USMC KA-BAR vs. M3 Trench Knife?


February 25, 2008, 05:05 AM
Well, I've been wanting an M3 for a good long while now, and I think I've found one for a good price. Thing is, I can find a TON of info on the KA-BAR, but not so much on the M3.

What are the strengths/weaknesses of each? Why would you go with one and not (immediately) the other?

If it matters, I'd be getting the M8 sheath to go with the M3. Also, the only manufacturer who's still making the M3 is Boker, but I've found a NIB Camillus. The Boker is 80% more, but... it's a Boker. The Camillus is discontinued (as is everything else Camillus made).

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February 25, 2008, 07:45 AM
Get the Camillus and keep it as a NIB collectible.

What do you want either one for?

February 25, 2008, 08:18 AM
See here. (


February 26, 2008, 12:32 AM
So... nobody has any input as to which is superior and why? :confused:

Even something as relatively insignificant as the M3 isn't as common as the KA-BAR?

February 26, 2008, 05:49 AM
See here.

Ahhhh,, I see.

Get both! Just make sure they're both Camillus so you can rationalize the purchase as collectible knives instead of just adding another sharp pointy thing to daily ballast.

February 26, 2008, 01:03 PM
I sort of qestion how valuable the M-3 would be as a field knife- effectively it's a M-4 bayonet with a different grip, pommel, and guard. I was going to buy a Camillus reissue last year, but the deal fell through. I would have left it in the box as a Camillus collectors item. If you are going to buy an M-3, I would go for the Camillus. It's half the price of the Boker, is (was) American made, and has more likliehood of becoming a collectible. IIRC, the Boker is made in Taiwan.

As a field user, I would buy either a Kabar or a short Kabar (The longer blade may be less practical for fine use).

February 26, 2008, 05:19 PM
Mp510 has provided you with some good advice concerning these two knives. One problem with the M3 knife is it could be construed as a dagger in some localities. This may not pose an issue if possession of daggers is permitted while their carry is prohibited. But if you wish to carry such an item, then a utility knife such as a kabar looks better. Remember, the kabar is both a utility and a fighting knife. The M3 is considered more of a fighter given its dagger design. I hope this explanation helps.


February 28, 2008, 03:28 AM
What are you going to be using it for? Combat or utility?

The M3 is a good combat knife. It is NOT a good utility knife, due mostly to the fact that its blade is designed to stab, not to slice or chop.

The Kabar, on the other hand, is a good all around utility knife. It can be used for combat, but it can also be used for dozens of other miscellaneous chores, from chopping down trees to pounding tent pegs, opening rations, cutting wood, slicing food, processing game, etc. This is one of the main reasons why it has been so successful as a military knife, because infantry rarely uses their knives in combat, but they use them often for doing all of the other things they need to do to keep them in the fight.

February 28, 2008, 02:00 PM
Again, it depends on the intended use.

The Ka-Bar is a great general purpose knife.
The M3 was a cheap-to-produce single-purpose weapon.

Given the choice for all around use, there is not even a question of the Ka-Bar being much more useful for a great many more things.

The M-3 was a war-time expediant in order to make a maximum number of weapons out of a minimum amount of steel & production capacity.
There is nothing magical or useful about it.

They Suck for just about anything you might use one for except stabbing someone, and the Ka-Bar works great for that as well!


February 28, 2008, 08:19 PM
The Ka-Bar is a great general purpose knife.
I like it.

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