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Which handle material do you prefer on a Kabar?

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"Survivalist since Birth"
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Leather v.s. Kraton.

Personally I would go with Kraton. Kabars, as shown by many members of this forum, can last a hell of a long time. However on many older ones the leather handles seem to have deteiorated.

As such would it not be beneficial to go for a Kraton handled blade. In addition wouldnt kraton increase grip and reduce slippage in a wet/moist environment?
 

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Do you smell that?
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Call me old fashioned, but I like the leather.And just like any other part of your gear if you take care of it it will take care of you.
 

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I had a thread similar to this, and I would have to still go with Kraton, lasts longer, better grip, doesn't rot and would practcally last a thousand years. Looks cooler too in my oppinion although leather looks very nice as well.
 

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Opinionated old fart.
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Since Kraton cannot absorb water, oils, or blood it would be better in a wet environment. It's a "pores" thing. Diving knives do not use leater or wood handles. (It also takes spray paint better since the compressed leather has some oil in it.)
 

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I have a M3 trench knife and a USN Boker fighting knife that the leather was in really bad shape when I got them so I have removed them and used a whitetail antler on the USN Bker and a string type of wrap on the M3. I'm not really sure about either handle and am thinking about ordering new leather for both of them.
 

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Granted age leather has the look and a better flash fire resistance than kraton, it will eventally rot and fall apart. So this is were Kraton shines, in addition to being able to get it wet. Leather starts to fall apart quick after it gets to wet.

I wish Ontario would make the AFSK EXACTLY the same as the old issue knife, but with a Kraton handle, but some "dope"
decided to put a rubber hilt, so you cant lash to it, or they have the metal hilt and they change the pommel style! Other than that it's almost perfect for MY needs.

Rifleman 336
 

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i have a USMC Ka-Bar (dont know if thats the actual name) and the leather handle has split where the snap goes to secure it to the sheath. its still comfortable though and i dont fear it fallling apart at all
 

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I Engineer
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If you like a piece of artwork the leather is a beautiful handle material but i think kraton is more functional and will take more abuse. If you really like leather it will work, they have for a really long time, but the kraton really give you a solid feel.
 

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Sorry, I'm late replying to this.

The leather is better looking, and it held up fine in the South Pacific conflict (WWII). But had the war been a few years longer, I suspect the leather would have deteriorated in wet, humid conditions. And so I'm giving the nod to the Kraton. I like the Kraton G that Ka-Bar uses. Cold Steel uses a softer, tackier Kraton that wears faster.
 

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i have a Kabar with a leather handle and it is only two months old, i got the handle wet now the leather is creaking should I rud some motor oil on the handle. need advice please!!!
 

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I treat my Kabar ( my fathers when he was in the Marines late fifties early sixties) with mineral oil, leather handle is in great shape.
 

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When my wife gets back I will have her post some photos of my bone and stag handled kabar knives.
He posted this posted in 2009 and his wife still hasn't gotten back to post some pictures...:D:
He may want to go check and see whats she's up to...:D:
 

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I have seen numerous 7" USMC fighting and 5" USAF survival knives equipped with Sambar stag, moose and whitetail antler, buffalo horn, various woods and bone handles...AFAIK they were all done after market.

I know that Ka-Bar has some custom facilities but in-house or farmed out, I don't know--nor to the extent they will modify (if at all)...Contact them directly.

Changing handles is no big deal and the Kraton G that they use isn't the best performer in very cold weather.

This is a little interpretation:
Damascus blade, guard and end cap with cocobolo wood handle.

made by Rob Carleton of DAMASCUS USA -- 12" USMC Fighting knife
$475 sale $375

P.S. The knife is erroneously named the Ka-Bar but it is the USMC Fighting Knife 7" which was and still is being made by more then one cutler for the Marines.
 

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P.S. The knife is erroneously named the Ka-Bar but it is the USMC Fighting Knife 7" which was and still is being made by more then one cutler for the Marines.
This is the best outlet for KaBar knives, that I've found to date. Their prices are right too.

Here is a link to the KaBar history page on their site. Good info enjoy!

http://www.tomarskabars.com/KabarHistory.html
 
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