BOYD, JR October 30, 2007 at 9:43 am

WE MUST BE CAREFUL THAT THIS KNIFE IS NOT ILLIGAL IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY OR STATE.

GB

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LMaines October 30, 2007 at 2:09 pm

I still have one from 1990. I would not choose another knife. Ive used it to dig, hammer, cut, saw etc and it never fails. There is a reason why most people think of KaBars when you talk about historic fighting knives.

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Eric October 30, 2007 at 3:17 pm

In my old Army Engineer batalion during the 1980's at the height of the Cold War our CO allowed us to carry any knife on our LBE as long as it was military. I carried a KaBar for a while as well as a Fairbairn-Sykes. I still have both and would not trade them for anything.. well all most anything.

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JAMES SCOTT October 30, 2007 at 9:05 pm

WE MARINES HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN THE VALUE OF THE KABAR. REFERED TO BY DI'S AND CARRIED BY MOST 0311 IN THE FIELD IT WAS AND STILL IS OUR MAIN TOOL FOR SURVIVAL AND UNKOWN TO MOST THE KABAR COMES IN A WIDE RANGE OF STYLES.

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AndyJ October 30, 2007 at 11:54 pm

I'm still using mine from 1967 when I got it in Vietnam

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SandieK October 31, 2007 at 3:00 am

Genetics and bad ears have seen to it that Ill never be in the military, but I acquired a KaBar shortly before I started working as a summer camp counselor one year. Decent blades were necessary, especially on overnights. Yet one fellow counselor laughed and asked me "What do you need a KaBar for?"
Plenty of things. The next summer he asked me if I still had it. Of course.

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Pappy Patchin October 31, 2007 at 6:52 am

I still have one I got in 1966 in DaNang. Traded for it with the Seabees. Now my son carries one I picked up in 1968 while he's stationed in Iraq. Fine tool, filling a number of roles. One can find them made by Camillus, NY and the originals from "Cutco" in Olean, NY. There's a lot of fakes out there but if you can, stick with the originals. Much better quality. It's not a pocket knife!

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jimmy johnson October 31, 2007 at 7:39 am

Not a knife anywhere equals it for the money. Tough, sharp, easy to sharpen, holds an edge and is fast in the hand.

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Richard Bruce October 31, 2007 at 8:40 am

Just used my 22 yr old KaBar cutting Halloween displays at my sons' school. Keep in my driver's door map pocket. It served me well doing drug enforcement boardings in the Caribbean during the 80's. It's been a loyal tool for all these years. Everyman should have one.

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David Sletten October 31, 2007 at 11:38 am

I still have my from 1974. Its been at my side for 30 years in the military, I retired May 23, 2005. It will be given to my son.

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Oorah November 1, 2007 at 3:42 pm

This is the BEST knife in the WORLD by far like Richard Bruce said, Every man should have one best thing you'll ever buy!!!

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vsixtour November 1, 2007 at 6:04 pm

Ka-Bar makes the same knife with other branches logo's on them so you won't have to worry about being looked down upon for using "thier" knife anymore.

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hank hill November 3, 2007 at 5:53 pm

ka bar none one of the best

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RJB1012 November 5, 2007 at 3:27 pm

I think i may just make a Ka-Bar my next knife. Thank you Kit up.

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Tony Azevedo November 9, 2007 at 7:29 am

The KaBar is one of the greatest knives ever made. I used a poket knife for the little things and everything else was done with a KaBar. KaBar was origonaly made for the Marines, but all branches of the Military, Coast Gaurd included, and some civilian groups fell in love with them. It was suggested to me by several of the Senior Rangers that I should purchase one, and I did. I woul still have it today, but I gave it to a my step brother who is a Boy Scout and needed a good knife. Its a knife, if it bothers you that it a Marine thing, then get one with a brange logo on it. SGT Azevedo US Army (Retired)

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Tony von Krag November 11, 2007 at 8:47 am

I got my 1st K-Bar in 58 in the Cub Scouts. Used it since then world wide. That and the EK bowie are tools you can bet your life on. YMMV but that's what this old air-dog thinks.

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Tom Werth November 13, 2007 at 2:45 am

My father worked at Camillus Cutlery in Camillus, NY (just west of Syracuse)for 50 years. The K-Bar was made there for a very long time. Sadly, Camillus Culery just closed their doors for good. I guess it's better to get our knives from China. Sad…

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Brandon November 13, 2007 at 2:53 am

As an NCO in a Tactical Military Intelligence Unit in the Army, we were in the field 9 months out of the year. My K-Bar went with me and I couldn't fathom going to the field without it. Our BDE CSM was inspecting our field gear before a deployment and once he saw my K-Bar on my LBE talked at length about how his K-Bar save his life in Vietnam…so the knife earned another use…CSM distraction.

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flythemig29 November 13, 2007 at 6:51 pm

It seems funny that Army personnel get so twisted up about this when the commemorative knife that is flying off shelves at the PX is the US Army OIF K-Bar!

I have two. One commemorative and one kick ass utilitool, fighting instrument, fear inducing, much admired, knicked and dinged USMC K-Bar that I acquired when I came over here.

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James Wisegarver November 13, 2007 at 7:16 pm

K-Bar makes an Army Fighting Knife.

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Bobby Rexroad November 13, 2007 at 7:55 pm

I have taught wilderness survival at college level for years and do not do so without my K-bar at my belt or in my boot sheath. Thanks K-bar for the real thing.

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Bob Hunter November 13, 2007 at 10:23 pm

I remember being issued a Kabar in BUDS and teaching my roommates how to put a ridiculous edge on it. I was amazed at how well it kept its edge, and what a close shave I could get with it!

I remember bluing the edge after sharpening to kill any reflective characteristics it might have; you can't risk giving away your positiion after all!

