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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



I had purchased the Bmk 160 frilled shark knife prior to this knife and love it. Well made, good balance and a lot of compliments. I’ve been looking at this knife for a while and finally pulled the trigger. When it arrives I was truly amazed. Looks much better in person than in the picture. As if somebody picked it out special for me. Beautiful blade and handle is awesome. I would definitely encourage knife lover to purchase this knife. Truly a piece of art.
Been collecting for over 40 years and I think this is my new favorite!
I am now eyeing another that I will probably purchase in the near future!


Really love the knife and can't believe how fast it got to me. This is my first damascus hand forged blade and couldn't be happier. Definitely will be coming back for more, till next time.


I bought BMK 103 bobcat knife for my father who has been an avid hunter for 40+ years. My dad doesn’t get excited about much, but he got excited about this knife. After holding it you’ll think knives you used in the past were toys. The knife is certainly very solid and robust, and on top of that it’s a thing of beauty. Thank you for the hard work you’ve put into this, and I’m ecstatic I could support a company making great products like this in the USA.

Dan Emery
Dan Emery

Love this knife. Purchased a few months ago and use it as one of my EDC. I get lots of compliments.
Well made product, I use it a lot and have no complaints.
I just purchased another knife this past Sunday and look forward to receiving it.
Been collecting for about 40 years and this knife is one of my favorites.. so far


I purchased bmk 105 knife and Love it. Use it as EDC and get lots of compliments.
Just purchased another knife and am looking forward for its arrival.
You can’t go wrong buying from this company!


I got my knife Thursday and I have to say I absolutely love it. I really like how this knife is unique and one of a kind not to mention functional. I can't wait to get another one.

James Dement

I received my first knife today from the Black Mamba Company and I will say...wow. Stunning craftsmanship and dangerously sharp. It will be one of, if not, the best knife I own. I love it and I want to say thank you to Mark for an amazing job he has done. Shipping does take time, but that's in part of the fact that knife is being made. Again, amazing! Lookimg forward to a pocket knife next.

tyler morehouse
tyler morehouse

My, oh my! This is a company that puts the shine on the word integrity. No matter what the issue, Mark puts his whole company behind making his customers feel important to them. Thank you so much, Mark for all you did to make my order right.

Brad stoddard
Brad stoddard

A Rugged and beautiful knife! I’ve reviewed and tested a lot of different knives, but I have never seen a Damascus knife like this…….

watch this knife full review on my you tube Chanel

A couple months ago I searched Damascus knifes on the web and Black Mamba popped up, so I clicked on it. The knives in the Black Mamba’s web site Immediately caught my eye. I couldn’t believe the Consistent beauty I was seeing, From folding knives to fixed blade knives. I knew I had to see one of their products in person.

Well a couple weeks ago I received my first Black Mamba knife in the mail. I want to start with the packaging…. I was pleasantly pleased with the box my knife came in. From the awesome Black Mamba logo to how the box opened. I opened the box to see the Persian Yuma knife and the sheath placed perfectly inside. I picked up knife and pulled It out of the plastic. The blade had a little oil / lubricant on it for protection. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the knife was in my hands. The detail, so much detail and thought was put into this knife. The Damascus blade was flawless and sharp out of the box. Over 352 Layers of 15N20 & 1095 Damascus Mixture of steel and high Carbon Steel. Oh my! Definitely hand forged. The handle, a Stag antler with a damascus steel bolster and turquoise spacers, felt like home in my hand. Again so much detail and thought was put into this. The weight of the knife seemed just right, not too heavy and not too lite….. perfect. The sheath the knife comes with is great as well, very thick and durable.

This past couple of weeks I put this knife to the test. I wanted to see if the quality would match the beauty of the knife. From feathering hard wood , using it on a ferro rod, to cutting thick rope. I was not disappointed, The blade held its edge well and cut like a dream. The spine on the blade was edged right to use it on a ferro rod to start a fire. I live in New England, not much of a hunter but I’m a huge outdoors enthusiast, from hiking to camping. This knife is perfect for those things. I’m sure it would hold up just fine through any hunting tasks as well.

I would recommend a Black Mamba to any knife lover out there. This Persian Yuma knife sells for 299$ on their website, I can tell you it’s probably worth a lot more than that! It’s a rugged and beautiful knife for sure! I would love to try out one of their folding knives next.

Thank you Black Mamba for this amazing knife!!

Ricky from ShoeMonster Tech

Ricky Daudelin
Ricky Daudelin

, I finally received my knife today and I have to say...wow. There are no words that can describe how beautifully crafted this knife is and how dangerously sharp it came out. You guys get a 10 star rating. Thank you so much. You and Mark have gone beyond my expectations. Absolutely amazing!

Tyler morehouse
Tyler Morehouse
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.
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