Friday, February 24, 2012

Boker Airforce Pilot Survival Knife Review


This SK-5 high carbon steel fixed blade from Boker of Germany matches one of my favorite survival knife designs. Recreating a style commissioned by General Curtis Lemay of the Strategic Air Command, the Boker Airforce Survival Knife competed successfully against models from Randall's Tree brand and for years was the standard pilot's issue blade.

Only 8-3/8 inches long, the knife's slim 4-1/2-inch blade makes it an excellent outdoorsman's knife today, strong enough to survive rough work but slender enough to fillet fish. Stacked leather discs on a rat tail tang form the weatherproof handle grip, capped by a polished nickel silver pommel with lanyard hole. Spacers of both aluminum and brass add some aesthetic value as well as a simple choil finger guard. Meeting one of the critical Air Force design standards with its surprisingly light weight, this knife's 3.6 ounces was the main reason it beat the competition from Randall. Today, that puts the Pilot Survival Knife in the ultra-light category without losing full-sized strength.


The high polish and refined look of this Air Force Survival Knife may surprise anyone who expects a military survival knife to be crude. The Ka-Bar from that same era became well known for being as much pry bar and hammer as it was a cutting tool, but the Boker Air Force version of the survival knife had lighter applications in mind. For today's sportsmen, it's a great blade featuring some of the same rugged construction as the coarser Ka-Bar, but more efficient for many camp uses. The Boker Air Force Pilot Survival Knife does a better job of cleaning fish; but if you want to punch holes in steel barrels, choose the Marine Ka-Bar. This knife is an excellent value for the price.


To buy or get more information on the Boker Plus Airforce Pilot Surivival Knife with 4-1/2" Carbon Steel Blade, click the link below.

Boker Plus Airforce Pilot Surivival Knife 4-1/2" Carbon Steel Blade



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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter Fixed Blade Knife Review

Cold Steel Pendleton Hunters 3-1/2" VG-1 Blade

Designed by company president and long-time hunter Lynn C. Thompson, with the assistance of custom knife maker Lloyd Pendleton. The Pendleton Hunter packs a strong 3-1/2-inch hollow ground skinner blade of VG-1 high carbon stainless steel. The full length of the Pendleton Hunter is only 8-1/4 inches. That small size might make the knife a good skinner, but this isn't exactly built for big game unless your biggest quarry is a deer. It holds an edge well and sharpens easily. If you look at the spine of the knife, you will instantly see that this knife is thick where it counts.

With a generous grip of traction-enhancing black Kraton, the Pendleton Hunter will provide easy handling in all types of weather and slippery conditions. For field dressing and skinning game, the knife is reasonably capable.


The Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter comes with a rugged “secure-ex” sheath. Secure-Ex is basically hard plastic material with a belt loop on the top. This sheath should be up to almost any task that you put in front of it. The sheath attaches to your belt, pack or other equipment via a Nylon strap. Hook and loop material as well as a snap button secures the sheath and knife. My biggest complaint with the sheath is that there is no drain hole. If you’ve ever use your knife and sheath out in wet weather, you'd appreciate a small drain hole in the sheath to allow water to get out.


I am very pleased with the overall performance of the Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter Knife. If you're looking for a good knife at a great price, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one.


To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter with 3-1/2" VG-1 Blade, click the link below.

Cold Steel Pendleton Hunter 3-1/2" VG-1 Blade




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Friday, February 17, 2012

Hanwei Practical Wakizashi Sword Review


A cut above the entry level practical cutters, the Hanwei Practical Wakizashi features the edge tempering of more expensive blades and cuts cost in other ways. If you need a sword for cutting practice, you probably care more about the steel than the fittings.

Good cutters like this one feature blades of high carbon steel that's differentially tempered -- in this case to HRC60 at the cutting edge and HRC40 at the spine. Traditionally, the edge of the sword received a clay coating before the heating and quenching process that controls temper and strength of the blade. The clay protected the edge, retaining a harder temper in comparison to the spine. The lower temper in the blade's spine increased the shock resistance and flexibility of the blade.

CAS Hanwei Paul Chen Practical Wakizashi 20" Blade

Since that important process adds considerably to the cost of a weapon today, Hanwei Forge substituted less expensive materials in other parts of the sword. While construction isn't truly authentic, the Practical Wakizashi by Hanwei is truly functional and well suited to tamashigiri or target cutting.

Twenty-seven-and-one-half inches long overall, the Practical Wakizashi wields 20 inches of cutting edge with a professionally sharpened and polished finish. Weighing 1-1/2 pounds, the sword fits neatly in a black hardwood sheath. Originally, the wakizashi sword or side sword was the backup or finishing weapon for the samurai and not the main battle sword. Wakizashi often delivered the fatal blow to an enemy on the ground to save the edge of the larger katana.

There are people out there who prefer traditional fittings and all... Personally, what I look for in a sword is functionality. For a practical blade, this is just perfect, because you don't need it to be extremely shiny, just polished enough so that the geometry lets it cut. Buy the Practical Wakizashi if you want a beater that, even though not traditional by its fittings, is elegant, agile, and efficient. The Hanwei Practical Wakizashi, a great sword at a good price.


