A Good Knife for Field Work and Self Defense

I know that some of you will disagree with me on this one.  For a good knife for field use that is adequate for self-defense, I like the USMC Mark 2 Combat Knife, commonly called the KaBar.  This was first adopted by the United States Marine Corps in November 1942.

Since the early 1960’s I have had several of these and they have all held up well.  They have a seven-inch blade which I have found adequate for chopping up wood for kindling, making snares and other uses around camp.  Just the other day I used one for cleaning and filleting salmon.

Now I am not putting down all the new knife designs, I have several and some of them are very good, but expensive.  I like pocket knives, you will always find at least one folding knife in my pocket.  However good KaBars are reasonably priced and you can afford to buy several.  Just as a point of information, KaBar was only one of several manufacturers of the Mark 2.  The knife just picked up there name as a nickname.  All the companies that made them for the government met high standards.  I have several made by Ontario (a knife manufacturer, not the city).  The Mark 2 is still US Military issue.

If you are building a primitive shelter or doing camp chores in a survival situation, you need a knife you can depend on and preferably more than one.  Also, there is something to say for becoming familiar with your tools.  I see some people who are always buying the latest and greatest and never really learning what there knives can and can’t do.

Whatever knife you choose, take it out and use it, learn what you can accomplish with it.

Howard

 


Comments

A Good Knife for Field Work and Self Defense — 5 Comments

  1. I had a Kbar that i was happy with until i used it to split some kindlingwood from a well seasoned piece of pine board about 1 inch in thichness. I was using a plastic mallet to drive the blade into the wood while holding the handle of the knife to guide it straight. Much to my disapointment the blade of knife broke away from the tang of the knife handle. It appears that the metal had crystalized at that spot. For survival puroses I would recommend that your knife be a full thickness full tanged tool.

  2. I have used my original Olean, NY K-Bar to baton through car doors and aircraft canopies with no problems. The Ontario aircrew knife is also a good choice. The sawteeth on the Aircrew knife are not designed for cutting sheet metal, but are optimized for making notch triggers on figure four or Piutte deadfall traps and for quickly making a pile of magnesium fuzz off the tails of GI magnesium snoeshoes, or the Doan Machinery Co. fire starting tool included in US miltary aircraft survival kits. In axdition to the fixed blade I recommend a utility pocket knife similar to the Mil-K-818, “Boy Scout pattern, or Swiss Army Soldier or Farmer models.

  3. The original models have leather rings on the handle. This is fine for a while, but with this or any other knife a synthetic material is better. Over time the leather will rot and fall apart, whereas plastic, mycarta, or laminates will not.

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