I will 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.
Purchased this knife in my quest to find an heirloom quality knife that could be carried in my front pants pocket,being a collector, I have a lot of knives,I carry a skele tool on my belt for the handy pliers and screwdriver,too much weight and pulls my pants down,or have to wear belt too tight,so weight is primary concern,don’t get me wrong there is solid “heft” to this knife but not overly heavy have had Texas toothpick,wears a hole in pocket,my little buck two blade has been good but hard to keep an edge and the old timers and case folders everyone has ,wanted something different,this is what I was looking for!now to the knife,what a awesome piece,one of the nicest I have ever seen, from the scroll work on the back edge,to the beautiful steel,it is truly a piece of art,is it really 150,000 year old woolly mammoth tooth,tusk,or bone handle?sounds not too likely but you never know,by the sheer beauty,I will take their word for it!thats what I am telling anyone who asks anyway,will keep posted on the longevity of holding an edge,but I don’t think that will be an issue,if you are looking for a small quality knife you ca n brag on and show off,you won’t be disappointed!everyone that has seen it has been impressed
Once again seeing is believing on how nice this piece really is,so to finish”WOW”
Here’s a quick little freestyle. Awesome traditional style Black Mamba balisong! Opened the box and started flipping great product. I loved the sheath as well, it is very nicely made
I was looking for something unique and special I could carry as my hunting knife when I found Black Mamba Knives. I liked the size and shape of the Persian Yuma with buffalo horn inlays, thinking it would be a good skinning blade, so I ordered one. Mark kept me updated throughout the process as he was handcrafting the knife. Upon receiving the knife I was impressed with the quality of the fit and finish. I wouldn’t hesitate to order again. I’m sure my hunting buddies will be jealous when they see it.
! This is awesome!!really wanted a “ heirloom knife” that i could carry in front pocket this size and weight appears to be right.truly a work of art, beautiful!! To say the least, the quality is apparent, the scroll-work and detail of the tsetse fly, buy this knife you will not be dissapointed, truly a masterpiece!!!! Is it really 150,000 year old woolly mammoth handle?im gonna take their word
The knife is gorgeous and didn’t take long at all to reach me, especially being a international order into Canada. Wonderful service and beautiful product.
Knife was exceptional and really well made! Seller answered all my questions and gave me his recommendations and it was a big hit as a gift. Thank you so much!
Fast shipping, and the seller is willing to work with you to solve problems.
This knife is awesome!! The craftsmanship is beautiful. It came to the house in 2 days!! Got this as a gift for my nephew who is a collector. This will be his first Damascus knife and I can’t wait to see his face when he opens it.
Fiance loved the early anniversary present After his pocket knife tip broke off.
The Bikerspot Magazine
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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