KA-BAR’s Folding Hunter Gets First Upgrade in Years

One of the production knife world’s most beloved budget folders, the KA-BAR Dozier Folding Hunter, got a pretty major update this week. A new version has released sporting an upgraded, hard-working blade steel.

The Folding Hunter is an elder statesman in the world of production folders. It set a standard for price to performance almost 20 years ago that many budget knives still don’t quite achieve. It blends a workhorse design from custom knife legend Bob Dozier, simple, reliable materials, and smart construction choices to deliver a hard-working knife at a price that even most non-knife people don’t balk at.

None of the Folding Hunter’s dimensions are changed on this new version. You still get the 3-inch drop point blade, a shape and length that can readily work a generous swath of cutting jobs, from delicate to demanding. The original Folding Hunter had a blade made from AUS-8 steel, but this new version is equipped with D2. Semi stainless tool steel D2 has become the star of the budget steel realm, offering comparatively high performance in exchange for some corrosion resistance. KA-BAR has addressed that drawback to a degree on this knife, applying a brown coating to the blade.

The ergonomics are dead simple: a bow-shaped handle that Dozier first drew up decades ago, and that still work perfectly now. There are no finger grooves, and the two-part Zytel handle is held together with large screws on either end. The stamped pocket clip is reversible, and the weight remains appealing at 2.4 oz.

The Folding Hunter is based off of a custom with the same name. In his custom work, Dozier has long championed D2 for hardworking knives, so this new release with KA-BAR brings this simple production folder a little closer to its high-end inspiration. And while it does hit a higher price point than the AUS-8 models, it still manages to come in under $50.

Knife in Featured Image: KA-BAR Dozier Folding Hunter D2