The company that makes the knives for the Army, Navy and Marine Corps has just released a video that gives an amazing look into how these blades are produced by hand on U.S. soil.Even as other knife manufacturers have moved operations overseas, KA-BAR cutlery remains in New York, just as they did when they made the combat knives for the Marine Corps during World War II.
Here’s a look at how the knives that arm the military are hand-crafted in the USA.
The knife got its name from a 1923 letter to the Union Cutlery Company from a hunter testifying that he had used their knife to kill a bear
After the United States entered World War Two, military leadership received reports from soldiers that the WWI-era knives weren't doing the job
The bowie-style blades were seven inches long, made of carbon treated steel with a blood groove down the end
Union Cutlery, which sold their knives to the military with the KA-BAR branding, was the only manufacturer to brand their knives
Since they were the second-largest manufacturer of the blades, their name recognition among the Marines soared
The blades were also stamped with the service branch using them as well as the location of the manufacturing facility: Olean, New York
The knives performed very well as both a combat knife and a utility knife which could be used to cut wire and rope
The name recognition was so great that in 1952, Union Cutlery Co changed its name to KA-BAR Cutlery, Inc.
The blades are still made the same way they were in the forties, after experiments with synthetic hilts introduced in 1996 failed
Today the knives are still in service, and some servicemembers spray paint them black to reduce gleam and prevent corrosion
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