Kinfolks Military Knives
The Kinfolks V-44 was part of a jungle “bail out” survival kit. 50,000 were produced by several cutlers. Collins & Co., Western Cutlery Co., W.R.Case & Sons and Kinfolks. The Western version being the rarest and Kinfolks second most rare. The actual V-44 was a wooden handled 10” machete, not the #18 Collins pattern shown here and often referred to as a V-44. With an OAL of 14 ½”, and a 9 ¼” blade and black molded handle this behemoth was just the ticket for chopping through jungle vegetation. The V-44 was replaced when a round pointed folding machete was adopted in October of 1942.
| Kinfolks Trench Knife
The M-3 was developed in 1943 for close hand-to-hand combat by our troops. The M-3 was produced in 1943 and early 1944, in May of 1944 it was redesigned to adapt to the M-1 carbine as a bayonet. Kinfolks produced about 119,702 of the 2,590,240 M-3 bayonets ordered by the Government. Nine cutlers were involved with the production until the contracts were converted to the M-4 in late 1944. Stamped "US M3 Kinfolks in 1943" or "US M3 Kinfolks inc", Later versions were stamped on the guard to prevent weakening of the blade. OAL was 11 1/2" with a 6 3/4" blade, the leather washered grip has 6 to 8 grooves, leather washered.
The M-4 bayonet was standardized in May of 1944. On September 11, 1944, the M-3 contract was converted to the M-4 and 9,202 M-3's were converted to the M-4 guard and pommel while using the M-3 design blades. Full M-4 production began at Kinfolks on October 12, 1944 and continued until April of 1945. The guard and pommel were changed to allow mounting on the M-1 carbine. The 6 5/8" blade was parkerized, some were blued, and had leather washered handles. Early models had six groove handles with 2 washers between each groove. Later versions will have the six grooves as well, but with three washers between the grooves. The pommel will have an SP marking. This indicates that Standard Products Company made the pommels for Kinfolks.
- Special thanks to Butch Searle-Spratt for his help with the M-4 research
| Kinfolks 6" Fighting Knife
The type 1 Fighting knife had an "ungrooved" leather washered handle and 6" drop pointed blade. Some blades were fullered for strength and resilience. The 9 riveted leather scabbard was stamped Kinfolks USA as were the blades. The compesssioned tang pommel and full guard were made of steel and not aluminum. This knife may also be referred to by some as a Commando knife.
| Kinfolks M3
Shown here is a Kinfolks M-3 with grooved handle and below is the prototype M-3 shared here by collector Edwin (Ed.) Stevens. Mr. Stevens bought this prototype from Adabell Willard in 1976. Mrs. Willard was my high school science teacher at Little Valley Central School in the 60’s..
| Kinfolks M-6 Sheath
The original M-6 leather sheath which was later replaced with the M-8 synthetic sheath. This sheath was also found in the wall with the grooved M-3. Courtesy of Ed Stevens
| Kinfolks M-3 and Prototype
The standard M-3 handle with grooves is shown above the prototype M-3. Ed Stevens adds the following:”This M-3 (with grooved handle) has a little story that goes with it too. Technically it is the last Kinfolks M-3 to leave the factory. In 1985 an electrician was doing some work in the old Kinfolks building when he discovered this M-3 along with 4 Case Little Valley pocket knives hidden in a compartment in the wall. Apparently, one of the Kinfolks employees had a little “stash” which he planned on “dinner pailing” out of the factory.
| Kinfolks Prototype Blade
Ed Stevens notes that the blade on the prototype M-3 has a grind line for the false edge that extends much further down, almost to the guard. The blade is finished “bright” rather than the usual Parkerizing. There are no markings of any kind.
| Kinfolks M-3 Blade
Shown here is the blade tip of the “last” M-3 for comparison purposes. Our most sincere appreciation and thanks go out to Mr. Ed. Stevens for sharing these pictures of his M-3’s and their history’s.