The Max Edge
Maxpedition’s Knives: Every Bit As Fine As Their Gear!
When it comes to gear, Maxpedition needs no introduction. The company is well known for their wide selection of top-quality backpacks, shoulder bags, fanny packs, travel luggage, duffels, gear pouches, sheaths and belts. Their products are popular among military troops, special forces, law enforcement personnel and serious users alike. Chances are you know all that — but did you know Maxpedition makes knives?
Maxpedition was formed in 2003 by California native and company President and CEO Tim Tang, who put his formal studies on the backburner to pursue a real life education in supply side economics. Tim tells Handgunner, “Maxpedition is a true story of the American dream. I dropped out of medical school in 2003 and started the company in my parents’ garage. Ten years later Maxpedition is now thriving in its own Los Angeles-based corporate and distribution compound. We gained a competitive edge in our early years by creating bags and packs with superior durability and ergonomics, such as the Versipack and Gearslinger series. Our first customers were from the military and law enforcement officers, but the civilian and concealed carry markets quickly caught on, selecting Maxpedition as their preferred everyday carry.
“We own and occupy a three-building complex in an industrial area located in Carson, Calif., and are currently planning an expansion of our facilities,” continues Tim. “Even though California is generally known to be not knife or gun-friendly, I enjoy being here because of the perfect weather, diverse cultures, good food, great people and a wealth of opportunities.”
Ferox Folders: Green Plain Edge (left) and Khaki Serrated
Dreams Of Steel
According to Tim, adding knives to the burgeoning Maxpedition line was not some rubric of expansion, but the fulfillment of a dream. “My interest in the tactical industry began with knives. While in college I became an avid collector of tactical knives for about 10 years in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. During that time I amassed a very focused collection of several hundred handmade custom tactical knives.
“We’ve always noticed a connection between Maxpedition bags and knives,” Tang notes. “Our gear is popular among the everyday carry and collector crowds. You see a ton of Maxpedition bags at knife shows such as the Blade Show, so we decided we needed to get into that market, bring my interests full circle and to create the knives I like and I would use personally, and share them with the marketplace.”
Rather than jump into the knife market with a whole slew of offerings Tang chose to wade in slowly — embracing utility, versatility and affordability as his main goals. “We introduced our first cutlery at SHOT 2013 with an economical folder called the Ferox, designed and priced so you can have one in every bag, room, or car and not have to worry if it got lost it or confiscated by TSA. The philosophy was the old adage “The best knife is the knife you have with you.”
The Ferox folder has a very sound, attractive mainstream design. The 4.5″ handle has all the right curves, and inside you’ll find a sturdy liner-lock mechanism to keep the blade secure when employed. The handle scales are a durable nylon-reinforced synthetic which performs very well but keeps the price of the knife inline. The black coated drop point blade is 3.5″ in length and can be opened using either thumb studs or a handy flipper mechanism. True to Maxpedition fashion, handles are available in a variety of colors, in this case Black, Desert Tan and OD Green. A pocket clip on the back allows for easy pocket carry or the Ferox can be sheathed or clipped to your gear bag. Ferox folders retail for a scant $29.99.
The second time at bat Tang took a swing for the fence. Titanium frame-lock folders are considered by many to be the crème de la crème of folding knives and the Excelsa model is a home run. Using the same philosophy he used for the Ferox — versatility, utility and affordability — Tim came up with an attractive design with an even more attractive price tag ($119.99 retail).
“The Excelsa comes in two sizes. This was me designing and building my ideal production folder. Our Excelsa folder has a D2 blade with Titanium alloy slabs and lock with overtravel limiter design on the locking leaf which is patent pending. We also use a ramped thumb stud which is a less commonly seen useful feature.”
Like the Ferox, the Excelsa folder combines
versatility, utility and affordability.
Tim Tang calls the Excelsa folder his “ideal production
folder” with an attractive design and price tag.
The Fix Is In
Maxpedition’s next knife venture was an extensive series of tactical fixed-blades introduced at the 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nev. “Our new fixed-blade line is made up of 16 models. Again, it’s me designing and building my ideal production fixed-blades.” Too numerous name, these come in large, medium and small sizes and different blade styles including Clip Point, Drop Point, Geometric Tanto and Fish Belly.
To give Handgunner readers taste of these new fixed-blades, we’ve included photos of the LSCP Large Short Clip Point, MGEO Medium Geometric Tanto, and SFSH Small Fish Belly. Hardchrome plated D2 steel was chosen for the cutting chores and the ample handles are of FRN synthetic. Hand-fitted Kydex sheaths round out the package. Price range for the company’s fixed-blades are in the $100-120 range retail.
The Acantha is a tactical pen with an attitude. One end is a standard ballpoint pen, the other a machined bullet-shaped tip which turns the Acantha ($39.99 retail) into a tool for self-defense. These are available in stainless steel or aluminum models in black or silver finish.
When Maxpedition’s knives hit the scene the company was already in high gear with accoutrements for those who carry. Belt sheaths for folding knives had been a staple in the line for years, then they ramped it up with their Razorshell — perfect for carrying large fixed blades — and the Dodecapod, which has 12 pockets for carrying large folders along with four oversized pockets for other goodies.
Large and Small Excelsa Frame-Lock Folders
The Beat Goes On
What does the future hold? “Probably one more folder in the next year, it will be our largest folder and probably more traditional in style — that’s all I can say now,” Tim confided with a smile. “We’re also planning to more than double our fixed-blade range with combat and deep concealment knives and more specialized blade styles such as daggers. We’ll also be adding MOLLE-compatible sheath systems so the knives can integrate seamlessly into our bags and packs. We’re being very careful how we expand. I don’t want to make a hodge-podge of knives like many larger manufacturers. We want all of our products to relate to each other and not to dilute our design philosophy and overall look at this early stage.” Sounds like a plan!
By Pat Covert
Photos: Chuck Pittman, Inc.
For more info: http://americanhandgunner.com/company/maxpedition-hard-use-gear/, (310) 768-0098, firstname.lastname@example.org