Monday, February 20, 2012

Leatherneck VS KaBar!!

I got the Leatherneck as a gift from my wife, I got the Kabar with a gift card from work. I want to go on the record and say that I love both of these knifes and will gladly put my life on both given what they each are designed for.

Let me start with the Leatherneck and its features. The Cold Steel remake features a flat ground from top to bottom, bowie style blade made from sk-5 High Carbon steel. Almost the exact same as the 1095 used by Ka Bar. A Kraton handle, full tang design that has the looks and comfort of slip tang, and an extra thick double guard. I like the flat grind the way it is, Cold Steel intended this knife for fighting and some utility use. The slender blade makes it lighter, faster, and gives it less resistance going through soft tissue. This makes it very nice for skinning and prepping meat also. Now I watched a video where some guy took this knife and chopped wood to test it, going through the branches seemed easy for this knife, but it saw much more resistance when trying to split wood, this I figured was due to the slender blade, just look at the difference between a log splitter, and a hatchet. The hatched is more slender therefor is sharper and better for chopping branches and such, but the log splitter, splits the wood rapidly making it better for splitting. This is what  saw with the leatherneck in my video as well. The edge held up wonderfully, as expected with all of Cold Steel's products. After the wood chopping and such I did on camera, off camera I prepared a big batch of Jambalaya, and chicken breasts with the knifes. This simulated many skinning and other intricate cutting tasks, and the leatherneck did great. Better than the Kabar.

The Ka-Bar is make from 1095 high carbon steel. the model I have is a kraton handle, and a semi serrated edge. The blade features a flat grind a false edge and a fuller (Blood Groove as I call it.) The tang is a bit of a problem to me, though this knife has proven itself I see no reason why Kabar can't adopt the full tang design for a bit more stability. It would be a very easy improvement. The same goes with the double guard, Cold Steel's is three times as thick and would be very nice to see on the Ka Bar. That being said, when I tested it, the blade geometry made it quite easy to split branches. In fact once the branch started to split the cutting edge pf the blade saw no contact with the wood. That being said, it was considerably hard to chop the branches off to begin with. The Ka Bar blade geometry is clearly more suited for more heavy duty cutting tasks. The edge retention on the was also phenomenal, it clearly would be a better survival knife.

Now the problem is, that Cold Steel has changed their design and blade steel. So the verdict of this experiment is still unknown as I do not have the current model. That being said, I think that with the new leatherneck blade shape, and if the Krupp steel hold up, it could be a superior knife to the kabar. Now I know I will be reading on thin ice with my cousin and all marines everywhere (sorry Sean) but the hollow grind allows for the same level of heavy duty cutting and chopping and still has a good sender edge fore more intricate work as well, call it the best of both worlds. That also being said, I feel that Krupp steel is a bad choice for Cold Steel, but if it could hold up due to some special tempering or heat treating process, then so be it.

Now keep in mind that my opinion is considering the intended design of the knife, the leatherneck was intended as a fighting knife, if you want a Cold steel survival or utility knife, they have plenty other models to choose from.

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