Gear Review Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife -

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by stg58, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    For many years I have looked at the USAF survival knife in catalogs and kept thinking I should order one, well I finally did it and it arrived yesterday.

    Smaller than I expected but well built full length length tang and very sharp steel out of the box not stainless steel with a sharpening stone pocket on the sheath, tie down cords and made in the USA.

    While not one of my primary knives it will find a place in one of BOB's..

    499 Survival Knife & Sheath
    This knife isused by
    several branches
    of the U.S. Armed Forces.

    Features include:
    •Sawteeth on spine
    •Steel butt cap
    •Leather sheath with
    sharpening stone and tie down cords.

    National Stock Number (NSN) 7340-00-098-4327
    Sheath Type Belt Loop
    Handle Color Brown
    Blade Grind Flat
    Blade Finish Zinc Phosphate
    Blade Color Black
    Blade Thickness 0.17 in (0.4 cm)
    Blade Material 1095 Carbon Steel
    Blade Length 5 in (12.7 cm)
    Lock Type Fixed
    Edge Type Plain
    Hardness 50-55 HRC
    Country of Origin United States of America
    Sheath Material Leather
    Sheath Color Brown
    Overall Length 9.5 in (24 cm)

    Ganado, Marck, Tully Mars and 3 others like this.
  2. driftz240

    driftz240 Monkey

    I have the same one on my loadout. that sucker is tough as nails. and as an ex chairforce guy. stuck to the roots.... green boots and the af survival knife all the
    in my main bob I have a mora and a woodsmans pal.
    the woodsmans pal I have used heavely and love for chopping and actually dig holes for #2 business, and the mora is for detail like skinning a tree rat.
    the af survival is the inbetween. excellent choice for not a lot of money. I would love to have a 300$ esse or something "operator as F". but im extremely happy with mine.
    stg58 likes this.
  3. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I was able to remember where ever the heck mine was hiding, it is a great knife!! I have had mine for 20 years or so and have no interest in ever giving it up. IMAG0267.
    Tully Mars, GOG, melbo and 2 others like this.
  4. Leigh

    Leigh Monkey

    Classic knife; I have owned 5-6 in last 40 years (both Ontario and Camillus) with pretty good results (8 out of 10 overall in durability and usefulness).
    Pros: Inexpensive to purchase. 1095 carbon steel that is pretty easy to re-sharpen, leather handle easily gripped wet or dry, sturdy steel butt cap.
    Cons: Sheath is decently made but I've hand-sewn a couple in the field due to exposure to rain and humidity (just like any leather sheath). Coating it helps, Blackhawk/Spec Ops nylon is a much better upgrade. The sawback spine was intended for plexiglas and aluminum (aircraft extraction) and not for sawing wood or bone but it notches small limbs for traps/shelters fairly well.
    I used the "new and improved" Ontario ASEK version and for the price, I would take 2-3 of the older versions. The ASEK's sheath system is superior but not the knife.
    Marck and stg58 like this.
  5. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I have a 40 year old USAF issue knife... still in good shape and sharp...
  6. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey


    I have many of these. 90% of the caches I've laid in have at least one. I'm no knife expert by any means, but these things are simple and tough. Won't take an edge like a fine blade, but they are a great TOOL IMHO. My kid brother was a PJ so I uhh, got gifted several. I bought many others back when thay were 20 bux a pop. Saddle soap the sheaths real well and replace the stone with an Arkansas if you can. Take the time to put/reshape the cutting edge and it works much better after. Just my $0.02
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2015
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I had about a dozen or so a few years back from the military. We were gonna throw them out since they weren't on the property book, but...waste not, want not.

    Gave them all away I think. Nice, sturdy blades, though. I would have to modify mine if I were to keep one. Kind of like this...

    Dr. Waco lives on an island in Japan, and he hunts for the government there, often taking quite a few stags in a season. Hunting is very different there, and certain people are selected to keep the deer population to a controllable level. He's retired military, and still works as a doctor in his local area as best I can tell. He knows knives better than most folks I have ever seen, and has many opinions close to my own. He also has one of the largest collections of Bark River knives on the planet.

    In this video, he talks a little about the AFSK made by Ontario, and how he destroyed the first one when grinding to reprofile the blade. He took his time on this second knife, and used sand paper, followed by Japanese waterstones and finally a strop to obtain this edge.
  8. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    And he has flashlights up the wazoo! His gear collection is unreal.

    I gave away a handful of those knives. Still have one or two in storage though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2015
    Ganado likes this.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    This is also a good choice, has cutter and sharpening rod. Just an updated model and a lot tougher.

    • Product Description
      The Rothco 3274 Ontariio ASEK-Aircrew Survival Egress Knife is the one and only survival/egress knife chosen by the US Army to be included in its Air Warrior Equipment System; it includes the knife, sheath and strap cutter multi tool. The knife is made of .1875" thick 1095 carbon steel with a zinc phosphate finish to inhibit rust. The blade also has a serrated edge and saw teeth on the spine. The overall length of the knife is 10.25", blade is 5" with a hardness of Rockwell C 50-54. The knife's insulated handle is molded over the blade guard and has a lanyard hole and glass breaker on the butt cap. the nylon sheath is flame retardant and includes a Kydex insert, two leg protectors and straps. Behind the knife is a strap cutter multi-tool. The high strength, machined aluminum handle will not melt or shatter; it also has two oxygen valve and shackle wrenches along with a lanyard and bead for easy locating. The strap cutter blade is replaceable. NSN for system: 1095-01-530-0833; NSN for strap cutter multi-tool: 4240-01-547-5933. US made.[​IMG]
    Roll over image to zoom in

    Ontario ASEK-AircrewTM Survival Egress Knife
    stg58, Ganado and Brokor like this.
  10. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Ontario is fast becoming my go to for production knives, right next to Mora.
    Ganado, Tully Mars and HK_User like this.
  11. Underdog29

    Underdog29 Monkey

    I have several ontario knives that I have had good luck with I think they are good quality for the price. Have one of the surplus machetes and sheaths that thing has been absolutely awesome!!
    Ganado and Hanzo like this.
  12. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I like their machetes too.
    Ganado likes this.
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