Friday, October 28, 2011

KA-BAR Adventure Potbelly Fixed Blade Knife Review

KA-BAR The Adventure Potbelly Fixed 6-5/8" Carbon Steel Blade, Adventuregrip Handles

If you're looking for a heavy duty camp knife, hunting knife, and survival tool, stop here. Look no farther than the Ka-Bar Adventure Potbelly Knife. The Potbelly's seven-inch, hollow ground blade of 1095 Cro-Van steel has enough reach and enough weight to do the work of a camp axe as well as a full-sized, razor-sharp hunter.


The Potbelly Knife is manufactured by Ka-Bar in the USA. The black coated blade is 0.25" thick, 7 1/8" long from tip to handle panel, 1 5/8 " at the widest point and made out of 1095 Cro-Van steel (same as the Becker line) at HRC 56-58. The grind is almost like a saber grind, except this primary bevel is hollow grind (not flat). The first third of the blade has an unsharpened false edge on the spine and there is a choil area right in front of the handle. The handle itself is very nicely shaped and proportioned, has a palm swell and the Zytel scales have a texture not unlike sharkskin.

With a full length of 12-5/8 inches, the Potbelly reminds many of the gurkha knife, and actually will perform much like one. The gurkha became famous as a fighting knife but also served well around camp and even made a pretty good substitute for a machete. The Potbelly fits in that same category of all-purpose knife. Built with a full tang handle and injection-molded Zytel handle slabs, the Potbelly was made to fit all sizes of hands -- the efficient Adventuregrip texture and deep finger choil won't slip.


Designed by knife maker and boar hunter Steve Johnson, the field editor for Boar Hunter Magazine, the Potbelly evolved through several different versions and considerable field testing by Johnson before becoming part of the Ka-Bar lineup. According to Johnson, the production model exceeded his expectations.


Combined with the Adventure sheath, the Potbelly ought to exceed yours as well. With two belt loops at different heights and extra MOLLE points for custom rigging, the Potbelly's Adventure sheath fits any gear. A large pouch on the front of the sheath holds the basic survival tools you want, not the Band-Aids and the fishhook you usually get in survival kits. Best of all, the sheath's extra slot holds the Adventure Piggyback, a skeletonized high carbon stainless steel skinner for the more delicate field dressing work.


To buy or get more information on the KA-BAR The Adventure Potbelly Fixed 6-5/8" Carbon Steel Blade with Adventuregrip Handles, click the link below.

KA-BAR The Adventure Potbelly Fixed 6-5/8" Carbon Steel Blade, Adventuregrip Handles



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Monday, October 24, 2011

Cold Steel Recon 1 Clip Point Folding Knife Review

Cold Steel Recon 1 Clip Point 4" Plain Blade, G10 Handles

Looking for a rock-solid, big blade folder? Cold Steel's Recon 1 fits the bill. It has a 4" AUS 8A cryogenically quenched stainless-steel blade, a handle made of G-10 reinforced with stainless steel liners, and sports a unique "Tri-Ad Lock" mechanism.

First picking up the Recon 1, I felt its considerable weight (5.3 oz) which is indicative of its overall quality construction. The thumb stud was easy to manipulate, the blade opened very smoothly, Cold Steel's Tri-Ad Lock cleanly snapped into place, and the handle fit very comfortably in the hand. There was no blade play whatsoever either vertically or horizontally. The blade's black teflon finish was done very well with no missed spots or smears. The edge was extremely sharp out of the box, be careful!


The handle on the Recon 1 is very ergonomic. The G10 grip is excellent and the angle of the handle along with the deep finger grooves provides you with a strong iron grip in either forward or reverse grip. Both the thumb stud and the clip are reversible making it usable by either left handed or right handed users. The clip retains the knife well in the pocket and the knife rides lower than previous versions of the Recon 1. The blade can be deployed swiftly with the use of the thumb stud. While it may not be as swift as some of the assisted blades on the market, a decent handler can deploy it quickly and smoothly.

G-10 is one of my favorite knife scales since when you grip it, it grips back! Because it has a very high coefficient of friction it feels great to hold and is very secure. The use of G-10 combined with good grip geometry make the knife easily handled in slippery conditions.



