Friday, March 30, 2012

Boker Plus Jim Wagner Reality Based Knife Review


This personal tactical folder designed for Boker Plus by martial arts instructor Jim Wagner may be just what you need if you carry a knife for urban emergencies like cutting yourself out of a safety harness or smashing an occasional car window. Although the Boker Reality Based Blade serves well enough for that, if you use a knife for standard purposes, the special design of the blade might seem awkward.

The first thing I noticed about this knife is the overall feel and construction; this is not a lightweight blade! At 6.2 ounces it weighs a trifle more than my Spyderco Gunting, but the difference is largely nominal and would make little difference in EDC. The Boker features nylon scales with full steel liners for strength.

The lock on this knife is very robust, to say the least. In fact, the closest comparison I can make to another factory blade for lockup strength would be a very expensive Extrema Ratio I once handled! One note – You are NOT going to flick this knife open with a wrist flick, though a thumb flick is quite possible after it loosens up a bit!


With a stout, piercing point that Boker describes as gladius-style, the blade plunges through tough materials easily. A concave cutting edge on the anodized high carbon stainless steel blade hooks straps and cord for quick cutting, but won't be quite so easy to use if your applications involve paring and slicing. Whether a knife makes good sense for everyday carrying depends on how well it matches your daily chores, and if you're an electrician or a handyman, you might miss the old drop point.

The 3-7/8 inch blade is manufactured of 440C steel, and is marked “Made in Taiwan”. It is extremely sharp and has already caused one injury to a friend of mine who was examining it.

With the Boker Plus Jim Wagner Reality-Based Blade, you have the advantages of a hawkbilled blade in opponent control and defensive cutting, while also enjoying the advantages of a tanto point for thrusting, penetrating cuts. This gives this blade the best of both worlds, at least in my opinion. The blade is available in both plain edge and serrated edge.

For the urban survivalist more interested in clambering out of car wrecks than in peeling apples, this design does make good sense. Deep finger grooves in the fiber reinforced nylon grip give the knife excellent grip strength in difficult circumstances, and the wide handle provides torque for the strong 3-7/8-inch blade. The knife blade swings out with a push on the thumb stud, and locks securely into open position for a working length of 9-1/16 inches. Underneath the FRN (Fiberglass Re-enforced Nylon) handle scales, you'll find a strong framework of stainless steel. The pommel includes a hardened steel insert useful for smashing window glass.


This knife also has great potential as a self-defense tool in the closed position, having several protrusions for use in giving an assailant a good smack to deter further aggression. The glass breaker would also excel at such non-lethal persuasion.

It carries very well in the pocket – a bit thicker than some knives, I admit, but a great deal more comfortable in the hand due to the ergonomics of its thicker grip.

In my estimation, with the purchase of this knife you essentially are getting the features, ergonomics and construction of a blade easily two to three times this price for a very reasonable cash outlay. The Boker Jim Wagner Reality-Based Blade has found its way into my EDC (Every Day Carry) rotation and will likely remain there for quite a while.


To buy or get more information on the Boker Plus Reality-Based Plain Tanto Blade Knife with 3-7/8" Plain Blade, click the link below.

Boker Plus Reality-Based Plain Tanto Blade Knife




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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ontario Air Force Survival Knife Review


Today I bring you a product review of the Air Force Survival Knife, manufactured by Ontario for the United States Air Force. There have been various versions and updates of this same basic knife over the years, and they have been produced by various other contractors besides Ontario Knife Company. The newer ones feature electrically insulated handles and synthetic sheathes, but are otherwise very similar to the originals. The one I have is of the old style, with a stacked leather handle. While this technology is somewhat outdated by current standards, I appreciate its historic value as the classic Vietnam-era survival knife.

The Ontario Air Force Survival Knife has a nice size ratio. At 9.5 inches overall, the blade is 5 inches long, and the handle comes in at 4.5 inches. The size makes it a very capable tool, as well as easy to carry. The leather handle and sheath come unfinished, but can easily be waxed to improve water resistance.


