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Archive | Knives

Multitasker Series 2X

I fell in love with the Multitasker Series 2 last year. Since I received it, I haven’t been to the range without it and I use it at home frequently when working on my ARs (and other things). I guess that I was so absorbed in my Series 2 that I forgot to mention that the Series 2X is now available.

The Multitasker Series 2X offers several great improvements over the Series 2. The most noticeable of which are the new larger and beefier jaws. The Series 2 had really fine teeth that were very grippy, but not necessarily the best for gripping items with large angular surfaces like large bolts. The Series 2X has teeth that would make a T-Rex jealous. These will definitely grip just about anything you can throw at them. The wire cutters have also been improved which is saying a lot because they were already pretty darn good.

The Series 2X also features a new pivot design. The Series 2 ball bearing pivot has been replaced with a self lubricating hybrid pivot design that is bull strong and very smooth.

The melonite coating of the Series 2 has been replaced with a more durable PVD or Titanium Nitride coating. This new coating will offer increased wear resistance versus the melonite treatment that was used originally.

Glock shooters will find the 2X to be more useful. It will come with a 3/32″ punch attachment that replaces the cleaning pick that was found on the Series 2 (except for the Brownells models which will still feature the cleaning pick). Many Glock shooters will know that a 3/32″ punch is basically the only tool needed to detail strip a Glock down to small parts.

The Series 2X is a worthy successor to the Series 2. Get all the latest Multitasker information at MultitaskerTools.com and at the Multitasker Tools Facebook Page. You can purchase your own Multitasker Series 2X from TacStrike.

You can also check out the earlier Series 2 at Brownells.

Gryphon M-10 Utility-Boot Knife from Cutlery Shoppe

The Gryphon M-10 is generally considered to be one of the greatest compact self defense knives of all time. It is a true classic that for several years was unavailable for purchase unless you could find a used one. A few weeks ago, I was lamenting the M-10 that I lost years ago when a friend told me that they were being sold again by the Cutlery Shoppe.

Not only is the M-10 available once again, the Cutlery Shoppe has made this classic Bob Terzuola design better than ever. Previous versions utilized ATS-34 or AUS-8 steel (I had an ATS-34 version), both of which are fine steels for a knife like this. However, this new iteration features VG-10 steel which is easily my favorite stainless steel (and I don’t even really like stainless steels). VG-10 may be outclassed in edge retention by some modern super steels, but it is no slouch and it is extremely easy to sharpen. Like the original, the blade is 4″ long and 3/16″ thick.

The new version also features a DLC black finish on the blade to cut down on glare. It has been my experience that DLC is a great coating for knives if you have to have a coating. It holds up well to wear and isn’t as thick and pasty as some coatings.

The best thing about the new version is the sheath. Many people try to carry fixed blade self-defense knives only to be turned off by how difficult or uncomfortable they are to carry. Most knives comes with sheaths that are nothing more than an afterthought. The Gryphon M-10 comes with a concealex (kydex) sheath system designed my Mike Sastre of River City Sheaths that offers nearly endless configuration options. My favorite way to carry a knife like this is inside the waistband on my weak side with the handle in toward my center line. This allows easy access with either hand and translates well to handgun retention techniques. Many people are surprised at just how comfortable and easy it is to carry an 8″ long knife once they have experienced a decent sheath.

Thankfully, all of the M-10’s best features are intact. The grippy, well contoured zytel handle is still the same as the original. This handle is part of what makes the M-10 great. It locks the hand in place without favoring any one grip. It also features just enough of a double guard to keep your fingers off the blade without getting your way during certain types of cuts. The well designed blade is still intact as well. It may be 3/16″ thick but the aggressive grinds keep the blade feeling light and lively with a very acute tip.

If you spend just a few moments with one of these knives in your hand or on your belt, you will see why the Gryphon M-10 is so well regarded. I am thrilled that they are back on the market and hope to pick one up soon for a full review.

