Archive | EDC

The EDC Tool Roll: Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various everyday carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or everyday carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


If you are looking for some of the lightest, most compact, and functional handtools for your version of The EDC Tool Roll, you might have to leave the hardware store and head over to the bike shop. That is where you are most likely to find this slick ratchet/driver combination tool we are focusing on today… the Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX.

The ratchet/driver included with this kit has a unique format with a reversible ratcheting end complete with a finger wheel and a fixed inline end. The configuration is excellent allowing for the speed of a ratcheting driver along with the easier starts and longer reach of a fixed, inline driver. Both ends hold standard hex shank bits with excellent retention. This format is VERY useful in a small driver.

I was initially interested in the Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX for just the ratchet/driver. I thought the other items might be too bike-specific to be useful to me but I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I like the included pouch. The pouch holds the contents securely and is very compact. You can easily exchange the bike-specific bits for whatever you need (though the labeled sizes won’t match). Additionally, if you remove the tire levers, you can fit a Knipex Cobra Plier 87 00 100 in the kit turning it into a smaller than wallet size EDC Tool Roll on it’s own.

This kit doesn’t come with a hex shank to socket adapter. It is worth adding one on your own because makes a fine socket wrench and nut driver. I purchase them from iFixit.

Where to Buy:

You stand a good chance of finding this tool locally in your bike shop. If you can’t support your local spot, Amazon has it: Topeak Rocket Ratchet Lite DX on Amazon

Previously Reviewed Alternatives:

  1. Chapman MFG Midget Ratchet and Accessories
  2. GearWrench MicroDriver Set
  3. VIM Tools HBR3 Bit Ratchet
  4. VIM Tools HBR4/Prestaratchet Mini Ratchet
  5. VIM Tools HBR5 Bit Ratchet

See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have a tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

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Review: Hard Ready Brand HR-1 Full Blade Kit

The Hard Ready Brand HR-1 is an important knife as a model of what can be done. At just $80, it has several notable and important features that are typically reserved for knives costing 3 times as much. The HR-1 democratizes the defensive fixed blade and you should know about it.

Overview

The HR-1 is a full tang knife ground from .125″ thick German X30Cr12 Steel. It features a 2.5″ long blade and a 7.125″ overall length. The flat saber ground tanto knife has a bare tang handle that terminates in a large finger loop.

It comes with a full-size aluminum trainer and a kydex sheath with a centerline clip. It is these features that really set it apart at its $80 price tag.

Observations from Use

The HR-1, in my opinion, is a study on how to hit a price point the right way. Hard Ready Brand made several smart decisions in designing this knife that kept the price low without sacrificing function.

The HR-1’s tanto blade is an understandable choice though it likely wouldn’t be the first choice of many including myself. This blade shape offers a strong point and is easy to sharpen. It doesn’t penetrate as readily as something like a spearpoint but, in my testing, it still pokes holes in stuff. Hard Ready Brand tells me other blade shapes may be available at a later date.

The handle has something for everyone. If you like a karambit-esque finger ring, it has one. However, if you don’t like them, the handle is shaped such that you can just completely ignore it in exchange for the VERY deep first finger choil that can be used to index the knife right out of the sheath. There is a sort of bump behind the finger choil that I could do without but I do acknowledge that this is a great ledge for retrieving the knife from the sheath.

The handle is bare and very thin. This is not a utility knife meant to be used hours on end. It’s a defensive knife with a handle design that offers great retention, resists twisting, and leaves no doubt how the edge is oriented. It fits a variety of hand sizes, especially if you ignore the finger ring. If you want to add a bit of grip without adding much bulk, it is easy to wrap with hockey tape, though I don’t think it’s necessary.

The choice of German X30Cr12 Steel is a smart one. This is basically a German equivalent of 420 series steel. I can already hear the knife snobs choking but hear me out. This steel is almost an asset to the knife as 420 series steels are fairly tough and corrosion-resistant while still being very affordable. It makes perfect sense for a knife that needs to be tough, affordable, and that you will carry next to your body day in and day out. I’ve even worn mine while swimming without fear of rust.

Now we can get into the two features that really make the HR-1 an incredible feature – the sheath and the trainer.

This knife actually comes with a real aluminum training knife. That is basically unheard of unless you want to pay at least twice as much and, even then, the choices would be slim. The training knife fits the included kydex sheath which is excellent.

The sheath is kydex and, while there is definitely room for improvement, it is more functional than the vast, vast majority of knives on the market. It includes stainless hardware including a centerline clip that can be mounted on either side of the sheath. The clip is what makes this sheath. It has a tooth that grips your belt, webbing, and even the waistline of your athletic shorts fairy tenaciously. That’s right, you don’t need a belt to wear the HR-1 which puts it in rarified air in terms of sheath design. It’s not a Discreet Carry Concepts clip but it works.

All that said, the retention on the sheath could be better. It seems like the sheath needs an adjustable screw on the edges side or, cheaper still, just another eyelet. The sheath retains the trainer perfectly but it is a little loose on the live blade. It is almost as if the sheath is molded for the trainer leaving it just a little loose on the live blade. I fixed this easily by adding a ranger band which helps pinch the kydex together at the right location.

