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Read some of the best survival knife stories ever told, straight from those who used the KA-BAR and lived to tell about it.
Or tell us your own KA-BAR story - we love to hear about our knives in action.
I have been a Ka-Bar fan for a long time. I can remember being a teenager and my friend showing me his grandfathers old Ka-Bar. From that point on I was hooked. I have 3 Ka-Bars in my collection, I feel that is sufficient at this point in time. I take one out with me everytime I go into the wilderness. I also have one on my duty bag, as I am currently employed as a police officer at my local department. I have never had to utilize my Ka-Bar during a life and death situation at work or in the wilderness thankfully. But I know I will be prepared if it were to happen.
I just recently completed a lifelong goal of mine and that is to get a Ka-Bar tattooed on my arm. I just completed a tattoo on my right forearm of a black Ka-Bar with the Kraton G handle. I felt that that style suited me more vs the leather handle as I was not in the military and the public associates that model with military service.
Thank you for have such a good product that I love. My Ka-Bars will be passed down to my children.
Here is KA-BAR, named for my knife in the army in 1966. Sharp teeth &sharp mind. Registered with the AKC as PRINCESS KA-BAR.
My Grandfather served in the United States Navy and was issued a KA-BAR MK2. When I was a young child he gave me this knife, still in amazing condition. I joined the United States Army at 17 and am currently serving in OEF. That same knife is on my vest every day I roll out the wire.
Well said by all other owners. I first received my USMC KA-BAR on my 16th birthday from my father. I can't wait to be a father so I can give my son one of his own. A KA-BAR saved my uncles life serving the U.S. Army. To more than 100 yrs of serving America, thanks you for bringing soldiers back home
I'm in the Canadian Forces but I picked up a USMC KA-BAR at Pendleton and carried it throughout my year long tour in Afghanistan. During an attack on our camp all I had was my 9mm and my KA-BAR. The other guys said I looked freaking hard core and no insurgent was going to mess with me. None did.
I have had my full sized blade in action for 15 years-never let me down,and only needed a good sharpening once-no problem.That knife has been abused beyond belief,I would never buy or carry any other knife.I own 12 Ka-bars and use 3 as working blades,I cannot say enough good about 'em
I lean tenderly on my steel as it is put to stone. i just found this treasure, along with 4 others, various makes, but all good old knives. Some, this too, had been sharpened by an amateur. such as myself. Man!! I like this tiny knife. If I want a machete' they make one too, wish I had one...
Hi, I'm not here to blow smoke up your a** and to share a deep and meaningful story about a knife saving my or a loved ones life. I have a KA-BAR MULE and out of the MANY folders I own, it is hands down the one I want with me in any situation where I need to TRUST my knife. Cheers for making it.
As a deer hunter I know about a good knife. Last year me and my cousins went and all I had was my USMC KA-BAR, it put all those high dollar skinners that my cousins had to shame. My knife was sharper and we field dressed the deer in half of the time. Thank you and SEMPER FI
I wanted to email to show you the tattoo of the foliage green fighting/utility knife I have on my leg in full life size! The phrase in latin translates into: "In times of peace, prepare for war, in times of war, fight for peace."
I hope you like it! I've had many positive comments on it!
For me the name KA-BAR has always been associated wth American inginuity and amazing knives. I have owned 3 and I have 2 now, the steel used is amazing and the craftsmansip is unbeatable. Well worth the money.
My Uncle, Lavar Jenkins, KIA Iwo Jima. My Father, Theron Jenkins, US Army, Korea Vet. Dad swore by his KA-BAR because his brother did but also it was the best. I'm the last of my family to serve. US Navy. Lots of fun and games... And I swear by the KA-BAR I used. And am still buying to collect.
I'm an avid small and big game hunter and outdoors man. The knife is serrated witch I like for sawing through cartilage or soft bones. And I have enough blade to skin and use during camp craft, my first KA-BAR and I love it, thanks KA-BAR for distributing reliable products, that has been proven.
