What knife do troops, Army Special Forces and SEALs use?


There’s often an allure when it comes to knives issued or used (more on that later) to one special forces group or another. People in general look up to them and manufacturers want their products to be associated to these groups because it translates into larger amount of sales. It’s a known fact that if a knife becomes the “official” knife of x group, a Y % of sales is guaranteed. I think it’s an interesting topic to cover. On one side its just interesting to know what the different forces carry, on the other its more food for thought regarding your own choices and making up your mind on what to go for when it comes to selecting a knife, may it be a utility knife, a knife maybe for a SEK kit or even for defense.
What actually gets Issued
If you listen to manufacturers, it seems that every special operations group carries not one, but a hundred different knives. Knife manufacturers and custom makers send their knives to the different special forces hoping they will choose to carry their product. Some aren’t fit for the job, others are very nice tools, but most end up in boxes where they pile up by the dozens.
Lets first take a look at what actually gets issued.

M9 Bayonet: Officially adopted by the United States in 1984, Charles A. “Mickey” Finn creation is a utility knife bayonet that is also an effective wire cutter when combined with the scabbard. The 7 inch blade strongly resembles its previous incarnation, the Buck 184 “Buckamster”.

OntarioMKIII Navy Knife: The Mark 3 has a 6 inch 440A stainless steel blade and is standard issued to Navy SEALS. Rumor has it these are dumped pretty soon after training. In spite of this there’s nothing wrong with the knife itself.  The knife can be used for prying, as a hammer, and the tip will penetrate well when used as a weapon. The steel could be better but really for its intended use its more than adequate and many people have found it to be an outstanding utility/GP knife.

Ontario 6504 OKC3S Marine Bayonet (Brown) $96.99

Ontario 6504 OKC3S Marine Bayonet: Marines get their own knives, issued exclusively to the United States Marine Corps. It sure is a well made solid knife with a sound and functional blade shape. The 8″ blade is made of 1095 steel. The handle is made of grooved Dynaflex. It’s a bit on the larger side, but there’s not a lot that can go wrong with this knife.

KA-BAR: The tried and true KA-BAR is provided to Navy SEALS upon graduation. On One side there’s the SEAL logo and on the other there’s the name of a SEAL that has died in combat. Except for these engravings, it’s a typical K-BAR with its leather grip and sheath. This knife will rarely get used for obvious reasons.
The KA-BAR itself is still in active service with the Army, Navy (as the USN Mark 2 Utility Knife) and USMC (Knife, Fighting Utility). It has a 7-inch blade made of 1095 steel which is a very good steel for such a knife. Combined with its time proven design, it is indeed a tool and weapon that can effectively perform a number of tasks without compromising.
The KA-BAR is a legend in the knife world but it is not perfect. A modern-day survivor might want to avoid the leather washer grip and sheath which can rot and go with synthetic versions. Dont fall for the negative hype though. Well taken care of leather handles and sheaths can and have lasted for centuries, even with honest hard use and a bit of abuse. I happen to own a couple knife with leather sheaths that are over a hundred years old and the sheatha are still very much functional. The narrow tang is also a weaker design compared to a full tang and can bend under enough leverage. Again, it can take a lot of hard use, and even if bent slightly the knife is still functional. On the other hand the narrow tang makes it much lighter than a full tang version.

ASEK Survival Knife: The Air Crew Survival Egress knife made by Ontario entered service with the U.S. Army in 2003 but is often chosen by other branches as well because of its practicality and light weight. The 1095 blade is 5 inches long, the generous cross piece means the hand wont be slipping forward when used as a weapon or trusting during use.


Yarborough: Made by Chris Reeve, its also available for civilians as “The Green Beret Knife”. The “Yarborough”, is a tough, practical knife, made of CPM S35VN stainless steel with a 7 inch balde. The Yarborough is received by the Special Forces upon graduation. Like with the SEAL KA-BAR, chances are that it will be treasured rather than used by the person that receives it.
What actually gets Carried
Issued doesn’t mean used. In some cases what a person got issued isn’t what he liked, or they are looking for something else. Maybe they want a smaller, lighter knife or maybe a better one, so they leave the issued one behind. In that case a visit to the nearest PX/BX offers other commercial options to choose from. The criteria still follows the same guidelines though: Around 6 inches long, tough yet light and hopefully not very expensive. Each person will pick whatever it is they favor. Keep in mind that not everyone is a knife fanatic or collector, so choices vary. SEALs and Special Forces guys tend to know a bit more about them and will often buy their own quality knives. Some of the most common choices are:

