KA-BAR Fighting/Utility Knife review: Modern Incarnation of a Legend

A look at the KA-BAR Model 5011 Fighting/Utility Knife. This version of the classic KA-BAR knife has a 7 inch straight edge blade made from 1095 Cro-Van steel.

This is a modernised version so rather then the traditional leather handle material, Kraton G is used. Likewise the leather sheath has been replaced with a modern Glass Filled Nylon sheath which offers very good retention and is ambitdextrous. Both handle and sheath are Foliage Green in colour. Desert and Black are the other colours available in this line. You can also have a partially serrated edge on these blades.

KA-BAR produces these knives in a multitute of versions. There are the full size model such as this with the 7″ blade, the “Short KA-BAR” with a 5 1/4″ blade, plain edge and parrially serrated blades, GFN sheaths, leather sheaths, leather handles, and a range of commemorative models.

The KA-BAR is a true legend, I don’t think any collection is complete without at least one of these great knives. They are a well finished, quality product and have that indefinable sense of history built in. Value on these is amazing, they are a very affordable knife and are a great example of “high value.”

Music: Raw by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons “Attribution 3.0”


James Mullin says:

I like the KaBar 1271 fighter, made in USA, the D2 is also American.Sheaths are from Taiwan or Mexico. My D2 has a good sheath for actual carry and draws quickly.I have it set up for crossdraw.A pistol on my right hip.

drumdust says:

Nice review Mark.
I own a few Ka-Bar’s including this one and I love ’em all.
Now starting to collect their machetes.

Craig Lumpy Lemke says:

The volume of your voice is a little buried in the mix, mate.

David Louis says:

NOW THATS A KNOIFE ! great review

Gary Poe says:

very well made review

Paul'ie 4X says:

Say Heah M8, We just got back and before I called it a day I cleaned and stopped and oiled my knives, I really went out to practice survival and to see how good my Fallkniven A-1 worked with the Cold Steel Mini Pendleton and I knew tgey would and they did, so I also brought my older U.S.M.C. and my MK-1. Both have the leather handles. The sheath on the MK-1 didn’t fit on my Military Belt which was a older canvas that I had but it fit great in my O.K.C. Pilot Knife with tge leather handle and tge sheath has a sharpening stone in the front pouch, I think my MK-1 just found a new sheath and I like it. anyhow the knives are sharp and preformed great at bush craft tasks, Infact I’m surprised that more don’t use the MK-1 in the bush. A friend matched his Ka-Bar with the Short 5″ version but my thinner full grind MK-1 sliced and made curls much better, his still worked by a thinner blade worked better, I found another good pair of knives that work good in the bush. Next time I’m going to check out another set, I’m taking my Cold Steel Recon Tanto and my S.O.G. Seal Pup Elite both in the AUS8 but I’m pretty sure tgey will work great too. Oh and now the MK-1 also comes with the same handle as your knife. I sort of like that. But the leather handle knives I have work fine, so why argue with sucess. It might not be my Fav’s knives, but they did work good especially together.

Zachary Coubrough says:

Where did you buy yours? (i live in Australia and dont know where to get them)

Yol Mak says:

I’ve come across many photos of broken Kabars over the years. Blade easily snaps in half apparently. I wouldn’t trust them.

b0nedry says:

excellent review. Cheers from Kauai

rjhocky says:

How would you mount this to a molle system? Any tips? I really like the hard sheath but I want to mount it on my bag

Herb Walker says:

I ordered that sheath through Amazon. They said it will be here today…………..   I carried my KBAR in the US Army (Scout Platoon) and Its right here with me still today——–Thanks Herb 🙂

Grobey Eggs says:

Hi on Cutting Edge Knives, did the Foliage Green Kabar 5011 come with the Plastic sheath?

carlos adrian lopez says:

excelente amigo tengo el mismo cuchillo es una maravilla bravo saludos cordiales

Bill Smith says:

I have just retired my KA-BAR after 25 years of work all over the world. I cannot fault them. I  only hung mine up to replace it with a Puma White Hunter.

Ian Gillen says:

blood groove’s ??

Ted Stinson says:

Can you use the back of the blade as a fire strike

James Mullin says:

At least Taiwan is a US ally SEATO. SOG makes some in communist China. I have a commie Sealpup!

Andrew Summers says:

what color is that

Dominic says:

Do you think I could use that KA-BAR sheath with a Ontario SP1 knife sense the blades are similar?

Cooldibs says:

I need help, can’t seem to find this knife in desert tan

Christiansoul says:

double the price in Canada

Average Gun Guy says:

Excellent! I feel you on the keeping it as a collectable. It’s almost too good to use 🙂

Bruce Wayne says:

what is that plastic clip/tab thing on the top of the sheath for?

slim salha says:

Nice review mate. I just wanted to say that i was checking out my local prohibited weapons list the other day and realised that it says Kabars are prohibited here in south australia. I will soon be contacting SAPOL to tell them what a ridiculous law this is as Kabar makes hundreds of different knives.
Heres the link to their site where they list Kabars as prohibited.

Jack Wood says:

simple entertaining and informative review 10/10, where abouts in Aus you from mate ?

Joe Know says:

I dont get get what you mean by incarnation of a legend, isn’t this the original?

Jerome Gil Tibon says:

clip point my friend, the blade shape is referred to as clip point. I love this knife

jonny rock says:

I think the only value in this knife is historical. It’s beautiful but cheaply made now. Great vid.

Todd Klekotka says:

I have always liked these knives. I would only use it for light utility work or woodworking. Since I am into wood craft and bush craft, I will have to go with another blade, which the Becker series are very good for. Definitely a good historical piece thats fits any WWII collection very well.

Rasmus Lykke says:

I am going to get the Case , looks really good.

pilgrim8216 says:

Good Commentary Mate

Alex Bartlett says:

The glass filled nylon sheath rubs on the edge and dulls it when you draw and sheath it.  this sucks a little because I am mostly left handed and I had to buy another, right handed leather sheath for a similar knife, the Ka Bar short tanto.  think the new leather sheath cost 15 Australian dollars on ebay. Lesson learned.
good vid. 

yfelwulf says:

Porn Music 🙂

Joseph Foster says:

Its called a clip point

James Mullin says:

Buy a KaBar D2.

schlooonginator says:

Never was a huge fan of this knife mostly due to the rat tail tang and guard but this doesn’t have the stacked leather which is a bonus.
However, Having gotten one as a gift and holding it its actually a pretty good knife for most of what one would use a knife for.
Sure its still weak at the tang but bearing that in mind,just dont pry with it or chop but I would baton no problem.
I think the kraton handle is a big plus for absorbing shock that could knock the guard loose.
The sheath is also impressive which is rare in knives.

Dwight E Howell says:

To quote another, “Every knife is a compromise between a cold chisel and a razor blade.” The USMC left a little more metal in the blade than a hunting knife of the era would have had but they knew the knives were going to get some very rough use. As a civilian who doesn’t abuse blades I prefer a thinner blade with a full grind but I’d say the modernized version is still about as good a military knife as they make and it doesn’t have any problems doing anything reasonable. Can you destroy it? Sure. You can also destroy a crowbar. This is a very flexible blade in that it can do anything I’d expect to be able to do with a 7 inch blade. If you want to use the pummel as pounder for light pounding that might be okay but driving nails is a very good way to injure you hand. 

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