The clip is thick, tight, and small - it goes unnoticed by the hand while cutting. It is attached by three smaller torx bolts, and can be switched to the other side of the knife. The Recon 1 allows for tip-up carry only (tip of knife faces up when clipped into your pocket). There is some concern that in tip-up carry, a knife can open in your pocket, but because of the Tri-Ad Lock in the Recon 1 (discussed below), this is highly unlikely. The clip as it arrives from the factory is quite tight, keeping the knife very secure. The positioning of the clip means that about of an inch of the handle stays out of the pocket. Though this makes the knife easier to take out, it also tells the world that you're carrying a large knife - this may not go over so well in politically correct or high security environments. The knife also has a lanyard hole large enough to accommodate paracord; this proved very useful in the field.

The Recon 1 is deployed with a single thumb stud. The thumb stud is easily reversed with a screw driver, but if I had a choice I’d rather see it be ambidextrous out of the box. Due to the powerful backspring on the lock of this knife (a modified back lock) it will be difficult to flick this knife out rapidly. However, it does deploy smoothly, thanks in part to phosphor bronze washers.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Clip Point 4" Plain Blade, G10 Handles
Cold Steel Recon 1 Clip Point 4" Plain Blade, G10 Handles

The Recon 1 uses what Cold Steel calls the Tri-Lock mechanism which is a completely ambidextrous lock alleged to be able to withstand up to 200 lbs of closing pressure. At first glance this looks like nothing more than a typical lock-back. The difference is the addition of a stop pin that will absorb much of the shock of hard use instead of the blade where it engages the lock and the lock bar itself. These are the last two parts you want taking the wear and tear. At first, I was skeptical of Cold Steel's claims, but quickly learned to like the Tri-Ad Lock for a few reasons:

  • It locks up like a vault, without a hint of blade play either vertically or horizontally. It is unlikely to accidently disengage (as can happen with a liner lock or frame lock) because of its positioning.
  • It appears very strong; for it to fail, either the locking pin, or the pin that the blade rotates on would actually have to shear. Considering that they are solid steel, that would require a tremendous amount of force (especially as compared to the amount of force necessary for a liner lock to simply bend).
  • Finally, it's easy to use. The last comment I have on this lock is that it provides resistance to the initial opening of the blade - this keeps the knife securely closed while riding in your pocket.
During use, the blade's teflon coating became minorly scratched in two places. I'm not sure how durable it is long-term, but for esthetics one may want to remove the finish entirely and just give the steel a mirror finish. I'm interested in how this performs as a knife, not as wall art, so am not turned off by questions of esthetic durability.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Clip Point 4" Plain Blade, G10 Handles
Cold Steel Recon 1 Clip Point 4" Plain Blade, G10 Handles

All in all, this is a great knife! I don't have any doubt as to the Recon 1's workmanship or quality aside from the blade finish; it can definitely take a beating. This robustness comes at the cost of weight, which makes it more of a blade for camp use than for every day carry. It's very easy to use, smooth to operate, secure and comfortable, and both takes and holds a very sharp edge. To put it simply, I'd recommend this knife to a friend.

To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel Recon 1 with Clip Point 4" Plain Blade and G10 Handles, click the link below.

Cold Steel Recon 1 Clip Point 4" Plain Blade, G10 Handles

Cold Steel Recon 1 Clip Point 4" Plain Blade, G10 Handles



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Friday, October 21, 2011

Leatherman Charge TTi Multitool Review

Leatherman Charge TTi Multitool w/Titanium Handle & Nylon Sheath

The Leatherman Charge is actually a combination of two other great Leatherman multitools, the Charge AL and Charge ALX. The Charge TTi has been fitted with premium comfort titanium handles giving it a sexy, sleek look. But looks aren’t what gets the job done. The Leatherman Charge TTi is a true workhorse among multitools.

Featuring a sleek, new titanium design, the Leatherman Charge TTi is made from titanium rather than aluminum for added strength and for a lighter design. This multi-tool has every tool a man could ever need, and makes them readily available no matter what the situation he may be in.


The Charge TTi boasts 19 of the most useful tools along with 8 interchangeable driver bits. The Charge TTi’s arsenal includes an S30V stainless steel knife, serrated knife with cutting hook, needle-nose and standard pliers, bottle and can opener, 2 wire cutters, wire stripper and crimper, saw, scissors, two file types, a ruler, 8 separate driver bits for different applications and a removable pocket clip, making it easier than ever for him to carry his leatherman all day, every day.

