Can you parkerize a KaBar?


July 28, 2008, 10:26 PM
Does anyone know if you can parkerize a kabar knife?

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July 28, 2008, 11:00 PM
Is this some sort of a trick question?

KABARs are already parkerized. The black/gray you see on the blade is the park' job.

July 28, 2008, 11:07 PM
My dad gave me his kabar from his time in the army and I wanted to refinish it because the finish is worn off. Any recommendations on how to do this?

July 28, 2008, 11:35 PM
Personally, I'd leave a keepsake like that alone, they hold more value as well over time.

Parkerizing is a process involving heat & chemicals. There are kits you can buy online for it. To do it right, you'd need to take the leather grip and buttcap off first.

Once again, I'd leave it alone except for wiping it down with some oil from time to time.

July 28, 2008, 11:36 PM

lever her alone, protect her, love her, oil her often. be worth more in the long run.

July 28, 2008, 11:38 PM
Normally I would but Im headed to Afghanistan and it wasnt kept real well. Its got a lot of use but is salvagable. It has none of the original park left. I know how to park but I guess my question is how to take the knife apart?

July 29, 2008, 12:39 AM
I reparked a commercial K-Bar several years ago and left the handle intact. I used a very tight wrap and many layers of electrical tape to seal the leather washers from the phosphate solution. It worked well and the park job came out a beautiful dark gray.

July 29, 2008, 01:14 AM
You can't take it apart without destroying it so don't try. The leather washers are put on with a press and a fixture and the cap is peened. Leave well enough alone.

If you want to take a knife with you get a modern one.

July 29, 2008, 12:16 PM
CWL gave the correct reply. Retire that knife, put it in a nice display case as a memory of your father, to be shown to your children and grandchildren. Buy your own K-Bar and add it to the same display case after you get out. Start a tradition.

July 29, 2008, 03:37 PM
I suppose you could have it very carefully dipped up to the guard and not get the leather washers into the tank, but I think you have to blast the old park off to do it and that will remove all it's character. If the knife were used after it served for all sorts of mundane tasks I guess it wouldn't be an unpardonable sin to repark it.

July 30, 2008, 01:28 AM
Another solution could be painting the blade. You could use some cheap Krylon or the expensive bake-on sprays that can be bought from Brownells or Midways.

Paint can also be stripped easily if you want to return it to original condition when your dad gave it to you.

July 30, 2008, 06:04 AM
Best option I can see is to parkerize (since you know how) and then Duracoat.

Anyone who says he should leave it alone because "it'll be worth more" is missing the point. It was given to him to use, not merely as an heirloom. Heck, I was given my grandfather's pump .22 with the condition that I restore it as close to original as I could.

hso: If you want to take a knife with you, get a modern one.What's so antiquated about the KA-BAR if it's still being issued?

July 30, 2008, 07:16 AM
What's so antiquated about the KA-BAR if it's still being issued?

While I'm an adherent of "If it ain't broke don't fix it.", there are knives with much stronger construction and that take into account modern mechanized combat. The USMC Fighting Utility/ USN MkII design is a pretty big knife with a sheath that doesn't mount on modern load carrying equipment.

As to the knife "still being issued today". Please find one example of a KaBar USMC Fighting/Utility knife with an NSN number today. You won't. The knife hasn't been "issued" for a long time.

July 30, 2008, 10:14 PM
I can verify back to at least 1990 that the Kabar was not "issued". A point of pride for a Marine to have, sure. Issued, not so much.

July 30, 2008, 10:30 PM
Bragood, Try something from this page here.

Retire your dads as a worthy keepsake, but get your own to beat up, abuse and gather stories on.

To the rest of you, Our SAW gunners and officers were issued Camilus all black KaBars in lieu of Bayonets as late as '97 in Guantanamo bay. I have no clue what the NSN number was, but I saw it w/ my own two eyes.

July 30, 2008, 11:05 PM
+1 Realbigo
The combat knife was available for issue to Marines who's T/O weapon was a pistol (or other than a rifle) when I was on active duty (1971-2001). The NSN is 1095-00-392-4102
Enter it here (without the dashes):

July 30, 2008, 11:27 PM
Well Alex, I'll take "use-it" for $200-ESPECIALLY if your dad gave it to you with the intent that you would carry while serving your country. I wouldn't have the guts to look my dad in the eye and say "gee thanks Pop, but I think I'll leave it behind in the desk drawer."

I have a WWII KABAR that was my Grandfathers. He gave it to my father who gave it to me. Both of them used the knife, I put it in a drawer because that's what you do with an "heirloom" isn't it?

No, not in this case. First of all, how could I dare sell it? For what, $100 at most? Sorry, not worth it and besides that, I'm just borrowing it because it really belongs to my first born...

Secondly, if my Grandfather were alive and my dad had any say about it, they would want me to use it not display it or hide it away in a drawer. And you know what? That's what I do now. I use it, and I enjoy it every time I do. I refuse to die leaving behind a bunch of stuff that I was too protective to use and enjoy to people who probably won't appreciate it nearly as much as I would have using it.

Are there 'better' knives? Maybe. Is it a 'bad' knife? NO, not at all. It's a working knife pattern that has proven it's self on everything from opening crates of ammo to taking care of other not so mundane 'problems'.

Carry it, use it, guard it. And if you can parkerize-then parkerize it-just be careful of the leather handle as already suggested. And if you loose it, or break it, or it gets stolen-guess what? That's the time to get a new one.

One suggestion would be to pick up a new sheath to carry it in. You can get them from AG Russell in leather for $10 or even get a higher end tactical type (Blackhawk I think is the brandname) for $45 or so.

Well, that's what I would do anyhow...

and you take care over there you hear?

July 31, 2008, 11:53 AM
Those who weren't being issued bayonets were still being issued KaBars in 2007, when I was on active duty. They're still around, and the local exchange is full of them, I'm sure.

Don Gwinn
August 1, 2008, 08:14 PM
It was his dad's knife, and his dad wanted him to use it. Now it's his knife, and he wants to use it. Advice is fine, but I'd say he's going to use it.

I just Dura-coated a pistol slide and a scope, and I would say if you can operate an airbrush (which I clearly can't,) you'd have an easy time with that. All you'd have to do with the handle is mask it off and be careful when you degrease. The DC will stick to parkerized metal with no problem, and it does seem pretty tough.

Is there a "modern" sheath out there for the Ka-Bar? Something to mount on MOLLE gear? I bet there is, but I wouldn't know where to look.

August 1, 2008, 09:06 PM
Here's a start...

Blackhawk Products-

U.S. Calvary Product Page-

You can also get leather from AG Russell for $10. Not the easiest to mount on web gear but good for weekend warriors like me.

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