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Patrick O'Brien November 14, 2007 at 12:07 am

The best utility knife "EVER" made. I still have and use mine from my years in the USMC from the 70's. I have pried, chopped, hammered, sliced, skinned, cut and killed with it. There ARE no substitutes.

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donniez udt 91 November 14, 2007 at 1:00 am

As a navy SEAL trainee in the mid 70's, the K-Bar and I became best friends along with my swim buddie. The K-Bar was carried by navy SEALs in the Vietnam War. It is also a great throwing knife. The "Rusty K-Bar" is a killing machine.

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mike buonaiuto November 14, 2007 at 1:05 am

Where can I purchase one of these knives on Long Island N.Y.?

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MRFranks November 14, 2007 at 6:48 am

I received a Ka-Bar as a memento from a Marine buddy while in VN back in 1967 (we were advisors in IV CTZ but I was Army). I’ve used that knife to field dress a deer and a wild pig on two hunting trips until I bought a set of meat processing knives and saws. When I got afield with my bow, hunting or roving, I always have that Ka-Bar with me either on my belt or in my pack.

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Jerry Leone November 14, 2007 at 2:05 am

I "appropriated" my KaBar in 1967 from a Marine at Camp Eagle, home of the 101st Airborne, out side of Phu Bai, RVN after an inter service brawl in the bunker line brought on by traditional GI bad mouthing. That knife kept me alive on many occasions over the next 18 months and I still carry it with me whenever I go into the field. Two years ago I even had occasion to try to defend myself against a griz high up in Montana's Bitterroot Mountains – Thank God the Griz decided to give me a break on that day – I'm sure the knife skills I learned in Vietnam have left me over the years, so good deal I didn't have to relearn them as OJT.

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Steve Nowak November 14, 2007 at 2:31 am

Ex Khe San & CAG Unit Vietnam Marine, have given K-Bars to every new GI that I know, including 3 of my sons, 1 Marine, 1 Navy, 1 Army. I want them to survive as well.

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ZIVA NEW YORK, NEW Y November 14, 2007 at 2:34 am

WHILE STATIONED I ALSO PURCHASED A KABAR BUT IT WAS IN ADMISSABLE ESPECIALLY FOR A NAVY FEMALE TO CARRY ONE, I WAS TOLD TO SHIP IT HOME. EVEN THOUGH I HAD BOUGHT IT AS A GIFT FOR A MARINE SERVICE MEMBER. WHILE WORKING FOR CUSTOMS BOXES NEEDED TO BE OPENED IN ORDER TO BE INSPECTED, GUESS WE WERE EXPECTED TO OPEN THE BOXES WITH OUR FINGER NAILS,HAHAHA, THE ONE THAT IS REQUIRED BY THE NAVY IS USELESS WITH ALL THE SMALL GADGETS IT HAS, SCREW DRIVER, PLIERS AND SO FORTH BUT THE SMALL KNIFE IT HAS IS USELESS AND IT PRACTICLEY TOOK FOR EVER TO OPEN A BOX. THE KABAR IS THE BEST, IT SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BE USED BY ALL MILITARY PERSONEL ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF WAR IT IS A VERY USEFUL TOOL TO HAVE.

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MRFranks November 14, 2007 at 2:48 am

I received a Ka-Bar as a memento from a Marine buddy while in VN back in 1967 (we were advisors in IV CTZ but I was Army). I've used that knife to field dress a deer and a wild pig on two hunting trips until I bought a set of meat processing knives and saws. When I got afield with my bow, hunting or roving, I always have that Ka-Bar with me either on my belt or in my pack.

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Patrick Champagne November 14, 2007 at 7:49 am

Bought my Ka-bar In 81 while in the Army and also a Buck 105 Pathfinder, both served me so well I still have both !The Ka-Bar is Hands down the best and strongest utility Knife for hard use! My Platoon Sgt. A Vietnam vet, never batted an eye on my wearing it on my LBE . Only had 1 plt. sgt in 8 yrs.who

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MRFranks November 14, 2007 at 2:49 am

I received a Ka-Bar as a memento from a Marine buddy while in VN back in 1967 (we were advisors in IV CTZ but I was Army). I've used that knife to field dress a deer and a wild pig on two hunting trips until I bought a set of meat processing knives and saws. When I go afield with my bow, hunting or roving, I always have that Ka-Bar with me either on my belt or in my pack.

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MRFranks November 14, 2007 at 2:49 am
frank kaicy November 14, 2007 at 3:16 am

Received my first Ka-Bar knife in boy scouts from retired air force instructor. It went with me in the USMC and I still have it. Found none better.

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Ted Williams November 14, 2007 at 3:41 am

I bought my Ka-Bar at a surplus store in 1945 at the ripe old age of eight. I paid a dollar for it because the tip was broken. I still have itin the original sheath and use it daily. Finest tool I ever owned.

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Patrick Champagne November 14, 2007 at 3:49 am

Bought my Ka-bar In 81 while in the Army and also a Buck 105 Pathfinder, both served me so well I still have both !The Ka-Bar is Hands down the best and strongest utility Knife for hard use! My Platoon Sgt. A Vietnam vet, never batted an eye on my wearing it on my LBE . Only had 1 plt. sgt in 8 yrs.who

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Patrick Champagne November 14, 2007 at 3:54 am

Got my Ka-bar in 81, still have it!Handsdown, It's the best and strongest overall utility knife you can get !

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Michael Stanek November 14, 2007 at 9:02 am

I bought my knife in 2002 before shipping out to the Iraqi war. Stationed in Qatar, I found that that was the knife to have and its daily cutting abilities were top notch. I would recommend this knife to anyone. Good job KBAR.

