A few days ago while my dad was taking my sister across the state to have her lymph nodes tested, he picked up a hunting knife for my 30th birthday. I've never owned anything other than a pocketknife, so I don't know enough about hunting knives to tell if this is a good one. I've tried finding product reviews on the Web, but only turned up a pic of the same knife from several online retailers with a wide range of prices from $6.00 to $25.00:
The label on the box says KA-475 but gives no information about who manufactured it. The knife is 10-3/4 inches long with a 6-1/2 inch blade. It's made in Pakistan, and the blade is stamped with "Hand Made - 440 Stainless Steel." Has anyone on AoM seen/used this knife before? What can I expect from it in terms of quality?
440 steel, if it really is, is actually pretty decent steel - so it might hold an edge well once properly sharpened.
However, it looks like it's been Chromed, which is not good (could be just a trick of the photography). I would also guess, at that price, that it is imitation stag and brass fittings - serviceable, but certainly not something you are going to save for your grandkids. I see one website that claims this knife is made by Ka-bar (Ka-bar makes some very good knives for the marines and others) - as far as I can tell, it is not.
I've personally never been fond of the Bowie pattern as a hunting/utility knife. Thick blade and off balance pattern limits its usefulness for most tasks required of a knife. If you are looking for a serious working knife (heavy duty camping/hunting) I'd probably not bother with this one unfortunately.
Thanks for your input. Since I already have the knife, I do plan to test it while practicing some of the survival skills I'm learning in Les Stroud's book (I'm a big fan of Survivorman). And I may try to obtain another knife for comparison, with the help of someone who knows what to look for in a quality knife.
I agree with everything Liam said. Just adding a couple other bits. 440 is the standard stainless used in many knives because of its resistance to corrosion. Unlike its high carbon counterpart, you're not likely to get any rust or pitting on the blade. However, This steel doesn't get as sharp as a high carbon blade will. I like carrying two knives because of this (one stainless the other high carbon) so I have one for any situation that may come up. I hope this helped and happy trails.
p.s. A good site to pick up a lot of primitive living and survival info is http://www.bladeforums.com/
It is a Paki a general term for a costume piece that can't really do the job. My wife forgot she had a paki on her when she was going through the airport a may years ago and security looked at it and realizing what is was and the butter knifes keep a better edge let her keep it.
They are show pieces, cheap show pieces at that.
Use the knife in your kitchen. If it works, holds an edge and doesn't dull with the first cut then it is a usable knife. If you can't cut bacon or raw steak with it then it is a Pakistan show piece. FWIW, a knife of this size that can be depended on would cost at least $75 to $100.
One of the best cheap knives that is out there is the "Old Hickory" line of butcher knives. The steel is carbon, it does rust, but it holds an edge and cuts beautifully.