Check out the Gryphon M-10 on CutleryShoppe.com.

ESEE Candiru and Laser Strike Pre-Orders

The much anticipated ESEE Candiru and Laser Strike are available for pre-order at The-Knife-Connection! This is the first look at the pricing on these upcoming models. Both will be available sometime in March.

ESEE Candiru

Check out the Candiru and Laser Strike on The-Knife-Connection.com.

ESEE Laser Strike

ESEE Candiru

ESEE is showing the new Candiru in their booth at SHOT. This little knife is smaller than their well known Izula. I suppose that Candiru is a perfect name for a small knife since the Candiru is a small fish that is known for lodging itself in their unfortunate victim’s urethra.

The pictures from Katie Becket of ESEE seem to indicate that it is roughly the same thickness as the ESEE3 which would make it somewhere around 1/8″ thick. It is being shown in all the same color combinations as the larger ESEE knives which is different than the Izula which is only has tan canvas micarta scales available.

I will share more details when they become available.

The Candiru is shown here with the Izula (left).

 

 

Spyderco Yojimbo2

The original Michael Janich designed Spyderco Yojimbo was one of my favorite knives of all time. The tall flat ground Wharncliffe blade had an awesome thin edge and a very fine point. That great blade combined with Spyderco’s excellent Compression lock made for a great combination for a hard use or self defense knife that also excelled at EDC tasks. I foolishly sold my Yojimbo years ago and it has been discontinued for quite some time. Fortunately, that isn’t the end of the story…

Spyderco has recently introduced the Yojimbo2 – a new, redesigned version of the original Yojimbo. Like the original it features S30V blade steel, grippy G-10 grips, the excellent Compression Lock, a Wharncliffe profile blade, and a very ergonomic handle. However, this new version also sports some changes. For instance, the blade is hollow ground instead of full height flat ground, the handle features slightly more rounded contours, and the spine of the blade has a new thumb ramp shape.

The pedigree of this knife is clear. It is still reminiscent of the original Yojimbo while offering some improvements in shape. Michael Janich and Spyderco appear to have another winner on their hands. Check out the Yojimbo2 on Spyderco’s website.

Review: Rusty’s Rags

Rust on a firearm can be anything from a mild annoyance to a very costly issue. It can ruin the value of a collector’s piece or, worse still, affect the function of a self defense firearm. The best way to deal with rust is to prevent it and that is what the products in this review from Rusty’s Rags are designed to do.

Who’s Whats?

Rusty’s Rags is a small company that makes unique silicone gun cleaning accessories. Their kits typically consist of 4 items: a bottle of Rusty’s “Famous” Silicone Gun Oil, a flannel polishing cloth, a pair of nitrile gloves, and – this is the really unique part – a small piece of sheepskin that is pre-loaded with the silicone gun oil. Everything comes packages in heavy mil resealable plastic bags that make them perfect for tossing in your range bag or hiking pack. They make a number of different kits that, while very similar in what they include, vary in size based on the product that they are intended to protect.

Why is It Better?

I have used silicone gun oil before on guns and knives. It works very well for preventing rust. The products that I have seen in the past typically had silicone oil loaded into a flannel cloth. It is common for gun shops to use these to clean the finger prints off of firearms that have been handled by customers. The silicone oil works great for this because it is a very light oil that goes on in a very thin coat that doesn’t feel wet or very oily. However, the flannel clothes are not really all that ideal because it tends to leave lint behind.

Rusty’s Rags kits are different because of their novel application method. These kits use sheepskin to apply the oil. The sheepskin holds together much better than the flannel type products. It just doesn’t leave little bits of lint or debris behind. The sheepskin also applies the oil into any nook or cranny that you pass it over with no extra effort. It really is a stroke of genius. It is just a better way.