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Fletcher November 14, 2007 at 4:15 am

Bought my K-bar about 1980. In the 1990's the Soldier next door had an interest in my daughter and had his army knife on the belt and was showing the daughter and my son his army survival knife with the compass, fishing line, etc. He'd never seen a K-Bar so I pulled it out to compare. He was in his uniform and he pulled out the bottom of his t-shirt to see how sharp the blade was. With very little effort the K-Bar cut through his shirt and slightly cut his stomach. He let out a holler as he thought he'd seriously cut himself. After he regained his composure, he commmented about how sharp that blade was. Note that I had not sharped the knife in at least ten years. The K-bar sits NIB on top of my gun case. It will be strapped to my side any time a disaster strikes my area.

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charles t. sherwin November 14, 2007 at 4:35 am

K-Bar Knives can be purchased at 1125 East State St., Olean, NY 14760 (716) 372-5952 and they will send you a catalog or take your order.

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Wynn November 14, 2007 at 4:36 am

I carried my uncles WWII K-bar with me when I was in Special Ops (1/1st SF). No one ever made a comment about me carrying this legendary knife. It does the Job and I still have not been able to destoy this 65 year old beauty.

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Michael Stanek November 14, 2007 at 5:02 am

I bought my knife in 2002 before shipping out to the Iraqi war. Stationed in Qatar, I found that that was the knife to have and its daily cutting abilities were top notch. I would recommend this knife to anyone. Good job KBAR.

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Christopher Capri November 14, 2007 at 5:26 am

I got my K-bar shortly before I Joined the Corps, and it is my all purpose tool. I cant imagine not having it around. If another branch member wants to carry it, fine its good for all occasions. It shouldnt matter if your Army or whatever.

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Allan Brown November 14, 2007 at 5:29 am

I am glad that their are so many loyal Ka-Bar users and owners, I aquired mine when I was 10 years old. I was born and raised in Olean, NY. After I came home from the Korean war in 1954, I went to work at Ka-bar for about 2 years.

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Joe Black November 14, 2007 at 5:30 am

still have mine from 1962, sharpened both sides of the tip b/c I once broke a small piece off , don't remember how , but still extremely sharp ,useful ,n beautiful

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Dan November 14, 2007 at 5:32 am

I purchased my K-Bar back in 1986. It has been around the world and remained strong in every aspect. I really don't think you could find a better more reliable knife. You can use it to cut, trim, shave, hammer, skin, kill..kill..kill….

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George Goulet November 14, 2007 at 5:41 am

Hands down, it's the best diving knife ever! Sharpen it with a whetstone or even just a file and it walks through rope like it was butter.

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Owen McPhillips November 14, 2007 at 6:53 am

You might try and see if you can find an old WWII Cattaraugus 225Q, a/k/a the Army Quartermaster Knife. The blade's not quite as long, but it's plenty sturdy and has a proud ARMY tradition.

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Alton November 14, 2007 at 6:55 am

I was issued my first K-bar, when I was a Corpsman with the 2nd Marine Division (Desert Storm). That knife was used to dig holes, cut ropes, detatch straps, and even remove shrapnel. Sadly, I returned that one. However, I was issued my second one as a Corpsman, with the 1st Marine Div, in Somalia (Restore Hope). Again, although different country, same work. In this conflict, there were times that using a firearm would have been a bad choice. When that time came, the K-bar was the first thing that came to mind (and to my hands).
I still have my trusty K-bar, and with God's blessings, one day, I will pass this one along to my son.
God bless the designers, the United States Marine Corps, and the United States of America. (By the way, Happy Birthday U.S.M.C.)
Semper Fi

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Glenn November 14, 2007 at 8:47 am

I still have my K-Bar and Air Force Survival knifes from Vietnam. Both are excellent tools and the K-Bar is a good weapon. USMC '65-'69

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Capt Rhoderickt Cevalls November 14, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Hi I think that is very important to defense on knife combat alway this to life defense We marines Corp has Loyal Honor to USA our country
All time is used on combat an
indispensable inside field like tool for us.
God bless USA and USMC.

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Dan November 14, 2007 at 11:48 am

The POS USN issue "survival knife" that came in our flight gear in the 1980's couldn't hold an edge if it only stayed in the sheath. Bought a KaBar USMC before SERE training, kept it and flew with it for many years, using it on those wonderful overnight CSAR exercises in various locations. It got lifted out of my survival vest around 1989 and replaced with a Gerber 4.5" bladed beauty – too beautiful, it only stayed around in the vest about six weeks. Bought another KaBar and still have it today. Hopefully it will also be a gift to one of my kids should they decide to carry the colors in one of the services.

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Larry Bennett November 14, 2007 at 11:57 am

I lost my K-Bar somewhere after my military service 67 to 71. I was injured in a pickup accident after I got back home and have no idea where it went or if I brought it home. But I know it was a big comfort to me in my Vietnam tour of 17 months.

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Capt Rhoderickt Ceva November 14, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Hi I think that is very important to defense on knife combat alway this to life defense We marines Corp has Loyal Honor to USA our country
All time is used on combat an
indispensable inside field like tool for us.
God bless USA and USMC.

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David Atmar Smith November 14, 2007 at 1:05 pm

Here's where I got mine at a better price; made by orig. mfg. in USA: http://www.knifesupplycompany.com/knives-ka-bar-k

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mark bright November 14, 2007 at 3:36 pm

had mine on my tour in iraq best knive there is

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STEPHEN M. AMOROSO November 14, 2007 at 5:25 pm

i got from dad anavy u.d.t k-bar when i got orders for riverboat patrol after six months of school I had two. and gave one to my buddies. as i look back at the old tards i was with i noticed there were alot of others in are group that also carried.

amo1

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Mike Berger November 14, 2007 at 11:18 pm

When my brother left the Corps in 1953, he gave me his K-Bar. I carried it throughout my Army career (1960-1990) when I was in the field and still have it on my workbench. Some day I'll pass it on to a grandson.

