Archive | Reviews

Lightning Review: Hewlett Two-Side Diamond Sharpener Medium/Fine

There are many, many overdone field knife sharpeners on the market but very few that I would consider carrying regularly. That is why I love my USA-made, easy-to-carry Hewlett Two-Sided Diamond Sharpeners with medium (600) and fine (1800) grits. I have had a couple of these knocking around for years now. It might be the most versatile, easiest-to-carry, field sharpener I own.

These diamond plates are the right size – small enough to carry in their included sleeve and large enough to actually work. They are just under 4″ long, 1.25″ wide, and just about 1/16″ thick. They weigh just over 1 ounce.

I rarely use the medium side but it is coarse enough to get some mild reprofiling done in the field should you take some chips out of an edge. The fine side is all I usually need to touch up an edge before finishing with a quick strop.

I have even used mine to strike a ferro rod and scrape tinder like fat wood thanks to the crisp edges on the plate. It isn’t meant for that and I am sure it isn’t good for it… but it works.

I bought mine on Amazon: Hewlett Diamond Sharpener Medium/Fine


The EDC Tool Roll: Klein Tools 65200 Ratchet Set

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 have covered a lot of ratchet/driver tools on The EDC Tool Roll and the Klein Tools 65200 has become a favorite. I have carried this one but I also reach for it quite a bit for projects at home and it all comes down to few key features.

The most obvious feature that sets the 65200 apart from every other ratchet I have reviewed is the inclusion of a large ring. The ring allows you to turn the ratchet with just a finger which acts somewhat like an extension giving you some additional reach and leverage. It could also be used to clip or dummy-cord the 65200 to yourself or your gear. I find myself using it a lot.

Klein Tools also designed an excellent finger-turning ring for this tool. If you have ever tried to start a screw with one of these ratchets, you know that it can take a few turns before there is enough friction on the fastener for the ratcheting mechanism to work well. The finger ring is useful for hand-turning fasteners to start them and this one works well thanks to its easy-to-grip texture and large diameter.

I also like the included bit holder. It is more compact than most, holding just 5 bits. I guess some people may wish they could carry more bits but I like how small this holder is and find myself using it with other tools!

Finally, Klein Tools includes a 1/4″ socket adapter with this kit. It seems odd to point this out but it is actually somewhat unusual. I appreciate that this is included because I am often having to buy one separately for other similar ratchets.

As I said, this is among my favorite ratchets but I should point out that the 65200 is chunkier than many similar offerings. Also, as handy as I find the ring, it might make it more difficult to store in some kits. If you need the most compact option, this likely isn’t it.

Where to Buy:

You may actually be able to find these if you have a local source of Klein Tools. Home Depot carries it in some stores as part of a larger tool kit which may be useful to some. Otherwise, these are extremely affordable on Amazon which is where I bought mine: Klein Tools 65200 on Amazon

Previously Reviewed Alternatives:

  1. Alltrade/Powerbuilt Ratchet & Driver
  2. Chapman MFG Midget Ratchet and Accessories
  3. GearWrench MicroDriver Set
  4. Prestacyle T-Handle Ratchet
  5. Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX
  6. VIM Tools HBR3 Bit Ratchet
  7. VIM Tools HBR4/Prestaratchet Mini Ratchet
  8. 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.

Review: SOG Tellus FLK

I purchased a SOG Tellus FLK a while back because I couldn’t resist what appeared to be a very good deal for a large folding knife. I was also intrigued by its surprisingly lightweight given its size and the way SOG executed the frame-lock (more on this later).


  • Blade Length: 3.65″
  • Closed Length: 4.80″
  • Overall Length: 8.40″
  • Blade Steel: CRYO 440C
  • Blade Finish: Stonewash
  • Pocket Clip: Stainless Steel (Tip-Up, Right/Left Carry)
  • Weight: 5.8 oz.
  • Pivot: Ball Bearings
  • Made in China

Observations from Use

SOG states that the Tellus FLK is an “outdoor workhorse,” which is certainly the vibe I get from this knife. The blade shape, size, and overall feel in the hand remind me a lot of past Zero Tolerance/Rick Hinderer collaboration knives and that is a complement. The knife feels like it is ready to work thanks to SOG’s design choices.

The first thing I noticed about the Tellus FLK is its weight. Now, I am not saying this is a lightweight knife but it one of those knives that messes with your head a bit. When you pick this up, you expect it to feel much heavier than it does. It feels very light for its size. This is thanks to SOG’s choice to mill out very large voids in the liners and likely the use of polymer for several parts of the knife including the scales, backspacer, and even the thumb studs.

Those polymer thumb studs are actually very comfortable to use and the blade deploys easily when using them. In fact, I greatly prefer them to the flipper tab that this knife also includes.

The scales have diagonal, grooved texture that offers a ton of grip without being aggressive or hard on your pockets. They are relatively thick and well-contoured. The polymer scales are affixed to the steel liners via internal, nested screws. SOG also chose to affix a small section of scale to liner-turned-frame-lock which improves the comfort in this area. This is the kind of innovative thing that can and should be done with polymer handles!

