As a former operator and longtime edged tool connoisseur, my knives are custom or modified with production models rarely considered.
*HINDERER / TDI HELLFIRE KNIFE
MADE BY KA-BAR
This blade is one of those exceptions.
KA-BAR has been making knives for over a hundred years so they know the art better than most. I’ve used their original but modified ‘TDI‘ and also have their ‘USMC KA-BAR‘ solely as a collector’s item.
The moment I held my Hell Fire Knife for the first time, I was exceedingly impressed by every factor; blade edge and grind, materials used, grip and balance, overall construction as well as the advanced sheath.
Based on their combined experiences as a veteran police Lieutenant and Fire Fighter/EMT, John Benner and Rick Hinderer have designed (Hell Fire) knives for real-world emergency situations…
Officially named “KABAR Hellfire”($), this edged tool was designed for a very specific purpose; close quarters combat and self-defense or simply, tactical. So in that regard, it performs flawlessly and elegantly.
The Hell Fire is not a utility knife but it’s not trying to be. The angled blade along with the curved edge and tanto tip doesn’t make it the most useful for everyday cutting tasks, but it does make it exceptional for dealing with an assailant. All by proven and functional design.
It’s a fighting knife, a damn good one.
As an American and human being, I’m proud and happy with the fact that this Hinderer knife is made in the USA. A rarity usually reserved for custom knives that are at least triple the price.
KABAR’s Hellfire($) is a rather simple yet precision construction; thick full tang blade with molded Zytel handles screwed on. But it’s of an exceptional design and how a rugged fixed bladed knife should be.
The blade however is quite complex; angled inward, tanto style with a recurve on the primary edge and hollow ground with a strong thumb rest. The high carbon steel ensures a sharp and reliable edge.
The actual blade may be the heart of any knife but it’s how it handles and feels in your hands that’s potentially more important. The Hell Fire’s ergonomics feels customized with seamless comfort.
It feels completely natural with a sense of confidence in forward and reverse grips as well as great positioning when rested in the sheath for rapid responses.
The Hell Fire’s sheath is an intelligently engineered piece of gear that’s just as impressive as the knife it houses. KA-BAR really went the extra mile, instead of just putting together some Kydex or leather together.
The low profile sheath is configurable for both lefties and righties as well as being versatile in mounting capabilities. But the locking mechanism is what really shines. The blade locks in securely when inserted and is smoothly deployed by a push of a button.
As a perpetually traveling vagabond, the KA-BAR Hell Fire has become my primary EDC knife. That’s of course assuming it’s legal in the country I’m in at the moment. Otherwise it stays in my backpack.
-Recurve Tanto Hollow
-1095 Carbon Steel
-Edge: 3 9/16″
-Weight: 0.35 lb.
KABAR Hellfire Knife /// $69+
[Also featured is my custom tactical EDC bracelet in the photos.]