Cold SteelSRK: The SRK is tough, affordable and made of AUS 8A Stainless. Yes, there are better knives, but its very hard to beat for the money. Keep in mind troops aren’t exactly swimming in money. For around 60 bucks a soldier gets a 6 inch knife that is well designed with classic lines, a comfortable handle and just over 8 ounces. It can tolerate considerable abuse so it wont shy away from poking holes into tin cans or being used as a prybar. Those that need or want something bigger and don’t mind the weight will go for the Cold Steel Recon Scout.

Ka-Bar Becker BK7 Combat Utility Fixed Blade Knife (7-Inch) $72.94

Ka-Bar Becker BK7 Combat Utility Fixed Blade Knife: Another popular choice. The BK7 is a heavy 7 inch knife but it compensates by getting more knife in exchange for that extra weight. It has a wide blade, made of 1095 steel and the full tang gives it that extra resistance you might be looking for.

 The SOG Seal Team Elite $94.07

SOG SEAL Team Elite and SEAL Pup: These actually honor their name and are often chosen by Navy SEALS looking for a good knife. 7 inch AUS8 blade with a nice penetrating tip, the tang is extended so as to use it as a hammer/glass breaker/skull crasher. Its light, under $100 bucks and has been tested extensively for tip abuse resistance and water corrosion. The SEAL Pup is a shorter version of the same knife at 4.75”.

Busse BossJack: There’s at least one Special Forces team that I know of where one of them ordered a Busse Boss Jack for each of the members. The knife is pricy, but then again the steel, craftmanship and abuse resistance are outstanding. I know that Busse knives are often chosen by both SF and SEAL guys that know a thing or two about knives and appreciate the quality. I’ve reviewed the Boss Jack before so check my youtbube videos if interested.

Fallkniven A1 Survival Knife $195.61

Fallkniven: The A1, F1 and S1 are common choices for service men looking for an excellent production knife within reasonable price ranges. These Swedish-made knives are of outstanding quality, with excellent steel being used and properly heat treated. People just are not let down by Fallkniven knives.  They aren’t cheap, but the VG10 steel used is excellent, they are light, resistant and have a classic, time-proven blade geometry that works very well for most tasks.
While writing this article I received an email from a friend of mine that was Army Special Forces, here’s part of his reply:
“I was issued a Gerber Multiplier as a tool before the SF thing, was issued a M9 bayonet at every unit over the years and after SF–as with all graduating SF guys–got a Yarborough knife. The Yarborough is a good knife, but for various reasons I never carried it in the field (liked others more, didn’t want to screw it up, etc.).  I tended to carry, for a larger belt knife anyway, a Fallkniven A1 or S1, depending on the year and what I was doing.
The Fallknivens are some of the best field/combat/fighting knives I’ve ever had, and quite durable with use.  They make some nice hunting type knives, too.  Swedish company, but they sell in the states and UK a fair bit.”
What gets issued isn’t always the best but you still know there’s a certain standard, so military issued knives can be great budget choices for prepers and survivalists. Then of course, for a bit more money there are options that can offer more. Be careful though. Sometimes companies advertise their knives as super doper Chairborn Commando, put a crazy price tag on them, and the knife still cant do for you what the humble KA-BAR can.


What knife do troops, Army Special Forces and SEALs use? — 84 Comments

  1. I think that the modern soldier just wants something easy to maintain for utility work, or if you are a SEAL to cut boat ropes and such. My friend in 5th SFG Vietnam says the first thing he did when making contact with the enemy was call artillery, next is air support, next is heavy machine gun, next is rifle, then comes knife and then fist. And most of the time SF tries not to make contact with the enemy, coming and going quickly. A SEAL told me the National Guard has it a lot worse than the SF, because they are the ones manning checkpoints out in the open.

  2. Great post.

    The “military issue” is such marketing speak. I’m sure it’s great for sales, but like DaShui mentioned above, I’m not so sure that soldiers are the toughest people on their knives. I doubt that many of them are stabbing people with their fixed blades. I would bet they use knives like many of us use knives-cutting through packaging, occasionally cutting food, maybe cutting a rope or hose.

