Unlike most knife companies, KA-BAR doesn’t introduce a lot of new blades each year. Instead they choose carefully, selecting designs that offer something different or exceptional. At SHOT Show 2016 the company introduced just one new design, the KA-BAR Globetrotter, a fixed blade designed by Nebraska-based knife maker Jesse Jarosz. The knife is the first in a new line of Jarosz-designed blades, and is an achievement worth celebrating for the relatively young knife maker. However, news of the new blade and new partnership was tempered by a crime: a box containing an original Globetrotter prototype was stolen on its way to SHOT Show leaving the company scrambling.
Details surround the incident remain unclear and under investigation. But, according to KA-BAR, crates of knives and trade show gear were shipped across the country to SHOT Show in Las Vegas when somewhere along the route, one of the crates was broken into and emptied. A KA-BAR rep told us that opportunistic criminals often take advantage of all the high-value goods moving to large trade shows by targeting shipments headed there. Unfortunately for KA-BAR and Jarosz, the lost goods included the original prototype of their new collaboration. A back-up prototype was rushed to Vegas just in time to unveil the knife to buyers and the media.
Jesse Jarosz is a young and unquestionably talented knife maker. He has been making knives full time since 2012, having started just after winning Best New Maker at the USN Gathering knife show. And although his folders can sell for prices that only collectors might be willing to pay, he regularly sells his fixed blade designs directly from his website. The 3.5” Globetrotter is the first of his custom designs to see a production variant. KA-BAR’s version closely follows Jarosz’ original design. The differences include the use of 1095 carbon steel instead of stainless steel, contoured plastic takes the place of G-10 handle scales, and the flat grind replaces the lean hollow grind on Jarosz’ custom version.
KA-BAR built its brand from blackened carbon steel and a stacked leather handle. Their iconic USMC fighting/utility knife laid the groundwork for the kind of knives they have continued to make: rugged, purposefully designed, and affordable. Through the years they’ve continued to produce highly functional knives with some of the most respected knife designers in the industry including Ethan Becker’s line of large fixed blades and Bob Dozier’s affordable folders. This year, Jesse Jarosz joins that list.
Knife featured in image: KA-BAR Globetrotter