REKAT Sifu... Should I?


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Bergeron
March 9, 2003, 04:23 AM
I saw a Sifu in my local gun shop Friday...

I've heard many good things about these knives, Jim March's website speaks very highly of them, and I have been considering adding a second knife to complement my CRKT Point Guard. From what I understand, these are execellent and are hard to come by. The model at the shop has a black finger groove handle and stainless (or white finish) blade, shop wants $130 for it, and that's right about at the maximum that I am currently willing to pay for a knife.

What's the opinion of the board? Worth it, or should I give this knife a pass?

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sonny
March 9, 2003, 01:35 PM
What do you need it for?.......the cool factor?....if so I rate it a 10
Besides that..... it's huge folder....do you plan on carrying it?...it's heavy and a bit awkward......people buy knives for different reasons......I got a sifu....I had to have one for one reason or another but it's never been carried ...if money is an issue stick with something that would more versatile.....Are you getting the picture?.....It's like getting a desert eagle to compliment your glock.....there is something in the middle that you may want to consider:D ......nothing wrong with that if that's what you into...I have been at times;)

Don Gwinn
March 9, 2003, 06:31 PM
Yes, yes you should. Don't listen to these old women with their "reason" and "logic." It's a SIFU, man!
;)

Seriously, I want one. If you're not going to send it to me, I don't care.

Jim March
March 9, 2003, 07:52 PM
Right, it's a *great* knife. I think it's still the best fighting folder made in the 6" or under size class. The ergonomics are just incredible.

BUT.

REKAT had some warrantee issues. The lockwork is a bit tricky. Some had some blade scrape problems - there's a method to loosening the screws on one side and then "bending it a hair" until the blade centers and you lock it back down again.

As the lock wears, there are ways of adjusting it if you're comfortable with taking it down and doing minor filework.

You've got to basically be willing to tinker if necessary. Warrentees are out of the question, 'cuz the company is dead and gone.

So unless you've got "minor home gunsmith abilities", the Camillus MAXX is a better idea so long as you ditch the clip and get a belt sheath for it. 1911 magazines seem to fit well. But the clip must be completely removed for safety, as it screws up the lock strength. I *warned* Darrel Ralf about that, he didn't listen.

Bergeron
March 9, 2003, 08:48 PM
What do I want it for?

Well, I would like to have one general purpose knife and one defensive type knife. I like my toys and my tools, and would be willing to tinker. Is there a good book/magazine/internet site that details tinkering on the Sifu? Would be nice to know what I am getting myself into.

I'll go check it out this week, and if it passes inspection, I'll take it home. Anything to be aware of during inspection? The only other type of knife that I've had experience with has been my aforementioned Point Guard.

Gary H
March 9, 2003, 09:08 PM
I carry the Sifu comfortably, clip under belt, right front and I never know it's there. I would pay attention to Jim's advice...

Jim March
March 9, 2003, 10:43 PM
Inspecting a Sifu:

Like any folder, open it and jiggle the blade, checking for play and lock reliability. Study how the lock works - it's most certainly *different* but not at all hard to understand. Look in there, hit the release switch a few times, all will become clear. Make sure the half-circle piece is dropping down into the blade tang divot by at least...hmm...looking at mine now...call it at least 3/32nds of an inch of "overlap", with the edge of the half-circle dropping into the divot that much.

Another thing: when it's fully locked open, hold it with the blade pointed away from you and the lock release slide up (blade edge to your left). Now look at the release slide: it must not be too far forward in it's slide cutout in the grip material! Basically, as the lock wears, it will "self adjust" as the slide switch goes further forward.

In two years of daily carry, mine started with maybe a hair under a quarter inch of such "remaining unused travel" and it's now down to less than 1/8th. I estimate about 8 more months before the slide switch will "bottom out" and lock reliability will suffer. At that point, I'm going to open it up and look at my options - I think I'll be able to either lengthen the slide travel cutout in the grip panel, OR I'll shave down the slide button so that the body of the slide can move forward further. I'll have to take it apart to see which option is better. The good news is, when I give it more travel in the slide switch, the primary lock has many years left in it.

When I deal with that, I'll take a series of digital pics and post details somewhere.

Again: if you can look at the lock and understand how it works and you're not freaked by using files, screwdrivers and dremel tools, a Sifu may be for you. It's a bit like a Colt Python: finicky, hard to find a gunsmith for, but one sweeeet gun.

Hope this helps.

Bergeron
March 9, 2003, 11:02 PM
Yes, that does help. I will be sure to check the amount of unused travel that the slide switch has. The shop in question deals almost as much in used goods as they do in new items. I'll be sure to find out the knife's history and make sure nobody butchered it up before offering it for sale.