    I personally love my fixed blade, but to be honest, I hardly use it, because it’s not something I carry around every day. My little Gerber Paraframe EDC knife sees a lot more action than my Prodigy.

  3. Pingback: Ontario Mark Navy 5 Inch Stainless Blade

    • “Lifetime warranty”.

      Yup. Leatherman does one locally. Bossman has sent his in to have the knife fixed a dozen times in as many years.

      It’s a cost/benefit factor. Nothing more. Leatherman knows that the warranty will sell kit, even if the product is crap. Most will never use the product harshly, and of those that break it few will bother with sending the product back, if they even still have the receipt.

      Fix one knife 12 times. Sell a thousand more. “*lifetime warranty ™”

      Of course, when the defecation hits the oscillation then the difference between “lifetime warranty” and “lifetime of service” will become painfully clear.

  4. I believe that is one of the such a lot significant information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna commentary on few general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is truly excellent : D. Excellent process, cheers

  5. I carry a smith and Wesson black ops 4 folder EDC and love the sniffity snat out of it, if I was going in combat 6inch blade 5inch handle including a pommel/glace breaker, even just if its the tang like a bk or fallkinivin ? The blade like the Ontario sp 19 and the cold steel srk where it starts skinny by the handle flairs out by the belly then goes skinny again by the tip side blade view but I want serrations on the spine close to the handle, so A I can baton the spine will be flat towards the tip end, B I don’t have to change grips to saw through some 1s neck when sneaking up behind them from your standard stabbing grip. I just use the serrations on the spine no turning the edge around and all the blah blah blah, C serrations are cool, but a full edge is cooler to most folk and me as well most the time most knives so that’s another reason for them on the spine right above the hand guard area. Made of a good tool spring or at least 1095 carbon type steel with a wicked heat treat! thinking parshall flat grind? or maby a scandy? I just know on smaller knife batoning I have had full flat grind knifes just get stuck and be slow and feel like they need more heft in the mid or by the edge to help split the wood vs cutting it not sure on the grind but that’s my dream knife design so fare

    • ” I don’t have to change grips to saw through some 1s neck when sneaking up behind them from your standard stabbing grip” combining that quote with your apparent lack of an education in the english language i can safely say that you are a welcomed member in the 101st Chairborne commandos. Take your “full black assassin navy seal dagger”, your Zombie apocalypse survival guide, and your instructional book for kung foo and please follow me to your quarters. where you will find the entire call of duty collection. open links to forums for you to share your expertise. and a lifetime supply of mountain dew and cheetos. Good to have you aboard sir.

  6. I did about 20 years in 10th SFG(A) Swiss army knife was always handy, along with a spyrco pocket knife and for a fixed blade a Kbar worked well for survival.

  7. I served for a bit doing work with SF, we as far as me and my buddies carried it wasn’t any of this extravagant BS that people market these days. the basics were Small folder or fixed blade, and a multi tool. nothing fancy really. we never had a need for big arse fixed blades. or anything for that matter. there wasn’t any stabbing people in the back from the shadows, or CQC sort of situations. We used our tools as just that. tools. Opening packs. cutting rope, prying boxes. nothing too special. none the less alot of us were knife nuts. i was real close with a boy we called Tuck. He carried an Emerson Cqc,a Kabar usmc and a Leatherman Super Tool . good guy. for those interested. throughout my service my blades rarely changed, and usually revolved around the same sort of idea as Tuck’s i kept a MOD CQD Mark II or a MOD Keating Hornet on me along with a fixed blade that rotates between a HEST fixed blade or the SOG seal pup, and i always had my Victorinox Swisstool on me. damn things a life saver. small, well built, reliable knives are always your best bet. to anyone out there reading this far, here’s a word of advice. for any of you younger boys joining the forces or just a passerby interested in bladed tools. the PERFECT knife and most widely used knife ive seen in the forces and boy have i seen alot is a blade with the dimensions of a 3.3″ to 4″ blade with an overall length of 7.5″ to 8.1″ I personally favor the smallest with a 3.3″ blade and 7.5″ overall length

  8. I love how Busse will always claim “military overrun” and the sheep buy into the BS, Busse knives are tough, but they actually suck as a knife when your compare them heads up to ones that are the same length or similar to test against. The last one I owned was the bossjack, and after reading your comment on them I had to reply, after me and yes I know how to make a knife–after I HAD to thin the edge some just to even cut cardboard decent- from the factory was awful and edge was way to thick, anyways I actually felt like I was stranded on a overnight backpack trip in the high country with that knife, it was literately almost useless, thank god I brought a back up knife, I videoed a lot of blade testing against Busse, and they always loose- unless it comes to destructing the knife then they have the advantage.

