Hey Ka Bar—Can We Ever Ditch The Paint?

Joined
Aug 7, 2003
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3,322
Sooner or later the paint wears badly. When my USN F/U began looking like it had been scribbled upon by a black crayon, I stripped it. Then my USN Mk.1 and my BK-15 followed suit.

I see KB introducing new style knives all the time. How about an "Expert" or "Pro" Series that S__t-cans the paint for parkerizing or other phosphating, or bringing to market a factory forced patina? Surely youre capable of more cool "naked" steel surface effects than I can manage in my kitchen or out on the deck.

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C'mon, ditch the black crap for those of us who don't want it or need it.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
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1,346
I think the coating is very necessary. If you take a 1095 blade anywhere in Florida or out to sea (if you're in the navy) rust rust rust everywhere.

Personally I usually take the coating off. Even though I shouldn't (its humid in memphis).

I however cannot stand the traction coating they put on a lot of their beckers. That stuff comes off the second it comes in my door.

The smooth coating that's on the bk5 bk20 and bk21 are fine in my book.

I agree with you though, they should star parkin them.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
3,322
I think the coating is very necessary. If you take a 1095 blade anywhere in Florida or out to sea (if you're in the navy) rust rust rust everywhere.

Personally I usually take the coating off. Even though I shouldn't (its humid in memphis).

I however cannot stand the traction coating they put on a lot of their beckers. That stuff comes off the second it comes in my door.

The smooth coating that's on the bk5 bk20 and bk21 are fine in my book.

I agree with you though, they should star parkin them.

I was in the navy in the late 80s and early 90s. The "Ka Bars" we had aboard then in various capacities were never painted, and never rusted. Most "rusting" at sea is a cosmetic issue for inspection purposes only.

The paint is only as "necessary" as a noob make it. The entire world was explored and "conquered" with the aid of uncoated carbon steel knives.
 
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I was in the navy in the late 80s and early 90s. The "Ka Bars" we had aboard then in various capacities were never painted, and never rusted. Most "rusting" at sea is a cosmetic issue for inspection purposes only.

The paint is only as "necessary" as a noob make it. The entire world was explored and "conquered" with the aid of uncoated carbon steel knives.

Well while I can't say I've personally been in that situation. I've heard two sailor's accounts of carbon steel blades getting super bad rust out at sea. Perhaps it was just an extenuating circumstance
 
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Well while I can't say I've personally been in that situation. I've heard two sailor's accounts of carbon steel blades getting super bad rust out at sea. Perhaps it was just an extenuating circumstance

Well, precautions must be taken, but those are entirely what I'm talking about. Paint is for noobs.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
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1,792
Well, precautions must be taken, but those are entirely what I'm talking about. Paint is for noobs.

Interesting last sentence Boats; I'm not sure how I feel about that. You have to see this from KaBar's POV. Yes, you may be educated on proper knife care and maintenance (you are a member of bladeforums after all) but not all of KaBar's customers are. In fact, I'd bet the majority of their clientele are relatively inexperienced when it come to knife care. Remember these aren't high priced customs; these are entry level knives affordable to the general public. Many aren't quite as knowledgeable on stainless vs. high carbon steels. The coating is an inexpensive way to add rust protection for the majority of their customers. Yes, I've stripped off the coatings on some of my knives as well, but I understand why they put it on, and to me, at least, the 1/2 hr. it takes me to strip them isn't that much of an inconvenience. Makes me feel I've personalized my knife.
 
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Jun 28, 2013
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The phosphate coating on Ontario machetes is incredibly tough. It is a BITCH to remove. That would be awesome to get phosphated Kabars(Beckers included)
 
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Feb 22, 2015
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Well...better for the warehouse, dealers, etc to have blades stay new and clean before ending up in our hands.
IMO it's better to have the coating and I have a choice to remove it or leave it. Much harder to add it after the fact. The clear coat Becker series is a step toward what you're looking for. Still coated, just clear. I still prefer that black.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
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5,799
No doubt Matt black makes for great cosmetics.
Hides a lot of imperfections too.
But more importantly,
It actually does ensure
That a nib off the shelf
Doesn't actually look like a heap of rust
upon inspection.
 
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
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6
They look great I just put a second coat of stripper on my Kabar Fighter,did you steelwool or sand after stripping?and how did you apply the white vinigar?
 
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Feb 22, 2015
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I use 0000 steel wool and for the stubborn areas a razor blade will scrape it off without scratching. A good going over with steel wool to kinda even out the finish. There's tons of ways to do the vinegar patina from soaking or dipping to soaked rags or paper towels wrapped around the blade. Search the web and try it out. Easy enough to remove and try again.

Be sure to post your results!
 
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Bladite

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The phosphate coating on Ontario machetes is incredibly tough. It is a BITCH to remove. That would be awesome to get phosphated Kabars(Beckers included)

why remove it?
 
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