View Full Version : Suggestion on ceramic/plastic dirks/knives

Oleg Volk
December 9, 1999, 09:03 PM
I am looking for a short (under 4") ceramic or plastic dirk/dagger/stabber. Could someone educate me on qualities to seek, suggested models and sources...and recommend sources of basic training? Thank you.



December 9, 1999, 09:26 PM
Check out Blade Forums, you will get tons of info there about knives. I'm hooked on visiting that site almost as much as comming here. http://www.bladeforums.com/

Oleg Volk
December 9, 1999, 11:39 PM
OK, let me re-state the question. What kind of problems crop up when using a ceramic blade as a last-ditch defensive stabber (compard with using a steel blade for the same purposes)? Please spare the jokes, the question is serious.

December 10, 1999, 11:17 AM
Should be no problems any different from an ordinary blade... especially considering that - for most people - HAVING to use such a weapon will probably never happen.

For various professions, using such a weapon would just be part of the job.

There MAY be questions raised, i.e. a red flag, if you are seen with such a weapon by L.E. types... "why carry this?". Also being found carrying this onto an airplane, other other areas where weapons are prohibited, would cause alarm.

Bottom line, I guess would be... don't be seen with it; only use it when deadly force is justified; ... basically the same as any other weapon...

Hope that helps...

December 10, 1999, 05:09 PM
What is your intended use for this tool? Is it deep concealment or defense?

If you want a use once and throw away stabber, you may want to resort to the $4 Delta Dart made of Zytel. It is not much to look at, but it is cheap (but then again, so is a sharpened pencil.)

On the higher end, you may wish to consider the excellent Mad Dog Mirage X ceramic composite knives. They are stronger than the simple alumina ceramic Kyocera/Bokers, and make excellent utility blades, slashers as well as penetrators. The only downside is the extra cost for such a specialized tool.

As for training, seek out a qualified instructor in such arts as Bando or the Filipino Martial Arts. These systems have broken down edged weapons combat into a veritable science.

As Dad2Jane mentioned, be sure to keep in mind the legal ramifications of carrying/using such items.

Street Smart Professional Equipment

Oleg Volk
December 10, 1999, 05:15 PM
My use would be deep concealment for "SHTF and no retreat possible...and nothing better available".

Steve Smith
December 10, 1999, 05:19 PM
Oleg, I have a part-time job selling knives. Ceramic knives are available like this, but I strongly caution you against them. Ceramic is the hardest man-made material, and second only to diamond. What this means is, is it's EXTREMELY brittle. If you could make a diamond long and thin (like a blade) it would be extremely fragile too. Ceramic blades are only good for straight line cutting, with no latteral movement (like in a fight). Oh yeah, if you drop it, it's gone too, plus they chip out a lot.

[This message has been edited by Frontsight! (edited December 10, 1999).]

Rich Lucibella
December 10, 1999, 10:18 PM
I'd have agreed with you until I became a Mad Dog owner. Kevin's ceramics are light years ahead (at least "years ahead" :))

Yes, if you drop it, you risk shatter (the same as a flat file). If you use lateral pressure against bone or metal, you may chip it (these cane be stroked out with EZ Lap diamond stones).

However, I've used them for everything from packing cartons to *beer bottles* (no kidding, they cut glass!) without a problem. I had occasion to help Kevin dress an entire hog in Texas with one earlier this year. There was no appreciable dulling.

Given your purposes, I suggest the Mad Dog Micro. They may not be cheap....but neither is a custom 1911 (at 5 times the price!)

[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited December 10, 1999).]

Steve Smith
December 11, 1999, 12:22 PM
Rich, we'll habve to agree to disagree on this one, because there's no way to make ceramic materal as flexible as steel. If I'm using a knife as a last resort after I'm out of ammo, then I don't want to leave the blade in the guy I'm fighting. There's a lot of latteral force at the meeting of blade and handle, especially when thrusting. Next time you field dress a hog. try "getting into a fight" with it around the area you shot it (so there's not much meat damage) and try for the ribs too (if you feel like you have enough meet) use lot's of thrusting movements...hope you don't break your blade. Oleg, what happened to your web page?

Matt VDW
December 13, 1999, 04:29 PM
Would it be possible to put a ceramic edge insert in an aluminum knife? Then you'd have a sharp, shatter-resistant knife. Or would it be easier to mould the ceramic into something like Zytel?

Just a thought...

Rich Lucibella
December 14, 1999, 08:01 AM
I hear your point, but disagree. Kevin also makes a prybar out of the same material. This is becoming popular in EOD circles. You might consider working with a Mad Dog ceramic before reaching final judgement on this.