    • You should check a dictionary for the word “always”…
      All my Busse knives can shave hair off my arm with their factory edge and sure can cut cardboard. The last one I got was the TGLB, it came razor sharp. True, they are not great for slicing tomatoes or filleting fish, but then that’s not the kind of task they are intended for and a pocket knife will do that nicely.
      About “sheep” buying Busse, sheep dont spend that kind of money on knives. They consider it a waste. I know marines, seal and army special forces that swear by Busse, just like some dont care much about knives and carry a solid Cold Steel, SOG or other less expensive brands that still get the job done, but saying Busse “suck”, that’s a first! 🙂

  9. I was in Special Forces in the mid 60’s. 3rd sf group in Fort Bragg
    I did not get issued a Special Forces Knife nor did any of the guys
    that I new in my team. I purchased a regular hunting knife which I
    carried everywhere. There is so much stuff out there on the net as
    being Special Forces and I know it is fake as I was there and know
    to be untrue.
    The thing I was really issued was clothing in Fort Ord at basic and
    my Wings at Fort Benning. When I graduated SF in 1966 I wasn’t even
    issued a Beret or Flash and insignia. I bought them at the commissary
    like all the other guys.
    Please Post as many scams are out there making money on fake junk.
    Chaplain Larry C. Luna
    was not a Chaplain in the Army, was a demo guy
    Hollister CAlifornia

    • Hi Larry, indeed, a ton of companies say they are official special forces this and that, but the guys obviously carry whatever they want. Still, I think its interesting to see some of their more common choices. I find it ironic how many of these knives often carried by SEAL and Spec forces dont get marketed as the choice of special forces! 🙂

    • Larry, I just wanted to say thank you for serving our country and that I think it’s ironic
      how you had to buy your own crests and insignia. Once again thanks Larry God bless you.

      • Thanks for serving me 1970-73. I’m looking for army issued rigger knifes .one is stainless steel with 4 four pieces to it a blade ,canopener,leather punch,i think,a smaller blade had US stamped on it if you know what I’m talking about

  10. I don’t get the allure with knives. I’ve seen Tier 1 guys carry the most inexpensive yet economical knives you can carry. It’s really dependent on the user. Microtech makes the best knives as far as craftsmanship, the Yarborough is also a great knife. I personally think SOG PUP, or Trident are the two I would carry on any mission. It’s all about the budget your battalion, team, squad, etc. gives you. Personally I would not spend my money on a knife unless it is given to me. I care more about optics, and other equipment. I have only carried TRIDENT. and PUP. Ask any seasoned soldier and I’m sure they would agree. I rather have more batteries as opposed to a knife. Microtech , and Yarborough is top shelf in my personal opinion though. If your SCUBA, MFF you need a knife.

  11. Gentlemen: I would appreciate your help if any of you are so inclined. I am writing a story (okay, laugh if you want) and I need to incorporate two knives that a real Special Ops man might use. I have been reading up and understand the basic differences of knives, but of course, I have not handled this kind of weaponry. I own a Gideon Drop Point, it was my first introduction into knives, but understand that this knife is more of a good all around blade. I am looking to incorporate a knife that would be used in a stealth situation and could kill quickly. Thank you.

    • If what you just said were true (if there was “ANY” truth to it-what you are looking for in a knife) you wouldn’t be here. Since you are, however, my advice to you is to not handle a knife, lol! Seriously.

