Baconmaker, Potbelly and Piggyback — Ka-Bar’s New Hog-Hunter Knives

Whether you prefer sticking or chopping, Ka-Bar’s new Adventure knife trio’s got you covered. Either the Ka-Bar Baconmaker or the Ka-Bar Potbelly takes on the hard jobs, with the Ka-Bar Piggyback included for fine slicing. Even if you’re not currently a hog-hunter, you’ll love these rugged survival knives.

Ka-Bar’s Baconmaker looks a little like a practical version of a knife from Assassin’s Creed, and according to the knife’s designer Steve Johnson of Boar Hunter Magazine, there is Persian influence in the blade’s artistic sweep and recurved edge. Originally based on a design request from one of Johnson’s Special Forces friends, the Baconmaker’s primary purpose was fighting. Made with more flair than Ka-Bar’s usual military knives, the Baconmaker still has the typical Ka-Bar strength. The 1095 Cro-Van steel is a hefty .188 inches thick, enough to rely on for heavy leverage, and light enough to move in a flash. That recurved edge also grabs and slices anything passing over it, making short work of ropes or straps without the need for crude serrations. At 12 3/4 inches length and .85 lbs, this Ka-Bar sporting knife definitely falls in the survival knife category, big enough to handle any woodscraft problem you’d come across.

If you’d like something a little tougher — something built for chopping brush or kindling as well as regular knifework — maybe you’ll prefer the Adventure Potbelly. Another Johnson design, the Potbelly has the forward weighting of a khukri and the extra blade strength to back up a solid swing. At 12 5/8 inches and 1.1 pounds, this 1/4 inch thick full tang knife cuts like a machete. The belly of the blade also handles smaller jobs like field dressing game, but either of these knives might be a little more than you need for the smaller game you’re likely to be eating in a survival situation.

That’s where the Adventure Piggyback comes in. This lightweight skeletonized knife rides in its own slot in the same sheath of either main blade and zips through the finer work of skinning and butchering with controlled ease.

Either working pair of knives uses the Adventure sheath, a polyester fabric construction with several good perks of its own. Two belt loops set at different heights offer customized carrying choices, and MOLLE attachment points let owners rig the knives to harness straps and other gear as well as waistbelts. A drawstring pouch on the front of the sheath holds survival gear of your choice. Toss in some firestarter and a bubble compass plus whatever else you consider essential. Ten feet of Adventure-cord is also included.

kabar piggyback knife

Ka-Bar's Piggyback fits in the sheath with either of the main knives. Buy one and it's part of the deal.

I’m totally sold on these knives as survival tools even if you don’t hunt hogs. I also appreciate that Ka-Bar didn’t load up that pouch with useless junk. The first thing you usually have to do with a survival kit is dump it out and start over. Ka-Bar knows that. With the Adventure knives you get knives that won’t fail, and an extra pocket for the personalized essentials you really do need.

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About JTHats

Avid backpacker and outdoorsman with old skills and interests in old ways of doing things; equally fascinated by electronics, from the days of Sputnik, to the Zilog Z80A, to the present day of black box circuitry. Sixty years of experience with growing my own food and living simply. Certified electronics technician, professional woodturner, woodcarver, and graduate of two military survival courses -- Arctic and Jungle.

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