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daoud November 15, 2007 at 12:27 am

I had one made by Camillus that was supposedly NATO issue and had an unmarked sheath. I have to say that it did get a little loose around the guard and handle- anyway it got lost at Ft. Stewart, and I got an Air Force Survival knife which I carried in Panama for a year and a half.A bit shorter so less likely to hang up in the bush, and much harder to keep sharp,but much more robust and better for the crate-opening kind of tasks. If I had to actually be in a knife fight I'd rather have the Ka-Bar, though.

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Kevin Newberry November 15, 2007 at 1:07 am

My Dad was one of the first of the Navy personnel to go ashore on Okinawa in 1945 as an "Occupation Force", and he carried his K-bar with him at all times. He is passed now, and I am a retired Navy Master Chief with 28 years active. The only thing I inherited from Dad was that K-bar which I had also used extensively while in boy scouts, and then would have to return it to Dad for safe keeping. I now have it, and just yesterday, I put the very first nick in the blade while slicing through house siding (Hit a nail damnit!) But I love my K-bar, it has a lot of history and sentimentality, is probably worth a lot of money, but will be passed down to one of the kids. Thanks for letting me tell my story and best to all!

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George Plager November 15, 2007 at 1:21 am

I have the K-bar issued in pre-flight in 1963 as our preferred survival knife. Carried it with me on every flight for 20 years in active and reserve service. Now in my camping box so I always have it with me when camping. Indestructible.

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Jody Beller November 15, 2007 at 1:22 am

So are these k-bars issues in the field (Marine) or do you have to purchase them seperately? Suggestions on where to purchase? And which would you suggest, the black with the leather handle or with the "kydex" handle? Whatever that is…I'm looking for a x-mas for my Marine son :)

Thank you.

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Starbuck777 November 15, 2007 at 1:49 am

Got one when I was a kid in a War surplus store after WW II for $5… had it during Korea and it is always by my side.

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Jim Mudd November 15, 2007 at 1:53 am

I enjoyed reading about the K-Bar knife. I am retired Coast Guard (EMCS) and in a tribute to my Father and Father-in-law, I have their pictures, in uniform and their burial flags along with several of their medals and other items including my Fathers Korean Conflict K-Bar knife and my Father-in-law's WWII K-Bar knife mounted on the wall. Both have told me several stories of how important the knife was during their time served.

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Chase Chambliss November 15, 2007 at 2:00 am

I found that Eric Daniel's comment regarding "military faux pas" for carrying a Marine Ka-Bar by an Army compatriot to be that of an Army bureaucrat who is not a warrior. Without having heard the whole conversation, I'm prejudiced enough to say that the person speaking wasn't in a combat MOS, but in some support MOS.
Every Marine is a trained rifleman (aka infantryman) as soon as he hits the fleet, regardless of his MOS and one will have a "combat knife" to wittle down that Army NCO's stick.

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Jon Walker November 15, 2007 at 2:07 am

I got my K-Bar from a Navy Seal while stationed in Panama. I had heard about it while in VN but, was never able to get one. It was, is and will be my first choice for and as a tool and weapon. My son will get it soon.

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ADCS Terry Mulligan November 15, 2007 at 2:20 am

in the 1960's, all flight deck personnel on my ship were issued K-Bars. I carried mine for about 6 years. I recently purchased another one for nostalgia's sake.

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Frank Treadwell November 15, 2007 at 3:20 am

Our Special Forces team A-6 5 SFG was issued a K-Bar before our 1st mission to RVN in 1962. It served me well on the next 3 trips in country and is still with me. Would not know how to hike with out it.

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Dale Swanson November 15, 2007 at 3:54 am

I'm a retired Marine and have been lucky enough to have a KBAR most of my life. My dad worked for KBAR in Olean, NY during WWII and had one. I enlisted in the Navy in 66 and as I was in the Gator Navy I spent a lot of time around Marines and was given one by an old Sergeant during a shipboard deployment. Following my tour in the Navy I enlisted in the Marines and while on Recruiting Duty in Olean, NY during the late 70's I visited the KBAR plant in Olean and received my own which I still have. I have used them for for forty years and never broken one. Sorry to hear they are now made in Nepal.

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CWO3 Patrick Durden, November 15, 2007 at 3:54 am

The Ka-Bar was a offical U S Navy knife too. In the 1960's, 1970's and 1980's it was carried in the Aircrew Survival Vest–it was attached so it would not be lost to Davy Jones Locker. It was used not only as a survival tool but a personal weapon if necessary. I keep my Ka-Bar in my private flight bag when I fly my C-172 to this day!

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Eric Daniel November 15, 2007 at 4:05 am

Dale,

Sorry if I was unclear there. The Ka-Bar, to the best of my knowledge, is still fabricated in Olean, N.Y. The Nepal reference alludes to the fact that since I can't carry my Ka-Bar, or rather haven't tried recently, I now use a Gurkha kukri, which is manufactured in Nepal.

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oleretiredmarine November 15, 2007 at 5:26 am

Ain't No better knife than the ole KBAR. In 22 years of service nad recently retired I was never issued one but bought it at the PX. never figured out why a COMBAT Marine ( 3 Combat tours )couldn't get an issued KBAR. a TOOL of all tools, I rated it up there with my rifle

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Eddie phillips November 15, 2007 at 6:13 am

In regards to chase chambliss comment……as a fellow marine I fully agree that the ka bar should be a must have for all marines……we r in the business of killing……something a common solider just wouldn't understand……thank u ka bar..for designing such a versitile tool….

Semper fi

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Mark Mills November 15, 2007 at 7:50 am

The KA-BAR name came from a hunter's almost illegible letter reporting that he had used the company's knife and; K(illed) A B(e)AR.