This isn't your ordinary multi-tool. This is a Leatherman, the Cadillac Escalade of multi-tools. The Louis Vuitton of multi-tools. The Michael Jordan of multi-tools.


The Charge's all-locking blades that are stronger than any other multi-tool out there, making it safer and easier to use than ever before. The Leatherman Charge TTi is also the first multi-tool to house a cutting hook made to cut seat belts, linoleum, leather or canvas.

If you're tired of searching for the right tool when you need it, try the Leatherman Charge TTi .


To buy or get more information on the Leatherman Charge TTi Multitool with Titanium Handle and Nylon Sheath, click the link below.

Leatherman Charge TTi Multitool w/Titanium Handle & Nylon Sheath




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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SOG Visionary II Folding Knife Review


The Visionary II is another great product from SOG knives. It’s built on the body of the SOG X Ray Vision but with a great new blade from the line of Elite series. The first thing I noticed about this knife after using it for a while was the fact that the knife handle is so light and has a great feel in the hand . The handle is very well thought out and has no hard edges that will be rough on your hands after a long day of cutting.

The handles are constructed of two slabs of black Zytel which is a lightweight glass filled nylon engineered for strength and durability. The knife carries point up, and is easily switchable from left to right and back. Construction is of torx screws throughout except for the clip, which is a phillip's screw. It is incredibly thin, but fits your hand pretty good (at least my size large hands). The handle is based off the SOG XRay Vision series, and is fairly slip resistant (I haven't used oil or anything, so this is a dry-scale comparison).


The SOG Visionary II is a very light weight (only 4.3 oz.) knife. All of the weight is in the blade. The handle is rugged but light weight. It sits deep in your pocket so that it is not obvious that you are carrying a knife. The weight makes it very good for hiking. My only complaint is that I wish it came with a serrated blade which would make cutting rope much easier.

The blade is shaped off of the SOG Spec-Elite, which is clip point design, and utilizes VG10 for the blade steel. It takes an exceptional edge, and is drastically more wear and impact resistant than AUS 8. While some say it doesn't sharpen as easily, I disagree (that may also be because I maintain my edges daily). While it may take longer, the bur that exists does not fight you and continually flip sides. It's much easier to sharpen, but will take longer to do so if you neglect the knife. The serrations on the thumb ramp are pretty nice - aggressive enough to be useful, not so aggressive it tears up clothing and your hands in use. The overall length of the SOG Visionary II is 8.37 inches and comes equipped with a 3.75" blade.


The Visionary II features SOG's patented Arc lock technology - for those of you who are familiar with Benchmade knives, you've heard of the Axis lock. This is pretty much the same thing, just a knock off concept. The lock is made of a bar that is moved on a track via a perpendicular bar that goes through the steel reinforcements of the handle, and is held against the blade with two springs. This allows you to open the blade extremely fast by holding the lock back a bit, and also allows you to close the blade without putting your finger on the blade, or in it's swing path. The action is very smooth, and the lock itself has held 1000 pounds without failure. That's strong enough for me.


My conclusion on the SOG Visionary II is that it is an excellent knife for every day carry because it is very lightweight, well made and very reliable. The VG-10 steel is a very good quality steel that holds an edge very well. In comparison, I also own a SOG Flash knife and the construction of the Visionary seems to be all-around better. Although the black powder-coating is meant to keep light from reflecting off of the blade, it also acts as a good non-stick coating when cutting meat or other foods. I also think that the Arc-Lock is just as fast to open and actually faster to close, than the assisted open knives. I really like this folding knife and will probably carry it for many years to come.


To buy or get more information on the SOG Visionary II with Arc Lock Dual Thumb Studs 3.75" Black Plain Edge Blade
, click the link below.

SOG Visionary II with Arc Lock Dual Thumb Studs 3.75" Black Plain Edge Blade




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Friday, October 14, 2011

SOG Seal Pup Elite TigerStripe Fixed Blade Knife Review



If you want all the features of the original SEAL Knife in a smaller profile, the SOG M37T-K Tiger Striped SEAL Pup is the survival knife for you. The blade is made of High Performance AUS8 Stainless Steel. This knife is excellent for both outdoor and underwater adventures. Designed for use by Navy SEALs, the M37T-K has a powder-coated, tiger-stripe finish, for that extra cool “I kick ass” look as well as corrosion protection and low reflection. There is a partial serration on the blade of the knife for easy cutting. The double point teeth make this one of the best serrated edges to cut with in my opinion but not the easiest to sharpen. The blade is 4.75 inches long making it easy to handle and decent enough to handle medium-sized jobs. At 9 inches overall, and weighing in at 5.4 ounces, this knife is very easy to handle and maneuver.

