mad dog knives

Kevin McClung, owner of Mad Dog Knives, doesn’t say exactly when the company began. McClung, an engineer with an interesting background as an outdoorsman, scientist and even something he describes as “an intelligence-related occupation,” collected all the knives he owned one day and sorted them into two piles. One pile held an edge, and the other pile didn’t. The good pile was high carbon steel; and the other pile was high carbon stainless. McClung stopped buying stainless steel knives.

While working for the American Rocket Company as a materials scientist, McClung made knives for the company’s employees, who worked with a particularly tough and rubbery solid rocket fuel. Using industrial hacksaw blades for stock, he experimented with heat treating methods and tried to create a tough blade with the ability to hold an edge. The problem eventually took him away from American Rocket into self-employment as a custom knife designer and tactical knife maker.

McClung settled on O1 high carbon tool steel for his Mad Dog knife creations, coating the blades with hard corrosion-resistant chromium for better durability without losing the carbon steel edge quality. Mad Dog knives also receive special heat treating, following the pattern of expert frontier blacksmiths, with a softer but tougher temper in the tip and tang of the knife and a harder main blade and cutting edge.

In 1993, McClung entered one of his ATAK knives in a contract competition conducted for the Navy SEALs. Judges put the ATAK and 31 competing knives through a series of rigorous tests, and unanimously chose the ATAK as the winner. Only the Mad Dog ATAK survived without corrosion or blade damage and stayed sharp enough to shave hair. Based in Arizona, all Mad Dog Knives are the handiwork of McClung, who now produces seven main knife types and two swords.

Read all of our Mad Dog Knives reviews below

Mad Dog Knives

Pygmy ATAK by Mad Dog Knives | Camping Knife w/ Drop Point Plain Edge Full Tang Blade

Mad Dog Knives makes the Pygmy ATAK knife in two versions, distinguished by different thicknesses of the high carbon tool steel...
1 min read

Mad Dog Para Raider Survival Knife | Dutch Military Replica Full Tang Blade

Mad Dog Knives produced the Para Raider knife for elite members of the Dutch military, but a few pieces did find...
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Mad Dog Panther Bowie Knife | Australian Outback Hunting Fixed Blade w/ Crocodile Dundee Sling

The Panther from Mad Dog Knives was built to military standards but literally with a Crocodile Dundee flair. Mick would feel...
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