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High-Speed Steel that works well between 62-66 Rc. First used in American Cutlery in kitchen knives and folders by Gerber Blades in the 1960s ...85 Carbon, 6.35 Tungsten, 5.0 Molybdenum, 4.0 Chromium, and 2.0 Vanadium.



A high speed steel, very hard to work but makes a great knife blade that is very difficult to sharpen. Very like M-2 except 1.3 Carbon and 4.0% Vanadium. When I first used this steel in the 1970s I hardened it to 64 Rc and was unable to finish grind it and it took forever to get an edge on it. With today?s ceramic belts I think it would be worth trying again.


Main Blade

The largest blade in a knife with two or more blades.


Main Gauche

Left hand dagger used with a rapier about 17th Century. Very fancy guard around the hand with long quillions.


Malay Archipelago

The thousands of islands found between Indo China and Australia.


Malay Pirates

In the previous centuries many of the peoples living in the Malay states were pirates and sailing through their waters was very dangerous.



Expressed as Mn. Increases toughness and hardenability.


Mark Side

The side of the blade with the Nail Mark that can be the obverse or the reverse side of the blade.


Mark, Common

The short crescent shaped groove commonly seen on pocket knife blades.


Mark, French

A Long Mark with short marks pressed into the steel at the bottom of the mark that look like the top of a castle wall.


Mark, Long

The long straight groove often seen on the main blade of stock knives



A tool for working with rope. Often attached to the handles of sailors knives.



Japan's greatest swordmaker b. 1265 d.1358.


Matte Finish

A brushed or satin finish, term usually applied to all metal pocket knife handles.


Mediterranean Barlow

A barlow knife with a Mediterranean shape: the blade at the large end of a tapered serpentine handle. Must have the distinctive long Barlow bolsters.



Phenolic resin and layers of cloth or paper; makes very fine knife handles. Originally a Westinghouse trademark. Now Norplex.



A version of the Lock Back where the lock release is near the middle of the handle instead of the butt. The earliest of these I have seen was made in about 1845 by the Joseph Rodgers Co in England, it was common in the late 1800s in the U.S. for large folding hunters. Many claim that Al Mar, a knife designer working in the 1970s, invented the mid-lock.



Is used to increase hardness in tool steels. Expressed as Mo.


Moran, W

Well know bladesmith, made famous by Ken Warner, Bill Moran is one of the founders of the "American Bladesmith Society".


Morseth Knives

The firm started by Harry Morseth and continued after 1971 by A. G. Russell. Most famous for use of Laminated Steel and 3 piece stag handles.


Morseth, Harry

Pioneer knife maker, began selling knives in the 1920s.


Mortise Tang

A method of applying scales to a narrow tang. Used by Marble's and the Swedes in the early part of this Century and by D. E. Henry in handmade knives. Half the thickness of the tang is removed from the inner surface of each scale.


Mother of Pearl

The shell of the pearl oyster from the South Pacific, a popular knife handle material; expensive


Muskrat Trapper

A pocket knife usually about 4 inches closed and usually of serpentine shape with a blade at each end, most often both California Clip blades.