Ontario Air Force Survival Knife Review, Equip 2 Endure

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Review and Specs of the classic Ontario Air Force Survival Knife.


biblical giants says:

it’s 49.99 at Cabela’s..

adrian barrera says:

Nice video

Holasrmateo says:

This was at USAF SERE, standard issue survival knife that and had been used by thousands of aircrew, chopping and batoning, bushcrafting and a few other hard use tasks. You’d be hard pressed to match even a year of personal EDC to what these knives see at SERE. I don’t carry this knife when I fly.

JakeTheRipper 73 says:

I was looking at one of these at Walmart the other day. I almost bought one, but the quality control seemed sub par. the edge was all rolled over and the other one they had was dull as hell. I’m also curious what those notches in the spine of the blade are for. I’m thinking about picking one up and cleaning up the blade a bit. I think it could be a great knife with a little effort after purchase. I did pick up an Ontario model 01 folder. very great folder for the price.

kim jae mr says:

ohhhh… this was a amerian pilot knife. well, this one is pretty popular in south korea. maybe leaked from US military camps, 2 year ago, one idiot boy make serious fun of this knife, and south korea’s knife laws bcame really harsh.

Terwin82 says:

I purchased a new ontario, it does not have a false edge. Leather on handle moves all around and guard wiggles and rattles. I called Ontario, they were nice. Sent knife back to them. Thinking of buying a TFI.

I posted photos of my 67 Camillus, 84 Camillus and the new Ontario 499 over on blade forums.

Equip 2 Endure LLC says:

Thanks for the input

zachary elliott says:

Thanks i love the stories, its sad i though all soldiers were issued a bayonet or kabar

6firefightin says:

I just came across one of these last weekend. I has to pick it up. Great knife. Adam keep up the Great work.

kwarnisplayer says:

That was my first fixed blade. Mine is made by Camillus. Did the Work Sharp put a good edge on it?

Justin Prather says:

Would you recommend lacquering the leather washer handle?

JC Wood says:

Brought my own Ontario with Me when I was  with the 5th Marines. Loved that Knife, did all I asked of it without fail. A piece of home in far off lands. Still have it.

Chuck Hardage says:

I’ve kept mine for 35 years, never let me down. Field dressed quite a few deer with it. Still have a like new one as backup

bruce545 says:

What a great knife! I have had mine since 1983and was stationed in Germany. Our BN CO gave them out to those who achieved “Soldier of the Quarter”.

Angelo Conjeaul says:

Ok So i got this knife Today, and im not to happy with it. The handle guard on mine is loose and the bottom part is as well. I ordered mine from BladeHQ. im wondering if this is normal for the knife. i understand its not a high end 300 dollar knife but i expected a little more. I got the newer version ontario 499 air force survival knife. apart from the loose parts i like the knife so far.

joe Recto says:

I’ve owned, carried, and used this knife since the 70’s.I can honestly say E.D.C. It is reliable. More rugged than the current ASEK Gerber. The only (slight) disadvantage I’ve found is that the sort of sharp “false edge” will chew up your baton when processing firewood. No big deal. Just throw the shreds into your tinder bundle. It carries conveniently outboard on my right calf. Easily accessible when seated in or on a vehicle. Sure, I own fancier, more expensive knives that are scary sharp (Cold Steel Master & Magnum Tanto ll) to name 2, but this knife still has a certain appeal to me in both form and function. It has resided in every vehicle that I’ve owned. Always ready to strap on when I hit the trail. The stone is adequate, but I normally carry a pen sized diamond hone. The stacked leather handle can be shaped to your preference with a 1/2 round rasp, or Dremel tool. I left mine stock. It works for me Nice Knife.

W. Tobias Gibson says:

I lost my Camillus and replaced it with an Ontario.  Are there better knives out there?  You bet.  but for the price this is a quality made knife and an American Icon.   You’re right about the saw back but then the Air force emergency kit normally carries a folding saw.  The one on the knife is a back up and  cut through  thin sheets of aluminum/plexiglass.   Plus that hexagon buttcap make a decent emergency hammer.  Great review!

soupbone says:

I see a lot of comments about loose handles and guards – as the leather drys out, it will shrink, hence the rattles. When it gets humid again, the leather will swell, tightening everything up again. It is no big deal function-wise, just a characteristic of this type of construction. Remember that this knife was not designed to impress mall ninjas – it is a serious working tool that is considered expendable, which is why a lot of us have our original issue knives. BTW, you can also use the holes in the guard to rig a lanyard for those times when you cannot afford to drop your knife.

On our issue knives [Ontario, late 80’s manufacture] the clip side of the blade was not sharpened. This was to keep you from accidentally puncturing or cutting entrails and ruining meat. A commercial Camillus I had purchased had a sharp clip, as did a commercial Ontario I saw.

I wonder how many pieces of military equipment designed in WWII are still in current production and use?


