web analytics

Archive | EDC

TOPS Knives I Stick

The latest iPhone may have people talking about its user interface but it has nothing on the simplicity of TOPS Knives’ new I Stick push dagger user interface – just grip it and go. It’s very intuitive.

From TOPS Knives:

The I Stick was designed to do some serious damage. It is perhaps the thickest push knife on the market and will add weight to your punches when the situation calls for it. At 3/8” thick and just over 12 ounces, you won’t forget you’re carrying it, but for those looking for a stout push knife, this is it. The sheath facilitates low profile, close to the body carry to keep it out of sight whether you’re carrying appendix, hip, 4 o’clock, etc. It’s also completely ambidextrous. The handle has thick, rounded scales for comfort and to fill the hand when clenched in a fist, and the double edge blade does the job when stabbing or slashing.

Pick yours up from a TOPS authorized dealer or directly from TOPS at www.topsknives.com/i-stick

0

New Aston House BC Pack from Hill People Gear

The Hill People Gear Aston House BC (Back Country), a back country pack based on the original Aston House Pack, is now available. The Aston House BC is similar in size and foot print to the original Aston House but it has less organization features and a more substantial chassis which, coupled with the Aston House’s compression features, allow this pack to carry anything from small daypack loads to heavier overnight loads.

The Aston House BC has a beefier suspension that includes a full frame sheet and dual aluminum stays. It comes with Hill People Gear’s excellent shoulder harness and can accept the Recon or Prairie Belt (belt not included).

The panel loading main compartment is completely lined with First Spear’s 6/12 material so you can add MOLLE or hook backed pouches. The main compartment can be accessed via the panel zipper or top and bottom zippers. The front panel of the pack features a full height slot pocket on the exterior and a mesh slip pocket on the inside. The exterior sides of Aston House BC have dual wand pockets similar to those found on other Hill People Gear packs.

The Aston House BC also comes with the Aston Panel, a MOLLE compatible compression panel that is made from First Spear’s 6/12 Laminate material (loop material bonded to hypalon). The panel can be used to compress the pack and carry gear like skis, a snow shovel, bulky clothing layers, and more.

Check out the Aston House BC at Hill People Gear.

Bargain or Just Cheap? – Real Steel H5 Gerfalcon

Welcome to Bargain or Just Cheap? This series reviews budget friendly knives for a variety of uses in a short format. All of the knives will cost less than $50 (in most cases, much less) and will be purchased out of my own pocket. I’ll buy them, carry them, and use them in an attempt to determine if the knife is a bargain or just cheap.


Real Steel’s H series is full of solid knives at a great price including the knife that is the subject of today’s Bargain or Just Cheap? column – the Real Steel H5 Gerfalcon. We have already reviewed the Real Steel H6-S1 in this series and it didn’t disappoint. The H5 Gerfalcon might be even better.

H5 Gerfalcon Specs:

Lock: Frame Lock, with overtravel stop

Pocket Clip: Right pocket, tip up or tip down

Steel: Sandvik 14C28N

Handle: Textured G-10 front, steel back

Blade length: 3.25 in.

Blade thickness: .12 in.

Open length: 7.75 in.

Weight: 3.95 oz.

Observations from Use

This knife looks great and is packed with features. It is just under the $50 price limit for this series but it does a great job of justifying its price… In fact, it will make you wonder why knives with similar features cost so much.

The blade on the H5 Gerfalcon is similar to that of the H6-S1 but differs in a few key places. It features a great steel in Sandvik 14C28N – a step up from most budget knives. The cutting edge features a mild recurve shape and a full height flat grind like the H6-S1. It differs from the H6-S1 in that is has a clipped point and a flipper stud (which acts as a small guard when the knife is open).

The H5 Gerfalcon’s handle is more squared in shape but still very comfortable. It has jimping on the back of the handle, the spine of the blade, and near the butt of the knife. However, the jumping is shallow, well designed, and doesn’t cause hot spots. Both the G-10 and the steel lock side of the knife are thick and sturdy but overall the knife feels and carries very slim. The thumb studs and lock bar stabilizer are actually made from machined G-10 that matches that handle color.

