Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 10 years ago

KA-BAR for a survival knife?

Are the KA-BAR USMC 7 inch blade knives good for a survival/woodscraft knife? I saw the tang design, and it seems like it's rather weak, and it looks like you can't baton with it:

Youtube thumbnail

Well, shoot :( have I wasted my money? What can I do with this knife? (I don't just want it as a wall piece). If it were to bend like that, can't I send it in to KABAR and have them fix it? Are there tweaks at home I can do to make it stronger?


Well... thanks glacier for summarizing my "poor" choice of a knife. You didn't answer my question at all, mr. safety instructor. Let me rephrase it very simply for you: IS THE TANG ON THE KA-BAR WEAK AS TO WHERE I SHOULD NOT BATTON WITH THE KNIFE< AND IF I CAN NOT, WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH IT?

Update 2:

Schnoogle, A lot of people know what battoning is. Just because you do not, doesn't mean "nobody knows what I'm saying".

20 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Let's not get into arguments over the internet, it makes you look like a fool. It's an open forum, anyone is welcome to post whatever they want. Anyway, I have owned my Ka-Bar for coming up on ten years now -- and it's seen it's fair share of batoning and has not bent like the one in the video. The key to preventing that: put some WD-40 on the blade before batoning. It will help it slide through the wood with much less resistance.

    Now, the knife was not intended for batoning or even as a woodcraft knife, but as a combat/duty knife for the US Marines, Army, and Navy. They still use it today, and if you ask a Marine about his Ka-Bar, it'll sound like love story. They are great knives that have been put through quite a bit. For a camping knife or "survival knife", they will work good, as long as you don't push it's ability. For batoning wood, a Cold Steel Trailmaster is a good way to go, and you certainly won't experience any bending of the tang.

    So, all in all: Did you waste your money? Absolutely not. Is it the best knife available for batoning? No. It will serve you very well for many years provided you take care of it.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Build an Emergency Food Supply
  • 10 years ago

    The KA-BAR was designed mainly as a fighting and hunting/utility knife, not as a purpose-built "survival" knife (a concept that's relatively new).

    Also - those KA-BAR style knives that have the sawbacks on the blunt side are basically half-assed saws that are honesly not good for much. The ones that have hollow handles which can store small items like matches, fishing hooks and the like are certainly better than just a plain old knife.

    Those multi-tools as sold by Gerber and Leatherman, which are like Swiss Army knives except that they have usable pliers, are really much better for all-around "survival" use than a regular knife.

    As a combat weapon, the KA-BAR is pretty good, certainly better than a Leatherman or packsaw - but really - if I were going into the bush and could only have one bladed tool/weapon, it wouldn't be a KA-BAR - it would be one of those better quality machetes that have a sawback. I'd take a machete over a knife any day in a combat situation.

  • 4 years ago

    Usmc Survival Knife

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  • 10 years ago

    KA-BAR is about a 100+ year old design.

    That's kinda like buying a Winchester 30-30 and complaining it doesn't shoot as good as the new 300 WSSM cartridge.

    I live in Alaska. I have been through two military Alaskan survival schools and taught Survival for several years. I am a certified Alaskan hunter safety instructor.

    In the world of 'survival knives' you get what you pay for. The KA-BAR is a an old combat knife design. I can think of a buch of rusty old knives I would rather use to fillet a fish or butcher a caribou with - than a brand new Ka-Bar.

    Ask anyone who has been stranded in the wood for a week - would you rather have a collapasble pack saw, or, a knife - and they will take the pack saw hands down. With a pack saw - you can build things - shelters, traps, and make parts to fix things, and not hurt yourself. With a knife you can only cut things - until you break it.

    Your choice of a survival knife depends on what you are doing, where you are going, and how long you are gonna be doing it.

    I would rather have a pack saw with 20 yards of nylon cord wrapped around the handle and a Leatherman survival tool with a small but sharp knife - than one big @ss dumb knife.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I would have to concur with the others, in that the Ka-Bar is a good all-around knife, but you could find knives better suited to a particular application, such as chopping; the Smatchet comes to mind. Realize that the Ka-Bar was primarily designed as a fighting knife first, utility knife second.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    KA-BAR for a survival knife?

    Are the KA-BAR USMC 7 inch blade knives good for a survival/woodscraft knife? I saw the tang design, and it seems like it&#39;s rather weak, and it looks like you can&#39;t baton with it:

    Youtube thumbnail

    Well, shoot :( have I wasted my money? What can I do with this...

    Source(s): ka bar survival knife:
  • Rob
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    I own the KABAR tactool its thick enough that i don't have to worry about shattering it when i batton it i use it normally when i'm out in the wilderness to gather fire wood or when i just need a knife to act like an axe i have cut down trees with this knife and No signs of weakening the blade its an awesome blade for survival

    of course this blade was ment to open doors shatter glass and also to be able to cut seat belts but it makes a perfect survival tool.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I find it amusing that somebody's complaint about a knife is that its a "hundred year old design."

    Duh, its a knife. Heck man, there are lots of things in firearms, such as the .30-'06 cartridge and the 1911 pistol that hold up very well today in comparison to newer designs despite being a hundred years old. Hell, man, bladed weapons are thousands of years old: a hundred year old design is a spring chicken by comparison. Many modern knives today claim to be tanto inspired, and that design is nearly 1500 years old.

    Anyways, as part of a kit (which yes, would ideally include a pack saw AND a multitool as wel), a Ka-Bar would work just fine.

  • 10 years ago

    No, you haven't wasted your money. The Ka-Bar is an excellent all-around combat/utility knife and it is pretty cool to look at and a joy to handle and use. Outdoorsmen have been using them for years. No, it isn't the best for batoning but it wasn't designed for that. It will do it though. Use WD40 on the blade.

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