Thread: So, I Just Bought a KA-BAR Clone
12/09/2011 2:55am, #1
So, I Just Bought a KA-BAR Clone
Does that make me bad? I prefer the different hilt and grip contours on the Ontario Knives SP2 to KA-BAR's short fighting/utility knife. This will be my first fixed-blade knife and also my first knife with a 1095 steel blade. My other two knives are folders: a CRKT Wrangler with a 440C blade and a Spyderco Tasman Salt with an H1 blade (excellent corrosion resistance, it does harvesting duty in the garden).
I was shopping for a knife like this because Canada's gun laws are enforced such that owning a pistol means giving the police free license to charge you with illegal storage whenever they fucking feel like it. As such, I plan to sell my pistol (and all related supplies) prior to moving and use this knife in case of mortal danger. Should the move to Canada actually happen, I'll see about setting up some private grappling lessons utilizing a training knife.
I will update the thread after the knife has arrived and I've had some time to work with it a little. I opted for the shorter 5.5″ blade because I felt the 7″ blade on the SP1 might be too long for me to have decent leverage in some scenarios.
Oh yeah, here's the obligatory link (I bought it at the linked site, but this isn't meant to be an ad).
12/09/2011 4:50am, #2
There's nothing wrong with Ontario. They're the current provider of M9 Bayonets to the US armed forces. 1095 with a good heat treat is a great steel and is one of my favorites, and whoever is doing their heat treating right now is second only to Rowen as far as I'm concerned. Great knives.
On another note, Ka-Bar doesn't use 1095 anymore. They're using what they call 1095 Cro-Van which is similar but has some Cromium added for a bit of rust resistance and Vanadium for a little wear resistance to help with edge holding. In my experience regular 1095 will take and hold a slightly better edge and I haven't noticed much difference in how long it takes my edges to patina, so I'm pretty partial to the regular 1095.
12/09/2011 2:37pm, #3
Thanks for the perspective; I'm actually a bit proud I knew most of that going into this. I have never been a knife guy, but—like any geek worthy of the title—I did some extra credit work.
What can you tell me about the type of stones needed to sharpen 1095, typical grind angles, or corrosion resistance?
This will be my first non-stainless blade steel, so I'm particularly concerned about storage with regard to balancing readiness and corrosion prevention. My M1911A1 clone is made from Parkerized 4140; should I treat the knife akin to that and rub it with a silicon cloth before I put it away (between cleaning/lube work, in the case of the pistol)?
12/09/2011 4:19pm, #4
1095 takes an extremely sharp edge very, very easily and is extremely adaptable so you can pretty much sharpen it up however you like. That's the beauty of carbon steel. Its super easy to sharpen and gets razor sharp. My sharpest knives are actually in 1095. It will rust, though. I recommend coating any exposed steel with mineral oil. It lasts a little longer than olive or vegetable oil before drying up and it isn't toxic so you can still use the blade for food prep. Another option is to just let the blade patina over time. As long as you don't develop surface rust its really not a big deal. Some people even put patinas on their blades on purpose.
12/09/2011 6:48pm, #5
So I would apply a light coat of mineral oil to the blade before sheathing the knife for storage?
Sorry if I'm being pedantic, but I take nothing for granted when I'm new to something.
12/09/2011 8:04pm, #6
That should do just fine. If you're putting it away for quite a while you might want to be pretty liberal with the oil so that it doesn't evaporate as quickly, though. You won't have to worry about rust on the black coating on the blade, just the edge. Stropping the edge to get rid of some of the machining marks and polish it up will help reduce rust spots as well, plus a polished edge cuts really, really well. Bark River makes a nice strop that you can find on knivesshipfree.com with some good compounds to get started with if you don't have one and are interested.
12/09/2011 8:46pm, #7
I have an Ontario RBS Afghan knife. I wanted a new camping knife, saw that a guy from Ranger Bat was making these, and purchased it when I found it on sale online. Unfortunately, I misread the dimensions of it. It's a really solid knife, but WAY too large for my purposes. The scales could use a little reshaping to make it more ergonomic, as well. As it is, it's just sitting around collecting dust until I figure out someone to re-gift it to.
Moving on to the topic at hand, 1095 is great steel. Stainless steel is a good choice for folders, but I prefer carbon steel for fixed blade knives. Easier to sharpen, way less likely to chip or break.
As a promotion present to myself, I ended up replacing the Afghan with a BHK Bushcrafter in O1 with a scandi grind. Much more manageable.
I'm also on a 5 month waiting list for one of these:
After all, there's no such thing as too many when it comes to knives or guns.
Last edited by Cassius; 12/09/2011 8:53pm at ."No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
12/09/2011 10:25pm, #8
So very true, Cassius. I like S30V in my folders, currently I carry a Spyderco Paramilitary 2 and it's been great. I also prefer Carbon for fixed blades. I'm a huge fan of ESEE and I really like Bark River and Fallkniven as well. Haven't had a chance to pick up a Blind Horse yet, but I always drool when I see them! Good choice.
EDIT: Did forget to mention that Fallkniven uses stainless steels, but they're an exception to the rule when it comes to my fixed blade steel preferences just because of how well the F1 slices.
Last edited by IMightBeWrong; 12/09/2011 10:41pm at .
12/09/2011 10:57pm, #9
A small note on "mineral oil".
That is a pretty vague term and not all versions are "food grade", in fact none are in most of Europe, iirc.
That said i use fairly toxic stuff on my knives all the time, if i'm prepping food i just clean them beforehand.
12/09/2011 11:15pm, #10
Good point. I haven't worried about it much, though, since I'm just using it to coat the edge of my knife as opposed to really consuming it. I just want to keep things like rem oil out of my food.