Our site is optimized for today's modern browsers. To fully benefit from our site's features, please download the latest version of either:

Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer

FAQs

The great thing about FAQ pages is that you can get answers to all your questions without anyone ever realizing there was something about knives you didn't know already.

So, get your answers here and preserve your knife-expert status.

  • Featured Questions

  • 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.
  • 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 am I able to buy your knives cheaper from other dealers than on your website?
    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.
    > I am a Vector Sales rep. Do I get a discount on KA-BAR products? If so, how do I take advantage of this?
    Please contact KA-BAR Customer Service at our toll free number, 1-800-282-0130.  We'll walk you through the process of ordering.
  • Other/ Miscellaneous

    > 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.
  • Product Spec & Modification Questions

    > 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.
    > 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.
    > 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.
    > 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.

    > 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.
    > 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.
    > 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.
    > 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.
    > 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.
    > 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.
    > What is the recommended sharpening angle for Ka-Bar utility knives?
    All final edges are put on by hand at the factory.  We aim for approximately 40 degrees inclusive (20 degrees per side).  This can be adjusted by the end user as required.
  • Historical and Old KA‑BAR Knives

    > How can I find out how much my old knife is worth?
    We don't assess current values for old knives. We recommend you review eBay listings to check their market value. You may also be able to find information on KA-BAR knives in reference books like those written by Bernard Levine. That guy seriously knows what he's talking about.
    > How can I tell the age of my knife?
    If the blade of your knife is marked with a four-digit code, you may be able to find it on the list here. If you can't find a product code, we may be able to help you identify your knife using photos. Please shoot both sides of the blade, note any unique markings, measurements, etc, and send it to info@ka-bar.com. Please allow a couple weeks for a response... sometimes these things are really tough to pinpoint.
    > 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.
    > 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.
  • 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.
    > Is KA-BAR on Twitter?
    Well aren't you social savvy? We are on Twitter. Follow us here: http://twitter.com/KA_BAR.
    > Does KA-BAR have a Facebook page?
    You betcha. Like us here
    > Does KA-BAR give factory tours?
    We share our manufacturing facility with CUTCO Cutlery and we don't currently give factory tours. You may be interested in checking out our Visitor's Center, where you can see both companies' products and learn about how they're made.
    > Kind of disturbing my KA-BAR knives have a made in China and made in Taiwan stamp on them. Why arent these knives produced in the USA?

    While KA-BAR would prefer to manufacturer all its knives in the USA, it would be cost prohibitive to do so.  The company offers many, many USA made knives and continually strives to design products that are manufacturable for a reasonable price in the states.  KA-BAR also partners with reputable manufacturers in Taiwan and China.  These suppliers are required to uphold the same high standards as knives manufactured in our own plant.  And, rest assured, our imported products are covered under KA-BAR'S Limited Lifetime Warranty as well.

  • Knife Laws

    > How do I find out about laws regarding knives?
    There are various organizations whose sole purpose is to protect knife owners. You may do well to consult AKTI (American Knife and Tool Institute) or KnifeRights.org. You should also check with local authorities for regional legislation.
  • 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.
    > What is the recommended sharpening angle for Ka-Bar utility knives?
    All final edges are put on by hand at the factory.  We aim for approximately 40 degrees inclusive (20 degrees per side).  This can be adjusted by the end user as required.
    > Can KA-BAR's be used extensively underwater? Scuba diving in fresh water?
    None of the products currently offered by KA-BAR are recommended for extensive use under water.  Please read more in our Knife Care, Repair and Warranty section on what to do if your knife happens to get wet.
    > 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 WWII era KA-BAR. How do I clean and preserve the leather handle and leather sheath? Your advice you gave earlier about the cleaning of the blade was excellent. Thank you, Jeff

    1)     General Care:

    a)     Store in a dry location.

    b)     Oil periodically

    c)      A coating of wax is not a bad thing

    d)     Wipe down periodically with a clean cloth to keep mildew and mold off of the surfaces.

     

    2)     If leather gets wet:

    a)     Dry the leather naturally in air. No ovens, hair driers or other artificial heat source.

    b)     Once dry, oil the leather surfaces. There are many good leather oil/conditioner products on the market.

    c)      Once the oil has absorbed into the leather, it will darken. Wait until the leather starts to lighten and then wax the leather surfaces. Again, there are many leather waxes on the market. Even car wax will work.

     

    3)     If leather gets dirty:

    a)     Wash off dirt with a leather or saddle soap. Dry

    b)     After leather is dry. Oil and wax.

     

    4)     Storage and handling of leather products:

    a)     Store in an area that has stable heat and humidity. Not too dry or too wet. Both conditions are not good for leather. Too dry is better than too wet as oil can restore dry leather while wet leather rots and degrades.

    b)     Handle leather products often. Oils from your hand will help condition the leather. The leather will take a nice patina from usage.

  • 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.
    > 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. We are able to engrave most knives though. Visit our Custom Engraving & Printing page for more information.
    > 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.
    > 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 .
    > Does KA-BAR still make the 7" fighting/utility knife with USCG stamped on the blade? Does KA-BAR make a U.S. Coast Guard commemorative knife? I think the model # was 1208. If so I would like to purchase one of the knives.

    It's not usually an easy decision to make, but from time to time KA-BAR has to eliminate items from it's product line in order to make room for new models.  Such is the case with the USCG knife which was last sold in 2008.  Generally speaking, odds are pretty good that if you don't see a knife on our website, we no longer make it.

    > 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.

Still looking for an answer?

Submit your own question.