Monday, May 30, 2011

Cold Steel Large Espada Knife Review

'Cold

I most appreciate the knives that take thought to comprehend, and the Cold Steel Large Espada V is a great example of a knife you won't completely get the first time you see it. Cold Steel continues to take chances and express some good ideas. This one is worth a look, and then another look. Built of Japanese AUS 8A stainless steel, a 7075 aluminum handle frame nearly as durable as titanium alloy, and G-10 handle slabs that withstand weather and chemicals and still look good, the Espada isn't the usual pocket folder.



The first thing I noticed was the tab at the base of the blade -- it reminded me of the trademark Laguiole bee that has embellished traditional Spanish pocket knives for at least a couple of centuries. The thought behind this massive folding knife -- an overall length of 12-1/4 inches with the 5-1/2-inch blade locked in open position is definitely large for a modern folder -- is old Spanish, but redesigned for modern circumstances. Instead of being just a pocket utility knife, the Espada is a pocket sword. It's a little like a TDI tactical knife with more class. Both types base handle design on pistol grips -- something more familiar to modern hands than the grip of a knife or sword -- but the Espada does this with style. The grip design is more like the old flint lock pistol than a Police Special, but it fits the hand well.



As it turns out, the tab at the blade's base isn't a concession to tradition, but something entirely new. That little steel plate is designed to catch on the edge of your pocket as the knife is drawn, boosting the blade open. Smaller versions open with the usual thumb stud.

To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel Large Espada V 5.5" Blade with Aluminum and G10 Handle Scales, click the link below.

Cold Steel Large Espada V 5.5" Blade with Aluminum and G10 Handle Scales


To buy or get more information on all knives in the Cold Steel Espada Series, click the link below.

Cold Steel Espada Series



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Friday, May 27, 2011

CRKT Hissatsu Tactical Fixed Blade Knife Review


The Hissatsu is primarily a fighting knife designed by CRKT and James Williams. You may notice the name because James has been the "go to guy" on the discovery and history channels when it comes to samurai and combat tools and how they’re used. So it’s not surprising that he knows what’s needed in a combat knife.

The Hissatsu name translated means “certain kill” which just about says it all. The CRKT Hissatsu knife is designed like the Japanese samurai katana which is a long curved blade which is made so that the user can draw the blade from the sheath and go right into a cut. The curved blade allows the user to not just cut right from the sheath but it allows you to make that cut then the blade will cut its way out of the body so that the tool can be used right away. Most combat knives have straight blades and when you make a slashing cut with a straight blade the blade tends to cut down then you need to pull the blade out but with a curved blade it does this work for you by cutting your blade out so it can be used right away.


James Williams designed this knife to be used for combat and self-defense. I have seen a few reviews where people have said this knife can’t be used as a utility knife which I don’t agree with because any blade can be used as a utility knife even a butter knife. But this knife was not designed for that. The blade is very sharp and comes down to a very fine edge. It's ideal usage is for slashing and stabbing if you were to use it as a utility knife it would become dull faster than other knives that where designed to do utility tasks.

The CRKT Hissatsu knife comes in 4 models, one tan on tan, one black on black and one with a black handle and polished blade then there is a model called Hisshou which is a larger model. The handles of the Hissatsu are made from zytel which is a very hard and durable thermoplastic and the handle has a second coating of which is softer and much grippier. This knife has no tang pommel and the knife was made that way so that you’re not limited on ways to use it. When you have sharp points on the pommel this tends to limit you from being able to put your hand over the tail and drive down onto the blade for more power that’s why James made the pommel this way.

The only down side of the Hissatsu knife is the sheath I really like the size and the shape but it just doesn’t hold the knife as secure as I would like. What I think companies should do is to make a small set screw near the point where it grips the knife allowing you to adjust how well it holds. It’s a small thing but I feel it would make a big difference.