The 440C used in the Tellus FLK’s broad, drop point blade is easy to resharpen and seems relatively tough. The height of the blade, coupled with a nearly full-height flat grind allows the blade to really thin out behind the edge. This knife cuts better than a lot of knives with even thinner stock thanks to this cutting geometry. It is impressive in this regard.

The pocket clip is reversible and offers a ton of clearance for pockets with chunkier fabrics. The position is somewhat low on the knife which, for me at least, allows it to fall in a comfortable part of my grip rather than being way out toward the edge of my hand.

The blade locks up solidly though there is some slight side-to-side play which is typical for larger bladed folders with ball-bearing pivots.

All of that sounds pretty good (and it is) but there are a few design choices that leave me scratching my head. First, I am little confused by the use of a ball-bearing pivot given the “outdoor workhorse” intentions of the Tellus FLK. Boring old PB washers would like stand up to fouling more readily and might have even been cheaper. Second, the pivot screws on this knife are fairly large but they went with a T6 driver… and that fits kind of loose. Be careful when adjusting the pivot on this knife. Again, different hardware might have made more sense for this design.

Wrap Up

This knife offers a combination of features that make it very attractive at the price: standout ergonomics, tough stainless steel, great cutting geometry, and multiple deployment methods. It is also significantly larger than a lot of knives in this price range and that is worth something if you need a larger knife for your application.

I like the Tellus FLK so much that I could see choosing this over other classic, low-cost work knives like the RAT 1 just based on just how much knife you get for the money. I’m impressed.

I purchased the SOG Tellus FLK with my own money, from Amazon: SOG Tellus FLK

Review: Nitecore TM12K

Pretty much any flashlight can be useful and some are more useful than others. Nitecore makes its fair share of those more useful lights but their Tiny Monster series, the TM12K specifically, reminds us that flashlights can be useful AND FUN… like giggle-inducing, retina-burning, show-it-off-to-your-friends fun.


The TM12K is one of the brighter lights in Nitecore’s Tiny Monster series. This USB-C rechargeable Li-ion light boasts up to 12,000 lumens of floody output from its 6 Cree XHP50 LEDs. It has 4 levels of output in addition to it’s Turbo mode (a total of 5). The 4th level is user programmable which is a task that is made very easy by the included OLED display!

The light has an internal 21700 battery with 4800 mAh capacity for some very impressive runtimes. It can charge at 18W in just 1.5 hours from empty.

You can see details outputs and runtimes in the image below.

Observations from Use

The TM12K feels like a light aimed at flashlight enthusiasts like much of the Tiny Monster line. I think that is where a lot of the fun (and the price) comes in. Most lights don’t need an eye-searing 12,000-lumen wall-of-light output mode that makes the flashlight body so screaming hot that the light has its own LED display with a visible countdown timer and temperature monitoring to prevent the light from melting itself down into an aluminum puddle… but that’s fun.

OLED displays and 12,000 lumens available at the touch of a dedicated button are fun… but Nitecore also managed to make this light very useful. When you aren’t using the turbo mode to turn night into day, that OLED display gives useful information like which level you are on currently, voltage, temperature, battery level, and even estimated remaining runtime! The latter two information points are extremely useful and makes me wish every light had an OLED display.

I have found the levels/modes on the TM12K to be very practical. Level 1 is an ultralow 6 lumens that runs for more than 200 hours and is great for power outages. Level 2 and 3 offer 100 and 300 lumens for respectable runtimes and I use these levels a lot when using the TM12K as a sort of work light which it excels at. For instance, level 3 was all the light I needed to change the sheer bolt on a snow plow in the dark breezeway of a barn recently. Level 4 is programmable from 400 to 2000 lumens in 100-lumen steps but it defaults to 1000. Programming this level is very easy and fast thanks to the two-button interface and display.

The form-factor of this light is somewhat unique. It has a very good pocket clip that actually works but, realistically, you won’t carry it in your pocket. It is boxy but not uncomfortable to hold and some thoughtful machining provides plenty of grip. I love the shape of this light for how I use it. I can set it down or tail-stand it to aim light anywhere without fear of it rolling away. This is very useful for a light that I mostly use as a work light or during power outages.

There are a few things I might change if I had my druthers. The lens, over the 6 LEDs and their reflectors, is understandably large. It might be nice to see a more protective aluminum bezel to protect that large lens. Also, this light features two lockout modes which are necessary considering this will be carried in a bag most of the time. The lockouts are so necessary that it would have been nice to have them directly accessible via a physical switch. I also wouldn’t mind seeing a more water-resistant cover for the charging port but I have used this light in damp, snowy conditions without issue.

Wrap Up

The Nitecore TM12K reminds me that useful gear can be fun too. It’s an excellent, floody light with long runtimes that make it suitable for power outages and illuminating work areas. However, it also has “12,000 LUMENS!!”, literally engraved on the side so you know it doesn’t take itself too seriously. This light feels a little like a showcase for what Nitecore can do.

