A Layman looks at the KA-BAR TDI

A Layman looks at the KA-BAR TDI

This is a discussion on A Layman looks at the KA-BAR TDI within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So, after two years, I feel I have some bare qualifications to comment on the Ka-Bar TDI. I like it! In fact, it's my primary ...

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  1. #1
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    A Layman looks at the KA-BAR TDI

    So, after two years, I feel I have some bare qualifications to comment on the Ka-Bar TDI. I like it! In fact, it's my primary carry knife. No one is more surprised than me. I carry the "junior" Law Enforcement model. I own a half-dozen knives - two of them are autos - good autos, not junk.

    Studying the DC forums, I came to realize the tactical importance of having a weak-side knife. If your right arm is injured, incapacitated, or jammed against a wall or car door, your firearm becomes useless. What I have grudgingly come to notice is that my razor sharp autos require removing them from my clipped pocket, flipping them over (from point side down for safety), fumbling to find the safety, exerting real pressure on the safety release and then pushing the button. Yes, I have come to the conclusion that flipping the wrist is far better for a defensive knife than an auto. But even my Spidey's require either a strong flip or using the thumb hole to open. All of this takes place with extreme duress and adrenalin with studies showing dexterity drops exponentially with trauma.

    The Ka-Bar TDI can be carried in six (I think) positions. I tried horizontally but the print is strongly pronounced on my shirts. Carried vertically it hides well. I have also come to find that carrying it handle forward is more tactically advantageous for me. It is much quicker to grasp and my grip is stronger. It allows for an immediate upward thrust as well as a downward thrust. The blade is literally razor sharp. Literally. One look at the knife wound autopsies (before dinner) shows the severe damage done in close quarters. I can grasp the knife out of the sheath and begin "operating" in just under a second. Ugh.

    Now, my biggest complaint: the sheath, or, more specifically, the clips for the sheath. The sheath is actually molded to the blade and fits perfectly. The metal belt clip is a joke. I average about two weeks on a belt clip before it breaks. I have found that if I clip it to the belt and not the waistband I can get up to a month before it breaks. The looped plastic sheath for threading a belt works fine. However, the loops are small and it takes some pushing and shoving to get a standard gun belt through the eyes. I much prefer grabbing the belt clip and putting it on my belt. Oh, and the belt clip digs into your side, shirt or no shirt.

    So, if Ka-Bar could ever come up with a solution to their belt attachments, I would have the perfect weak side tactical defender.
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    "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Eccl. 10:2


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    I agree with your points. I carry the small one also, support side opposite appendix, handle forward. From that position, I can also access the knife with my right hand.

    I concur with your sheath reports: the metal belt clip is not functional for me. I used the metal belt clip with a larger TDI, and it caused the knife to print more than a full-size firearm.

    The hard sheath for the smaller TDI is what I use now. It's a good fit, but as you noted, is very hard to slide on and off if the belt is thick.

    My solution is to leave it on my belt at all times. Since I carry with the TDI between 2 belt loops, I must remove the buckle and the leather belt loop from the belt to transfer to other pants. I can remove the sheath, but it's not easy. I'll probably order another small TDI and sheath soon so I can put it on another belt.

    I also like the handle forward carry for a quick, upward slice, with the capability for followup punches if needed.

    As you said, needing to open a folder with my support hand, in times of great stress, probably would lead to fumbling and failure.

    I cannot think if any way to improve this knife for my support-side carry.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array CCWFlaRuger's Avatar
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    Actually, my resolution for the belt clip was to reverse it so that the clip was outside the belt and the sheath inside, cuts the visible print considerably and you dont have the concern of the hilt snagging and pulling it off.

    I carry on strong side kidney, which I can reach with weak hand if necessary.
    "You will not rise to the occasion and you will not default to your level of training. You WILL ONLY default to the level of training you have mastered."
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  4. #4
    Member Array mchasal's Avatar
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    Here's a not very expensive sheath that I've heard is quite good: https://mdtstraining.com/store.php?c...on=show_detail
    I am not a Lawyer, LEO, or Special Forces Operator.
    The writings above are not burdened by trivialities such as research, experience or facts. However, it is on the Internet, so it must be true.
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  5. #5
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    Fla. Ruger, I'm going to give that flip a try. Makes mucho sense. Mchasal, do you know anything about the clip on that sheath? It really looks like a good carry but I don't want to trade one bad clip for another. Grady, make feel goodallover that a vet would affirm some of my observations. Thanks, y'all.
    "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Eccl. 10:2

  6. #6
    Member Array mchasal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aznav View Post
    Mchasal, do you know anything about the clip on that sheath? It really looks like a good carry but I don't want to trade one bad clip for another.
    Pretty sure that they use TekLoks. If you're not familiar with them, they are very secure, if a bit bulky.
    I am not a Lawyer, LEO, or Special Forces Operator.
    The writings above are not burdened by trivialities such as research, experience or facts. However, it is on the Internet, so it must be true.
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  7. #7
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I use the molle straps to attatch the sheath to my belt. It works great, and it's easy tp change the position of the knife.

    I personally favor horizontal carry just to the left of my belt buckle for a right hand draw. It's actually How I prefer to grasp a knife in a weapon retention situation, with my left hand.

    Try the molle straps available from Ka-Bar. They work great, IMNSHO.

    Biker

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post

    I personally favor horizontal carry just to the left of my belt buckle for a right hand draw. It's actually How I prefer to grasp a knife in a weapon retention situation, with my left hand.