  12. Like Chaplain Larry says, when I graduated from Training Group in 66, I had to buy whatever I needed, no one issued anything. Like most of the above, I mostly used a Buck folding knife, however, I did buy and early model Gerber Mk II and I did have a Randall made to my specifications (5″ blade) that I carried that as my fixed (survival) blade for many years. I served with the 1st (RVN), 5th (RVN), 6th, and 10th SFGs over the years. I had a slight knife advantage, my father was a WWII/Korea UDT (BMC) who had very specific opinions about fighting knives and he gave me a fighting knife made by a machinist mate on a ship he was being transported on (it was given to my father by the mate). It was what the mate thought a fighting knife should look like — crafted from a large steel cutting bandsaw blade, knife blade about ~9/10″ long, ~1/8th” thick, full length shaft, brass hilt, hand rivited stag-horn handle, hole for a grip thong, nice leather sheath — very interesting design. My father carried it WWII and Korea (he may have used it), I carried in RVN in the late 60s. I can honestly say that I never used a knife on anybody, never had to do that, thank heavens…

  13. Cold Steel’s San Mai III SRK has a really deep, superbly finished hollow grind now, and this is much sharper than the flat grind it used to have in the 80s. I would recommend the more expensive San Mai III version, even though it is $40 more expensive, because it appears to be finished quite a bit better, and it may be also be sharper from the box than the AUS-8 version (which I think is only available in a fragile scuff-prone black finish that looks bland).

    The sharpness of the SRKs made in San Mai III is second to none (I don’t care about the steel’s hype), and the design is still somewhat bland, but at least it is unbreakable. The better-looking SOGs used to be sharper and better than the old SRKs, and I think this is now reversed: I wish the SRKs had a metal guard to look less like kitchen appliances, but I now think they beat SOGs in most respects. Several of the SOG handles are not that secure as well.

  14. As a former Army Ranger the Yarborough sits in a case as a trophy not carried in battle. Rangers get Tomahawk’s out of tradition. I’ve seen a couple carry them and only heard of once being used. It proved its purpose. As posted above like Vietnam, in Afghanistan when contact is or was made Airstrikes and Arty and then firefights or the other way around comes always comes first. CIA, Seals, and SF used local forces, Airpower, and fought with local resistance. They fought like that for a month before large numbers of conventional forces feet touched ground If the person is of any importance they hit hard, and most times enemy didn’t know until there was bag over their head and on a chopper. The largest HVT in Iraq was not killed by a sniper or a raid. A F-16 hit his house from Human Intel following his closest advisor using drones. Most Special Ops are specially trained to fight. I saw more carry lock blades, the fixed blade I saw the most was regular ASEK issue, and SOG fixed blade. Iraq was more Urban and when we performed Cordon and search you would see face to face clearing houses. As far as Survival goes you need all types of cutting tools. Cut trees for fire, use knives for cleaning food. If you have a good AUS 8, and sharp that is all that matters. Knife makers will give their knives to Special Ops guys that throw them away or in a box to collect. Knife makers do this to advertise used by SF, which is BS. There is no such thing as Rambo. Even Snipers move as teams. A good knife will always come in useful. Today’s battlefield pack light is the philosophy. Intel and tech was used in the Revolutionary war. We fought gentleman British like Indians. Our constitution was written and considered terrorism to the Brits. Our Navy was France and our battlefield tactics were taught by a Prussian. If I buy a $200 knife it will probably be a collectors item while I use a SOG to do all my dirty work. I own a Microtech JagdKommando I keep in a safe that I won off a AF PJ in poker. He owned it for two years and never took anywhere on the battlefield.

  15. In my military days, 66 – 77, I carried two knives in the field. One was an issue USAF survival knife made by Ontario I believe. The other was an old Sears Craftsman lock blade skinner. That was the one I used the most. I still have it. I have several knives now. Ka-Bars (6), Boker, SOG, Benchmade, Smith and Wesson, Gerber, Glock, and Buck. But my edc is a Spyderco. I’ve heard it said that the best knife is the one you have in your pocket at the time. That’s why I always take the Spyderco along.

  16. I would like to make just a few more comments regarding what was really issued to US Army Special Forces.
    As I stated before, a knife was never issued. All clothing after Basic Training was never issued. As to what knife to buy, and we all had knives was Dependant on what each could afford. I was at Fort Bragg,and graduated SF Training Group in January 1966. Money was hard to get.
    I was issued an m15 then later an m16, I was also issued 45 pistle and shoulder holster, which I carried until I left the Army.
    My concern is that we were all kids, we soon became men, for me it was honor to my family and honor to my country. when commercialism sells parts of what we were and lies about what is truth, it trys to cheapen that honor. I am now a soldier for the Lord, and I will always be a Green Beret.
    God Bless
    Chaplain Larry C Luna
    Pentecostal Minister

  17. I’m a Paratrooper. Most of us use Emerson’s or some other hard use tactical folder. I don’t know a single person that carries a fixed blade. I had a couple of Spyderco’s and Benchmade’s but broke them all out in the field.

