Things That Don’t Suck: KA-BAR Dozier Precision Hunter Knife

Hi, my name is Dan and I’m a knife addict. I don’t know if there’s a 12-step program for my condition, but I haven’t really hit rock bottom yet, so I’m pretty sure I can handle it. No, really I can.

Anyway, I have a lot of knives…EDC blades of all shapes, sizes and steels. But one of the knives that impresses me most is this simple, inexpensive $21 KA-BAR folder.

The unassuming Dozier Precision Hunter lock back won’t be confused by any knife knut as a prestige item. It’s made in Taiwan and features an AUS-8 blade with Zytel fiberglass handle, all of which keeps it light and very affordably priced.

But what makes this such a great little knife is its design. The oval thumb notch means easy one-handed opening. The 3-inch hollow grind blade has a nice belly and AUS-8 — probably the best of the budget steels — resists rust well and sharpens easily.

Plus, priced at just over a Jackson retail, you don’t have to worry about beating it up. It’s a great blade to throw in an emergency kit, go-bag, tackle box, or — like mine — keep in your car’s center console. With it’s (fairly stiff) clip, it also makes a pretty darned good, slim, pocketable EDC option.

I have knives that cost more than ten times as much as the Dozier Precision Hunter, but this thing is, all things being equal, one of my favorites. It clearly doesn’t suck.

comments

  1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    The quality and workmanship of knives these days is a pathetic joke. The knife industry has done what the gun industry did and that is cheapen the product to the point that it is a joke on the consumer. Yes I know you can make a knife good enough to cut something with and use crude workmanship and cheap scales made out of plastic but there is pride of ownership in owning a knife and you will not get it with today’s garbage that is being vomited out by the knife manufactures. Sometimes I think we would be better off learning the complex skills of Neanderthal man ( it took one archaeologist two years to equal the Neanderthal skills) who used stone knives that were 50,000 times sharper than what we use today. Yes they were easily broken but they were produced cheaply at home by the fire and there was of course pride in workmanship as well.

    1. avatar Jack Hill says:

      You are an idiot.

      1. avatar TexasJack says:

        ↑ what he said ↑

        1. avatar GaPharmD says:

          ^^^^See reply #1 ^^^

      2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        Of course I am thank you for noticing flattery will get you anywhere.

    2. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      The mainstream of every (yes every) industry that grows large enough to become a commodity will go the route of selling a cheaper product to more consumers. In every case there’s still a contingent of outfits still making very high quality product for people who are willing to pay for it.

      Frankly, cheap stuff is good enough for the needs of a lot of people. If you want something truly special you just front the $$ or (as you say) make it yourself.

      EDC’ing a stone knife would definitely mark you as an O.G. knife guy. 😀

    3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      there is nothing sharper on a molecular level than obsidian. it is still utilized for surgical precision. and it is a rock.
      and yes, you are an idiot.

      1. avatar daveinwyo says:

        Well, no, it’s volcanic glass.

    4. avatar Jr says:

      The idea that “things were made better back in the day” is the result of survivor bias. All the garbage made back in the day has already broken and/or been thrown out. The only old stuff still around is the best quality stuff that lasted so it just seems today like 100% of the stuff made back in the day was good.

      1. avatar Imayeti says:

        The Chinese have been eating rice for 5000 years, and the best tool they could come up with is 2 sticks!

        1. avatar Michael in AK says:

          Yep….and yet they carve wood…LOL. It’s that “long game strategy” we are always told about.

      2. avatar JW says:

        I’m pretty sure you are right about junk knives made ‘back in the day’.

        From Twain’s ‘Tom Sawyer’

        “Mary gave him a bran-new “Barlow” knife worth twelve and a half cents; and the convulsion of delight that swept his system shook him to his foundations. True, the knife would not cut anything, but it was a “sure-enough” Barlow, and there was inconceivable grandeur in that – though where the Western boys ever got the idea that such a weapon could possibly be counterfeited to its injury, is an imposing mystery and will always remain so, perhaps.”

      3. avatar Don from CT says:

        15 years ago a friend of mine used to buy those Home Shopping Club “knife extravaganza” deals.

        You remember them. 150 knives for $120.

        Guess what. Most of those $1 knives that he gave me, roughly a dozen, are still in my knife drawer and are working just fine.

        One is a long slender folder. Its very light because its mostly plastic. Its become my go-go kitchen knife for camping and backpacking.

        Another blade has been my carpentry knife for years. Mainly because I abuse it. Its still ok.

