At the 2006 SHOT Show I missed Bob, but did get over to the KA-BAR booth on the last day and bought one of Bob’s 4071 Models—the longer handle fit my big hand just right. Some time after this, Bob and KA-BAR came out with the “Bull Dozier” (a humorous play on Bob’s name), a large, rugged, tactical fixed blade. Now they have come out with the Bull Dozier’s smaller brother, the Bobcat (yet another play on Bob’s name. In real life, “Bobcats” are a brand of small, versatile, four-wheel front-end loaders). Like its big brother, the KA-BAR Bobcat is a tough, no-nonsense tactical knife.
The Bobcat’s heritage is easy to see, as its handle and blade mirror the shape of the earlier Bull Dozier. Like all of the Dozier/KA-BAR knives, the 4-1/8-inch long, clip-pointed, saber-ground blade is made from AUS-8 stainless steel (HRC 57-59). It is 1-3/16 of an inch wide, and 1/8 inch thick. The blade comes in two variations, one plain edged (4080), one (4081) that I had, with a plain/serration combination. On both models the blade has a black powder coating, which prevents sunshine from reflecting off of the blade and further protects the blade from corrosion.
The Zytel handle has three oval inserts of Kraton G on each side to ensure a good grip even when the handle is wet. There is an integrated guard at the front of the handle and single finger grip immediately behind the guard. The handle is 5-1/4 inches long, 1-3/16 inches wide and about 7/8-inch thick. The Bobcat comes with a black stainless steel pocket clip that can be mounted on either side of the handle. Overall length of the Bobcat is 9-3/8 inches and it weighs in at just under 8-1/2 ounces.
Time With The Bobcat
The Bobcat is a tip-up carry, lockback folder, and it has thumb studs on both sides of the blade. This makes the Bobcat truly an ambidextrous folder, which is a great feature to have on a tactical knife. When I first received the Bobcat, I looked it over and started carrying it around the house, but since I was knee deep in proofreading a 340-page U.S. Army manual, I did not get to do that much with it. For that first week I tried out the geometry by cutting into a hard bamboo chopstick. After that first week I happened to have the Bobcat handy when it came time to open our mail. I was happy to see that the Bobcat “glided” through the back of the envelope with almost no resistance noted. I am always happy when I receive a knife that is sharp straight from the box. I had also used the Bobcat to split open a couple of acorn squashes. The clip-point blade easily penetrated the squash’s thick skin and the large handle allowed me to exert a strong downward pressure to split the squash in two.