An Al-Mar pocket folder could turn your thoughts immediately to Persian blades and Middle Eastern design. Al-Mar knives often have the look of a knife made to display as well as to use, and the names of the classic models — Hawk, Falcon, Eagle and Osprey — contribute to that desert warrior impression. You might think the company name came from some mysterious ancient warrior tradition, but the company has a truly American modern origin. Al-Mar Knives was founded by a guy named Al.
Al Mar worked for Gerber Knives in Los Angeles as a knife designer before leaving to start his own business in 1979 in Lake Oswego, Oregon. After Al Mar died in 1992, his family continued the business until its sale to a friend, Gary Fadden, in 1996. A former Green Beret, Gary Fadden owns and runs the business today, still producing some of Al Mar’s original designs but also adding new ones with a more tactical modern flair. Al-Mar works with AUS-8 or SG-10 steel for most of their knives, but makes some finer kitchen cutlery using modern laminated Damascus-type stainless steel.
Al-Mar classic knives like the Osprey and Hawk feature a wide selection of natural handle materials including mother-of-pearl and jigged bone, but also come with durable synthetic grips of functional micarta. These classic folders use the long barlow-style bolster, but with a sweep that adds the unique character of the original Al-Mar design. Sporting folders and fixed blades show the tactical influence of Gary Fadden. Al-Mar’s tactical knives would serve just as efficiently for the fisherman or hunter. The company also manufactures a high-quality line of kitchen cutlery with classically styled blades and either classic handles or a sculpted high-tech grip. Every knife is hand-finished and flat ground for extra edge strength.