    • When I was attached to Special Forces for training, my MOS 12B, I carried the Black Kabar in the service (’81-’87), a Buck 110 lockback-folder for backup and now a Boker Automatic, which is my edc. The Kabar always proved itself as the Buck 110. It’s about choices, what works for you and what feels good in your grip. As mentioned before, a knife is a tool, so chose wisely the tool that you are most comfortable with.

  18. If you really want to know join the 3rd ranger,s as I did and spent from 1964 to Sept. 1969 in Vietnam . I was issued a K-Bar 7 in. blade knife that I carried that I used as a weapon to save my life from time to time I have it hanging on my wall to remind me that I never want to live like this any more .

  19. I rather enjoyed this thread. It’s been a good read & can tell who knows what the heck they’re talking about & the few who don’t. I’m a former USN man & a multi tool is what I needed, not a Rambo knife. When u work on the boiler, it leaves little time to sneak up behind the enemy & deliver the death blow w/some fancy $$$ fixed blade. As I’m now older, w/3 boys (grown-up but 1), I collect knifes from pocket bone handles folders to my safe queen SARGE 7 BUSSE. The knife I actually use is a “Pendelton Hunter”, from Cold Steel. My boys use the $20.00 Throwing/Survival 550 chord wrapped handled Tanto’s from Cold Steel. They too have very expensive knifes I purchased for them as gifts to use, but they set in the safe along side my BUSSE. Any questions? lol It boils down to whatever is comfortable, priced right & has real world uses along w/not weighing 5lbs hanging off your belt. I don’t care what someone else carries because that does ZERO in helping me in a real world everyday situation. Or possibly what is coming down the pipe for the USA financial market. Be ready!

  20. Pingback: Safe Queens: Collectibles or waste of Money? | The Modern Survivalist

  21. Special mission unit COs give parameters, direction, and make recommendations as to what types of tools we should acquire based upon the needs of the particular troops. As with most of my tools, I literally have dozens of knives. Some I built myself, some were donated to me, others were submitted for testing and evaluation to the team, others are issued as part of our kit, and yet others we have privately sourced from outside vendors.

    I have different tools in different kits designed to grab and go depending on the type of work we are going out to do (e.g.-cold weather kit, patrol, dive, etc…). So to answer the original question, there is no issue knife per se. It’s more like right tool for the right job.

    One of the more interesting knives I had was one given to me by Mr. Craig Garrison (designer of the GFK – Garrison Fighting Knife). I carried it in Afghanistan and it scared the shit out of the ANA and ANCOP guys. Here’s a pic (enjoy):


    • Thanks for sharing, that looks like something out of startrek. Was it actually useful? In what roles did you use it in?

  22. As a member of a nameless tier1 special missions unit, I can attest to the fact that I own dozens of knives (or almost any other tool of the trade) and place them into my kit based upon the needs of the work I’m embarking on. I utilize different tools for different uses/kits.

    These knives are acquired several ways:

    1. Donated by the knife makers
    2. Sent out to us for T&E
    3. Issued or issued as part of a larger kit
    4. Sourced through private purchase by individual troops

    To answer the original question, there is no one official “special ops issue” knife. There are dozens of tools in the toolbox.

    One of the more interesting tools I’ve used and carried is the GFK -The Garrison Fighting Knife. It was given to me and a couple of teammates by Mr. Craig Garrison (knife maker and musician) to beat the crap out of and use as we see fit. I carried it in Afghanistan and I can say that the ANA/ANCOP who saw it were definitely scared to death of it. It’s shaped pretty wild. But a very good tool if you know how to use it. Here’s a few pics:


  23. 4 years of active duty army, 7 years of National Guard and Reserve. Two wars later and I have always carried a standard a Leatherman Original Wave. I have just about worn the letters off the side and several carrying cases later. Kept the blade razor shape and it did about 99% of everything it tasked to do. Always carried a small Gerber Lock blade in my pocket. Nothing fancy because it has been lost several times while on various assignments. Never saw a real use for a large blade other than target practice when having some down time. I did carry a Cold Steel Tanto on occasion, while I was in LRSU. It seems more than anything to be just extra weight. Never carried more than a couple of times. Left it locked up somewhere. It was there in case mission called for it. I mostly just set on a mountain top and observed anyway. Not much in the need to charging in with knife in hand (H2H). If it got to H2H with a knife, we were seriously compromised anyway.

