What can I say? Every once in a while, I fall prey to gimmicky marketing. Then again, gimmicky marketing sometimes comes in the same package as a functional, practical piece of kit.
Case in point, I give you the Ka-Bar “Famine” Tanto. This is officially the first knife to be reviewed on Path Untraveled, and I’m pretty excited that I was able to find such an interesting specimen to take that honor.
The “Famine” knife fits into Ka-Bar’s Zombie-themed line of collectible knives, of which there are currently ten different styles available. I chose the “Famine” out of the lineup based on its size and blade style. I’m a huge fan of the penetrating capabilities of a tanto blade, and I rarely purchase a knife without serrations for sawing through rope or wood. I also loved the shape of the toxic-green handle, the angle of which brings to mind a heavy-duty kitchen cleaver. Is there a specific purpose for the hook on the pommel? I’m not sure, but it certainly looks cool – and it helps to keep the knife from slipping out of your hand.
As far as the manufacturer of this knife – Ka-Bar – goes, I had no worries when placing my order. I purchased my first Ka-Bar at the Camp Geiger PX when I was in the Marines, and I quickly learned how rugged and durable their knives are. Now, it’s true that Ka-Bar went through a phase where they were producing some of their knives overseas, but my “Famine” bears a very distinctive American flag engraving right on the blade. That being said, when you go to purchase one of these knives, you should make sure it’s the newer “Made in U.S.A.” model.
Unboxing the “Famine,” the first thing that struck me was how large this knife actually is. It’s hard to picture it when you’re shopping online, but the 13″ overall length is quite monstrous, especially when compared to the 9″ SOG Seal Pup that I’m used to wielding. This thing is no joke, and combined with the aggressive appearance of the knife overall, it’s not the sort of blade you’d want to be flashing around or openly carrying in inappropriate places. That being said, the size carries over to the full-tang 1095 Cro-Van blade, which is also quite hefty at 0.188″.
This little skeletal knife is also included, and it stores neatly in the front of the sheath.
The “Famine” ships with the trademark toxic-green handles, but also includes a set of black handles for those who want to tone down the zombie-hunting bling factor. Both sets of handles are scaled GFN-PA66 composite, and fairly stiff. I would have preferred handles with a bit of a “rubbery” feel for a more secure grip, but it’s not a deal-breaker by any means.
The knife comes packaged with a black nylon sheath and a small Archeron skeletal knife. The sheath has rigid inserts and positive closure for each of the two knives, as well as a rather large drawstring front pouch that serves no immediate purpose other than making the sheath positively massive. There’s a Velcro loop field on the front of the sheath, perfectly sized for the PVC Ka-Bar “Zombie Knives” patch that’s also included.
What’s the final verdict? Sure, it’s a little bit corny, but can you blame Ka-Bar for jumping on the “zombie apocalypse” bandwagon? I mean, if Hornady can make ammo for killing zombies, then why shouldn’t one of the finest knife manufacturers in the world give us a close-range option? At the end of the day, it’s all in good fun (especially for the collectors among us), but with the Ka-Bar “Famine,” you get a pretty damn good knife out of the deal as well.
If you’re curious about the other knives in the “Zombie” series, then head over to Ka-Bar’s Website and check out the full lineup. The “Famine” still lists at nearly $100 from the manufacturer, but if you zip over to Amazon.com, you can find this knife for less than $60, shipped!
* I was not compensated in any way for this review. I paid full price for this item and wrote the review for the benefit of my readers. If you found this review helpful, please do me a favor and click through to Amazon using one of my links. Your price doesn’t change, but I’ll make a few cents commission for the referral. That’s money I can spend on more stuff to review!