I suppose that if I purchase it, I will be spending a few evenings with it dissasembled on my kitchen table learning its internal workings. Sounds exciting!

sonny
March 9, 2003, 11:03 PM
Go to blade forums sign up and do a search for sifu.....

http://www.bladeforums.com/

Mine needed help when I got it ....it fell apart several times because of the tiny screws that hold the frame together ...I forget the exact name of the screws...Jim will tell you I'm sure ...this was a common problem with sifus.....REKAT...sent me replacement screws .You may want to consider this when purchasing the knife because you may not be able to get replacement screws since REKAT is history.

I was not trying to discourage you in my previous post,I love mine but it is LARGE and I prefer to carry something a little smaller.For defensive purposes ?....It's hard to beat as far as folders go...........I think if you are allowed in your juristiction you should consider a fixed blade.

Cal4D4
March 9, 2003, 11:13 PM
Price wise, I missed out on a D2 Sifu that went for $152 at auction.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=7306&item=1985299862

Jim March
March 10, 2003, 12:37 AM
If some of the screws and "barrels" (offsets) strip, they could be replaced. Worst case you could use round-head screws that formed gentle bumps on top of the G10 or carbon fiber instead of hex heads that drop down into the grip material. Looks would suffer, ergonomics and practical effect wouldn't.

The construction methods are similar to many benchmade models, except for the oddball lock. You could probably find a beater Benchmade linerlock cheap that could donate it's hex screws and barrels.

All that said, the Camillus Maxx is more practical, so long as you ditch the clip and run a sheath, or custom-relocate the clip to the other end. A D2 Maxx will last a lifetime of daily carry. I would estimate an ATS34 Sifu is good for 5 years of carry at absolute most. I hope Camillus will develop a "curved grip" variant of the Maxx before another three years are up, at which point I'll be tempted to switch and finally hang "old number one" up.

Tell ya what though...about 8 months ago, I saw two dogs attack a guy and his small dog, and I charged over there at a dead run while pulling #1. And it felt *good* to have something like that in hand.

mtnbkr
March 10, 2003, 08:07 AM
Like Mr March said, I'd go with a Camillus Mad Max. Even though it's quite long, it fits well in the pocket because it's thin(really, it does). Plus, Camillus isn't likely to go out of business anytime soon.

They have another long blade folder coming out called the Aftermath. You might want to check it out as well.

Chris

brownie0486
March 10, 2003, 08:40 AM
Any knife that needs to be tinkered with from new to when you chuck it out does not sound like anything I want to be involved in carrying or owning. All the issues with these knives which others have mentioned seem insignificant and easily remedied until you actually need the knife to save your butt [ if you are carrying it as a defensive knife ].

For defensive work/possible needs I would much prefer to go with a quality combat folder that the company can support and warranty if there are issues down the road.

Everything stated by others seems to contradict the idea this is a knife to rely on for defensive needs when you may actually need it.

For the money there are certainly better options out there to choose from. Ya, the sifu is a "cool factor" and I have wondered about getting one myself but just could not see spending good money for something that most have various issues with from new.

I want a defensive knife to be dependable. The comments above don't seem to convey this. I don't want to have to worry about the lock works or screws or whatever needing some fitting and having to watch for these things to begin with.

I like the design but the execution/production of these was not the best. Your money would be better spent elsewhere in my opinion.

Brownie

Jim March
March 10, 2003, 01:11 PM
As long as the lock IS engaging, it will engage every time. Reliability in "mid-fight" is still very very good. Other than adjusting pivot tension, mine has needed no tinkering whatsoever in two years of daily carry, although as stated in a bit under a year it'll need some help which I'm prepared to give it.

But people need full disclosure on the issues with this piece. It's hard to convey just how the pluses and minuses pan out on this thing, but as the guy who originally caused this bad boy to be developed I feel a bit of a responsibility to point out all sides.

If I lost "old number one" via some disaster, I would desperately seek another.

Warts or not, it's the best there is.

ahenry
March 10, 2003, 01:41 PM
the Camillus MAXX is a better idea so long as you ditch the clip and get a belt sheath for it. 1911 magazines seem to fit well. But the clip must be completely removed for safety, as it screws up the lock strength. I *warned* Darrel Ralf about that, he didn't listen. What in the world are you talking about? Back that up please (strength issue, I don’t care about your talks with Ralph)?

