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Customer Service: FAQs

You've got questions. We've got answers. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions about KA-BAR Customer Service.

If your question isn't answered in the FAQs, you can submit it below and we'll get you an answer. Please allow five business days for a response.

  • Featured Questions

  • Product Spec & Modification Questions

    > How do I install the TDI clip to the BK11 sheath.
    There are three parts you are going to need.  They are the screw, rubber washer and the barrel fastener. The screw and the barrel fastener connect; however, the rubber washer would need to be in between. To attach the three, you would place the clip on top of the sheath, place the rubber washer in between. Insert the screw into the hole in the sheath, through the rubber washer and the metal clip and into the barrel fastener.
    > What's the tanto blade design for or best for?
    The Tanto blade shape is primarily a combat shape with enough curve on the length for slashing and a strong, reinforced point for thrusting.  However, the shape is versatile and durable and can be used for most general purposes.
    > Are the Ka-Bar USMC, Classic Knives, Tanto blades, and all others with the classic leather stacked handle full tang? I viewed your online tour of how your blades are made, but it seemed more focused on the USMC classic clip point models, but how about the other blades? Specifically the Tanto?
    All of the knives that have the classic KA-BAR shaped handle (ie leather and Kraton) have a full length, narrow tang.  The leather washers or Kraton handle is slid over the tang and a metal pommel is pressed onto the end of the tang.  The pommel is then cross pinned with a stainless steel pin.  The leather handled Tanto is made using this same construction.
    > How is the Grass Machete Blade attached to the Kraton handles? Is there a Tang imbedded in the handle?
    The Kraton handle is rammed into a full-length tapered tang.  After being fully seated, the handle is secured to the tang with a grommet that is cross pinned and swaged.
    > I just purchased a becker BK5. I seem to remember it was recently offered with a small "piggyback" knife that fit in the small sheath behind the puch. Is this small knife still available and what model is it. Thanks
    When the large Becker product line was first reintroduced through KA-BAR, we included a small Remora knife (BK13) in the package with the standard, large knives.  That was a limited-time promotion.  You can now purchase the knife separately on our website at http://www.kabar.com/knives/detail/6 .
    > Hi, I lost one of the nuts and bolts to my BK9 knife handle. Can you please send me a replacement?
    KA-BAR will do its best to send out at no charge replacement fasteners for any current product.  Please provide your full name and mailing address.  If we are unable to fulfill your request we will send you an email.
    > I have a serrated KA-BAR model 1211, but it seems everywhere I look, the serrated version is supposed to be 1212. Are both models just marked with 1211, or is something wrong here?
    Since the blade blanks are the same and serrations are added as a final process, both the straight edge and serrated edge Kraton handled KA-BAR knives are marked '1211' at the tang.
    > Hey KA-BAR, I was always wondering why the knife blade isnt parallel with the handle. The blade is situated a couple mm below in line with the handle, why is this? Thanks for any response.

    The USMC knife was originally designed with the tang slightly offset. There were several reasons for this:

    1)      The offset tang put the handle more in line with the tip of the blade....for thrusting/stabbing.

    2)      The raised  offset tang allowed more room for the fingers on the underside of the handle.

    If one looks carefully at WWII vintage knives, you will see the offset but it was not as pronounced. The handle cross-section was rounder back then. KA-BAR has made the handle more oval which makes the offset more visible these days.

    > I recently purchased a TDI # 1480. It came with a belt clip sheath that did not have any belt loops on it. How can I obtain a sheath for this knife that has standard belt loops.
    For ease of placement on and removal of the unit from the belt, the #1480 Original TDI knife (and all other similar styles) is now sold only with the metal belt clip attachment option.  The plastic backer piece with slots that required you "thread" the sheath onto the pant belt is no longer manufactured.
    > What part of the knife contains lead?
    KA-BAR knives do not contain lead.  The snaps in some of the sheaths sold with our knives may contain trace amounts of lead.  In order to comply with some state laws, KA-BAR is required to mark its products shipped with these sheaths with a lead warning sticker.
    > Am I able to order left sided sheaths for your knives? Are the hard plastic sheaths made to carry a knife for either right or left handed folks?
    While the KA-BAR leather sheaths are set up primarily for right-handed users, almost all the hard plastic sheaths we offer are ambidextrous.
    > Do you offer a U.S.A.F. Ka-Bar? If you do have a USAF Knife where can I purchase one? I feel left out and jealous of the other Services!
    We're sorry, the United States Air Force has a policy against using its name, logo, or acronym on any weapons.  Unfortunately, that includes KA-BAR knives.  We do, however, offer knives marked simply "USA".  It is meant to stand for United States of America but you could tell your buddies it stands for Air Force.
  • Knife Laws

