Tag Archive | Mark 2 Utility Knife

That old Ka-Bar magic

Union Cutlery Co. of Olean, New York, began using the “Ka-Bar” name on its knives and in its advertising in 1923.

Fast forward to WWII and the company worked with the Marines to modify the old Western States L77 hunting knife to create what the Navy termed the Mark 2 Utility Knife and in the Marines as the Mark 2 Combat Knife– the blade known as the now-classic Ka-Bar.

WWII-era Ka-Bar MK2 with original fiberglass sheath via Ka-Bar. The drawing is actually of the Ka-Bar commando a very similar offering

Made during the war and since then by Camillus, Ontario, PAL, Robeson, Utica et. al while Union still trademarked the name, the knife has become an icon, a totem.

Two WWII Marine Raiders demo knife fighting– note the K.

Marines somewhere in the Pacific. Note the Ka-Bar in the boot

Today, owned by Cutco, Union long ago changed their name to Ka-Bar formally and they still make the knife in Olean, though some complain that the current version just isn’t the same as the 1943 classic. I blame a lot of that stink on Chinese counterfeits.

With that, the company posted this today, which I thought was interesting.

“The vehicle ran over the KA-BAR and it punctured the tire and lodged in the wheel. The handle did not break off until it was inside the tire.”

It looks like one of the more modern blades which are constructed with a 1095 carbon steel blade that is epoxy powder coated.

Of course, there is no telling which vintage this blade is from, but it is still impressive.

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