This is the second piece from my
Ka-Bar Zombie Killer Knives set, which I got for my birthday. I hinted at the set and started my ride with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse yesterday with the Death Dagger and now I will have a look at the next one up on my list. Prepare for yourself for the coming of the "Famine" Tanto. This is a hefty knife. It shares the same toxic/radioactive green GFN-PA66 scales as the other knives in this set, which is a nice feature, being totally interchangeable, and likewise, shares the matte-black scale option, shipping with its own set.
The first thing that caught my attention about this blade was its size. At 430g (0.95 lbs) this is a significant jump up from the Death Dagger. 90g heavier may not seem a lot, but when you consider the Hibben-esque thrower beside it weighs about 140g all up, the CRKT Stiff KISS that has been my previous tanto go-to knife weighs in at only 55g, it puts this into perspective.
I had mentioned that I would be reviewing is set in ascending size order, but the Famine Tanto is in fact slightly shorter Than the Death Dagger, sitting at 33cm (13-1/8" ) overall with a fixed blade 19cm (7-5/8") long. The difference is the breadth. The tanto is a broad blade, which makes it heavy. Brutally so in fact. Made from the same SK5 steel as the Death Dagger, there is substantially more steel in this blade, making it seem a lot bigger in the hand. It certainly has a bigger presence, something to be aware of. The blade geometry is essentially a "classic" modern tanto style, albeit a chunky and big design. The primary grind begins a bit less than half way from the cutting edge, giving a very solid spine, before meeting the tapered, 20 degree cutting edge, as seen in the Death Dagger. Technical specifications from KA-BAR indicate the edge holds a Rockwell hardness of 52-54.
As well as the formidable "Americanised tanto" point, the Famine Tanto also features a couple of very interesting elements. First is the row of 6 deep scalloped serrations which rise up from the base of the edge, just off the edge of the slight hand guard. This placement worried me a little bit, not wanting to saw my fingers in the event of a slippery thrust. Upon further handling, given the protruding knuckle of the handle, this seems unlikely. The crenelated thumb grips on the back of the blade, as with the Death Dagger, give a positive grip for when holding the blade choked up close, for finer work.
The last feature of this blade I wanted to cover is the hooked spike jutting forwards from the butt of the handle. This unsharpened spike could act as a impact weapon, or as a guard for the bottom of the hand, but I'm uncertain of its value. I don't think this would be a design feature I would have asked for, and am unsure if I'd ever find much use for it.
So, a very hefty, very solid and very tough blade, It's hungry, just as you would expect Famine to be, and yearns for the taste of flesh. The serrated bottom of the blade is a great addition, and adds some more functionality to what would obviously be a very purposeful addition to your kit.
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