Nice Ka-Bar TDI Mod

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Thread: Nice Ka-Bar TDI Mod

  1. #1
    New Member Array Radioflyer's Avatar
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    Nice Ka-Bar TDI Mod

    After a tactical class that dealt with knives as weapons, one of the biggest points was the speed factor of deployment of a folding knife versus a fixed blade. Since my daily carry knife is a rather large folder (crkt M16-14) I decided I needed a dedicated self-defense blade for areas when a firearm is either not legally allowed or practical.

    My choice was a Ka-Bar TDI. I picked the large blade after handling both large and small at a gun show. The Large has significantly more weight, a thicker blade and when gripped, the bottom of the handle can also be used as a weapon if necessary. I’ve been a tanto-tip fan because of their added strength and ease of cutting deep even at shallow angles. The model I found on ebay had serrations, but they were pretty much pointless….so I decided to attempt to replicate the “Veff” serrations on my folder.

    This is what the blade started as:



    I laid out the pattern with painters tape on the blade itself and set out with my Dremel. I started with a carbide cutoff wheel to cut new serrations using the olds ones as a pattern marker. Then the grinding wheel to shape the overall edge of the serrations. I used a diamond grinder to fine-shape the edge of each serration and finally a steel wire brush wheel to get rid of any inconsistencies in the surface of each serration. Finally with a round diamond hand-sharpener, I went at it for about half an hour.

    The end result shown next to the folder and the custom 5 o’clock IWB sheath.



    Close up:


    Close up comparison of the serrations:


    One might ask “why” would I put such serrations on a personal defense knife. The angled setup of the TDI lends itself very well to slashing as well as stabbing allowing equal control for both.

    1. In a slashing motion, the serrations will start the cut faster, significantly extend the inflicted wound and inflict significantly more damage to both muscle and nerves than a plain edge.
    2. In a stabbing motion, serrations will cause significantly more trauma upon removal than a fixed blade. It also easily converts a stab into a longer slash pending the manner of removal.
    3. A serrated blade like this one is not as likely to glance off of clothing. While it may not completely penetrate to the skin when put up against something like thick jackets, it will fair much better than a plain-edged blade.

    God-forbid I ever have a real-world test of my skills and equipment, but If I am in a situation where for whatever reason I don’t have, or can’t use my gun, I’m confident this is the next best tool.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Interesting theory. What really is going to happen is that those "serrations" will hook onto your assailants clothing during a slash and slide it around across their skin with minimal, if any, real cutting getting done except at the tip there where it's a plain edge. Michael Janich has done a ton of testing with various serrations and the above happens with most of the types out there.

    There is a reason why all of those choppers for cutting free-standing 2" hemp rope in competition are plain edged, and it's not because the designers are all idiots.
    LongRider likes this.

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    Senior Member Array stevem174's Avatar
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    That is one mean looking knife!! However, I agree with psychophipps, but then again I am not an expert. My experience comes from treating stabbing victims and bowhunting. I have always been a big believer in a scalpel edge for tissue.
    LongRider likes this.
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    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    Having Veff serrations on one of my knives, I have to say that they are indeed impressive. In fact, I have had quite a lot of fun trying to find something that they will NOT chop through in a full armed swing.

    In short, the Veff serrations are the only kind that I would gladly have on any defensive knife. In absence of them, I prefer a plain blade.

    Nice job on the alteration!
    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Don’t mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

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  6. #5
    Member Array frankborelli's Avatar
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    That is one mean looking blade. Being paranoid like I am about prosecutors and juries who will inevitably believe the worst, I try to leave all my defense tools as close to "stock" as I can. It would seem to me that altering a knife to be MORE lethal (as if that's possible - but think like an idiot jury member who is clueless) would hurt me when I have to defend myself in a justified lethal force defense situation. For all that, I like your work. It looks quite impressive.
    Frank Borelli
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    I think, therefore I am armed.

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array LongRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radioflyer View Post
    1. In a slashing motion, the serrations will start the cut faster, significantly extend the inflicted wound and inflict significantly more damage to both muscle and nerves than a plain edge.
    2. In a stabbing motion, serrations will cause significantly more trauma upon removal than a fixed blade. It also easily converts a stab into a longer slash pending the manner of removal.
    3. A serrated blade like this one is not as likely to glance off of clothing. While it may not completely penetrate to the skin when put up against something like thick jackets, it will fair much better than a plain-edged blade.

    God-forbid I ever have a real-world test of my skills and equipment, but If I am in a situation where for whatever reason I don’t have, or can’t use my gun, I’m confident this is the next best tool.
    For what its worth I've been around a few knife fights and stabbing as my scars can verify. May I suggest that you pick up a couple of roasts or some of those big pork lions and check your theory out. You may find that serrations are designed to cut seat belts and rope but nothing stabs and slices as well as a razor scalpel sharp blade.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevem174 View Post
    That is one mean looking knife!! However, I agree with psychophipps, but then again I am not an expert. My experience comes from treating stabbing victims and bowhunting. I have always been a big believer in a scalpel edge for tissue.
    Exactly, I have a tiny little convexed SubCom that will drop an attacker's guts on the ground before they know they are cut. My big blades do uglier work.
    Last edited by LongRider; March 24th, 2011 at 04:40 AM. Reason: add 'sharp" to sentance ie to correct garmmer
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I have not done the roast thing with my TDI, but I have done it in the past with other knives and a razor smooth edge cuts fast and deep to the point it is scarey.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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