To buy or get more information on the CAS Hanwei Paul Chen Practical Wakizashi with 20" Blade, click the link below.

CAS Hanwei Paul Chen Practical Wakizashi 20" Blade



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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fallkniven F1 Fixed Blade Survival Knife Review

Fallkniven F1 Swedish Pilot Survival Knife 3.8" Satin VG10 Blade, Zytel Sheath

The Fallkniven F1 Survival Knife is standard issue for the Swedish Air Force and it’s pretty easy to see why once you have one in your hands. Designed in Sweden, the F1 features tough grips that work in the cold and wet. The F1 Survival Knife is on the smaller side at only 8.33 inches in total length with a blade length of 3.8 inches. The smaller size makes it great to carry around on your person in lighter situations like hiking or camping. I love most of my survival knives but I consider this one more of an every day carry survival knife. The blade is made from VG-10 steel and is laminated to help make it resistant to corrosion. The blade is very sharp (I mean beyond razor sharp) and has really good edge retention and is not difficult to sharpen. One thing to note is that the F1 has a convex grind so you cannot sharpen this knife blade with your flat whetstone. There are no serrations on this survival knife and I personally prefer it that way, although I wouldn’t complain if they had a small section of serrations on the top side of the blade. Whenever you read survival knife reviews about the Fallkniven F1 Survival Knife, you will see no less than 4.5 stars. The reason most people feel like this is the best survival knife is because this knife does a lot and it looks good doing it. Seriously though, the F1 just feels right in your hands. It is well balanced and can perform almost every job you need it to. It can baton wood but due to its smaller size it isn’t well suited for batoning thicker wood for bigger projects unless you absolutely had no choice. But that’s what a survival hatchet is for.

Fallkniven F1 Swedish Pilot Survival Knife 3.8" Satin VG10 Blade, Zytel Sheath

The zytel sheath is really nice, safe, durable and high quality, however If there is a weak point with Fallkniven some may say the non-tactical sheath is it. The Fallkniven Zytel sheaths do everything a standard leather sheath would while offering the safer carry of a Kydex sheath however it does limit carry options to a belt attachment. Fallkniven did initially offer custom Kydex sheaths with Tec-Locks however after testing and complaints of knife wear due to the sheaths they switched to the Zytel sheaths instead. Another reason for Zytel design was Kydex has an abrading quality Kydex has which affects blade and handle wear. Just the act of pulling the knife in and out of a Kydex sheath will wear on the knife. The other reason is Kydex would not sustain the extremely cold temperatures without fracturing where Zytel will and this is one reason the Fallkniven sheaths have such a loose tolerance. Go run your Kydex sheathed knife under water and then freeze it... changes are that suction fit will freeze the knife in the sheath which is not so good in a survival situation. Zytel is also more easily sterilized than Kydex due to smoother surface structure. More advanced flexible Kydex carry system sheaths are available from a number of custom sheath manufacturers if you feel you have the need however the standard Fallkniven sheath does everything it should plus outperform most tactical sheaths.

The Fallkniven F1 is simply one of the best knives I’ve ever used. It is a tough blade made of laminated steel with a practical length and great ergonomics. It is simple, reliable and safe. Highly recommended and well worth the money. It’s a great knife!


To buy or get more information on the Fallkniven F1 Swedish Pilot Survival Knife with 3.8" Satin VG10 Blade and Zytel Sheath, click the link below.

Fallkniven F1 Swedish Pilot Survival Knife 3.8" Satin VG10 Blade, Zytel Sheath




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Friday, February 10, 2012

Cold Steel Trench Hawk Review


The Cold Steel Trench Hawk brings convenient technical improvements to an already popular tactical tomahawk design. Changes make this an excellent axe for throwing, as well as for ordinary camp work.


The drop-forged 5150 high carbon steel of the axe head fits a slot in the strong polypropylene handle. Strong steel fasteners bolt the axe head in the slot, so there's no worry about fitting handles or keeping the handle tight. Ordinary tools now solve that problem. You won't be able to make one of these handles yourself, but Cold Steel sells inexpensive replacements, and the whole process of re-handling is greatly streamlined. Cold Steel rates the poly handle as stronger and more shock-resistant than hickory -- but especially if you use the axe for target throwing, you can expect some damage to accumulate.

In size, this tactical tomahawk rivals one of Cold Steel's traditional frontier styles with an overall length of 19 inches. Modern design and the shift to poly cut the weight of this full-sized throwing hawk to 24 ounces. Unlike many of today's tomahawks, the Cold Steel Hawk was meant for modern hunters and travelers and comes with a Secure-Ex sheath for safe transport and storage. All cutting edges are completely covered, so the Trench Hawk can be stowed inside packs as well as strapped to the outside of your gear.


The 8-3/4-inch axe head provides 3-1/2 inches of axe edge on the main blade and a double-beveled dagger spike as the second face of the tool. The spike pommel finds few practical uses in everyday life but adds wicked potential to the weapon in combat. If you use the axe for camp work, you'll need to be especially aware of your backswing.

