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Archive | Knives

ESEE SHOT Show News

ESEE has several new items at the SHOT Show this year including a bolt-on MOLLE webbing panel for the Junglas and the ESEE-3. However, it is two fixed blades that have stolen the show so far.

The first is the Laser Strike. This is a re-issue of a early RAT design that was made by TOPS Knives. The new version will be made by Rowen MFG like other current ESEE knives. The Laser Strike is a designed to be a full size, general use woods knife with some interesting fire making features. There is a bow drill divot milled into the micarta handle scales and a slot under the handle scales that will store a magnesium fire starter.

A prototype of the ESEE-4 Stainless was also on hand. It is made from 440C with a really attractive stonewash finish. 440C is the perfect choice for a knife like the ESEE-4 since it takes a great edge, it is relatively tough, and it is relatively easy to resharpen in the field. I think that there will be stainless versions of many of the ESEE knives eventually.

Join the discussion about ESEE’s new products on BladeForums or check out the ESEE website.

Photos provided by Katie Beckett of ESEE Knives.

Customize a Benchmade Griptilian

The Benchmade Griptilian is a modern classic. Its rock solid lock, hand filling ergonomics, light weight, durability, and reasonable price have made it a very popular choice among many knife users.

The Griptilian has been offered in many configurations over the years but now Benchmade is letting you decide exactly how you want your Griptilian made. Benchmade’s new “Customize a Griptilian” page lets you choose everything from scale color to blade steel. You can even add custom laser engraved text and images.

I would like to see more knife manufacturers offer this type of service.

Customize your own Griptilian at the Benchmade website.

ESEE-3 Folder Prototype and Laser Strike News

Jeff Randall at ESEE Knives let the cat out of the bag on their new folding knife design. It is a prototype of a folding version of the venerable ESEE-3. The prototype likely won’t change much when it goes into production but there may still be some changes.

The prototypes blade is made from 5/32″ thick D2 steel and is about 3 1/2″ long.The steel for the final product has not been decided yet. The blade will lock up on a monstrous frame lock. There will also be a G10 slab on the non-lock side for grip.

These two folder prototypes will be in the ESEE booth at the upcoming SHOT Show along with another ESEE prototype – the Laser Strike. The Laser Strike was an early Randall Adventure Training design that was made by TOPS Knives. The Laser Strike was a medium survival knife (5″ blade) that had a very unique fire drill divot milled into the micarta handles. The original Laser Strike knives are becoming very hard to find so many people are looking forward to this reissue. Hopefully, there will be pictures of the new Laser Strike after the SHOT Show.

Nick Allen of NWA Knives Goes Full Time

Nick Allen is the man behind NWA knives. His knives are known for their extremely unique and recognizable organic lines, functional designs, extreme durability, and bullet proof sheaths. Until recently, knife making was his part time job but now Nick is hanging out his shingle as a full time knife maker.

The NWA Sierra Scout is purpose built to thrive in the wilderness.

Not only does Nick make phenomenal knives, he backs those knives with great customer service.

One of the missions of Jerking the Trigger is to shine a spotlight on real American entrepreneurs, small business people, and craftsman. Nick certainly fits all three of those categories. Next time you are ready to buy a knife, consider supporting a skilled craftsman like Nick at NWA knives.

You can see NWA’s full line of knives on the NWA Knives website. You can also communicate directly with Nick and NWA Knives users at the NWA Knives Forum on BladeForums.com.

Orange Izula

Image courtesy of Knifeworks.com

Knifeworks has an exclusive new orange Izula. Orange makes perfect sense for a survival tool like the Izula because it makes the knife more difficult to lose. Whether it is dropped into a shallow creek, on to the forest floor, into a crevice in boulder field, or behind the couch, you stand a much better chance of being able to visually locate an orange knife. Aside from that, it just looks cool.

The orange Izula is available with just a sheath or with the complete Izula kit which includes a sheath, fire starter, whistle, and other useful items. The previously review optional Izula scales will also complement this knife nicely.

You can find out more about the orange Izula at Knifeworks.

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The-Knife-Connection Handle Kits Now Available for the ESEE3

The new ESEE3 Handle Kits look much like the previous ESEE4 models (pictured above).

The-Knife-Connection’s excellent Handle Kits are now available for the ESEE3. I recently reviewed the Handle Kits for the ESEE4 and I was very impressed. They are more contoured than the flat slabs that come standard on the ESEE knives and offer some extra length. The ESEE3 should really benefit from these TKC Handle Kits since it is thinner than the ESEE4. Some people with large hands find the ESEE handles to be a little short so the extra length of these scales can be a definite plus for some users. There are several color options available, including some new subdued colors.

TKC offers these individually so you can retrofit your current ESEE knife or they have a very cool “Build Your Own ESEE” option. You can choose your blade color and handle color. You can also choose from TKC’s selection of ESEE sheaths, both OEM and custom leather.

Check the new Handle Kits out at The-Knife-Connection.

Keep an eye out for TKC’s Izula scales sometime early next year.

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Boker Plus Krein PSK

The Boker Plus PSK is one of the new additions to the Boker line. The PSK is a Tom Krein design that is already a successful part of his  full custom knife line. Krein designed the PSK to be a do-all Personal Survival Knife. The original design is both very tough and very compact and the Boker Plus version looks to be no different.

The Boker Plus PSK has a 3″ blade and is made from 4.7mm thick 12C27 steel. Even with this thick blade stock, it should be an excellent cutter due to the tall flat grind. The handle slabs are black G-10 with red spacers. It comes with a kydex sheath with Tek-lok. The MSRP of the PSK is $99.95 and the street price should be considerably lower.

