February 11, 2008, 08:36 AM
I was wondering if the top tapered edge of the Ka-Bar knife is supposed to be sharpened.
Some people I know seem to have put and edge on theirs but there are also plenty of people who have kept it in the factory issued state.

Thanks in advance for the info!

If you enjoyed reading about "Ka-Bar" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
February 11, 2008, 08:51 AM
No, it's called a 'false edge'.

February 11, 2008, 09:02 AM
Some are, some are not. The sharpened false edge, can make considered to be a "dagger" so be carful if you are carrying it. Mine came sharpened both top and bottom from the factory, and it seams most I have seen these days are.

February 11, 2008, 09:07 AM
james_bond hit it on the head.

February 11, 2008, 01:18 PM
Thanks for the info guys, I really appreciate it!

Byron Quick
February 11, 2008, 02:14 PM
I don't prefer double edged knives or sharpened 'false' edges.

The training I have occasionally uses the weak hand to add force to a push cut and what might be described as grappling with the knife.

For example, the opponent grabs you by the throat. You place the knife across his arm, grab the back of the blade with your other hand, and pull like Samson attempting to plane his muscles from the bones.

Obviously, you would need a butcher's gloves to use these techniques with a double edged knife.

But, that's simply a matter of personal preference and personal training. If your preference and training utilizes effective techniques with double edged knives or sharpened false edges, go for it.

February 17, 2008, 03:50 AM
very useful on my KaBar. It is ground at shallower angle than the main edge and as such I've used it as a chopping edge for cutting cord, small branches, minor bones on game and so on. It can save considerable wear and tear on the main edge and the round handle on the stock knife makes it easy to use this feature by just rotating the knife in your hand. You need to be mindful of the possibility of damaging the tip of the blade so think before you start whacking away at something.

February 17, 2008, 07:58 PM
I can't imagine any reason to sharpen the upper false edge on my KaBars for my use... my late Dad's old So. Pacific WWII KaBar (USN - he was CG - on troop ships.) has no evidence of ever having been sharpened there. Of course, my new models, a USMC and Pearl Harbor Comm., are both so sharpened - go figure!


February 22, 2008, 04:59 PM
I have a Brand new KA-BAR Army that I just got. No, on it, it is not. I have a Camillus Ka-bar clone that does.

February 22, 2008, 09:51 PM
One top is a modern "replica" Kabar by Kabar. According to the box and literature in the box, it was made to the same specifications as the original. The false edge is sharp.

Below is an original WWII USNMK2 Kabar, made by Kabar. The estate it came from, was owned by a Boston based WWII Navy vet. This was a knife he "liberated" from the service. He apparently was cruising offshore looking for U-Boats.

The false edge is sharp. I thought the square fullers were interesting.


February 27, 2008, 01:16 PM
What the hell do you mean 'replica'?

That's what I was thinking, too. I guess he meant "late model, non WWII issue." :uhoh:

BattleChimp Potemkin
February 27, 2008, 01:29 PM
If you do that, the germans that capture you will stick you with it! Just kidding, couldnt resist!

February 27, 2008, 03:55 PM
"Ka Bar" knives were made by many different companies during all wars, including Ka Bar and Camillus. There are no "clones" or "replicas" (unless you want to consider cheap versions made by companies that never had and never will have a mil contract to manufacture them).

Like kleenex is said in place of tissue, regardless of whether it's a Kleenex product or not, and Coke is said in the south, whether the orange soda be consumed is a Coca Cola product or not, KaBar has become a generic term for the USMC Fighting Knife (regardless of who the manufacturer is).

So, there are no "replica" KaBars, just USMC Fighting knife style knives made by various manufacturers, some of which had contracts to manufacture them for the U.S. military for decades.

February 28, 2008, 08:50 PM
hso, you're very wrong here. Very wrong, but I don't have time to discuss it.
The U. S. Marine Corps submitted requests for a prototype to two knife companies. K-Bar and Casexx. Both built the knife (USMC Utility/Fighting Knife). Both were submitted to the same rigorous testing by each company. Both passed all tests. The Marine Corps bought knives from both companies and used them and formulated their own evaluation. Both knives passed all the Marine Corps tests in a timely manner.
The Marine Corps went with K-Bar because K-Bar had submitted the lowest bid.
After World War Two K-Bar ceased production of this knife. It was peace time, the U.S. military forces were becoming smaller and there were thousands of these knives in military warehouses all over the world.
Then we got bogged down in a dirty, nasty little place called Vietnam, and again Headquarters United States Marine Corps turned to K-Bar.
I can positively guarantee you sir, that the only companies who have ever received an invitation to make a bid and submit a prototype for the USMC Utility/Fighting Knife for the United States Marine Corps were Casexx and Kabar.
There were many copies but they are all fakes and charlatans.
The USMC knife became so popular during World War Two that the other branches of service got Kabar to make the knives for them with their own logo on the side, such as USA. See photographs next post down.
Thank you. Good evening to you sir....