Bergeron
March 10, 2003, 06:45 PM
Mr. March, thanks for the info. I thought that perhaps with some minor gunsmithing type skills, I could keep a Sifu running for an indefinite period of time. Five years max for a expensive knife is something that I don't think that I want to do right now. It's too bad, it looked like such a nice knife. :(

sonny
March 10, 2003, 07:23 PM
Bergeron......If you want a LARGE folder check out the cold steel knives here .....they take a beating and the price is right.....Look at the vaquero and the gunsite knives they are BIG

http://www.knifeoutlet.com/catalog/Cold_Steel_Knives/

sonny
March 10, 2003, 07:28 PM
Better yet go here and look at the vaquero grande!
6 inch blade!
http://www.onestopknifeshop.com/store/cold-steel.html

Here's a pic

Jim March
March 10, 2003, 07:28 PM
Integral locks are *supposed* to get stronger as you grip them. Your hand strength reinforces the lock. Chris Reeve understood this, and mounted the clip on the Sebenza properly from the butt, so that grip access to the lock area is unimpeded.

http://www.chrisreeve.com/sebenza.html

Darrel, for some reason, does NOT understand this, and positions the clip such that it gets in the way of properly squeezing the lock closed.

It's not just the Maxx, it's every Darrel Ralf design. He detests tip-up pocket carry.

The way the Maxx is laid out, it's sorta understandable because with the double guards, if you accidentally stroke one of the guards it'll open, and cut your arm as you're jamming your hand in your pocket. Except that the guard in question, once the knife is open, forms the UPPER guard which is not actually necessary and in my opinion, slightly harms the Maxx's ergonomics.

Which brings us to another major Darrel Ralf design issue: he puts cosmetic effect over combat utility on his fighters.

OK, let me show you what I mean:

http://www.knifecenter.com/knifecenter/camillus/images/cmcu2272.jpg

(Pick from the Knife Center of the Internet, http://www.knifecenter.com )

While there's still some "lock reinforcement" going on, there's not as much as you'd otherwise get without the clip. And the closer you get to the pivot point, the higher the clip rises and the less pressure you're putting on the lockwork. Granted, maybe not with all hand sizes, but for sure it does with mine - and my hand size isn't all that big despite the rest of me being outsize.

Darrel's "flipper feature" does NOT need "dual flippers":

http://www.knifecenter.com/knifecenter/camillus/images/2447.jpg

http://store.knifecenter.com/pgi-Product%20Spec?cmcu2447

This is an upcoming 4"-class Ralf design, with "single flipper"...and lengthened, it's exactly what the Maxx should have been in the first place.

http://www.knifecenter.com/knifecenter/camillus/images/cu2562.jpg

http://store.knifecenter.com/pgi-Product%20Spec?cmcu2562

This is another upcoming Ralf design. Enough people wanted a "Maxx with a curved grip" that he apparantly listened. Sorta. But again, it's got that upper guard that only serves to make tip-up carry unsafe.

This isn't shipping yet. But according to the Knifecenter site, we have another problem:

---
Our Price: $328.95

A Retail Savings Of: $131.05
---

All those fancy CNC "flame cuts" add up, don't they?

Look, y'all, if it's not clear yet: Darrel Ralf isn't a weapons-smith. He's making "art knives", that can be pressed into weapons duty so long as you understand and correct for the compromises he makes in pursuit of his "art".

When we finally convinced him to make a REAL fighting megafolder with combat grip ergonomics, he made sure to add all kinds of fancy trash on it, jack the price through the roof and make sure it wasn't actually carried as a ("heaven forbid") street defense weapon.

Bob Taylor, on the other hand, is a crazy little ex-streetbrawler who understands the realities of knife combat, and the Sifu shows it. Bigtime. It was built from day one as a fighting knife, no apologies.

Don Gwinn
March 10, 2003, 09:07 PM
Of course, many people who prefer saber grip really like that top guard. And frankly, I don't see the lock strength issue you've cited, Jim. Even if the grip doesn't squeeze the lock in, and it looks like it would for most people even with the clip, a properly built integral lock does not (should not, at least) depend on continuous pressure from the user to keep the blade locked.

Beyond those comments, let's just say that I have great respect for Jim March as an innovative defender of civil rights, and great respect for Darrel Ralph as a great bladesmith, and leave it at that. :)

ahenry
March 10, 2003, 11:40 PM
I hold my Maxx and the lock is re-enforced by my grip. Try as I might I fail to see how you can manage to grip the Maxx and weaken the lock. Now, some tip down models are pressured to unlock when gripped (e.g. some Kershaws), but the Maxx does an excellent job of avoiding this (and the clip doesn’t factor into it one way or the other). Some people (like me) detest tip up carry (even though I own plenty of tip up knives). There are a variety of reasons and I couldn’t care less if you do or don’t like it, variety is the spice of life you know. There are more than a few options that give you tip up. It is nice to have one that gives you tip down.

And the closer you get to the pivot point, the higher the clip rises and the less pressure you're putting on the lockwork. What it sounds to me like you are actually saying is that the lock is not weakened, but rather it is not re-enforced when it is gripped. I wouldn’t disagree with that view, but would add the distinction that it tends to depend on the size of a persons hand. For example my hand does actually help hold the lock some. I would suggest however, that if that is actually what you are getting at, you not make a comment like “the clip must be completely removed for safety, as it screws up the lock strength”. The clip doesn’t screw up anything, the lock is more than adequate without any re-enforcement from the grip and if anything at all, a grip actually does strengthen the lock. Open your Maxx and tell me honestly that you think that lock needs to be strengthened. You could substitute the Cuda Maxx for a nail if you wanted. I have never seen a finer example of lock strength and I include the laudable Sebennza in that comment.

When we finally convinced him to make a REAL fighting megafolder with combat grip ergonomics, he made sure to add all kinds of fancy trash on it, jack the price through the roof and make sure it wasn't actually carried as a ("heaven forbid") street defense weapon. Perhaps you could direct me to a better legal defensive knife? Ironically, some people (myself included) enjoy a pretty blade as well as a utilitarian one. In fact, my personal opinion of the main stream knife world is that there are not enough knives of sufficient quality with enjoyable looks and a reasonable price (read that to mean non-custom prices).

a properly built integral lock does not (should not, at least) depend on continuous pressure from the user to keep the blade locked. Thank you Don. That was essentially my point.

Jim March
March 11, 2003, 01:38 AM
Ahenry: You're absolutely correct, I'm NOT saying the lock is weakened by your grip, I'm saying it's not strengthened as much as it would be with no clip.

Without grip reinforcement, an Integral Lock knife is "just a linerlock". And as Joe Talmadge has proven over and over again, you can get a linerlock to fail with a modest hit to the spine.

To me, that's a problem, because the two times I've faced criminal weapons on the street, it's been "short moderately heavy clubs" (hammers once, a large wrench the other time). Which is exactly the situation where the spine of your knife could take a hit.

A Maxx lock has already failed and cut somebody rather badly. It wasn't a Camillus, it was a $500+ Ralf handmade; the report on Bladeforums had the user chopping light wood and "choking back" at the rear of the grip, not reinforcing the lock with his grip. It failed...because without grip reinforcement, it's a big linerlock which is not an adequate lock for a megafolder. (AlMar proved that with the "Jumbo".)

------------

The Maxx grip ergonomics are in my opinion, not very good. The tip is hard to get "low" and the whole thing feels dead in the hand. The 5" SOG Pentagon Elite is the same way, for the same reason...somebody thought the "boot knife look" was "cool".

It's not.

------------

My comment re the "fancy trash on it" was about the fancy flame-pattern on the new curve-grip. Nothing else could explain a list price up past $450(!) and a street price up near $330 when the materials and build are otherwise similar to the Maxx.

Would you really pay $150 extra for fancy cosmetics on a street defense knife? Willingly? If so, cool, let him and Camillus offer both plain and fancy variants the same way Chris Reeve does with the Sebby.

What I care about is getting through the night when I can't get a friggin' CCW permit. If I was Darrel and was providing knives that could do that, I'd make sure there was a version as affordable as possible available.

But that won't happen, because he's an artist, not a (deliberate) weapons-smith.

Tamara
March 11, 2003, 08:48 AM
Bob Taylor, on the other hand, is a crazy little ex-streetbrawler who understands the realities of knife combat,

...and an Airborne Ranger Vietnam combat vet, too! Who's killed dozens of "Charlies" in the bush with a knife! (http://www.phonyveterans.com/Taylor.html)

brownie0486
March 11, 2003, 08:59 AM
"Joe Talmadge has proven over and over again, you can get a linerlock to fail with a modest hit to the spine."

Yes, the linerlocks can face disengagement if wacked on the spine of the knife, agreed.

I just don't see it as an issue in defensive knife tactics. Where in the knife fight will the opponent get the opportunity to "hit" the back of the spine on your defensive edged weapon when it is in your hand [sabre or reverse]?

It seems that to think a club, wrench etc would unlock my knife if whacked on the spine is sorta mute as to get to the spine of any of my defensive tools in any grip you will have to go through the back of my hand in sabre or reverse grip. If that happens I have more to worry about than the lock disengaging, and the lock probably would not disengage due to the cushioning affect of my hand.

Those that think the linerlocks are weak or can be defeated in this way could post their ideas of exactly when the spine of the knife would be suseptable while being used in a defensive role.
Inquiring minds would like to know when it would be relevant in the real world where one is defending him/herself with a linerlock where the spine of the knife is presented for an opponent to even attempt this.

Brownie

ahenry
March 11, 2003, 11:12 AM
Ahenry: You're absolutely correct, I'm NOT saying the lock is weakened by your grip, I'm saying it's not strengthened as much as it would be with no clip. Then you should stick to comments like that, rather than comments like you made.

Without grip reinforcement, an Integral Lock knife is "just a linerlock". And as Joe Talmadge has proven over and over again, you can get a linerlock to fail with a modest hit to the spine. What has been shown is that a linerlock can be susceptible to failure when hit on the spine. I’ve taken a hammer to my Maxx and it hasn’t failed. Why don’t you share with us all just what sort of whack makes this knife fail. We are all curious...

A Maxx lock has already failed and cut somebody rather badly. One out of how many? A knife is a manufactured item. Just as a gun is and just as a car is. And just like these other items, they can and do fail. Even the venerable Sebenza is not immune to this. I have done my own testing on many different knives, and while I still find a few faults with the Cuda Maxx (more preferences than true shortcomings) I would put it up against any other folder out there in terms of strength. Just because Darrel Ralph didn’t follow your suggestions doesn’t mean his creation is a bad knife, or a weak knife. Name me ANY other knife that is of the same size and strength and can be readily had for under 150 bucks.

brownie0486
March 11, 2003, 11:41 AM
We certainly do take our knives seriously here don't we?

Brownie

Jim March
March 11, 2003, 04:26 PM
Brownie: but of course :).

Tamara: I *did* include the "crazy" part, didn't I? :D

AHenry: Trivia question: why is one of the most common places people get shot in a gunfight, the hand?

(Go to google and enter the following search term complete with quotes: "shot in the hand". You'll get 2,000+ hits...most of 'em shooting reports. Ayoob, Cooper and scads of others refer to the phenomenon, in part as support for two-handed use as you can switch to off-hand faster in mid-fight.)

People "fixate on the threat" (IE the other guy's gun!) to such a degree, they can actually send ammo there rather than a larger, more useful target.

Now apply that to knives. Seriously. You've got a knife, some idiot's got a piece of plumbing pipe. What's the odds he's going to aim it right at the "threat"? And what do you do next? You jerk it back some, reflexively.

Where's he gonna connect if you jerk it LESS than 5.5" back?

Whoops. Right on the spine.

:rolleyes:

ahenry
March 11, 2003, 08:33 PM
How does that change my point Jim? Stop being obtuse. I’m telling you (and I quote myself here), “I’ve taken a hammer to my Maxx and it hasn’t failed”. You know as well as I do that there has been lots of torture testing of the knife and the lock doesn't fail. You can point to one time that the lock failed out of the thousands and thousands made, yet you want to tell us that the lock is subject to failure and a weak design?! I suppose you can say anything you want, but if you keep making claims like that nobody is gonna take you serious anymore. So I will again quote myself, “why don’t you share with us all just what sort of whack makes this knife fail. We are all curious...” I’d wait with bated breath but somehow I don’t think you’re gonna give me much of an answer.

sonny
March 11, 2003, 09:00 PM
ahenry......I agree that too much attention is paid overall to the chance in a million that a lock....any lock....will fail.
We can go on and on and micro analyze these things but I think most of these modern day quality locking folders are plenty reliable.......The word would get out pretty quick if a particular design is clearly faulty and unreliable.

Jim March
March 11, 2003, 09:11 PM
AHenry: I'm not being obtuse.

Unsupported by a human hand, an Integral Lock is functionally identical to a Liner Lock. Do you disagree?

Liner Locks are widely viewed as LESS reliable than at least some other modern locks, notably the W&H/BM Axis and yes, the Rolling Lock and probably the "Axis semi-clones" by Cold Steel and Sog. (Maybe the Spyderco "Compression Lock", jury is still out there.) Do you disagree?

Once you add a human hand to the equation, the Integral gains two advantages over conventional Liner Locks:

1) There's no "accidental release" problem (forefinger flesh pressed in against the Linerlock release on a tight grip).

2) Squeezing 'em raises the reliability. A lot. Probably to a point where it's stronger than anything else. Unless the friggin' clip is in the way!

I really can't get a whole lot clearer here. This is what I've been saying the whole thread, your protests to the contrary.

Don Gwinn
March 11, 2003, 10:05 PM
Let's keep this on friendly terms, folks.

Jim, I think Tamara's point is that Mr. Taylor's "crazy" credentials seem to outweigh his "fighter" credentials by a substantial margin. He may be an expert martial artist now, but can we all agree that he did not in fact kill 40 dirty commies with his bare hands? That he was not "in deep" in ChiCom pajamas deep in the jungle? That he appears to have a tendency to lie about his past and his experience?

I still want a SIFU, but I don't approve of some of the personal stuff directed at Mr. Ralph. I don't know him well, but I like what I know.

Jim March
March 11, 2003, 11:47 PM
Don, I'm sorry if I came across as *personally* attacking Darrell. By almost any standard, he's almost certainly a better human being than Bob :). I think he's probably one hell of a nice guy, but that seems to show because...well, it almost seems like he can't even visualize somebody doing something as ugly as a knife-fight with one of his pieces.

So what frustrates me is his tendency to put "art" over "combat utility". Or this recent trend of taking his best fighter ever, and decorating it to the tune of about $150 worth of "flame paint job" :confused:.

Look, Don, you've seen fixed-blades of various sorts made by people who just aren't knife-fighters of any sort, and then compare 'em to the feel of a knife made by a guy who IS. Right? Handle a Bagwell Bowie, or a Mad Dog Panther, or an Ernie Mayer piece, or something that's had Laci Szabo messin' with it. You can TELL the maker could visualize the sucker drawing blood.

Am I right?

Others, you know the guy might be one hell of a metalsmith, doing great steel and all, but the balance and feel is just...it's not there.

Right? The Maxx feels like it's among the latter. Now, "balance" isn't such a big thing on a 5.5" blade length but, it's still there. Grip feel even moreso. Bob Taylor may be a nut, but there's no question he could visualize one o' his babies drawing blood. And the grip and ergos of the Sifu reflect that.

I dunno, I'm not calling Darrell *morally* wrong, that's not my point. It's just...he's not trying to wring every ounce of price/performance out amd some if this stuff, he just...doesn't get it. "Pretty" is fine, but not at the expense of performance .

Bladeandbarrel
March 12, 2003, 12:47 AM
Unsupported by a human hand, an Integral Lock is functionally identical to a Liner Lock. Do you disagree?


I completely disagree.

Frame locks achieve their superiority in several ways.
1)More lock surface area (2-3 times that of a liner lock)
2)More lock spring arm tension (5-10 times that of a linerlock)
3)Integral handle design with less fasteners to fail.

The MAXX design is one of the strongest folding knives in the world.

Any knife that can hold 1000+ inch pounds on the pivot is plenty strong.

As far as the clip is concerned, the pocketclip rides over the lockbar cutout of the Madd Maxx to prevent in over-opening which can extend the lock and weaken its spring arm tension.
Tip up carry on a frame lock with a HUGE blade like the MAXX is bad idea. A tiny ball detent is the only thing keeping the blade from slicing your hand up the next time you reach in your pocket.
Reeve knives are notably stiffer at the detent than Ralph's. Reeve uses heavy lock tension against the blade in the closed position as a brake to keep the blade from opening quickly.
Ralph's frame locks have more of a free-wheeling, fast opening.
Most MAXX's can be easily opened with a flick or wrist snap.

The MAXX bowie blade is a devastating combat folder. It stabs and slashes with equal effectiveness and the sharp tip can be used for for back cutting.

The handle is generic and can be used in a myriad of grips.
As far as balance is concerned, I have a MAXX and a SIFU in front of me. The Sifu has a bit more blade heft, the MAXX is neutral.
No real practical difference as far as I am concerned.

Darrel may not be a defensive whiz, but unlike most other makers he listens to people who ARE.

BTW, its obvious you have spent little time with a MAXX.
The top guard, inaddition to being a guard is an effective opening device in addition to the flipper.

With a clip mounted "tip up", it turns in to a WAVE opening device, another reason DR doesnt mount the tips that way since Emerson has patented this feature.

The Aftermath is available WITHOUT the flame pattern, but I guess you didnt ask?


I have hammered a MAXX into a tree and suspended by lard *** off of it. It is strong.

I agree that frame locks are less reliable than the new generation of locking mechanism-HOWEVER, I have seen them fail
miserably also.

I have been following the design of the MAXX since day one.
I consider it the ultimate over 4" defensive folder.

Bladeandbarrel
March 12, 2003, 01:01 AM
When chopping with frame lock, the lock gets STRONGER. Lock wear just causes the locking bar to move over to the other side, eventually hitting the opposite scale.

Unless the user was chopping with the spine of the blade, I do not see how the knife failed.

Can you post a link to the incident in question(MAXX lock failure)?

Bladeandbarrel
March 12, 2003, 01:13 AM
Ok JIM, I found the thread from 2 years ago where the MAXX failed.

ACTUALLY what happened is the numnutz who was "chopping" with it wedged his finger inside the frame and unlocked the knife from the bottom of the handle.