The blade of the CRKT Hissatsu knife is made from 440A steel and I have had good luck with this type of steel. 440A steel stays very sharp and holds its edge very well and because it is stainless steel its also low maintenance. What really surprised me about Hissatsu knife was its penetrating power. The blade comes to such a sharp point and the steel is so thick that it’s like a large metal tooth that can be driven into just about any webbing or vest with very little effort.

When it comes to a combat knife for fighting slashing and stabbing there is no better and this knife defiantly makes it into my top 10 self-defense knives and is very affordable when it comes to a combat knife.

To buy or get more information on the Columbia River Hissatsu Tactical Knife with Black Blade and Kydex Sheath, click the link below.

Columbia River Hissatsu Tactical Knife 6.62" Black Blade Kydex Sheath



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Monday, May 23, 2011

Kershaw Junkyard Dog II Folding Knife Review

Kershaw Junkyard Dog II 3-3/4" Composite Blade and G10 Handles

Like its namesake, the Kershaw Junkyard Dog II Pocket Knife isn't pretty, but it's tough. The Junkyard Dog II is a little lighter than its predecessor, the all-stainless-steel Junkyard Dog I. With textured handle slabs of G-10, it's also a lot friendlier to the hands.


This is another innovative example of a one-handed opening system which seems like a good idea -- but could provide some interesting quirks as well. Instead of a thumb stud to rotate the blade out of the stainless steel frame handle, finger pressure on the "flipper" section of the blade back has to build up high enough to force the blade out of the friction lock. A handy feature that keeps the knife from opening in the pocket, the friction lock releases suddenly, allowing the blade to swing fully open on momentum alone.



Locked into place, the knife's wide blade is sturdy and impressive. Handle design is slightly offset, allowing the plain edge to be used for any ordinary purpose but also providing some of the instinctive fighting aspects of pistol grip designs. The stainless steel pocket clip secures it in easy reach without the need for a belt sheath.

The new handle build cuts the weight to only 5.2 ounces, and the Sandvik 14C28N high stainless steel blade is built for heavy work. Give the Junkyard Dog a regular and thorough cleaning and oiling if you expect all features to work properly.


I'm very impressed with the Kershaw Junkyard Dog II overall. Ergonomics are outstanding, and obviously a lot of thought went into the design. Even the clip plays a role in making the knife feel very good and very secure in hand. The Kershaw Junkyard Dog II is built like a tank and is a great value for the money. You will get many years of service from this well-made knife.


To buy or get more information on the Kershaw Junkyard Dog II 3-3/4" Composite Blade Knife with G10 Handles, click the link below.


Kershaw Junkyard Dog II 3-3/4" Composite Blade and G10 Handles


Description

With a blade composed of two different kinds of steel, the Kershaw Junkyard II Composite uses 13C26 steel on the spine and CPM-D2 on the cutting surface. The idea behind the design is that the more expensive metal is used on the cutting surface while the least expensive metal makes up the majority of the blade. The two metals are separated by a copper accent that gives it an extra nice look. This Kershaw Junkyard Dog II model 1725CB is a relatively large knife that feels great when you use it. A black vinyl gift pouch is included.

Key Features:
  • Uses two different kinds of metals
  • Copper accent separator
  • Gift pouch included


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Friday, May 20, 2011

Gerber Mark II Knife Review


If you're a serious collector of fixed blade knives, certainly you've heard of the Gerber Mark II. First produced in 1966, the MK II was designed by retired Army Captain Bud Holzman, who used the pattern of Gladiator swords for his inspiration. And there could be no greater inspiration for a truly deadly tactical knife like this one.


The Gerber Mark II was originally produced from 1967 to 2000. There was a short run of 1500 made in 2002, and then regular production resumed again in 2008.

