Liong Mah Builds Up Brand with Big 2019 Lineup

Liong Mah is stepping up his company in a major way this year, with a brand new catalog detailing seven knives on the horizon. The massive upswing in new product coincides with Mah’s goal of becoming a full-fledged brand.

Core Lineup
Previously, each Mah release was available only in a small-numbers batch. Now that he plans to expand so much this year, three fan favorites will be available on an ongoing basis: the Warrior, the Lanny, and the Eraser. “I want LMD to become a recognizable knife brand, and these three blades are going to be staples,” Mah says.

Two Made in USA Knives
2019 marks the long-awaited release of two US-made Liong Mah designs: his first-ever balisong and button lock automatic.

Regarding the balisong design, Mah he did his research before putting pen to paper. He purchased and disassembled many balisongs to gain an understanding for their mechanics. “To me, the balisong is one of the safest, simplest knives out there,” he tells us. “Once I started working on it I realized I could do a lot of different styles. It became another canvas for me to draw on.” Mah’s first balisong has a 3.75-inch blade made from M390 steel, and titanium handles with either carbon fiber or Micarta inlays.

Mah’s button lock automatic goes for 3.45-inch drop point blade, also made from M390 steel. Its linear, workmanlike lines bring to mind classic Mah knives like the GSD and the Warrior. The 4.5 oz. button lock features contoured titanium handle scales and a sculpted, deep carry pocket clip. With both this knife and his balisong, Mah hopes to cater to what he feels is an underserved sector of the market: those who want premium knives but don’t necessarily want a frame lock flipper. “So many people want other kinds of knives – and I don’t see anybody focusing on those needs,” Mah notes.

EDC, Outdoors, and a New Slipjoint
Of course, Mah conceived of new frame lock-style knives as well. Smaller, EDC-oriented blades play a big role in Mah’s new catalog. The Zulu and Hawk both have 3.25-inch cutting edges and are made to capture the all-purpose carryability of the great traditional knife patterns. “These are my take on what traditional knives would look like as modern frame lock flippers,” Mah explains.

For those who, like Mah himself, enjoy larger knives, the new Field Duty is a whopper. It packs in a 4-inch blade that consists of a long, gentle stretch of belly and opens with a thumb oval. Mah kept the stock thickness reasonable and the grind high to promote high cutting performance, but the frame lock Field Duty is definitely designed to be tough and ready for work. In its standard all ti configuration it weighs 5.6 oz., but the optional carbon fiber insert brings the weight down to 5 oz. even.

The KUF (or Kitchen Utility Folder) is making a return this year following the positive reception of the original model – and this time it comes with a front flipper. Small tweaks abound, and the new KUF v2 is available in plain titanium, or with either carbon fiber or Micarta inlays.

With a blade length of just 2.75 the Traveler is the smallest folder Mah has made under his own label, and it’s also the first slipjoint. Designed for widely legal use and daily cutting chores, it too has M390 steel and can be had in three different handle materials with three different blade shapes. For opening and closing Mah installed a French cut-style nail mark, and a ball bearing detent keeps the knife secure in both open and closed positions without using a full-length back spring. A forward finger choil helps keep the non-locking blade secure, alongside a robust detent. “I told Reate we need to make the Traveler super strong,” Mah says. “You have to push down hard to overcome that detent.”

Mah tells us that the new designs will release gradually over the next 3 – 6 months.

Knife in Featured image: Liong Mah Designs Balisong

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