In Use

The folks at Rusty’s Rags sent me 4 products to check out: a knife care kit, a handgun care kit, a rifle/shotgun care kit, and a sheepskin Q-tip. The kits are all very similar. The main difference is the size of the sheepskin. The rifle/shotgun kit comes with a larger 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ sheepskin while the knife and handgun kits come with a 4 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ sheepskin.

These kits are extremely easy to use. You just lightly rub the sheepskin over the surface of what you want to clean and protect. Then use the flannel cloth to wipe away any excess oil if necessary. If the sheepskin begins to dry out, just add a drop of oil from the included bottle. It is that easy.

The kit includes gloves that you can wear, but I didn’t. One of the advantages of silicone oil is that it doesn’t have that heavy oily feeling that some oils do, so I generally don’t worry about gloves.

I own a Marlin 336 lever action. It is blued, has tons of nooks and crannies, and has had rust issues in the past, so it was the perfect candidate for testing the Rusty’s Rag’s firearm kits. The sheepskin made getting oil into the space between the barrel and magazine tube effortless. Flannel clothes are too thick to get into this space but the small fibers of sheepskin worked the oil right in with no extra effort. That alone just about had me head over heals for these kits.

Many campers/hikers will be familiar with the flannel type silicone wipes. They are used to keep your knife from rusting and dulling when you are out in the elements on an extended trip. I found the sheepskin to be far better. It easily applies the oil to jimping and other unique knife features. Jimping are the small ridges that are cut into the spine of a knife to provide traction. These ridges can accumulate blood, guts, dirt, and moisture so they are a key place to protect. The sheep skin also works well to get oil right down into the corner where the handle scales meet the knife blade.

At first, I wasn’t sure what to think about the sheepskin Q-tip. Then it dawned on me that it was absolutely perfect for applying the silicone oil to your barrel underneath of a free float hand guard. I have had the distinct displeasure of trying to deal with rust that formed on an AR-15 barrel under the free float hand guards. The sheepskin Q-tip can be used to reach through all the holes in a typical hand guard to apply oil to the barrel to prevent rust. This would be a great thing to have in a range kit, especially if you attend a carbine class that can’t reschedule due to nasty weather.

I found that, in spite of their names, the handgun and knife kits work on long arms just fine. In fact, I think I prefer the smaller applicator pad. It makes the kit a bit more light weight and compact and really seems to apply the oil just as quickly, though it can’t hold as much oil so you may have to recharge the sheepskin more often.

Conclusion

I found that the Rusty’s Rags unique use of sheepskin makes them extremely easy to use versus similar products that use a flannel cloth applicator. The sheepskin applicator is what sets these kits apart. The kits are easy to carry in a range bag or backpack and could save you from a very costly outbreak of rust. Check out the whole product line at the Rusty’s Rags website and “Like” them on Facebook for a $2 coupon.

Benchmade 8 Hook with Glass Breaker (BLKWMEDR)

Benchmade Safety Cutters are some of my favorites pieces of gear because they just work so well. Their reliability and cutting power amazed me when I reviewed them. Now Benchmade has expanded the Safety Cutter line with the new 8 Hook BLKWMEDR which features a carbide glass breaker.

I keep a Benchmade 8 Hook in my truck where I can reach it easily in case I need to cut my seat belt in an emergency. This new 8 Hook incorporates a carbide glass breaker which makes it even more well suited to emergency use in a vehicle. It gives you the ability to cut your seat belt and break a window to extract yourself from your vehicle in an emergency – all in one simple to use tool.

Check out the 8 Hook BLKWMEDR and all the other 8 Hook Safety Cutters on the Benchmade website.

Fire Ant Red and Venom Green ESEE Izula from BladeHQ

My favorite compact fixed blades are the Izula and Izula II from ESEE. They fit the hand well, are bull strong, have a great warranty, are made right here in the USA, and come with a very versatile sheath system. The Izula may be small but, 99% of the time, it is all the knife that I need.

