Due to the popularity of the fixed blade Ka-Bar and the clamor for a folding variation, the folding Ka-Bar Mule was designed. It’s almost as tough as the fixed blade version and looks just as menacing. The slight loss of durability is not really an issue here. It is a folder for one thing, and second, the fixed blade Ka-Bar is tougher than a nail (not just as tough as one). This Ka-Bar Mule review will talk about the Ka-Bar company, the features, and benefits of this knife, as well as what reviewers have stated.
What is Ka-Bar?
Ka-Bar has been making quality knives—though it began by manufacturing cutlery—since the 1800s. Fast forward to today and you have a legendary manufacturer of knives that are utilized for home use, outdoors, and tactical applications among others. In fact, Ka-Bar arguably set the standard for elite military knives as well as survival knives.
Salient Features of the Ka-Bar Mule Folder
The blade uses AUS 8A Stainless Steel that is treated via cutting-edge technology. The grip uses Zytel with rubberized highlights. The locking mechanism is Lockback, meaning it is located at the back for safety. This means the knife only closes on demand, not by mistake or accident. When opened, the total length is 9 1/8″. The blade alone is 3 7/8″ long. It weighs .45 pounds. As such, this is a massive and hefty folding knife.
Experts like the fact that it’s a huge folding knife. This is not really meant as a pocket knife. It is better strapped on with a sheath. The finish is superb. The handle is conservatively designed but well thought out. This allows for maximum grip. The locking mechanism and placement are simple but tough and effective. Simply put, this is not a sissy folding knife; it’s old school and meant for serious work.
Frankly speaking, there is no serious fault and nothing to gripe about when it comes to the knife itself. It is everything you expect for Ka-Bar and more based on consumer reviews. But what’s the deal with the nylon sheath? Granted, it’s free and easy to replace but it actually looks hideous.
The blade itself is well-designed, thick, and huge! This is more of an outdoors folding knife, not a mail cutter like some other folders. The matte black finish is well-made and is thick enough to withstand abuse.
The cutting edge is razor-sharp. In fact, most consumers say this is probably the sharpest knife they have unboxed. This sharpness lasts even with the most grueling abuse.
The handle design and grip are sublime. There is none of that “uber” macho look that is more for show rather than utilitarian use. The zombie folder is a particular favorite for emergency and first aid kits. This is due to its zombie (neon) green handle that is highly visible.
However, it’s not all praise and accolades. Granted, the basic design, utility, durability, and sharpness are above question, but what is the use of advertising that Ka-Bar is a US based company if you stamp your blade “Made in Taiwan?” There are also G10 versions that are made in China. So be especially careful when buying them. You want the one made and marked “made in Taiwan.”
Like most experts, consumers simply cannot understand why Ka-Bar allowed a poor-quality sheath to come with the knife (The sheath is made in China in case you’re curious.). The author, however, surmises that Ka-Bar put everything into the knife itself. Replacing the horrible sheath is not really a problem.
Overall, the author gives the Ka-Bar Mule a rating of 4.5 out of 5. It would have been a perfect score. However, the author actually has one of these knives and he gets chided by friends that his genuine Ka-Bar is imitation because it’s stamped “made in Taiwan.” That warrants the .5 deduction in the score.