The Cold Steel Trench Hawk Axe is a stand out with it's affordability and quality reputation. It is very versatile as well as intimidating, this the perfect weapon for that eyeball-to-eyeball combat and also has the potential to become a breacher's best friend.


To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel Trench Hawk Drop Forged Combat Tomahawk 22" Overall with Sheath, click the link below.

Cold Steel Trench Hawk Drop Forged Combat Tomahawk 22" Overall with Sheath



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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

SOG Flash II Folding Knife Review

SOG Flash II 3.5" Assisted Satin Combo Blade, Aluminum Handles

This Flash II knife from SOG is a cousin to the Flash I. The Flash II is a bit heavier and has a longer blade, but other than that they're quite similar.


This is not a knife for the timid. The blade is 3.5 inches of AUS8 stainless steel, hardened to 56 on the Rockwell C scale. It comes out of the box wicked sharp. It’s a serious looking knife and feels great in the hand. It’s solid and comfortable. The handle is made of machined aluminum. The blade appears to hold an edge well, but sharpening a serrated blade isn’t easy—fortunately you probably won’t dull the serrated part as quickly as the standard edge.

This knife is available with a standard or combo-edge blade. The combo-edge's serrations extend about halfway up the blade.


The Flash II features SOG's Assisted Technology opening mechanism, which allows automatic, one-handed automatic opening. What I love about this knife is that I can pull it out of my pocket with one hand, flick off the safety lock (yes, there’s a safety), and with a little pressure from my thumb on the nob or knurl and the blade flies open and securely locks into place. This is important because often when I need a knife my other hand is busy holding or steadying something. For some, this assisted opening is a little frightening, but using it a few times eases the fears and its utility becomes clear. This is a very handy feature.


The safety lock is relatively easy to disengage. While I open the knife with one hand I use two hands to close the blade. I think it’s safer to do it that way. That’s why I appreciate the safety lock. As with most firearms, “Red Means Dead.” If you see red in the safety, the knife is ready to open. I suspect that you do not want to keep it in your pocket with the safety off, but I’m unwilling to test it myself. Every day before I put it in my pocket I pick up the knife, flick the safety off, then open the knife. I then close it and lock the safety before putting it in my pocket. I strongly suggest that you follow this routine as well.

If you’re looking for a substantial, affordable, high-performance pocket knife, you should consider the SOG Flash II. I recommend it.


To buy or get more information on the SOG Flash II with 3.5" Assisted Satin Combo Blade and Aluminum Handles, click the link below.

SOG Flash II 3.5" Assisted Satin Combo Blade, Aluminum Handles


To buy or get more information on the SOG Flash II Folding Knife with Assisted 3.5" Satin Combo Blade and Green Zytel Handles, click the link below.

SOG Flash II Folding Knife Assisted 3.5" Satin Combo Blade, Green Zytel Handles




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Friday, February 3, 2012

Hanwei Practical Plus Tanto Sword Review


Without the usual angular armor-piercing beveled point, the Hanwei Practical Plus Tanto Sword does look more like a short sword than a dagger. An overall length of 16-1/2 inches and an 11-inch-long single-edged blade show the true fighting potential of this ancient knife pattern.


Engineered by Hanwei Forge to be affordable and practical, this tanto benefits from both modern and ancient construction techniques. Differential tempering using an insulating layer of clay painted over the cutting edge gives the blade a harder edge and a tougher spine. HRC ratings are 60 on the knife edge and 40 on the blade's back, combining better edge holding and better shock-absorbing quality. This tempering process shows a visible mark called the hamon -- the slight coloration left along the blade by the clay. Many tantos and swords show this mark, but it doesn't always indicate proper tempering. In cheaper knives, the hamon is applied by etching or polishing and is nothing more than decoration.


Some functional improvements have been made, including a dark synthetic leather ito wrapping on the handle's grip. According to Hanwei Forge, the synthetic material provides a grip superior to traditional cotton wrappings while still giving the knife an authentic look. Not everything has been modernized -- beneath the synthetic ito, you'll find a layer of real rayskin laid over the hardwood body of the handle.

Antiqued metal fittings show designs which represent the dogwood blossom and the sunburst, but the overall appearance of the knife is subdued and functional. The flat black of the wooden saya or scabbard is military rather than decorative and in character with the construction and intention of the Practical Plus series. At 13 ounces, it's a practical tanto you'll be tempted to actually carry, with a blade style you could use for camp chores or hunting rather than combat.

After receiving the Hanwei Practical Plus Tanto Sword, I was surprised at the quality vs cost. The blade is well made, well balanced, and hamon is truely pretty. how sharp this blade is indescribable, it's the sharpest blades in my growing collection. The Practical Plus Tanto is a fine addition to any collection.


To buy or get more information on the Hanwei Practical Plus 11" Tanto Blade From Paul Chen Ray Skin Handle, click the link below.

Hanwei Practical Plus 11" Tanto Blade From Paul Chen Ray Skin Handle



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