Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: KA-BAR Zombie "Death" Dagger

For my birthday, I was lucky enough to receive the full set of KA-BAR's Zombie Killer fixed blades, which I hinted at a little while ago. This set we ordered from ThinkGeek, and seemed the be the best way to get the whole set in one hit. I'll be covering each of the blades in turn, but for now, have a look at them here: Ka-Bar Zombie Killer Knives Pretty epic, even to look at. Each of the main blades is named after one of the Four Riders of the Apocalypse. I decided to go in reverse order, and look at each blade by size, rather than biblical standard. That's how I roll.

So, first up, here is the Death Dagger, ( which I've lined up against one of the Hibben-esque throwers I reviewed a little while ago for scale) and the skeletonised Charon companion knife that comes with each of the Zombie Killer line. You can see right away that this is a BIG knife, and this is the smallest of the four.

Weighing in at 0.75 lb. and boasting a 35cm (13-7/8") length overall, 21cm (8-1/2") of which is a triangular drop-point blade. Steel of the full-tang blade is a hefty 0.5cm (0.205") for most of its length, but features a gentle distal taper as it reaches the drop-point. The blade geometry gives the sharpened edge a 20 degree angle, beyond the primary grind. This makes for a sturdy edge, which is still sharp, but also easy to maintain. The SK5 steel is reported to come with a Rockwell hardness of between 52-54, which is nice for a high-carbon steel knife, without getting into the brittle side of things. Essentially this means this blade can take a beating but still stay sharp. I like the sounds of that.

The blade is powder coated with a black bead, for rust-prevention and glare-reduction. I was very happy with the finish, and the branding was nicely counter-pointed in the finish.
The handle scales are made of the mysterious GFN-PA66 plastic, and features a very aggressive pebbled texture, not unlike ray or shark. The whole Zombie Tool line features the toxic/radioactive green seen here, but have no fear, it also ships with plain matte-black scales for those "don't light up the neighborhood" situations. For the moment I'm going to leave the green scales on, because whilst not glow-in-the-dark, they are easy to find if dropped, or hanging off my wall late at night.

The blade is quick in the hand, and balanced lightly enough to flick and slash, as well as thrust, even being a lot more knife than I am used to waving around. The handle offers a couple of different grips, with the large protruding element governing where you can place your hands. I have long hands, and found that I could happily have my fingers wrapped around the handle with either my index finger forward, thumb in the crenelated grip provided, in almost a "drop the hammer" pistol grip or with a "two up-two down" fist grip. Either way was comfortable. The guard at the top of the handle seemed quite adequate to prevent my hand slipping over and forwards onto the blade, especially combined with the handles built in protruding "knuckle". A lanyard hole in the butt-end rounds this off to be a very solid piece, and the misgivings I had with its size evaporated once I had a chance to put it through its paces.

This piece, with its "up high on the back of the hilt" geometry, and lightness was very reminiscent of a bayonet and I liked it in the hand. Not as hungry as I would have thought, nor fully sick, or bad-ass, but I'll leave that to the other three Horsemen. The Death Dagger, everything I would expect from my first KA-BAR, solid, tough, brutal and with a plain efficiency that I had lead to believe this brand would give.

The range comes with a very cool scabbard, which I will feature separately, it's that good.

The Zombie Killer Death Dagger: putting an end to what needs ending. With extreme prejudice.

Ka-Bar Zombie Killer Knives
Click to go to ThinkGeek

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