Anyone knows what's happening with Al Mar Knives?

V-1

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Al Mar was one of my very favorite knife companies of the 80's and 90's. They were releasing some of the nicest designed and manufactured knives on the market at that time. I'll still check out "Al Mar" on ebay just to look at all of the old designs.
I checked out the new designs. Flippers. On about everything. I wish they would offer them with or without flippers. I saw some new Al Mar designs a few months ago and they were more interesting to me. They were made in China lock backs without flippers, looked like a new design they brought to market. Not sure what happened to those or if they are still being manufacture but they looked nicer then the old designs updated with flippers.
I'm glad Al Mar is back if they continue to bring old Al Mar designs to market. I'm sure there are a ton of cool knives Al Mar designed that were never brought to market yet. Looking forward to new releases.
 
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Al Mar was one of my very favorite knife companies of the 80's and 90's. They were releasing some of the nicest designed and manufactured knives on the market at that time. I'll still check out "Al Mar" on ebay just to look at all of the old designs.
I checked out the new designs. Flippers. On about everything. I wish they would offer them with or without flippers. I saw some new Al Mar designs a few months ago and they were more interesting to me. They were made in China lock backs without flippers, looked like a new design they brought to market. Not sure what happened to those or if they are still being manufacture but they looked nicer then the old designs updated with flippers.
I'm glad Al Mar is back if they continue to bring old Al Mar designs to market. I'm sure there are a ton of cool knives Al Mar designed that were never brought to market yet. Looking forward to new releases.

I wasn't too sure about the flipper idea either but I think I am getting the strategy based on the following elements:

- The massive success of the Al Mar/Kershaw collaboration which were in 8Cr13MoV and used a flipper... Like the budget Ultralights in the new Al Mar collection.

- Almost every knife brands offer flippers nowadays. I have never held one but will as soon as the new Al Mars are released. I am starting to understand the practicality of it but am afraid it will snag a pocket. I will reserve my judgement for when I will have one.

I have specifically ordered a brand new Made in Japan Eagle Talon with Honey Jigged Bone handles to compare it with the Chinese made version.

A big part of their current strategy is to release known models update to follow the current trends in the knife industry in order to rebuild the trust and goodwill that customers have put in the brand.

As such I believe we can expect fixed blade blade to be shown at Blade Show 2020 (SERE Operator, Quest, Pathfinder) also based on classics from the brand.

D2 is a pretty good steel and I have no issues with it. What will be important to me is the overall fit and finish as well as the satin finish of the blade.

An Al Mar blade "glimmers" in a specific way and I want them to keep that characteristic.

To answer you question about other Al Mar designs being released you want to look at the knife brand "Nemesis", their MPR (Mar Private Reserve) collection.
 
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The 007's man bring back some feels from back in the day!


Nah. Prior to the 1980s, Japan really was putting out a lot of cheaply made, low-budget knives.

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Once the demand from Frost, Parker, Valor and other 1980s budget brands spurred the Japanese knifemaking market, the quality began to improve. Al Mar, Sal Glesser, and Lynn Thompson sought and found some exceptional makers who truly inspired new standards of manufacturing precision within Japan's knifemaking community. The craftsmanship of those knives continued to improve until they became a benchmark that others emulated.

Eventually, as quality, demand, and prices rose in Japan, Pakistan and then China stepped in to fill the cheap knife market vacated by Japan, sometimes quite literally.

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-Steve
 
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What’s up with that last one with the metal scales?

At the time they were experimenting with titanium scales for the SERE 2000 maybe to turn it into a frame lock.

This unfortunately never became a commercial model but you can see that philosophy applied to the new Eagle Ultralight :)
 

V-1

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To answer you question about other Al Mar designs being released you want to look at the knife brand "Nemesis", their MPR (Mar Private Reserve) collection.
That's the name I was looking for, thank you.
I'm very interested in following this company if they plan on releasing old Al Mar designs that never came into production. That is an extremely intriguing idea.
 
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Here was a thread from a few years ago where a member asked about a fake Al Mar push knife, but Al's daughter RyAnne (or someone using RyAnne's name) chimed in low on Page 1 claiming the family would be coming back to cutlery, but she fell back off the board as quickly as she came on.

https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/can-anyone-id-this-al-mar-knife.1104442/

I was probably more excited about that prospect than any knife news I'd had in years, but I never saw it materialize. Now I have since found a super basic webpage that looks like a start was made, but I'd say the info in this thread (we are currently in) trumps the info from 2015.
 
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Here was a thread from a few years ago where a member asked about a fake Al Mar push knife, but Al's daughter RyAnne (or someone using RyAnne's name) chimed in low on Page 1 claiming the family would be coming back to cutlery, but she fell back off the board as quickly as she came on.

https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/can-anyone-id-this-al-mar-knife.1104442/

I was probably more excited about that prospect than any knife news I'd had in years, but I never saw it materialize. Now I have since found a super basic webpage that looks like a start was made, but I'd say the info in this thread (we are currently in) trumps the info from 2015.

