How KA-BAR Got Its Name

Our name dates back to the early 1900’s from a fur trapper testimonial. He wrote that while trapping, his gun jammed leaving him with only his knife to kill a wounded bear that was attacking him. He thanked us for making the quality knife that helped him to kill a bear, but all that was legible was “K a bar”. Honored by the testimonial, the company adopted the phrase KA-BAR as their trademark.
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5 comments


  • Bill Ashworth

    You need to check K Bar out before it became KBar it was Union Cutlery and Union Cut Company after they changed the name to K Bar the Union Cutlery Company was handing Money problems they only made so many of them during the second World War then Cammulis Knife Company took over the contract because of the Money problems and couldn’t fill all the orders for the Marines And other Servces K Bar designed the Knife even tho the knife made by Cammulis we always called it a K Bar bar


  • Sgt Ted K. Shimono

    I still have my KBar from 1959. It is kind of beat up from all that it has gone through. The leather holder has seen better time too. It has done its job for me. It is in a box frame case now. Semper Fi Marines


  • GY/SGT L. Gore

    KA-BAR is the company that the Union Cutlery Company in Olean N.Y. changed its name to in the 1950’s. The original USMC K-BAR or Mark2 Combat Fighting/Utility Knife was contracted to the Camillus Cutlery Co. The K-BAR as of Marine Corps history is concerned comes from the 782 gear equipment issue slips in WWII. The K-BAR was issued to Marines that carried pistols, M1 Carbines and Browning Automatic Rifles (BARs). Any Marine issued a K-BAR and remember his Amory Issue slip knowns it was for a K-BAR, for BAR, M1 CARBINE and PISTOL that met KNIFE-BAR thus K (Knife, Browning Automatic Rifle. The original USMC K-BARs where stamped with CAMILIUS, OLEAN, PAL and others. As a side note, the issue slips also listed M-MG, 50 cal., 30Cal., CS WEAPONS. (Meaning Machete-Crew Served Weapon).


  • H.J. Sydnam

    Mine is stamped CAMILIUS.N.Y. and USN Mark 2 with a hard plastic (USN Mark 2) sheath. I brought it back from China in 1946.


  • MGySgt.Holy

    K-BAR = Knife, Browning Automatic Rifle. No bayonet issued with a BAR


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