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Move Over MagnaCut: Old-School ‘Steroid Steel’ Makes the GiantMouse Biblio XL a Knockout

With MagnaCut stealing the show in 2023, GiantMouse brings back one of my favorite steels, Elmax, for the Biblio XL.
(Photo/Nick LeFort)
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One of my pet peeves about knives, which will either lead me into a steady diet of yoga and meditation, or finding a really understanding therapist, is blade steel.

Just because a new steel hits the scene, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better than the steel it’s poised to replace. In fact, that new steel might not even replace an older steel, it just ends up compared to a handful of existing steels we’ve come to know and love. In doing that, some excellent steels may be forced out of the limelight.

I’m here now to celebrate one such steel: Elmax, a powdered stainless steel lauded for its high levels of wear resistance, compressive strength, dimensional stability, and resistance to corrosion. In fact, I see it as a steroid steel that excels in every aspect — akin to M390, 20CV, and XTS-HTP. All of those fell out of favor because they were so damn expensive.

giantmouse biblio xl knife by kindling and ferro rod
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

But I suspect Elmax has come back around, with MagnaCut being all the rage right now. After all, Elmax and MangaCut go toe-to-toe in terms of desirable EDC knife steel characteristics. Both are considered super steels and “all-around good” EDC knife steels.

And the knife that brought Elmax back to my attention? The Biblio XL, a flipper-style, creatine-packed big brother of the original Biblio folder made by GiantMouse. The brainchild of Danish knifemakers Jens Ansø and Jesper Voxnaes, and American entrepreneur Jim Wirth, GiantMouse targets “amazing knife designs, with the highest possible production quality, at a fair price.”

After a few weeks of carrying the Elmax variant of Biblio XL around and subjecting it to the abuse it deserved, I can attest that it ticks every box.

In short: GiantMouse’s Biblio XL is a full-size, premium EDC knife made from proven materials — at a price that is fair for what you get.

GiantMouse Biblio XL Knife


  • OAL 7.56”
  • Blade length 3.20”
  • Blade steel Elmax
  • Blade shape Drop point
  • Grind Flat
  • Hardness 58-60 HRC
  • Lock type Liner lock
  • Carry Deep carry, left or right hand, tip-up
  • Weight 3.9 oz.


  • Elmax steel
  • Micarta handle scales
  • Curvy shape / ergonomics


  • Wire pocket clip (Maybe. I’ll give it a chance!)
  • Rounded edges leave for minimal ferro rod opportunities

GiantMouse Biblio XL Knife Review

Design & Features

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

For a knife that GiantMouse markets as “formidable” and “a powerhouse,” I find the Biblio XL is really the ideal size for my kind of everyday carry. At 7.56 inches, and with a 3.2-inch blade, it’s about as balanced as you want a pocket knife to be.

Its double-choil design and curving spine make for a great natural feel in your hand and offer a variety of hand holds.

The Elmax steel blade on the GiantMouse Biblio XL is a fat, curvy drop point. This blade shape is great for a variety of tasks, from slicing up fruit and meat, to prepping kindling (and anything else in between).

All of this allows the Elmax’s impressive corrosion and abrasion resistance to shine. Out of the box, the blade edge is sharp enough to shave the skin off of a tomato. That’ll hang around for a while and shouldn’t be too much of a challenge to restore — with the right sharpening tools.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Being that the Biblio XL is a ball-bearing-driven, flipper-style knife, I would have eliminated the oversized thumbhole in the blade. But being that all of the flat edges of the blade have been rounded, it serves as the one place you can run a ferro rod through to get a fire going. So, I’m happy it’s here.

Additionally, the thumbhole offers a secondary option for opening, which this knife does very well. Its liner lock also does a stellar job of keeping the blade in place until you’re ready to put it back in your pocket.

Both the canvas Micarta handle scales and the brass backspacer provide a classic look when juxtaposed against the stonewashed blade and hardware. They’ll patina nicely over time.

Do yourself a solid and throw a nice lanyard and bead on this knife. I chose some navy 550 Paracord and a PDW Memento Mori GID Bead. Sometimes it’s the little details that drive you crazy but make the knife your own.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Rounding out the features of the Biblio XL is an ambidextrous, deep carry, wire pocket clip. For years, I complained about this style of pocket clip. However, given that I jacked up a standard steel pocket clip on a different knife recently, I realize I’m a little hard on the knives I use.

