Al Mar is an American knife company but has all their knives made in Japan. Founded by the late Al Mar, Al Mar knives are known for their elegant folders and innovative twists on tactical knives.
Al-Mar Knife Reviews:
Al Mar Mini SERE 2000 Review
Last Updated: August 9, 2019 The SERE 2000 is one of the more iconic folding tactical knives of our time. The knife was originally designed in the 80s by Al Mar and Colonel Nick Rowe for the Army’s SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) school. The fact that you can even still buy the knife is a ...
Al Mar Hawk Ultralight Review
From big to small, I review them all. That little jingle may be pretty lame, but it is also pretty true. My last review was of the ESEE Junglas, 16 inches of high carbon steel. Worth a look if want a knife that you can strap to your back and enter the breach with. Buy ...
More on Al Mar Knives
Founded in 1979, Al Mar spent the previous 10 years of his career working as head knife designer for Gerber Knives. Al Mar knives today are often characterized as simple and elegant although the company has also created many notable tactical folders as well such as the SERE 2000. These knives drew from Mr. Mar’s extensive knowledge of martial arts and military background and are highly regarded by military, law enforcement and serious knife enthusiasts.
In 1992 Al Mar died from an aneurysm. The company is currently being run by Gary Fadden. Al Mar’s wife, Ann Mar, established her own cutlery company, “Mar Cutlery” and there is currently a lawsuit going on, as Ann feels that as minority shareholder of Al Mar knives her interests aren’t being adequately served. It’s a somewhat bizarre and unfortunate twist in the Al Mar legacy. Hopefully Ann and Gary can reconcile whatever differences they have soon and continue making top notch cutlery.
Hey Dan, I enjoy your reviews. Have you ever considered doing a review on the Al Mar Nomad? I bought one recently from SMKW and it seems to be a solid little folder. I’m just interested to see what you think about it. If you don’t mind me asking, are Al Mar’s built to be user knives that hold up well over the years or are they the occasional light duty knife? They seem to be a little on the fancy side, I am just wondering how well they hold up.
Thanks for the comment. I am glad to hear you have been enjoying the reviews.
Honestly the Nomad was not my my radar until I saw your comment. What a quirky looking knife. It looks cool, but at almost $200 I am not sure I would run out to review it.
In my experience these Al Mar knives hold up pretty well. They are fancy and beautifully finished, but they are meant to be used, and if you don’t abuse the knife or lose it, it should provide years of service. I still have a Hawk Ultralight and although it is lightweight and delicate, it is still alive and kicking years later.
However, my concern with that one is forgetting I have it in my pocket and throwing it in the washing machine, losing it, etc. For this reason I can’t say it gets tons of pocket time.
My Mini SERE 2000 I kept around for a while but eventually traded it for something else.
I like these Al Mar knives because they are different and the quality is there.
Yeah, I’ll admit that the price tag is pretty steep. The Nomad is an odd looking little knife, but it just appealed to me for some reason, I would imagine it would make a dandy little food prep knife.
Gary Owen says
Brought my first al mar mid 1980s it was a fang with linen Micarta hilt for around £40 sold 20 years later for about £80 and regretted it, recently paid £245 to replace ,this one with a dark,almost wood like hilt. Now own fang ,bulldog and both a folding and fixed blade sere plus eagle from 80s and sere 2000 and shugarto. To drool love the 80s made one’s. Gary
Been a fan of Al Mar since 1994. I recently picked up a small Kershaw Al Mar AM3. Light, balanced and that Al Mar surgical feel. Al Mar designs very much fit my idea of a good design and feel. I have a few Parkers with the same feel.
Jeffrey Erickson says
The Al Mar Shiva used to be a large, capable, very high quality field knife. I have one, and use it often. It’s a good quality blade with enough size, heft, and sharpness to make it useful in demanding field situations. The one Al Mar is selling now is tiny, in my guess or estimation maybe 1/3rd the total size of my older Shiva, but sold at about the same price. When I asked an Al Mar employee about this at the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas at their desk, he just smirked and said something about it being easier to handle. Complete and utter B.S. – a deliberate lie, and it’s never a good idea to smirk at and mock potential customers, or current ones. They’re just going cheap, in my opinion. The current Shiva is probably a cute little knife, but almost certainly not capable of any serious field work due to its small size, and definitely not, IMHO, worth the super-premium price they’re asking for it. I won’t buy one or carry it.
tammy sipfle says
I have an early AL Mar stainless folding skeletonized knife made apparently before they started numbering them. It is not serrated. It does open with one hand.
The ones I’m seeing advertised now are numbered in a series. I can’t find one of the older, and probably better made earlier ones. I’m trying to price to sell. I’ve seen the newer ones priced from $195 up. This has no wear on the blade but does have some dust and what looks like oxidation on the interior. NO sheath.
Any help you can give would be appreciated. I also emailed AL Mar’s office for help. If they are anything like AG Russell they will get back with me.
Thanks so much
Google “Al Mar Quicksilver”…
Wouldn’t be surprised that it’s your knife.
They did make wildly varying sizes in the 80’s (up to 5” blade if I remember well)
I have a AL MAR KNIFE QUICKSILVER FIGHTING knife I got in 1991 from a gentleman when I was working at elitches; the looked similar to Al Mar himself but not verified. He gave it to me after I broke up a fight. I never thought of it much until a special forces guy asked when I got it.
Stopped using it as a pocket knife and not I keep it locked up.
2020. An excellent review and excellent comments. There isn’t much written about Al Mar knives these days. How highly do regard the knives?
1. I have two fixed blades available within my office. One is an Al Mar, model unknown and forgotten. The other is a discontinued ZT0160.
2. I have a number of his folders. Not carried as edc knives as they would be too missed if lost for some reason. If, however, I needed to carry a knife of elegant design to an upscale event, it would be an Al Mar.
Send a picture or describe the Al Mar, I can give you a hand 🙂
I brought my first al mar, around mid 1980s a fang, with i beleave linen micarta handle. Kept it and used it for around 20years. Sold for double what i paid and got another fang for around 3 times what i sold first one. All that needs to be said is not a well known maker in uk, but i do love the older models