The
SOG M37T-K Tiger Stripe SEAL Pup Survival Knife has a glass reinforced Zytel handle with a raised diamond pattern which makes this one of the best grips ever made for a Survival Knife in my opinion. I love the Zytel handles. You could grease this handle up and still get a secure grip, although I don’t recommend you actually grease up the handle. But this handle will not become slippery when working with it in extreme weather conditions. The handle is ergonomically shaped and overall this knife is well-balanced.


This knife comes with a tactical kydex sheath. The knife seats securely with good, positive retention, and has a button closure strap for the handle. Overall this survival knife is well-balanced, ergonomic, lightweight and a great size for handling medium-sized survival related tasks. This knife is backed by a lifetime warranty that protects against defects in manufacturing and materials.


These blades are used quite a bit by the military as combat knives and they are exactly what you would want if what was stalking you for two days wasn't a bear but an insurgent! If you're a knife hunter like me you'll love this knife.



You have got to hold one of these in your hand to know what I am talking about. When you search for Survival Knife Reviews on any of the SOG SEAL Pup knives, you will find 5 stars everywhere you look.


To buy or get more information on the SOG SEAL Pup Elite 4.85" TigerStripe Black TiNi Combo Edge Blade with Kydex Sheath, click the link below.

SOG SEAL Pup Elite 4.85" TigerStripe Black TiNi Combo Edge Blade with Kydex Sheath



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Monday, October 10, 2011

Cold Steel OSS Double Edge Fixed Blade Knife Review

Cold Steel OSS Subhilt Fighter 8-1/4" Double Edge Blade

The Cold Steel OSS sub-hilt fighter offers all the advantages and performance of a custom knife at a fraction of the price. The blade is made from AUS8A Stainless Steel and is sharp on both edges (This is more of a fighting knife with dual edges). The blade is sharp but not the sharpest blade you will find. The blade portion is rather long at 8.25 inches long and an overall length of over 13 inches. Weighing a mere 9 ounces gives this fighting knife a “fast” feel.



Once again the Kraton grip is awesome. You could grease this handle up and still get a strong grip. This fighting knife comes with a handle guard and a sub-hilt which are both injected in to one piece of Kraton so you don’t have to worry about separation. Kraton handles are very durable. The sub-hilt gives you more grip options but it definitely requires a preference to use a sub-hilt. You may not like the feel of a knife with a sub-hilt so I suggest you hold one prior to purchasing a fighting knife like this.



The OSS Knife comes with the Cold Steel Secure-Ex sheath. It is a decent sheath that holds the knife well. It’s not the best sheath out there but it’s far from the worst. It does the job and it does it well. It doesn’t have a ton of mounting options but it’s job is to make the knife readily available for a fight and it does that well.


The Cold Steel OSS is an excellent Fighting Knife for the price. Is it the best fighting knife out there? No but you do get a great knife for the price. If you are looking for a fighting knife then this is a good mid-range fighting knife worth consideration.


To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel OSS Subhilt Fighter 8-1/4" Double Edge Blade
, click the link below.

Cold Steel OSS Subhilt Fighter 8-1/4" Double Edge Blade



I will be posting a video which I've chosen as the "Knife Review Video of the Week" every Monday. If you have, or know of a knife review video which would be a good choice for "Knife Review Video of the Week" please send your requests to: swordofodinknifeblog@gmail.com

All Comments are Welcome and Appreciated.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Buck Vanguard Fixed Blade Knife Review


The Buck Vanguard has a classic blade and was recently voted "Best all around knife" by a popular outdoors magazine. This knife comes with a rubberized handle if you plan on using this in wet weather a lot. For around five or ten dollars more you can get it with a wooden handle. I personally prefer the wooden handle.