20 years ago my grandpa cemented my love for the USMC fighting knife by showing off his and telling me about his years of service when he was young. Now as an adult I understand why this great knife meant so much to him. It truly is a solid knife and a piece of history. I own 7 of them. The best. USA
Not too long ago, my house for 15 years burned nearly to the ground. When I was scavenging for anything I could find out of my room, I noticed a big long box that said "KA-BAR" on it and I quickly made my way to it to find my ZK FAMINE TANTO perfectly fine, sheath and all intact! KA-BAR is AWESOME!!
Afghanistan, 12-13. US Army Field Artilleryman. I bought my short, all black serrated KA-BAR not too long before my deployment to Afghanistan. It stayed faithfully on my vest for several months, seeing general and daily use. Now that my tour is coming to an end, I couldn't recommend a better knife.
I had my US army kabar (basically same as the usmc kabar) for 3 years. Im a sawyer that works 10 hour days from 7-5. this is my primary tool. Out in my backyard the reservation this is my only trusted hunting knife and it has a hell of a lot of mileage on it.
Hi There I've owned the same KA-BAR 1002 pocket knife for 30 some odd years. The knife has traveled all over south-east Asia, and Africa with me and been used daily with never a problem. Thank You for the care taken when making my little friend.
First Bar at 15. Four years later in Nam I had 3. One steady and two spares. Still have all three. Steady was always sharp and could clip off an ear on the move. The necklace got a little rank after a few days but that kept the FNG's away. Steady saved my life more than once. Don't leave without it.
I deployed to Iraq with a classic KA-BAR blade on my gear. Every Iraqi soldier that I worked with respected this blade for what they had seen throughout our presence in the middle east. More importantly this knife saved my life when all military equipment failed. I will take a KA-BAR anywhere.
I needed a part for one of my knives. I contacted customer service by email and not only id I get a response but they sent my parts right away. Very impressed with your customer service and, of course, your products!
Thank you so much for selling American made products! I bought a BK2 and loved it so much that i bought another one to put in my emergency bag. Ka-Bar customer service is THE BEST! I damaged my knife by being an idiot and sent it in for repair -- brand new replacement sent back with a nice letter.
I joined the Marine Corps in 2006 and did a combat tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. My dad, who was also a Marine, presented me with a traditional KA-BAR just prior to my Iraq deployment, and I have used it for a plethora of tasks since then. My younger brother has since also become a Marine Grunt and is currently in Afghanistan, using the KA-BAR I bought him on a daily basis. When my Marines asked me what tactical knife to attach to their gear, there was never any recommendation other than KA-BAR. I praise God that I was never required to take a life with my blade, but am 100% confident that should the need have arisen, my knife would have been more than up to the task. Thank you, KA-BAR, for creating a product in which so many of us who put our lives on the line can rely on without the slightest of worry. Semper Fidelis
I am a Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed on the Golf Coast. I would like to share a story with you about your great products.
I am a Search and Rescue diver for Escambia Search and Rescue. ESAR is a not for profit, Publicly funded Search and rescue group so we train whenever we get time off from our daily jobs. Last night we went for a dive in Escambia bay to do some dark water training. As always I keep my KA-BAR handy because it is the one tool I can rely on no matter what. As we were getting ready to end our training, I spotted what seemed to be a huge gulf flounder. I swam closer to inspect and see if I was correct and Indeed I was. I stuck the flounder with my KA-BAR, and had the fight of my life on my hands. When we got back to the truck I measured it and saw that it was very large for a gulf flounder, so i went and had it weighed at Outcast Bait and Tackle (only certified scales in town). The gulf flounder weighed in at 7.53lbs and 25 1/8". The world record Gulf flounder weighed in at 6.25lbs. To be considered for a world record it has to be caught with rod and reel, but I like it KA-BAR style.
Your products keep me safe and protected in the Marine corps, as well as on Search and rescue missions and I just wanted to say thanks.
Next time I need to get the Stainless version as the salt water doesn’t agree too well with the carbon steel.
I am writing as a testimony to the durability of KA-BAR knives. Due to losing a screw in the sheath, my KA-BAR TDI Serrated TDI Law Enforcement Knife came out of the sheath one day while I was on duty in the desert. I thought it was gone forever, but I sent out a notice at my station in the event someone came across it in the field.