Russell Dobbins says:

I’ve used the sawbuck to actually saw on mine a number of times. Works great in a pinch!

kwarnisplayer says:

The stock stone can be switched to a Norton Fine India stone.

Britt Thomas says:

I cut through a piece of a crashed Cessna 172 fuselage about 5 in. thick. Consisting of fiberglass, aluminum alloy, heavy duty styrofoam, and some type of steel rivets. I sawed a 4x4x4 triangle and when I finished, I felt the edge on my blade and it was just as sharp as when I first stabbed the knife into the material, the sawback was same as when I started. Overall the knife showed no damage, minus some wear on the coating of the blade and that was quite minimal considering what it had just been through.

GetTheFO says:

I’d rather buy an Ontario ASEK and grind off the serrations. Too many stories of the handles snapping on these… A shame, too. I really like the design.

Equip 2 Endure LLC says:

Thanks for your input

Holasrmateo says:

No. It’s actually hollow. The handle is a chode, doesn’t reduce impact and will eventually shatter as all USAF SERE issued knives show. The stone is worthless for sharpening, the blade shape and weight is worthless for batoning or chopping. If you are looking for an actual survival knife, buy something else.

Emily Kovairik says:

I`m saving my pennies to get myself one ! thanks 🙂

logick2 says:

I’ve carried one of these in my vehicle for over 30 years. I once used it in an emergency to split and chop off some frozen lug nuts on my truck wheel. Did the job and keeps on truckin’!

Jeff Stone says:

Carried mine when I was a medic in the 82nd ABN on my web belt. Use it as a crow-bar once and didn’t breack the tip. IT is made from carbon steel that needs Veg oil or bacon greese to prevent rusting. Perfet size for a Soldier but is smaller than a K-bar. Great tool to own.

coastiekevink says:

The “sawback” was originally used for ripping through aircraft fuselage.

soupbone says:

Mine is an Ontario issued about 1998. I trust this knife; it has ever let me down. This is the knife for those tasks you should never use a knife for-pounding, prying and the like. The knife will take it. And in those situations governed by Status of Forces agreements or REMFing base commanders that limit firearms, it is comforting-even though I have never needed to use it as a weapon. It is a serious piece of professional equipment, not a tacticool toy. Get a real one though, not a knockoff.

Equip 2 Endure LLC says:

Thanks for sharing

joe perez says:

If you could what is a convex edge I’ve heard that on a lot of vids but I don’t know what it is….

Equip 2 Endure LLC says:

Thanks for watching

Ugg Lee says:

Now thats an ontario!

MaZEEZaM says:

As usual the price in Australia is more than double the US price, for us $74 + delivery 🙁

Nathan Hardesty says:

I loved the video, but I gotta disagree on it’s usefulness. I’ve had mine in survival situations since I was 8 (32 now)…so I agree with it being a great youth knife. Great video!

Vader111797 says:

Does it have a full tang?

OceanTech39 says:

Got one my father took it to V.N.

Ronald Dunne says:

Looks like a shadow of the AFSK I remember from the 1960’s… highly prized in certain quarters back then. The sheath leather looks thinner and the grip leather softer and fluffier, the sawback less pronounced. They were a badazz knife, even compared with the USMC knife, the modern iteration maybe not so much.
The grip leather can be tightened up by a good soak (not brushed, SOAKED) in Thompson’s water seal (or similar product) and when thoroughly dried, a coat of clear lacquer to seal it. Once soaked and lacquered the leather will take a bit of a polish on a buffing wheel which will harden it up a bit. Forget the “leather treatment” or leather oils- they will only soften the leather, allowing it to wear and degrade more quickly. Ive rescued a few of these types of grips over the years, all seriously degraded from oils or “leather treatments”.

Alex Strouse says:

How is it not a bush craft knife? its called a survival knife dude! it can be a bush craft knife.

uscgalpha91 says:

Thanks for making great videos. If you did not reshape the edge it’s just to clunky and awful to work with. Sell it off at the 1st gun show you come too.

mercoid says:

Some other commenter said the stone was useless. Thats not true. I put a wicked, albeit not very refined edge on mine with the stone provided. Don’t approach the process in the typical manner…. cup the ends of the stone btwn the base of your fingers and the ball of your palm and draw the stone over/away from the edge. It’s quick and effective.

Matthew Smith says:

How does this knife compare to the Kabar Short knife?

Vader111797 says:

Oh I have one now and I edc it, works just fine for me mate, maybe someone ripped you off on yours or something.

Equip 2 Endure LLC says:

thanks for watching

Equip 2 Endure LLC says:

Thanks for your input

jamel jay says:

us made .?

simone valota says:

excuse me, good for chopping???


I just bought an original Camillus 1962 Air Force survival knife and the sheath looks different from the one Adam is showing. It has alot of history and this blade is going to be loved and taken care of in my knife collection! Take xare people and stay sharp!

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