Opening this knife is a breeze to open thanks ball bearing pivot. The thumb studs are large and easy to operate. The flipper tab is well shaped. The knife opens easily and smoothly with either opening method. I should also mention that the detent on my example is excellent.

The lock on my example is excellent. It looks up with about 70% engagement so it is very sturdy with room to wear in over time. It can be disengaged easily thanks to large scallops on the lock bar that give your thumb purchase.

The pocket clip isn’t a true deep carry clip but it does place the knife very low in the pocket which is nice for professional settings. It is very stout and holds the knife securely.

This knife isn’t exactly a lightweight but it does come in under 4 ounces so it isn’t that bad for a knife of this size. Real Steel did take steps to keep the weight down including using pillars instead of a larger back spacer and machining flutes into the inside of the steel lock bar side of the knife.

Bargain or Just Cheap?

When you use this knife, you can’t help but wonder why other knife makers can’t offer this many well executed features and cutting performance for less money. It certainly benefits, in terms of cost, by being manufactured in China but the fact remains that this is an excellent knife.

The H5 Gerfalcon is a smooth flipping, tight locking, laser-like cutting, bull-strong knife and it is most certainly a BARGAIN.

I am using Amazon as the price base line for this series. All knives were purchased by me from Amazon: Real Steel H5 Gerfalcon on Amazon


Our goal is to represent knives for a variety of uses from EDC, to outdoor, to tactical knives. Do you have a favorite affordable knife? Let us know about it in the comments!

The above article may contain affiliate links.

Sneak Peek: RMJ Tactical Utsidihi Trainer

RMJ Tactical announced that they will produce a training drone version of their Utsidihi compact fixed blade defensive knife. The trainer is machined from aluminum and given a blue finish to easily identify it as a training drone. It is designed to fit in the Utsidihi sheath without modification. The Utsidihi trainers will likely begin shipping in the next week.

RMJ Tactical

Review: Snake Eater Tactical IWB Magazine Pouches

I recently purchased a Glock 43 for concealed carry. Given the limited capacity of the little single stack 9mm, it seemed prudent to pick up a spare magazine carrier to go with it. I was dismayed to find that most of the magazine carriers I found were larger and bulkier than I expected for a handgun that is designed to be concealed. Then I remembered the Snake Eater Tactical IWB Magazine Pouch.

Overview

The Snake Eater Tactical (SET) IWB Magazine Pouch is a magazine pouch that, in spite of it’s name, can be used for inside or outside the waist band carry. It is constructed from heavy duty elastic for the magazine pouch itself. It also has a sewn on belt loop made of ONE-WRAP and a backer made from laser cut material allowing the user to convert the pouch for OWB use by routing the loop through the backer.

The pouch will accept and retain a wide variety of magazines. It works with slimmer, single stack magazines like 1911 mags. It works with full size double stack magazines like a Glock 17 0r 22. I was even able to squeeze Glock 21 magazines into them without too much effort, though that is likely the limit. It also works with magazines that are significantly shorter than the pouch itself like Glock 43 or 26 magazines which is how I use them most of the time.

Observations from Use

These are the best inside the waistband magazine pouches I have used. They are deceptively simple in their design but the materials used and construction methods are very efficient. Everything serves a functional purpose.

Versatility – These will hold a ton of different types of magazines (or flashlights, knives, etc). Unlike most universal solutions, the SET IWB Magazine Pouches will actually RETAIN a ton of different types of magazine thanks to how well the elastic grips the magazines. Being able to route the belt loop through the backer to create an OWB pouch is another versatile feature.

Comfort – That same elastic that grips the magazines, also ensures that the pouch is extremely thin and comfortable to wear. Basically, the pouch is barely larger than the magazine it is holding and the stretched out elastic wraps tightly over the contents of the pouch, softening of any hard edge.

The ONE-WRAP belt loop is sewn to the pouch at the top only. This allows the pouch to flex and move with the wearer, further improving comfort.