Had two KA-BARs. Gave one to a Reservist who was being activated for Desert Storm. Second one went to a National Guard nephew upon his graduation from high school.

Now holding a Next Generation KA-BAR, Serrated Edge (stainless steel, subdued) for my last nephew who wants to be a SEAL. He also will receive it upon high school graduation.

Only keeping a 3D MARDIV Commemorative. The functional ones keep serving.

There is no better item of kit that you can give to someone entering our Armed Forces!

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Ironmajor November 15, 2007 at 7:53 am

The Ka-BAR knife was adopted by both the Marine Corps and Navy in WW II and are the ONLY services to procure and issue to this knife. It has NO history with the Army, Coast Guard or Air Force. To that end, it should not be worn by anyone other than Marines or sailors, period.

Ka-BAR is now making this knife with "ARMY" markings, but this is a marketing/business decision that makes them look more like they are prostituting themselves than anything else. Anyone not a Marine or sailor is therefore, what? Partaking of a prostitute?

The U.S. Army has a rich heritage and have come up with some pretty good gear – like their U.S. KNIFE, TRENCH, M-3 that came out in WW II, also in a leather sheath. Ka-BAR Knife Co was contacting about reintroducing this knife to give soldiers something properly and appropriately representing their heritage. The M3 Trench Knife was made by Camillus Knife Co among others for years. The Army, in its infinite wisdom, does not issue it anymore. Somebody ought to write the Quartermaster General of the Army to correct this.

Here in Iraq, the PX carries a large amount of Ka-BAR knives, all marked "ARMY." We, the Marines, can't get any Marine-marked Ka-BARs. AAFES comes through again instead of ordering the M3 Trench Knives from the buyers at Hq AAFES.

So, I just look at soldiers wearing Ka-BARs with amusement. The Army has its heritage, and soldiers have let it go, so now you want to wear "our" knife. Would you like to wear our Globe and Anchor, too?

Write letters to HQ AAFES and Ka-BAR and let them know you would like your knife returned for sale. Or, you can be lazy, let your heritage go by the wayside, and wear out Marine Ka-BAR — just be prepared to suffer the whimsical looks of amusement.

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Pappy Patchin November 15, 2007 at 7:53 am

HH6 & I were going thru her Dads' gear last week. We found his WW II USN "Shark Knife". He was on the USS Chenango. It, too, is a Ka-Bar but the blade is shorter, has no fuller (blood groove) nor false back edge. The pommel, handle and cap are all Ka-Bar as is the KABAR name and USN on the riccaso. The sheath is not original and the current one is all torn & beat up. What a wonderful memory for her to have. Plus we get over to Olean so we'll take it to the factory to see if there's any info on the design. It is one that I'm not familiar with, but then again I'm Army and he was Navy before he got smart & joined the Army, too.

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Arthur Wilson November 15, 2007 at 8:25 am

I was issued a K-bar in 1959 after being transfered to 1st Recon. It was my constant companion during 4 tours in So East Asia. When things got down to knuckles and finger nails, the K-bar was handy and very effective. I can't think of what it would have been like to to go on LRPs without it. I still have the one I was issued and it is still in very functional order.

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Jim Coen November 15, 2007 at 12:12 pm

What every self respecting warrior should deploy with – 550 cord, zip ties, mag lite, 100 mph tape (OD), black spray paint and stencil of your Unit, and a K-Bar.

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Ed Husted November 15, 2007 at 6:24 pm

Got mine as a BAR man in 1960…. Still have it today. Saw service in Nam (68) and 12 years as an Army NCO and officer. I told my men in my units USAREUR, I didn’t care what knife you wanted to carry in the field but my KABAR taped to my LBE was the best. Now 66 yrs old and love my “Marine Corps” KABAR.

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hs November 15, 2007 at 2:07 pm

a K=Bar is like a warrior. Either one can get the job done when necessary.SemperFi

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Ed Husted November 15, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Got mine as a BAR man in 1960…. Still have it today. Saw service in Nam (68) and 12 years as an Army NCO and officer. I told my men in my units USAREUR, I didn't care what knife you wanted to carry in the field but my KABAR taped to my LBE was the best. Now 66 yrs old and love my "Marine Corps" KABAR.

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James Needles November 15, 2007 at 2:26 pm

To the Iron Major. I am retired ARMY and a knife collector. I know many fine Marines and Sailors and none of them ever gave me a whimsical look of amusement when I Salivated over their Ka-Bars or said anything when My wife got me one. I carried a seal-pup knife in Iraq along with several other knives. A warrior that is worth their salt recognizes a fine weapon/tool when they see one and will aquire one and use it regardless of the fact who it was made for or originally issued too. As for your opinion that only Marines and Sailor should wear YOUR knife, thats your opinion and you're entitled to it. My opinion, however is that you need to get over the fact that your brothers and sisters in arms know a great knife and tool and want to use it too. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
Sincerely, James Needles SFC AARMY RETIRED

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BlueFalcon November 15, 2007 at 3:00 pm

I recieved my Grandfathers Ka-Bar USMC fighting knife, mad in NY, after he passed away. On the leather scabbard is written "To my dear mother from your son Navy 1944". Now this knife is long retired in a case of glass but will always be available if ever needed. It's been used and abused with an edge like a razor. Some will say that it is old but IT will last forever.

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akdoug November 16, 2007 at 1:35 am

Time to stir the pot.

The K-Bar is a great knife and has served a very long and distinguished service life and is owed a great deal of respect. I have my Grand Fathers USMC Ka-Bar from WWII and love it, although no longer used I take a great deal of pride in it.

Over the years technological advances have allowed for the creation of new steels that are far more superior to that of the K-Bar. If you have not seen it take a look at the new ZT 0100 made by ZT a division of Kershaw knives, designed by Ken Onion and the guys at Strider knives you just can't beat it. Far superior steels, easier to sharpen and stays sharp longer and made in the USA.