Also, lets remember the purpose of a ceramic knife: it's not intended as a *replacement* for steel. Ceramics are used when no magnetic or conductive signature is a requirement. This means for carry thru detectors or for EOD work.

I do see that I misread Oleg's original question, though. He asaked about a "dirk/stabber". I would agree with you that if the main purpose is penetration, steel is the answer.

[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited December 14, 1999).]

Byron Quick
December 14, 1999, 11:54 AM
I am frequently bemused by statements such as Dad2Jane's about most people never having to use a weapon (or unarmed self defense, whatever) Either I'm living in a different universe or I'm a magnet for trouble. I've used martial arts to defend against serious assault on several occasions, presentation of a firearm or knife has aborted assaults on several occasions. Apparently I'm a statistical anomaly or else many others have been extraordinarily fortunate and do not realize it.

Byron Quick

December 16, 1999, 06:01 AM

Your stance in honorable, but you are speaking of a particular item that you obviously are not familiar with. The Mirage X is not your everyday ceramic composite knife. Yes, you are right: most ceramic knives are brittle and thin, such as the Kyocera kind and kitchen knives. Mad Dog Mirage X knives are NOT brittle and will easily withstand knife combat. Try one out, you will be amazed.

I have had a number of Mirage X knives and used them as a daily item. I have also trained with them in the martial arts, hacking up cutting dummies, trees, you name it with NEVER a chip or break. In other words, I have whacked and stabbed the hell out of this knife and it has never broken or chipped. There is no fathomable reason in a knife defense encounter that the Mirage X would break.
It is not my first choice for a defensive knife, but then few concealable knives would please me for knife defense. But, for the role it plays, as a very concealable backup blade, the Mirage X is outstanding.

Mad Dog is making a pry bar out of this stuff to give you an idea of how tough it is. He does demos where he throws the ceramic knife as high as he can into the air, letting it crash down on pavement, and it almost never breaks the tip off. (There are not many STEEL knives that can withstand that abuse without losing their tip). He does demos where he leans on the knife. He says it has about the same consistancy as a steel file. It will not flex, and it will break, but you have to really work at it.

As Rich said, it is not a replacement for steel. Steel is preferred for most tasks. But, for the niche the Mirage X fills, it cannot be beat. If you need a non-magnetic, non-corrodable, flat and very concealable knife that will hold it's edge forever, then the Mirage X Operator or Micro is the best in the league.

[This message has been edited by jdthaddeus (edited December 16, 1999).]

Oleg Volk
December 17, 1999, 10:14 AM
I decided toforgo knives for now and get training with knives/sticks first. I will shop afterwards.

BTW, my site is still up and running...



December 17, 1999, 11:04 AM

Go study Kali (Phillipine stick fighting). It's geared toward almost anything you can get your hands on, including knives. http://www.donath.org/Defense/Kali

December 18, 1999, 08:29 PM
Regardless of its composition, don't carry the dirk/dagger/stabber in TEXAS. We define "ILLEGAL KNIFE" as a: knife w/blade >5.5", throwing knife, bowie knife, sword, spear, dagger, included but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard. An offense is the highest grade of misdemeanor (Class A), unless committed on any premises licensed or issued a permit to sell alcoholic beverages-- then it's a Felony 3. It's stupid but our concealed handgun licensees (our CHLs undergo the most rigorous background check in the nation) cannot carry a handgun in places which derive >51% of its income from alcohol sales. This includes many restaurants, etc.

Steve Smith
December 19, 1999, 02:07 AM
I guess I'll just give up. Considering how difficult these things are to find (I've tried since this post started), I guess I haven't seen it. I have seen the carbon fiber blades, and they look interesting. Looking deeper into this topic, if I need a "non-magnetic" knife to get through security, then there's a very good chance that no one else will be armed either. Considering airlines, I always carry my Leatherman on a plane (just in case of a crash and I'm lucky enough to survive, and I need tools to break/cut my way out) The Leatherman is also a weapon, and I've NEVER been refused carry of it on a plane, an dI fly all the time.

December 20, 1999, 08:45 AM
The Leatherman - especially one with the metal, NOT plastic, handles - lends itself well to improvisation as a weapon. I can think of a variety of ways to use it. In many ways, it is better to carry than a regular knife.

Great idea...

Stand against evil, lest evil have its way...

December 20, 1999, 01:13 PM

Give our site a visit. I believe we have a Micro or Operator in stock.

Street Smart Professional Equipment

December 20, 1999, 01:26 PM
Ever consider a wood blade gentlemen?

