Tim Tang, head-honcho at Maxpedition Hard Use Gear (he wrote the book on tough-as-nails carry bags and goodies) is also a knife guy. And, based on my experience with his soft gear, I anticipated a knife from this design guru would be tough but elegantly designed. And I was right. Usually if something looks right, it is right. So … look at this knife. It looks right, doesn’t it? Every curve, angle, material choice and feature is right at the razor edge of exactly what is needed — and that’s all. I don’t think the term “superflous” exists in Tim’s vocabulary; the Excelsa knife series (two sizes, with this being the bigger) shows it.
Basically the Excelsa is a framelock folder, where the frame also doubles as the “scales” on a regular folder. This makes it as tough as a hammered railroad spike, and combined with the D2 steel blade and titanium handle material (the frame), it’s about as bulletproof as you can get. Remarkably useful features are the reversible pocket clip (for point down or point up carry), sculpted form, stainless hardware and the fact the supplied tool can be used to disassemble the knife for cleaning or maintence. A thong-hole is handy, and the fact the knife is assembled, fitted and finished by hand means human eyes are on every part as they go together.
The large model is 8.3″ overall, having a 3.6″ blade ($139), while the smaller is 6.7″ OAL with a 2.9″ blade ($119). Both are beefy enough to handle just about any cutting chore you’d care to tackle with a folder, while still being light enough (5.1 and 2.7 ounces respectively) not to drag your drawers down riding in a jean pocket. Maxpedition Hard Use Gear has now officially added a “Maxpedition Hard Use Knife” to the mix. A perfect match with the original tough-enough-to-take-it gear Tim is famous for. For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/maxpedition, (310) 768-0098
By Roy Huntington