Rick Hinderer Crafts Loving Tribute to KA-BAR’s Classic USMC Knife

Hinderer Knives is back with a new fixed, and it’s a tribute to one of the all-time greats. The Hinderer KaBar pays homage to the KA-BAR USMC Mk. 2 Utility Fighting Knife, with enough differences to distinguish it from its illustrious forbearer.

The concept of a Hinderer KaBar came about as Rick Hinderer began brainstorming ideas for tribute knife to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. “Of course when one thinks of WWII and the knives used in that war, you automatically remember the KA-BAR knife,” Hinderer writes in a piece on his website. The USMC Mk. 2 Fighting Utility Knife, as the KA-BAR classic is formally known, is without a doubt the most iconic knife of WWII. It has moved beyond the knife world itself and gone on to become almost as ubiquitous as the Buck 110 or a Swiss Army knife. “So the seed was planted in my mind that I wanted to make a USMC Mark 2 Fighting Utility Knife or KaBar,” Hinderer continues.

On the macro level, the Hinderer KaBar sticks to the unmistakable look of the original; the major differences are ones of construction and materials. The Hinderer KaBar features full tang construction (instead of a hidden tang-style build), with rounded Micarta scales replacing the stacked leather of its predecessor. The core of the enlarged cross guard is part of the tang, with aluminum scales bolted on top of it, and the redesigned pommel, also made from aluminum, is attached with another screw on the bottom.

A look at the full tang construction of the Hinderer KaBar
For the blade Hinderer kept the iconic, California clip profile, the 7-inch edge length, and the big front-and-back fullers. The two changes of note are the blade steel, which here is ultra-tough 3V, and the big forward finger groove beneath the cutting edge. A leather sheath rounds out the package, providing a practical carry option as well as something historically apposite for those who plan to keep the Hinderer KaBar as a collector’s piece.

During the design process, Hinderer reached out to KA-BAR for permission to use their name on this release. Thus hte KA-BAR wordmark is stamped on the off side of the blade tang; Hinderer himself notes that this is the first time KA-BAR has ever given anybody permission to use their logo on a rendition of this oft-imitated knife.

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