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This old KaBar fish knife just jumped in my boat

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by jujigatame, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. jujigatame


    Mar 21, 2005
    Actually, I wasn't in a boat. Don't even own one. ;)

    My mother was at church helping to set up for the fall fair. Those who are there can look over the tables of stuff that people have donated for sale from cleaning out their attics, closets, etc., to see if there's anything they want before the fair opens. She saw some pocketknives and thought I might like them. Two were imports from Japan and Hong Kong, small folders with steel frames and wood handle inlays. Decent but nothing special. The third knife was this one - a KaBar T75.


    I wonder if it ever saw much use. The edge is dull with some nicks near the tip but it doesn't show any evidence to me of resharpening. There's some light surface rust on the blade and inside on the liners and backsprings. Both the main blade and the scaler have good snap and pretty smooth action. The liner lock on the scaler works as it should. The scales seem to be in really solid shape with no cracks or chips. Stamped "Ka bar stainless" on the main blade. No other blade markings save for the inch measurements on the scaler. Measures 4 3/8" closed.





    It kinda makes me wish I fished a little to try it out. Still got a fair bit of life left in her I think.
  2. mike Berkovitch

    mike Berkovitch Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Very nice find! it's never too late to start fisshing
  3. comoha

    comoha Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    That's a nice one. I have an old Imperial but the celluloid scales are all degassed and warpy.
  4. dalee100


    Mar 15, 2008

    Nice find! Now get a fishin' pole and some bait!:D I had a Great-Uncle that was enamored of fish knives. He owned a fair number of them, though I think all his might have been Imperial's. I know he kept them wicked sharp and could fillet a walleye or northern pike in mere seconds with one.

  5. Henry44


    Nov 6, 2007
    Hello, Comoha. What does degassed mean? I have seen that term used before. regards Henry
  6. I have a couple of the yellow Kabar fish knives, although mine don't have the liner lock for the scaler. Is it just me, or does it look like the tip is broken/missing from the scaler? All others I've seen are 'notched' at the tip for a hook remover.
  7. Here's a very informative article on that topic, relating to celluloid scales on knives ---->>: http://www.oregonknifeclub.org/celluloid_02.html
  8. 300Bucks

    300Bucks Moderator Moderator

    Apr 19, 2005
    Sorry to rain on the parade, but I agree the tip of the scaler is broken off.

  9. jujigatame


    Mar 21, 2005
    Oh yes, the first inch or so of the scaler is missing. I figured the pictures spoke for themselves on that point. No need to worry about raining on anything. It is a fish knife after all so it was probably rained on at some point anyway. ;)
  10. BRL

    BRL Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    That's a nice pattern! I've been agonizing over what to keep in my tackle box (actually my kid's tackle box; she's the real fisherman of the family) and this might just be the one.
  11. It is a good knife. :thumbup: The blades on the two I have really sharpened up nice. Makes that thin blade a great slicer, for a variety of things (if you're not lucky enough to take it fishing :)).
  12. oilburner


    Dec 6, 2009
    Does anyone sell anything like that knife currently? I'm drooling all over the computer screen now, I have to have one, I fish at least one-2 days a week...
  13. Case has a version of it (slightly smaller), in current models, and the older ones like this Kabar can still be found on the 'auction site' fairly regularly (that's where I found mine). Older versions by Case (larger pattern 32095) and Western are very similar also, and found in the same place. The liner lock on the scaler, on this knife, isn't so common. Most are without that feature.

    Here's a pic of Case's current offering (pattern #320094 F SS):
  14. oilburner


    Dec 6, 2009
    Well crap, now I gotta go look to see what I can put up on the trade forums, thanks alot, lol. I gotta have one!
  15. jujigatame


    Mar 21, 2005
    I did a little work on the T75 last night and this morning. Used some fine steel wool to take off the surface rust on the blade and clean out the insides. Rinsed out the pivot and then used some WD40 to work out any leftover gunk. The action was good to begin with but it's really smooth now. There is some lateral play to the main blade but nothing major. Then I took a little Flitz to the blade and it polished up nicely. Next step will be to work on the edge. Does anyone know what kind of steel KaBar used on these? Something in the 420/440 range maybe?


  16. oilburner


    Dec 6, 2009
    Wow, that cleaned up great didn't it! Nice find for sure!
  17. xbxb

    xbxb Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    Sweet blade on that knife it looks great!
  18. Hey, that looks great. :thumbup:

    I think 420/440 series is about right, in terms of how it sharpens up. I think 440A in particular, was pretty common on knives of similar quality, in that time frame. Relatively soft, but 440A takes a very fine edge and is very easy to maintain in sharp condition. I've put some really good edges on some 440A blades I have, using wet/dry sandpaper up through 2000 grit, often followed by stropping on leather or balsa with Simichrome (Flitz should be fine for this too). If you use diamond hones, I'd recommend starting at a higher/finer grit, and go VERY light on pressure.
  19. GLDNDomer


    Apr 8, 2011
    Nice knife! I've got one without the hook sharpener that was handed down from my great uncle. He must have broken the tip and then reprofiled it because the blade is about a quarter of an inch too short! You should definitely take it fishing or at the very least buy some boned fish at the store, it's a mean fish fillet'er
  20. shilohreb


    Aug 4, 2006
    I really like the old Ka-bars. That one is a keeper. :D

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