The Gerber Mark II is a world famous double-edged, double-serrated combat knife. It is admittedly a bit much for daily pocket carry, and it isn't exactly full of gadgets. Nevertheless, it is a badass knife, and worthy of inclusion in our knife reviews. The Gerber Mark II was first introduced in 1966 in a slightly different design. The knife quickly gained a reputation as a deadly combat knife, as opposed to a general utility / combat knife, like the famous standard issue Ka-bar knife. The Gerber Mark II is too thin to use for prying and hammering, like the hardier Ka-bar, and didn't originally have serrated edges. The knife apparently became wildly popular in military base exchanges due to its reputation and deadly looks. This didn't go over so well on the homefront, where Vietnam war protestors used the knife to showcase the "murder" taking place in Vietnam. The military apparently banned the sale of the Gerber Mark II to avoid the bad press, but Gerber got the knife back in circulation by adding the serrated edges and labeling it a "survival knife", instead of a combat knife. The modern incarnation is made of 420 HC steel with a black oxide coating.

'Gerber

The Gerber Mark II features a double-edged partially serrated spear-point blade with a contoured handle. The Mark II knives were used heavily by U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam War. The knife was also featured in the movies Aliens and Mad Max 2.

The 6-7/8" double-edged, spear point, wasp-waisted blade is currently being made from 420HC stainless steel with a black oxide coating. Each edge has partial sawtooth serrations close to the hilt, a long ago innovation from the original design which was intended to expand the marketing realm of the Mark II into the survival knife category. The die-cast aluminum handle is also coated with black oxide, making for a good match with the blade and black ballistic nylon sheath, and an overall attractive look.


Aside from its historical significance - being a commonly carried tactical blade in the Vietnam War - and its valuable addition to any collection - each is engraved with a serial number - the Mark II is one of the best selling knives of all time. From 1966 to 2000, Gerber Legendary Blades was shipping the Mark II all around the world, and couldn't make them fast enough in many years. There was another very limited run in 2002, and as of July 2008 the Mark II is back to full production. Get yours while you can. Who knows how long this run will last.

To buy or get more information on the Gerber Mark II 6.875" Double Serrated Blade with Nylon Sheath, click the link below.

Gerber Mark II 6.875" Double Serrated Blade with Nylon Sheath



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Monday, May 16, 2011

Spyderco Bill Moran Drop Point Knife Review

Spyderco Bill Moran 3-7/8" VG10 Steel Drop Point Blade, FRN Handles

Designed by Bill Moran, one of the founding fathers of the American Bladesmith Society, Spyderco's Bill Moran drop-point, fixed blade knife provides adventurous knife owners with important modern features seldom found in traditional belt knives. Also find Moran's signature etched in the blade.



This 8-1/16-inch-long hunting and survival knife features a fiberglass reinforced nylon (FRN) handle injection-molded around a flat tang. The steel blank is VG-10 high carbon stainless steel, the type chosen for fine chef's knives as well as tough outdoorsman's blades. To increase comfort and grip, the sides of the handle include panels of resilient Kraton.


The Bill Moran FB02P uses a familiar blade style, the drop point skinner, which suits camp chores as well as hunting. This plain-edged knife isn't delicate -- the flat grind gives the edge the strength many hollow ground skinners don't have. No serrations means you can expect fast cutting with no scars. If you need a good blade for cutting wood as well as cutting rope, the FB02P does both types of work efficiently.


The Kydex G-clip sheath allows belt mounting in several positions. This three-ounce knife cuts back on weight with a blade thickness of only 1/8 inches and a conservative length of 3-7/8 inches, making it a very reasonable trail knife for ultralight hikers. The G-clip mounting allows owners to fix this knife to pack harness straps as well as belts, swiveling and locking in place for secure transport. If you've ever wrestled with a pack belt that won't get along with a belt sheath, consider upgrading to the FB02P.


To buy or get more information on the Spyderco Bill Moran Drop Point Knife, click the link below.

Spyderco Bill Moran 3-7/8" VG10 Steel Drop Point Blade, FRN Handles

Spyderco Bill Moran 3-7/8" VG10 Steel Drop Point Blade, FRN Handles




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Friday, May 13, 2011

RAT Cutlery / ESEE Izula Neck Knife Review

ESEE Knives IZULA (Olive Drab) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

ESEE Knives named their lightest knife to date after the bullet ant. In Peru this ant is called Isula. The reason it's called a bullet ant is because they say if you get stung by one it's like getting shot with a bullet.