My 2cents

Ok hit me now :)

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Brian Murphy November 16, 2007 at 2:28 am

The Army had its own leather handled M-3 trench knife also made by Camillus, Imperial and the other upstate New York cutlery companies and also issued to Navy — amphibious forces I am sure of– a stronger narrower blade and a little better for killing. JFK used one to carve his famous coconut SOS after PT 109 sunk.

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Doug Burks November 16, 2007 at 4:09 am

As an FMF Corpsman, I used the Ka-Bar. When I retired from the Navy, my son, a Marine, presented me with an engraved keepsake Ka-Bar. As a reminder of the comitted relationship among FMF Corpsman and the Marine Corps, it says it all; Semper Fi! A tool always faithful is a tool indeed.

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Ron November 16, 2007 at 5:48 am

Picked up my K Bar with the hard gray sheath in Vietnam in '66. it sits with my green tops alongside my office desk and draws many looks and questions.

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Got Some November 16, 2007 at 11:16 am

Carried and used a K-BAR for almost 11 years in the USMC. After 9/11 I joined the National Guard. Still carry one, but I use the hard sheath on my LBE. Anyone who offers me any grief about it gets the same invitation: come and take it. I usually just get a smile. It is truly the world’s best combat knife, ever.

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Garrett November 16, 2007 at 6:32 am

Have used the KaBar for many years, good tool. Although I have also broken everyone i have had when i start throwing it. And No, im not a bad thrower… 100/100 at 20 yards so deep you cant pull it out. =)
The problem is in the small section after the guard going into the hilt. The handle gains so much leverage from the force of the impact, it bends or snaps that section right at the hilt.

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Got Some November 16, 2007 at 7:16 am

Carried and used a K-BAR for almost 11 years in the USMC. After 9/11 I joined the National Guard. Still carry one, but I use the hard sheath on my LBE. Anyone who offers me any grief about it gets the same invitation: come and take it. I usually just get a smile. It is truly the world's best combat knife, ever.

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jason November 16, 2007 at 9:23 am

As a prior Marine now navy, I still act like a Marine and to prove it on my right hand right below my thumb, there is a Tattoo of the K-Bar with USMC at the handle. This is one tough knife, none like it. Through a Brother Marine Donnie, I met a green beret, Eric, the next day he present me with a minature K-bar. This knife among Warriors!

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william November 16, 2007 at 4:32 pm

My younger brother sent me a WW2 vintage Olean K-Bar with USN on the flip side rather than USMC.This was before the days of parkerized but inspite of its obvious use for everything from cutting wire to people it's a cutlery masterpiece! Though the Corps was readily issued this fine blade. They by no means were not the only branches to have them.

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William Duck November 16, 2007 at 7:34 pm

Mine is still made in Olean,N.Y. 14760 the Sheath is made in Mexico,But America sold us out years ago!

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William Duck November 16, 2007 at 7:40 pm

My SOG Seal 2000-S37 is the same way!At least the sheath is IMPORTED!!!!!

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Tom McKnight November 17, 2007 at 12:56 am

We Marines also know a secret about the Ka Bar that has not been mentioned.

It is, to the millimeter, precisely, 12 inches long. Can't count the number of times that stealth feature has come in handy.

Tom McKnight
Washington, DC

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carmel a. mangion (Malta ) November 17, 2007 at 8:12 am

It’s a true what you say about the knife, I all ways cary out a poket knife on me cos it’s a rescue for me. I’m in the Special Rescue Group and it is cos i without i’m fill that I’m without many in my poket. Maj. the Chev. Carmel A. Mangion (Malta)

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carmel a. mangion (M November 17, 2007 at 4:12 am

It's a true what you say about the knife, I all ways cary out a poket knife on me cos it's a rescue for me. I'm in the Special Rescue Group and it is cos i without i'm fill that I'm without many in my poket. Maj. the Chev. Carmel A. Mangion (Malta)

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Neal November 17, 2007 at 8:40 am

I like Mr. Daniels "basic philosophy" if it works for you use it. plain and simple I wish I still had my Kabar but it was lost somewhere on okinawa.

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Kevin Lewis November 17, 2007 at 11:44 am

I traded my Ka-Bar to a Dutch Marine on the island of Curacao. I don't even remember what I got for it. He's probably still laughing at this jarhead. Went to war without it in '04-'05, don't plan on making same mistake in '08. Semper Fi.

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SFC, D Grant Cheesma November 17, 2007 at 3:25 pm

Semper Fi–Get this straight, Marine, The USArmy takes a back seat to no branch. Yes, we are "Common soldiers." From the revolutionary war to-today, army troops have the highest kill rate and death rate–with and without KBar.
Yes, you should be proud of our nations great M/ Corps, but never denigrate the US-Army, in a serious manner, in my presence. 62-83,USA, (ret)-" Still serving." My three sons have all seen combat, as have I, never put down your marines, by bad mouthing or judging another branch. The army instills respect of all branches. Salute!

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Charles November 17, 2007 at 11:20 pm

You mentioned your current knife is made in Nepal, I do hope it is made by H.I.

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Ironcolonel November 18, 2007 at 1:47 am

ironmajor – when I was given my Camillus Ka-Bar, it came with the 1941 US Army Quartermaster Corps specification sheet. You see, the Army was responsible for the approval of the knife for procurment/however, the Marine Corps was the service that added it to the supply system. We in the Army don't mind doing the Research and Development work for you (where do you get your battle tanks, pistols,long arms?)–just don't take credit for buying something that someone else did the heavy lifting on! We're a joint team now so I'll see you on the battle field and won't care whose gear you are carrying-just glad to have friendly forces in the theater.

