Ka-Bar Mini Dozier Folding Knife

Meet the Ka-Bar Mini Dozier Folding knife. This is a small, lightweight knife that features a stainless steel blade and a plastic “Zytel” handle. The Mini Dozier also features a reversible thumb stud to assist in easy opening and a removable/reversible clip to keep it safely attached to my pocket. As well, Ka-bar offers the Mini Dozier knives in a variety of colors: black, pink and hunter orange. Not to mention, these little jewels can be found on Amazon for a measly $15!

Over the last few months I have purchased a few different inexpensive knives to try out while backpacking. And honestly, I have been happy with all of them. However, in my quest for going lighter, I have looked at things with a new eye, and I realized that maybe I didn’t actually need as much knife as I had been carrying while on the trail. All that I have really used my knife for was cutting packages open, cutting string and maybe some food here or there. However, there has been a few times in which I used my Mora Clipper to whittle down some wood to have dry shavings to start a fire. But in the end, I have decided to give a smaller, lighter knife a try. (Besides, if it doesn’t work out, I still have my others at the house.)

Ka-Bar Mini Dozier & Gerber Paraframe Folding Knives

So, how about real stats on this little knife?

  • Blade Length: 2-1/2 inches (6.5 cm)
  • Blade Tip: Spear (Drop) Point
  • Blade Finish: Black Powder Coated (Only offered on the Hunter Orange Knife)
  • Blade Materials: AUS 8 Stainless Steel
  • Rockwell Hardness: 56 – 58
  • Handle Length: 3-3/8 inches (9 cm)
  • Handle Material: Zytel
  • Handle Color: Blaze Orange (Also available in Black & Pink)
  • Overall Length When Opened: 5-3/4 inches (15 cm)
  • Overall Length When Closed: 3-3/8 inches (9 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1 oz (31 g)

I will admit that I was a little nervous about ordering such a “tiny” little knife. But after actually handling the knife, I will also admit that it feels better in my hand than I had expected it too. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a full size knife, so the Mine Dozier does not fill my hand by no means. On the other hand, I still feel confident in my grip which I have on this knife for the small tasks in which I have so far needed a knife for.

At this point, the only concern I can imagine having is the handle. From what I can tell, Zytel is a “plastic” made by DuPont and is (from what I can tell) essentially a mixture of nylon and fiber glass. Upon initial impression, I feel like it will be suitable for the task in which I will be using it for, but I do imagine that if anything were to truly fail on this knife, it would be the handle. But only time will tell…

Considering the “plastic” handle, I am quite surprised at how solid the locking mechanism seems to be. Again, for the typical task I plan to use it for, I do not see any reason to worry about the lock failing. (Again, only time will tell…) As well, unlocking the knife is an easy enough task. It is easy enough to press in the lock in the handle to allow the blade to fold in, but not so easy that it should happen accidentally. The blade swings opened and closed in a nice smooth motion and has no spots in which the blade feels to be sticking or to be swinging to loosely. No matter which position the blade is in between being completely opened or closed does the blade swing freely. Tight just right!

The knife does feature a reversible thumb stud, however, the knife comes with the thumb stud in position for a right-handed person (at least as far as I can tell) so I have no need to change it around. I can successfully open the knife using the thumb stud, although, it probably is not as pretty as some people can make it look! I will also add here that opening my Gerber Paraframe with the thumb stud is not quite fluid-like either, so it could just be me…

The clip is also reversible and the knife comes shipped with the clip on the opposite side of the knife of the thumb stud. To be honest, I cannot see how it would matter which side the clip is on, so I left it on the side that it came on. On a good note, I have found that the clip is plenty tight enough for me not to feel like I constantly need to check my pocket to be sure that the knife is still there. On a side note, the clip on my Gerber Paraframe is so tight I sometimes have trouble getting it clipped on my blue jean pockets, which is sometimes a little annoying. One thing in which I did find odd about the clip though is that when it clips into my pocket, the tip of the blade is pointed up. I cannot see how this matters, but I am just used to the clips being on the other end of my pocket knives. Oh well…

The last thing I want to mention is the color. Blazing orange. Typically, I get my gear in black, but for this tiny little knife, the blazing orange color made too much sense. However, with this little piece I am hoping that if I forget to replace the knife back on my pocket, the color will scream very loudly so that I don’t look over it and leave it lying there. Plus, pink just isn’t my color!

So, anyway. This seems to be a promising little knife. In my opinion, all the features I really need and at a very light-weight. And the price really is the selling point for this knife. $15.00 So, if you are interested in getting one, check it out here on My Amazon Store.

(Disclaimer: by clicking on the above link and purchasing the Ka-Bar Mini Dozier, it may entitle me to a couple of cents…)

Thanks for reading!


About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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11 Responses to Ka-Bar Mini Dozier Folding Knife

  1. AlmostThere says:

    Clearly Wrinkles is not a fisherman. There are probably a hundred reasons to carry a knife, and since I use mine every time I go hiking (not just backpacking!) for one reason or another, I think they are necessary. If only because the one time you are without one, there will be a reason to want something sharp… I’ve used one in first aid situations a lot, or when cooking, or cutting a bit of cord to make anything from a loop for the top of a tent stake to a wrap to stabilize a bit of CCF around someone’s leg. If someone gets hung up in rope (try nasty Class 3 scrambles without and you’ll wish you had rope!) you can cut ’em loose before they lose circulation to that limb.