The RAT Cutlery / ESEE Izula knife is one of the best small survival knives I have ever found. Useful beyond imagination, tough, easily deployed and with a full warranty. It is aptly named after the Bullet Ant which Peruvian natives call "Isula."


It is small lightweight easily carried and easily deployed.
The Izula knife measures 6.25” in overall length, with a blade length of 2.88” of 1095 steel. The blade has a full flat grind and features thumb serrations for about half an inch along the spine. It measures one inch at its widest point. I don’t have I micrometer, but the specs list it at .156” thick.

The knife itself weighs in at 2 oz. and I find this to be very reasonable for neck carry.
The knife is a one piece carbon steel construction with a carbon steel blade. It's edge is as sharp as a razor and can whittle sticks and cut boxes to ribbons as well as carve up your next meal. It has a skeleton handle with a finger hole on the end. The sheath was of injection molded plastic that was secured by hollow rivets.

It could be set up for a variety of different carry options including ambidextrous carry of the knife in horizontal or vertical fashion, in handle up or down positions, and on either side. It could also be hung upside down and clipped to a pack, or even added to a key ring with the accompanying split ring. I found these to make for a very versatile sheathing system and each method worked quite well. In the end, I still preferred to carry it around my neck with the handle down. I was pleased that the length of paracord was long enough for me to double both sections back before securing the ends so that I could make quick length adjustments without having to take it off and re-tie any knots.

The
RAT Cutlery / ESEE Izula knife comes in 4 colors Black, Desert Tan, OD Green and Pink. You can buy the knife and sheath by themselves or you can buy a kit that includes: An Ambidextrous Sheath, MOLLE lock, Paracord (for cord wrapping handle or use as a lanyard), cord lock, Snap (for snapping system on to outdoor gear), Split Ring, Fire Flint, Whistle, and Instruction Sheet. There is also an Izula II that came out recently. The only difference I've been able to determine is that the handle is 1/2" longer and it comes with Micarta Handles. You can also buy the Micarta handles separately to fit your original Izula.


To buy or get more information on the RAT Cutlery / ESEE IZULA (Olive Drab) Neck Knife and Sheath, click the link below.


ESEE Knives IZULA (Olive Drab) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

ESEE Knives IZULA (Olive Drab) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

To buy or get more information on the RAT Cutlery / ESEE Knives IZULA (Olive Drab) Neck Knife Complete Survival Kit, click the link below.


ESEE Knives IZULA (Olive Drab) Neck Knife Complete Survival Kit, 6.25" Overall

To buy or get more information on the RAT Cutlery / ESEE Knives IZULA (Black) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, click the link below.

ESEE Knives IZULA (Black) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

ESEE Knives IZULA (Black) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

To buy or get more information on the RAT Cutlery / ESEE Knives IZULA (Black) Neck Knife Complete Survival Kit, click the link below.


ESEE Knives IZULA (Black) Neck Knife Complete Survival Kit, 6.25" Overall

To buy or get more information on the RAT Cutlery / ESEE Knives IZULA (Desert Tan) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, click the link below.

ESEE Knives IZULA (Desert Tan) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

ESEE Knives IZULA (Desert Tan) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

To buy or get more information on the RAT Cutlery / ESEE Knives IZULA (Black) Neck Knife Complete Survival Kit, click the link below.


ESEE Knives IZULA (Desert Tan) Neck Knife Complete Survival Kit, 6.25" Overall

To buy or get more information on the RAT Cutlery / ESEE Knives IZULA (Pink) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, click the link below.


ESEE Knives IZULA (Pink) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

ESEE Knives IZULA (Pink) Neck Knife and Sheath Only, 6.25" Overall

To buy or get more information on the RAT Cutlery / ESEE Knives IZULA (Pink) Neck Knife Complete Survival Kit, click the link below.


