You Call That A Knife? This KA-BAR Is A Knife.

The KA-BAR Mark 2 has been the go-to knife of the USMC since 1942, but its Marine heritage is just the tip of the iceberg. Employing a 178mm 1095 carbon steel clip point blade that’ll slice through cold butter like an impossibly hot battle axe, the KA-BAR has a leather-wrapped handle so handsome it’ll make your grandmother blush. And while the looks can't kill, the knife can—that's how it's got its name.

In 1923 the owner of the Union Cutlery Co. of Olean, New York received a letter from a fur trapper, who praised the knife after he used it to successfully kill a bear that attacked him after his rifle jammed. According to Union Cutlery Co., the letter was somewhat illegible, with "ka bar" being the only readable part of the phrase "kill a bear." It's been KA-BAR ever since.

Alex Robinson is a senior editor at Supercompressor who wants to know more about this legendary fur trapper. Find him on Twitter @ItsAlexRobinson.