    Plus, it’s on the NASAR list of things I have to carry – Search and Rescue does not put things on the necessity list without reason, and if I am out there hiking and the call comes over the radio, I need my gear! You don’t go without the knife.


    • Stick says:

      Almost There,

      I agree with you that the one time I decided not to take it would be the time I definitely needed it! (That tends to be my luck… 🙂 ) I can see how some chose to leave their knives behind, but I don’t plan on leaving mine behind. Sure the little Ka-Bar may not be much, but it is plenty sharp and despite its tiny size, it will still be a better option than not having one at all!

      Thanks for chiming in!



  2. Pingback: Poll: Do you carry a knife/blade when backpacking? | Stick's Blog

  3. Wrinkle Me Not says:

    You’re right. YOU should definitely take a knife with you. Hold it close and dear for it will save you from…………..whatever the infamous and somewhat groundless 10 essentials list says. You know the one, it was written about the same time as the old and useless food pyramid. Picture a box and you in it. Try thinking outside of it. By the way, smoking is bad for you in the event that you haven’t heard.


    • Stick says:


      I am only keeping this comment on (for now) so that others can read it and get a good laugh just as I did from reading your silly comments! 🙂

      However, regarding your comment:

      1. Come on, grow up!
      2 Take a minute to learn the importance of carrying even a simple razor blade. However, in light of your recent comments, I do agree, some should not be allowed to have a knife…
      3. Uhmm…thanks for the lesson on smoking, but shouldn’t you be telling this to people that actually smoke… (proof you need to get your facts straight!)

      I do appreciate you stopping by and checking out my blog. However, if you cannot post a real comment please do not try to do so on my blog again. I will warn you that I will either delete it all together, or if I am feeling spunky I may edit it to read whatever I would like you too say…

      Have a great day!



      If anyone else is interested in whether or not other backpackers carry knives/blades with them while backpacking, check out these polls:




    • Wrinkle Me Not says:

      I’m just messing with you because you just keep buying and buying and buying and buying gear. My point is that you should just enjoy the outdoors and realize that less is more which you only learn from time on the trail. In this case, think real hard what you can do with a tiny little knife. Your rationale is essentially leaning towards a “survival” situation when it is completely insufficient for a survival situation. It is good for lightweight backpacking, but it’s likely that you won’t use it at all.

      P.S. – I said the thing about smoking, not because you smoke, but because I’m trying to say that you’re so stuck in the “do whatever everyone else tells me” that you’re missing out on your own learned experiences. If I hear one more novice quote the 10 essentials list I think I’m going to jump off a cliff. Is it helpful? Could it be useful? – SURE! But it’s not a be all end all and you need to STOP taking things singularly at face value or based singularly on advertisements which are designed and intended to make you buy something you don’t need. Put down Backpacker Mag, put down all the blogs, and get out and see what you actually need. Heck, you figured it out with your pack and you’ll figure it out with other things too.

      PPS – I took your survey and checked “sometimes”. Personally, I think knives are only good in a couple of situations. (1) winter, for wood stoves, and (2) survival. Otherwise, they are pretty much dead weight unless, for example, you’re bringing them for the utilities (i.e. a swiss army with the tooth pick, tweezers, scissors, etc.) because these all function very differently and I’d actually argue they are harder to duplicate in the wilderness (Ever tried to floss with a piece of grass? It’s a pain. Ever try to pull out a sliver with two sticks trying to act as tweezers? It’s near impossible. Bring what you can’t duplicate or only that which you really need.) Go wipe your arse with a giant soft leave and I guarantee a lightbulb will go off and you’ll realize that you don’t need TP either. If you insist that you need a knife and don’t have one, look for a large and uprooted downed tree. There is compressed shale which can be easily shattered if struck on another rock. You’ll have a larger knive more capable of that puny little Kabar which has served early man for generations.

      Learned something didn’t you.


    • Stick says:


      Thanks for the post! I will try to answer some of your questions/comments:

      I admit, am buying a lot of items right now. My excuse is that I am still trying to get my “kits” together. I will be the first to admit that I am still quite green to the whole backpacking thing, and I fully respect others opinions as well as advice. But I gotta say here to that I am of the hardheaded type and usually have to learn things the hard way… 🙂 Saying that though, I honestly feel that I am making good progression. My goal is to lighten up, which I have. I started out a little over 2 years ago with a 56+ pound pack and hiked 40 miles with my wife from Amicalola Falls State Park to Neels Gap. It was heavy, but I had such a good time I didn’t let the weight get me down, but I did take note of it. Since then, I have made a lot of changes to my first newbie gear choices. I have actually jsut about changed out everything I initially bought. But being green to it all still, I am still erring somewhat on the side of safety and comfort.

