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Mad Dog Mirage X Micro Spook

Sep 4, 1999
First impression; just recieved this knife today and was somewhat surprised by it. For those unfamiliar with the Mirage X, it is ceramic, without a metallic or magnetic signature in the knife or sheath. At 5 ounces and 7.5 inches overall, it is as described. But it seems rather long and heavy for a neck knife. Care is needed to keep the knife concealed under a tee or polo shirt.
The kydex sheath is very snug: no chance the Micro will fall out unintentionally, but conversely it is difficult to remove quicky. The elastomeric grip is quickly scuffed by the sheath near the blade.
The blade is tanto shaped. Without a tapered false edge, it is about 3/16 inch thick with a flat, uniform primary bevel from the top of the blade down to the sharp secondary bevel. The knife is entirely flat black except for the exposed white ceramic of the secondary bevel.
The blade is not razor sharp, and I don't think this ceramic composite is capable of a shaving-sharp edge.

I bought the knife to be with me most of the time as a backup to my Cold Steel Triple Folder, but it may be too big and heavy for that. So I haven't decided the Micro's best use for me other than the warm feeling knowing its around if I need it.

Mad Dog's knives are not ceramics, they are ceramic composites. This is a fairly important difference as it means material has been added to the ceramic to increase fracture strength. The relative toughness of ceramic composites to ceramics is very high.

In regards to being able to take a shaving sharp edge, yes they can. It will just leave the edge somewhat fragile as it is rather thin. MD has commented that he leaves them a bit thicker than his steel knives so as to get a decent level of durability.

Couldn't keep mine from chipping, even though I was gentle with it...however I did *use* it for light kitchen duties. At the end of every day there would be one or two more micro-chips (no pun intended).

Do yourself a favor though; don't do/say anything to upset Kevin...the customer service meter will peg to the negative...


[This message has been edited by Chefget (edited 02 October 1999).]
From the Mad Dog Tactical page:

"Abrasion resistance has a whole new meaning. With a hardness approching [sic] diamond, The Mirage X holds an edge better than any other knife madem [sic] period. Unlike the flimsy ceramic knives on the market today, The Mirage X is not made of simple alumina ceramic. The Mirage X is harder, denser, and much tougher. The Mirage X can cut glass and shave steel off a SEAL A.T.A.K. without going dull. "

"A blade that cuts or chops longer than any steel blade without going dull."

"In a word, every other stainless or titanium dive knife currently available, is now as obsolete as the buggy whip."

So, guess it doesn't count as dulling if the blade chips out, huh?

Chefget, most reports I have read not on MD forums have been similar. This is not overly surprising as even the best ceramic composites have fracture strengths well under good steels and people here complain about Benchmades ATS-34 (which looks like L6 compared to any ceramic, composite or otherwise).

Drew, the cutting that is stated there can be done with MD's blades. However what they don't describe is that it has to be done slowly with great care. If it is done with any speed then the much greater impact forces will chip out the blade easily. I repeated most of what Earl described and it did not chip out my Operator. However I don't think that is a realistic description of actual field use which is what I think most people figure they are describing.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 04 October 1999).]

After reading an archived thread about your Tusk, I have to ask;

How long has MD had your Tusk? Do you expect to get it back? Do you have the impression that this is a form of "punishment"?

Do you see some sort of compromise leading to at least partial satisfaction in the future? Do you have a course of action in mind regarding this knife, or is it a lesson learned?

I came out whole and wiser from my MadDog experience (trading the Micro for a Carson 4, a superb knife); what is your prognosis Cliff?

MD has had my second TUSK since May 27. Most of the answers to your other questions would involve me commenting on MD himself and not his knives. I won't do that here. If you are interested drop me an email about it.

Many of the reasons discussed above are why I feel that an alloy such as stellite/talonite may be the "perfect" material for a non-corrosive neck or back-up knife. (Or primary knife for that matter.)
It also has a lower magnetic signature, but as an LEO that is rarely an issue for me personally and (imho) shouldn't be for the vast majority of users.

I had been thinking about one of the composite type knives at one time, but the brittleness of the edge and questions about the maker and his warranty stopped me. (They are also heavy.)

On the other hand, you can buy a stellite or talonite knife from a couple of guys pretty well known around these parts whose warranties and character are not likely to come into question.

In my somewhat limited experience, both materials have proven to provide superior cutting edges.


Live Free or Die

I was really hesistant about Talonite for along time because of the low RC and the obvious "too good to be true" aspect. If is is so corrosion resistant and highly wear reistant it has to be bad at something right? However while still have no personal experience with it, I am of a different mind lately because of emails with Rob Simonich about some work he has done with his knives.

Now while every maker/dealer promotes their knives, which usually makes me just ignore it, Rob is different as he has decribed to me in detail about stressing his knives to the deformation point in the edge. This is rare as most will be vague (so you can't repeat what they are saying) and never actually describe any damage resulting. Rob is specific about how much stress was necessary to cause the deformation, the extent of the problem that resulted and how much work was done to fix it. I have been fairly impressed with what he has described.


[This message has been edited by Cliff Stamp (edited 05 October 1999).]
I was hoping to use one MD's ceramic knives for course whittling in hardwoods. From the sounds of it the edge might chip out for this application.

I have Kevin`s ceramics.The Micro is all that I need for demo.They turned out to be so useful,that I bought the rest of the ceramic line.You can sternum out a deer,no problem.The longer ones are best for this.The box that you thought was cold,isn`t going to fry you.They clean like a breeze.You don`t have to worry about keeping them away from blasting caps.They cut well.Kevin has done us a real service here.I do not see a real LEO concern.They are too expensive for punks,and the players can get anything that they want.

Will, the blade would probably hold up to slicing on hardwoods, but I would be careful of any twisting / rocking motions. It is also very thick when compared to a steel blade because of the relative fragility and thus cuts poorly in comparison. I did some light wood chopping and slicing with mine and it held up fine but I was very careful to avoid lateral stress on the blade.