    Biker
    When drawing with your left hand, are you talking about using a "reverse grip" with the knife blade protruding from the blade of your hand by your little finger?
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  9. #9
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    I have the KA BAR TDI, but I don't carry it much because it does protrude a bit more than I want. That sucker is sure sharp though, and easy to draw.
    At my age, I certainly do not want to be forced into H2H, but anything is possible.
    For the most part I always have a Kershaw clipped to my pocket...but I do like the TDI.
    OC spray and lead will have to encompass my H2H...
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  10. #10
    Member Array basher052's Avatar
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    And yes, im apparently slow.....

    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    I agree with your points. I carry the small one also, support side opposite appendix, handle forward. From that position, I can also access the knife with my right hand.

    I concur with your sheath reports: the metal belt clip is not functional for me. I used the metal belt clip with a larger TDI, and it caused the knife to print more than a full-size firearm.

    The hard sheath for the smaller TDI is what I use now. It's a good fit, but as you noted, is very hard to slide on and off if the belt is thick.

    My solution is to leave it on my belt at all times. Since I carry with the TDI between 2 belt loops, I must remove the buckle and the leather belt loop from the belt to transfer to other pants. I can remove the sheath, but it's not easy. I'll probably order another small TDI and sheath soon so I can put it on another belt.

    I also like the handle forward carry for a quick, upward slice, with the capability for followup punches if needed.

    As you said, needing to open a folder with my support hand, in times of great stress, probably would lead to fumbling and failure.

    I cannot think if any way to improve this knife for my support-side carry.
    Can you guys give me some idea of what you are talking about here?

    Not being much of a knife guy...yet , im confused by "support side", "handle forward", ect. Im sure ill kick myself when I get the visual.
    Andy
    You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas - David Crockett
    When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

  11. #11
    Member Array mchasal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basher052 View Post
    Can you guys give me some idea of what you are talking about here?

    Not being much of a knife guy...yet , im confused by "support side", "handle forward", ect. Im sure ill kick myself when I get the visual.
    Check the pics in the link I posted: https://mdtstraining.com/store.php?c...on=show_detail

    That shows the position.
    I am not a Lawyer, LEO, or Special Forces Operator.
    The writings above are not burdened by trivialities such as research, experience or facts. However, it is on the Internet, so it must be true.
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  12. #12
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    Strong side means your dominant side - i.e. "righty" or "lefty". If you look at mchasal's link you will see the knife handle is actually forward. If the guy is a righty than he is carrying it weak side, handle forward. This allows for a quick draw from your strong hand. If that hand is incapacitated or your strong side is inaccessible, it allows a quick grasp from your non-dominant hand. Hope this helps.
    "The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left." Eccl. 10:2

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basher052 View Post
    Can you guys give me some idea of what you are talking about here?

    Not being much of a knife guy...yet , im confused by "support side", "handle forward", ect. Im sure ill kick myself when I get the visual.
    Your questions have been answered, but I'll reiterate since I was the source of the confusing terms:

    Support side: as aznav described, since I'm right-handed, I carry the TDI on my left side. The dominant hand can be described as strong side, dominant side, and maybe others. The other hand can be described as weak side, support side, and maybe others.

    Opposite appendix: the mirror opposite of where one's appendix usually is, but on the left side. If straight ahead is considered 12 o'clock, right hip is 3 o'clock, rear middle is 6 o'clock, left hip is 9 o'clock. Opposite appendix is around 10-11 o'clock. Appendix is around 1-2 o'clock. (Guestimates--I'm not a doctor.)

    Handle forward: mchasal's link gives a good pic showing the characteristics of the knife and how it isn't straight. The second pic in the link is closer to how I wear it, although my knife holster is vertical rather than slanted. So the knife handle raises from my belt at about a 45-degree angle forward. Its primary use is intended for my left hand, although I can still deploy it with my right hand.

    The TDI can be carried with the handle pointing rearward, but for slashing I think handle forward puts the knife in play faster.

    Carrying it handle forward, opposite appendix allows it to conceal well for me. The handle hugs my skin for the handle's full length. The only way it can print is if I were to wear something skin tight. I realize everyone is different, but with normal clothing, I'm not sure I could make this knife print due to the closeness with which it hugs my side.
    Quote Originally Posted by aznav View Post
    Grady, make feel goodallover that a vet would affirm some of my observations. Thanks, y'all.
    I'd love to take a class based on the TDI. I'm sure I could learn a lot. Most of what I've learned about the TDI has been from trial and error.

    I know several members here have taken a TDI class and they highly recommend it.

  14. #14
    Member Array basher052's Avatar
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    More better!

    Thanks guys, that did clear it up. I had in mind wearing it around 3:00 or 9:00, but now I have a clearer understanding of why 11-2 is best. Does it give you any trouble when sitting, poking into the old cookie depository? Im loosing weight at a decent pace, so it wont be a problem for long if it does poke a portly guy .
    Andy
    You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas - David Crockett
    When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    When drawing with your left hand, are you talking about using a "reverse grip" with the knife blade protruding from the blade of your hand by your little finger?
    Yes.

    Sorry I wasn't more clear about that. I find that grasping the knife that way, while doing weapon retention is fast and sets the knife and me up for a move that is natural for me.

    More better!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks guys, that did clear it up. I had in mind wearing it around 3:00 or 9:00, but now I have a clearer understanding of why 11-2 is best. Does it give you any trouble when sitting, poking into the old cookie depository? Im loosing weight at a decent pace, so it wont be a problem for long if it does poke a portly guy .
    I don't have that problem, as I carry the knife in a horizontal position. I do tend to get poked in the cookie repository when the handle of the knife is carried in a vertical position.

    Biker
    Last edited by BikerRN; June 25th, 2010 at 08:25 PM. Reason: more info added

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