Feb 22, 1999
I could no longer fend off the urge for a new fixed blade. I was really close to buying an A.T.A.K but then I saw the Busse basic #7 and couldn't resist it. It's gonna run me about a deuce to buy but what the hell, I've been good for aa while so the wife can't complain. I'm still curious about the Maddogs though. Are they really as good as I hear? Are they sharp upon delivery? How is the feel of that handle material? Any maddog fans out there? Bo.
I`d go for the Busse too. Maddog makes some very fine knives as his many rabid disciples will attest but...well let`s just say that to my knowledge he is the only knife maker to belly ache and start slinging insults about his knives being broken in Cliff Stamp`s excellent tests. Also as good as 01 is when treated by Kevin it`s still not Infi. YMMV Marcus
Busse........ With a name like that you got to be good
Plus his latest ad is cool!

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

Busse, no question. Seeing is believing.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
Before this turns into a "Mad Dog bashing session," perhaps we should ask what the knife is going to be used for?

If it is for collection, I would suspect either one will do. Both are hard to get.

I know people who have had unpleasant experiences with Busse's customer service, so much so, that they cancelled a knife order. I have had nothing but great service from Mad Dog distributors (In particular, Street Smart Professionals and Shannon Lew). So, no one is completely without their detractors.

Are you looking for a fighting knife?

Are you looking for a survival knife? If so, what environment? Maritime, desert, arctic?

I am not bad mouthing Busse, I have not handled one of his knives, although many people I respect do say he puts out good product, which is good enough for me.

I am a Mad Dog Owner and like his products.

Whchever way you decide to go, you might want to handle the knife you might be purchasing before you plunk down the dough.


Rob :

[Mad Dog knives]

Are they sharp upon delivery?

I had one TUSK new from MD that came with a high polish, one Operator new from a dealer that needed to be sharpened and one TUSK used from a dealer than needed to be sharpened as well. The odds on getting a blunt one is probably rather low as there are not many complaints about it. MD's does resharpen for free I think. However the dealer should really make sure this is not necessary and should offer to pay the shipping charges if he doesn't do the necessary checks and you don't want to regrind the blade yourself.

How is the feel of that handle material?

A little slippery but it indexes very strongly to your hand and is very comfortable during heavy impacts. It should be very durable, the only negative I have heard about the handle material comes from Chris John's post about the FF breaking.

The geometry of the MD is probably their strongest point (speaking of the utility based models only). The blade angles slightly which increases the performance for most utility work and they are flat ground for high penetration. For example a 3/16" TUSK with a 15" blade would make a very good soft wood machete, expensive though, would probably run about $1500.

The only real negative of the MD knives is that the edge is left untempered at 62+ RC. This leaves it fairly fragile. Busses "custom" versions like the Battle Mistress are uniformly hard also at close to this RC but they are said to not be overly fragile, different blade material. I have discussed this aspect with Jerry Busse and it is not something I am concerned about.

Compared directly to the Busse knives, the Mad Dog's do have some advantages in the grip area. MD's are said to be more fire, chemical and direct impact resistant. Busse does warrenty all of the knife though including the handle and I have not heard any failures on it to date.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 05 August 1999).]
I know that Mad Dog doesn't have a lot of fans here, but let's admit it, he makes a great knife. I have three myself - worth every penny (all 34,000 of them, per knife that is!). And his distributors (at least the ones I have dealt with - Tim at Streetpro and Earls at Central Florida K&T) offer top notch service. Though I don't necessarily subscribe to some of his online banter and bashing, I do find it amusing. (Hey, look at Lynn T. at Cold Steel - now that guy is funny, if you know what I mean! But hey, people still love his products!)

I am also looking forward to acquiring my first Busse. If it lives up to the hype, then I too will give it the same glowing endorsement that I give Mad Dog. I just need to e able to get my hands on one!

My advise it to get whichever one you can. Mad Dogs are somewhat hard to get, and Busse moreso. It's like Ford vs. Chevy - a matter of personal preference.
Squid :

[Mad Dog vs Busse]

a matter of personal preference

Everything is a matter of personal preference but lets not get too vague here. Just like you can comment on liner vs integral in regards to security, strength, ease of opening/closing etc., most knife aspects can be compared in a meaningful way.

There are distinct differences in composition and I would assume procedure in knives from the above two makers. This should lead to actual performance differences in edge holding, edge durability, handle durability and ergonomics, chopping and slicing ability, tip penetration and durability, corrosion resistance, coating durability, overall strength etc.

For example compare the TUSK vs the Trailmaster :

The TUSK has better edge holding on soft materials (it resists rolling stronger and wear slower) and worse edge holding on hard materials (it chips easier).

The TUSK's blade is tilted slightly which increases its chopping performance over the Trailmaster significantly and also reduces feedback which allows more force to be used in chopping which of course against increases performance.

The Trailmaster is uniformly heat treated and thus the edge is not a great deal weaker than the spine (scale with cross section). The TUSK has an untempered very hard edge which means it is very weak and will easily be damaged.

The uniform hard heat treatment of the Trailmaster means it is also very hard to flex it will sustain more force and return to true while the TUSK will take a perm. bend.

