Whether you are a firm believer in the dead rising or you are just in search of a great fixed blade, the KA-BAR Famine Tanto is a great option.
Ka-Bar has been making knives since 1898, each year further perfecting their formula. The KA-Bar Famnie Tanto is a straight-edged, fixed blade tanto. Its non-reflective black powdercoat finish also helps to resist rust. The blade itself measures a full 7 5/8″ and the full length of the knife is 13 1/8″. The product features KA-BAR’s textured GFN-PA66 handle and comes with a pair of black replacements (if lime green isn’t your thing). The Ka-Bar ZK Famine Tanto is part of the Ka-Bar Zombie Killer series, which are made from SK-5 High Carbon Steel. The sheath consists of a main plastic sleeve for the knife and and a secondary pocket for miscellaneous accessories. As seen in the image above, as an added bonus KA-BAR includes their ZK Acheron Skeleton Knife with the purchase of every Tanto. The sheath also includes a small plastic sleeve for the Skeleton which is concealed by the accessory pocket.
Known for making outstanding production line blades, KA-BAR does a great job with their ZK Tanto. The powder coat finish of the blade gives it a rugged look while protecting the metal from the elements. The product is a full tang blade, which providing added rigidity, ensuring that the blade will not come apart at the handle. As seen in the images surrounding, the blade consists of five wicked partial serrations on the first 1/3 of the blade, flowing into a razor sharp, plain-edged, intimidating tanto point. The straight blade style gives more surface area upon contact, while still providing a pointed end for effective thrusting. Also shown in these images is the tang, covered by green, textured GFN-PA66 handles. The handles provide a great grip, and are very easy to change if needed. On the back-most portion of the handle, a short hook can be seen. This assists in keeping the blade in the users hand while being used in a swinging motion.
Just as important as the knife itself, the ambidextrous sheath is made out of a high quality nylon, consisting of two polymer sleeves for securing both the Tanto and Skeleton knives and a front stuff sack secured by draw string. The polymer sleeves provide a snug fit into which the blade fully seats. The Tanto knife is further secured by two snaps, which offer an added sense of security that the knife will not stray from the sheath while on the move. The sheath has a series of eight rows of MOLLE on its back which can, of course, be used to attach to any MOLLE-compatible pack, chest rig, or leg holster. The stuff sack has a 3×3” loop square which can be used to attach small accessories or morale patches. The sheath has a double layer nylon backer which proves to provide a more rigid feel. The top portion of the sheath consists of a belt loop adapter which fits up to 3” belts. Upon opening your Tanto, you will find around 8′ of green nylon cord in the stuff sack, which can be used in assisting the securing of the sheath to your rig. The hemming and stitches of the nylon is done with precision and most stitches are doubled and tripled.
Care for this blade is extremely easy and can be sharpened with anything from an Arkansas stone to a stone found in the field. The full tang knife is weighted very nicely, being that the product pushes 1/4” at its widest point, it will prove to withhold the most serious beatings. The thick grips give the product a girthy purchase that can be held a number of ways. The ridges on the back of the neck work as a friction point for your thumb for a higher purchase, and the hook at the end of the knife work as a great hand stop for a lower purchase. Overall I am happy with the blades performance, I have taken it out a few times to test it and have not found anything it cannot do in the brush. Unfortunately I am not in Miami where people are eating each other’s faces off, so I haven’t had the opportunity to use it for its marketed purpose. The only problem I have has with the entirety of the system is the accessibility of the skeleton knife. While seated fully in the sheath, the skeleton knife is very hard to access while the Tanto is also fully seated in its sleeve. What’s worse is attempting to re-seat the skeleton knife into its intended sleeve (again while the Tanto is also in its sleeve). Finally, the skeleton knife is secured by a lone snap, which doesn’t seem to fully snap together.
The KA-BAR ZK Famine Tanto can be purchased at ReactGear, along with the rest of Ka-Bar’s ZK line and other Ka-Bar items. Be sure to head over to ReactGear to see their full selection!