499 pilots survival knife questions

Discussion in 'Ontario Knife Company' started by beachmaster, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. beachmaster


    Oct 3, 2014
    Hey guys-
    So i am starting a yt series focussing on the dirt cheapest products i could get my hands on, and one of the knives ill be testing is (obviously) the 499.

    I had experience with these knives a LONG time ago, and man they had some TERRIBLE grinds, totally uneven and not in the least straight. But it seems that once Tooj got on board at that time period quality went WAY up, or at least that is how i remember it.

    But this 499 (possibly from before tooj)... its bad... really bad. I am curious if this is the experience of others as well.




    The edge is THICK, and from belly to tip is as crooked as can be. The knife is not at all sharp.

    "Its what you should expect from a $30 knife"- its not what i expect from Ontario, or for any blade that says "madeinusa" on it, i guess i had hoped that the price was due to favorable supply and demand characteristics due to military contracts.

    So whats up? Is this the norm, or did i get a freak monday/ friday knife that slipped through qc?
  2. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    No idea.
    My last 499 was circa 1964 to 1973.

    I do recall it cut and whittled what I wanted/needed it to, during the Cub and Boy Scout camp outs.
    It worked just fine removing model car parts from the molding "trees", and scraping the chrome off the surfaces that got glued, too.

    As for the edge ... I honestly don't recall exactly if it was even or thick.
    If memory seves, the 499's edge was a mite thicker (and tougher) than my Exacto "knife"... so were the edges on my Barlow, "Demo" knife, and stockman, for that matter.
    David Nowlin likes this.
  3. NapalmCheese

    NapalmCheese Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    I have one marked 9-88 (which I also used while in the Boy Scouts until I switched to a Bucklite and then a SAK).

    It's a thick blade with a pretty low saber grind so of course it's pretty thick behind the edge. It'll definitely get sharp enough to do some work, but it'll never be super duper razor sharp I imagine. Mine made plenty of fuzz sticks and shavings back in the day.
    afishhunter and David Nowlin like this.
  4. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Thinking about it, it would make sense that the edge is thick.
    The "Jet Pilot Survival Knife" was designed to hack and saw through the cockpit canopy after an unplanned landing ... presuming the thing didn't fireball or explode on impact ...

    (the saw is not much good on wood, if I remember right.)
  5. Blue Sky

    Blue Sky Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2002
    It will sharpen up just fine, it’s everyone’s favorite 1095 after all. You will need to thin and even the edge, they do come thick and not symmetric. I took mine to 20 degrees / side and then it cut way beyond expectations. The bevels were pretty wide, looked almost like a scandi at the end but it worked. Turned it into a decent field knife.
  6. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
  7. NMpops


    Aug 9, 2010
    Off Topic- But why are all pictures posted from Photobucket blurry? Do you have to be a member?

Share This Page