kabar or ontario? im a short drive from either one


December 2, 2012, 01:44 AM
im just across the PA border from where the kabar and ontario factories are, was thinking of picking up a new knife straight from the factory.. any suggestions as to what i should get from either one?

If you enjoyed reading about "kabar or ontario? im a short drive from either one" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 2, 2012, 01:49 AM
Dunno that either factory has a store for you to pick one up from.

Call ahead and find out (and let us know).

The Cutco/Kabar visitor center does sell product. It is at 1040 East State Street, Olean, NY 14760.

December 2, 2012, 06:11 AM
I have tried several OKC knives and was not impressed with any of them. All 3 of them I have purchased were in a return box the same day they showed up. I have gotten knock off Benchmades from China better than every knife I have gotten from Ontario Knife.

I have been to the Kabar factory in Olean a few times and I walk out with at lease one knife every time.

Baba Louie
December 2, 2012, 09:51 AM
Ontario RAT-3 and Ka-Bar's BK16 Short Becker (drop point) or BK17 (clip point) would be my first choice(s), but were I to enter the factory stores I know myself and it would all depend on how much money I had on me that day. Who knows what I'd actually go home with? What can I say? I'm weak and I like knives. ;)

Of course if you don't already own a USMC Fighting Knife, you should... even tho you probably won't do much fighting with it :p and truth be told there are better knives to be had in that size, and it is kind of large for general field use... but... it is one to add to a collection... if you're weak like me. Look at their USN MKI as well, probably a better choice than the baby KaBar for field & camping use.

I prefer the smaller fixed blades myself, as I find 3" - 5" blades a bit more useful overall which is why my recommendations are what they are. 1095 is pretty good (easy) steel to keep sharp.

December 2, 2012, 10:41 AM
You should be prepared to pay more than you would purchase from the internet. They'll either sell at MSRP or close to it unless they offer cosmetic seconds.

December 2, 2012, 04:45 PM
I'd go KA-BAR. They make all of the new Beckers as well as the newer production Johnson Adventure Blades, and they've got the newer, outlandish ZK lineup. Also Canal Street Cutlery is also located in NY somewhere, and they produce some very nice, quality, traditional, folders and fixed blades.

December 2, 2012, 09:51 PM
people seem to really like the becker models.. maybe i should get one of these, a fighting knife since its basically THE kabar.. and wouldnt mind trying out their bowie either... i better bring a certain amount in cash with me so i dont buy everything they have

December 2, 2012, 10:00 PM
yeah.. i really like that BK17.. i have to get me one of those.. and i dont have a fighting style yet.. so i think id get the leather handled model.. maybe the black.. one or the other, either way i dont like the serrated ones

December 3, 2012, 12:11 AM
KaBar happened to be one of the manufacturers and the name stuck with the Marines. The facts are that the knife was designed in concert with Camillus and adopted as the 1219C2 combat knife. Camillus was responsible for the first production of the knife with other companies assigned contracts, KaBar included, to meet demand. The designation changed to the Fighting/Utility Knife and then to the USN Mk-II
So, in actuality, the knife you think of as the Marine KaBar is more accurately the Camillus USMC Fighting/Utility Knife and only by an ironic twist is KaBar commonly, and incorrectly, associated with the iconic knife of WWII.

December 3, 2012, 09:33 PM
Becker BK2 is a beast. I really like the BK16 too. You can't go wrong with any if the knives in the Kabar Becker line.

December 4, 2012, 03:56 AM
bought a 556 mini griptilian from the benchmade factory store. nice knife but it was sold at full retail, or msrp. about $20 higher than at sportsmans wharehouse. may want to check the prices. might be cheaper to buy from ebay unfortunatly.

December 13, 2012, 10:13 PM
Bought my dad the full sized USMC KA-BAR. Came in the mail yesterday and I have been playing around with it. What a great knife, at least as far as I can tell without getting it out into the field. We backpack together a lot so we'll have ample opportunity to put this one through its paces. I imagine that I'll end up with one in the near future. And the price is amazing--$54 on Amazon. Goods stuff!

December 13, 2012, 10:25 PM
Certain BK knives seem to come with glass-filled nylon sheeths that cause the blade to become dull really quickly.
I was interested in the Eskabar until I saw this video:


Ontario makes good knives - but why not spend a little more money and get an Esee (formerly RAT Cutlery)? You'll probably get better quality and you'll definitely get a better warranty.

December 13, 2012, 11:28 PM
come with glass-filled nylon sheeths

CAME with, they switched this spring. The youtube is now out of date.

December 14, 2012, 08:41 AM
CAME with, they switched this spring. The youtube is now out of date.

Thanks - that's good to know.
The guys at KA-BAR should update their website, so that people become aware of this. I checked the site before posting, and in the description of the Becker Necker, it still says "Black plastic injection molded glass-filled nylon sheath and 550 cord included":

The description of the Eskabar speaks of a "plastic sheath", but below, next to "Add to Cart", it still says "Item BK14 knife with
Glass Filled Nylon".

I'll send them an email to clarify this.

I hope there will be a way to tell whether a knife has the old or the new sheath. I would like to buy an Eskabar, but I need to order it online, and I suppose that many stores still have the older version in stock.

December 14, 2012, 11:06 AM
Wow, I immediately got a friendly and lengthy reply from KA-BAR's customer service. Unfortunately, there's some bad news.

I quote from the email they sent me (emphasis mine):

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

All of our plastic sheaths contain some glass content. The only sheath that has changed is the BK2 sheath. The newer sheath for that item number has slightly less glass content than previously made sheaths. All distributors should have new product at this time, as the new sheaths were introduced over a year ago. Also, I would recommend pulling the knife straight out of the sheath, instead of rolling it along the side when you extract the knife from the sheath.

The sheath for the BK13 and the sheath for the BK 11 have never been changed. All new product will be introduced in mid-January; however, I would recommend checking our website or our Facebook page regularly for updates and announcements.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us again.

I really appreciate their honesty, but I hesitate to buy any knife with a glass-filled nylon sheath from them before the issue is solved.
Can anyone confirm that the sheath doesn't dull the blade if it's pulled out in a straight line?

December 14, 2012, 03:13 PM
I have two fixed blade Kabars with the glass filled nylon sheath or equivalent. And one with leather. As long as you pull the knife out of the sheath straight it won't harm the edge of the knife. I have found it is easier to dull a knife on a leather sheath than on a plastic one.

If you enjoyed reading about "kabar or ontario? im a short drive from either one" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!