What happened is that Ann Mar had a massive falling out with Garry Fadden regarding the way the company was being run.

A lawsuit was brought up:

http://www.faddenmarlawsuit.com/

Court case #C097225CV in
CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE STATE OF OREGON FOR WASHINGTON COUNTY

For those who want to lookup the outcome.

http://marcutlery.com/index.htm was an attempt by Ann Mar to run her own knife company but it didn't come to be and sadly passed away in 2015 or 2017
 
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What happened is that Ann Mar had a massive falling out with Garry Fadden regarding the way the company was being run.

A lawsuit was brought up:

http://www.faddenmarlawsuit.com/

Court case #C097225CV in
CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE STATE OF OREGON FOR WASHINGTON COUNTY

For those who want to lookup the outcome.

http://marcutlery.com/index.htm was an attempt by Ann Mar to run her own knife company but it didn't come to be and sadly passed away in 2015 or 2017

My word, what a horrid p.o.s. this Fadden is. Did Fadden get the whomp of justice upside his head? I see Mrs. Mar won but then the jerk appealed it.
 
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kvaughn

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I've never heard anything but bad about Gary Fadden through the years. He was involved in "Fighting Knife" magazine and I think that went down in a flurry of lawsuits. Real POS to do that to a friends widow.--KV
 
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I never knew the details of the Ann Mar versus Gary Fadden fight but my understanding was he bought the company after Al died. You buy something, you do what you want with it after that. I'm also no aware of any flurry of lawsuits involving Fighting Knives doing down. It failed because of a lack of circulation and advertising period. The Blade bought the circulation but chose not to continue the magazine.
 

kvaughn

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I never knew the details of the Ann Mar versus Gary Fadden fight but my understanding was he bought the company after Al died. You buy something, you do what you want with it after that. I'm also no aware of any flurry of lawsuits involving Fighting Knives doing down. It failed because of a lack of circulation and advertising period. The Blade bought the circulation but chose not to continue the magazine.
He bought 60% of it according to court documents. Then proceeded to do what he wanted with 100% of it, endeavoring to relieve a decorated veterans widow of her 40% in the process.
The lack of circulation and advertisers at F.K. was Fadden being a jerk. I've spoken to the man on the phone several times trying to get parts for Mar knives. My personal opinion concurs with the public one.--KV
 
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If anyone is interested, the clip on. The clip on my mini SERE broke and I emailed them and asked if they had any parts around. I got a response and they did send me a new clip with screws for around 15 or 20 bucks. My point of posting this I guess is to let the community know that apparently there is still a light on there. This transaction was 3 months ago or so. D
 
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Many years ago I bought a little cocobolo scaled Al Mar Osprey just because I liked it. At the time, I didn't know that Al Mar was a person, I thought it was just the name of a Japanese knife maker. The little Osprey turned out to be sweet little "gentleman's" folder - unfortunately I lost it after about a year or two of ownership.

After losing my Osprey, I bought a little Gerber Silver Knight with abalone scales as a replacement. Again, a great little "gentleman's" folder I could carry in a suit pocket.

I've been missing my little Osprey since I lost it, so, some time ago, I decided to see if I could find another one. An online search led me to the Al Mar story and history of his company.

It also led me to the realization that, as head designer for Gerber, Al Mar had also designed the Gerber Silver Knight that I had bought, by sheer coincidence, to replace my lost Al Mar Osprey!

Cut to the present. I now have another Osprey with cocobola scales, a Fadden era Osprey with abalone scales, 6 Gerber Silver Knights (1 with abalone scales, 3 black lipped pearl, 1 MOP, and 1 with wood scales).

Also have acquired an early Al Mar S.E.R.E. 3003a with "green" micarta scales and no maker's mark - just the number 410 stamped on the blade, a mini S.E.R.E. 2000 in olive drab, a black bladed S.E.R.E. 2000, a SEKI-JAPAN Hawk Talon with micarta scales, a SEKI-JAPAN plain bladed Hawk and matching Falcon in black lipped pearl, a Falcon Talon ultra-light marked FM Co/Japan, a SEKI-JAPAN plain bladed Eagle with ivory micarta scales, a SEKI-JAPAN Stinger, one ea. of the new Kershaw AM-3 & AM-4's in olive drab with black blades (which, obviously have nothing to do with the real Al Mar and are made in china, but I like Kershaw knives and they're pretty nice reasonably priced knives), a Kershaw AM-6 version of the Stinger, and a new chinese made Stinger, along with two full Titanwood (no bolster) Eagle Talons.