ESEE Knives IZULA (Pink) Neck Knife Complete Survival Kit, 6.25" Overall



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Monday, May 9, 2011

SOG Tech Bowie Knife Review

SOG TECH Bowie Fixed Knife with Black Plain Blade and Kraton Rubber Handle

Based on the classic SOG Bowie, but changed to become a top-notch work knife with the use of technology, modern materials, and a little class thrown in to finish it off. The blade is made from LinkAUS8 Stainless Steel and is 6.4 inches, a really perfect size for a great range of job sizes. At .24 inches thick, this survival knife won’t snap if you need to do some prying and comes with a faceted tip to complete the beautiful design of the blade. This blade is razor-sharp and the finish is
amazing. The overall length for the SOG Tech Bowie Survival Knife is 11 inches, making it very manageable and weighing in at 11.2 ounces ensures that you won’t become fatigued while using this knife.

SOG TECH Bowie Fixed Knife with Black Plain Blade and Kraton Rubber Handle

This Survival Knife has a Kraton rubber handle with inter-spaced white washers. This has never been accomplished before and provides an unmistakable SOG look. Some people don’t like the tactile feel of the Kraton rubber handle but I love the fact that I can get and keep a strong grip no matter what conditions I am working in. I can’t say how important a comfortable grip that makes it easy to maintain a strong grip is when it comes to actually using survival knives in the field. I love the SOG Kraton handles and this one is no exception. This handle has a stainless steel pommel and cross guard.

SOG TECH Bowie Fixed Knife with Black Plain Blade and Kraton Rubber Handle

When you buy this survival knife you are treated to one of the better sheaths as it comes with a Hard Side Kydex sheath. The Kydex sheaths are way better than the nylon or leather sheaths out there. I wish SOG would only include their Kydex sheaths when you purchase one of their survival knives. Every time you look at Survival Knife Reviews you will find their Kydex sheaths being praised and you will see that this knife scores nothing less than 4.5 stars. If you are in the market for a medium survival or hunting knife, or even a defense blade, the SOG Tech Bowie is a knife I would highly recommend.


To buy or get more information on the
SOG Tech Bowie Fixed Knife with Black Plain Blade and Kraton Rubber Handle, click the link below.

SOG TECH Bowie Fixed Knife w/ Black Plain Blade & Kraton Rubber Handle

SOG TECH Bowie Fixed Knife with Black Plain Blade and Kraton Rubber Handle


To buy or get more information on the SOG Tech Bowie Fixed Knife with Satin Blade and Kraton Rubber Handle, click the link below.

SOG TECH Bowie Fixed Knife w/ Satin Plain Blade & Kraton Rubber Handle

SOG TECH Bowie Fixed Knife with Satin Plain Blade and Kraton Rubber Handle



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Friday, May 6, 2011

Spyderco Military Knife Review



Although Spyderco's Military Digital Camouflage Knife was designed for military users, it's one of Spyderco's best choices for civilians as well, with a rugged build and special features other Spyderco lightweights lack. Anyone interested in a dependable folding clip knife should give this one a look.

Spyderco Military Black S30V 4" Plain Edge Blade Digital Camo Handle

Thumb stud opening systems sometimes threaten to carve off the side of your thumb if there's a little grit in the mechanism. The steel loop of the Spyderco camo knife is a much better method, holding the tip of the thumb securely for smooth and safe opening every time. Keeping the interior of a one-hand opening folder clean often is difficult, especially with a skeletonized build. Spyderco's Military Camo knife uses a solid frame and reduces those problems with a more protective design. No modern clip knife works well if it's filled with hay or sand or gummed up with the leftovers of a hunting expedition. With maintenance in mind, Spyderco designed the Military Camo knife with spacers that allow better access to the inside of the handle. Debris is visible and easily removed.


The shape of the 5-1/2-inch handle provides plenty of hand security, and the G-10 slabs were engineered for a non-slip grip. An open length of 9-1/2 inches includes 4 inches of dependable, corrosion-resistant CPM S30V high carbon steel, enough knife for any common task. The secure liner lock gives the Military Camo knife much of the strength of a small fixed blade but releases easily for quick return to the pocket. Only 4.25 ounces in weight, this knife adapts to camping and hiking needs perfectly and makes a good choice for the handyman also.

