Tuesday, January 31, 2012

CRKT M16-13z Folding Knife Review

Columbia River M16 Carson Design Combo Edge Zytel Handle 3.56" Blade

I'm always skeptical of technically complex knives--to win me over they have to be very well made. Grudgingly I am willing to put Columbia River knives in the accepted category. If you want a workhorse knife that opens easily with one hand, looks great in a futuristic sort of way, and is built solidly to last, the M16-13Z qualifies on all counts.


Columbia's military versions feature all aluminum handles, but for this civilian model the handle scales are constructed of Zytel, a rugged synthetic material, and the result is a larger and wider handle that would be more comfortable for many who use knives often, as tools. The high carbon stainless steel 3 1/2" spear point blade is long enough for most purposes and stout enough to withstand abuse. The combo edge offers superior rope cutting ability and enough traditional plain edge to handle more refined jobs. The removable steel clip allows carrying on belt or pocket, eliminating need for a sheath.


People who buy these knives like them. The only words of caution I have about them (the real Columbia knives--beware of counterfeits) involve getting them dirty. A refined product like this probably won't flip open and lock in place when it's mucked up with mud and sand or something even worse. M-16 is a good name for it--it will need something like the same level of care as that rifle.

Columbia River M16 Carson Design Combo Edge Zytel Handle 3.56" Blade
Columbia River M16 Carson Design Combo Edge Zytel Handle 3.56" Blade

I would recommend the CRKT M16-13z for use as an edc (everyday carry) / utility knife for cutting everyday things such as rope, food items (I cut various fruits a lot with this knife), threads hanging off your clothes, opening cardboard shipping boxes, etc. I would not suggest it as a hunting knife, but that’s a given. I think it would work relatively well as a self defense knife. It’s not designed for the purpose, but it opens fast, is sharp and has a blade of 3.5" in length, so if you can't or don’t want to carry a pistol, it should work. Overall, the M16-13z is a very good knife and well worth the price.


To buy or get more information on the Columbia River M16 Carson Design with Combo Edge Zytel Handle and 3.56" Blade click the link below.

Columbia River M16 Carson Design Combo Edge Zytel Handle 3.56" Blade




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Friday, January 27, 2012

Spyderco Military Black Blade Folding Knife Review


The Military Black Blade came about when someone asked Spyderco's owner Sal Glesser, "If your son were going into the military, what knife would you send him with?" And thus the newest addition to Spyderco's Save and Serve line was born - knives designed with EMTs, LEOs, and Military Personnel in mind.

I think Sal's son would be glad to have the
Spyderco Military Black Blade. The 4-mm thick, 4-inch long modified clip point, plain edge blade is made from CPM-S30V stainless steel - with 2% carbon content for excellent edge retention and rust resistance - and blackened with a BodyCote matte coating for an especially subdued look. A 14-mm diameter round thumb hole helps make a quick deploy, even in gloves. A textured thumb rest over the round hole, partnered with a deep finger choil, eliminates forward/backward slipping while working with tough cuts or sawing motion.
The 5 1/2-inch handle is made with G-10 scales, designed with the liner lock directly in the scales for extra strength without bulky width. A purposeful space between the scales allows a gap running the handle's length, exposing the knife's inner works for easy inspection and cleaning. A black metal clip on the handle is made for right-handed tip down carry.


The Spyderco Military Black Blade Knife has quickly become one of my favorites for a variety of reasons. I find the size to weight ratio very appealing. The light weight and thin profile make the knife very pocket friendly. The blade length works well on foods when more appropriate knives are not available. It's been used to dice vegetables for soups and pastas, cut a variety of fruits like apples and cantaloupes, slice meat, clean and prep fish, slice breads and so forth. The flat spine works well to move chopped up foods off a cutting board. The construction, G10 with no liners or thin nested liners is my favorite offered by Spyderco. It's proven plenty strong for my uses and saves a lot of weight. The blade steel, like my other Spydercos, has left me satisfied in all the key areas of performance. Opening and closing the knife is very easy, which is appreciated when using the knife on the job or anywhere you have to open and close is up to hundreds of times a day. The open construction of the knife makes it easy to clean. The backspacer in place keeps it from being completely open-backed, but I personally prefer this as it protects the cutting edge from damage when the knife is closed. The pivot area can be difficult to clean without disassembling the knife.