        My “roofing” knife was another dollar knife. Its been sharpened so many times on a wet stone that the blade is about 2/3 its original length.

        There is a place for cheap blades.

    5. avatar Matthew Green says:

      People who aren’t particularly interested in knives won’t spend quality knife prices.

      People who are interested in knives and are willing to pay for quality have plenty of options, probably more options than any period in history.

      My grandfather used to say that “no knife is worth more than $20.” He probably thought that you could still get a Buck 110 or 105 for $20. You can’t today, adjusted for inflation you can probably get a similar value though. It’s nice to have options, and there are plenty of cheap knives out there that make me cringe, but this isn’t one of them. Since before I was born you could buy knives that were absolute junk at the gas station, and I would bet that the first junky knife was sold at a gas station not too long after the first gas station opened its doors. The Ka-Bar Dozier might look similar to some of those gas station knives but it is an order of magnitude better. It isn’t nice or pretty, but it would be my choice If I was going to follow my grandfather’s knife advice.

    6. avatar Rad Man says:

      50,000, you say.

    7. avatar George Washington says:

      Yeah…. I’m not sure what planet you live on, but there are plenty of awesome knives out there, you just gotta open that wallet….
      My Gerber 06 automatic is a prime example of a GREAT FOLDER!!!!!

    8. avatar Saran Wrappe says:

      You lost the internet today. Congrats.

      Best thing I saw or read today. Thanks 1, 2 & 3

    9. avatar possum and the coons of doom says:

      My Grandma’s paring knife hand made out of a saw blade ,deer antler and brass rivets , is still slicing at 150 years +. The steel in the saw blade is excellent. . No they don’t make nothing like they used to.

    10. avatar JW says:

      Properly made stone knives are very cool, but anything that takes me years to learn how to make for myself was not ‘produced cheaply’.

  2. avatar Biatec says:

    Thanks for the article. That’s my price range right there. Lol.

    1. avatar SoCalJack says:

      Same here. Not a knife guy. I lose and abuse my knives. I really have no business buying a $100 knife that I will just use as a pry bar in a pinch. I’ll take reliable and under $30 please.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I like knives and I have a drawer full of them. At different prices and quality. But I also loose knives at an alarming rate or give them away. I rarely carry a knife that costs more than 40-50 bucks.

        1. avatar Guesty says:

          With you on that 105%.

  3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i’m glad to know dan shares a common infliction. indulge that. no ffl required.
    the knife that specifically doesn’t suck as mentioned looks like a really nice blade design.
    for an additional jackson you can begin to flirt with u.s. made stuff with similar steels.
    it strikes me as odd that as you climb the price ladder you start getting into the nicest finished production stuff out of taichung taiwan, and china is now producing superb knives with powdered ~super~ steel.
    if you can find a nicely patterned raffir noble chaparral for a hondo, you will have one of the sliciest gentlemen’s pocket knives made. but it’s made in taiwan.

    maybe dan would like to edit a blog dedicated to knifedom truth. not sure what to call it.

    a similar enterprise which has shut down was headed by individuals who have landed nicely; one at blade headquarters, the other at knife magazine, which just finished up a 100 knives in one hundred days promotion on their new online presence.

    when it comes to ka- bar, look closely at the ethan becker (bkt) offerings. 1095 is no slouch, and i’ve found one in d2 and another in s35v.

    1. avatar dph says:

      “maybe dan would like to edit a blog dedicated to knifedom truth. not sure what to call it.”

      They used to have one called TTAK, but they couldn’t squeeze enough money out of it, so now it’s a zombie site. I really miss it.

      1. avatar dph says:

        I should pay more attention, my sarcasm detector needs re-calibrated.

        1. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

          Hey, Dan Z – How about handing TTAK over to tsbhoa.p.jr?

  4. avatar pg2 says:

    Ontario’s Rat 1 in Aus 8 steel is the best folder blade under $30, IMO.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      bloodletting predates vaccination.

    2. avatar dph says:

      Spend $8 more and get the Rat 1 in D2 tool steel. You can thank me later.

      1. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

        I’m not a big steel snob but I’m I big fan of d2

      2. avatar Hank says:

        D2 tougher to sharpen and rusts. No thanks.

        1. avatar Joe Rowell says:

          D-2 holds an edge incredibly well, & is not hard to sharpen on an India stone. It also has good corrosion resistance. I know this from experience, I have several Dozier knives. His horizontal sheath, worn to the right of your belt buckle, is a very practical way to carry a small fixed blade.