That would kind of be like a guy who disengages the lock on his Sifu accidentally by using the thumb down hammer grip.

I sure wouldn't call that a lock failure.

OH, and holding the MAXX is a Gorilla grip does enhance the lock tension quite noticeably, so your fears are moot, I would say.

Jim March
March 12, 2003, 03:19 AM
Hmmm. The *initial* story was that the guy choked back on it, taking his fingers away from the lockwork. Did he change his story?

And I'm very glad to hear there's a no-flames version of the Aftermath. That's one entire series of comments that is therefore unwarranted and I apologize.

As to clips: I'll stay with sheaths on megafolders instead. And I still think Darrell should have done the Maxx more like the Aftermath in the first place :D.

hso
March 12, 2003, 03:40 PM
Jim,

Anthony beat me to much of it so I'll just add that if the "Maxx was (sic) more like the Aftermath in the first place" it's outrageous size would have sold a few pieces and the Maxx line would have died right there. Remember that knife making is a commercial enterprise and that you make the more marketable product first and then you put the extreme stuff out.

Also, "by almost any standard, he's almost certainly a better human being than Bob" is certainly damning with faint praise. I know both fellows and Bob is certainly an extremely challenging person to get to like. Darryl on the other hand is pretty easy to like. Both are flamboyant in their own ways. As to skill, Bob designs 'em, Darryl designs and builds 'em.

You stated your positions strongly, don't be surprised when somone equally knowledgable steps from the admiring crowd and challenges them with equal strength.

Jim March
March 12, 2003, 04:15 PM
Not having met Darrell, I have no basis for stronger praise and had no intention of damning in any case. Bob, unfortunately, has determined how he's viewed...Tamara posted all that needs said.

I believe a "curved Maxx" would have sold better than what actually shipped. Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see, because if the "plain Aftermath" ends up at the same street price as the Maxx (which it should after the initial newness prices drop), we'll see which sells better.

hso
March 12, 2003, 05:41 PM
Jim,

I've met both guys. I like Darrel a lot. He's funny and generous and talented and has a nice eye for style. I even like Bob (although you have to be careful about taking him out in public:rolleyes: ). Taylor certainly projects one of the craziest personas going. Regardless of all the BS, in either direction, and regardless of where he learned it, I did learn more practical knife work in 20 hours with him than I had in many months of dojo. I had bruises for 3 weeks! (If it's any measure of a man, Bob's daughter is a mature young woman that always proved to be a jewel to talk to.)

I personnaly think that the Aftermath would have been too extreme in the sequence to offer first. I've handled all of them and the thing is a honken monster for size. It seems bigger than it is. Is it practical? It doesn't fit me, but I'm a little round person with small hands (wait, that's a Boggy I just described), but I liked the way it handled. It sure seemed solid and stable even with me banging and twisting the thing around.

Mike

Jim March
March 12, 2003, 06:02 PM
You know what puzzles me?

More or less anybody here can CCW a J-frame snubby or an ultra-compact 3" barrel 1911 type, no problem. But the Aftermath, or CS VG or whatever, is "too big".

It's not size. It's motivation. If you flat-out can't get a CCW permit, and you CAN carry a megafolder, priorities change fast.

Tamara
March 12, 2003, 06:53 PM
The Aftermath is closer to a full-size 5" 1911, sans grip, actually... ;)

Bladeandbarrel
March 12, 2003, 11:42 PM
Aww cmon guys.
I carry either a Maxx or Aftermath 3-4 days a week in suit pants.

No problemo!

The "deep pocket" clip works!

(Oh yeah, I set one up for "tip up" carry today just to experiment, I will probably switch it back)

Bladeandbarrel
March 12, 2003, 11:43 PM
once the power-assist version comes out


oooohaahhhhhh!

Tamara
March 12, 2003, 11:50 PM
Well, there's pockets and then there's pockets. ;) I find a MOD CQD to be annoyingly large for the pockets of the jeans I usually wear; my Emerson Commander is just about right...

Bladeandbarrel
March 12, 2003, 11:53 PM
Must be those hot pants you wear!

Spark
March 13, 2003, 01:24 AM
I can't imagine anyone finding a CQD a "comfortable" pocket carry. That thing is insanely huge. It's for military use - to be carried in a sheath and used with gloves.

Anyhow, just my humble opinion - if you can't find a favorite that you like out of the current generation of Mega-Folders, then design one yourself - someone will make it for you if it looks good enough. Anyhow, the Cold Steel giants, Cuda MAXX, Aftermath, or good old Sifu all work admirably. If you don't use them for fricking tow hitches, you shouldn't have a problem with any of them.

