Author Archive | Matt

Review: Vosteed Hedgehog

The Hedgehog is one of the best knives to come out of Vosteed yet. They seem to be completely unafraid to try new things and this knife is a prime example.


You can see the full specs at The most relevant specs are listed below.

Blade Length: 2.99″ | 76.00 mm

Overall Length: 7.11″ | 180.60 mm

Blade Thickness: 0.138″ | 3.50 mm

Blade Material: S35VN

Weight: 4.02 oz | 113.90 g

Opener: Back Flipper | Thumb Stud | Fuller

Lock Type: Top Liner Lock 

Observations from Use

The big star of the show is Vosteed’s take on the Compression Lock. This lock is a Spyderco invention on which the patent has now expired. A handful of companies are trying their hand at them and Vosteed’s take is very innovative. They have added a button that is affixed to the liner and passes through the show-side scale for easy access (see following two images). The result is a lock that has the crispy tuned detent of a liner lock, the easy finger-safe action of a button lock, and the brute strength of a compression lock. If you can try one of these in person, do it. It’s impressive.

The detent on this knife is just about perfect and it pairs well with the slightly heavier blade to create reliably snappy action. I can use the fuller to flick it open with all four fingers, it rockets open with the thumb studs and low profile flipper tab, and it lands home with a satisfying thwack when closed. This knife has very well-tuned action.

So, it’s fidgety and the lock is strong but does it cut? Yeah. It cuts. I found it to be an excellent chore knife. The S35VN holds an edge well and is nice to see on a knife around this price point. The tall flat grind provides aggressive cutting geometry at the edge. The modified sheepsfoot blade has a gently sweeping belly and an easy to access tip. This knife wants to work.

All that cutting power is backed up with very good ergonomics that lets you really push behind the edge. The handle is hand-filling and offers great grip thanks to the frag pattern milling. The Hedgehog offers a generous finger choil so you can choke up right behind the edge for control.

There are also a lot of refined details if you go looking for them. The liners are nested into the handle scales and HEAVILY skeletonized to reduce weight. This knife may look chunky but its weight is kept in check. There are extra machined details in the large barrel spacer, pivot, and two different patterns of blade jumping. The blade finish is Vosteed just flexing on everyone – it features a belt satin primary grind, a sort of hand-rubbed satin on the flats, and light bead blast in the fuller. Vosteed is clearly setting this knife apart at the more premium end of their line.

It is difficult for me to come up with criticism of the Hedgehog as it was seemingly designed specifically to appeal to me. It is exactly what I like in a knife but there is one thing I would change. The blade jumping on the spine of the knife could stand to be finer and I think it could be extended a bit to help with control of the tip. However, the chunkier jumping that Vosteed chose is effective and fits well visually with the design of the Hedgehog.


The Hedgehog is a stylish, refined, fidget-friendly EDC knife that also happens to be a hard-use, rugged work knife. It pulls of both with equal aplomb. Vosteed seems to have this type of lock, the Top Liner Lock, thoroughly figured out and they are already using it on other knives in their line like the much-loved Raccoon. It will be interesting to where else they can take it.

Vosteed Hedgehog on


Review: Vosteed Thunderbird

The Vosteed Thunderbird seems to be designed with a deep love and understanding of what it takes to make a great knife for the EDC market. It’s large but slim and light. It’s fidgety but functional. It’s aggressively styled but refined. And, it has all the little touches that the knifyest knife guys will geek out about.

In short, the Thunderbird is Vosteed’s love letter to EDC knife aficionados.


The Thunderbird is available in MANY different sizes and versions. In short, I have the 3.48″ blade version with Topo handles and S35VN steel. You can learn more about the specs of this review sample (provided by Vosteed) and other variants at

Observations from Use

The Thunderbird is one of Vosteed’s more premium offerings and it shows. The impression is one of refinement, sleekness, and attention to detail. Some knives are smooth. The Thunderbird feels all but frictionless as the blade swings through its arc. It feels… fancy.

This knife is so slim and light for its size that it brings to mind classic EDC knife designs like the Benchmade 710 or 940 (but at a fraction of the cost). It has that same sort of large-knife-that-carries-easier-than-a-small-knife vibe. In that sense, it is sort of optimized for everyday carry.

And while you are carrying it, you can rest assured you will be able to access it… all the ways. It back flips, front flips, slow rolls, flicks off the fuller, wrist flicks, and more. It does all of these opening methods exceedingly well thanks for plenty of jimping in the right places and a well-tuned detent on the Trek Lock.

Speaking of the Trek Lock… Vosteed’s version of a plunge lock or button lock has really come into its own. This one is solid as a rock and has been spine-whacked when it was brand new and again after several weeks of use – no problems.

My favorite thing about the Thunderbird is the blade. It has a wild but useful compound grind that is something like a traditional tanto meets a harpoon. The long straight edge portion of the blade is very thin behind the edge and offers a ton of cutting power. The belly/tip portion is flat ground to put more meat behind the useful tip. A small swedge grind is added to make the tip especially acute while still strong. This knife cuts.

The GT-Mascus handle material used is interesting. It is very smooth but still has a similar grabbiness to something like polished G-10 or linen micata which I like. It has an almost tacky feel when your hands are slightly damp which is reassuring. Vosteed uses this material on several of their more premium knives and now I see why. It offers grip without shredding pockets.

