Back when I first started writing for TK, I was fortunate to do the article on the then-new Dozier folding Hunter, a tough, no-nonsense knife made with his signature D2 blade. I still have that Hunter and am always impressed with its performance. But since it was custom made, it was not an inexpensive item. Fortunately, some years later Dozier partnered up with KA-BAR and came out with a production version of the Hunter that quickly drew rave reviews for its performance. At the 2004 SHOT Show I spent some time with Bob and the crew at the KA-BAR booth. Bob gave me one of the KA-BAR/Dozier Hunters and it quickly showed that what I had heard about it was correct.
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.
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by Tactical Life / Nov 3, 2009