My First Impressions On My "New" Mad Max

Oct 2, 1998
I can't believe it but I received a Darrel Ralph Mad Max today with the "bowie style" blade thanks to a trade with NCBlades, (thanks Michael!).
First, let me say I am a real fan of "mega folders". This one is my favorite so far. Nice and flat and oh-so-light thanks to the wonder of Titanium. If you're looking for a Ralph "high end" art-work knife, look elsewhere. This thing seems to grab you by the throat and screams "USE ME"! I LIKE that! Simple, functional and solid but as stated, LIGHT for a folder this size. It opens effortlessly and SMOOTH as noted by other Mad Max owners. The Titanium body with the intregal lock is truly substantial. Therein lies a minor shortcoming IMHO. It is fairly hard to unlock and close. This could be a blessing OR a problem. It's how you look at it. I am sure this thing will stay locked when open. The handle/liner and blade contact points are SO thick I can't see ANY WAY this thing COULD unlock unless the handle screws stripped out! Also, I know Titanium/steel contact points will "gall" against each other but it reduces the chance of slippage. Maybe Darrel will read this and jump in here to explain this better than I can. The jury is still out on this "enhanced" D2 steel. My friend Dexter Ewing has told me Darrel has expressed that this is a wonderful steel and is somewhat tougher and has more "stain resistance" than regular D2. As I have only had this thing for less than a day, I CAN say that this is one "plain" but well made brute that SHOULD BE USED and not put away. I WILL keep and use it.
Sounds like one heck of a folder. Good, because I am hoping mine will be here at the end of the upcoming week! I ordered the bowie style blade and ceramic peen finish. The first time I saw the knife it was that bowie style blade that caught my attention. Also glad to hear about the super tight lockup. Of course I would expect it with that integral lock. How do you find it rides in your pocket? It appears to have a high mounted pocket clip to allow deep carry.
I will look forward to hearing more on the knife after you have a chance to carry it some.

Art Sigmon
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Php. 4:13

"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword"
Heb. 4:12
Hi Art,
I can tell you Darrel mounted the clip as high as he could with the design. It rides as deep in the pocket as any folder I've seen with the added bonus of the "hook draw", that is you can withdraw it from the pocket AND open it at the same time.
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Gene:
....that is you can withdraw it from the pocket AND open it at the same time. </font>

Gene, can you describe that in more detail? I'm trying to picture how you're positioning your hand when you withdraw the knife. I don't like tip-down carry at all, but you can't have a tip-up Mad Maxx 'cause of the flipper. Not that I need the thing, but it's soooo tempting. I like the sound of that lock, and the spearpoint version kind of does it for me.

Glad you're going to use it. It's so disappointing to hear people rave over a knife, only to say they know they'll never cut anything with it. The proof's in the pudding, so to speak.
Saw the Mad Max title and it caught my eye...Have had mine for a week now..this thing is cool..massive blade I have the bowie also, The flipper guards is my favorite way of opening knife..right thumb on back guard, right index on blade guard..start blade open with index finger ..finish it off with thumb....KKKRRRAAACCCKKK!! solid lock up..mine closes fairly easy not to tough unless you put a good grip on it which snugs it up some. the clip is very nice..rides well in just regular jeans, but I dont often carry it there..I still have to do a slight hand adjustment after pulling it out of pocket with the guards to open it up, but it still gets out quick..I really like the integral lock , very similar to the Sebenza,(I have had the Sebenzas a long time) this doesnt replace it, but then the Sebenza and this Mad Max are two different knives.The Max is a folding doubt, although I will be carving the turkeys with it this year
..even in closed position you have an excellent skull crusher, and whipping out the huge blade just emphasizes what a weapon it is..I have used mine for fighting off a couple trees that attacked me on a walk
took care of small limbs with one have a handle and a half to play with....You will be pleased if you get one of these...I have the greatest job..patrol a cable route for phone spend alot of time behind the wheel , which gives me all day to play with my knives
..I have been mostly playing with the Max lately..just flipping open that big blade is FUN!!

You will enjoy this knife when you get it...if you already have one ,Ya know what I mean....if you don't..and you like BIG folders...GET THIS ONE!!!!!!!

as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another....Pr.27:17
I have a small Apogee and had the same problem. At first it was very hard to disengage the lock and close the knife. Over a period of a couple months it loosened up a bit and now it works just fine. Probably the same in your case. I think that Darrel makes them tight and then they break in nice. I'm really pleased with my Apogee. I like smaller knives and the Apogee is very unassuming. I like it more every day.
Hi Owen,
I prefer tip down carry which the Mad Max has. Darrel explained in another thread that it would be impractical for tip up carry as the guard points would be sticking up and I agree. I would not want those tips somehow poking me during carry.
"Hook Draw" was a bad choice of words. Actually I should have said "Push Draw". As I was playing with it yesterday, I found I could rotate the knife slightly during withdrawal and a slight push on the back guard against my body will retract the blade 1/2 open. Then a fluid sweep of the arm and it gently snaps opens fully. It works really well for me. Remember, this thing is really a smooth opener and that contributes to the quick opening.
A small problem has surfaced with the knife since I received it yesterday afternoon. I have stuck myself a couple of times with the knife closed. Darrel made the thumb stud, (actually it's a camming or "lock up" stud), non adjustable. This really helps for a solid lock up. It also determines how far into the handle the blade will rest when closed. The lock up stud is just not allowing the blade to fold back in deep enough. Also, the butt end of the knife is open and in handling the knife just enough of the tip can be accessed to sting you. I really wish Darrel would have continued the back spacer on down to enclose the butt end. To me it would make the knife even more solid looking and this small problem would be alleviated. As of now, if the "locking "stud" could be moved even a fraction up, it would alleviate this problem allowing the blade to rest further into the handle. I'll have to check with Darrel on this and see if this can be rectified.
As far as using this knife, it possesses a quality but utilitarian appearance that just says "use me"! Like I said earlier, this thing is not an art piece. It's handsome in it's ruggedness and I like that. Yeah, I know some of these will be tucked away but this thing really IS a USER.

Glad you're enjoying yours. Fun to open and so SMOOTH!

I'm sure you're right and you should see how thick the Tianium handle slab on this thing is. I'm sure that's another reason for the stiffness and slight galling.

[This message has been edited by Gene (edited 03-03-2001).]
As stated in the email I sent you . I will be glad to shorten your blade .
I prefer max blade to handle. Nothing makes me chring more that bad blade to handle.
Also If the blade goes to far into the handle it hits the backspine. I allowed for clearend for the blade to ride above the backspine.

As for closed end knives ... They are just not me . The reason is blade to handle.

On the run I am building now I adjusted the blade length a little shorter. This should take care of the issue.

As for the thumbers. My intent was for folks to use the flipper not the thumbers to open the knife. I see the thumbers as a secondary opening system for this knife. They are big and solid to keep the lock up and blade stop healthy!

Thanks for the feedback.

Web Site At

[This message has been edited by Darrel Ralph (edited 03-04-2001).]
Thank you for the reply. I couldn't agree more with what you say about blade to handle ratio. I have sent you another e-mail stating I'm sending the knife back for you to check it out. I'm sure that shortening the tip just a bit will solve the problem. Again, thank you.