The story of KA-BAR Knives began when a group of English bladesmiths from Sheffield (one of the major cutlery production centers of the time) gathered together, defied the rules of their guild, and migrated to the American northeast where they set up shop and began producing far higher quality cutlery than the average American was used at the time.
Consequently, their products were in such high demand that 38 members of the group decided to form a Limited Partnership called the Tridioute Cutlery Company and this Limited Partnership is widely considered to be the official start of KA-BAR Knives, Inc.
The KA-BAR Kraton Handled Big Brother Bowie features the same quality craftsmanship today as those original, handmade knives and has an overall length of 14 3/8” with a 9 3/8” Clip Point blade made from 3/16” thick, 1095 Cro-Van, high carbon, tool steel hardened to 56-58 Rockwell.
Also, the blade features a serrated spine and a plain cutting edge with a Saber Grind and a black, epoxy, powder coat to help prevent the non-stainless steel from corroding.
In addition, the handle features partial tang construction with a highly ergonomic, over-molded, oval, handle with a Kraton rubber coating and powder-coated steel quillions and pommel. Last, the knife is supplied with a heavy-duty, leather, sheath.
For those of you who have a need for a BIG, tough, Bowie knife, this is the knife for you!
As we have mentioned in previous articles we happen to have a distinct preference for the classic Bowie pattern for wilderness preparedness knives because it excels as both a general-purpose blade shape and as a dedicated chopping tool.
In fact, with a massive 9 3/8″ blade made from 0.165″ thick 1095 Cro-Van (which contains 0.90% – 1.10% Carbon and 0.30% – 0.50%, 0.40% – 0.60% Chromium, 0.60% Molybdenum, 0.161% Vanadium, 0.30% – 0.50% Manganese, and 0.25% Nickel), the KA-BAR Big Brother Bowie is not only very well designed but is also superbly constructed for heavy duty use.
1095 Cro-Van is a very tough, high carbon, tool steel but, due to the addition of Chromium and Molybdenum, it is significantly harder than 1095 and the addition of both Chromium and Nickel make the steel both stronger and more corrosion resistant than other high carbon tool steels.
Plus, the addition of Vanadium serves to refine the grain structure of the steel which enables it to take and hold a fine edge like stainless steel but without the brittleness that some stainless steel exhibits.
Thus, the KA-BAR Big Brother Bowie is definitely well suited for the specific purpose of wilderness survival but, it would also make an excellent camp and trail knife.
In addition, the Clip Point blade shape places the tip of the blade closer to the centerline of the knife for greater control when using the tip of the knife to perform precision cutting tasks and, the classic Clip Point Bowie design provides plenty of straight cutting edge for carving, plunge cutting, and slicing, while the clip tends to lighten the tip of the knife for better control and the moderate belly on the sweep is perfect for chopping while the Saber Grind prevents it from binding in greenwood.
Also, the spine of the blade features a relatively long, serrated, section that appears as if it could serve as a saw in a pinch but would certainly be effective at cutting the cord, rope, or nylon tape.
Furthermore, the 3/16″ spine combined with a medium Rockwell Hardness of 56-58 enables it to easily withstand the shock generated by chopping and/or using a baton to split saplings for use in making an Atlatl or a Self Bow for hunting as well as the lateral forces generated by splitting lathes for weaving baskets to use as fish or bird traps.
Plus, the handle features powder-coated, double, steel quillions to prevent the user’s hand from accidentally sliding forward onto the blade, and a highly ergonomic, oval, over-molded, handle with a Kraton rubber coating and deeply radiused grooves make the knife very comfortable to use and also provide a very positive grip while alleviating some of the shock generated by chopping wood while the metal pommel could be used as a makeshift hammer in a pinch.
Similar to the KA-BAR Kraton Big Brother
KA-BAR 1266 Modified Tanto Fixed 8 in Blade Kraton Handle
Check Price on Amazon
With an 8-inch blade made out of 1095 Cro-Van and a handle made out of Kraton, the titular KA-BAR knife falls at a very decent price and with numerous positive reviews both on Amazon and on other websites.
The knife, as you can probably imagine, is quite sturdy, and will most likely last you for years if taken care of properly. What is special about this knife is that it’s an evolution based on the classic KA-BAR 1245.
One key element that showcases this is the fact that it’s built off the same blade blanks as the 1245. The seconds one is that the knife’s blade profile is more akin to a historical Japanese tanto, which is much less abrupt and angular than the 1245’s Americanized style. Finally, we really like the sheath, which comes with a pair of plastic tabs that snap over the knife’s guard.
KA-BAR KA1212-BRK USA Fighting Knife
Check Latest Price on Amazon
This knife comes with a gut hook blade shape which makes it ideal for fighting and many other situations that have to do with survival. It’s a fairly standard-priced knife that comes from a brand known for resistance and durability.
It has a 1095 carbon-steel blade with a 20-degree edge angle that you can easily sharpen when compared to numerous other models currently on the market. The knife is great for camping, marine trips, and many other survival-related uses. It also comes with a leather sheath that protects it considerably well from all the elements.
The blade is so sturdy and well-made that it can easily penetrate most materials that you can think of working on when using a knife. Overall, it’s a great choice in case the previous two knives are unavailable for one reason or another.
Final Thoughts on the KA-BAR Kraton Big Brother
Consequently, not only is the KA-BAR Kraton Handled Big Brother Bowie an aesthetically pleasing knife with its massive, traditionally shaped, Clip Point Bowie blade, it is also a very tough knife that will stand up to almost any task the user might ask of it in an outdoor survival situation.
Are you looking for a rich and trustworthy resource of expert outdoor tips, gear reviews, and hot survival topics with a heavy emphasis on hunting and fishing? Look no further! Wilderness Today’s team of dedicated outdoor enthusiasts, veteran hunters, and passionate anglers are here to share their firsthand experience with you. With us, there’s no hiking trip too challenging to undertake and no game too sneaky or massive to take down. We have some of the best gear recommendations, tactics, and insider advice on the interweb and the utmost respect for nature.