Fixed Blade Opinions

Feb 7, 1999
Hi Everyone,

I'm looking to replace my over priced factory SOG Trident2 with either a MadDog ATAK2 or Chris Reeve's Project1. I plan to use the new fix blade mainly on camping and backpacking trips. Any suggestion as to which one holds an edge in terms of performance, function, and balance?


I have the Mad Dog ATAK2, it holds an edge better than any of my other knives. I found the handle erogonamics to be excellent. The finger cut out in the handle was right for me on the ATAK2 but is a bit small on the YFA3 (I have). For me the 7-9" class knives is a compromise size. Too small to do a good chopper and too big for fine work, but will do a reasonable job at both.

Another knife that is dimensional similar is the ones you listed is the Mission MPK in A2 (lower priced than the semi-customs). I am trying to get one but I don't think they are ready yet.

Yust out of curiosity, Bob, what is wrong with that SOG Trident. I've always thought that it was a very sturdy and nice knife. Definitelly a clasical knife. Besides, that 440C steel is nothing to sneeze at, especially with the excellent heat treating done to it.

Mad Dogs are very good knives - period. Great ergonomics, great edges and, tons of shear strength.

Chris Reeves One Piece knives are excellant blades. On the few that I have sold that are actually used, really used, I have gotten very good responses. Guys split wood with them, use them to start fires by striking the blade edge against the fire starter they store in the hollow handle and press on totally satisfied. (If you must use your blade as the steel part of the strike, please use the back, not the sharpened edge even though the cuting edge is still intact afterwards :)

The one that I think will really catch people by surprise is the Mission A2 steel coat knives. These are going to be priced agressively against the $300+ 7 inch custom/semi-customs. These are solid knives.

TOPS (Tactical OPS) is one that is not mentioned a lot but, they are priced right and well built. Expect to see more on these in the next couple of weeks from myself.

Thanks for the response everyone,

Wow...I haven't heard much with respect to Mission MPK in A2 steel - I'm gonna look into this before I make my final decision. Looks as though MadDog enjoys a solid reputation amongst the members of this forum. Cobalt, When I bought my Trident 3 years ago, I didn't know much about blade steel, the design, its grind and geometry. Of the three complains I have with my Trident are the followings: First, I think it over price for a factory import - I could have gotten either a custom or a semi custom/production for another $100 or less. Two, I’m not too crazy with 440C, I would much preferred plain old carbon, ATS-34 or A2 tool steel for superior edge retention. Finally, didn’t really like the style: not effective as a hopper, and the blade tip looks weak because is gear more towards a fighter instead of utility.

Nemo and Fred have been working over a Project and an ATAK why not drop them and email and see how they compare.

Without handling them, but just based on the description and pictures, I would expect the Project to be a better splitter and the ATAK to be a better chopper (grind differences). I would expect the ATAK to have a *much* more comfortable grip and to have much better edge retention. I would be curious to see which has better edge durability. The Projects edge is softer which *might* make it want to deform or roll whereas the ATAK might chip out (which is harder to fix).

In regards to overall toughness the handle design on the Project is more secure however the slightly less secure handle on the ATAK is still very solidly fixed. Similar to handle damage. While the synthetic on the ATAK is not as tough as the Project steel handle, its still very durable. In terms of raw lateral strain causing damage I believe that Reeve does caution you not to use the Project as a prybar, there is no such warning on the ATAK.

For camping and backpacking you might want to look at the Uluchet. It's different than most tools, but will serve you quite well for a variety of uses.

YES,it is sharp, just keep your fingers out of the way!