  24. Benchmade had a great following in Iraq 2004. The fixed blade, Stryker, and AFO were very popular as issued to the Marine Corps. The new USMC bayonet also came out then, and was widely carried. Those who were not issued the BM’s or bayonet, carried commercial folders of many varieties.

  25. In the 90’s, I was with 3/325 Airborne Combat Team/Italy, Ranger/Sapper attached to 3rd Ranger Batt through JSOC at Bragg, and served in 10th SFG SOCEUR in Iraq and Botswana Africa, so my 5 1/2 years in the US Army was memorable. Like many of the posters before me have said, we carried what was 1. Made well, yet affordable. 2. Fit the mission (ease of accessibility vs weight on web belt or vest) 3. Razor sharp on chest for parachute drops (especially night ops) Almost all my team carried one brand: Gerber. We had the Gerber multitool and Gator folder on our bdu belt everyday, and when mission time came, our tac vests varied greatly by individual. Like Ranger Joes exploded on our floor, but the Mark II’s with serrated edge, BMF activators, and Gil Hibbins blades were the most common. An occasional machete or two was not out of the question either. The M9 issues were an upgrade from the M7 Vietnam era bayonets we were issued, but all too often broke, and at the worst times. Our breach and clear experiences in Iraq justified the hip hugging big blades, and tomahawks as that extra bit of security should things get downright ugly quick. However, most indiginous just looked at them at our side with bowling ball size eyes, and that stopped any stupid idea fairies tapping them on the shoulder. But, in my experience with high speed, low drag, you can’t get much better than a good thick Gerber BMF 1 and it’s little brother BMF jr., an older Mark series, or an SOG tomahawk,SOG Seal and pup (Original modeled and made for 5th SFG and MACV SOG Vietnam), Gerber multitool, and Gerber Gator for everyday carry, and last but certainly not least, a good lensetic compass. To all my fellow SF, Airborne, Ranger, and operational brothers out there, stay safe and keep your powder dry and hatchet scoured, and God Bless the Vietnam guys that showed us the right way to stay alive, you are the BEST!

  26. Marine Infantry in Vietnam. Carried a Ka-Bar along with a M-14 until they issued us a M-16 (sad day). Lived through it and then joined the Army SF. Graduated the “Q course” prior to issue of the Yarborough. Year later I did order one through the JFK museum store and after being vetted, they sent me one. It sets on a shelf in my den and has never been used. It does look good and I am proud to own it.
    For a total of 30 years in the military I carried that old Ka-Bar the one I started out with. Like this old Marine, its hard to kill ( God knows the SOB’s tried).
    To my Brothers in Arms, Semper Fidelis and DOL.

  27. For the Fallkniven utility at 1/10th the price, go with the Mora Frost. The sheath sucks but it’s a great knife for 15 buck.

  28. I have a Fallkniven Forest knife, it is a well made strong and a very sharp knife. My only regret is that it was not made in Sweden, and with strong Swedish steel. The Fallkniven knife that I have was made in Japan. The Japanese make very fine tools and knives, but would have rather had my Fallkniven made in Sweden.

  29. I have a Fallkniven Forest knife, it is a well made strong and a very sharp knife. My only regret is that it was not made in Sweden, and with strong Swedish steel. The Fallkniven knife that I have was made in Japan. The Japanese make very fine tools and knives, but would have rather had my Fallkniven made in Sweden.

    • All fallkniven knives are made in japan. Which is no bad thing cause Japanese manufacturing is first class these days. Also the steel used in the core of the a1 s1 etc is exclusive to Japan and cant be exported. If it was made im chine then I wouldn’t touch them. But the quality of fallkniven is first class a d among the best for fit and finish.

