CRKT Mah-Hawk Liong Mah Design

When I got my first decent everyday carry (EDC) knife (a Kershaw Volt II Serrated), I went down the rabbit hole of EDC knives and started looking at knives. And as I dived deeper and deeper into my EDC research, I started gravitating toward blades with modified Wharncliffe shapes; that is, a blade shape that has a sloping spine like a Wharncliffe blade, but has a gentle belly as opposed to the standard Wharncliffe’s straight edge. I feel the gentle belly is really conducive to slicing but also lends itself to gentle chopping. Plus, unlike a sheepsfoot, the pointy tip is great for more precise work.

I think that’s why I’m drawn to the modified Wharncliffe shape. I’m a home chef and have several culinary knives, and my favorite all-around knife is my trusty Messermeister 7″ Santoku. Actually, I prefer Santoku shapes over standard chef knife profiles because of the gentle belly of the santoku. So my penchant for that shape probably had a big influence on why I love the modified Wharncliffe.

And while I was on the CRKT site, I stumbled upon the Liong Mah Mah-Hawk. I had seen the original Hawk on Liong Mah’s site while doing one of my searches but dismissed it from the realm of possibilities as I didn’t want to pay $400 for a pocket knife. Admittedly, I was bummed because to me, that knife was exactly what I wanted. So imagine my surprise to find the Mah-Hawk on the CRKT site! I have to tell you, after my initial disappointment, for me to find a budget version of the knife really perked me up!

Without a second thought, I went over to BladeHQ and purchased it straight away. And since I’ve gotten it, it has definitely gotten the most pocket time. I just love it! It looks great, the flipper action is awesome, and I love the grippy, textured GRN handle.

And though I am not a steel sniffer, when I finally took the time to read the specs, I got even happier when I saw that the blade steel was D2 as opposed to CRKT’s more budget-friendly 8CR13MoV. Nothing wrong with that 8CR13MoV, but I found that while it’s tough, it doesn’t hold an edge nearly as well as a blade with D2 steel. And if I had to choose between two identical knives, one with a D2 blade and the other with an 8CR13MoV blade, I’d choose the D2 purely based on its better edge retention.

As far as using it is concerned, I’ve done the standard box cutting routine, along with doing a bit of whittling of some wooden stakes. But I even used it to chop up garlic and ginger recently! I did it on a whim and it was absolutely awesome! It sliced right through the garlic as if it wasn’t there, and using a pull-cut motion for the cilantro, wow! It just powered through it. Amazing.

All in all, this blade is meant to be a slicer. The high and deep hollow ground means that it’s pretty thin behind the edge. That’s a sure sign that it was made for slicing. That said, because of how thin it is behind the edge, this is not a knife that I’d use for tasks that would impose lots of lateral force on the blade, such as twisting. But need something sliced or just pierced, this blade will do that in spades!

Specs (from CRKT):

  • Blade Length: 3.19″ (80.98 mm)
  • Blade Edge: Plain
  • Blade Steel: D2
  • Blade Finish: Satin
  • Blade Thickness: 0.12″ (3.02 mm)
  • Overall Length: 7.38″ (187.33 mm)
  • Closed Length: 4.15″ (105.38 mm)
  • Weight: 3.40 oz. (96.39 g)
  • Handle: Glass Reinforced Nylon
  • Style: Assisted Folding Knife w/Liner Lock

To say I like this knife is a real understatement.