This
is a very serious knife that leaves nothing to chance, for those who regularly put themselves in harm's way and shouldn't have to take any additional risks with their gear. Pick one up, it won't let you down.


To buy or get more information on the Spyderco Military Black with 4" S30V Plain Edge Blade and G10 Handles, click the link below.

Spyderco Military Black 4" S30V Plain Edge Blade, G10 Handles



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Monday, January 23, 2012

Gerber Mini Covert FAST Folding Knife Review

Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn Mini Covert FAST 2.9" Assisted Combo Edge Blade
Though it's not quite bullet-proof, the Gerber Mini Covert FAST in black fiberglass filled nylon and low-glare coated stainless steel is a knife that has a very respectable and well proven background. Two OSS agents -- Applegate and Fairbairn -- developed the basic pattern of this knife through logic and field testing. Adding some modern technology to their fundamental concept, Gerber created a knife they would have enjoyed. We get to stash it in a pocket with the handy clip, "just in case."

Operatives famous from the days of WWII, the two men who created the hand-to-hand combat system for that old intelligence network spent years after the war designing the perfect combat knife. The small double-edged fixed blade dagger that resulted still inspires a multitude of similar combat and special ops weapons. Gerber applied the same shape of handle and blade to the Mini-Covert, but in a folding clip knife build more popular today. Easily opened with one hand, the spear point blade is ground with a combo-serrated edge on one side and a false cutting edge on the other. The lack of two real cutting edges hardly slows it down.


The Gerber Mini Covert FAST is a practical tool for anyone who may find themselves occasionally in awkward situations. A push on the thumb stud swings the 2.9-inch blade open and locks it in place. The closed length of 3.95 inches and weight of only 3.2 ounces qualifies the Gerber Mini-Covert for hiking gear as well as for the pockets of field agents. A knife this light isn't pry bar tough, but it's a handy blade that's worth some extra care.


To buy or get more information on the Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn Mini Covert FAST 2.9" Assisted Combo Edge Blade click the link below.

Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn Mini Covert FAST 2.9" Assisted Combo Edge Blade




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Friday, January 20, 2012

SOG Salute Folding Knife Review

SOG Fusion Salute Folder 3.625" Black Oxide Plain Edge Blade with G10 Handles

SOG's FF-11 Salute -- which the company refers to as their first Fusion tactical folder -- puts all the technical expertise of that innovative manufacturer to good use. The result is a high-tech knife that isn't tough to understand, with a few unusually good features.

Full-length steel liners and machined slabs of durable and easily gripped G-10 composite make up the handle of this 4.2-ounce knife. With a folded length of about 4-1/2 inches, it fits the pocket neatly -- enough knife to grip comfortably and not too much to carry unobtrusively. The blade itself is a familiar Bowie-style dagger point with a false upper edge on the last third of the 3.62-inch Cr13MoV stainless steel blade. All the shiny parts have been toned down with tactical black non-reflective coating -- essential for some people and never a bad idea for the rest of us.


The blade itself is the first really good idea in the FF-11. This simple design works well as a tactical backup knife, but for owners who need a good camp knife or utility blade instead, it's just as efficient. If a clip point pocketknife is your usual blade, you'll find the FF-11 familiar and handy. Locked back, it's as solid as a light fixed blade.

Two other small things about this knife really stand out. SOG places the stainless steel pocket clip far down at the end of the handle for the most secure carrying system possible with a pocket clip folder. There's no heavy chunk of handle sticking out the top of the pocket to catch brush or attention. The other nice idea is the adjustable thumb stud, which seats in a slot in the blade. Reposition it where you want for more leverage or for faster action.

