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Old 01-26-2009, 03:42 PM
randomshinichi randomshinichi is offline
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Default Help choosing between KA-BAR models



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Hello, I'm planning on a biking trip through Malaysia (my home country) in a couple of months, and I figured I'd appreciate a blade with plenty of reach. Folders and gravity knives are banned, but there doesn't seem to be a law against the length of the blade, which is just as well, since some do carry parangs (machetes). (clarifying EDIT: no, not while they're traveling, it's mostly a working tool used to clear a way through the jungle and cut open those lovely coconuts. The clause was meant to emphasize that there is no blade length restriction in Malaysia)

The KA-BAR seems relatively inexpensive (50-60USD is a lot in Malaysia, but it seems to be the min for a decently sized knife), and I especially love the all black knives.

Here's the environment: 70-90% humidity, frequent rain (I'll be riding my bike in and out of the rain, knife beneath my opaque shirt), I don't expect to cross any rivers and plunge my knife into one. In short, I'm mostly concerned about rust due to moisture in the atmosphere.

Should I get the Next Generation KA-BAR or the normal 1095 steel KA-BAR? Messerman said somewhere else in this forum that 1095 doesn't rust so easily, but I don't know what kinds of humidity he might be living in. Germany is pretty dry, and even though those black KA-BARs look very appealing, their edges are exposed.

Last edited by randomshinichi; 01-26-2009 at 08:14 PM..
Old 01-26-2009, 03:59 PM
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scosmo451 scosmo451 is offline
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The KaBar is a good knife and would do you well. I'm wondering about those parangs. Those are mostly all made of carbon steel and they survive the environment just fine. Admittedly, I do not know much about Malaysia, but would carrying a knife like the KaBar draw unwanted attention, as in theft or confiscation? Maybe something that the locals are used to seeing and using could avoid some problems?
Old 01-26-2009, 05:53 PM
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Isn't carrying a knife supposed to deter theft? The two Malaysian knives that I know of are parang - way more threatening than KA-BAR by far and keris - I can't make the case for that being a utility knife when the authorities see it. Not many people carry knives around them in Malaysia - at least, I don't know anybody who does, but I'm just a bourgeoisie city boy.

I checked the Malaysian weapon rules - however I guess there'll always be the occasional copper who simply insists that he's right and you're wrong and you'll have to go to the police station or something, hence the under my shirt part. Would you suggest a more easily concealed knife?

Do you know how easily the 1095 will rust under those conditions?
Old 01-26-2009, 06:39 PM
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I've never been in a jungle environment, but I have taken 1095 blades fishing and left them in wet leather sheaths for hours. I've had some surface rust that was easily removed with nothing more fancy than stabbing the blade in the ground a few times. Never anything approaching taking the knife out of action. I really don't think you'll have any problems with a coated 1095 blade, especially if you pack away a small bottle of mineral oil or something similar to wipe the blade down now and then.

As far as a knife deterring theft - what if he has a parang with quite a bit more reach on you? Or a friend? Or you are stopped on your bike, which will limit your mobility to defend yourself? Keeping it hidden will certainly help, but can you say with certainty that you won't have to pull it out and use it in front of strangers? You know the country better than I do by far. Is it a possibility? What happens if the KaBar gets lost, stolen, or broke? I assume you would probably wind up with a parang then, so why not start out with one? If you already owned the KaBar, I would absolutely say take it. The KaBar was proven in WWII and Vietnam to survive tropical conditions. The parang has evolved for just the environment you're traveling in and is a proven performer. I really don't think you'd go wrong either way, but getting a parang would leave you more money for other things necessary for your trip.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:54 PM
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Anything Ka-Bar, whether it be an all weather model, or the classic USMC fighting knife will hold up fine for your needs. You're not going to be nearly as hard on one as a deployed Marine in Vietnam or Korea was. I've had one for years and abused the ever living day out of it. Still in FINE shape.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:56 PM
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wish id gotten the next gen myself instead of standard
Old 01-26-2009, 08:09 PM
randomshinichi randomshinichi is offline
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scorpion: why, what's wrong with your standard?

scosmo451: I we have a slight misunderstanding here, sorry. I'm not going into the jungle, I'm simply avoiding the highway and bicycling through many little towns and finding/traveling along little dirt roads on the way to my destination. Did you really expect me to go into the bumpy jungle trail with a mountain bike and panniers?
Deterring theft: Of course there's always going to be the robber with the longer blade. I actually expect a robbery attempt or two during the course of my travels, but a parang... well... I don't think I'll be cutting brush that often, and buying a parang just to gain an edge in a knife fight or two doesn't make sense to me.

Last edited by randomshinichi; 01-26-2009 at 08:20 PM..
Old 01-26-2009, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomshinichi View Post
scosmo451: I we have a slight misunderstanding here, sorry. I'm not going into the jungle, I'm simply avoiding the highway and bicycling through many little towns and finding/traveling along little dirt roads on the way to my destination. Did you really expect me to go into the bumpy jungle trail with a mountain bike and panniers?
Deterring theft: Of course there's always going to be the robber with the longer blade. I actually expect a robbery attempt or two during the course of my travels, but a parang... well... I don't think I'll be cutting brush that often, and buying a parang just to gain an edge in a knife fight or two doesn't make sense to me.
I have heard of folks going on bumpy jungle trails with bikes before, though I always thought they were a bit crazy. Knowing you'll be on dirt roads at worst, then I would say the KaBar with either blade would be fine. If it was me, I'd go with the 1095 blade - there are a lot of good things about that steel that outweigh the bad. Still would take a small bottle of oil along.
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