This beautiful hollow ground traditional skinning knife, with a thick 4 1/4" high carbon stainless blade, combines the best of old and new. Used to be that knives came with an edge so crudely beveled that it was a mark of pride among the old whittlers on my home town's square that they had spent the many careful hours of whetting required to actually shape the edge well enough to actually cut. Hollow grinding makes that level of edge available to even those of us who don't have much time to spare. The 420HC steel blade is strong enough for near every test yet soft enough for easy sharpening in the field and keeps an edge very well. The Buck Vanguard is a great all around survival knife that will last for years when properly cared for.

I can appreciate a good machinist's blade but that is an entirely different approach than Buck's, the company that still pursues the high end of the smith's art. This fixed blade knife is short enough for good leverage and power, features important to a skinning knife as well as a general purpose utility model. The handle with its rich ebony wood-grain look is hand friendly, so if you undertake a project that requires more than a few minutes you won't blister the skin off your hands. It's an outdoorsman's knife, but only because wearing a sheath knife to work is not socially acceptable today.


Despite the many folding versions of hunting and skinning knives available, the fixed blade sheath knife is still the best choice for field use. That's not just because it is simple and won't fail; the old styles are naturally more sanitary and easily cleaned. You may not think that's an issue until you spend a few days in the bush with intestinal troubles. After that, a folding skinner may not look so pretty.

Buck puts its lifetime warranty up front where you can see it; it's a name to trust.



To buy or get more information on the Buck Vanguard Wood Handle 8.5" Overall Fixed Blade
, click the link below.

Buck Vanguard Wood Handle 8.5" Overall Fixed Blade


To buy or get more information on the Buck Vanguard Rubber Handle 8.5" Overall Fixed Blade
, click the link below.

Buck Vanguard Rubber Handle 8.5" Overall Fixed Blade



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Monday, October 3, 2011

SOG Jungle Primitive Fixed Blade Survival Knife Review


This Jungle Style Survival Knife is a beast. The blade on the F03T-N is made of 420 Stainless Steel and is 9.5 inches long. The backside of the blade has a long deeply serrated section which can be used for cutting or sawing through thick brush. There is also a small serrated section on the bottom of the bottom near the hilt for making more precise cuts. There is a scratch-resistant black oxide finish on the blade which reduces reflectivity. This survival knife comes very sharp right out of the box. The balance of this knife is biased towards the blade which helps with chopping. Some people will call that unbalanced. You should decide if that is a pro or con for you. This thing is like a small machete.


The knife handle is made of Kraton. I personally love the Kraton handles. Some people complain about the tackiness of these handles but I love how these handles provide great grips even under extreme conditions. The handle has a hammer checkering on the butt of the knife to help with placement when using as a hammer. The texture on these SOG Kraton grips are awesome when it comes to providing gripping power under all conditions and I do mean all. The overall length at 15.3 inches, make it too cumbersome to carry on your side for extended periods of time. However the nice thing is the SOG F03T-N only weighs 14 ounces which makes it light for a knife of this size.

The SOG F03T-N Jungle Primitive Survival Knife comes with a nylon sheath and is nothing special to speak of. I prefer the Kydex sheaths but at least it isn’t a leather sheath. It does the job well enough and a new sheath is always cheap and well worth it for a knife that deserves it. The sheath does have an attached pouch and is sewn tightly so it’s better than some of the cheaper sheaths out there. Still, I rate the sheath with only 3 stars out of 5.


If you need a survival knife that can also act as a small machete then this is the beast for you. Otherwise you could always get a hatchet/machete and survival knife separately. This knife is backed by a lifetime warranty that protects against defects in manufacturing and materials.

To buy or get more information on the SOG F03T Jungle Primitive Fixed 9.5" Black Sawback Blade with Kraton Handles and Nylon Sheath, click the link below.

SOG F03T Jungle Primitive Fixed 9.5" Black Sawback Blade, Kraton Handles, Nylon Sheath



I will be posting a video which I've chosen as the "Knife Review Video of the Week" every Monday. If you have, or know of a knife review video which would be a good choice for "Knife Review Video of the Week" please send your requests to:
swordofodinknifeblog@gmail.com


All Comments are Welcome and Appreciated.

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Support the fight for our freedoms with a Knife Rights t-shirt, mug or any of the other clothing or accessories from the new Knife Rights Online Market Place. 100% of the profits go to support Knife Rights.


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