I own many pocket knives, and the SOG Salute is definitely one of my favorite folding knives. The knife has great feel/handling, durable handle, strong blade, great coating, and aggressive looks. The ONLY downside is that the steel used doesn't hold a razor edge as long as other, albeit, much more expensive knives, including those in SOG's higher end line. Nonetheless, it sharpens to a razor edge with a Spyderco Sharpmarker in about 60 seconds and holds the edge well. I wouldn't hesitate to buy this knife again and highly recommend it. It's a Great knife and a great value.


To buy or get more information on the SOG Fusion Salute Folder with 3.625" Black Oxide Plain Edge Blade and G10 Handles, click the link below.

SOG Fusion Salute Folder 3.625" Black Oxide Plain Edge Blade with G10 Handles


To buy or get more information on the SOG Fusion Salute Folder with 3.625" Satin Plain Edge Blade and G10 Handles, click the link below.

SOG Fusion Salute Folder 3.625" Satin Plain Edge Blade with G10 Handles



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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ESEE RC-4 Fixed Blade Knife Review

ESEE Knives ESEE-4 Knife 4.5" Black Combo Blade, Grey Micarta Handles, Black Sheath, MOLLE Locks, MOLLE Back

Randall's Adventure and Training manufactures several excellent survival knives. This company has only been around since 1997 but they are making a huge impact in the knife world. They recently changed their name from RAT to ESEE due to ongoing confusion with Ontario Knives using their RAT name. Using superior materials and keeping a close eye on function has made these knives a favorite to many outdoorsmen. Plus their knives are made here in the U.S.A.


The ESEE RAT 4 is, in my humble opinion, one of the best bushcraft knives out on the market today. The 4 inch blade is just right for the tasks of bushcraft not to big to get in the way of small carving projects but long enough to be used as a full survival knife.


I really like that the blade is 3/16" (or .188") which is thick enough to easily take pounding and prying on the blade. The handle is made of two slabs of Micarta which I have found to be one of the finest handles the feel is like a dried river rock with just enough grip well still leaving the handle smooth not to make your hand sore after a long day of cutting.


The sheath for RAT 4 knife is very well thought out because it is folded over and held together with the screws instead of rivets. This makes for a very nice sheath design because when the knife is in the sheath you can loosen or tighten the screws to make the sheath tighter for better grip on the knife. I have found this sheath to be so good at holding your blade that there is no real need for the added molle jump sheath attachment. Also, when you do use it there is no way the knife will come out unless you want it too.


The coating on the blade is simply one of the best. It resembles the coating that you would see on a truck bed that has been sprayed for protection this makes it very durable and just as hard to wear off. The steel in this blade is carbon which I use to not be a big fan of but this knife has turned me around. The carbon steel is of a very high grade 1095 and holds a fine edge. However if the blade is not cared for you will get rust but if you are the kind of person who takes care of your gear this will not be a issue.

Many of RAT's knives come with plain or serrated blades so be careful when you purchase yours that you get the right one. There are codes that define the color and the blade type when you order them. You can see some of the different RAT knives here. You can find some great information there.


One of the links below is for the Gray Micarta knife pictured above. And if Gray isn't your favorite color, of course you can look around there for a color you like better.

Oh, and one more thing... RAT's customer service is second to none. I read a post where a guy broke the tip off of his knife using it as a lever to open a box lid. (Something the knife wasn't designed to do). One of the owners asked him to first send him his mailing address and then to post a picture of the knife on the forum for everyone to see. He then promptly mailed him a replacement knife and told him to keep the old one as a "beater" knife. Now THAT'S customer service.


To buy or get more information on the ESEE Knives ESEE-4 Knife with 4.5" Black Combo Blade, Grey Micarta Handles, Black Sheath, MOLLE Locks and MOLLE Back click the link below.

