The original Ka-bar knife is a legendary fighting weapon that is still admired by many. But suppose you don’t want a Hollywood-inspired killing tool but a practical knife that’s good for hunting trips.
Is a KA-bar a good hunting knife?
The original Ka-bar is a combat knife that’s designed for use in a military environment. It isn’t designed for hunting-specific tasks like skinning, field-dressing, or boning. In fact, the long blade and heavy-duty design of the Ka-bar don’t make it a practical choice for hunters.
Now, considering the reputation of the Ka-bar, this may sound baffling.
So, let’s take a closer look at the various technical features to understand why the Ka-bar isn’t the best choice for hunters.
How to Choose a Hunting Knife?
To start with, let’s understand the important points that you need to keep in mind while picking a hunting knife. Then we can relate the features with the ones in the Ka-bar.
Honestly, with a wide variety of hunting knives in the market, it’s difficult to establish the exact design features that are needed. But some of the main points are listed below.
- The length of the blade depends on the type of game you will be hunting. For birds, squirrels, and deer a blade length of 4 to 5 inches is good enough. If you’re hunting elk, a large and sturdier blade may be necessary. However, a large blade can be difficult to handle during a hunting trip.
- Folding blade knives are compact and easy to use. They are also good for a one-handed opening and are a more practical choice for hunters. However, fixed blade knives are stronger and easier to clean.
- A drop-point hunting knife with a thick blade is a good choice for skinning. A knife with a gut hook is also effective for field-dressing big game.
- While wood and leather handles are functional, they lack durability. Also, they can be difficult to grip when wet with blood or water. Synthetic materials like ABS or Zytel are a better option.
- When it comes to the blade material, high-carbon stainless steel is the best choice in terms of edge retention and toughness. The high-end designs also contain high-vanadium steel.
Specifications of the Traditional Ka-bar Knife
The full-size USMC Ka-bar knife is still one of the most popular knives in the market even decades after it was introduced. The high-quality design and performance make this a durable and rugged choice as a combat knife.
The entire design of the Ka-bar is marked by the top-notch fit and finish. The classic fixed blade design looks awe-inspiring and the genuine leather sheath adds to the overall aesthetics.
The 7-inch blade is made from 1095 Cro-Van steel and offers excellent durability. The material also holds an edge for long periods. The clip point blade is super sharp with a 20-degree blade angle. Even with the long blade, the knife weighs around 0.7 pounds.
If you want a touch blade, the Ka-bar is one of the best out there. Also, the clip point makes it an excellent slicer. The penetration ability is also good. In addition, the blade comes with a “flat grind” that makes it thicker at the edges and more durable. The leather handle offers a good grip and feels comfortable.
- The Ka-bar comes with a heritage that makes it special for any knife owner.
- A strong blade that’s an effective slicer. It’s good for slicing meat.
- The high-quality material allows the blade to stay sharp for long periods.
- The weight is nicely balanced. This makes it a good knife for quick moves.
- The combination of the leather handle and the leather grip offers a classic look.
- It offers good value for money.
- With an overall length of 11.875 inches, the knife isn’t easy to carry around.
- The leather handle of the traditional model isn’t the most durable choice for outdoor use. Thankfully, there’s a Kraton-handled version of the Ka-bar that’s more durable.
- The Ka-bar comes with a partial tang or narrow tang that tapers down after the blade. That makes it less hardy than full-tang knives.
Is the KA-BAR a Good Hunting Knife?
Now that you have gone through the features of the Ka-bar, let’s point out a few factors that make it unsuitable for hunters.
- Being almost a foot in length, the Ka-bar can be too long for most hunters. This makes it difficult to use on smaller games. This also makes it difficult to carry in a backpack. On the whole, it’s not a slick knife.
- The leather handle can deteriorate in wet conditions. Also, some users find the oval shape of the handle not ideal for a comfortable grip.
- The fine tip lacks tip strength and the clip point blade isn’t the best choice for gutting wild game.
- If you want to use your hunting knife as a utility knife as well, the Ka-bar isn’t the best choice. It’s not the right knife for actions like battoning.
- The sheath doesn’t come with a tactical MOLLE webbing. This doesn’t allow you to attach it to your backpack or carry it close to your body.
Overall. If you need a knife for your bug-out bag or for self-defense, the Ka-bar is an excellent option. But when it comes to hunting, it just doesn’t have the right features.
If we look back at history, the Ka-bar is strong enough to kill a Kodiak bear. But as a hunter, I would prefer using a gun. So, the features that make it a great fighting knife don’t necessarily make it great for hunting.
Quite simply, the Ka-bar lacks the necessary refinements that many modern hunting knives have.
Make no mistake about it.
The Ka-bar is a great fighting/utility knife. Truth is, it’s the most respected fixed blade knife ever made.
But it isn’t designed to be used for hunting. There are quite a few hunting knives in the market that offers better performance than the Ka-bar.
That said, choosing the right hunting knife is more of a personal preference. The Ka-bar is good for cutting and slicing action. If you love the design, you can use it for hunting trips, even though it will not excel at all the tasks.
OUR RECOMMENDED TACTICAL GEAR LIST:
- Best Health and Fitness Tracker, Whoop. Get 1 Month Free: See it here!
- EDC Assisted Opening knife we can’t live without: See it here!
- Best EDC Concealed Carry Pistol: See it here!
- Extreme Performance Morning Dink: See it here!
- Best 3D Printer For Gun Parts and Accessories: See it here!
- Our Top Rated EDC Flashlight: See it here!
- AR Red Dot Sight We Can’t Live Without: See it here!
- Best Handgun Safe For Quick Access: See it here!
- Top Wireless Security Camera For Home Security: See it here!
- The Range Bag You’ve Always Been Looking For: See it here!
- CIA Approved Sharp Shooting Course: See it here!