TM12K Product Info:

The TM12K can be purchased at Nitecore Store or Amazon

Review: Nitecore NU33

I have a long history with the NU series of headlamps from Nitecore. I have used a number of them, carry one daily in the winter, and have written about them on these pages before. When I was given the chance to check out one of the newer lights in the series, the NU33, I jumped at the chance.

Nitecore’s NU series of lights are all defined by a number of features and design elements. They feature integral USB rechargeable batteries. The lights are generally compact and lightweight while also featuring multiple outputs and, often, multiple types of outputs like white, high CRI, red, etc. They also tend to feature well-thought-out user interfaces. The NU33 checks all these boxes.


The NU33 weighs in at just 3.38 ounces on my scale. This weight includes its aluminum outer construction and integral 2000 mAh lithium battery. It is USB-C rechargeable which is a VERY welcomed change over previous headlamps in the NU series with Micro USB charging. It features three different lighting options: a central white LED, auxiliary high CRI white flood light, and red LED light. Outputs and runtimes are included in the image below.

Observations from Use

I’m not going to share charts, graphs, and pictures of light spots on white walls. Those things can be valuable but I don’t think they will tell the story of just how practical this light is. This light is not flashy in terms of lumen stats but it is exceedingly useful. The care that Nitecore put into making this light easy to live with is impressive.

NU33 (top) shown with the modern classic NU25

First of all, check out those runtimes. Nitecore was somewhat conservative with outputs in favor of runtime. As someone who uses a headlamp daily in the winter, I appreciate that. The main white light, in low mode, will provide 60 regulated lumens for a staggering 37 hours dwindling to about 38 hours according to the runtime graphs provided in the manual. To put that in perspective, it wasn’t that long ago that most headlamps topped out at 60 lumens and we were thrilled with that. It is very useful amount of light for a very long time.

Those lumens are made even more useful by the design of the lens/diffuser that Nitecore uses. It provides a perfectly smooth hotspot that throws well while illuminating a large area. Cleverly, the entire face of the light acts like a diffuser so that you have a light cast over a very wide area as well. This means that even with the light angled high to look as far ahead as possible, there is still light being cast at your feet. I have never seen another headlamp pull off this combination of hotspot for distance and diffused light for area lighting so well.

All light modes are accessible via a simple two button interface.

The auxiliary light modes, high CRI and red, are both useful. That usefulness is maximized by the fact that they are both directly accessible when the light is off meaning there is no need to cycle through the brighter modes, which is a truly great feature of a great UI.

The high CRI light is a feature that I grew to love on my NU25. It’s floody, with no hotspot, very easy on dark-adjusted eyes, and it renders colors faithfully which is handy for tasks like map reading. Best of all, it comes on at a nice, easy-on-the-eyes 6 lumens but can be bumped up to 50 lumens. I can tell you from experience that the low mode is more than enough to walk a dark trail or navigate a dark room and you can do this for 147 hours!

The red light could stand to be a little dimmer to be truly useful but it is available directly from “off” which is great. The red LED also offers a flashing mode which could be useful for those who intend to use this for early morning runs where you might be using this headlamp to be visible to drivers more than to see where you are going.

Switching back to discussing the main white light, the spacing on the 60, 200, and 700 lumen modes is excellent with each offering a large step up in brightness and also balancing run times. The 200 lumen setting is perfect for most uses with a generous 9 hour runtime. The 700 lumen mode has enough punch to really look a long way up the trail while still offering 4 hours of runtime which is noteworthy in a world where most lights offer a high output mode that runs for only about an hour. This sort of well-balanced separation between modes is easy to get wrong but Nitecore nailed it.

The front portion of the NU33’s case is made from anodized aluminum. This is nice for both durability and conducting heat away from the light. The body of the light is fairly compact considering the size of the battery that it houses which makes this light easy to carry and easy to wear. I also think Nitecore has improved the bracket design versus previous lights in the NU series like the NU20 and NU25 which have somewhat fragile brackets.

Previous offerings in the NU series of lights had battery meters but they weren’t as easy to use as the improved meter found on the NU33. Now, instead of having to count dim flashes, the battery level displays on a simple four level LED readout. It is far more foolproof.

Easy to activate and read battery level indicator

I am gushing so far but there are improvements that could be made. For instance, many of the NU series headlamps have a clever silicone rubber bead applied to the inside of the head strap. This prevents sweat from dripping down and helps the strap really lock in place. This feature is curiously missing from the NU33 and I miss it. In addition to my gripes with the red light being too bright, I find it annoying that the light flashes brightly when locking the buttons to prevent accidental activation though I do appreciate that Nitecore provides an option to lock the switches to prevent accidental activation in a pocket or pack.

Wrap Up

I was already a fan of the NU series of headlamps and this NU33 has solidified my love of these lights. It takes everything that was great with the previous NU series lights and makes improvements to the UI, charging interface, and construction. It also offers excellent, useful modes that are well-spaced and easily accessible. Best of all, it goes hard on useful outputs with useful runtimes rather than chasing impressive lumen claims to print on the box.

This is a truly excellent headlamp that retails under $50!

Learn more at

Purchase at or Amazon

USB-C charging is much more robust than Micro-USB

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