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Applegate–Fairbairn fighting knife

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Title: Applegate–Fairbairn fighting knife  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Taping knife, American Bladesmith Society, Knives, Jacob's ladder (knife), Aitor Knife Company
Collection: 1941 Introductions, Knives
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Applegate–Fairbairn fighting knife

Applegate–Fairbairn fighting knife
Type Dagger
Place of origin US
Service history
In service US
Used by US
Production history
Designer William Ewart Fairbairn and Rex Applegate
Designed 1941
Manufacturer Al Mar Knives, Blackjack Knives, Gerber Legendary Blades, Böker
Length 11 inches (28 cm)
Blade length 6 inches (15 cm)

Blade type Dagger
Hilt type lexan
Scabbard/sheath leather
Head type Metal
Haft type Metal

The Applegate–Fairbairn fighting knife is a combat knife that was designed by Colonel Rex Applegate and William E. Fairbairn as a version of the Fairbairn–Sykes fighting knife. The blade has a similar double-edged dagger profile, but is wider and more durable. It features a different handle, made most commonly of lexan plastic with adjustable lead weights which can change the knife's balance-point.


While Applegate was a student of Fairbairn, he came up with a series of modifications to Fairbairn's Dagger and worked with Fairbairn on implementing them. Applegate first approached Randall Made Knives with their design. Bo Randall made a handful of prototypes based on his "Model 2 Dagger" and sent them to soldiers for field testing, they proved not to be popular with the troops and Randall declined to produce the knife beyond the original prototypes.[1]

Applegate took the design to custom knifemaker Bill Harsey, Jr. who made several prototypes for Al Mar Knives.[2] In 1995, Harsey would design a folding version for Gerber Legendary Blades, which won the 1996 International Blade Show "American Made Knife of the Year" award.[3]

After Al Mar ceased production of the A–F fighting knife, a number of variations were made by Blackjack Knives, Gerber and Böker Knives, all with limited degrees of success.[2] The US Military Stock Number for the Gerber folding version is NSN: 5110-01-436-1548.


  1. ^ Hunt, Robert E. (2002). Randall Fighting Knives in Wartime: WWII, Korea & Vietnam. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company. p. 52.  
  2. ^ a b Walker, Greg (1993). Battle Blades: A Professional's Guide to Combat and Fighting Knives. Paladin Press. p. 17.  
  3. ^ Shackleford, Steve, Blade Magazine, “1996 Blade Magazine Knives of the Year”, October 1996, p. 16-20
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