    > What part of the knife contains lead?
    KA-BAR knives do not contain lead.  The snaps in some of the sheaths sold with our knives may contain trace amounts of lead.  In order to comply with some state laws, KA-BAR is required to mark its products shipped with these sheaths with a lead warning sticker.
    > Why won't KA-BAR ship certain knives to MA and CA?
    Those states do not allow sales of double edged knives. While there is some debate over what constitutes a double edged knife, general consensus is that it includes any knife with both the top and bottom edges sharpened in any way.
    > Why doesn't KA-BAR ship knives outside the United States?

    We're sorry for the inconvenience.  We've found that laws in many countries won't allow or make it very difficult to ship knives directly to retail consumers within their borders. Still, we want to help you get the KA-BAR product you want.  For a referral to a retailer in your country, please email info@ka-bar.com.

  • Historical and Old KA‑BAR Knives

    > Does KA-BAR ever buy back old, historically significant knives?
    There are some items we're looking to add to our official collection and we appreciate you thinking of us. Please send detailed information about your knife to info@ka-bar.com. We'll let you know if your knife is something we're looking for.
    > Is there a KA-BAR museum to which I can donate my old knife?
    Thanks for thinking of us. There are some items we're looking to add to our official collection. Please send detailed information about your knife to info@ka-bar.com. We'll let you know if your knife fits the bill... or if it would be better passed down to the next generation of your own family. Remember, with every knife there is at least one story worth telling.
  • About KA-BAR

    > I've seen KA-BAR spelled many different ways. Which is correct?
    KA-BAR is the current, official spelling of our name. But we're an old company and over the years Ka-bar, Ka-Bar, Kabar, and KABAR have all been used. Wondering where a name like KA-BAR comes from? Read a little bit about it here.
  • Shipping

    > Why won't KA-BAR ship certain knives to MA and CA?
    Those states do not allow sales of double edged knives. While there is some debate over what constitutes a double edged knife, general consensus is that it includes any knife with both the top and bottom edges sharpened in any way.
    > Why doesn't KA-BAR ship knives outside of the United States?

    We're sorry for the inconvenience.  We've found that laws in many countries won't allow or make it very difficult to ship knives directly to retail consumers within their borders. Still, we want to help you get the KA-BAR product you want.  For a referral to a retailer in your country, please email info@ka-bar.com.

  • Working with KA‑BAR

    > How do I submit a design idea to KA-BAR?
    We pull design ideas from many, many sources. Submitting a design, however, takes some serious paperwork. Before you send ANYTHING, please contact our Customer Service department to request official legal documentation. And remember, we plan our products several years in advance. If you don't hear from us or if we politely decline the submission, please understand we are just booked solid for the time being.
    >

    I would like to sell KA-BAR knives. What is the buy-in?  What else is required?

    Thank you for your interest. Minimum opening order to establish an account with KA-BAR is $1,000.00.  You are also required to have a current business license and tax ID form. In addition, if you would like to open an account with credit terms, we require three trade references.

    If you are able to meet these requirements, please contact KA-BAR Customer Service at info@ka-bar.com to request a complete dealer packet.

    If you are unable to meet these requirements, we will be happy to refer you to a distributor.  Please email info@ka-bar.com for a list of current distributor contacts.

    > I am a Vector marketing rep. Can I sell KA-BAR products, too?
    At this time Vector sales reps are not permitted to sell KA-BAR products.
    > I am a blogger and I would like to review some KA-BAR products. How can I arrange that?
    Please submit all requests to info@ka-bar.com. Also, please understand that we get asked for freebies a lot (understandably so, our knives are awesome) and have a very limited budget for such requests. If we don't honor your request for some reason, please try back another time.
    > How do I get my store added to KA-BAR'S Where to Buy section?
    Contact info@ka-bar.com with your request. Be sure to include your store name, toll-free number (if available) and your web address.
    > I am hosting a fundraising event and would like to get some donation items. Does KA-BAR do that?
    We support several worthwhile causes. If you have a cause or event you would like us to consider, please submit detailed information to info@ka-bar.com.
    > Does KA-BAR ever buy back old, historically significant knives?
    There are some items we're looking to add to our official collection and we appreciate you thinking of us. Please send detailed information about your knife to info@ka-bar.com. We'll let you know if your knife is something we're looking for.
    > Is there a KA-BAR museum to which I can donate my old knife?
    Thanks for thinking of us. There are some items we're looking to add to our official collection. Please send detailed information about your knife to info@ka-bar.com. We'll let you know if your knife fits the bill... or if it would be better passed down to the next generation of your own family. Remember, with every knife there is at least one story worth telling.
    > Can I get a folding knife pad printed?
    No. At this time pad printing is only offered on knives with the traditional blade shape, like our #1217 USMC knife (INSERT LINK TO THIS KNIFE). We are able to engrave most knives though. Visit our Custom Engraving & Printing page for more information.
  • Knife Care, Repair and Warranty

