When one has been used in World War II, you know that it must be made with the utmost precision and can really get the job done.
While wars are never a good thing, it definitely catapulted KA-BAR into the spotlight as one of the most reliable manufacturers in the world.
The Full-size USMC Knife is completely at the forefront of every survivalist’s list, but is it worth your money?
Ka-Bar – The Famous & Reliable Manufacturer of Military Grade Products
The proud maker of military blades, KA-BAR has been around for over a century. In fact, estimates put the United States cutlery industry starting in 1800. Within a 100 years, this company was already selling their knives to the public.
While the company is fully stated as starting in 1898, records show that the beginnings of the brand started in 1897. Over a century’s worth of experience has gone into the creation of their products, which gives the company the experience to make the most functional knives in the industry.
My Analysis of 4 Core Features of USMC KA-BAR
1. Clip Shaped 7″ Blade with Straight Edge
The full length of this model is 11-7/8”. The blade, however, is 7” which is far longer than the average. The features of the blade are also very impressive:
- Length – 7”
- Edge angle – 20 degrees
- Metal – 1095 Cro-Van Steel
- Thickness – .165”
It is extremely sharp and features a clip shape. What is more, its HRC, or hardness as seen on the Rockwell scale, is 56 – 58. What does this mean? This is a very hard steel that is of the utmost quality.
2. Sturdy Full Tang
If you have been reading this review, you probably have guessed that a knife of this prestige would not be anything less than full tang.
3. Kraton Handle with Grooves for Better Grip
The handle is very comfortable and is made out of Kraton R. This is a leather material, but it feels more like plastic than anything else. The grooves found within it allow it to be grasped with ease.
Its thickness is perfect for people with average to large hands, but users with smaller hands may find the end a bit bulky. Personally, this is not a flaw by any means because you need to maintain a sturdy grip at all times.
4. Brown Leather Sheath with Belt Clip
Many retailers forget to mention that a sheath is included, but fear not, a beautiful leather version is always included with the purchase. There is nothing fancy to see here, but some key features or components that need to be mentioned are:
- Brown leather material
- USMC stamp
- Belt clip
This is where the one minor fault is seen with this knife. While the sheath is great, the belt clip seems to wiggle quite a bit when running. This may be caused by its large size and light weight.
Field Test & Effectiveness in Survival Uses
Always have these!
The blade of the knife is extremely sharp. In fact, the metal holds the sharpness for quite some time and it takes a lot of time to really dull its edge. This is great news for anyone planning a long camping trip or anyone that simply doesn’t want a high-maintenance blade.
As far as effectiveness goes, users will find that this model is ideal for:
- Killing rodents and pests.
- Up-close hunting.
- Skinning animals or fish.
- Holding open doors.
While its main function is safety, it can make it through a variety of wood and branches. You can use it to:
- Shave wood chips.
- Cut tinder.
- Rip through weeds or brush.
- Make clearings.
- Cut moderately thick branches (batoning).
5 Pros vs. 3 Cons
- 7” Length.
- Full tang blade.
- Reputation in the field.
- Built to last.
- Durable steel.
- The blade needs to be sharpened upon purchase.
- The sheath is rather lackluster but is easily replaced.
- The handle seems flimsy, but it gets the job done.
Official Price of $123.47 & Potential Discounts
Prices for this model are very low. In fact, you can find this straight edge knife in a variety of online stores with a cost of $65 – $75. You can check out Amazon.com if they offer even better deals or not!
My Final Assessment for Survival Situations – Worth It or Not?
The USMC KA-BAR Black Knife is legendary. It has been known to save tens of thousands of lives and has been used extensively over the past 60 years. You will not find a knife of this caliber in the entire world. When it comes to personal safety and quality, look no further.
When you are setting up camp or stuck outside, this model will allow you to kill and skin dinner, cut moderately sized pieces of wood to use as tinder and make a clear passage through the thickest of roots and weeds. While not a hatchet, this is perfect for the moderate-hard work needed to survive in a camp.
For the low price and the reputation and functionality of one of the sharpest blades I have ever held, this one is another must-have!