  5. avatar MADDMAXX says:

    I’ll keep my two “old” USMC issue KA-BARs and the old Buck folder still works fine after more than 30 years, but good to see that Vlad is not only a legal, economics, firearms, sociology and mental health X-SPURT (yes Vlad spelling IS intentional) but is also knowledgeable about ALL things related to cutlery AND metallurgy… Damn, I’m shocked… (making my shocked face now)…

  6. avatar RCC says:

    Dan

    You are not a knife addict until you:-

    1. Start making your own knives

    2. Buy at least 3 of the same knives at once, in case you lose one.

    The reviewed knife looks ok and I have paid more for one. But I prefer the half serrated and half straight blade in every day folder.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I liked the serrated blades before I retired. I was always opening and tearing down boxes. But since i retired I’ve gradually shifted over to plain edges. Especially since i got back into hunting.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        serrations excel at rope and branch cutting. plain edge is better at everything else.

      2. avatar RCC says:

        JWM
        As an everyday carry I prefer the half serrated style. Mainly for doing score and snap on electrical conduit, rope cutting and similar. I do have the cutters for conduit but they always seem to be back in the truck.

        For hunting I go with plain edge in folder or fixed. I now have one of folders that you replace the edge on (similar to large surgical scalpel) to try next years deer season. About $30 with spare blades from Cabellas.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Yes. I got one of those replaceable scalpels last year. I’ve only used mine on dove and quail so far. It works a charm for that. Can’t remember the brand name but I paid about 50-60 for mine. It’s already loaded in the truck for another dove shoot tomorrow, a.m.

          When I’m hunting I usually carry that, a Mora companion and a SAK. Around my neck I wear a bootlace with the SAK, fire steel and a storm whistle.

        2. avatar RCC says:

          JWM
          My mistake replacement blade knife from Bass Pro during opening month of new store. So it was probably cheaper than usual.

          Knives from about 8 countries and multiple shops so can’t always remember immediately where they are from.

        3. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          havalon piranta?

  7. avatar Kevin says:

    Great article, Dan, thanks!

    I would put the Kershaw Kuro in the same category. You can find it for $20:

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Kershaw-Kuro-Serrated-SpeedSafe-Assisted-Opening-Pocket-Knife-1835TBLKST/21609442

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      Or you could get it from a company that isn’t a charter member is a partnership with “Everytown.”

    2. avatar James69 says:

      I have this knife in my pocket as I type this. Good blade for general ” knife stuff” Fishing, hunting, automotive, household etc. I like the “tanto” style point. I haven’t broke it yet or destroyed the blade, good value . My grandkids ask why do you carry a knife? I tell em it’s to open toys and candy. They light right up 😁

  8. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    give up anyhow.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      the above comment dropped into the wrong slot.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        awesome. my vax comment above stayed while polio germ squared’s comment about his comment being deleted was deleted. awesome.

  9. avatar Mark N. says:

    I have a Buck lock back, but do not particularly care for it. For one, it is very hard steel (US made), and is thus very hard to sharpen. Second, I have on multiple occasions unlocked the lock during use, and that is a problem. These days I have been carrying $25 (or less) Kershaws with the speed safe opener and liner lock. Yes, the blades are Chinese, 18 Cr13MoV (similar to AUS 8), but they sharpen easily to a keen edge. If I lose one, no big loss. My favorite has a matte stainless handle, cost me $25 at WalMart.

  10. avatar DapperGunsmith says:

    I have a Dozier knife, excellent quality!

  11. avatar Duane says:

    I have been using knife for over 50 years I have completely worn out knifes when I was trapping. Skinning 50 or so critters a night well do that. I field dressed and butchered several hundred big game animals.

    I have lost more knifes them most people well ever own.

    When I buy knifes I like I normally buy 3 of them.

    Todays cheap knife are of far better quality then the cheap knifes of 50 years ago.

    I own custom knifes and cheap knifes.

    My favorite EDC are Kershaw 1830’s and cold steel voyagers.

    A 17 dollar knife is a lot nicer to lose then a 100 dollar knife.

    I lost both.

  12. avatar Duane says:

    Forgot to mention I have made knifes for myself and friends.