Which brings me to the reason for my post: The two Titanwood Eagle Talons are slightly different.

One has the Al Mar chop in red and there is no manufacturer's origination mark on the blade. On the other one (which is never used NOS), the Al Mar chop is uncolored and the blade is marked SEKI-JAPAN. The only other difference I can see is a (very) slight variation in the curvature of the handle above the pivot.

Since neither knife is marked "FM Co," I assume they were made before Al Mar died, or at least before the Fadden shifted production to Moki, and were, most likely, made by Sakai rather than Moki.

So, my question is, can anyone help interpret the markings on these two knives, determine who made them, and help me date them?

Thanks.
James
 
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Since my email address was on file, apparently, I'd registered on the Forum before, but I don't remember registering and don't think I've ever posted...

Anyway, many years ago I bought a little cocobolo handled Al Mar Osprey just because I liked it. At the time, I didn't know that Al Mar was a person, I thought it was just the name of a Japanese knife maker. The little Osprey turned out to be sweet little "gentleman's" folder - unfortunately I lost it after about a year or two of ownership.

After losing my Osprey, I bought a little Gerber Silver Knight with abalone scales as a replacement. Again, a great little "gentleman's" folder.

I've been missing my little Osprey since I lost it, so, some time ago, I decided to see if I could find another one. An online search led me to the Al Mar story and history of his company.

It also led me to realize that as head designer for Gerber, Al Mar had (most likely) also designed the Gerber Silver Knight that I had bought, by sheer coincidence, to replace my lost Al Mar Osprey!

Cut to the present. I now have a Fadden era Osprey with abalone scales, 5(!) Gerber Silver Knights (2 with abalone scales, 1 black lipped pearl, 1 MOP, and 1 with wood scales).

Also have acquired an Al Mar mini S.E.R.E. 2000 in olive drab, a Hawk with rubber scales marked Seki-Japan, a Falcon ultra-light marked FM Co/Japan, and two titanwood Eagle Talons.

Which brings me to the reason for my post: The two Eagle Talons are slightly different.

One has the Al Mar chop in red and there is no manufacturer's origination mark on the blade. On the other one (which is never used NOS), the Al Mar chop is uncolored and the blade is marked SEKI-JAPAN. The only other difference I can see is a (very) slight variation in the curvature of the handle above the pivot.

Since neither knife is marked "FM Co," I assume they were made before Al Mar died, or at least before the Fadden buy-out, and were, probably made by Sakai rather than Moki.

So, my question is, can anyone help interpenetrate the markings on these two knives, determine who made them, and help me date them?

Thanks.
James

@HawkPilotUSA you are by far the person who knows the most about Al Mar Knives that I can think of.

Would you be able to answer?
 
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I've just acquired what appears to be an early 10" SERE folder.

It has the AL MAR name and red chop on one side of the blade and the number "410" stamped on the other side - no other marks. In trying to figure out just exactly what I've bought, I don't find any reference to a SERE "410," I did, however, find a photo of another SERE stamped with the number "154" - which, perhaps, suggests that the early SEREs may have been numbered sequentially...

Does anyone know if this assumption is correct, or, if not, what the number 410 signifies?

Thanks
James
 
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Al Mar and Seki Japan.
The Gerber Silver Knight is the first big OEM export order received by Sakai Hamono established in 1958. They entered into a technical tie up with Gerber Legendary Blades in 1977 and the company was renamed to Gerber Sakai in 1982, although Gerber never got involved financially. Eventually the company came to be known as simply G.Sakai of Seki. The Silver Knight was designed by Al Mar who visited the Sakai offices in Seki in the mid/late 1970s as an employee of Pete Gerber. There he became close to a similarly young man working in the factory under his father, Yuhei Sakai. The two became friends and G.Sakai manufactured all Seki knives for Al Mar until he passed away. Yuhei Sakai is now the President and Chairman of G.Sakai.
G.Sakai had become one of the 4 major Seki OEM makers, and also made folders for Spyderco and SOG. All these contracts allowed for G.Sakai to market the knives outside of the US market. Al Mar never had an issue with this, but after he passed away Fadden took over, and he tried to renegotiate the contract. Failing to do so, he cancelled the G. Sakai contract and contracted with Moki, also of Seki.
Moki Knives, originally Sakurai Knives was founded in 1907. In 1952 the founder's son Moki Sakurai too over and in 1987 the company was renamed simply Moki Knives. Known for high quality folders, one of their earliest OEM work was for Phil Hoffman's Lakota brand. Today they make knives for William Henry and all of Fallkniven's folders.
The knives manufactured by Moki for the FAM (Fadden Al Mar) brand until last year have been regarded highly.

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Above: Gerber Silver Knight
Below: AL MAR knives on display at G.Sakai Knife Museum, Seki Japan.
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