What impresses me the least is the digital camouflage, of little use in a folding knife bound for the pocket and only increasing the chances you won't find it if you drop it in the woods or the desert sand. Fortunately, this knife is also available in easily spotted orange.



To buy or get more information on the Spyderco Military Knife with Black Plain Edge Blade and Digital Camo Handle, click the link below.

Spyderco Military Black S30V 4" Plain Edge Blade Digital Camo Handle

Spyderco Military Black S30V 4" Plain Edge Blade Digital Camo Handle

To buy or get more information on the Spyderco Military Knife with S30V Plain Edge Blade and Digital Camo Handle, click the link below.

Spyderco Military Digital Camo 4" S30V Plain Edge Blade

Spyderco Military Digital Camo 4" S30V Plain Edge Blade


 

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Cold Steel Rajah II Folding Knife Review

Cold Steel Rajah II Folder Knife 6" Kukri Style Blade with Grivory Handle

The main design idea behind the Cold Steel Rajah II Knife is that it's a pocket folding interpretation of a kukri machete. To achieve this Cold Steel needed to build an extremely robust folder with the strongest lock on the market.



The Rajah II measures a closed length of 8". The blade length comes in at 6" with a thickness of 4.8 millimeters. Straight across the overall length comes in at 14". Frame thickness comes in at 11/16 of a inch. The total weight comes in at a few ounces short of a full pound at 13 ounces.

To start with, I photographed my Rajah II and a Case Large Folding Hunter together. This photo gives a good indication of how large the Rajah II actually is.

Cold Steel Rajah II Folder Knife 6" Kukri Style Blade with Grivory Handle

The Rajah II is a very robust and solidly built knife. The attention to detail and overall build quality are excellent. The Grivory handle is full lined with recessed stainless steel liners that run the full length of the frame on both sides. The frame is held together by 3 double end torx bolts and a large torx pivot bolt. The blade runs off a pair of phosphorous/bronze bushings giving the blade a relatively smooth action......

Cold Steel Rajah II Folder Knife 6" Kukri Style Blade with Grivory Handle

The lock bar is 3/16" thick and short at only 2 3/4". It pivots on a solid stainless 1/8" thick pin. The blade stop is also a solid 1/8" thick pin but is surrounded by a slightly larger diameter stainless sleeve inside the frame where the blade makes contact. The locking system is the TRI-AD lock which is apparently designed to use this blade stop in such that all force applied to the blade goes through this stop and through the entire frame instead of on the lock bar. The lock bar is stout and the spring pressure is fairly heavy. It locks up rock solid.


Cold Steel Rajah II Folder Knife 6" Kukri Style Blade with Grivory Handle

The 3/16" thick Kukri-style blade is made of AUS-8 stainless and is flat ground and finished in a smooth bead blast. The edge is a V-bevel and evenly ground on both sides it's entire length and came out of the box hair-popping sharp. It easily shaved a patch right off of my arm with little effort. The blade sports a ambidextrous thumb disc right above the blade's tang. It is nearly 1/2 a inch wide by 9/16 of a inch long, and about 1/8" thick. It's torx bolted to the spine of the blade and is serrated on both sides which gives your thumb good purchase. It works very well, and despite the stoutness of the lock bar spring the blade opens fairly easy one handed. Although for people with small hands or short thumbs I can see this knife/short sword being a bit of a pain to get open one handed.

The Rajah II came with two black-coated pocketclips, one for either side of the frame, but they only allow for Tip-Up carry. That said, regardless of hand size pulling this out thing out from Tip-Up you will have to adjust the knife in your hand to get to the thumb disc for opening.......here a Tip-Down position would negate such an action and put your hand and thumb right where it needs to be on presenting the knife.

The Cold Steel Rajah II is a great knife. I'm smitten.

To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel Rajah II, click the link below.

Cold Steel Rajah II Folder Knife 6" Kukri Style Blade with Grivory Handle





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