Low-and-behold, an agent found it three months later. The knife had spent three months on a dirt road in the harsh Arizona Sononan Desert, getting run over by who knows how many vehicles. It was located about 1/2 mile from where I thought I had lost it, indicating to me that it had been either dragged or had ridden embedded in a tire for a distance.
It sustained some damage: some gouges and chips in the blade body, the point broke off, and the handle is banged up and chipped. But, it actually held an edge!
KA-BAR makes a tough knife.
I have had my original USMC combat knife since 03SEP86 when i graduated Boot camp at Paris Island. it has been with me in South America, Cuba, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, the 1st Gulf War and my last 5 tours in Iraq. It has been my most prized possession and most useful tool I own. It has open up cans of ammo and cans of soup, it has cut rope and it has cut meat for dinner. It has always been the sharpest Knife in what ever unit I have been in, and while I have been lucky enough to never had to use it in a fight, if I ever did I knew I did not need to worry about it breaking, just my hand to hand abilities.
I am being Medically discharged now, was evace'd to Germany and then back state side a year ago today and wanted to offer it back to your company with my sincere thanks for the finest product ever produced for the US Military. Hopefully you have a museum of some type, I can send photos of me wearing it and a more specific list of places and what it was used for.
If I was asked what was the most important thing it ever did for me, I'd have to say it was opening Russian ammo cans (they normally use a can opener thing and take forever to open up) for my Iraqi troops while we were on their first patrol. It went through the soft Soviet steel of the ammo cans like butter and I was able to get out 3 cans worth of ammo in about 3 minutes. It saved their lives and more than likely my own.
Also, please pass on my thanks to your employees, more than likely they think they are just doing a 9-5 job and are glad to have it, but what they make has a real impact on guys like me who are (was) deployed.
On April 18th, we went to The Boars Den just west of Witchita Falls about thirty miles. I think the small town is callled Denton We went with about 6 or 7 other guys, killed a total of 13 hogs me and my brother Corey killed 8 of them. You can either hunt lighted feeder in box blinds, out of the back of trucks with spot lights or with dogs and knifes. The knife was great, the sharpest, most durable knife I have ever seen right out of the box. The last knife I used was pretty hard to push though the hog but the Baconmaker went through the hog like butter. The the most impressive part was when I gutted the hog it cracked through the sternum bones and the back legs with ease. My brothers exact words "that is the sharpest knife I have ever used and it has never been sharpened we just took it out of the box".
I am writing to thank you for your awesome knives. I was recently in Iraq participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Field Artillery platoon leader with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. While there my Battery was located near an enemy ammo supply point (ASP) that was intentionally set afire. While evacuating my personnel I unfortunately fell into an Iraqi fighting position. The fall would have broken my leg and possibly severed it, causing my death or at the very least serious injury, but I was wearing my KA-BAR in a low hanging bayonet sheath. The knife absorbed most of the impact along with my body armor. I was able to continue my job and evacuated the rest of my 130 personnel safely with only a few bruises to show for it. The next morning at first light I realized the knife blade was bent at the hand guard about 20 degrees. I kept the knife as is, for a reminder. Thanks for the good work, and the good knives.
He never considered himself a hero and he never liked talking about it, but Clarence Harding Garrett, born in Town Creek, Alabama, achieved a level of success on many fields during his lifetime, including the battlefield.
Born Jan. 5, 1923 to James & Ruth Garrett, he joined the Marines at the age of 20 in April of 1943. He became a member of the 3rd Platoon, Company E (Easy Co.), 2nd Battalion, 28th Marines, 5th Marine Division.
On the battlefield, Pfc. Garrett was in the Assault Squad, wounded twice in the battle of Iwo Jima. His was the most decorated platoon for a single engagement in the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. He was led by First Lt. John K. Wells (WIA), Platoon Sgt. Ernest I. Thomas (KIA) and Sgt. Henry O. Hansen (Platoon Guide) (KIA).
His 40-man patrol reached the island of Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945. Four days and many casualties later, the patrol climbed Mt. Suribachi and raised the American flag, an event which epitomizes patriotism and heroism during his generation and ours.
The battle for Iwo Jima and the subsequent flag-raising is where Garrett’s heroism gained notoriety. After many bloody battles with an elusive enemy, and even after the historic flag-raising had taken place, the battle on Iwo Jima wasn’t over. A Japanese officer, one of many Japanese who were still hiding in caves and firing on Americans, charged out of a cave brandishing a broke sword toward Sgt. Howard Snyder, who fired his .45 directly at the enemy. His gun misfired, surprising them both. From the cliff above the cave, Pfc. Garrett put several rounds from his Browning automatic rifle into the Japanese officer, ending his bitter rampage. This heroic act is retold in many books written on World War II, which mention Garrett by name.
Garrett earned the Purple Heart and a Gold Star (in lieu of a second Purple Heart) for wounds he received during his 19 days on Iwo Jima. He received the first wound when a mortar shell exploded and shot rock fragments into his chest. After a few days in the hospital, he rejoined his outfit and was later hit in the wrist with grenade shrapnel. Even with the wounds he suffered, he considered himself lucky - out of 40 men in his patrol, 17 were killed. Over 6,000 Americans were killed on Iwo Jima. His wife Lee remembers of her husband’s recollections of Iwo Jima, "It was very scary and a lot of praying was going on."
Garrett was able to attend only one of his platoon's reunions in Abilene, TX in 1987 prior to his death in 1992.
As evidenced by wartime photographs, Garrett carried his Marine issue KA-BAR knife on his hip throughout the battle. He so cherished his knife that he used it every day until it finally fell apart after years of use. Not only did he use it in military service, but he also used it daily to skin cable when he worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a journeyman electrician. He began this career only thirteen days after his discharge from the Marines in Aug. 1945. His KA-BAR lasted nearly 15 years after his military service and he often said he felt it was the best knife ever made.
Garrett's career in the electrical field again put him in harm’s way and nearly took his life. He started out as a truck driver for TVA in Florence, AL and later spent four years as an apprentice electrician. Through the years, he worked in all seven states in the Tennessee Valley.
He was injured in the line of duty while working on a power line tower on Jan. 7, 1951, in the Ft. Loudoun Dam switching yard in East Tennessee. Garrett was on the top girder 75 feet in the air with two other electricians perched a lower levels. The day was rainy and slippery on the tower. Garrett accidently brushed a high-tension line and it shot 154,000 volts of electricity into his body. He fell 15 feet headlong to the ground before miraculously falling on a metal crossarm, where his co-workers were able to save him from plunging to the ground. So great was the contact flash that the two companions, perched 15-feet below, got hand and face burns. Garrett was still unconscious when he arrived at the hospital, where he was revived by artificial respiration and other measures. Garrett was burned on about 30 percent of his body. Following his heroic battle to recover from his injuries, he went back to work, Nov. 19, 1951 after staying in the hospital 10 and half months.
Garrett was a member and past president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) local Union 760 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Wile working for TVA, Garrett also worked in the sales field. He sold insurance for Lincoln American Life Insurance Co. and earned many sales awards during his 12 years of both full-and part-time service. However, being a journeyman electrician for TVA was his life's happiness, according to wife Lee.
Garrett and his wife were lifelong members of Broadway Baptist Church in Knoxville, where he was a deacon and superintendent of the adult Sunday school class for over 29 years.
On the playing filed, Garrett was a Little League baseball coach for about five years and was an avid volunteer from the 1950s to the 1980s with various charities. His wife Lee said, "he made speeches and helped collect money for those charities and never turned down and opportunity to volunteer his time." He was an avid outdoorsman and sportsman who enjoyed hunting, golf, fishing, camping, family gatherings and bowling on his church league.
Garrett died on July 25, 1992 and is survived by his wife, Oma Lee Garrett; sons William Daniel, Ronnie O' Neal and Donald David Garrett; daughters Patricia Lee Bailey and Cynthia Ann Clark; seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
I thought that you might be interested in my knife that I have had for approximately 30 years (since new). The knife is still in good condition and I have used it constantly on a daily basis during my career on offshore drilling rigs throughout the world. In fact, over this time, the knife has been with me working in 22 different countries, and on 23 different rigs.
Of the two blades on this knife I have always used the finer of the two exclusively for cutting rope etc, whereas the other blade has been used as a hammer on occasion. Considering the rough treatment, it is particularly impressive that the blades are still tight/firm in the swivel and have not become loose.
This knife is a credit to the craftsmen who manufactured it, and I can recommend a KA-BAR knife to any person that might be looking for a quality knife.
For 20 years now I have carried, used, abused, and depended on your products. They have served me well through my adolescence, military career, and into law enforcement in the civilian sector.
Though now off active duty, I serve with the Army National Guard and just returned recently from the XIX Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, UT. My KA-BAR Impact Series, Large Spear/Eagle blade served me well there in sub-zero temperatures, and even helped me pry open several iced-over lids and doors to examine contents while performing vehicle searches --- all without a problem or concern.
I have several of your products (the Impact Spear being the most recent purchase) and have consistently recommended your products to friends and colleagues over the years. It’s been gratifying to see that they have taken my advice and have been very pleased with your products as well. I am preparing to buy my second USMC Utility knife soon. The first one lasted me from 1982 until just this Spring!!!!
With all of the knives and knife companies that have sprouted up over the years, it’s nice to be able to look at the worn sheaths, weathered blades, and seasoned grips and know that I still carry such great pieces of craftsmanship.
Great work, folks! For 20 years, your blades have provided reliability, safety, and outstanding performance under the worst of conditions. Keep up the great work!
Today during mail call, I got a small package from my uncle who lives on the east coast. And to my surprise I got the all black short version of the KA-BAR (USA). I was given a full sized KA-BAR from my uncle (retired 30 years Army) last September when I found out that the 39th Brigade in Arkansas was to be activated for duty in Iraq. (I'm from Arkansas) Anyhow my full sized KA-BAR has been on active duty since OCT 2003 and I now have the short version, too. I know many thousands of these have been in combat and I know mine will also be worthy of such duty.
Thank you for the superb craftsmanship your organization has put into the KA-BAR line. One thing I do not need on my mind during a firefight or lengthy engagement is the thought of "will my KA-BAR hold up?" I know it will (double underlined in hand written letter).
I was on active duty with the Marine Corps 1974 to 1984, had a break in service and I am now finishing up my retirement time in the Arkansas Army National Guard. I've been in Iraq since March 2004 and have about 6 more months to do here. Anyhow, thank you once again.
My son is a Navy Corpsman attached to Marine Batallion 2D CEB MACO currently serving in the Helmad Providence in Afghanistan. They are Route Clearance Platoon 1, Unit 73605 which disables and disposes of IED's.
Before my son's deployment to Afghanistan, my husband and I learned he was planning to cary only his pocket knife with him.
My husband, Dan had a WWII era KA-BAR knife that had been given to him years ago. We asked Mike to carry this knife with him, mainly to ease his Mother's worries. I wanted him to be well prepared for any situation he may encounter.
We were concerned that the younger generation may tease him for carrying a large "Rambo style" knife but he happily strapped it to his vest and was proud to carry it.
The knife quickly became the entire company's knife. They have no other knife in the company that is as sharp as Mike's Ka-Bar knife nor any other blade that will hold it's edges so well.
Mike's Marines went to their company commander and asked that the KA-BAR knife be issued to the entire company. Unfortunatly the request was denied with the reasoning that the knife is not an essential tool for them to have. However, several of the Marines plan to purchase their own KA-BAR knife once they return to the states so they may have it with them for their next deployment.
On behalf of Navy Corpsman HN Michael Lobsinger and his parents, Dan and Jeannie Gildersleeve, we wish thank you all for continuing to produce the finest knife ever made.
The KA-BAR knife continues to be proudly used generation after generation by our US soldiers.
I am a retired naval officer, soon to be buying a knife for each of my daughters for camping, hiking, and the like. There is no question I will be purchasing two KA-BARs - the short version fixed-blade fighting knife for them. I carried a USMC fighting knife for more than 14 years of aviation duty and came to value its utility. SERE and various other training experiences I had demonstrated that to be truly useful in meeting the various challenges inherent to survival (or the rigors of combat), one's knife must be versatile, well-balanced, rugged, reliable, and comfortable. That the KA-BAR is all of those - can be a blade or hammer (try that with a folder), can give and take a tremendous amount of punishment, and is of excellent quality - makes it the ideal all-purpose knife. Had survival for any length of time been necessary, I had the right knife for it; and now my daughters will have a similar model. Nothing against folders or other designs (which have their place), but for me the fixed-blade offers the most versatility and dependability due its simple, straightforward, and practically indestructible nature. I suppose that readily meeting those requirements is what compelled the Marine Corps to adopt your knives over 70 years ago. Some companies might have abandoned those roots, instead favoring the production of more contemporary or popular items. As for the fixed-blade fighting knife: thanks for continuing to make such an awesome product, and at a reasonable price.
David "Deke" Kennison, LCDR, USN (Ret.)
Hey there, I wrote up this little "review" of the Potbelly on Bladeforums in the Knife reviews and testing topic. I thought you might like to check it out.http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/755435-Johnson-Adventure-Blades-quot-Potbelly-quot?highlight=Johnson+Adventure+Blades+Potbelly
i must say the USMC KA-bar i got brings back memories to my dad. i picked it up last week and brought it home and when he saw it he cried. when i asked why my father told me the knife was the next best thing besides his M-16 in the Gulf war. he always wanted a KA-BAR to remember and now he has one.
Two story block construction structure fire. I was on the search and rescue team looking for victims. Long story short I fell through the second story floor to the first floor and was trapped under debris. I was able to get to my KABAR Mule that I always carry in my gear and was able to chip away enough brick mortar to get a few blocks out and get myself out of a bad situation.. Thank you guys for making such a great product. It saved this Firefighters ass.
As a veteran law enforcement officer, I carry a Ka-Bar TDI as a defensive tool on my duty belt. This is the perfect knife for officers to defend themselves, especially in a weapon retention/gun grab situation. I want to thank Ka-Bar and TDI for designing and building a high quality knife.
As we cleaned out Grandpa's garage after his passing, I found a dusty, rusty old knife with rough grind marks gouged into the blade. Turns out Grandpa served as a marine in WW2 and this was his issued KABAR. I reconditioned it, and it's the best knife I've ever owned...that old and still that good!
I wanted to write KA-BAR and express my love for a knife, yes I know an inanimate object, however, I feel compelled to describe my appreciation for a company whom I have an extreme respect for. When I was in the Marines stuck in Kuwait City in 1992, I was in country for over a year, the Marines extended me past my EAS "End of Active Service" so I was beginning to miss my family, my Ssgt, he cheered me up by giving me his KA-BAR knife, I know hard to believe, an amazing gift to give up, however he felt bad I had to stay in country while my buddies flew home. He knew I admired the knife and I was very impressed and proud to have it as a token of our friendship. He and I were good friends and I treasured the knife for years, we lost contact, I found out later from another Marine in our unit he had died in a car wreck and I kept the knife as a momento of my service and our friendship. He had carved his intials into the handle and date. In 1999, I split with my wife, we were going through a divorce, before I could get my stuff out of storage, she had sold all my old Marine stuff at a garage sale for pennies, to include my old Alice Pack with Frame and the KA-BAR knife I treasured so much. Needless to say I was highly upset. Now, fast forward to today, I was browsing Cabellas, and I dropped by the knife display and I see one similar to my old friends, the USMC KA-BAR knife, I bought one. Its funny how something as simple as a knife can make you feel great, I took it home and immediately mink oiled the leather and carved his intials. I just wanted you to know how much it means to own this knife again, I know its just a knife, but it means more to me, it means America, it means Heroism of WW2, its a faith in something, someth ing strong and worthy of my admiration. I just wanted you guys who make this knife to know I admire it, its history, its durability, and the memory of an old marine buddy, thanks for making something I enjoy and can hand down to my son with pride, Thanks Sgt Clark A. Gullette USMC