Business Advice Needed: CS Bowie or Kabar Big Brother?

Discussion in 'Blades' started by AxesAreBetter, May 14, 2016.

  1. Cold Steel Bowie

    2 vote(s)
  2. Kabar Big Brother

    5 vote(s)
  3. Other (Please, do tell)

    4 vote(s)
  4. Neither (Save Your Money/They are both Junk)

    0 vote(s)
  1. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Howdy y'all. This Spring has turned up a surge of local events to vend at, and we have been able to expand our shop from purely living history into the bushcraft sphere! I recently got hooked up with a knife wholesaler that is giving me access to some more name brand items, and I am wanting to add a Bowie to the table next time we set up (very visually appealing in these parts).

    I've got my options paired down to 2 currently, the Cold Steel 1917 Frontier Bowie, and the Kabar Big Brother.


    KA-BAR Knives, Inc. - Knives > All Categories > Leather Handled Big Brother - Hardcore Lives. Hardcore Knives.

    Whichever one I pick will be our most expensive knife (over $100), and I can only pick one until I am sure that we can sell them.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I'll keep my Neapalese Kukuri, thank you very much... I have carried it, all over Alaska, for 40+ Years and it has served me well... There are pictures of it posted here, on the Monkey...
  3. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey

    I have a Ka Bar but that is just a Marine thing.. Have snapped the tip off one a long time ago..
    Have one of cold steels kukuri.. It has stood up to a couple years of my abuse.. Was inexpensive and the steel seemed servicable.. Would like to get one of the neapalese ones, however, Iam cautious of purchasing something and finding it wholey unservasable to my rough needs..
  4. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I have the KA-BAR big brother and KA-BAR fighting knives they are made in the USA still in Olean NY.
    Some of Cold Steel knives are made in china.
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
    AxesAreBetter and sec_monkey like this.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    If you are planning to become a sales outlet for knives, go with the k-bar. The Bowie is entirely too much of a niche item, probably will not turn over enough to cover the inventory costs.
    That said, if you are well into the reenactment scene with customers limited to that genre, well, make sure the Bowie is historically accurate (the one you picture is not) and go Jim's fave.
  6. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    I kind of agree with ghrit. It is the customer that makes the sale, so the product should fit his (or her) preference.
    And any Bowie offered should be historically accurate unless there is an overriding consideration.

    The K Bar is a well-designed combat/utility knife. I have found it so useful that it's the only knife I wear.
    The Bowie seems designed almost exclusively for fighting, and I have found them awkward to use in some cases.
  7. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I would buy the Bowie over the K-Bar... It has more utility to me than an over sizes hunting knife in a survival situation... now if it was for a Fighting knife I would select neither of the two knives... But that's just my opinion...
    AxesAreBetter likes this.
  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    The Bowie Knife and the Arkansas Toothpick
    I've always been partial to the Arkansas toothpick myself. It fits better with my style and skill set.
    However, i agree, it is your customer base that will decide if you win or lose your bet. Ask your customers which they would be intrested in spending money on.
  9. Meat

    Meat Monkey+++

    ^Never heard of that knife before. Of course I Googled it. :D
    AxesAreBetter likes this.
  10. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    It was a double edged throwing knife that rode between your shoulder blades, in a sheath beneath your shirt. It was a concealed carry weapon, and sharp enough to cut a passing thought in twain. Diamond in cross section, needle point.
    I have a boot knife, much like it, but poorly balanced for throwing.
    Edit: you could have followed the link i provided...[dunno]
    AxesAreBetter and marlas1too like this.
  11. Meat

    Meat Monkey+++

    ^Ah. Your link. Oops. :D
    AxesAreBetter likes this.
  12. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    To Balance your offerings and as a useful EDC.
    Ka-Bar Straight Leather Handled Mark 1 Knife
    by Ka-Bar
    4.7 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
    | 7 answered questions

    Price: $66.57 Free Shipping for Prime Members
    In Stock.
    Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
    Fixed blade
    • Made in the USA
    • Sheath made in mexico
    • Overall length 9-3/8 inch
    • Type: Knife
    • Straight Edge
    • Handle Material: Leather

    AxesAreBetter and marlas1too like this.
  13. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I'm partial to a both @kel. But I can only sell what is on the market, and I have to be able to do something resembling competing with it.
    I've got some other knives on the list to balance things out (edc-legal Mora, some machetes, another couple of sheath blades), I'm just looking for opinions between the two to balance it out with a larger knife that'll catch some eyes. Looking mostly at these as bushcraft/SHTF blades, for someone looking between the Mora and the Machete with some style. (haha).

    I got to say, balancing cost and profit and 9000 other things, I can see why they call it work. I'll try and snap y'all a pic soon of the booth...I wasn't about to pay $120 for no sun shade, so I took a trade hawk out, and put paid to enough saplings to throw a shelter together in the parking lot! Haha. I got to tell you, it is fun though.

    I think I could get one of those Kabar's in like that at similar pricing...Might be worth it? Nice looking...

    I also saw the I can get those fancy Japanese blades I have seen reviewed on here (I think it's them)...Kanetsune Seki brand?

    I've had a lot of bad luck buying from "smiths" overseas. Made me VERY leering of sending them any business.

    @witchdoctor-I'm curious. What would you take doc?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2016
  14. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I have posted this before and I am sure Cold Steel is much better even if some are made in china but this is one of many reasons I stay away from chinese items that may need to be depended upon.

    Skip ahead to about 2:30.

  15. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

    I have a marine combat k-bar knife viet nam era that i keep razor sharp. its for cutting anything and I mean anything but only when I run out of ammo and have to get up close . I might be old but us old timers have at least 3 minutes of fight left in us but it will be a down and dirty 3 minutes---sorry I somehow lost the last post trying to edit a wrong word
  16. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I have an Old school Cold Steel Tanto from the early eighties that is my preferred carry knife, when I camp I have a 1960's Western Bowie or a Tomahawk for large stuff (Building shelter fire making and an old Schrade sharp finger for other things...
    Brokor likes this.
  17. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    @stg58-Yeah...that ain't the same thing, I am aware at how bad most of that stuff is. One of the reasons I am down to a few choices is because I am only planning on buying things I have either tested myself, or have a very informed opinion as to their holding up.

    @doc-thanks to my 18th century living history, I am normally barking up a tree close to the one you are. I normally carry a tomahawk and a "long knife" into the brush, as well as a work knife. I'm traditionally a really big fan of bowies, but I had to adapt a little doing reenactments 100 years before they were invented. Haha.
    Witch Doctor 01 likes this.
  18. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    You could go period legal and handy with a "Hanger" Big Hangers. Tower-Hanger.
  19. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    Here is a Big Knife that I can say is worth the small price.

    Might be good for an attention getter so's to stop a lookie lou to check out your products.
    HUGE HUNTING KNIFE Miyabi 613 BY Izumi Ichiago
    by Izumi Ichiago

    Price: $49.00 + $7.40 shipping
  20. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The first post indicates that you have already decided on one of two knives for stocking and sales. Do you want more suggestions? One, a sword, has already been deleted. We can bring it back if you would like to see it and other alternates.

    ETA: It's back --
    Last edited: May 15, 2016
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