I can't really speak for anyone else, but I am really into Ka-Bar knives for their versatility and legendary combat record. When I think of a fighting knife, or a combat knife, I imagine the leather handle Ka-Bar knives that Marines had strapped to their web belts in WW2. Ka-Bar has a pretty extensive line of knives that take after the original design, but with some minor improvements or compromises. The Ka-Bar Fighter knife is a knife that caught my eye right away when I saw it in a knife cabinet, and I had to have it. Now the question is whether the knife actually has any practical uses behind it.
The Fighter knife is undoubtedly a vicious looking knife. It comes in a bit heavier than a standard Ka-Bar, and about a half inch longer in the blade. There are other parts on the knife that are a bit bigger, such as the guard.
The blade on the Fighter, compared to a standard Ka-Bar blade, seems to not maintain its' thickness throughout the length of the blade. The spine is thinner and I just don't feel that the blade is designed to be as tough as the original Ka-Bar utility knives. Some people may think that as a fighting knife, the goal isn't overall durability but the ability to hack, smash, slash, reach, and stab. That is fine and all, but I think that big fighting knives would naturally be made a little better and more durable for continued fighting.
During my testing for this knife, I wanted to test it's ability to perform as a military service knife. That means I used the butt cap to hammer a nail into a 2x6, stabbed through tires several times, used the serrations to saw away at rubber tires, and hacked away at a 2x6 to see how well it works in all these areas. So how did it do?
First thing I will cover is how well the butt cap did. Well, it sucked to hammer a nail with the butt of the knife...DUH. But it worked okay, considering the fact that I was able to get the 1 1/2" nail most of the way into the wood before I was satisfied and done doing my caveman test. This isn't an unrealistic use for the knife since I used a knife to hammer away at rocks and to hammer tent stakes out on field ops. The finish came off of the cap some, but it did okay. Not gonna replace a good hammer anytime soon, though.
The serrations on the blade are rounded nicely, which seems to help prevent them from snagging. I did some sawing on cardboard, tires, and wood, only to find my original reason for disliking serrations to be consistent. They did not do much to help the cutting along. They are pretty much only good for cutting your fingernails.
The knife is pretty well suited for hacking away at wood or slashing. The weight of the blade and the longer blade help with the leverage in that area. The 1095 steel holds up relatively well, and is not the easiest to sharpen, but isn't too hard.
When it comes to stabbing, this knife seemed to penetrate tires and wood pretty well. I would actually say that this knife penetrated almost as good as some of my smaller tanto knives. l think the weight of the knife kind of helps in this realm. The problem I had was that the tip of the blade did not keep very well.
On the original design of the Ka-Bar, the tip is a bit more pointed and therefore seems to stab well, and it holds its edge very well. I am not too happy that the tip is not as pointed, despite how well it works for stabbing. I just feel that this knife would be a better knife for stabbing if it had a more narrow tip.
My overall impression of this knife is that it is more intimidating than it is functional as a true fighting knife. If I needed one weapon to go outside and fight someone with, this probably wouldn't be it. I am not saying that the knife is junk, but there are a few things that bring me to this decision.
First thing that was kind of off-putting when testing this knife was how big it is on the body and in the hand. It is not too nimble and I don't feel like serrations make for a very effective cutting implement, especially when they are so low on the blade. The only good thing about this knife is the longer reach, though the reach has dubious value in this knife since the tip does not seem to perform well as maybe a tanto blade would.
Don't worry gents, I am not saying that this would not be a good fighting knife. I just feel that this knife could have been made better if it were going to be named FIGHTER. I guess I will just have to make a video and write an article on here about my definition of a fighting knife. Stay tuned for that.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.