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Pilot&Ranger April 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Second point: Now…I have been to combat. Four times as a matter of fact. If you think we are somehow bad soldiers cause they called the bad guys pricks you are an even bigger idiot than I can believe. It goes against all we are raised to believe to kill another human being and to do so means you have to have some kind of anger or reason to kill that other man. To criticize a soldier because he calls the enemy a bad name who is killing his friends and innocent civilians like the sick bastards in the Mahdi Army were doing at that time makes you a complete and unparalleled idiot. I earned my citizienship burying my friends and Iraqi partners while you sit here as a troll on a blog. So shut the f&% up until you saddle up and get yourself in combat and have to explain to one of your soldiers wives how her husband died in a crappy desert 6000 miles from home.

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CMSgt Red Bear (Ret) November 18, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Re: Ironmajor. Into RVN, 1964, U.S.A.F.(marked)Air Commando Squadron issued Ka-Bar, mission based Phan Rang area. Still wear it everyday. Also, have personal knowledge of U.S. Army special ops (LRPs)issued Ka-Bar.

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CMSgt Red Bear (Ret) November 18, 2007 at 11:00 am

Re: Ironmajor. Into RVN, 1964, U.S.A.F.(marked)Air Commando Squadron issued Ka-Bar, mission based Phan Rang area. Still wear it everyday. Also, have personal knowledge of U.S. Army special ops (LRPs)issued Ka-Bar.

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Dennis Depner November 18, 2007 at 12:43 pm
eddie phillips November 19, 2007 at 3:46 am

Mr cheeseman……though we are part of the same fighting force…..and appreciate….the sacrifices we all have made for this country…..marine core….is the best of the best ……..so I'm sorry but u are going to have to take the back seat on this one……..solider

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JErry Feldner November 19, 2007 at 4:31 am

I got my KaBar in Vietnam from the owner of the company. If anybody knew to whom he was selling it would have been him. Didn't matter. He gave knives to anybody who wanted one, Marine, Army, AF, even the Navy. As an Army retiree, I look fondly back on my last 8 months in RVN when I kept the knife with me 24 hours a day and then wore it home. I still have it.

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Stu Ritterman November 19, 2007 at 5:51 am

The KaBar throws well, but if you hit anything hard, the handle comes apart like a Tootsy Roll. Give me a Cold Steel Tonto anytime.

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Thomas Watson November 21, 2007 at 11:26 am

Faux Pas!? It's a TOOL! I am a Marine, but I swear if I was sitting next to a Soldier or Sailor or Airman, if they asked
me for water, they'ed get it. The same goes for the tools. I was issued all sorts of gear with Army Emblems all over 'em, and I didn't hear one peep out of anyone. It should be reciprocal for all services. The idea boils down to one thing – Getting thejob DONE! I still have my Grandfather's
KAbar, the one with hash marks on the sheath, and I can't imagine anyone being told to give such a thing up.

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SMC November 22, 2007 at 7:31 pm

To all this may concern. I have,in the past, purchased a k-Bar for personal and service duty use. I no longer hold this unit do to it disappearing all of a sudden after using in the presence of a Vietnam vet,who made his comment of" nice knife"". The disappearance of, came after his death from the cancer of agent orange. I was, at the time, in the National Guard , "coming down" from my active duty service in the US Army. I too have a strong sense of pride in my service to country as do those in the Marine Corp. There are friends of the past and present who served in the Corp. I have the upmost respect for them as they I.My oldest nephew is a Marine as well. I am US Para trooper and always will be. Presently I am 38 years old and can without a doubt,to this day, make it through Marine boot camp! Don't dog us/me just because we are not "a Marine". My star of decoration,lies on the chest of that fallen soldier who rests eternally. Good men (and women) have died for this country (and in the present) and regardless of branch of service, deserve to be shown respect. I have survived my war to live on. The inner guilt of those who parish so young weighs heavily on me and I know that I am not the only one out there who feels this way. A Soldier,Sailor,Airman,Marine or Coast Guard:"WE ARE THE WILLING, DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE UNGRATEFUL.BECAUSE THE NEEDS OF THE MANY OUTWEIGH THE NEEDS OF THE FEW,SO THAT ALL MANKIND CAN BE FREE."- From the walls in the halls of AIRBORNE. HOOAH!! Who cares who wears the knife, just make sure you USE it when the time comes!!

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Lyncster November 23, 2007 at 4:39 pm

During my time in Nam… I carried 2 things no matter what: A k-bar and a Ak-47, My normal weapon was a Macmillian-50cal, but I carried a 44 magnum Ruger as my last ditch weapon. But, it the k-bar that brought me home alive, badly injured, but my k-bar ultimately saved my life and brought me home alive. I worked special ops, but carried only the best… Ooh Yah!

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John November 24, 2007 at 1:28 pm

I bought mine at a flea market about 10 years ago for 5 dollars. I felt kind of guilty paying so little, but it didn't stop me. ;) Best investment I evr made. It now sits on display in my USMC display.

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David Devine November 24, 2007 at 5:51 pm

I was issued a "survival knife" while in the Coast Guard in the 90's. My house was broken into and of my knife collection, the survival knife was the only one missing. It looked liked the k-bar, but we dyed the handle black to match the gun leather we wore for boardings.

