Jan 29 2014

Knife Review – KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife

Survival Knife Review – KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife.KA-BAR survival knife

Firstly, I have to say, that without doubt, this is my No:1 favorite survival knife of all time – a strong statement to make right at the start but the KA-BAR has never let me down, anytime anywhere, any job.

The KA-BAR US Marine Corps Fighting Knife has always been made in the USA and still is to this day.

old photo of ka bar knife

The knife was developed and made during WWII, and was then introduced to the US Forces around 1942.

It was a firm favourite with the military, however, it was no longer issued to the military after the end of WWII. But was definitely still used in combat in the Korean, Vietnam, and the Gulf War, and remains a favourite amongst hunters and survivalists today.

In this review I want to cover why this knife is always ranked up with all the top knives and what makes it so good.



KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife


  • Weight: 0.70 pounds
  • Blade length: 7 inches
  • Overall length: 11 7/8 inches
  • Shape: Clip
  • Stamp: USMC
  • Edge angle: 20 degrees
  • Steel: 1095 Cro-Van
  • Grind: Flat
  • Handle material: Leather

The KA-BAR is a full tang knife that is extremely tough. The leather handle rings are compressed down through the tang, then fixed in position using the pommel end cap.

The handle has the distinctive rings machined onto it before its coated in a waterproof resin lacquer that hardens to give the handle its solid feel.

The blade is a full grind 7″ straight edge that will hold its edge for a very long time before needing any attention which makes this knife so perfect for any wilderness survival situation. I have found that by using the 1095 cro-van steel you really don’t need any specialized method to resharpen the blade – no specialized diamond stones or equipment needed – I have even been able to put a new edge on mine using a paving stone.. !

The actual blade shape of the KA-BAR  is extremely well finished – a good sharp point, with a nice curve, or belly, that means you can slice, skin and dress just about any kill with ease.

I find the straight portion of the blade good enough for all the other ‘normal’ survival skills you need when in the wilderness – as well as for personal protection, namely,  thrusting and slashing – all second nature actions when used in a combat situation. It will batton timber with ease as well as allow you to choke down and produce some fine bushcraft skills.

The KA-BAR is definitely not new technology, but it’s one hell of a well made tool using traditional hand crafted methods and, of course, 1095 cro-van steel. Making this knife function beautifully as a full on survival knife that’s built to stand up to any amount of abuse you can throw at it.!


My KA-BARhas served me well for many years and is always with me as part of my survival pack whenever I am out in the wilderness.