ESEE Knives ESEE-4 Knife 4.5" Black Combo Blade, Grey Micarta Handles, Black Sheath, MOLLE Locks, MOLLE Back



To buy or get more information on the ESEE Knives ESEE-4 Knife 4.5" Black Plain Blade, Grey Micarta Handles, Black Sheath, MOLLE Locks, MOLLE Back click the link below.

ESEE Knives ESEE-4 Knife 4.5" Black Plain Blade, Grey Micarta Handles, Black Sheath, MOLLE Locks, MOLLE Back




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Friday, January 13, 2012

Buck Pathfinder Fixed Blade Knife Review


Since the Buck Pathfinder only weighs 4.5 ounces, it's hard to argue that there's no need to take a full-sized knife with you on your longest walks. The Pathfinder's streamlined design puts a 5-inch high carbon stainless steel hollow ground blade in your hand with less overall weight and more convenience than many large pocket knives.


The blade design is slender, and the phenolic and stainless steel handle built on the Pathfinder's rat tail tang is only just large enough for a secure grip. In spite of the light materials, the Pathfinder has the strength you need for camp chores and field dressing game. The seamless build also cleans up well -- a feature that's always missing from a hunting folder. The strong stainless steel finger guard gives hand protection where you need it and still allows comfortable thumb pressure on the back of the blade for fine control.


Heavy brush could snatch a knife this light out of the black leather sheath and you'd never know it -- but somebody at Buck already thought about that possibility. A wide snap loop secures the handle of the Buck Pathfinder 105, locking it securely in place with a simple design that's one of the best looking you'll find. Good knives often come in crude sheaths -- this one has a sheath that matches the black and silver simplicity of the knife itself. Like most belt knives, the Pathfinder's designed to hang on the right hip -- lefties will have to adapt.

The 420HC stainless steel blade isn't pry bar strong, but that's a necessary trade-off in a knife with the practical cutting ability of a heavy hunting knife, without the heavy parts.


To buy or get more information on the Buck Pathfinder with 5" Blade Fixed Blade and Phenolic Handle, click the link below.

Buck Pathfinder 5" Blade Fixed Blade With Phenolic Handle



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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Buck Omni Hunter Folding Knife Review

Buck Omni Hunter 12PT Folder 4" Plain Edge Blade w/Sheath, Black

If you're looking for pure function, the Buck Omni Hunter ought to be of interest. The Omni 397BK gives full size features in a folding lockback with ergonomic grip, and it comes with a belt sheath. For rough country use, a belt sheath beats a clip any day.


The dropped style of the handle and the built in finger guard/notch allow hard use with ease. The grip itself, black thermoplastic, is overlaid with a rubberized layer that's warm and comfortable during long cold chores. A thumb stud allows one handed opening, and the mid-handle locking notch eliminates any awkwardness when closing.


Overall length of 5 3/4" closed means even large hands have plenty of room, and the wide hollow ground blade has a fine point and plenty of belly curve for both piercing and slicing. The plain edge blade is strong enough for most camp chores as well.

Folding clip knives are very popular, but if a knife will see a lot of use that clip is not much of an advantage. Blisters tend to cluster where the clip contacts the hand. This practical folder comes with a black nylon belt sheath, to keep the Buck Omni Hunter Knife where you can find it instead of knocked loose into the leaves behind you. For a little more security you can string a wrist loop through the lanyard hole.

As with any Buck, the Omni is covered by Buck's generous Forever Warranty.


To buy or get more information on the Buck Omni Hunter 12PT Folder with 4" Plain Edge Blade with Black Nylon Sheath, click the link below.