Ease of Use – The ONE-WRAP belt loop is extremely easy to take on and off your belt. You can place it anywhere you want on your belt without having to remove the magazine from the pouch or opening your belt. It is far easier to deal with than a pull-the-dot type loop and it adjusts to nearly any size belt without having to trim the loop (though it is easily trimmed if you need to).

Retention – These magazine pouches offer excellent retention. They grip the magazine tightly enough that it will never come out but release it quickly when you draw it. They don’t have the click in/click out feeling of kydex. It is more of a consistent friction feeling when drawing a magazine from the pouch.

Affordability – These pouches are made in the USA and cost $15. You can’t even find an over-seas produced, injection molded abomination of a magazine carrier for $15. Even if you can, it won’t be this versatile or comfortable.

There is one potential downside to these pouches (and really most elastic magazine pouches on the market). It is very difficult to insert a magazine with one hand. If you are looking for a pouch that you can use to retain a magazine during a “tactical reload” this isn’t it. That isn’t an issue for me since I have pockets.

Wrap Up

You are getting a whole lot of versatility, functionality, and comfort for your $15. As I said earlier in the article, the Snake Eater Tactical IWB Magazine Pouches are the best inside the waist band magazine pouches I have ever used.

IWB Magazine Pouches at SnakeEaterTactical.com

Disclosure: This pouch was provided free of charge for review by Snake Eater Tactical.

Bastion GAMUT Folder

The new GAMUT Folder is a collaboration piece between GAMUT Resolutions and Bastion. It features a very unique tanto-ish blade shape with a blunt, chisel-like tip. The 4″ blade is ground from S35VN steel. It opens via a flipper and the blade rides on ceramic bearings. The GAMUT’s frame is machined from titanium and the frame lock features a replaceable steel insert.

This knife was designed based on the experience of Bob Keller of GAMUT Resoltions. 10% of each knife sold goes to the Special Operations Care Fund, a 501(c)3 charity supporting the families of wounded and killed Special Operations Forces.

Check out the GAMUT Folder at Bastion.

Mean Gene Leather Hot Tamale V-2

Mean Gene Leather brought the “coin purse” back into vogue with the introduction of their original Hot Tamale. Now they are rethinking what a “coin purse” can look like and how it can function with the introduction of their Hot Tamale V-2.

The Hot Tamale V-2 Coin Purse is unlike any other that I have seen (and that is a good thing for a product of this nature). It features a wrap design that folds over the belt and snaps into place. There is a large handle-like design element that simultaneously makes the V-2 look innocuous (or at least unfamiliar) but also provides an easy way to grasp, deploy, and retain the coin purse. Mean Gene Leather advises that you can fit about 13 ounces of coins in various denominations in the Hot Tamale V-2.

Hot Tamale V-2 at Mean Gene Leather

Unitaskers – Gear That Does One Thing Well and Why You Should Keep It That Way

More features. More functions. More settings. More buttons. More blades. Everyone loves a good multitasking tool. This is the way things go in an industry where modular, multi-function tools are the norm…There is a place for that kind of thing, but I would suggest that you are not always best served by a tool that tries to do everything.

No one would carry a tourniquet with 4 modes of operation and a built in bottle opener because this type of simple, life saving equipment should be just that… simple. Yet, people will carry a flashlight with those features and a case could be made that the flashlight is just as important as the tourniquet. There are at least two parts of your every day carry gear that should be occupied by a unitasker if it isn’t already – knives and lights.

Let’s get our terminology straight before go any further. When I type unitasker, I am not just referring to a tool that does one thing well. I am referring to a tool that does one thing well AND that is set aside only for that specific task.

The Case for the Unitasker Knife

There are at least two very good reasons why your self defense knife should be a unitasker. First, the best and most intuitive self defense knife designs are marginal (or worse) as utility knives. Knives like the Spyderco P’Kal, Ka-Bar TDI, push knives, ShivWorks Clinch Pick, and similar are great self defense knives but they are not great letter openers. Sure, you could open letters with them but a tiny Victorinox Classic would be easier to use.