    > Does KA-BAR offer a sharpening service?
    We do not offer a sharpening service. Please contact info@ka-bar.com for referral. You also may have some luck searching online for a local shop or repairman.
    > Does KA-BAR have a repair facility?
    We don't offer repair or refurbishing service. Please contact info@ka-bar.com for referral. You also may have some luck searching online for a local shop or repairman.
    > My knife broke while I was throwing it. Is this covered under warranty?
    No. Our warranty specifically advises against throwing knives. It never ends well.
    > How do I clean my KA-BAR knife?
    Wipe KA-BAR knife blades after use with a dry, soft cloth.
    > What should I do if my KA-BAR has been exposed to salt water?
    If knives are exposed to salt water, wash with mild dish detergent, rinse with tap water, then wipe with a dry, soft cloth.
    > How should I store my KA-BAR?
    Treat blades with a light coating of mineral oil before storing. Store knives in a dry area out of their sheaths, preferably in the cardboard sleeve provided at the time of purchase.
    > How do I sharpen my KA-BAR?
    Keep knives sharp by touching up edges as needed. Most KA-BAR knives can be sharpened using an Arkansas stone or commonly available sharpening system. Most knives can easily be touched up using a coarse or hard stone. When bringing back a very dull edge, a coarse or hard stone should be used first, followed by a finer, softer stone. Knives made with D2 steel require diamond or ceramic sharpeners. Knives should at no time be sharpened on a belt sander or bench grinder. These machines ruin a factory-sharpened edge.
    > I wanted to register my USMC fighting knife on line but can not find the page to go to. Can I do this on line or do I have to use the mail in form?
    Product Registrations, mail-in or otherwise, are no longer required for your knife to be covered under warranty.  For questions regarding warranty replacement, please see our FAQ regarding this matter.
    > Where would I be able to get replacement washer handle for a KA-BAR knife?

    The process of compiling, compressing, shaping and coloring the leather washers used to create the traditional KA-BAR knife handles is best left to the experts.  Still, if you've got the proper machinery and would like to give it a shot, we do offer a handle kit which includes washers, spacers and a butt cap.  Please contact KA-BAR Customer Service at 800-282-0130 to place an order.

    > Do KA-BAR Knives carry any sort of warranty?

    Yes, please read on.

    LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY

     KA-BAR Knives, Inc. (the "Company") warrants, to the original purchaser of the knife only, that this knife will be free from defects in material and craftsmanship under normal use and maintenance for the lifetime of the original purchaser.  This Limited Warranty does not apply to any failure of, defect in, or damage to the knife caused by normal wear and tear or by improper use, including batoning with or throwing the knife, using the blades as a can opener, chisel, pry bar, screwdriver, digging tool, or for any heavy work for which the knife was not designed.

     If the knife fails to satisfy this Limited Warranty, the Company will repair or replace the knife or substitute a knife of comparable value, at the Company's option, and such repair, replacement or substitution shall constitute the sole remedy for any failure of the knife to satisfy this Limited Warranty or any implied warranty (ies) of the Company.  In order to have a Limited Warranty claim evaluated by the Company, you must return the knife, at your own expense and risk, to KA-BAR Knives, Inc., at 200 Homer Street, Olean, NY 14760, attention Customer Service Department.  Please include with the returned knife a brief written description of any claimed defect(s) in or failure(s) of the knife.  Any returned knife determined by the Company to not be eligible for repair, replacement or substitution under the terms of the Limited Warranty will be returned to the Owner.

     THE COMPANY MAKES NO EXPRESS WARRANTY OR REPRESENTATION WHATSOEVER OF OR WITH RESPECT TO THE KNIFE OTHER THAN THE FOREGOING LIMITED WARRANTY, AND ALL SUCH OTHER EXPRESS WARRANTIES ARE HEREBY EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED.  ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF THE COMPANY, INCLUDING WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS, ARE LIMITED IN DURATION TO THE DURATION OF THIS LIMITED WARRANTY.  THE COMPANY WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, AND ALL SUCH DAMAGES ARE EXPRESSLY EXCLUDED.

     Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts, or exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusion may not apply to you.

    This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state.

    > I bought a product directly from KA-BAR and I would like to return it.  Is that possible?

    If the product has not been used and is in the original packaging you may return it for credit within 30 days from the point of purchase. Please include within the original packaging a note with your name, contact information, including a telephone number, and the reason you are returning the item.  KA-BAR Customer Service will call you for further information regarding your refund once it is received at our facilities. 

  • Buying, Pricing and Discounts

    > Is there a store in my area that sells KA-BAR?
    While many stores across the U.S. sell our products, most of them buy through distributors. As a result, it's hard to track exactly who they are. If you search your area and don't find anything, please check out our Where to Buy page for catalog and online retailers.
    > Why are the prices on KA-BAR.com so high?
    We sell our products online at full suggested retail prices so that we don't end up competing with our own dealers. You can check out some of those dealers on our Where to Buy page. You can also search online for our products sold through other dealers and distributors at discounted prices.
    > Can I use my prepaid credit card for an order I place online?
    Sorry. We don't accept pre-paid credit cards for orders on our website.
    > Can I pay for my order by Money Order or Personal Check?
    Yes. Mail us your order, along with the money order or check. Please note that if you're paying by personal check it may take longer to process your order, as the check will have to clear before we can ship your merchandise.
    > Does KA-BAR offer a military discount?
    KA-BAR products are sold on many bases and through dealers located near the largest bases in the U.S. and abroad. If you have exhausted those options contact us at info@ka-bar.com to ask about working directly with us.
    > Does KA-BAR offer a law enforcement discount?
    Our products are sold through many dealers servicing law enforcement agencies that may offer discounts. If you are unable to locate a dealer near you or online, contact KA-BAR at info@ka-bar.com to ask about setting up an account to place official department orders.
    > Does KA-BAR charge sales tax on orders?
    KA-BAR currently charges sales tax on retail orders being shipped to NY, WA and IL.
  • Website Help/ Troubleshooting

    > I tried to place an order online and got an error message. What do I do?
    Agh! We hate that and we're sorry for the trouble. Please contact Customer Service at 1-800-282-0130 for assistance. We're open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST. If you have troubles after hours, please email us at info@ka-bar.com and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible.
    > I submitted a testimonial and I don't see it on the KA-BAR website. Why?
    We love hearing stories from our customers and we review each testimonial thoroughly. If you don't see yours online, it may just be a delay in approving it before it goes live. Please allow a couple weeks for us to process your submission. And be aware - crass language and inappropriateness will not be posted on the site. We keep it classy here.
  • Product Offerings and Catalogs

    > How often does KA-BAR introduce new products?
    We release most of our new products early in the year, between January and April, but we'll occasionally introduce new products at other times as well. Be sure to keep checking our website or sign up for our email newsletters to stay on top of product news.
    > How often does KA-BAR print catalogs?
    We print our full-line trade catalog once a year, usually in January.
    > Does KA-BAR offer Web Exclusive items?
    Occasionally we'll produce a small batch of products exclusively for the website. We also use the site to sell non-knife products, such as badass T-Shirts and promotional items.
    > Am I able to order left sided sheaths for your knives? Are the hard plastic sheaths made to carry a knife for either right or left handed folks?
    While the KA-BAR leather sheaths are set up primarily for right-handed users, almost all the hard plastic sheaths we offer are ambidextrous.
    > I recently purchased a TDI # 1480. It came with a belt clip sheath that did not have any belt loops on it. How can I obtain a sheath for this knife that has standard belt loops.
    For ease of placement on and removal of the unit from the belt, the #1480 Original TDI knife (and all other similar styles) is now sold only with the metal belt clip attachment option.  The plastic backer piece with slots that required you "thread" the sheath onto the pant belt is no longer manufactured.
    > Do you offer a U.S.A.F. Ka-Bar? If you do have a USAF Knife where can I purchase one? I feel left out and jealous of the other Services! Thanks Mark
    We're sorry, the United States Air Force has a policy against using its name, logo, or acronym on any weapons.  Unfortunately, that includes KA-BAR knives.  We do, however, offer knives marked simply "USA".  It is meant to stand for United States of America but you could tell your buddies it stands for Air Force.
  • Other/ Miscellaneous

    > I bought a product directly from KA-BAR and want to return it.  Is that possible?
    If the product has not been used and is in the original packaging you may return it for credit within 30 days from the point of purchase. Please include within the original packaging a note with your name, contact information, including a telephone number, and the reason you are returning the item.  KA-BAR Customer Service will call you for further information regarding your refund once it is received at our facilities.

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