By Alan B.
Nine years ago as a young Lance Corporal (just back from a stint driving trucks all over Iraq) I decided to use some of my meager pay to buy a good knife. I carried a Ka-Bar during my first tour, but now I wanted something I could EDC both on and off duty. I knew I wanted a folder, something sturdy and something I could open one-handed. After looking at a LOT of knives online, in catalogs, and handling several in stores, I finally settled on the Masters of Defense Mark I . . .
It had everything I wanted. The aluminum handle makes it lightweight and the blade is sturdy 154CM steel. Push-button opening means I can use it while hanging off the side of a truck and the recessed blade and carbide glass-breaker could get me out of a truck if I needed to. The rough grip inserts on the handle provide positive control even when my hands are covered in sweat or blood (or worse).
I never thought I would spend $250 on a knife, but I hoped that it would be a one-time purchase. So I went down to my local Cutlery and Gifts, plunked down the cash and walked out with my very own MOD Mark I.
It was sexy and sharp. Nine years later it’s showing a little wear, it has a few dings in the handle, but it still works and it’s still sharp. It survived a second tour in Iraq (including a close call with a landmine), a stint in Kuwait, and several years of rough law-enforcement use. It has cut ropes, canvas, straps, and wires.
I have used the recessed blade to cut off clothing more than once while performing first aid. It got covered in blood so badly one time that I ran it through the surgical instrument sterilizer at the hospital. The thing that got the least use was the glass breaker. I used it exactly once after a woman accidently locked her six-month-old in a car, but it worked.
Since I got it, I’ve only had two problems with the knife. The pocket clip came loose about two years ago (a little Loctite on the screws fixed that) and the safety switch on the back has gotten a little loose over the years. It also doesn’t open with quite as much snap as it used to, but that’s probably to be expected after nearly a decade of use.
What matters at the end of the day is that it has always worked when I’ve needed it even in the worst conditions. This knife has certainly withstood the test of time and I think I’ve gotten more than $250 worth of use out of it.