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Archive | Knives

Scrap Yard Knives War Dog

I always look forward to seeing new releases from Scrap Yard Knife Works (SYKW). In my opinion, they make some of the toughest and most reasonably priced knives on the market. Their most recent offering is called the War Dog and it looks like it has tremendous potential.

The War Dog is flat ground from a .235″ thick slab of Busse’s famous INFI steel. INFI is renowned for its toughness. It also has a new handle shape that is molded from SYKW’s Resiprene C material. The handle looks to be very well shaped for use with multiple grips and the Resiprene C material offers excellent grip in my experience. I especially like the versatile drop point blade shape. It has enough belly for tasks that call for it and plenty of straight edge near the handle for cuts that require more leverage.

The War Dog costs a bit more than other offerings from SYKW but that is due to the exclusivity of INFI steel. You can check it out on the Scrap Yard website.

Spyderco Dragonfly2 Salt

Spyderco’s newest addition to their Salt line is the Dragonfly2 Salt. The Salt line consists of several Spyderco classics and some knives unique to the Salt line, all of which make use of a “rust proof” steel called H-1. The rust proof properties of H-1 come from its extremely low carbon content and it makes these knives ideal for extreme environments like saltwater.

The rust resistant properties of the Dragonfly2 make it very resistant to the problems that come from a lack of maintenance. That, coupled with the compact size, make the Dragonfly2 a great choice for a knife that will be kept in a small survival kit, car kit, or any other kind of kit that will be carried often, used once in a while, and maintained infrequently.

The Dragonfly2 is one of my favorite small knife designs. It isn’t the smallest design on the market but it very compact without sacrificing ergonomics. It is very ergonomic, much like most Spyderco designs. Features like fine jimping on the finger choil and thumb ramp help lock the Dragonfly2 in your hand (a very nice thing for a knife that may be used around water).

You can read more about the new Spyderco Dragonfly2 Salt at Spyderco’s website.


Knife users everywhere should be thankful that the Boker Plus brand has given Chad Los Banos (CLB) a venue to show his knife design prowess. The collaboration of CLB and Boker Plus has resulted in several excellent high value knives, and the new MICROCOM seems to be more of the same.

CLB has stated that the MICROCOM is an homage to Fred Perrin. It is very easy to see the influence. Like many Perrin designs, the MICROCOM features compact dimensions, a chisel ground edge, and a deep finger groove to maximize retention. The Perrin influence is certainly visible if you read between the lines, but even a cursory glance leaves little doubt that this is a CLB design.

The MICROCOM is ground from 440C steel. It features a compact 2″ blade and a 4″ overall length. The scales are skeletonized G10 with a checkered texture. It comes with a Kydex sheath that is set up for neck carry but could easily be adapted to other methods of carry.

This would make a phenomenal EDC fixed blade and last ditch defensive tool. The price is excellent considering all of the the features. I have seen these at various sellers for around $20.

You can read more about the MICROCOM and other CLB designs at the Boker website.

New ESEE Forum

ESEE has opened a new forum that replaces their old forum on Bladeforums. It contains a ton of great survival information and you can interact directly with Mike and Jeff (the owners of ESEE). This forum is a tremendous resource.

You can check it out on the ESEE website.

Benchmade 915 Triage

Benchmade’s new 915 Triage is purpose built for first responders, but others might find some of its life saving features useful, too. The Triage features a sheepsfoot blade profile, a glass breaker, and an innovative fold out safety hook cutter.

The 3.5″ sheepsfoot blade is ground from .130″ thick N680 steel. This is an excellent blade shape for working in and around flesh because it lacks a point. It allows the user to slide the spine of the knife against a surface (like a person) that they do not want to damage or harm while they cut away clothing or a seat belt. The blade utilizes the excellent AXIS locking mechanism.

The fold out 440C steel safety hook feature provides an even safer option for cutting belts or clothing. It folds out from the knife’s spine at the opposite end as the blade. It features a thumb stud for easy one hand access.

The Triage also features a carbide glass breaker set in the base of the knife. It will be available with orange or black G-10 handles with a black coated or uncoated blade. The buyer will also have the choice of a plain or combo-edge (partially serrated) blade. The pocket clip is reversible for left or right side tip up carry.

Check out the 915 Triage at Benchmade.com.

Review: Fallkniven DC4 Diamond/Whetstone

Recently, I spent some time looking for a new knife sharpener to use when I am out in the woods. I wanted something compact, lightweight, and capable. After spending some time looking over various options, I settled on the Fallkniven DC4. At just under 4″ by 1 1/4″, it is certainly compact and it is quite light at only 3.7 ounces. I’ll share more about what makes it so capable later in the review.

The DC4 comes with a leather slip cover.

The previous sharpener that I was using utilized only diamond abrasives to hone the edge. The diamond abrasive cut quickly but it didn’t leave the edge very refined. In order to refine an edge, you need a fine sharpening stone or a leather strop. A quality whetstone or strop will polish the edge instead of just cutting the material.

The Fallkniven DC4 solved a problem for me. It features a diamond stone on one side and a fine whetstone on the other. This combination of sharpening surfaces gives you the quick cutting performance of a diamond abrasive and the ability to refine your edge on a whetstone. The DC4 also comes in a leather pouch that is not only useful for protecting the stone, but also for stropping the edge of your knife to put a final polish on it.

The diamond side of the DC4 makes short work of very dull edges.

The DC4 is simple to use. It does not require any water or oil, but it would be a good idea to clean the surfaces periodically with soap and water. If your edge is very dull, you start with the diamond abrasive. It removes metal relatively quickly so that you can reset the edge of the knife. Once you are happy with your progress, you can move onto the fine whetstone which helps refine the somewhat rough edge that diamond hones can leave. Additionally, if you want to refine the edge even further, you can use the leather cover of the DC4 to strop your edge. If your edge just needs a touch up, you can start with the whetstone or even just strop it on the leather cover.

Fallkniven does not advertise the leather cover as a strop but it actually works very well. Just put the DC4 in the cover so that you have a rigid backing and pull the edge across the surface of the leather with the edge trailing (the opposite of how you would typically sharpen, edge first). The cover has Fallkniven’s maker’s mark embossed on one side so you will want to use the opposite smooth side of the leather.

The fine whetstone side of the DC4 refines the edge and is great for quickly touching up your edge.

I was disappointed initially with how coarse the “fine” whetstone was. However, like the Fallkniven website says, it has become much more smooth over time. Mine is already quite smooth and it is getting smoother with each use.

The Fallkniven DC4 is a compact, lightweight, and capable all-in-one solution for keeping your knives sharp in the outdoors. In one small, slim package you have the ability to rehab a very dull edge, touch up, and even refine an already sharp edge. It is extremely versatile and it has become a fixture in my hiking, hunting, and even my every day carry pack.

New Rant Models from Benchmade

The Rant series from Benchmade is one of my favorite inexpensive fixed blade knife options. They have comfortable handles, functional sheaths, and very versatile blade shapes. Until recently, Benchmade offered the Rant with either a Drop Point or Bowie blade profile. Now they have released two new blade profiles: Tanto and Clip Point.

All 4 blade profiles are 4.48″ long, .170″ thick, and have an overall length of 9.11″. They are ground from 440C steel. My experiences with Benchmade’s 440C have all been very positive. The included MOLLE compatible sheath is very functional.

You can find more information on the Benchmade website.


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.

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