Small knives like the Izula are easy to carry but they can also be easily lost. BladeHQ has teamed up with the folks at ESEE to offer exclusive Izulas with high visibility coatings. They are offering a bright red color called Fire Ant Red and a fluorescent green color called Venom. These bright colors make it easy to find the knife whether you are rummaging through your pack, searching on a forest floor, or even if you drop it in water while crossing a creek.

High viability colors make a lot of sense on a survival tool as important as your knife and, let’s face it, they look pretty darn cool too. Check out the Fire Ant Red Izula and the Venom Green Izula exclusively at BladeHQ.

Blind Horse Knives Outdoors Machete

I am a big fan of machetes as survival tools. Many people think that machetes are only useful for the thin, springy vegetation found in tropical environments but that isn’t the case at all. They can be use for many of the same tasks that you would use a hatchet for while still being useful for knife tasks. One of the more interesting machetes that I have seen lately is the Blind Horse Knives (BHK) Outdoors Machete.

BHK has machete blade blanks made to their specs from 1075 carbon steel which is a great steel for machetes. They finish the blade with a great edge, micarta handles, and a very nice kydex sheath. The sharpened edge is 12 3/8″ long and the overall length is 19 3/8″ long.

The Outdoors Machete has one of the most versatile handle shapes that I have ever seen. It is extra long so that the user can hold lower on the handle to increase chopping leverage. It also features finger grooves that allow you to choke up for finer, more detailed cuts. The handle also features two different lanyard attachment points – one close to the butt of the handle and one closer to the blade.

BHK also brings the sharpened edge much closer to the handle than is typical for a machete. This greatly improves the ability to make controlled cuts when you are trying to do tasks like notching a stick for a dead fall or making a feather stick for fire prep. The blade shape itself should lend itself to many tasks and the spine is squared for use with a firesteel. Many machetes have rounded spines that won’t spark a firesteel.

As you can see, a lot of details went into this design to make it better than the average machete as a survival tool and that is really saying something since just about any old $5 machete is a pretty darn good survival tool. If you are looking for a machete for your next woods bumming trip, check out the BHK Outdoors Machete.

Review: Benchmade Safety Cutters

Hopefully, most of you reading this blog right now are in the habit of carrying a first aid kit when you are shooting and, hopefully, you have at least some training on its use. If you do carry a first aid kit with some regularity, you are likely familiar with the ubiquitous medical shears that are a part of so many kits. These shears are, with few exceptions, cheaply made but passable for clearing obstructions like clothing and gear from a wound site. Those shears have been used for years, but, as with most pieces of gear, eventually someone gives us something better. The someone is Benchmade and the something is their Safety Cutters.

The 8 Hook sheath is on the left and the 7 Hook sheath is on the right.

Removing the Safety Cutter from the sheath is easy. Just lift the flap and pull out the cutter.

Some Background

To really appreciate the Benchmade Safety Hooks, you have to first understand what they replace (or at least supplement). Shears, medical shears, EMT shears, or whatever else they might be called are both a blessing and curse. On one hand, their design allows them to cut through some incredibly durable materials. This is often demonstrated by cutting a penny in half. However, their cheap construction can render them useless in a matter of minutes. They often dull very quickly – even after cutting just one pair of pants. They can flex and bend. They aren’t comfortable to use for strenuous work and can fatigue your hand very quickly. They can also take quite a long time to cut through some material or to make long cuts like in the case of a pant leg. In spite of all of that, you will still find a pair in any serious first aid kit because they work, at least for a while.

A Better Way

Benchmade Safety Hooks represent a better way to do many of the tasks that you would traditionally complete with shears. They are easier to carry, easier to use, faster, and they last nearly indefinitely.

I own several of the 7 Hook/Safety Cutters and 1 of the 8 Hook/Safety Cutters. They weigh about the same as a set of shears but are much more compact and easy to carry. Benchmade Safety Hooks come with a sheath and in the case of the 7 and 8 Hooks, they come with a MOLLE compatible sheath. The sheath is simple and effective. It retains the Safety Cutter with a hook and loop secured flap and a secondary elastic band. In the event that the flap catches on something and is pulled loose, the elastic band can retain prevent the Safety Hook from being lost. The sheaths even come with the MALICE clip that is necessary to mount it.