And so on.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 05 August 1999).]
In regards to a Busse, I assume you are referring to a production Busse. But, it seems like they keep being delayed. So, I'm wondering how people can compare Busse to Mad Dog if the production Busse knives aren't even available yet. Very confused indeed!
I HOPE that Busse delivers with the basic series. Really do, as the MD ATAK series is as billed, but are becoming increasingly expensive, and by purchasing one you condone the berrating of customers.

ATAK handles are awesome. Never raise blisters and can be used as a hammer. Never chipped any of mine and they all have done some heavy pounding. All around the ATAK is a strong design, and I'd love a Pygmy ATAK, but vote with my wallet, as it has been so often suggested.

If Bussee knives is able to deliver a comparable product for under two hundred bucks, well, the sales with reflect such.
Don :

I'm wondering how people can compare Busse to Mad Dog if the production Busse knives aren't even available yet.

Many people have handled them at shows, and you could extrapolate from the performance of the regular line like the BM.

Chris :

ATAK handles are awesome. Never raise blisters and can be used as a hammer. Never chipped any of mine and they all have done some heavy pounding.

My personal favorite is the handle on the TUSK. Just the right size and shape and of course as you noted very durable.

If Bussee knives is able to deliver a comparable product for under two hundred bucks, well, the sales with reflect such.

If the performance of the Basics is as being hyped I can't see them doing anything but dominating the market.

I will state up front that I believe Busse to make the toughest no BS blade, bar none.

MD makes a decent knife but his warrantee is open for Kevin's interpretation and not transferable with the blade. His blades are also more expensive than Busse customs
..... but ...... I would give him a slight edge on comfort in the handle area.

Busse on the other hand has a visible tang that makes checking abuse easy ...you can see if you have snapped the tang ...not hidden in some fancy plastic.

Busse must have on of the best warrantees on his blades, including the handle.

Edge holding between MD and Busse's INFI ...what edge on the MD ;-) INFI outlast the MD edge by a long way but the flat grind on the MD makes cutting some material more efficient. The rolled edge of the Busse stands up much better to abuse than the MD. The MD edge is brittle and Kevin, you can preach all you want but I have chipped a few blades. Normally small chips ...thank God for that.

On price, if you compare Busse Basic to MD ..... the Busse is much cheaper but note you are comparing a custom to production blade ...not really fair. The Busse Steelheart would be the equivalent to a MD ATAK and even then, Busse is cheaper.

For all those waiting for Busse blades ..... it is worth it. I have 5 Busse's ...I think, maybe more .... and if I could only take one knife to heaven .... Busse Stealheart INFI.

We'll, I am starting to bore so cheers.

Aubrey, in reference to chipping the MD, how will INFI handle the same stress?

if I could only take one knife to heaven

If only taking one knife is a requirement, then I am going to go the other way.

Personally I don't care how good MD's are or if they are even the best. I am not going to spend my hard earned dollars on a knife from Kevin. By buying his products it just encourages him to keep conducting himself in the manner he is now. If anyone who is new here and does not know what I mean. I encourage you to check out the forums he moderates at knifeforums.com and see for yourself.


Tom Carey

I am not going to spend my hard earned dollars on a knife from Kevin. By buying his products it just encourages him to keep conducting himself in the manner he is now.

No arguement from me here, but stuff like this is not really about knives but about the individuals which should not really be the topic of discussion on these forums. Lets not give James Mattis any hassles in this regard.

Whatever personality problems people may have with Mr. McClung, that is their business.

Personally, I have never had a problem with him.

I have always dealt with distributors who are always pleasant to deal with.

Bottom line is, what are you using the knife for. For instance, I do not believe Busse makes a pure "Fighter."

For a field knife, the ATAK is fine for my purposes. As a fishing knive, I do not think the Mirage X line can be surpassed.

Whatever persona Mr. McClung assumes on the boards, that's his personal idiosyncracy.

Objectively, I do not think that NAVSPECWAR ran some sort of biased test in favor of Mad Dog.

Hilton Yam duplicated the tests to some degree. Yeah, he sells Mad Dogs, but wouldn't you guys sell products you believe in?


You should have seen what I deleted haha. Ok my major gripe is I have heard a lot of folks complain about chipped edges and I have this big problem with hard chrome on a blade. even though it can be relieved embrittlement is still an issue. That is why chrome suspension parts were banned by the NHRA back in the 60's. Also the price seems to be very excessive to me for the materials that are used in most of his knives. I did not mean the previous post to be a personal attack. However I do feel that people should see how he conducts himself.


Tom Carey

Now selling fossil ivory, jade, amber, opal, sandstone, dino bone etc...
Email me for info. The new items will be added to cga online in the near future.


Just a thought! How much difference do you think there is in material cost between a blade made of O1 D2 ATS34 etc. if your paying for a custom Sport Utility (JKM) then how much is material verse labor? Talonite Stellite and maybe INFI material costs would be a factor. The difference between steel costing 1.75 for a 12 inch piece of stock and 12.00 for a 12 inch piece of stock is not considerable to me when at purchase end the knives cost 350+. At that rate I dont believe your paying for material.