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Archive | EDC

Tactikey Takes Evolutionary Step

Tactikey is a simple add-on item for any standard house key that makes it easier to grip for use as a defensive tool. Now the Tactikey is about to move beyond just keys and keychains.

The new V1.1 Ghost Recon is a simple triangular blade made to work specifically with the Tactikey. It is forged by Lost Bison Forge from 80CrV2 steel. They are also developing a low profile sheath that will allow carry on the key ring, in a pocket, or even as a neck knife.

Expect additional details at Blade Show.

Tactikey.com

Spiritus Systems SENKO Belt

The SENKO Belt is a new, non-reinforced belt from Spiritus Systems. If you are looking for a belt that is beefy enough to support a holster but not so stiff as to be uncomfortable for all day wear, this could be an option.

The SENKO features a low profile metal buckle that allows very fine adjustment. It is 1.7″ wide and is available in any color your want as long as its Multicam Black. There are three sizes based on actual waist measurement so be sure to follow sizing recommendations when ordering.

SENKO Belt at SpiritusSystems.com

LoopAlien

Everyone should know how to select and tie a number of useful knots. However, sometimes the right hardware can provide a little more speed and convenience than a knot. LoopAliens are like that. These handy little widgets make tasks like tensioning a rope for a tarp tent ridge line much faster to set up and take down. I like the rounded edges on LoopAliens and the fact that they can be purchased in kits, pre-packaged with Dyneema cordage.

LoopAlien.com

 

SLYSTEEL Shark Tooth Rescue Knife

SLYSTEEL has shown prototypes of their Shark Tooth Rescue Knife publicly before but they recently showed it in action for the first time (video below).

The knife is very much like their original Shark Tooth Tactical Knife with its full integral finger guard and angular American Tanto blade shape. The biggest difference is the addition of bolt-on, toothed, gear-like structures to the side of the blade. These “gears” allow the user to plunge the knife into sheet metal (like vehicle body panels) to a consistent depth and then lever the knife through the steel like a can opener. This action can be seen in the video below along with a demonstration of the glass breaker.

The knife shown in the video above is a prototype. Stay tuned for pricing and availability details on the production version.

SLYSTEEL.com

 

Graith USA Specialist Belt

A friend of JTT sent me a note about the Graith USA Specialist Belt as a solid option for AIWB carry. The Specialist Belt has a very minimalist brass buckle with a gun-metal finish that stays out of the way of your holster. The buckle also allows for very fine adjustment coupled with with the hook and loop secured end.

The belt also has that stiff-but-not-too-stiff structure that works well for AIWB carry. The 1.5″ wide belt is constructed from a layer of scuba webbing wrapped with mil-spec webbing and is available in a wide variety of sizes and colors.

GraithUSA.com

Zulu Bravo Kydex Dives Deep on Pocket Sheaths for Knives

The number of kydex benders offering kydex pocket sheaths for fixed blade knives is growing. More choice is a good thing… as long as you know what to look for. Zulu Bravo Kydex recently made a video that not only shows the features of their pocket sheaths but gets into what works (and doesn’t work) along with some ways the sheaths can be used. The video is educational even if you are considering purchasing a pocket sheath from another maker.

 

Aeroknox Knucks

What could be more American than really cool single finger knucks? How about really cool red, white, and blue single finger knucks?

I’ve enjoyed collecting knucks for a number of a years. I rarely carry them but I appreciate the way various craftsman add their own signature style to what is a basically just a very simple shape. It’s an interesting medium for creativity… like oil on canvas but with more black eyes.

Aeroknox is more known for their strikingly styled and beautifully machined handgun grips. These knucks are dripping with that same angular, stealth bomber style found on all of their products. I own one of these knucks in black, so when these patriotic versions popped up, they definitely caught my eye. These knucks are not currently available on the Aeroknox website but it is still well worth checking out Aeroknox.com.

Sneak Peek: PHLster Flatpack XL Prototype

PHLster is betting the Flatpack concept is good for carrying more than just tourniquets. The image below shows the Flatpack XL prototype and as you can see, it can organize all kinds of gear. The Flatpack XL could certainly be used as a medical insert but it has obvious cross-over appeal for range bags, EDC bags, tool boxes and more.

Stay tuned for pricing and availability information.

PHLsterHolsters.com

Zulu Bravo – New Site and Sharpfinger Pikal

Zulu Bravo Kydex has a brand new website to show off and some changes to their popular (and affordable) Sharpfinger Pikal knives. The new site replaces the simple splash page that they used to have at their web address. It displays several of their kydex sheath offerings and allows users to pre-order custom made items including the Sharpfinger Pikal.

There are very few pikal knives available on the production knife market and customs tend to cost quite a bit. Zulu Bravo has found away around this by starting with a very affordable Schrade Sharpfinger and fine tuning it into a custom pikal knife.

