Boker Applegate Fairbairn Fighting Knife — Short History

Boker Applegate Fairbairn
Boker Applegate Fairbairn knife model 120543AF

The Boker Applegate Fairbairn combat knife has been a steady favorite of our customers for several years here at BladeOps.  The history of this knife goes back to before WWII.  At that time, William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes got together and discussed what they thought were critical characteristics of a classic fighting knife.  What they came up with was the F-S fighting knife.  This knife gained popularity when it was issued to several different British fighting forces during WWII–specifically it became popular when it was used extensively during the Normandy Landings.

The knife was designed with an acute taper to the sharp pointed blade and was perfect for thrusting cuts as well as slashing cuts as long as the edges were sharpened as suggested by Fairbairn and Sykes.  This design was used throughout WWII and still has adherents to this day.  Fairbairn may have said it best in his book entitled GET TOUGH! (1942)

In close-quarters fighting there is no more deadly weapon than the knife. In choosing a knife there are two important factors to bear in mind: balance and keenness. The hilt should fit easily in your hand, and the blade should not be so heavy that it tends to drag the hilt from your fingers in a loose grip. It is essential that the blade have a sharp stabbing point and good cutting edges, because an artery torn through (as against a clean cut) tends to contract and stop the bleeding. If a main artery is cleanly severed, the wounded man will quickly lose consciousness and die.

Colonel Rex Applegate was a student of Fairbairn.  During his study, he came up with a few modifications to the classic F-S knife that included most prominently a different handle.  The original modified handle had adjustable lead weights that changed the balance point of the knife.  This new variation of the original F-S combat knife became known as the Applegate Fairbairn fighting knife.  Boker produces several different variations of this knife with most of the variety coming from different handle colors, materials or blade steels.  Check out our full line of Applegate Fairbairn knives here or check out the applegate knife pictured above here.

Cold Steel OSS Fixed Blade Knife

Cold Steel OSS Knife
Cold Steel OSS Knife

The Cold Steel OSS just showed up at BladeOps.  This fantastic dual edged sub hilt fighter knife is built for heavy action.  What is a sub hilt knife?  It is a knife that features an extra guard below the normal handle guard.  This extra guard is typically curved in the opposite direction as the normal handle guard–creating an extra secure space for your forefinger.  This allows you to get and keep an ultra secure grip on your knife.  The OSS features a hollow ground, ultra sharp blade that gives you the tool you need in the field.  Whether you are out on a hunting expedition, serving your country, or just enjoying the outdoors, the Cold Steel OSS is the companion you want and need with you.


Item Number: 39LSSC
Name: OSS
Blade Length: 8 1/4″
Overall Length: 12 3/8″
Steel: Japanese Aus 8A Stainless
Weight: 9 oz
Blade Thickness: 4.7 mm
Handle: 5 1/8″ Long Kray-Ex™
Sheath: Secure-Ex® Sheath

Cold Steel Marauder

Cold Steel 39LSWB Marauder
Cold Steel 39LSWB Marauder

Just in, the new Cold Steel Marauder fixed blade knife.  This battle ready combat knife got inspiration from the formidable combat knives or World War II.  Merrill’s Marauders worked deep penetration missions during WWII in the China-Burma-India region.  This knife is named in honor of Merrill and his men.  This bowie style knife features a huge blade that is extra broad.  The Japanese AUS8A blade can handle chopping, slashing, cutting, piercing, slicing, shearing, and pretty much anything else you ask it to do.  It is built for heavy duty use.  The full tang blade is encased in a double quillion sub hilt Kray Ex handle that can handle any type of weather conditions.  Plus it is comfortable in your hand.  Check out this new Cold Steel knife and see why it is taking the market by storm.

Cold Steel SRK San Mai III Combat Knife

Cold Steel SRK, 38CSM
Cold Steel SRK, 38CSM

The Cold Steel SRK, which stands for Survival Rescue Knife, is part of the Cold Steel  Battle Ready Classics Series.  This knife performs well in hand to hand combat, and now with the San Mai III steel it is even tougher.  San Mai III has proven to be unsurpassed in strength, sharpness as well as ease re-sharpening.  The blade is 3/16″ thick, and the handle is deeply checkered Kray-Ex.  This knife is standard issue for Navy SEALS attending basic underwater demolition training (BUDS).   This is a tough, combat ready fixed blade knife that will serve you well for whatever mission you have.

TOPS Knives Tom Brown Tracker Fixed Blade Knife

The TOPS Knives Tom Brown Tracker Fixed Blade Knife is a very large combat knife.  Built with a curved a drop point blade, this middle of the blade has an interesting modification that gives you a big strectch of straight edgte that can be used for a multitude of purposes.  The extra thick spine on the blade also sports a saw.  This isn’t a wimpy little saw that you see on lots of “survival knives”.  This is a heavy duty saw section with offset teeth for more aggresive cutting. If you are looking for a big, beefy survival knife that can do just about anything, the Tracker is just what you are looking for. 


