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Spartan Blades Deploys a MagnaCut KA-BAR Fighting Knife

Spartan Blades Spartan KA BAR 0 Hero
Photos: Spartan Blades

There are exceedingly few garments, weapons, or other pieces of military equipment that have remained in use for as long as the KA-BAR MkII knife. First becoming a general issue knife for the U.S. Marine Corps in WW2, this legendary fighting knife has been carried by American Armed Forces for more than 80 years, including in the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and by U.S. soldiers overseas today. Also adopted by the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Underwater Demolition Teams, the KA-BAR MKII and its design have gone largely unchanged since debuting, though it has been made from a few different blade steels over the years including an up-specced D2 variant. And while rugged and well-suited for their job, the KA-BAR has never been crafted from a particularly high-end blade steel. This reality is now changing, however, as the world-famous fighting knife has just been bestowed with its first-ever cutting-edge modern powder metallurgy construction with the new Spartan-KA-BAR from Spartan Blades. 

Spartan Blades Spartan KA BAR 1
Photo: Spartan Blades

The new top-shelf take on this classic combat knife was born out of a collaboration between the North Carolina knife company and KA-BAR. In 2019, the two brands joined forces to start Pineland Cutlery, Inc with the goal of producing a more high-performance version of the KA-BAR MKII Fighting Knife. And anyone with any knowledge of contemporary blade steels won’t be at all surprised to hear that Spartan and KA-BAR opted to construct this special version of the knife from Crucible Industries’ CPM MagnaCut blade steel. Slightly lighter than the regular version of the KA-BAR — at 10.8oz versus 11.2oz — the Spartan-KA-BAR features a 7” flat saber-ground clip point blade rated at an impressive 61 to 63 for hardness on the Rockwell scale. Offered in flat black or flat dark earth color options, the blade has been double deep cryogenically heat-treated before being further fortified via either a PVD-tungsten DLC coating (for the black version) or a Zirconium nitride coating (for the flat dark earth version).

Spartan Blades Spartan KA BAR 2
Photo: Spartan Blades

In place of the knife’s standard stacked leather ring handle setup, the Spartan-KA-BAR boasts an upgraded — and markedly more modern — handle made from cutting-edge Kraton G polymer. Measuring 12” overall, the knife also features a butt-cap and guard that’s made from 301 stainless steel and coated in a matching PVD tungsten DLC or ZrN coating. The knife is also being offered with a traditional leather sheath, or a more tactical Kydex sheath — the latter of which is offered in standard military black or coyote color options. MagnaCut is a stellar choice for an upgraded KA-BAR’s construction, as it affords outstanding toughness and is highly resistant to chipping or breaking — factors that make it great for larger knives like the MKII. Its resistance to chipping also allows it to hold a thinner, sharper edge — an edge it can also retain for an incredibly long time. These reasons collectively make an already legendary knife all the more capable.

Spartan Blades Spartan KA BAR 3
Photo: Spartan Blades

The KA-BAR Knives x Spartan Blades Spartan-KA-BAR is available for order now with pricing set at $335 for the version with the leather holster and $385 for the Kydex holster options.