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KA-BAR Fighting/Utility USMC Knife Review: Too Old?

The KA-BAR Fighting/Utility USMC Knife has been around since WWII, and the big question is can it still hold its own in this new era for specialty blades or it is too old? This knife is not the best at any one thing, but it is a Jack of all trades.

Pro- price, quality, options in blade & handle styles.

Cons- no lanyard whole, large but thin guard.

29 replies on “KA-BAR Fighting/Utility USMC Knife Review: Too Old?”

I was a tunnel rat in Vietnam usmc.my kabar and I have become one.i have a very large collection of knives but nothing has ever replaced my kabar as my go to knife.

A Mora for a few dollars can do the same things. You just pay the price here for the name.

i bought this and it is my favorite multi purpose fixed blade i have. when i first got it it looked so awesome and i wanted that shiny look for the handle so i used vegatable oil and it ruined the finish. it made me feel dumb for using that and accidently ruining the protective coating on the leather washers. i now want to get the rubber handle version too. this is a great knife. i do wish the sheath had a smaller loop so it doesnt move so much when hiking but nonetheless it gets the job done.

My grandfather who was a ww2 vet would be rolling over in his grave get a fuckin $10 hatchet from Walmart not a $70 piece of history silly boy

Sir would u stop mugging me please An thanks I need to put my extra small gloves on so I have the traction to stab you in the throat

Ex Australian army here. We all brought K-Bars, sure there's better knives for skinning and there's lighter tactical knives and we couldn't equip them to our Augs for bayonet's… But as knives go, why reinvent the wheel? Best all round blade as it goes.

The K-Bar is a good serviceable mass issue military grade knife.
There are better, newer, designs out here but as an issue knife it is adequate and works.
It needs a serrated half blade down near the hilt.

My navy one lasted me on both deployments I went on and still is my every day carry knife. I have it in my car at all times and when I’m out camping or hiking I keep it on me at all times. Even my sheath is special to me because I carved just designs and stuff into the leather while I was in. Love my ka-bar

I got mine back in the early 70s when I was stationed on Guam. Still have her, still love her. Back then, because of the humidity, we would fill an empty bean can with neatsfoot oil and set the knife, handle down into the oil. We'd let it soak a few weeks. After that, all she would need was a quick dunk in the neats foot every 6 months to a year. Been doing this since 1973 and she's still going strong.

I got my first one from my dad who was a WWII veteran USMC. The one he used at Sipan happened to follow him back to the states so that one is 76 years old. I got a new one at Camp Pendleton BX about 3 years ago. I like them both.

It's a Kabar! Why would you baton wood with a Kabar?!? You're in the woods!! There are lots of branches that can be used as kindling!! I bet you damaged the false edge. What is wrong with you people???

i carry my K-bar daily and have used it hundreds of ways, i'm on my 4th. only one ever broke on me, snapped off the tip whilst prying off a car door panel.

I love the KaBar..my favorite is the Big Brother. Just holding it in your hand will increase your testosterone levels, lol. A real beast..looks like what you would get if you bred a BK9 with a USMC fighting issue..the offspring would be the Big Brother.

In 1967 I spent 6 weeks at Camp Pendleton in California in jungle warfare, which is what Marines were sent to prior to being sent to Vietnam. Ironic that the terrain around Camp Pendleton was desert, and not jungle. Go figure. The Corps did not issue Kabars to us, but they did allow individual Marines to buy their own Kabar. Part of the training was a 4-day wilderness survival course. They starved us for 2 days, then re!eased us to traverse a 40 mile distance to a huge mountain we could see on the horizon. We were paired off, and the day we were released to head for our destination, my partner and I caught and cooked up a 6-foot Rattle Snake. I used my Kabar to butcher the snake. How did we kill it? With blanks from our M-14 rifles. At short distances, the blanks were lethal to even humans. The snake was delicious. The Kabar was a whole lot better than our M-14 bayonets at skinning the snake. I still have that Kabar, and it is in the nightstand next to my bed. I never killed another human being with it, thank God.

It’s funny you mentioned defending yourself against an animal. According to Ka-Bar, way back when the company had just started, they received a letter from a trapper (I think) that said he had to use his knife to “kill a bear” that attacked him. But, some of the letters were smudged. The only letters in that statement (kill a bear) that were clearly visible were K, A, B, A, R.

And so, Ka-Bar was born. LOL….I don’t know if that’s actually true, but it’s a good story!

For me, this is just one of those iconic knives I had to get. I have plenty of other knives I know are more resilient, so my Ka-Bar gets little use. But, if by some freak occurrence, I found myself in a survival or zombie apocalypse situation, and had only my Ka-Bar, I’d be OK with that. If it’s used the way it was meant to be used, it won’t fail, and it will probably outlive it’s owner, and it’s owners grandchildren.

I got my original (actually made by Camillus) in 1969 while in Vietnam in trade with a South Vietnamese soldier for a case of beer. I used it all 20 years in the Army and it is still razor sharp. It is a WW II issue as far as I know and has the name "BARD" carved on the front of the scabbard, which is dark brown and I kept it "spit-shined." I retired it a couple of years ago for a "new" K-BAR.

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