  13. avatar Martin B says:

    Oh, this article strikes a chord with me. This very knife is the start of my own, prolonged and financially draining (at my level) addiction to buying the best knives I can afford at any gven time. I actually started at one hunting shop, where the shop keeper steered me towards a razor style tang knife, which felt a bit iffy in use, so I made a deal where I sold my unused (bought on special) Winchester 7-08mm for a Ruger 10/22 (my first) and a Ka-Bar back lock knife, which was priced at $NZ80. I just had to have it. Yes, I know I was robbed. I didn’t care. But later I felt dissatisfied with the lock back, and bought an endless succession of Sanrenmu knives from GearBest, some Ganzo Firebirds, and lately some Y-Starts. Also a CRKT Pilar. But the flippers are fastest to open, and the most fun to use. My leg problems mean I will never be a deer hunter like my father. But I will always have a tough, capable knife and multitool on hand wherever I go. I find I use even the small blade on my keychain Swiss Army Rally almost every other day in my travels.

    1. avatar Joe Rowell says:

      If you’re from New Zealand check out New Zealand’s own Svord knives made by Bryan Baker. He makes excellent knives with a great heat treat, & he also produces the Kiwi line of no-frills knives that aren’t expensive & are better knives than you’re used to buying.

  14. avatar Joe Rowell says:

    I’ve got some high end knives, including some real Dozier knives I got from Bob himself. I also have some inexpensive (I didn’t say cheap) knives that are under $50 & are serviceable & good values. This is not a bad knife. AUS-8 isnt a super steel, but it’s as good as you’re going to get in this price range. Modern polymers are a lot stronger than most people think, so there’s no need to worry about the handle. Is this knife as good as a $120 Benchmade? Well no, but it’s a pretty good knife for the money & it doesn’t suck.

  15. avatar MtnDewey says:

    I carry anything from a bench made auto to a S&W lock blade. like them all, even the Winchesters at wally world are decent. I carry a fixed blade for hunting/skinning as well. I find great deals on ebay, bought three great fixed blades for less than 40$.

    1. avatar Old Air Force says:

      I have two auto out the fronts, one from Midtech and the other a gift. Not expensive and well made. Multiple Gerbers, some Smith and Wesson, and a Swiss Army. My EDC is the Midtech and a Fox Karambit. I really like the Fox. Well made and great steel.

  16. avatar MtnDewey says:

    p.s. budk.com carries some great knives for really cheap, have yet to be disappointed with wht I have bought from them.

  17. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    Thanks for the article!

    Handmade knives are quite expensive ($$$$) to produce and waiting lists can be long. Equipment is specialized and fire hazard and lung damage has to be mitigated.

    I’ve always been interested and have tried my hand with limited success.

    1. avatar RCC says:

      Manse
      Like all things practice and patience are required. I still use one knife I made as a teenager but compared to what I make now with lots more practice and a few lessons it’s finish looks terrible.

      You can make good knives with a hacksaw, files and LOTS of sanding if you want. There are also companies who do heat treatments to order so you don’t need a forge to start with. It’s when you try to hurry mistakes happen.

  18. avatar possum and the coons of doom says:

    I am restructuring my load out with lightness as a compromise to brute efficiency. Thus knife will most likely replace the Field Knife I now carry.

  19. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Hi, I’m Tom. And I’m a knife addict too.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      Hi Tom, glad to see you here.

      Same…so many great options at solid price points.

  20. avatar Montana Dan says:

    Can we not schill for knife companies? This is TTAG, not TTAK. This sounds like a paid advertisement.

  21. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Back before Gerber went to making trash knives they really did make legendary blades. I have had a A400 since 1981 but for many years there was a mystery about this knife. It never rusted except on the very cutting edge of the blade not on the body of the blade ever. The explanation I found out was that the knife was not stainless , rather it was chrome plated and when you sharped it you naturally took the chrome off the edge. The reason they did this is well know to real knife people and that is that a non stainless blade holds its edge longer than a stainless one so the Gerber had the best of both worlds, i.e. it stayed sharper longer but the chrome plating kept the blade from rusting. Now days Gerber like all the other knife companies make junk and charge more than when they made legendary blades. Its called fking the consumer every which way but loose.

    1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      Besides that Gerber should have known that I cant even take care of myself so how can they expect me to take care of a knife?

      -The Real True Original Vlad Tepes

      1. avatar Anner says:

        Whichever of you is getting paid to do this, please ask for a raise. The chuckle I get is well worth the price of admission.

    2. avatar jwm says:

      Isn’t it against the institutions rules for you to have a knife? Or belt? Or shoelaces?

  22. avatar Don from CT says:

    My favorite knife is the Kershaw Skyline.

    $38
    American made
    light weight
    big enough blade
    feels nice in the hand.
    flipper opening. (non assisted)

    Try one out.

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