The sheath mounts easily with a provided MALICE clip.

Even if the flap is accidentally released, the elastic loop serves as secondary retention.

Using a Benchmade Safety Hook is easy. “Grip it and rip it” has never been a more appropriate phrase. As soon as you have one in hand, you know how to use it. You hold the grip area in your hand and hook whatever you wish to cut with the hooked end of the cutter. Then it is simply a matter of pulling the hook through the material. The hooks are so sharp, that this takes very little strength and effort.

I stated above that the Safety Cutters are faster than shears and you may be wondering how much faster. I compared a brand new set of shears that had never cut anything with a brand new 7 Hook/Safety Cutter by using each to cut from cuff to waist on an old pair of BDU pants. The shears did the job in a respectable 46 seconds while the 7 Hook zipped through in less than 4 seconds. Not only was it faster, but it was considerably easier. 4 seconds is a lot faster than 46 seconds.

The 7 Hook made it through these BDU pants 42 seconds faster than brand new shears.

Benchmade has tested their Safety Hooks for hundreds of cuts and while they do eventually get harder to cut with due to dulling, they will last many more cuts than a pair of shears. The 440C Safety Cutters are hardened to 58-60 Rockwell and the edges are refined to a high polish. It is amazing how long the edge lasts. If it does start to dull, you can simply return it to Benchmade with a small fee to cover return shipping and they will bring it back to life for you. You can also maintain it yourself if you are handy with strop compound. I use compound loaded into a thin leather strap to keep the hooks sharp. Harsher abrasives like ceramics or diamonds should not be used.

What Will They Cut?

I have used the Safety Hooks to cut all of the mundane stuff like tubular webbing, first aid tape, pant legs, para-cord, and heavier rope. However, what is most impressive is how they cut more difficult items like multiple layers of 1000D nylon in a chest rig and even a leather work boot.

This chest rig opened with an 8 Hook like it had a zipper. The straps were also cut easily so the rig would fall away completely.

If you need to access a chest wound, the Safety Hook can be used to strip away clothing and even gear. It zipped through no less than 3 layers of 1000D nylon and a layer of MOLLE webbing in one pull when I tested it on an old chest rig that I had laying around. Searching for buckles is wasted time when you have a tool like the Benchmade Safety Cutters.

Even tough leather work boots are no match for the 7 Hook.

If you need to clear a boot, don’t waste time trying to untie the laces, loosen the boot, and then remove it. Simply pull the cutter straight down from ankle to sole and then forward toward the toe and the boot falls away (you don’t need to cut both sides). It only takes a few seconds and it is amazingly easy to pull the hook through multiple layers of leather and fabric.

Even thicker items like climbing rope can be cut with these Safety Cutters. You simply start the cut with a small rocking motion to get into the inner layers and then pull. It’s easy.

Conclusion

Both the 7 Hook and 8 Hook Safety Cutters are excellent. The 7 Hook is more compact and its foam rubber grip is more comfortable and easier to use with gloves. I think it is the better all around choice, but some users may prefer the more nimble feeling and slightly longer reach of the 8 Hook. There is also a newer version of the 8 Hook that integrates a carbide glass breaker which really adds to an already excellent tool.

These Benchmade Safety Cutters outclass every similar product that I have ever tried. They represent a huge improvement over shears for first aid tasks. They are so reasonably priced (especially considering the sheath and MALICE clip) that it makes sense to own at least two of them so you can be sure to have one even if the other is sent out for sharpening. They work so well and are so easy to carry that there is almost no excuse not to add one to your kit today. I consider them among my most important pieces of first aid gear.

You can check out the 7 Hook and the 8 Hook along with all of the other Safety Cutter models on Benchmade’s website.

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