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Knife Review

Liquid Advertising

Will Akerlof
President, Liquid Advertising

We contacted Mark Kovalsky and Black Mamba Knives to help work with us to create a custom Damascus Steel folding knife as a holiday gift for our clients. This was an order of 200 knives that took less than 60 days from the drawing board to final delivery. The communication between my staff members and Mark to add custom features was impeccable and almost instantaneous over text and phone calls. Mark was a pleasure to work with. The final product was a beautiful and functional handmade work of art that harkens back to an era before mass production. Each knife is unique. Our clients have since written us many thank you letters expressing how much they love the gifts. I hope we will have an opportunity to work with Mark again in the near future.

Will Akerlof
President, Liquid Advertising

Will Akerlof
Will Akerlof, President, Liquid Advertising

Testimonials

WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY

I was online and saw this Damascus Katana sword and was skeptical to make this large purchase, but thought I would give it a try. Black Mamba Knives was an absolute pleasure to do business with. They provided excellent customer service with prompt communication. I can't say enough, they really went above and beyond. Their after-purchase service was also above and beyond. As far as the quality of the product, it is a work of art. And Mr. Kovalsky is an artist. Solid construction, craftsman quality, a razor edge, beautiful pattern Damascus steel and Olive burl wood handle and sheath. A BMK product is a perfect addition to any knife collection and at a reasonable price, I couldn't be happier! I highly recommend doing business with Black Mamba Knives a gem in the world of high-quality knives.

Hayden Johnson
Hayden Johnson

I have received the knife and the wait was worth it it is bad ass thanks good job!!

JASON WATSON
JASON WATSON

Bought my brother this knife for Christmas he said it is the most badass knife he has ever owned!!

Bmk-403 Viper

James
James

I’m so glad I found this web site. The knife is awesome from looks to cutting. Best purchase I’ve made on knife ever!!

bmk-406 Taipan

James
James

Awesome looking and cutting knife!

Bmk-401 Pandinus

James rogers
James rogers

As a small based company that depends on customer service. I can only say contacting Mark Kovalsky at Black Mamba Knives turned out to be like a sister company. Even though it was a small order and mark was not given a lot of time to do some revisions engraving the product Mark was totally on top of it. The communication level was a 10. The product arrived packaged well and to say the least the product was made well and beautiful . Every detail perfect. Again Thank You for the service. Next year will be a bigger order for or customers.

Daniel
Daniel

I have to say this is by far the nicest ballisong I've ever owned! The blade is truly razor sharp. It flips very smoothly and is getting even better with daily flipping. Description says ram horn handle inserts but it looks more like some sort of a dark hardwood? I could be mistaken but it's still beautiful either way. It took quite a bit of cleaning to get the packaging oil off the knife. The leather sheath is very high quality even though I probably won't carry it in it. The only thing I customized for my preference,was wrapping shrink wrap around the handle latch so it will stay open while flipping. If not the latch hits the handles marking it up. Not an issue if you don't practice flipping like I do. If your a novice ballisong flipper,I recommend getting a unfinished blade because this is insanely sharp! You could actually shave with this blade! The customer service was great when ordering this and I think you're getting a high quality knife for the price. This is now my EDC knife. I will definitely be making my future knife purchases from Black Mamba knives! Thank you

Jeff Coulter
Jeff Coulter

TLDR; gorgeous knife. sheathe is almost useless

Pros
-the knife is solid full tang Damascus steel
-came with an appropriate amount of oil on it to protect the blade
-very workable edge. significantly better than I expected
-unlike many manufacturers their logo on the blade isnt obnoxiously obvious and blends with the steel nicely (black mamba knive. I will be looking them up and likely buying more of their work)

Cons
-Sheathe its self is solid double stitched thick leather, but the belt loop is held by single stitch and glue and almost too narrow to put on a belt.
-belt loop only allows for one option of carry (with so many kydex options out there these days theres no excuse to not offer a more versatile set up)

BMK 159 OCTOPUS

NICK
NICK

I'll start this off by saying I HATE to do reviews, and I rarely do. I don't feel that stuff on Amazon deserves a participation trophy, but this knife was deserving of my time. I have a Kershaw flipper speed assist opening knife, that I carried around with me as my EDC when I read an article that said they may not be legal to carry where I live - or at least it could be problematic depending on which law enforcement officer you get. We can go back and forth about legal possibilities, but let's just say that for me it just wasn't worth the hassle. So I had my checklist of what the new knife could or couldn't be. I searched and searched - I bought and returned other knives that I wasn't happy with, and I searched some more. Until I found this one.

This knife is amazing. It's the perfect weight, and fits in my back pocket without me having to worry about my pants falling down - but it still has enough heft for you to know that you're carrying a good tool. It's the right profile and fits in my hand just right for a small knife. The blade is SHARP - right out of the box sharper than ANY other knife I have owned. Beyond that it's just a work of art. I would be just as happy setting it in a display case for me and my friends to admire instead of having it in my pocket. I love the layers and how everything compliments each other. It truly is a work of art that you will be happy owning for many years.