December 20, 1999, 02:46 PM
I like the idea of a Leatherman or Gerber tool in a belt pouch. Has lots of uses. I usually throw mine (Gerber) in my checked baggage cause of the hassles resulting from the increased security evident in recent years. Of course, sometimes when I fly I'm carrying a loaded handgun on my body -- so a Gerber tool would be less important for self-defense.

George Hill
December 21, 1999, 05:26 AM
Yeah - I got a nice one... Luiseville SLUGGER.

Oleg Volk
December 21, 1999, 09:55 AM
And that leads to to a mostly unrelated question: which brand+model of multi-tool would you recommend for versatility and durability? I have been shoping and the number of choices and price range are confusing...

Steve Smith
December 21, 1999, 11:01 AM
I've owned almost all of them, and I think the Victorinox SwissTool (swiss-army) is best.

Jake 98c/11b
December 25, 1999, 04:38 PM
Where can I find More detail on the Mad Dog knives, you have me interested.

Rich Lucibella
December 26, 1999, 01:35 PM
Jake- http://www.mdenterprise.com/

December 26, 1999, 05:30 PM
Forget ceramic and plastic. Go get a Warren Thomas titanium. Lightweight, strong (read that practically indestructable), sharp, non-corrosive, impervious to saltwater, and non-magnetic. Makes folders, straight knives, neck knives in all sizes and shapes. Maddog Tools also makes an all titanium. Isn't that what you really had in mind? p.s. Mission knives makes an all titanium also. For edge retention make sure the carbide is incorporated along the cutting edge.

[This message has been edited by ak9 (edited December 29, 1999).]

December 28, 1999, 02:56 AM
I've got a Mad Dog Mirage Micro and Warren Thomas titanium/carbon fiber folder. The MD is 1/4 inch thick. It is quite strong. I didn't believe it would cut class and shave metal until I did it myself. It cuts through steak like a hot knife through butter. It will not shave hair off your arm but it will slice soft things very easily. Before I bought my WT, I was sceptical about its sharpness because my titanium Benchmade is practically dull. Not so. The WT is crazy sharp(sharper than a razor blade).
My suggestion is to get both types of knives.

December 30, 1999, 12:27 AM
I have extensive experience with Mad Dogs ceramics and non-metallics. First off I will state that the Mirages are unbelievably sharp; However I broke the tip off my micro doing a simple chore. I don't care what the claims are, I have relegated these knives to flesh cutting duties only, and no utility work at all. Just my opinion and experience.

Rosco P. Coltrain
December 31, 1999, 07:10 PM
I hear a Ratan cane is a good defensive tool. It can raise some serious welts, just ask Micheal Faye.

Steve Smith
January 4, 2000, 01:11 AM
I've left this thread alone for a while, but I happened to run across a Blade magazine from February '99 at work tonight. Apparently, the owner of Mad Dog knives said that they had 38% of the prying power of steel. Sorry, that's just not enough for me. For a REALLY strong knife, check out Busse Combat.

January 7, 2000, 08:05 PM

You are comparing apples with (pick your favorite exotic fruit). While 38% tensile strength of 01 tool steel is not "tough" by steel standards, it is excellent considering the other specialized properties of the knife. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't we talking about non-metallic/ceramic knives on this thread?

The Busse Combat is a decent knife, but by no means the toughest. It also is not ceramic.

Street Smart Professional Equipment

Covert Mission
February 1, 2000, 09:34 PM
one point not made, i think:

the ceramic MD knives available to LEO's/Military differ from the civilian versions, if i recall correctly from their website.

The LEO version has NO metal insert, making it undetectable by magnetometers. The civilian version has a metal insert, making carrying past security mags (airport etc) difficult. fwiw.

[This message has been edited by Covert Mission (edited February 01, 2000).]

Oleg Volk
February 2, 2000, 11:47 AM
Thanks for heads-up on MD knives. I try to avoid buying from companies that market inferior goods to non-JBTs when not compelled to do so by regulations.

Christopher II
February 2, 2000, 04:44 PM
Whoa, Mr. Volk, hold on a second. You've recieved some bad information. The non-detectable versions of Mad Dog's Mirage X series are available to anyone with a valid state CCW, as well as LEO and military types.
I don't have any Mirage X knives, but I have a steel Mad Dog and it's the best knife I have ever owned. Check out Mad Dog's forum, www.tacticalforums.com (http://www.tacticalforums.com) if you have any questions or want more information.


Oleg Volk
February 2, 2000, 04:48 PM
I do not have a valid state CHL -- they are NOT GIVEN where I live. I make my own choice (not binding to others) that it is enough for me to have locals trying to tell me how to live and what can't I own...no need to have manufacturers join into that pastime when there's nothing compelling them to do so.

