Pros:Solid, Carbon steel, Easily sharpened, Reasonably priced
Cons:Not more like this made in the USA
The Bottom Line: Ontario knives date back a hundred years and conform to the standard patterns and quality that makes them very useful and top sellers
Ontario Freedom Fighter knife is made by Ontario Knife Co of Ontario New York, a USA manufacture that made knives for the military in World War 2. The most familiar knife was of the KA-BAR pattern. Ontario was one of the four manufacturers that made identical knives of the type that we all call KA-BAR, a 7 inch blade with cross guard and stacked leather handle, blackened steel and brown leather. The company in business since 1889 has been making knives for the services for years. Current products include the M-7 and M-9 bayonets for the M-16 series of rifles, survival knives for the Air Force, and utility knives
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The Freedom Fighter is similar to the typical KA-BAR pattern knife with a few variations that make it more modern and easy to manufacture. First the blade is bigger 8 inches long with a cross guard and a tang that runs through the handle. The handle however is not stacked leather but Kraton, a modern hard rubber-like material, formed around the tang and the cast metal end cap is pinned through the tang for a solid no nonsense handle.
The blade is high carbon steel ground to a nice angle and sharpened on the cutting side with a straight bevel running all along the edge. The standard KA-BAR is also sharpened on the back up over the clip point so that is a difference. The knife will have to be sharpened to your taste as the factory edge is only ground to a fair degree of sharpness. A bit of filing and stoning makes it a more useful edge.
The Kraton handle is molded and has reduced diameter rings that give your hand more grip. There is enough material that you can work the handle over if it is too large for your hands by sanding it down or other means. The Ontario Freedom Fighter comes with a leather sheath with a thigh loop and a snap to keep the knife in the sheath as you take it into the forest.
For $50 - $60, you can't really go wrong if you want a large useful knife for medium heavy use.
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