KA-BAR. The name alone conjures up the many great battles-Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Ardennes, Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sahn-where these knives have seen action in the scabbards of U.S. soldiers and Marines. Now KA-BAR is seeing action here on the streets of the United States in the pockets and on the belts of law enforcement officers.
Although best known for heavy military-style, fixed-blade knives, KA-BAR has recently introduced several clip-it style folding knives, all of them high quality. The newest offering in this line is the 02-4062 Folding Hunter with an MSRP of $27.13.
When I first heard that price, I asked the KA-BAR rep if I was hearing things. That's an amazing price for a knife of this quality. Let's see. For under 30 bucks you get a clip-it knife that has an ambidextrous thumb opening stud, an ambi-pocket clip that allows for blade opening with thumb or forefinger, zytel handles, a spear point blade for easy sharpening, and quality AUS8A steel for durability. It sounded too good to be true, so I had to take one out for a test drive or, in this case, a "test carry."
Over the first few weeks of the New Year, I carried the Folding Hunter around the house, used it for opening Christmas presents, opening cartons at my local firearms dealer while hanging out there, cutting para cord to hang a feeder for the local whitetail population, and of course opening the Christmas cards and bills. Overall, the Folding Hunter performed well. It even sliced through the para cord like a hot knife through butter and, as many will attest, this is no easy task because of the inner nylon strands.
I also carried the KA-BAR through the woods of southwestern Pennsylvania for late archery season. The clip secured the Folding Hunter for two weeks of up and down the hills, climbing over trees and through brushes; truly a test of the clip's holding ability. Thanks to Mother Nature, I also had the opportunity to test the rust resistance of the blade and metal parts. After all that daily use the Folding Hunter was capable of easily field dressing my deer and still held a sharp edge.
KA-BAR has placed several ridges and divots across the top of the blade to give the knife a positive feel and an index point for your thumb. The zytel grip is very well checkered and is slip resistant even in the wettest and coldest of conditions.
The Folding Hunter is a lightweight knife, but it's plenty tough. Over the course of the T&E period, it was dropped from my front porch deck to the driveway a story below when opening a bag of rock salt and the handles did not crack even in the cold. The spear point also endured the fall, which is something many points wouldn't survive. That's a sign of quality steel and a well-designed blade.
KA-BAR's locking mechanism for the Folding Hunter is a standard lock blade, bucking the trend towards liner locks. This design has some advantages. The lock back design is easier to manipulate with gloved hands and lessens the chance of slicing one's digits when closing the blade. Take my word, this knife is capable of cutting your fingers cleanly, so this is a good set up; especially under stress when fine motor skills go to hell.
During the short period of time that I carried the Folding Hunter, it was subjected to the typical uses of uniform personnel, and I can say that it's up to the task. It's a quality folding knife that won't break the bank.
KA-BAR’s Folding Hunter is comfortably lightweight, but rugged enough to cut through para cord with ease.
02-4062 Folding Hunterc
Blade Length: 31/8 inches
Overall Length: 7 inches
Weight: 2 ounces
Blade Material: AUS8 stainless steel
Handle Material: Zytel
Scott Smith is a former military policeman and U.S. Army Ranger.