BMK 406 TAIPAN <3

JMD
JMD

Got my knife BMK 415 tsetse fly and it's the best life I've ever owned I'm completely 100% satisfied I think it's a beautiful piece of utilitarian art

 

 

 

John Smith
John Smith
The Bikerspot Magazine

Bench Review

Tony Suites / Senior Writer
Backwoods Biker

Beastly Beautiful...
What do you get when you cross a jeweler with a bladesmith? You get Black Mamba Knives, and some of the finest work you’ll ever see in the art of knife making. Their name came across my desk while we were deciding who to invite to the 2018 Gear Review Expeditions. Having never seen their work, I took a look at their website, and then reached out. I’ll tell you up front, I’m glad we did. The first thing that grabs you is the beauty of the knives that Mark Kovalsky, owner of Black Mamba, makes. But it’s no wonder they are so attractive. As Kovalsky puts it, I’m a Jeweler by trade, and own a custom jewelry shop. Now it makes sense!
His take on using Damascus is tried and true, which is evident in his version of the iconic Ka-Bar you see here. Forged in his shop in northern Illinois, the Ka-Bar is Damascus made from 1095 High Carbon and 15n20. it comes in at a rock solid rating of 58-60 HRC. The Handle is made of over 150-200 stacked separate pieces of leather and epoxied together. Then machined to put the grooves in the handle. The tang is full and threaded at the end so the end cap can be screwed on with no movement and epoxied in place so it will not loosen or come off. I asked how he arrived at taking on the Ka-Bar design, and this is what he had to say: “I was making a knife for a disabled marine who lost his knife in the field when he was shot in Iraq. He introduced me to another marine who he met in Iraq and the second Marine told me about a man in the company that he served with that saved his life in Iraq and he said to me I want a special gift to give him. I said to him what about the original military knife a KA-BAR. He said, ‘so tell me more’. I told him I would make a KA-Bar by hand, using a very nice Damascus pattern, and he said ‘I have never seen a KA-bar in Damascus’. Thus came the first creation of the KA-BAR in Damascus.”
But are they more than just eye-candy? You betcha they are! Unlike most of our Bench Tests, we put this Ka-Bar through some pretty rugged tests that are normally reserved for our Field Tests Reviews. I knew marking was wanting to know how his work stood up. The end result was that I came away feeling very confident about the knife’s performance in real-world situations. And if I’m being honest, when I first unboxed the knife the weight on it concerned me...it is light and nimble in the hand. But once I started working with the knife, I fell in love with everything about it. The stacked leather on the full tang handle is very solid, which I attribute to his attention to the assembly using the threaded stud at the end of the tang. Rocky was a bit concerned that it wouldn’t hold up when using it to strike and smash. I think I just heard Mark cringe! Don’t worry Mark, it’s as solid now as the day it left your shop. I would recommend this knife in a heartbeat...especially for bikers and military personnel.
The second knife Kovalsky submitted reminds me a lot of a modified Tracker...with a Jewelers twist. I asked Mark to give me the history of this guy. “The Persian Yuma. It was just a thought of making something colorful. When it was completed to me it looked like Arizona where my cousin lives so it became Yuma ie Yuma Arizona and then a friend said that most Persian made knives had jeweled handles or spacers and it reminded him of Persian knives so it became the Persian Yuma. I have made this style in lapiz and jade. I also want to try this with lab created opal spacers which are very colorful . Blade is over 325 layers of 1095 High carbon and 15n20 steels with an 58-60 HRC. The handle is natural Stag, polished at the end to fit flat against the end cap, with turquoise spacers. The turquoise spacers are in disk form for structure and strength and the steel around it is built like a cage...the turquoise is notched so the cage lays flat inside it. The tang is full and threaded at the end so the end cap threads on to it and then epoxied in place like this I get a tight fit with no movement and the epoxy keeps it in place for ever. “
Although different in many obvious ways from the Ka-Bar, what they both have in common is quality, durability, and superb craftsmanship. The attention to even the smallest of details is evident from the point down to the pummel. In my hand the knife was well balanced with a comfortable and stable grip, giving me a confidence with this knife that it wouldn’t fatigue my hand by the end of the day.
We performed the same exact tasks with the Yuma as we did the Ka-Bar...and the results were the same. Feather sticks were tight and curled, notching was very easy, and the knife stood up to some heavy battoning well. When I came back to the bench I thought it would be interesting to how the edge held up. The paper test proved my suspicions...the blade cut smooth with no rips, tears or jagged edges. Feeling down the cutting edge I could find no inclusions or burrs.
Although I prefer larger knives when in the bush, the style and performance of the Yuma with its 4 1/2 inch blade wouldn’t deter me from putting on my side. It is as rugged as the Ka-Bar, and performed just as well. Oh, and did I mention how good this thing looks. And by the way, take a look at the sheath these come with. As beautiful and functional as the blades that rests in them.
The Beauty of these 2 Beasts are only out-shined by their performance under tests!
Out Of The Box: 1 Ka-Bar with custom Sheath. 1 Yuma Persian with custom Sheath.
The Design: Ka-Bar: It’s a no brainier. If you know the classic Ka-Bar, you’ll get the design of Kovalsky’s knife. Yuma: As mentioned above, I believe the bones of the Yuma were inspired by the classic Tracker design.
Features As Reviewed: Both knives are made of fine Damascus, are both full-tanged, and both come with a custom leather sheath. Other than shape and size, the difference up front on these two are their handles. One is a stacked leather system, and the other is stag with real turquoise spaces.
Price Point as Tested: Ka-Bar is $299 with Sheath / Yuma is $299 with Sheath (Knives of this quality regularly go for between $650-$1200)

Conclusion: The people I can see being interested in owning this knife range from serious collectors to military, to hunters and outdoors man. They’re both great as an EDC knife and would perform well in any situation where they are deployed. I’m particularly fond of the Ka-Bar because of its size and weight. I prefer the scout carry, especially when I’m on the scooter. This knife would do well for any Biker who carries knife out in the bush. It can perform tasks such as chopping, splitting, feathering, and processing game. The Yuma, it’s the Ka-Bars little brother, and the same can be said of it as well.
Contact Black Mamba for more info and to order today. Lead time is about 6 weeks on all his knives. PS: I look for the price of all his knives to go up once our articles and videos become available in the late fall after our return.
Ride Free...Live Free

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Tony
Tony
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