I do know this - if I could get ahold of 100 Sifu's, I'd sell out of every one in a couple weeks. I keep bugging Bob about them every so often and he keeps telling me another company bought the design. Can't divulge more than that. :D

brownie0486
March 13, 2003, 11:37 AM
hso:

I have had 3rd degrees in the dojos tell me they got more realistic defensive knife from me in a few hours than all the years in the dojo as well.

Dojo's are not very conducive to actual street work when it comes to surviving an encounter of the dangerous kind.

I have no opinion on Bob Taylor as I know nothing about him except what has been brought forth here in the thread which I'll take at face value for now.

My point is you really can't take the example of learning more from someone in 20 hours than any dojo training as they are actually apples and oranges.

What I really like about your comments was the fact you actually sought out training in the blade arts and put that much time into the training. If it is quality training you stand in good stead.

Taylor sounds like a person I know in this state who professes to be one bad a#s and has his students convinced he is a some type of demigod. Acts really nutty in class, scares the hell out of them most of the day with his antics and actually can be defeated quite easily by someone who really knows the knife.

Some guys are real good at selling themselves and convincing others with less or no knowledge that they are the endall to defensive knife. The person I'm talking about is really scary and attempts to portray this personna. In this case it's smoke and mirrors. Taylor may very well be another of this type.

As an aside, if he has protrayed or allowed himself to be painted as a war vet/war hero without the creds and documentation that accompany these types when push comes to shove he deserves all the badness the world has to offer. As a combat vet myself it is very difficult to stand by while others paint themselves with the same brush who have not "been there and done that". It is a slap to those who actually served and I know a few who would take so personal that they would challenge him on the spot to put up or shutup..

Apparently he has never been challlenged until recently which leads me to a previous comment, that he is a good salesman.

Brownie

Spark
March 13, 2003, 09:18 PM
With respect, that PhonyVeterans page is a load of horsecrap that get's pointed to as if it is some sort of "proof".

You'll notice that it's no longer maintained - that's because the guy behind it is dead. That's right, dead... reportedly found in an alley, beaten to death. Probably pissed off the wrong person. Everything on that page is either a half truth, untruth, or twisted so badly that it can't even be called a fact anymore. The most damning peice of evidence there? A friggin FOIA form with a handwritten MOS on it. 2nd piece? An ad that wasn't written by Bob, that was incorrect, and got the person who wrote it fired immediately after it ran. No DD214. No copies of anything in a 201 file. Nothing that would stand up in court.

"Fortunately" in the court of the internet, evidence doesn't have to be *real*, as long as it's repeated often enough. Or have nameless, anonymous "sources" who don't have to be cross examined or actually deposed.

Anyhow, if any of you feel tough enough, I'm sure he'd be happy to take you on in the ring, on the street, or wherever else. After all, when he wasn't dragging semi's from pins through his arms during "Mind over matter" classes at the SOF show, he was busy teaching classes on how to fight dirty and win. He must be a complete patsy, so you shouldn't have a problem.

Put it to you like this - Singlaub would stand up for him. If you think Bob was a fake, do you think Singlaub was a sucker?

You can believe whatever you want, but if you fell sucker for the crap on that page, you have my sympathy - because anyone with half a brain could see through that crap.

Kevin

Jim March
March 13, 2003, 09:58 PM
:)

I've never met him. I have no clue regarding the .mil stuff, he's apparantly a bit of a character, fine.

But I know this. The ergos on three knives, the Hobbit Warrior, the Folding Hobbit and the Sifu are all attributed to Bob Taylor, and in all cases are just superb. The Sifu in particular, because it feels just as good in a forward grip as a reverse and that's one hell of an accomplishment.

I ain't gonna mess with him, and I'm bigger :D.

hso
March 14, 2003, 01:08 AM
Brownie,

Your right, dojo artists can be like gym bunnies - good looking until the footing is uneven, the lighting is dim, and the stakes are too high.

WRT Bob Taylor - while most of us found him to be excentric in the extreme we also found him to be an efficient instructor with some very effective techniques to show us. Having had training from folks that couldn't train but had something to offer as well as folks that could train but had nothing to offer, and those that said nothing of their backgrounds or said too much, I took a wait and see approach to the sessions. All I can say is that I came away better off than I went in, if much more bruised for it. As to his background, I can't know, but I learned a lot of good knife fighting/defense in a hurry in those 2 very long days.

Mike

Prodigalshooter
March 14, 2003, 01:39 AM
Get the Sifu, I had one and traded it, always regreted it afterwards. I met Mr. Taylor at a knife show, he seemed a nice person, demonstrated some nice knife handling. He was nice to me, a complete stranger, without trying to impress me.

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