Wrapping Up

As I said in the first paragraph, the HR-1 is an important knife. This is a knife that gets the most important things right at a price that is basically untouchable. It’s not perfect but it is better than many, many other knives that think they can target this market space just by painting their blade black and adding tactical to their name.

It brings the functionality of a modern, defensive fixed blade to those who are unwilling or unable to pay $200+. It’s a bold concept and I am glad that Hard Ready Brand is trying something this ambitious.

Maybe you didn’t think you could afford a modern, purpose-built defensive knife with a trainer and centerline sheath or maybe you just don’t want to wear your $400 knife when you are wading in a creek… either way, check out the Hard Ready Brand HR-1.

HardReadyBrand.com

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TangoDown® Vickers Tactical™ GLOCK® 9mm/.40 Double Stack Magazine Pouch

TangoDown® Inc. announces the latest addition to the Vickers Tactical™ collection – the Vickers Tactical™ GLOCK® 9mm/.40 Double Stack Magazine Pouch (VTGMP-01). While on active duty, Larry was heavily impressed by the Milt Spark’s magazine pouches for the 1911 and now wants to bring to life a version for the GLOCK® owners/carriers. With the approval of the team at Milt Spark’s Holsters the design features were updated to accommodate the double stack 9mm/.40 magazines. The goal was to make a product that was incredibly durable, but comfortable for daily use/wear.

Features:

  • Fits 1.75” wide pistol belts
  • Tough injection molded DuPont® Hytrel® for superior impact resistance and wear
  • Smooth exterior form with large radiused corners for wear/use comfort, also lightweight
  • Double pouch can be separated into (2) single pouches

To learn more about the VTGMP-01, visit: Vickers Tactical Glock® 9mm/.40 Double Stack Magazine Pouch – TangoDown

Color Availability: Black and Tan

MSRP: $24.95

Video courtesy of LAV: https://player.vimeo.com/video/528502943

Customer Questions: sales@tangodown.com

Join us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tangodowninc/

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The EDC Tool Roll: Knipex Snipe Nose Side Cutting Pliers (25 01 125)

The EDC Tool Roll is a feature on Jerking the Trigger in which we profile various everyday carry worthy tools. The tools shown aren’t multi-tools but rather real tools, that by virtue of their compact size, light weight, usefulness, or unique functionality, can find a place in any range kit, emergency kit, or everyday carry bag.

Feel free to comment on the tools that you carry so we can all learn! The discussion on these posts has been very valuable so far.


I am willing to give just about of the small pliers from Knipex a chance based on my excellent experiences with everything the company makes. A fan of The EDC Tool Roll told me I should check out another compact plier powerhouse from Knipex – the Snipe Nose Side Cutting Pliers (25 01 125). Once again, they did not disappoint.

Knipex 25 01 125 shown on left for comparison

Knipex’s Snipe Nose pliers are sort of like short needle-nose pliers. They offer a fine working tip with the typically shallow grooves for grip found on needle-nose pliers. They lack the reach of a large set of needle-nose pliers but they are so compact that they can still get into very tight places. I find myself reaching for them often for things like starting roll pins, twisting wire, and more.

I will also mention that the side cutters on these are excellent and this is something that was missing in my compact tool roll. I use a lot of wire for temporary repairs, hanging wasp traps, fixing garden fences, and similar tasks. These pliers are perfect for these tasks.

The rounded, rubber-dipped handles are comfortable to use and allow a lot of force to be applied which is handy when using the cutters. These are small pliers but they offer quite a bit of handle to hold onto.

As useful as these Snipe Nose Side Cutting Pliers are, I recognize that not every kit will have room for them. They are as short as other Knipex EDC classics like the Cobra Pliers but they are wider thanks to the handle design. This can make them a bit of a stretch for some compact tool rolls. If I only had room for one set of pliers, it would be one of the Cobra Plier variants. If I had room for two, these are too handy to overlook.

Where to Buy:

I don’t have a source for Knipex Tools locally (and probably never will) so I buy all of mine online, usually from Amazon: Knipex 25 01 125 on Amazon

Previously Reviewed Alternatives:


See all the reviews for previous tools: The EDC Tool Roll

Do you have a tool recommendation that fits The EDC Tool Roll? Tell us about it in the comments below or drop us a line on the Contact page.

The above URLs may be affiliate links.

LowPro Augmento Ghillie Snake

What if you could quickly and easily apply a 3D camouflage to almost anything using something that weighs just one ounce and fit easily in a pocket? That sounds like an interesting ability, does it not? Well, I just described the Ghillie Snake from LowPro.

The Ghillie Snake. A multi-use, quick application, seven foot length of camo netting on shock cord that can be wrapped around just about anything. Virtually weightless, this essential piece of kit can be stowed away and forgotten about until that extra element of stealth is required.

Check out the Ghillie Snake and the rest of the Augmento line at LowProApparel.com

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