One of the cooler touches that Vosteed adds to each version of the Thunderbird is a little special something in the backspacer. Some have glow-in-the-dark material or some might be a space-agey metal like titanium. In this version, they offer a chunk of solid brass or copper. Mine has started to patina with use which is very cool and will someday (probably) look impressive on Instagram.

Most of my nitpicks on this knife come down to me being a curmudgeon. First, if the harpoonish thumb ramp was just chopped off the blade, it would be even more slim in the pocket. Second, the chunk of brass in the butt of the knife adds weight. A piece of contrasting GT-Mascus or even anodized aluminum would weigh less. But I admit that both of those changes would make the Thunderbird feel a little less special and a lot less cool.

Wrap Up

The Thunderbird is the kind of knife that comes around when a knife maker intimately understands their target market. It’s practical, functional, easy to live with, refined, and looks cool in an Instagram flat lay. I can see why they continue to iterate on this design because it seems to have it all.

Vosteed is, as of the time of this writing, offering 20% off many knives for Mother’s Day.

Vosteed on


Review: Eberlestock Bando Bag

I walk a lot, hike whenever I can, and run occasionally. I tell you this to justify the fact that I wear a fanny pack regularly… almost daily during some parts of the year. I even like doing it. Please don’t judge me. It is a convenient way for me to carry the items I want to have ready access to when I am outdoors and that includes a firearm.

It has been my experience that you can carry a firearm in almost any fanny pack but not all fanny packs are well suited to it. Access is the key. That is where my Eberlestock Bando Bag comes in. This fanny pack has a dedicated pocket that makes accessing a firearm quick and easy. I have been using it since December of last year.

There are other fanny packs that are suited to carrying vital self-defense items but what sets the Bando Bag apart is its appearance. It looks like any other sporty, outdoor-brand fanny pack and this is what I appreciate about it most. I don’t wear it into town but if I did, it would look like every other fanny pack you see in an outdoorsy area.

The Bando Bag features three compartments. The firearm compartment (5.5″ x 9.5″) is accessed via a full zipper. It can be “torn” open to allow full access by grabbing one of the zippers or hooking your thumb in the gap between the double zippers (my preferred method). It works well. This compartment will just barely fit a G19 (I usually use a G43 or small-frame wheelgun) but the new XL version fits full-sized handguns.

The second compartment is a very generous cargo compartment with organization. There are two small slip pockets and a large mesh zippered compartment with plenty of other loose space for larger items like phones. The third compartment is a zippered stash pocket on the front which is great for small items like chapstick or a lighter.

I have found the Bando Bag to be comfortable to wear and efficiently laid out to allow me to carry anything I would otherwise have knocking around in my pockets. Drawing from concealment is easy with practice. On top of all that, it is significantly less expensive than most similar bags. I like the first one I bought so much that I just ordered the new XL version to try.

As of the time of this writing, the Bando Bag and Bando Bag XL are on sale for 20% off on Amazon (the regular size Bando Bag is less than $40!): Bando Bag and Bando Bag XL on

Flash Review: Regiment Blades Lo Viz Pro

I have owned a Regiment Blades Lo Viz Pro since shortly after the new company was launched. In that time, I have come to appreciate what this knife offers – a purposeful design that is easy to retain and intuitive to use, a sheath that works, and a value price. Regiment Blades even offers a polymer trainer that fits the sheath. This is an extremely rare combination of features in the backup/defensive knife landscape and especially at this price.

The Lo Viz Pro is a frequent companion for me when walking or jogging thanks to an excellent sheath that clips into workout shorts and the “bent” design that rides comfortably on the waist. The 8Cr14MoV stainless steel with black nitride coating has held up to all the sweat and frequent trips to the swimming hole.

If you are looking for a backup knife that is ready to go into your rotation without having to splash out a small fortune and without immediately shopping for a sheath upgrade, the Regiment Lo Viz Pro could be it. This knife ticks all the boxes.

Regiment Blades, including the Lo Viz Pro, are now available on Amazon: Regiment Blades Lo Viz Pro

An Affordable Classic Pen Modernized – the Parker Jotter

I always carry a pen. Usually, it is a Pokka Pen since I can easily drop it in my pocket. However, I also like to have something a bit more substantial and enjoyable to write with most of the time. That means you’ll often find a Parker Jotter with me and you probably need one too.

The Parker Jotter is an absolute classic design that looks at home in any EDC or sitting on any desk. It is also incredibly modern thanks to the fact that it takes standard Parker-style refills which is an incredibly common ink refill format. You can take a Jotter from all-weather “tactical” pen to basic ballpoint to precise gel pen to smooth writing rollerball just by swapping the refill.

I’ll call out one refill that I particularly like because it offers a precise .5mm tip, smooth writing, quick-drying ink, and a fairly large reservoir at a very low price (as low as $2 each). The Ohto Flash Dry refills will drop right into the Jotter and feature a fine tip that I love writing and doodling with. I also appreciate that these refills are lighter weight than metal ballpoint refills which makes the Jotter a very lightweight pen. This is an incredibly useful combination.

I have two Jotters. One that is more modern and made in France. The other is an older one, made sometime before the 1970s and it is still writing. That is impressive for a $13 pen.

You can find Parker pens at many office supply stores locally (wait for a sale) or pick them up at Amazon:

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