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Ka-Bar USMC Review

Ka-Bar USMC Review

A survival knife is an essential tool for every camper, hunter, hiker, sports enthusiast, soldier, or park or forest ranger. This tool serves many purposes whenever a person is in the wilderness. Few of those uses are woodcutting, skinning, trapping, and self-defense. When everything goes wrong and an individual is stuck in a deserted location, he will need to make use of a survival knife to stay alive, and in case he forgot to bring one or the one he has is poorly made, his survival rate becomes very slim. Anyway, if you want to know more, check the Ka-Bar USMC (United States Marine Corps) review below.


KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife

For your information, the Ka-Bar is one of the most popular, historical, and reliable survival knives in the world. The first manufacturer of this knife was Union Cutlery Co., which is now named KA-BAR Knives, Inc.

Brief History

During the war, the US Marines had a rough time with their military issue knives. The knives they were using were excellent weapons, but they were unreliable survivable tools and were also expensive to manufacture. Due to that, the Marines worked with Union Cutlery, Inc. to develop an inexpensive survival knife that can work both as a field tool and as a hand-to-hand combat weapon. After a few years, the Ka-Bar USMC survival knife was developed.


The Ka-Bar USMC survival knife does not boast many unique features. However, it excels in reliability. Nevertheless, simple functions were added to the original knife design.

  • Hardened Leather Handle: provides good grip to its users. Even though it does not have finger contours, the handle makes the knife versatile. Its users can hold this knife in any position at any time with ease.
  • Full Tang Build: assures the users that this knife is made for heavy-duty work. It also provides the user with a nice feel to the knife.
  • Seven-Inch Blade: Short enough to be lightweight, long enough to chop wood and endure batoning. By the way, the knife weighs a pound.
  • Sharpened Blade: It is capable of slicing paper with no effort. It can even swiftly cut a plastic bottle in half. Its blade’s point can penetrate hard plastic.
  • Blade Indentation near the Spine: helps its users to thrust the game animal, combat and hunting wise. Blood will flow through it, and this makes it possible for less messy stabs.
  • Simplistic Leather Sheath: is provided with the knife when bought. It does not have any complicated locks or anything. The leather is nicely strewn, and it has a cool-looking globe, eagle, and anchor—the US Marine Corps logo—embossed on it. Aside from that, it has a sturdy belt loop, and the button lock at the end of sheath secures the knife tightly.
  • Dripping Hole in Leather Sheath: allows liquid to pass through it when the blade is wet. That effectively dries the sheath and knife faster. Due to that, mold formation inside the sheath is not very likely.
  • Serrated Edge: The blade design is usually simplistic, but some variations of the knife have serrations on it.

Feedback from Users

This knife is well-received by people. They commend this knife to all survival enthusiasts and to first-time campers and hunters as well. According to them, the Ka-Bar USMC is the most-well-rounded knife in the market. Due to its reliability, it will become everybody’s lifesaver when he or she gets into a very sticky situation in the wilderness.


It deserves a 5 out of 5 rating. However, just to be reserved about its score, it will be provided with a 4.5 out of 5. Definitely, the Ka-Bar USMC is a must buy, either as a tool or a collector’s item.


  1. The groove next to the spine is referred to as a ‘fuller’ and it is not for blood to flow out of. A fuller is forged in during the manufacturing process as a means of reducing weight without sacrificing strength. If you have any doubts go to the factory website and or actually learn something about knife nomenclature.

    • I find it difficult to believe that the myth of the “blood groove” still exists. It’s a fuller and has nothing to do with blood. Also, it should be obvious to anyone who knows the basics of metallurgy that it doesn’t matter how it’s formed into the blade, forge, machine work, or other means would be fine. The many KABAR knives that I’ve owned, including a few dating from WW2 have all had machined fullers.

      By the way, there is no suction when a knife is withdrawn from the body of an animal, two or four legged.

      • My past experience is not relevant. I highly doubt that you know several people who would testify that there is suction upon the withdrawal of a blade from a human body. And it is not well documented because it is false. In real life soft body tissue simply closes behind as the blade is withdrawn, thus there is no suction. The suction issue was created by the imagination of skilled fiction writers. It simply doesn’t happen in real life. The sole purpose of the so-called blood groove is to lighten the blade and improve blade balance, primarily seen on fighting knives. It is not to relieve any imaginary suction, nor is it to let blood flow out. It is called a fuller. That is the proper name. Calling it a blood groove shows newbie ignorance akin to using the term “clip” in place of magazine in regards to firearms.

        • I know it is called a fuller. I’ve never referred to it as a blood groove. You are not wrong, it’s main purpose is to reduce weight without sacrificing strength, while also making the entire thing more balanced. And I do know people who have gotten in hand to hand combat with edged weapons, from multiple different armed forces. Two in particular who I’ve probably spent the most time with were from Laos. They eventually fled the country as refugees, but began fighting the communist regime prior to that. One of them was telling me that it can sometimes be a bit difficult to withdraw a blade due to suction, or because it gets stuck in a bone or wedged between ribs, which is a completely different story. I’ve also heard the same thing in my past years of training with edged weapons. I’m not saying once you jab it in you’ve got to put your foot up on the body to help you pull it out, simply that there can be a bit of force working against you. This can be bothersome when trying to make quick work of an opponent and when only half seconds can mean life or death. Maybe they were lying, but I’m simply stating what I’ve been told from people whom I believed to be experienced. Fortunately I’ve never been in a situation that quite escalated to the point that I had to put any training to use and actually shove a blade into somebody, but at the end of the day I hope you are correct. That would actually ease my mind a bit. Your past experience is relevant actually, because it would determine whether or not I know this to be true or not. It would help in my constant training and research actually.

  2. I’ve had one of these for years. I’ve used it for just about everything. It also works well as a bush knife, so I’ve discovered in my ownership. It’s needed a few re-sharpenings, however it’s well worth it considering you can pick one up in the $100 range.

    • in this case I think he doesn’t want to go all in. a little wiggle room maybe to provide a space to back into if everybody doesn’t agree with his opinion. if somebody finds a flaw he can say he didn’t declare it perfect, that is, 5 of 5, just almost perfect.

  3. This knife was my first knife bought in 1983 since I bought one in 1972 as a kid. I was attracted by its history and reviews. I used only it (and my Al-Mar eagle 1005) until maybe 2008. It is a good knife and a good buy. Easy to use. Excellent heat treatment. Easy to maintained. Easy to abuse (once I jabbed it to a cliff wall in a jungle to climb up) My leather hilt rotted away when I misplaced it (humid tropical climate and under bed). Now the tang is wrapped in nylon lines. Never thought I need another blade until mybe 2008 when I realized that there are things other type of knives do better. But that is actually an excuse to buy more knives. 🙂 The leather sheath is now 5/10 and its belt loop need repair. I have forgotten about it until now. I am sending it to a custom bladesmith to refurbish. This knife will outlast me. Tq.

  4. Great knife got it for Christmas and I love it. I haven’t had a chance to use that much yet, but I won’t use a good knife for chopping. It’s a knife not a machete or axe


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