Intense passion for self-preservation and the belief that each of us has an inalienable right to protect ourselves were the seeds that harvested “Mandiola Defense” the most versatile utility and defense knife on the planet.
Our story began when Founder Lad Mandiola, a resilient and naturally inquisitive person, found himself hitting a rough patch in life, wondering where his next calling would lead him. While searching for his next venture, his natural curiosity led him to conduct intense research about economics, world relations, and the future of our planet. This comprehensive research fueled his determination to help people protect themselves with the right knowledge, skills, and tools.
Lad began by providing personal protection products such as home security cameras, green lasers for guns, and proprietary protection flashlights. He knew he needed to provide more, though. From having a good connection with his customers, he knew some of them live in states where guns weren’t allowed, or they simply weren’t comfortable with guns.
Logically, he wanted to add knives to the lineup. However, he didn’t want to add just any knife. He knew it needed to be something special if it were going to match up with his reputation for bringing unique, high-quality tools at competitive prices.
Then a serendipitous encounter at a gun show offered the answer to Lad’s search. He noticed a man flipping a folding knife. While seeing a knife at a gun show isn’t that unusual, there was something different about that knife. It was a folding Fox Karambit knife with an Emerson “Wave Shaped Opening Feature.” Lad briefly inquired about the wave opening feature of the knife, and then he went on his way, bringing with him the information about the knife.
After a few months of pondering, he was driven to discover what could have made that knife unique.
Research revealed that the word “Karambit” (also known as “kerambit,” “carambit,” “kurambik” and “karambiak) was used to describe the shape of a blade. Karambit is a small claw-like curved knife of Southeast Asian origin.
Lad continued his insatiable search and discovered that the unique Karambit knife was originally developed for the Italian Special Forces. He knew this would make a great addition to the tactical lineup. And it did!
Lad eventually became a US provider for the Fox 478 & 479 Karambit models folding knife, and he was able to offer a superior tool for a highly competitive price; almost half cheaper than its competitors.
Over the next year and a half, the popularity of these knives gained tremendous traction. Customers loved the blades. They had one major complaint, though. The knives didn’t fit into everyone’s hands. In fact, the Fox 478 & 479 Karambits were too big for 98-99% of the population’s hands. The knives were too large for the grip as they were originally designed for use while wearing tactical gloves. So, while customers loved the blades, and the knives were great for the 2% of the population with XXL-sized hands, the fact that the 478 & 479 were of off size for the average hands, they would not complement to what Lad would describe them as “Mandiola Defense.” Lad’s uncompromising approach to providing the ultimate knife prompted him to act fast. It became his mission to redesign the knife so it would truly be “Mandiola Defense”
Lad used his background in graphic design, and when he came up with the design he needed, he made modifications to the knife to its now compact appeal. The ever-new Emerson “Wave Shaped Opening Feature” (Patent #5,878,500) is a tactical everyday carry for its lighter weight and can still be opened with one hand when drawn from the pocket. It is customizably ideal for the 98% of adult hand.
Born were the 599 Karambit Italian-made, hand-assembled, hand-sharpened, and talon-shaped knife and the DART Tanto Karambit knife with their accompanying ICD trainers. Soon to follow are the 599-XT and DART-XT with more features added. They were truly the ultimate CQC (Close Quarter Combative) knives.
Ergonomic Handle Design fits Forward and Reverse Grip perfectly
Can be carried for Reverse or Forward grip deployment
Total Ambidextrous opening
The Clip can be switched for BOTH right and left pocket deployment use.
Additional Features of the XT models:
Ron Lake’s – L.A.W.K.S.
Thicker liner lock for a fuller feel
Serrated and non-serrated blade edge options
Window breaker/Pressure Control Feature
Gimping has been added to the ring feature for increased grip for knuckle dusting.
“Mandiola Defense” is three tools in one:
1) Utility Knife
2) Martial Arts Tool
3) Self-Defense Tool
Further delivering on the promise to arm our customers with the correct knowledge, as well as tactical devices, “Mandiola Defense” also provides a plethora of FREE instructional training videos.