They complete the following work:

– Remove handles
– Reshape tip
– Grind spine
– Acid etch
– Stonewash
– Sharpen both edges
– Wrap handle in your choice of color combo
– Seal cord wrap with resin
– Build and fit new custom sheath with your choice of soft loop or overhook

They just announced that the design will be further improved with a darker acid wash and a tighter, more hand filling handle wrap. Zulu Bravo also offers a training drone version of the knife.

The Sharpfinger Pikal sells for $140 and is available to pre-order now. When you consider the level of custom work involved and the fact that these knives ship with an excellent sheath, this appears to be a great price on a pikal that you might actually carry.

Zulu Bravo Sharpfinger Pikal

Review: ThruNite TH20 Headlamp

Headlamps have come a long way. Gone are the days when you were limited to lights with a chunky plastic housing with a hinge that will eventually break, multiple batteries, and anemic outputs. Today’s headlamps boast impressive output, useful beam shapes, great runtimes, durable aluminum housings, and extremely compact sizes thanks to the ability to be powered on a single battery.

I’ve owned multiple Zebralight headlamps for a while now and they are easily the best I have used. However, they can also be a little on the spendy side. So, I went looking for something similar but a bit more affordable for my family to use. After sifting through online reviews, I settled on the ThruNite TH20.

Here are some quick stats on the TH20:

 

  • CREE XP-L V6 LED
  • Mode & Runtime (Tested by one Eneloop AA 2450mAh NIMH rechargeable battery):
    -Firefly (0.3 lumens, 14 days
    -Infinity Low (1.6 lumens, 21 hours
    -Infinity High (230 lumens, 95 minutes )
    -Turbo (250 lumens, 93 minutes)
  • Batteries Applicable: 1x AA battery, 1x 14500 battery.
  • IPX-8 water resistance
  • 2.7 ounces (without the battery)
  • Aluminum body with hard anodized finish

Why I Like It

There were a number of things that drew me to this headlamp as a backup to my other headlamps. First, the price was right at $30. Second, it runs on a single AA battery and had documented runtimes/ouputs with Eneloop batteries (I don’t use 14500 batteries). Third, the output was more than sufficient for my needs. Finally, it was available with a neutral white LED for better color rendition and depth perception.

I am not the kind of flashlight nerd that dives deep into lumens, candela, and the latest emitters. I am more the flashlight nerd that is always trying to find lights that are the easier to live with than my last light so the ability to power the TH20 with a single AA battery is very important to me for a number of reasons. It makes the light more compact so it fits unobtrusively in a coat pocket and my kids can use it. It also makes it easy to carry spare batteries. Finally, the light is very economical to keep fed with the primary AA batteries and Eneloops that I already have on hand.

My little corner of the world gets dark very early in the winter so this light sees heavy use. A hard anodized aluminum housing means I don’t have to baby the light. A balanced beam shape means it can handle everything from hiking to swapping a bearing on a 74″ snow blower. I even use it when I am on the tractor, blowing snow after dark. Our open cab tractor has no interior lights so the TH20 helps keep the controls and dashboard visible even while it is absolutely soaked and pummeled with blown snow. The abuse it has weathered in this role is impressive.

The band is comfortable and it surprised me with its great quality (cheap headlamps usually have terrible bands). I haven’t noticed any parasitic drain on the battery – it always seems ready to go. The silicone light holder seems durable and is very comfortable against the wearer’s head. There is a lot to like here but it isn’t perfect.

Why It Isn’t Perfect

The switch is easy to operate, even with gloves but it can be a little too easy to operate. I have twice found the light turned on in my pocket from the switch being accidentally touched. Now, I wrap the head band around the light to cover the switch when I put it in a pocket and that seems to help.

Speaking of the switch, there is just one and the user interface controlled by that single switch has a learning curve. If you click once from off, the light comes on at the last level you used. Then you can also press and hold the switch to ramp up and down through the brightness levels. The light blinks at the upper and lower limits of the brightness scale. You just let go of the switch when you are happy with the light level. Finally, you can double click from on to access turbo mode, double click again for SOS mode, or press and hold from off to access a sufficiently dim firefly mode.

I like having the ability to fine tune the light level but it usually takes me a little fiddling with button to get the light right. I would prefer to just have the ramping feature without all the other click options.

Wrap Up

I have found the TH20 to be a great light for the price. It feels more like a tool in its usefulness and construction than most headlamps. It is also very easy to live with thanks to its compact size and common battery.

I have never seen ThruNite lights in a brick and mortar store so I purchased mine on Amazon. I have actually purchased several and given them as gifts.

ThruNite TH20 on Amazon (affiliate link)

 

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