February 28, 2008, 09:10 PM

February 28, 2008, 09:15 PM

February 28, 2008, 09:21 PM

February 28, 2008, 09:28 PM
Moved more 'readable' copy of 'Certificate of Authenticity' three posts down....

February 28, 2008, 09:29 PM
You skipped right past the Korean "conflict" and went straight from WWII to Vietnam. Any reason why? Surely we used sharp, pointy things in Korea...right? Thanks in advance...

February 28, 2008, 09:46 PM
Yes sir, it was about the time that the Korean Conflict (I was a tiny little baby back then but I prefer to call it a war) was ending that Kabar ceased all production. I am not sure of the exact date. I just know they quit producing them for awhile.
During the time they were out of production all sort's of 'authentic fake copies' showed up in military surplus stores, sporting good stores, and various other civilian stores, hawked and pushed as 'an authentic copy' of the famous Marine Corps knife....
ADD ON....All Casexx's came with the 'slash edge' sharpened for use in fighting. After the dust settled and Kabar had the contract, the Marine Corps started fine tuning. The K-Bar's guard was bent to a 9 degree angle to deflect another knife blade or wire. The pin in the butt was improved upon. The leather handles had grooves cut into them to improve the grip.
I could tell you a lot about the testing Kabar and Case put those knives through to. Throwing a few double handsful of them into a wet, humid and hot room full of rotting vegetation to simulate jungle conditions so they could tell how the leather handles would hold up. Driving the knives into a 4x4 and then using a machine to bend the blades back and forth to approx. a 90 degree angle many many times to see if the blades were going to break....

February 28, 2008, 10:40 PM

February 29, 2008, 12:27 AM
I have always wondered how the Case Kabars looked. Thank you for posting the pictures Gentelman of the Charcoal. Is the false edge sharpened from the factory on the current Case products, or is it presently just a false edge?

February 29, 2008, 07:02 AM
mp510--sharpened. THE 'K-BAR' IS NOT A 'MODEL' OF A KNIFE....
mp510, you missed the whole point here. They are NOT Case Kabars. They are the prototype of the USMC Fighting/Utility knife. The case is the Case. The Kabar is the Kabar.
Case build's many knives. Kabar builds many knives. They are two separate knife companies. There is only one Kabar knife and that is one made by Kabar. There is only one Casexx knife and that is one made by Casexx.
The USMC Fighting/Utility knife is not called K-Bar because of the model. It's called K-Bar because that is the knife company that's make's it for the Marines.
If the Marines had gone with the Casexx one, it would have looked exactly the same, but instead of being called 'The K-Bar' then it would be referred to today as 'The Casexx".
I just don't understand here what is so difficult about this, but I'm through with it....

February 29, 2008, 08:36 AM
you really fired up over this knife buisness?

Dave McCracken
February 29, 2008, 09:07 AM
I've a Camillus "Kabar" that I obtained through unofficial channels in SEA that followed me home. The false edge is sharp.

February 29, 2008, 09:45 AM
I have a Camillus WWII issue of exactly the same pattern as the USMC fighting knife. But the Camillus is stamped U.S.N. where the others are stamped USMC. So no, not only the Marines had bad hog stickers. Their mama had them, too. :neener:

March 2, 2008, 07:26 AM
I have owned a Navy fighting knife for probably 20 years now. Truth be told, I actually like it a little better than the Kabar, because it is a tad smaller. I even had the sheath that went with it up until my buddies dog gnawed on it a few years ago, grrr......

GotC, your information was correct, but I think it is safe to say that "Kabar" has become a general name for any fighting knife of a certain type favored by Marines, particularly when it comes to Marines. Much like all facial tissue is generally referred to as "Kleenex" and all tilling machines are referred to as "Rototillers", so have all leather handled fighting knives of a certain type come to be called "Kabars". I can see where collectors might make the delineation, but the average guy just wants a Marine Corps knife and thats what he knows it as.

March 2, 2008, 08:15 AM
Yes, I agree with you.
I'm not really a knife collector and am not off into them. Just every once in awhile I might have a few dollars left over and look around for something to spend it on.
Thank you for responding to this post. I knew I was right but I was starting to feel put upon! (sort of like trying to explain to a blind man what the color red look's like)
I myself like the smaller K-Bar as far as knives go. It's exactly like the original Marine K-Bar point for point, only smaller. It's sure good for cleaning fish and small game and deer and what have you.
Again, thank you for responding. I have found it refreshing to read someone who know's reality from hype and bulls***, and who has the ability to stand back and put things into their proper perspective, liking what they like, but able to keep fact and fiction separate from each other....
There is no one so blind as he who just will not see....

March 2, 2008, 02:33 PM
those of you who are experts in this area could probably tell me what I have. I assume from TimboKhan's post that he has a navy version of the knives pictured in Gentleman of the Charcoal's post. I think I have something like that as it is marked USN MkII and has a sheath made of what appears to be phenolic resin with a metal ferrule at the mouth of the sheath and metal reinforced canvas webbing as the belt hanger. All in that unmistakable USN gray. It appears to be a dead ringer sizewise for the USMC knife though. Is that the same knife you are describing, TimboKhan or something different?

March 2, 2008, 03:02 PM
According to the M. H. Cole "U.S. Military Knives", book III, Camillus was the first to make the USN MK 2 knife during WWII.

They were later also made by PAL, Robeson, Conetta, Utica, and Ka-Bar and marked U.S.N.

Camillus, PAL, Robeson, and Ka-Bar also later made the exact same knife marked U.S.M.C.

For all practical purposes, any Navy MKII is the same knife as a Ka-Bar, and any Ka-Bar is a Navy MKII if it is mil-spec.

The gray plastic U.S.N. MKII scabbard was at first issued with knives to be used by UDT teams.

Later, they became more or less standard issue because of jungle rot quickly eating the leather sheaths in the South Pacific theater.


March 4, 2008, 04:08 AM
Is that the same knife you are describing, TimboKhan or something different?

Yup, thats exactly it. I could swear it was shorter (though not by much), but I am probably wrong on that one. I will have to dig it out and compare it to my Kabar and see.

March 4, 2008, 12:19 PM
guess I own a little piece of history! :D

March 4, 2008, 03:32 PM
During WWII demand for the USMC Fighting/Utility Knife was so great that several companies, with Ka-Bar supposedly making 1,000,000 of them, produced the USMC 1219C2 for the U.S. government. If not for a friend of mine at work who collects antique military knives I never would have learned that companies other than Ka-Bar made these knives. Union Cutlery (later renaming the company to it's Ka-Bar brand to take advantage of the popularity of the knife), Pal, Robeson and Camillus all produced the knife. Western was invited, but for some reason isn't among the companies recognized as having made the USMC Fighting/Utility knife (USMC 1219C2). Although Case makes a commercial version, Case is supposed to have had other commitments to the government during WWII and never made the USMC 1219C2 or the USN Mk 2 (according to the reply I got from the Case Collector's Club off the Case website) under military contract either during or after WWII. I've developed a greater appreciation of just how many companies were under contract to make knives during that time. While other companies like Conetta and Utica also produced the Mk2, my understanding is that they were awarded contracts in later conflicts to build inventories back up like Camillus was.

There's probably no single military knife that has such a strong following and inspires such ardent passions as the USMC 1219C2 Fighting/Utility Knife that people commonly refer to as the "Ka-Bar", regardless of who the actual manufacturer of any particular 1219C2/Mk2 was.




See "part V" of http://www.usmilitaryknives.com/okca_1996.htm



Pictures of some of the non-Ka-Bar USMC knives are attached below along with a Ka-Bar USN Mk2 as well as a PDF of page 91 on the USMC Fighting/Utility Knife from the authoritative Cole book showing the Ka-Bar, Camillus, Pal and Robeson Suredge models from WW II. Note the change during production where the tang and then the guard is stamped with the service and manufacturer then the tang with manufacturer and "US".


March 5, 2008, 06:32 PM
Thats because Western never made a mil-spec version of the MK II.

They had one, the model #G-46-8, but it had an 8" blade instead of a 7".
And it had the patented Western "twin-tang" with H-washer stacked leather handle.

Those two changes prevented it from being a mil-spec MK II, so it doesn't count.


If you enjoyed reading about "Ka-Bar" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!