The second reason is more broadly applicable to knives that may be good utility designs but also have merit as defensive knives (think Spyderco Delica or Benchmade Griptilian). That hair splitting edge you work so hard to achieve of your defensive knife is going to loose a little something every time you use it. After a week of cutting cardboard, zip ties, envelopes, loose threads, rope, and everything else you cut on a daily basis, are you confident that your knife still has the edge you want?

The Case for the Unitasker Light

The reasons to carry a unitasker light boil down to maximizing output, maximizing ease of use under stress, and ensuring your light is ready when you need it.

When it comes to output, I want all the light I can get when things go bad. If I am just poking around under my desk looking for something I dropped, I don’t want or need 1500 lumens. It is tempting to say I should just get a multi-mode light to deal with this problem but then we would bump up against another problem – user interface/ease of use.

I’m a simple man and I like simple user interfaces on self defense lights. I don’t want anything more complicated than push-button-get-light… lots and lots of light. When you are trying to control a flashlight while you talk your way out of a situation, or (heaven forbid) trying to track sights and control a trigger, push-button-get-light is best. A good self defense oriented light will have a simple user interface and a switch that is designed to be operated in the ways that a self defense light may have to be operated. For a utility light, I am more tolerant of more complicated user interfaces because all those extra modes can be useful.

The last reason your self defense light should be a unitasker is very much like the second argument for the unitasker knife. If you are like me, you use flashlights all the time. You are loosing a little juice every time you use the light. Heck, those nasty little buggers are sitting in your light right now self discharging! If you use your light for 5 minutes here, 30 minutes there, and who knows how many short bursts trying to find the darn key hole… Can you really be sure your light will be ready to go when you need it?

Sanctified!

I am suggesting that you consider your self defense knife and flashlight sanctified (set apart, for you heathens) for their specific purposes. Carry a separate knife and light for utility purposes. Before you show up with torches and pitchforks shouting about how I am asking you to carry too much stuff, hear me out…

These utility items don’t have to be big. They also don’t have to be carried in priority locations like you should carry your dedicated self defense tools. Most of your utility tasks could likely be handled by key chain sized tools like a small Swiss Army Knife and Maglite Solitaire. You can scale these items based on your needs but we are talking about small, lightweight tools, that can be carried in more out of the way locations. You can handle that.

The additional benefit here is that you can keep a lower profile with these smaller tools. Mark Greenman wrote a great article outlining his “Public Knife” concept. For many people, something the size of a Spyderco Delica is a “big knife” and you are drawing attention to yourself when you whip it out in the office to pick a splinter. This isn’t about being politically correct. This is about being discreet.

Wrap Up

If you have made the choice to carry tools like a flashlight and knife with a self defense mindset, you have already acknowledged that there may be a need for such tools. Doesn’t also make sense to keep these tools as ready as they can be?

Black Rhino Concealment Quick Ship Holsters

Black Rhino Concealment is now offering a line of Quick Ship Holsters. The new CCS and ACS Quick Ship Holsters are available for a number of the most popular self defense handguns on the market CZ P10C, Glock 19, and more. Both holsters feature excellent mold definition, top notch blocking, and cuts to accommodate red dot sights and threaded barrels.

The CCS holster is an IWB design. It come with the user’s choice of FOMI clips or soft loops and is designed to be slim, light, and comfortable. The ACS holster is an AIWB design that also comes with the choice of FOMI clips or soft loops. It also features a wing to tuck the butt of the handgun in against the wearer.

These holsters will be kept in stock and will ship quickly. Check out the entire line at Black Rhino Concealment.

RE Factor Tactical Pink Operator Band for Breast Cancer Awareness

RE Factor Tactical’s Pink Operator Band is their latest charity band. 50% of the sales of this special version of the Operator Band will go to the American Cancer Society to benefit breast cancer awareness.

Check out the Pink Operator Band at RE Factor Tactical.

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes

%d bloggers like this: