KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG
Previous Post
Next Post

KA-BAR makes some of the best, most useful affordable EDC folding knives on the market. Their $20 Dozier is a lightweight, easy-to-carry knife that’s made with a decent steel and you won’t be kicking yourself if you lose it. I’ve had one stashed in the center console of my car for years.

The KA-BAR Jarosz Folder is a slight step up in price with a big step up in build quality, toughness, ergonomics…and weight.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

The Jarosz Folder is a collaboration with knife designer Jesse Jarosz and is an affordable riff on his popular, discontinued, and much more expensive Model 75 folder.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

At about $40 retail, the KA-BAR Jarosz knife cost roughly 1/10th the price that Jarosz got for his very similar custom-made design. As a hard use EDC blade, the Jarosz Folder gives you a lot of performance for the dollar.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

KA-BAR offers a tanto blade version, but I bought mine with a classic drop point that’s both more functional and easier to sharpen.  The only variation in the blade profile from Jarosz’s original design is the absence of a swedge.

My knife arrived wickedly sharp right out of the box, able to shave the hairs on my arm. The action is remarkably smooth and flips open readily and the blade is perfectly centered when closed.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

That beefy stonewashed blade is 3½ inches long and a thick .15 inches wide. The blade has a hollow grind and is made from AUS-8A steel, probably the best of the budget steels used by knifemakers these days, at least in my book.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

Everything about the Jarosz Folder is designed to make it hold up to hard use. In addition to the heavy blade stock, the liners are also thick and sturdy.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

Note the full shift on the liner when the knife is open in the photo above. That’s a lot of steel locking the blade in place, so you don’t have to worry about slippage and the knife closing on your fingers under demanding use.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

The KA-BAR Folder’s scales are made of a lightly textured glass-filled nylon that’s gently and comfortably rounded. They provide a pleasant, ergonomic, full-hand grip.

On the down side, it’s not as grippy a texture as some will want on an EDC knife. When your hand is sweaty or the knife is wet, there’s potential for some slippage. For most regular duty EDC use, though, or especially when wearing a glove, it’s just fine in practice.

One note about those scales…they’re contoured down to a notably thin edge all the way around. Along the spine, that isn’t a problem as they’re fitted well to the liner. However, with the bottom of the liner moved away from the scale and locking the blade open, that leaves a thin, fairly sharp edge exposed. See the image above.

Out-of-the-box, that edge was uncomfortably sharp, but the fix was simple. I just took another sharp blade and made a few passes along the edge to radius it ever-so-slightly. I actually did that on the bottom edges of both scales. It took all of about 30 seconds and was a huge improvement, making the knife now perfectly comfortable to hold and use.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

For those who care where the things they buy are made, the KA-BAR Jarosz Folder is manufactured in Taiwan. For the geopolitically challenged, that’s the good China. For those who don’t want to pay a lot for an EDC knife and don’t want to send their money to a communist country, you can rest easy.

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
The Jarosz logo is stamped on the KA-BAR Jarosz Folder’s clip. (Dan Z. for TTAG)

The Jarosz Folder’s spring pocket clip is excellent and can be moved to either end for tip up or tip down carry. It comes from the factory in the tip down position. As tip up carry is baked into my DNA, I immediately switched it (all it takes is the right Torx bit and a little bit of blue Loctite and you’re good to go).

KA-BAR Jarosz Folder
Dan Z. for TTAG

Again, this is a large, muscular folding knife. It’s a full eight inches long when open and that thick blade is 1.125 in. from top to cutting edge.

As you can see above, it’s every bit as big as a ZT 0550 and a full inch longer overall than the also four-finger gripped Spyderco Delica 4.

Given its size and the thickness of the steel used, the Jarosz Folder isn’t a lightweight. At all. It’s listed at 5.6 oz., but my sample registered 5.2 oz. on my kitchen scale. Still, that’s substantial. It’s more than twice the weight of the Delica 4 and no attempt was made to lighten the KA-BAR knife. The liners aren’t drilled or skeletonized to reduce its carry weight at all.

Jarosz and KA-BAR have produced a useful, full-fisted knife for demanding everyday use at a price that won’t make many people blink. Its nicely finished hollow grind AUS-8A blade slices well and retains a useful edge longer than most budget steels. If a larger, tough-use knife is what you’re looking for and you don’t want to drop a lot of samolians, the Jarosz Folder is a good way to go.

 

Buy Now Button

 

 

 

Previous Post
Next Post

51 COMMENTS

    • Yeah, something tells me China will give the election thief a test in the Taiwan straight…

      • One additional testing criteria should be how does it grip when you have something like kerosene on your hands or similar viscosity

        Does your hand slide dangerously close to the blade or is it possible to grip strongly?

        I look at that aspect first because if you can’t hold it things could get bad.

        wrong spot again…sorry

        • I tested my grip on a bunch of folding knives with wet, slippery hands, and discovered that the single most effective factor in grip retention is finger grooves, especially a groove for the index finger. So finger grooves: bad in Glocks, good on knives!

        • @JB

          Agree, I have finger grooves in knives I carry, except a little Gerber utility thing I EDC.

          Also agree with Gen 3 & 4 being ugh! I carry Gen 2s, I might buy a Gen 5 if the planet ever recovers its sanity. I had a couple of Blue Label coupons I let expire, may renew my membership, dunno I really like my Gen 2s.

      • Taiwan is lost. No graceful way out no matter whose in office. Next up India.
        , installed the spin around on the go faster, a brand new spark plug for the 5hpBriggs&Stratton , 25,000 refrigerator magnets, sanded the rust off the washing machine tub so they stick good, got the maze just right to keep the neutrinos from getting out of the box, getting close to vaporizing the Universe, and these dumb shits are working on ending the world.

        • India is close to a match with china. Certainly closer than Taiwan now that beiging controls the oval office. India has conventional arms, nuclear and a decent enough fleet. Their air force is respectable and India has a large tech sector.

          I don’t see Japan letting china get too over reaching. I believe they would come in on India’s side in a worst case scenario.

        • I don’t see India being conquered by China. India has the numbers, nukes, western support, and industry to make that impossible. India has significant issues in its military and government though, so I doubt they could manage any push into China. The war would be a bloody stalemate that started and ended at roughly the original border.

      • Every single comment you make is either an ad hominem attack, a straw man, or a combination of the two. You add no value.

  1. A bit large for EDC but a good folding utility knife IMHO.

    KA-BAR tends to do a good job at an entirely reasonable price. The history of the name is a hoot too. Supposedly taken from a water stained letter from a trapper who said he used one of their older designed knives to “kill a bear” but the water damage left it as “k a b ar”.

    • The knife manufacturer named themselves after the popular WW2 Marine knife, the K-Bar. The knife was initially issued to elite Raider battalion units but was subsequently adopted by the Navy, and then later on the Army. It was adopted by the marines as the Mk2 Utility Knife after experience with the Mk1 knife showed that while it was good for silent killing, it wasn’t good for the myriad other grunt duties that a knife was used for, such as opening ammo boxes and cutting wire.

      • The Marine Corps Stilletto (MKI) was not a good utility knife but was an excellent close quarters weapon. It saw little use other than sentry elimination, hence the KA-BAR. But the KA-BAR name had been around since 1923 making hunting and trapping knives.

        In WWII the Corps actually allowed people to bring a knife of their choice after the MKI was replaced because they couldn’t get enough MKII’s. Hunting and trapping blades were popular. The KA-BAR brand was quite popular with Marines. Some tweaks to one of the blades, suggested by Col. John Davis and Capt. Howard America results in the iconic USMC Knife Utilty, Fighting.

        The KA-BAR name came, as the original company Union Cutlery Co, states, nearly 20 years before the USMC knife blade design and the name came from where I stated it did.

        If you don’t believe me the KA-BAR website will tell you the history of the company and how the name came to be.

        • “…the iconic USMC Knife Utilty, Fighting…”

          My daughter wanted a replica of that whomping big sheath knife for Christmas. I asked her where she would carry it given her proclivity for wearing painted on jeans. She replied that it was for having, not carrying (she already carries one of a couple tiny things like the Leatherman Micra, plus a 3″ folding knife with pocket clip). Now I ask you, how do you say no to that? I put a nice edge on it for her (they come pretty coarse) and she was tickled pink.

  2. I love my Dozier folder. I’ve carried one for about 3 years now, and it’s stood up to more use and abuse than a $20 knife would ever be expected to handle.

    • You’re not the only one. I have 2 of them. Have to color-coordinate. 🙂 I just wish they sat a little deeper when clipped to one’s pocket. If I’m wearing nicer attire, I pack a Kershaw Dividend instead as it sits below the pocket-line.

      • there are deep carry clips available for most common folders; pops clips comes to mind.
        there was a sprint run of bohler m390 dividends produced that are worth seeking out.

        • I’ll have to check out Pops. Thanks for the heads-up.

          I grabbed the Dividend Composite this last spring when it came out. It’s a little bit more for show than heavy-duty EDC use. Hence the ‘nicer attire’ comment. Since I live in a drier environment, not worried about the potential for rust. Read great things about the M390’s. Guess that’s something to add to my shopping list!

    • KA-BAR’s rock. I don’t carry my Dozier because it’s a cheap knife. I carry it because it’s a good knife. Pretty tough for a relatively light knife.

    • I’ve carried a Dozier for about a year and a half. The weight is about 2.2 oz and something that I don’t even notice in my pocket.