Blade Length: 4 1/4″
O/A Length: 11 7/8″
Draw Knife: 2 1/8″
Saw: 2 1/2″

Thickness: 1/4″

Weight: 1 lb 12oz
Blade Steel: 1095 High Carbon Alloy RC-58
Blade Color: Black Traction Coating
Handle Material: Black Linen Micarta®
Sheath: Kydex With Two Rotating Steel Spring Clips
Mfg. Handcrafted in the USA
*Each knife individually numbered with a serial number

Emerson Commander Knife

Every once in a while, a knife comes along that really wows you.  The Emerson Commander has been out for a couple of years now.  But it is definitely one of those knives.  Originally, it won the “Best Overall Knife of the Year” at the International Blade Show in Atlanta.  And if you have ever held the Commander, you quickly can see why.  The knife is reasonably big.  It is rugged.  And it is built strong.  Made with a 154CM stainless steel blade with an excellent V grind, the Emerson Commander works like a charm.  It is easy to open.  You can even use the WAVE feature and open it as you pull it out of your pocket.  The G10 scales make it easy to grip and hold onto.  It is easy to see why so many elite forces around the world like the Commander knife.  Strong, built to last and to perform, and easy to use.  The Emerson Commander is a definite must have knife. 


Overall Length: 8.75 in.
Blade Length: 3.75 in.
Handle Length: 5.0 in.
Blade Thickness: 0.125 in.
Hardness: 57-59 RC
Weight: 4.9 oz.
Made in USA

Tactical Knives, Survival Knives, and Combat Knives

Lately survival knives have become an extremely hot topic.  Often we get a call from a curious customer asking us what we think is the very best survival knife.  As you may expect, around here at BladeOps the opinions vary.  Some of us like a knife that is more along the lines of a tactical knife that will function as either a combat knife or as a survival knife.  Others of us like the straight up survival knives.  To set up the conversation, we want to make a few clarifications. 
For us:
Tactical Knife:  a knife that is all black, most probably designed for combat.  A great example of this would be the Blackhawk QDC Mark I folder.
Survival Knife:  a knife that is designed to help you out in the wild.  If you are stranded and lost, this should be a knife that will help you survive in whatever situation you may find yourself.  An example of this would be the ESEE Knives Rat 3 or Rat 4 knife.
Combat Knife:  a knife designed specifically for military and police applications.  Often these knives feature more narrow blades and may be “tactical” or they may have stainless steel blades.  In this genre–think the Mark II by Gerber.
As with any set of definitions, there is quite a bit of crossover within each definition.  For instance, the Mark II is a combat knife and is also a Tactical Knife.  Some people may even classify it as a survival knife.
The purpose of this blog entry is to find out what are your favorite Tactical and Survival knives?  Let us know which knife and why.

Cold Steel Point Guard Knife, Plain Edge, 49FP

The Cold Steel Point Guard knife, inspired by a Fred Perrin designed custom knife is an incredibly thin, flat knife.  Extremely light, the Point Guard knife comes with a Secure-Ex sheath.  Made specifically for your hand, this knife is made so you can use the shortened pistol grip comfortably.  The G-10 scales and the skeletonized style make it almost unbelievably light.  This is one of the better neck knives we have seen on the market.  It can also be carried in a pocket, on a belt or even on a leg strap. 

Name: Point Guard Plain Edge
Blade Length: 4″
Overall Length: 6 3/4″
Steel: Japanese AUS 8A Stainless
Weight: 2.8 oz
Handle: 2 3/4″ Long G-10
Sheath: Secure-Ex® Neck Sheath

KA-BAR FIN Fixed Blade Knife, KA5555

Recently, we added a couple of new KA-BAR knives to our inventory.  I know the original style KA-BAR, the fighting knife icon from WWII, is always popular with knife collectors for a wide variety of reasons.  It is a good, solid fixed blade knife.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when we ordered the FIN fixed blade knife.  It is a big change as far as style and layout for KA-BAR.  When we got these knives into stock, I spent some time with the FIN fixed blade knife and have been very surprised at how comfortable and manageable this knife really is.   
The bent shape of the handle makes it comfortable to hold.  It also makes it feel as if this is a knife that actually extends your reach significantly.  As far as most fixed blade combat knives, the straight handle always means you have to bend your wrist slightly to point the knife forward.  With the FIN, the slightly bent shape means you can hold your wrist in a more natural position.  I like this.  As far as using the FIN for a survival type knife it passes with high marks in this arena.  The blade is heavy enough to serve you in chopping, cutting, slashing and many other survival needs.  And the knife blade is made of D2 steel which means it is durable enough and strong enough to cut without losing it’s edge quickly.  This is a great, non-conventional fixed blade knife.  KA-BAR did it right with the FIN series.


.95 lb.

Length: Blade length 4-7/8\”;
Overall length 9-3/4\”
Grind: hollow
Shape: Drop Point
Handle Material: GFN-PA66
Edge Angle: 20 Degrees
Steel: D2
Country Mft’d: Made in Taiwan

Cold Steel Kobun Knife

Cold Steel makes some of the most durable and tough fixed blade knives on the market.  Recently, we started carrying one of their smaller fixed blade knives.  The Kobun is a tanto style boot knife named after the Japanese word for “soldier”.  The Kobun measures in at 9 7/8″ and the blade is 5 1/2.  Made of Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel, the blade not only looks great but it performs amazingly well.  This is a great knife for a wide variety of purposes.  It has a very comfortable grip and is incredibly light at only 4.4 ounces.  If you are looking for a boot knife, a combat knife, or just a great new knife to add to your collection, the Cold Steel Kobun would be a great fixed blade knife for you.

Name: Kobun

Blade Length: 5 1/2″
Overall Length: 9 7/8″
Steel: Japanese AUS 8A Stainless
Weight: 4.4 oz
Handle: 4 3/8″ Long Kraton®
Sheath: Secure-Ex® Sheath