RR : Polkowski vs. Nealy

Mar 8, 1999
Both of these makers make carry oriented defense knives. Nealy seems to have a better carry system and Polkowski more ergonomic handles. Can anybody compare the two regarding cutting efficincy in utility and full speed manuvers? Any other comments are welcome.

Hey Bart, I have a Mongoose and a Dingo from Polkowski and the small Aikuchi and Pesh Kabz from Nealy. For my examples, they're both very "thin", even with the scales, but the Polkowski's handle much better...in fact my Dingo is one of my most comfortable handles.

With so many quality aftermarket MCS makers out there, you can pretty much get any system to your specifications to carry a blade. For a standard system, not too many people can beat Nealy's MCS. There's some controversy over his use of magnets, but this allows a very smooth draw.

For a secondary utility function, of the four I have, the Dingo and Pesh Kabz are the only real contenders. The blade profile on the Pesh Kabz really only leaves the belly for slicing work...the point is a bit odd for anything beyond piercing. The Dingo is just an all-around great knife; ya it's designed as a fighter, but easily performs a lot of utility tasks...it's canted clip point is great. Just remember, knives designed for self-defense aren't always the best for utility, but the above two can double if need be.

Hope the info helps...I just couldn't decide between the two different makers, so I just got a couple from each one


Yup, that's the answer alright...get BOTH!

That way, you have the best of both worlds.

I have a Polkowski Scorpion. Love it. Love the thin kydex sheath too, and how comfortable it is IWB. Also very convienent; just stick it down your pants, clip it to your belt and you're ready to go.

I also own a Nealy small Pesh Kabz in M2. Sweet little knife. I carry it inverted in my coat during winter, and around my neck in the summer. Once the magnet inside the sheath came loose, and I sent it back to Bud. Not only did he replace the entire sheath, he also tossed in all the other attachments, free of charge!

So, the moral of the story is...


How can you lose?
How about cutting? Take a slash at a roll of newspaper and see how they do.

I have had 2 small Nealys before PK and Aikoo2 and wanted something else at the time I had them. Also, his handles used to be slick, but the new textured G10 is really nice. I have a Polecat now and hate the VERTICAL IWB sheath that came with it.

I think the Nealy Magnets are overkill sometimes. The PK I had snapped into the Kydex good, but the Aikuchi needed the magnents. If you lik those, try an RJ Martin - smoooooooth and totally silent!!

I have a damascus large Pesh Kabz and a couple of Polkowskis - Scorpion and CQ. They are very different knives to be sure. Al's are more robust, which isn't surprising given the greater mass, and the sharpened top edge gives a broader range of techniques.
But despite the superb balance of Al's knives and the slim profile, the Nealy is more versatile in terms of carry options - and it's not just the great MCS sheath. You'd be hard pressed to carry the scorp as a neck knife or even inverted in a vest pocket. There really is no choice. You must buy both.
When I first got into making tacticals I bought, handled, borrowed and studied knives from both makers among many others. While they are both VERY well made, I found that most of the Nealy knives have little guarding and and are VERY flat in profile. I have rather large hands and the Polkowski knives suited me MUCH better. I like a knife to have minimal guarding but allow a full force thrusts, say into wood without any danger of my hand sliding up over the blade.
I also feel that the sheaths that come with the knives are good but would not pick one knife over the other due to the sheath. There are Kydex makers out there that will create sheaths that will work VERY well with both makers knives for a minimal investment.

Talonite, new pics, knives in stock!

Nealy blade are designed more for discreet concealed carry. Thus the thin profile and lack of guards. Very defensive.

Polkowski's lend themselves more towards a fighter style. Thus the more secure grip and guards. Polkowski's conceal fairly well, but not as well as the Nealy's.

As far as which handles better, based on my limited experience with both, I would say the Polkowski's have the "edge". Every Polkowski I have handled and worked with felt like it was an extension of you. While the Nealy's didn't feel bad, they just fell short.

I got some very impressive slashes with Nealy's knives. Deep cuts on rolled up paper. The Polkowski's didn't give the hot knife through butter feel that I got with the Nealy's. I attribute this partly to Nealy's thinner blades and a not so sharp edge on the Polkowski. The edge can be improved, but it is very hard to compete with a thin blade for slashing cuts.

In my opinion, if you want an acceptable handling knife that carries well, get the Nealy. If you want a great handling knife that is acceptable in the carry dept., get the Polkowski. Or, better yet, as was said before, get both and don't worry about it.

If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance,
baffle them with your BS.
I have a Polkowski Scorpion which I love. I don't have any Nealy's, but I have handled them at a knife show. I prefer more prominent guards on my knives.

The Scorpion's sheath is limited to use with a belt. Sometimes I wear casual shorts or pants which do not have belt loops. Can anyone recommend a sheath style and maker for beltless carry of my Scorpion? I would like to stick to Kydex.

Axel, have you checked with Al? He has said he can make sheaths to fit an individuals carry preference.

If you are up to a little experimenting, you can make a new clip for the sheath that comes with the Scorpion. I have had success doing that with my Scorpion and other Polkowski's.

If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance,
baffle them with your BS.

That's a good idea. I'll need to e-mail Al and see what he can come up with. What did you do to the clip on your sheaths?

All I ended up doing was drilling out the rivets that hold the clip and replacing those with screws. Th clip I fabricated was designed to provide a substantial cant for IWB carry. I then drilled a couple of holes on the edges of the sheath and made a clip that allowed for IWB behind the back. I also made a loop from a nylon belt. This I used as an alternate to the IWB clip for the front. It is attatched with only one screw. This way allows the knife to pivot and move with you with less restriction.

As a variation on both clips, I made a couple of sets that provided different tension. The standard clips didn't grip well when I was wearing sweat pants. I loosened up the tension on the sheath a little and then I increased the tension on the clip. I also serrated the edge of the clip that grips the clothes. This set up is fairly easy to get in place, but taking it out of the sweats waist band could get to be challenging. However, the sheath was secure and permitted a very quick and sure draw.

As I said, Al would have been able to make exactly what I wanted. I just didn't want to part with the knife. So, I decided to experiment.

If you can't dazzle them with your brilliance,
baffle them with your BS.
Both these makers have proven themselves over the years. I don't think you could go wrong with either of them. Love my Nealy Pesh Kabz, and I'm still saving for the Polkowski Scorpion. The truth is in the handling. Get a sample of each before you make your decision. Then buy both