This pocket clip has some side-to-side flex to it, but it slides in and out of my pocket without leaving much of a mark, so I am happy to give it a shot.

First Impressions

If materials are what draw you to a good knife, then the way it fits in your hand is what will keep you using it. Over time, you figure out what blade steel you like. And you discover what handle scales are the best for your day-to-day life. And, eventually, you learn what’s going to feel best in your hand.

giantmouse biblio xl

When I saw the first image of the Biblio XL opened up and laid out across a satchel with a compass and some spent rounds, I could see it was going to fit my hand fantastically. The way the handle was shaped, and how the spine of the blade arced and flowed, promised that everything would line up just about perfect.

And I was right. The knife sits in my paw right where I want a knife that I plan on using and abusing. It’s so on the money, in fact, that my thumb lands right in the middle of the specifically placed spine jimping.

GiantMouse chose to keep the size of the flipper tab on the Biblio XL minimal, and I really appreciate that. It’s big enough to deploy the blade with ease, but not so big that it becomes an obstacle when the knife is open. And the deployment is butter-soft. It requires very little effort to lock the blade up.

I’ve already professed my admiration for Elmax steel, but it really plays well in this stocky, stonewashed drop-point form, as do the green canvas Micarta handle scales. I look forward to them taking on a tarnish, along with the brass backspacer. The Biblio XL is the kind of knife that looks great out of the box but starts to look even better when broken in.

Elmax vs. MagnaCut

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

I spent most of 2023 testing knives with MagnaCut blade steel. MagnaCut was last year’s “it” steel and for good reason: It’s universally good if not great.

So that said, I have a heightened awareness of how MagnaCut will perform and I can’t find any distinguishable characteristics scenarios where it outperforms Elmax. And that’s not just me; from everything I’ve read, it’s the general consensus — with the one caveat being that MagnaCut will be easier to sharpen when the time comes.

The other differentiator is that MangaCut is more affordable. This was most definitely aided by the fact that every well-known knife manufacturer on the planet released a MagnaCut knife last year, and is still doing so this year.

So, just like it was in 2009 when it first hit the market, the one thing people pooh-pooh about Elmax is its price. But at $225, I find the Biblio XL sits on the lower end of the price spectrum for knives of this caliber and construction.

Maybe Elmax has finally come down in price? Maybe it’s not a big deal? Either way, you’re getting a lot of knife here for a nice price.

(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Biblio XL in the Field

So, what did I do with the GiantMouse Biblio XL? Well, I lived with it. Not only was it my EDC for a few weeks, but I also took it hiking, and we went camping.

I spent nights by the fire with the Biblio XL and afforded it plenty of opportunities to play in the snow, stab into driftwood, or just get wet and gritty. I even showed my kids how easy it was to shave the hair off your arm with it.

I also spent nights starting fires with the Biblio XL. With all of its rounded edges, that wasn’t easy. But I stuck with it, and the Biblio managed to fulfill the task.

sparks from ferro rod
(Photo/Nick LeFort)

Like a lot of the folding knives I review, the Biblio XL checks off a lot of EDC requirement boxes. It looks the part, feels the part, and acts the part of a knife that you throw in your pocket for prolonged periods. It’s the kind of knife you can abuse with just a quick wipe-down before the next round.

I’ve really enjoyed my time with it and look forward to using it again and again.

GiantMouse Biblio XL Knife: In Conclusion

I’ve met both Jens Ansø and Jesper Voxnaes at knife shows in the past. In my conversations with them, as well as some that I overheard, their enthusiasm rang through. These are two knifemakers who sincerely enjoy making epic knives and the Biblio XL is a fine example of that.

Everyone has their favorite knife steel, handle material, etc. Elmax and Micarta are two of my favorites, so I had high hopes for the Biblio XL. But in order for those hopes to become realities, I really needed to put this knife through hell. So I did.

For my first experience with a GiantMouse knife, I am happy to say it was a great one.

Stepping back from my well-informed knife reviewer role and looking at the Biblio XL from the consumer’s viewpoint, it’s a pretty sweet deal. We’ve seen knife prices bounce all over the place in the last few years, so nothing really surprises me.

But although not low, $225 is a stellar price for this premium knife. But don’t look at it as premium. Look at the Biblio XL as an everyday knife you can employ — anywhere for a variety of tasks — and not worry about it falling apart or failing on you.

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