KA-BAR Debuts First-Ever Flipper Knife

KA-BAR is releasing its first-ever flipper, the Mark 98. This folder follows in the budget-conscious footsteps of other KA-BAR release and may lead to further flipper knife developments down the line.

“KA-BAR has never had a flipper in our lineup. This fills a need in an area we were missing across the board with our folders,” says KA-BAR’s Joseph Bradley. The company decided to go big, equipping the Mark 98 with a 3.5-inch spear point blade fashioned with 5Cr15MoV steel. A black coating and oversized fuller echo details of KA-BAR’s famous USMC Knife. A less retro approach was taken with the handle, which offers a finger groove for comfort, and is made from chamfered brown/black G-10. The broad blade, ample handle, and 5.6 oz. weight place the Mark 98 firmly in the heavy duty folder category.

KA-BAR Mark 98

Flipper knives live or die on the ‘feel’ of their action. Bradley tells us KA-BAR managed to pull off a satisfying deployment even at the liner lock Mark 98’s budget price point. “As soon as people picked the knife off the counter and played with it [at Blade] they were sold.”

KA-BAR aimed for a very affordable price point with an MSRP below $30, echoing their most well-known folder up to this point, the Dozier Folding Hunter. “We like to test products, particularly folders, with overseas production to keep the price low to see how they do,” Bradley tells us. He notes that settling on such an aggressive price point inevitably leads to some compromises. In particular, 5Cr15MoV steel won’t win any awards for high performance. But he believes the quality is there and KA-BAR will service the knife like any other of their products. “It has our lifetime warranty on it regardless of the steel or country of manufacturer.”

Folders are an important secondary pursuit for KA-BAR. “We are more known for fixed blades, so to be competitive in the folder arena we have to provide the most bang for the buck,” Bradley continues. “We wanted to make this affordable to everyone, not just hardcore knife enthusiasts.” He says that if the knife continues to be successful, the line could expand to encompass other steels, materials, and possibly even a domestic production. “It has gotten off to a great start so far, but time will tell.”

Knife featured in image: KA-BAR Mark 98