  30. I have been so pleased with the Mora Bushcraft Black Survival knife that I have the one with the MOLLE sheath attached to my main BOB. One with the Firesteel sheath on my wife’s BOB, and one with the standard Mora plastic sheath in my EDC/Get Home Bag. I have tested and used all of them and they are excellent right out of their packaging. I need to get a bit better at sharpening the Scandi grind edge, but I have not had to sharpen one yet, even after testing them with batoning. The Black coating on the 1095 high carbon blade is excellent protection for the blade, but I still recommend a wipe down with a Rem-oil wipe every so often. I do this with ALL my carbon steel blades, so this is just part of the ritual. As far as having the big hunting style/”Now that’s a knife” knife. I’ll stick to my old school Gerber BMF. It has cleared almost an acre of Kudzu and only needed to be run across the stone built into the sheath a couple of swipes to get it back in prime cutting shape.

  31. In the Rangers in the early 70’s I just carried a GI pocket knife- never took a decent edge but did what I needed it to do. Carried it on my belt in a nylon sheath as long as I wore the costume. You see, we never camped, just lay over for a few hours and were often in the rivers up to the neck. A lthe time. From Inf Basic course, Abn and Ranger to my duty station, I had a Randall #1 and 18 but never had a chance to carry them although I kept them ready. In case the soviets got rude.

  32. Busse has a real nice web site but looks like every knife they make is no longer available. Just a common sense question…..What’s the point of having a knife Company if every knife you make is no longer in production?

  33. as a udteam member i still have my randall diver knife from 1967 vietnam and my mark2 camillius other team members used gerbers some ek lots of mark 2 knives

  34. While in the Marine Corps back in 1964, I threw a Camillus K-Bar into a nearby tree. The blade of this K-Bar stuck into the tree, I would say no more than 2 inches. When I went to pull the knife out of the tree, I moved the knife from side to side instead of up and down.

    The K-Bar just bent in half where the handle and guard meet the blade. The knife handle on that knife should not have bent the way it did, and I mean it bent inches away from the blade.

    I believe the Camillus Co. got away with sending the Marine Corps defective K-Bar knives back then. That knife was a piece of garbage made by the now (Out of Business) Camillus Co.


  36. I’ve never served (wanted to but busted knees kept me out.) Thanks to all of you that have served.

    Anyhow, I have been a sucker for a good knife since I was young and my SOG throwing knives have always been sharp and strong, picked them up for $30 on sale for three of them (probably 9 or 10 years ago). I’ve used Puma, Böker and Gerber as well as Cold Steel and a Kabar given to me by my uncle who did serve (note-once I used a Mikov from the Czech Republic, I believe, that my grandfather got during WWII, but it still belongs to him and I’ve only used it once, but it was pretty nice). I’m a fan of all of them for different reasons, but my go to knife is still one of my three SOG throwing knives

  37. Thanks to all who served. Im ex Navy airedale. My sons in MCRD Sand Diego right now and will be going infantry after he graduates. He wants to continue towards special forces. I would like to get him a little something for graduation. Ive read a lot about the KA-Bar and its USMC history. Is this knife something he would actually use or should I look at the commemorative knife from KA-Bar. Preferably I would like to get him something he can use.
    Thanks for any input

    • The Kbar would work for sure. Its a classic. Id go for something a bit better, maybe stainless. The Cold Steel SRK or Recon. Or for a bit more money, try finding a good Busse like the Boss Jack. Good luck!

  38. 1sthe & formost.. Chris Reeves Does Not Make the Yarbrough for the Green Beret grads. PERIOD.
    BILL Harsey personally makes each and everyone serial # and all.
    Chris Reeves trained by Bill Harsey makes the Green Beret that resembles the Yarbrough… runs about $330 or you can buy a civilian model From Bill Harsey him self the Spartan Harsey Hunter Combat,Utility,Survival for $495 search, Bill Harsey spartanbladesusa.com
    See for your self… please correct the article to show proper credit for the proper knife… there’s only one way to get a Yarbrough from Bill Harsey & that’s to earn it. PERIOD then prove you earned it… all Green Berets receive a Yarbrough upon graduation have since 1980

    • You do realize that this article is over 6 years old right? 6 years on the internet is the equivalent of 20+ years. So you’re beating a long dead horse here. And I mean longgggg dead, like just bones left here.

    • Yes, a civilian can buy the Chris Reeves Harsey Green Beret online. $320.

      Thank you all that have served! God Bless

  39. Pingback: Choosing the best knives for your prepper and survival needs: A quick guide | News Flash U.S.

  40. I have 2 Moras. One a HD companion carbon the other a stainless companion. $25 bucks for both. Light, dependable, and for the price can’t be beat.

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