Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review: KA-BAR Zombie "Pestilence" Chopper

To finalise my review of the big blades of the
Ka-Bar Zombie Killer Knives I wanted to leave the biggest till last. Where the "Death" Dagger is slick, slash and stab blade, I found that the "Famine" Tanto is a brutally hungry hacker, and the "War" Sword is an angry and savage beast, the final (or First) Horseman's tool, the "Pestilence" Chopper.

Again, I placed the blade up against one of the Hibben-esque throwers I reviewed a while back, and the Acheron companion knife that ships with each of the Zombie Killer blades, and you can see that this is indeed a big blade. It's no sword, as with the other blades in the series, but it is certainly no butter-knife either. The broad, gently forwards-curved blade is reminiscent of a bill-hook knife this is a tool not to be taken lightly. Functional and simple, this blade is the longest of the set, at 40cm (15-3/4") with a whopping (or chopping, as the case may be) 26cm (10-1/4")blade edge.

As with the rest of the line, it features the same 5mm (0.205") thick SK5 steel blade, bead-coated in non-reflective matte black, which offers both rust-protection, but also improves the cutting/withdrawing action of the blade. The back of the blade is tapered at the spine, presumably to afford some head-space for deep penetration withdraw of the blade, an important factor whether you are chopping sugar cane, banana trees, green wood or human skulls (in kendo, we practice a kata which explicit relates to the efforts needed to extricate your sword from your opponents skull.)

As heavy as the "War" Sword, at 450g (1 lbs) but with a considerably different balance, the "Pestilence" Chopper is heavy in the hand, without feeling cumbersome. The same GFN-PA66 and pebbled ray-skin like texture in the scales of the grip, as well as the protruding knuckles kept it secure in my hand. The agricultural heritage of this blade comes through in how it handles and I felt the forward sweeping blade would make this ideal for snedding branches and probably make for good coconut opening and blackberry bush clearing. Even for its length the blade had no perceptible flex, but given the width, breadth and geometry, I wasn't surprised to not feel it manually.

This is a rough, rugged and practical tool, a formidable knife and a fitting homage to the Rider of the White Horse.

Ka-Bar Zombie Killer Knives
Click to go to ThinkGeek

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