Check out the Boker Plus PSK on the Boker USA website.

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Scrap Yard Scrapivore LE Now Available

I always look forward to seeing the latest offering from Scrap Yard Knives. Scrapyard has a reputation for offering extremely tough knives at a very reasonable price and the Scrapivore LE looks like it will live up to that reputation.

The Scrapivore looks to be very similar to one of my favorite knives, the ESEE Izula, but it has a very unique feature that sets it apart from similar knives on the market. The end of the handle features a tapered pry tip. Many people use the knife blade for prying but this can damage the knife. By providing a purpose built pry tip, the Scrapivore provides a useful prying tool without risking damage to the blade.

The LE version of the Scrapivore is currently available. Scrap Yard’s LE designation indicates a satin finish which takes more hand finishing. There will be a less expensive CG (combat grade) version available soon which will be coated and made from slightly thicker steel stock. The Scrapivore LE is also slightly harder at 62-65 Rc than the CG version will be at 58-60 Rc.

Stats:

  • Overall – 6.5″
  • Blade – 2.75″
  • Thickness – .125″ (1/8″)
  • Steel – SR-101
  • Hardness – 62-65 Rc
  • Price – $69.95

You can visit the Scrap Yard Knives webstore for more information and to purchase your own Scrapivore LE.

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Review: ESEE 4 Series Custom Handle Kits from The-Knife-Connection

Click to enlarge.

Users of ESEE Knives have been asking for years to purchase extra handle scales so that they can customize their knives. Until just days ago, there was no source for aftermarket “drop-in” handle scales and ESEE would not sell the scales separately because they require some hand fitting. Dale Stoops, the owner of The-Knife-Connection (T-K-C), saw the potential in making custom handle kits and seized the opportunity. Now ESEE owners have some functional and attractive options for customization.

Fit and Finish

The first thing you notice when take these scales out of the packaging is that they are very attractive. They come in a growing number of colors that should suit just about everyone. The scales are finished nicely with a very fine texture that is at least as “grippy” as the factory linen micarta scales, if not more so. The set that Dale provided for this review are the Red & Black G-10 which is very attractive, especially on a black knife. All of the handle contours really show off the various layers of red and black colors.

The fit of the handles that I was provided is excellent. They fit almost perfectly flush along the front of the grip and are only slightly raised at the spine of the grip (completely unnoticeable in use). The standard ESEE scales are hand fit so for a drop-in set of scales to fit this well is a testament to the precision with which these grips are machined. All of the holes for the handle bolts are nicely recessed so that the screw head sits flush and a lanyard hole is provided. There was obviously a lot of care in the design and manufacture of these handle kits.

Click to enlarge.

Additional Contours

These aren’t just fancy colored clones of the standard handle scales. These slabs were built to increase functionality and improve ergonomics. Many users of ESEE Knives have found the handles to feel a bit too thin, too short, or both. These new handle kits from T-K-C address those issues by adding thick palm swell and about .5″ of extra length. The standard ESEE handle is a uniform .570″ thick. The T-K-C handle features a palm swell that is about .725″ at the widest part of the spine and tapers down to about .580″ at the spine’s thinnest point. The scales are subtly thicker at the back of the grip (the spine) than at the front (where the fingers typically wrap). Even with the additional thickness, these scales still work perfectly with the standard kydex ESEE-4 sheath.

The T-K-C handle features contours that make it very comfortable to use. Shown with a standard ESEE-4 handle for comparison. Click to enlarge.

Note the additional length of the T-K-C handle. Click to enlarge.

In Use

The result of all of these contours is a handle that locks itself comfortably into the users hand. The broad spine gives plenty of surface area to spread the force of powerful push cuts like notching. The slight thinning toward the front of the grip keeps the handle from feeling like a 2×4. The palm swell locks the knife into the hand during pull cuts or thrusting cuts. The short “hook” at the pommel end of the grip works extremely well for times that you want to choke down of the knife. This technique is commonly used to make a short knife behave like a longer one for light chipping.

One of the best things about the original handle is that it let the user comfortably grip the knife in just about any way they wanted and, with all the additional contours, you might think that the T-K-C handle kit would ruin that but it doesn’t. It still feels great in every grip that I tried. This is a well designed handle that is suited to a variety tasks.

Conclusion

These handle kits are a worthy addition to a classic knife. They improve the appearance and function of the knife while still maintaining the use of the standard sheath. If you have been wanting to dress up your ESEE-4, then look no further than these Custom Handle Kits from The-Knife-Connection.

These kits are available at The-Knife-Connection. While you are there check out their selection of ESEE-4 blades without handles and ESEE-4 sheaths so you can build a custom ESEE-4 from the ground up. Also, watch for Custom Handle Kits for other ESEE models coming soon.

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ESEE-4 Custom Scales Now Available from The-Knife-Connection

The wait is finally over. The new custom scales for the ESEE-4 are finally available for purchase from The-Knife-Connection. You will want to keep a close eye on The-Knife-Connection because they will be releasing new colors and custom scales for other ESEE knives as well, like the ESEE-3.

Not only will these scales be available for purchases individually, you will have the option of purchasing a blade blank without scales. This means that you can pick your blade color, add the handle of your choice, and then choose from several sheath options that The-Knife-Connection carries. You can essentially build your own custom ESEE-4 from the ground up.

You can read more about the scales on the previous post on Jerking the Trigger (I have a set inbound for review at a later date). You can purchase them from The-Knife-Connection.

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