Are you a soldier looking for a nice tactical knife to attach to your belt? Or, are you a knife enthusiast looking for a wicked fighting knife to add to your collection? Look no further. This article will discuss the top 3 best-selling fighting knives ever made. These are knives used by actual soldiers and marines in combat. The difference between these knives versus other “fighting knives” is that they are field-tested. Yes, that crazy shaped knife you’ve seen online that is labeled a combat knife is not really field tested–maybe in the designer’s fantasy world it is!
Do you want a REAL fighting knife or a poser fighting knife? Only real fighting knives are listed below.
What to Look for in a Fighting Knife
First off, you should make sure that the knife you are buying complies with uniform standards. You don’t want to buy a slick knife to find out that your First Sergeant won’t allow you to carry it. If you happened to purchase a knife that is a no-go, you can always carry it around in your pocket instead of on your belt–if no one can see it, it is OK.
A tactical knife must be black or colored in a way that reduces shine. You do not want a glossy coat or a bright color. Once again, bright colors are a no-go and you will be forced to place them in your pocket.
You can get a fixed blade or a folding blade knife but drawing a fixed blade knife is always faster than a folder. Also, since you can attach your knife to your webbing, it just makes more sense to get a fixed blade–you can get some really long fixed blades whereas folders are limited in blade length.
Many people wonder about what steel they should pick for a combat knife. You have basically three options: stainless steel, carbon steel, or a hybrid. Stainless steel is soft and dulls easily. It also allows you to sharpen it easily and it can withstand a lot of abuse without cracking. Carbon steel holds an edge for a very long time but can chip under heavy use. It also rusts much faster than stainless steel. There are also high carbon stainless steels that give you the best of both worlds. The only downside to this is that it is more costly than the other two choices.
The sheath of the knife is very important as well. A poor sheath is dangerous. You can cut yourself reaching for your knife or, even worse, lose your knife during a march. You can go for the classic leather sheath or a synthetic sheath. The leather ones are quite slick but won’t do well in high moisture climates. The synthetic sheaths are cool but the quality varies a lot. Some synthetic sheaths just suck and are basically nylon. Others are hard plastic that really adds value to the knife.
How long should a fighting knife be? It should be longer than 3 inches (the length of a pocket knife) and less than 12 inches (the length of a bowie). Longer knives are good for getting hard work done because the length gives you leverage. Smaller knives are better for detailed work.
1. Ontario 490 M9 Bayonet System
This is the classic government-issued bayonet that attaches to an M16 or M4. Anyone who has been thrown the bayonet course at basic training is familiar with this knife. However, what you may not have noticed is that the ones you use in training suck. Most are old, rusted, and dull. If you get your hands on a new M9, you will see that these knives ROCK.
Not only can you attach it to your AR-15 or Mossberg 590, you can also use the sheath as a great attachment to any MOLLE gear or your belt. It blends right in with your uniform as well.
Now, this knife was designed to be a workhorse and it is that; however, it is made of 420 stainless steel. This is good if you hand sharpen a knife once a month. The reason why the Army decided to use 420 stainless was that carbon steel is too brittle for bayonet use. Also, the sharpness doesn’t really matter for bayonetting since the primary action is stabbing, not slashing.
2. The Ka-Bar USMC Knife
This is the original Ka-Bar design that was issued since WWII. It features a 7-inch blade with a full tang leather handle. These knives have been around for ages and are respected by anyone in the military. There are stories of fathers passing on their Ka-bar to their sons and, all these years later, the Ka-bar still cuts like new.
The Ka-bar comes with a very nice leather sheath that has the USMC stamp right on it. The sheath has a belt loop. The sheath compliments the knife very well in my opinion because the leather of the sheath matches the leather of the handle.
The knife uses 1095 steel. This is a good steal that balances blade retention with ease of sharpening: you won’t need a professional to sharpen the knife for you. In my opinion, this steel is a step up from the M9’s 420 stainless steel.
The Ka-bar USMC knife is Ka-bar’s top-selling knife. The company actually changed its name to Ka-bar because the knife was so popular. This knife currently has 5 stars on Amazon with over 280 reviews. All reviews are raving. Read more here.
3. Ka-Bar 1282 D2 Extreme Fighting Knife
You’ve read about the Ka-Bar brand above and this knife continues in the Ka-Bar tradition of quality.Â It’s a 12-inch knife with a 7-inch blade (dimensions which make a lot more sense to me than the design for many knives in the marketplace that have a handle that is significantly longer than the blade!Â Sheesh!Â This knife has a partially serrated blade made of D2 steel with a black epoxy powder coat.Â It comes with a black glass-filled nylon belt sheath.Â Its 20-degree blade angle and clip-point blade are the hallmarks of a classic Ka-Bar.Â The Kraton G handle provides excellent comfort and balance.
You’ve read about the Ka-Bar brand above and this knife continues in the Ka-Bar tradition of quality. It’s a 12-inch knife with a 7-inch blade (dimensions which make a lot more sense to me than the design for many knives in the marketplace that have a handle that is significantly longer than the blade! Sheesh! This knife has a partially serrated blade made of D2 steel with a black epoxy powder coat. It comes with a black glass-filled nylon belt sheath. Its 20-degree blade angle and clip-point blade are the hallmarks of a classic Ka-Bar. The Kraton G handle provides excellent comfort and balance.
Keep in mind that D2 steel can’t really be sharpened with a whetstone. You’ll need a diamond sharpener, but hey, it’s a small price to pay for a knife with steel so hard, that you have to actually get a specialized sharpening system!
So, if you are about to hit the field and want a cool knife to carry around, which one should you pick? If you just want a solid, go-to knife, get the Ka-bar. It has been proven time and time again for 3 generations. It is also a great piece of art to have, and the price point is the lowest on our list. (You can get an Army versionÂ if you are not a Marine). The Ka-bar was also my best pick for survival knives.
So, you found your perfect knife, now what? You can check out some awesome throwing knives to give you that one-two strike that’ll take any enemy down. You can also pair the throwing knife with an awesome throwing ax. Also, don’t forget to comment!