Rosco P. Coltrain
February 2, 2000, 11:41 PM
I agree with Oleg Volk. If a company is going to sell a product, they should sell it to anyone who can legally purchase the item. They should not unfairly discriminate on the basis of race, occupation, religion, et cetera.

Christopher II
February 3, 2000, 09:28 AM

Oleg - I know where you're coming from. I cannot get a CCW either, despite the fact that I like in a shall-issue state (long story, and no, I'm not a felon :)) Anyway, if you feel that you've made an informed choice, cool. It's your descision. But if it were me, I'd at least try to find out why the CCW/LEO/Military policy is in place. Just my two cents.

Rosco - I disagree. A company should be free to sell, or not sell, it's product to anyone, for any reason. If the company makes a good product and justifies their sales policy with logic, no problem. If not, the marketplace will take care of them.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic. I'll shut up now.


Oleg Volk
February 3, 2000, 09:32 AM
I agree entirely: they have a right to set any policies that like (and I,personally, would be offended but recognized their right not to sell to people based on any which factor they like). I have, likewise, a right to dislike their policies and shop elsewhere even for products that would let me have. Same story as Ruger and 5rd magazines instead of 10-rounders for Mini14, only more so.

July 3, 2000, 04:24 AM
I wouldn't even buy Mad Dog's holsters after seeing that he'll only sell those ceramic knives to LEO's or Military. (CCW holders are not on the list according to his web site) And that really pisses me off too. LEO's have absolutely no better reason for such a knife (or a switchblade) than any other citizen. Why the hell would a patrol cop need a magneticly invisible knife for his offical duties. Answer that one. That goes for military types too. To have a manufacture promote that crap too. Boycott him.

July 5, 2000, 02:40 PM
As a distributor of MD products, let me interject before this turns into another Internet witch hunt.

As the gun industry has known for a long time, distributors and manufacturers are subject to vicarious liability. We do not like it, nor do we support it. It is simply a sad fact of the litigous state we now live in. Our website states official policies regarding the sale of various items. However, we have yet to turn down sales to any reputable citizen. Have any of you even given Mad Dog or a distributor a call before jumping onto the boycott wagon? Have you been refused sale of knife?

Many times a retailer or manufacturer will post official policies as an additional defense from litigation and also to reserve the right to refuse sale to the gangbanger that comes up to the table at a gun show.

Give us a break and if you really want something, call and see what we're like before drawing conclusions.

Thanks for your time,

Street Smart Professional Equipment

July 6, 2000, 07:42 PM
Oh, so I guess Lon Horuchi would be qualified to make such a purchase, but an 18 year old martial artist would not be.

July 9, 2000, 06:07 PM
You can't argue with ignorance.Mad Dog knives are some of the best in the world.The wait for some models are Months or Years into the future.When more people learn of the quality and expertise involved in the making of each knife they all will want more than just one.

July 10, 2000, 12:06 PM

If you have tried to purchase something from us or MD and have been refused, then maybe you have a valid gripe. We have never turned down a legal sale to an upstanding citizen.


July 10, 2000, 08:20 PM
I am surprised no one has mentioned the Mad Dog Frequent flyers. Shame on you Rich and Arnistador! :)
They are superb tools, not brittle and while not cheap, more affordable than the ceramics. They are not great Knives for utility purposes, but as a discrete last ditch protection tool or seatbelt cutter they are superb.

cuerno de chivo
July 12, 2000, 12:56 AM
Mad Dog now freely sells it's non-metallic knives w/out metal strips manufactured into them? Outfits like Mad Dog and Spyderco are just like Smith and Wesson.

July 12, 2000, 03:17 PM
Wow. The first flamefest in AF/CQC history.

GENTLEMEN, there's no need to insult Kevin and Tim. If you don't like their stuff or policies, don't do business with them. Simple enough?

cuerno de chivo
July 12, 2000, 11:36 PM
Truth hurts don't it? Great quality, TERRIBLE policies. Just like SW. Is SW or Ruger policy 'bashing' now forbidden as well?

shiroikuma, Anchorage AK
July 13, 2000, 12:23 AM
Darn right if MD doesn't like it he should stop pandering to LEO and Military types only when selling legal items. Personally I can't imagine a ceramic knive doing me any good in a hijacking, but I don't like the attitude displayed IN WRITING on his web site. Just because your employed by a PD or the US military doesn't make you a good guy. Not being employed by them doesn't make you a bad guy either.

George Hill
July 13, 2000, 01:15 PM
This thread has lived beyond its usefullnes.
Mad Dogs Policy is his own choice.

This thread is also over 105K. Closed.