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KA-BAR's TDI Folder

Some years back KA-BAR produced the TDI (Tactical Defense Institute) knife. It was a simple tool designed with extreme circumstances in mind. Wearable on either side, it was at its strongest worn on the support side, somewhat hidden but accessible to the officer. Upon presentation of a lethal threat, the officer merely grabbed it, drew it and began punching. Thanks to the angle of the blade, the damage would be done in a series of punctures (thrusts) and cuts (accidental and on withdrawals) from the blade. The single challenge most often faced wasn't one of placement or understanding on the part of the officer. It was an administrative concern - or lack of guidance - regarding the fixed blade knife. Folding blades have become so commonplace that they don't raise concern or issue. Fixed blades are different.

For that very reason, I was quite delighted - at SHOT Show this year - to visit the KA-BAR booth and discover a KA-BAR TDI folder. The rep at the booth was clear that a folding version of the KA-BAR TDI Knife had been in demand for quite some time and they were quite happy to have it out on the market.

From the online publication source we get these specifications about the Model 2482:

  • Blade Style: Drop Point
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Finish: Black
  • Blade Length: 3-5/8"
  • Steel Type: 5 Cr Stainless Steel
  • Length Open: 7 1/2"
  • Length Closed: 4 7/8"
  • Pocket Clip: Reversible for Left ir Right Hand Carry
  • Handle Material: G-10
  • Handle Color: Black
  • Locking Mechanism: Liner Lock
  • Country of Manufacture: China


I could not find any information on what it weighs, but it's no heavier than other folding knives of comparable size.

The first time I opened it I was surprised to have the blade stop and lock at the predetermined angle. Rolling a blade out to full extension with my thumb is a learned behavior and motion. When that motion was interrupted about 120 degrees into what I thought was going to be a 180 degree rotation, my senses went on full alert. Yeah... that's me: on full alert on the SHOT Show floor because a knife didn't act right. Little did I know.

It acted exactly right; as it was designed to. The liner lock is sturdy and locks into position with an authoritative CLICK. The deep index finger groove combines with the ridges that mate along the rear of the spine of the blade and the forward edge of the back of the grips. Together you get a secure, readily indexed grip that allows you to use this folder just as you would the fixed blade variant: punch and slash.

There are five holes drilled / milled through the grip slabs and the steel liners, I assume to reduce the overall weight of the knife. The steel clip can be mounted on either side of the knife for right or left hand carry. Given the design and intended purpose of this particular tool, I'd recommend you carry it on your off-side - whichever side that is for you.

The blade can be had with a plain edge, or partially serrated. The blade width (5/32" as I measure it) is maintained to within one inch of the tip, allowing for a pretty strong overall blade. All of the hardware (screws) are Torx head; T6 or T7 or thereabouts.

As with every knife I test, out back to the shed I went to pull out miscellaneous materials to cut. From string to fishing line to 1" nylon webbing, the KA-BAR TDI folder had no issues. It's a different mechanical movement to cut with a blade that's set on angle to the grip like this one is, but cutting is just as efficient once you're used to it. Being a folder, it will cause less headache for the officers (most often caused by administrators). The price I found online was $43, but search around as always and you might be able to do better.

For more information, check out KA-BAR online.

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Lt. Frank Borelli (ret) is the Editor In Chief for, and has over 28 years of military and civilian law enforcement experience. An instructor since 1989 and having delivered training around the country, he stays active in police work, training, and writing. Frank has had four non-fiction and two fiction books published along with two research papers of specific interest to the law enforcement and/or military communities. All can be found / purchased on his Author Page on linked above. If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him via email to