      At the moment, my summer kit is just over 10 pounds, and my winter kit is just over 14 pounds. Saying that, I know it is not just about the numbers, and I feel like it shows. There are people out there with much lower numbers than mine, but honestly, I don’t care. I am so happy with my weights right now I really don’t see the need to go any lower… Also, in both of these kits, I still have items I have hardly used, and to be totally honest, some items are not even here yet. Right now I am waiting on a SMD Swift pack which I plan to use with my summer kit as well as some Inov-8 Roclite 315’s. These will be the first pair of trail runners I have ever used, so I am excited to see how they work out for me.

      So, saying all of this, I see how it looks, just buying stuff up left and right. Right now though I am lucky to be able to buy the things that I want to try out to see if they will work for me. And I must say that alot of the items I have recently purchased that I have actually been able to use so far have seemed to work out for me quite well. I know that reading everyone else’s blogs and forums will not mean that something will work for me, so my excuse with this is that I try to take info from people that seem like they know what they are talking about. Then if that item is something that I am looking for and feel like will work for me, I may get one, if I can afford it. (Regardless of how it looks though, I am not buying everything I want…)

      So, all of this to say that I am just trying to get my kit together the way I would like it to be, in terms of safety, comfort and weight.

      Now, getting out on the actual trail is a little harder for me to do. Between work and my family, there is not a lot of free time for me to do what I like. So, I try to get out when I can. Today I took my children to Sipsey Wilderness and we had a nice little day hike. I took advantage of this and loaded up some stuff and made efforts to use it while out, even if it was a short hike. Also, I do a lot of “backyard testing” and trust me, I know it is not the real thing. But with some things it does help. Tents, sleeping pads and bags/quilts are able to be tested in my yard to a good extent. As well, I throw on a pack loaded with some stuff when walking at the park, or even mowing the grass. I do my best to at least get a feel of how each and every item works for me, regardless of what someone else from a blog or a forum says. One thing I have learned is that backpacking is unique to each individual. Learning this is the most important thing to learn in my opinion. Also, by learning this also makes it easier to allow others to HTOH.

      The biggest reason that I am trying to get all of these things now is that I am planning to do an AT thru hike in the sometime future. And as contradicting as this may sound, this is part of the reason that I don’t push to go hiking every time I am off now and just try to squeeze in little day hikes with occasional longer hikes. (I am heading out for a 4-5 day hike in a few weeks, and this will be my first time solo! This should be exciting!) But I really want to tune in my gear before the thru hike if possible. When I step out on the trail, I don’t want to have to worry about if I remember how to operate my stove or if my sleeping bag will keep me warm or if I remember in which order to place the tent stakes when setting up my shelter. I want to be confident on my gear so I can focus on the actual hike.

      I do know that getting out is not about the gear, but about getting out. I do take the time to sit back and watch the water fall over the edge of a bluff, and to feel the water misting up from when it hits the rocks at the bottom. To be “lost” in the backcountry, away from the “frontcountry.” But I must admit here, that the gear part is a very cool part of it too, at least for me. I enjoy playing with new gear and learning all the nooks and crannies of the gear, the same way someone that loves to sing loves to sing. I just enjoy it.

      Anyway, maybe this explains things from my side a little better, maybe it doesn’t. All I know is that I am trying to get there. I may not be “there” yet, but I am trying, and honestly I don’t know if I will ever be “there.” And this is also why I started this blog. To show my progression and to hopefully get good advice along the way. But also that hopefully others in my same position will find my blog, and it will help them too.

      Thanks for the comment,



  4. Wrinkle Me Not says:

    Compare it with Spyderco, like the LadyBug.


    • Stick says:

      I have read that a few people also like that knife for backpacking. Maybe one day I will check one out. Right off hand though, it looks like the ladybug is considerably lighter at 0.6 oz, however, it is also quite smaller too.


    • Wrinkle Me Not says:

      Plan on killing elephants or hiking? That was my point. Most people I know almost never use their knifes, so they leave them at home. Would it be nice to have in a survival situation? SURE! But you aren’t in a survival situation. You’re on well traveled trails near civilization. It would take quite a bit of stupidity to turn it into a survival situation. Need it to spread peanut butter? Use the handle of your spoon and then lick it clean or bring a plastic knife if you must. Need it to cut bread? Just tear it, like humans have done for generations. Need it to stand up to a bear? Good luck with that.


    • Stick says:

      Wrinkle me not,

      Not sure why you need to have that kind of tone to your comment…maybe I am reading it wrong…

      You said:

      “Would it be nice to have in a survival situation? SURE! But you aren’t in a survival situation. You’re on well traveled trails near civilization. It would take quite a bit of stupidity to turn it into a survival situation.”

      My take:

      It is stupid for anyone not to take some sort of blade out into the “backcountry” with you. A knife is part of the 10 Essentials, and I am not the only one who believes in them. No matter how much stupid you have or don’t have, accidents happen and anyone (including you) may find theirself in a situation which requires some sort of blade. You just never know, and in case of a “survival situation” even a mere 2 miles from civilization, it can still make a difference. The backcountry is the backcountry.

      And no, I do not plan on killing any elephant, or even standing up to a bear with any knife out there. Thanks.




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