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Mac McNeil December 14, 2007 at 1:14 pm

I come from a MC family (and educated by former, retired and reserve Marines) – I saw KA-BARs all over the place, and used them often. But I didn't own one – Dad said when I was ready I would receive one.
While on leave after boot camp, I was swimming in a river near home. We decided to rest and sun on an island and I found a KA-BAR partially buried in the sand. The blade had some surface rust (buffed off) and the sheath was rotted away. The stacked leather handle was intact, and after making another sheath (thanks to the fine people at Tandy Leather, who showed me the skills needed) I wore that knife in my non-issue sheath for my career, and still wear it when I go into the field. The only comment I ever got on th sheath was a request from a senior staff NCO to make him one. He still uses it too… DON'T BUY CRAP. Find a KA-BAR and USE IT. The Fairbairn is a great up-close people-killer, but it breaks when used to pry. I personally prefer the Kukri (have one forged from tool steel) for the fore-end weight and ability to slash through bone, if possible a close-in fight could occur. The weight makes it tough to comfortably carry with LBE, but I secured it between my shoulder blades with the handle on my strong side. Easy to access and out of the way. There is NO fighting man OR woman who should be without a serviceable knife. Sexism has no place in our world. Anybody else remember that some of the best snipers
in the world were WOMEN? Ask Dr. Ruth – she shot for the Israelis. So don't tell women they can't do it. But we in America don't often look at women as warriors.

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Mac McNeil December 14, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Ironmajor: I have to weigh in here: the KA-BAR was tested at Natick Labs in Natick MA, among other testing sites. Natick is primarily operated by the US ARMY, which has tested a great deal of the equipment that ultimately found its' way into the hands of good Marines. Check your history – the Navy hated to waste equipment on Marines (back in the days when USMC was the poor-stepchild of the Navy Department)… did you know that the Mohawk was jointly tested by the Army AND the Marine Corps? That the Army was able to arm the Mohawk BECAUSE the MARINES recommended hardpoints suitable for fuel, rockets and guns? The Garand was looked down on as a 'Mickey Mouse piece of sh**' in the Corps except for several Marines kept putting their money on the line, and proved it better than the Springfield (HERESY)… The common scuttlebutt about inter-service rivalry is true, but when it comes to fighting, nobody turns down good gear, no matter who had it 'first'.

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Mike Sinclair December 28, 2007 at 3:51 am

I bought one off of a fellow Marine who wanted beer money. I paid probably ten bucks. I was infantry in Lejeune. I got out in 85. One day. a friend from a prior unit came by and asked to borrow it for the field. I knew I would never see it again. I lay in bed sometimes and the thought will just pop up in my head. Where the hell is Adams with my KBar!

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Dan Daley December 28, 2007 at 4:13 am

Not to bust chops but a few posts above, Lyncster above says he carried an AK in Nam but his standard issue was a McMillan 50 cal. I never knew they made them then. As a veteran with an few campaign medals, over the years, there are a few key words that you pick up when someone is full of baloney. I never challenge them because I feel bad for them. Usually the fakes talk about "special Ops" and silly things; perhaps like appearing somewhat convoluted as to where their basic training was. If I am wrong, I apologize. Semper Fi!

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Dan Daley December 28, 2007 at 4:13 am

Not to bust chops but a few posts above, Lyncster above says he carried an AK in Nam but his standard issue was a McMillan 50 cal. I never knew they made them then. As a veteran with an few campaign medals, over the years, there are a few key words that you pick up when someone is full of baloney. I never challenge them because I feel bad for them. Usually the fakes talk about "special Ops" and silly things; perhaps like appearing somewhat convoluted as to where their basic training was. If I am wrong, I apologize. Semper Fi!

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MICHAEL COLE March 28, 2008 at 6:33 am

I BOUGHT A RARE K-BAR IN THE NINETIES AND LOST IT IN THE EVERGLADES MANGROVE SWAMPS OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA I CAN NOT FIND ANY PAPERWORK AND NEVER GOT A RESPONSE FROM THE COMPANY IT IS A REGULAR 7 INCH SHEATH KNIFE WITH AN ADDED KNUCKLEGUARD MADE OF PARKERIZED STEEL I STUCK DEER,AND RAZORBACKS WITH THE KNIFE ANY HELP FINDING MAKE,MODEL,COST WOULD BE APPRIECIATED.IT WAS A GOOD STICKER KNIFE AND SKINNER.

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Sean Lazio April 3, 2008 at 3:47 pm

I currently own a KA-Bar knife, bought it a few months ago from a gun show. i will be entering basic training (army) in a few months and therefore do not have any stories worth any use but i do feel relieved to hear all the greatness about the knife. the only comment i have to make is that about someone saying it should be kept in the Marine Corp and Navy. i'd like to know why you think a great and reliable knife shouldn't be owned and carried by everyone in our armed services? if my life depends on it and i have use of it then what makes it a difference as to whether i'm a marine or army soldier?

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Jason July 11, 2008 at 10:48 pm

When I went from the Army NG to the Regular Army in 1990 I showed up for my first equipment inspection with 3 knives showing. With in to or 3 minutes my Platoon SGT walked up to me looking me up and down then smiled. He said something like "nice Jewelery". "What did you pay for those knives? $300. or so.

Then he told me to keep go take them off. Sell them to the dumbest private I could find and try to get my money back. Keep your Leatherman and go buy a K-Bar. You can dig with it, chop with it, and I will teach you to fight with it. If you break it, an other $35.00, that is it." It never did break.

Best advice I ever got. It made digging easier, was the perfect size for knife brawling, and beat out the brittle bayonette we were issued. Just plain beautiful. I still have it. My son left it out all winter a few yers back and I was able to clean it up with a little elbow grease.

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Tom March 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm

They are treated equal just by being a man or woman. That’s where their rights lie. Its extra rights because if some beats up a man its assault. However, if someone beats up a gay man its hate crime. It’s still the same crime, but with different punishment.
Now here we are saying…..this group wants to serve in military as something other than a man or woman. That in itself is asking for extra rights. Are they not already serving…..well of course they are. So their choice is asking for extra rights, because they want to serve differently. And if it’s not different then why bring it up.
The things I am saying are mostly argumentative, but there are some real concerns. I don’t feel like the Military is the place for this battle. If you don’t like it, don’t join. It’s a volunteer program. And if you’re not in the military or haven’t served it none of your business, gay or not.

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