  3. Your argument is to buy a cheap knife because you won’t mind losing kind of correlates to buying a cheap gun because you won’t mind losing it. If you’re losing your EDC knife/gun perhaps you shouldn’t carry one. If a child finds your knife the results can be just as deadly. So many good American made knives for EDC you don’t need Tiawanese knives.

    • “Your argument is to buy a cheap knife because you won’t mind losing kind of correlates to buying a cheap gun because you won’t mind losing it.”

      Guns aren’t lost in nearly the numbers of of pocket knives, dumbass. You tend to instantly notice the loss of weight with a gun, unlike a pocket knife…

      • If you had read the post you may have remembered that he doesn’t always have the knife on his person, he leaves it in the car, etc. But that’s ok, no one is perfect, Geoff.. However your instantly calling me a dumbass hasn’t gone unnoticed Geoff.

        • Anyone seriously implying the loss of a knife is anywhere near as serious as the loss of a gun is a dumbass. That’s a simple statement of fact…

    • Losing a knife can be as simple as misplacing it in your house. I’ve lost them on hunts when they’ve fallen out, unnoticed, from my vest. But by far the most knives I’ve lost has been by loaning them and they don’t get returned. I carry knives that are good enough to get the job done but not so expensive as to be heart breaking losses if they take legs.

      I’ve never heard of a child being killed by a knife they’ve found. I’d like a citation on that one.

      • Somewhere in my burrow is a swiss army knife, I just used it a couple days ago, can’t find it now? Cool thing about looking for things you’ve lost is you find stuff you lost but forgot about losing.
        Used to help an old farmer who had a alzheimers, he shows up to have me help him look for the horse he lost( I never knew he had a horse, maybe 1935?), we’re wading through weeds and tall brush, and he says, ” So that’s where I parked it. ” we found an old tractor , it had trees all grown around it.

        • My swiss army knife rides around my neck with a fire steel on a bootlace lanyard when I’m in the boonies. I got my wife one for her earth quake emergency kit in her car. I told her the can opener may be the most used tool on the knife after a real big one,

    • My delica now rides inside my pocket. I had an endura clipped to my pocket and accidentally hooked it on a bag of trash at the dump, searched for 10 minutes with no results. Its unfortunately quite easy to lose a knife.

    • You also lose a knife by getting it seized/tossed at TSA or destroying it through abuse. EDC knives get used as field expedient pry bars, screw drivers, box openers, wire cutters, and dozens of other things that no knife you care about should be subjected to. It’s not the right tool for the job, but it’s the tool you have at the moment.

      • Years ago, prior to 9-11 and the TSA, my wife and I were travelling south of several borders to visit her folks, and as we were approaching airport security after getting off a plane, I see a big clear plastic barrel in the aisle between two security lanes. Half full of pocketknives, all shapes and sizes and colors, with a dome shaped lid that had a small hole in the center, like a milkshake cup lid. Snakes made me toss my little Leatherman Micra. I had carried that thing through countless security checkpoints without a hitch, and had adjusted the scissors to my liking and just sharpened it. Reached for that thing a thousand times a day and felt naked for the next two weeks. After that, I carried the new one, plus a couple spares, scattered in my luggage and they never bothered those. Snakes.

  4. Enough of my money goes to China as it is. Covid has changed the way I do things and I’m finding it harder to justify these kinds of things. I already have a desire for made in America.

  5. shame, that. mainland chingchong is turning out gorgeous work. i’ll tolerate offshore production (raffir noble chaparrall…) but it’s not hard to find decent homegrown blades.
    kershaw skyline is around fitty; 14c28n sandvik beats tired old aus8 in the budget category too.

    • “mainland chingchong is turning out gorgeous work”

      Yes, they are. I have a couple of Kizers and a Civivi (though no WE’s). All were bought pre Wuhan flu. No more for me, but damn, they’re turning out some first rate knives these days with excellent designs and good steel. Damn shame.

      As for the Skyline, that is a truly great EDC knife. And it’s the only knife I’ve ever lost (that I cared about). Which really sux now that Kershaw has discontinued it. I’m going to have to buy one on the secondary market because that’s a knife everyone should own.

  6. As I’ve a tendency to lose knives, I set an lower price point of $50 and no more than $100 (after losing 2 $200 Benchmades, that was enough for me). As no one in my area carries Ka-Bar, I’ll most likely never get the chance to handle one, and I never purchase knives without checking them out, so no Internet for this kid.

  7. After reading that this knife doesn’t suck, and being in need of a sturdy EDC folder, I ordered one from Classic. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and I’m very satisfied. Yes, it’s heavy but for me that’s a plus. Well built, good materials, comfortable in the hand, nice general-purpose blade shape. Full marks.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here