Buck Omni Hunter 12PT Folder 4" Plain Edge Blade w/Sheath, Black






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Friday, January 6, 2012

SOG Super Bowie Survival Knife Review


The SOG SB1T-L Super Bowie Survival Knife is a new adaptation of the original SOG Bowie that was introduced when the company started. This is a big knife for handling big jobs. The blade is 7.5 inches long and made from very sharp AUS8 Stainless Steel and is in a new large format. The SOG black TiNi coating is great as usual for corrosion protection and is very scratch resistant. At .25 inches thick this blade isn’t going to bend on you if you need to pry things open. However at almost 13 inches long this survival knife can be clumsy to carry on your side, so be sure you want a big honking Survival Knife if you decide to buy this one. The blade shape and construction are great SOG quality and this knife won’t let you down if you have some heavy-duty jobs lined up for it. This knife is rather heavy at 17.4 ounces so keep that in mind.


The handle on this traditional Bowie style knife is nice looking with the stacked washers but I am not a big fan of leather handles. I prefer the SOG Kraton handles when it comes to using real Survival Knives in real outdoor conditions. Leather handles require more maintenance than rubberized handles, but some people prefer the classic look of leather and that is obviously an individual preference. I just don’t like the extra maintenance that goes with leather handles and I don’t like the grip when working in less than great weather conditions. So for me it comes down to keeping a strong grip under even the most extreme conditions. Maybe your usage won’t require rubberized grips and maybe you prefer the classic leather look.


This classic Bowie Knife comes with a leather sheath and sharpening stone. Again I am not a big fan of leather sheaths. They retain moisture and can promote corrosion. Some people like the classic leather look and this sheath certainly works well enough and provides that classic look. I simply prefer the SOG Kydex sheaths. I don’t like the leather handle or the leather sheath but this knife is solid and will handle big jobs and I can’t fault the knife’s performance on the handle and sheath alone. If you need a large Survival Knife for big jobs and you like the look and feel of a leather handle and sheath then this is a great workhorse of a knife.


To buy or get more information on the
SOG SB1T Super Bowie with 7.5" Black Blade, Leather Handles and Black Leather Sheath, click the link below.

SOG SB1T Super Bowie 7.5" Black Blade, Leather Handles, Black Leather Sheath



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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

CRKT A.G. Russell Sting Tactical Knife Review



The CRKT 2020 AG Russell Sting Tactical Knife is an exceptional tactical knife. It is made entirely of high-grade 1050 Carbon Steel. It is super easy to sharpen and it holds its edge well. The blade really holds up to abuse and though I don’t suggest you abuse it because you would void your warranty if you did, this tactical knife can take what you dish out. This knife is solid and you will be surprised by how heavy it feels. Not to say that this is a heavy knife but it felt heavier than I expected. The blade is 3.2 inches long with an overall length of 6.85 inches for the knife itself. The size puts in on the small side of tactical knives and even though it’s marketed as a tactical knife, you could easily sport this knife as a boot knife.


The handle is very comfortable and gives you a firm grip. There are grooves and indentations over the handle to make it ergonomic and help provide a better grip. I prefer rubberized grips but I have to admit this is the best grip I have felt on a non-rubberized tactical knife handle. The sheath is a custom Cordura Zytel sheath and it small. By custom, I mean, you can tell this sheath was made specifically for this particular tactical knife. It fits like a glove. It has two Velcro straps which allow you to strap the sheath to your belt, to your ankle, or even your arm. It is very comfortable wherever you mount it. I am a little concerned that over time the Velcro straps will lose their ability to hold well but it’s too new for me to say that now. There is a beautiful powder coating over this knife which can be scratched. Maybe the real problem is that this knife is so tough, that you find yourself pushing the limits of how hard you use it and scratches are to be expected when you use a knife as hard as I have used this one. CRKT claims that the blade is indestructible and I have to say after using this knife, I don’t doubt them. The CRKT Sting is such a great knife and it’s pretty easy to see why CRKT is considered such an excellent brand after owning this tactical knife. Have I mentioned that this knife is basically perfect?


To buy or get more information on the Columbia River AG Russell Sting Boot Knife with 3.197" Double Edge Blade and Zytel Sheath, click the link below.

Columbia River AG Russell Sting Boot Knife 3.197" Double Edge Blade, Zytel Sheath




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