The 5 inch blade is a convenient size for most utility and survival applications. While a little short for batoning large logs, it is perfectly adequate for splitting kindling. It is made from 1095 high carbon steel with a stout width of 3/8″. While this makes for a fairly strong blade, the width and steep grind angle make it difficult to sharpen to a fine edge. The blade features a clip point which come to a very sharp tip, which is known to be somewhat fragile. While I have never had any trouble with mine, I can see how it might snap under particularly hard use. All the metal parts of the knife are finished with a dark gray phosphate coating to reduce oxidization, which holds up fairly well. The blade also has small saw teeth machined in the spine, although I have not found them to be particularly useful.

The 4.5 inch handle is made from stacked leather washers, held in place on the tang by a simple cross-guard and heavy pommel in a manner similar to the classic Ka-Bar knife. The tang is fairly sturdy for a rat-tail type design, although they have been known to bend under extreme use. The pommel is held on simply by the end of the tang being smashed down, much like a giant rivet. It is a somewhat crude, but very effective construction. The pommel is heavy and flat on the end, allowing it to function as a hammer.


The sheath is simple but well designed. It is made of leather, and re-enforced with rivets along the edges, and sheet metal at the tip and on the back to protect the wearer. It features a small pocket with a sharpening stone on the front. Although not not an amazing sharpener, it does get the job done. The retaining strap fits nice and snugly around the end of the handle, preventing the knife from flopping around.

I love the Ontario Air Force Knife. It is neither too light nor too heavy yet it is strong and durable. This knife is an excellent value for the price.


To buy or get more information on the Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife with 5" Carbon Steel Sawback Blade, Leather Handle and Leather Sheath, click the link below.

Ontario 499 Air Force Survival Knife 5" Carbon Steel Sawback Blade, Leather Handle, Leather Sheath




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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cold Steel Ti-Lite Folding Knife Review


When it comes to knives with an unparralleled edge, and unmatched product development, Cold Steel is at the top of the game. They continue to produce new and innovative tools and knives for tactical, self-defense, and day to day use.

The model being reviewed here, and linked below, is a 6" long, 4mm thick, spear point blade made from AUS 8A stainless steel with a bead blasted finish. The Ti-Lites come in two 6-inch handle options: the more expensive, more durable, and classier (in my opinion) 7075 aluminum; or the cheaper, lighter-weight, and just as good (in my opinion) 43% glass filled Zytel. The link below will take you to the Zytel purchase, and this is probably the best selection. The price is nearly half, and you save 2.2 ounces of weight with this handle. The leaf spring lock and liners are still high quality stainless steel, so you really don't miss out on much.


A really great feature of the Cold Steel TI LITE knife is the integrated linear lock. This allows for easy closing with one hand. But my favorite feature, which is demonstrated on the Cold Steel website, is the use of the thumbstuds for what is called a “pocket snag” opening. This is really easy to do with this knife and a neat trick to show your friends. All in all I say this knife is really nice, it is one of my favorite Cold Steel folding knives; and really useful in the right setting and application.


The Cold Steel TI-LITE knife has a plain edged blade with a bead blast finish. The metal used in the blade is a high quality Japanese AUS 8A Stainless Steel. Now taking in to account that most of you don’t know the metal coding scheme, rest assured that this steel is incredibly hard and stand up to any task you give it. If you check out the cold steel website you will notice them cutting various contractor grade materials, as well as stabbing them and this series of TI-LITE knives didn’t falter.


It is considered a tactical knife however it isn’t exactly what I would be looking for in a tactical knife. Mainly I am put off by the small width of the blade. In tactical knives I like a really meaty blade because you never know what you’ll need to cut or slice or stab. Now if you are looking for a sleek knife this may be exactly what you need.


For me the Cold Steel TI-LITE 6 folding knife has a lot of great features, but the best is its look. I looks like something a rough and tumble biker might carry. This knife has a Zytel handle. Zytel being a composite material of an extremely durable nature, and a very nice metal like finish. Fully extended this folding knife seems like it could be a switch blade, but it’s not.

Lefties, you should know this is a right-handed opening design only. The thumb stud is not changeable, nor is the stainless steel pocket clip - though it is removable with a size 4 torx screwdriver.

The Cold Steel TI-LITE 6 is a great knife. Exactly what I expected from Cold Steel. Can''t be beat for the price.


To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel Ti-Lite Folding Knife with 6" Blade and Zytel Handles, click the link below.

Cold Steel Ti-Lite Folding Knife with 6" Blade and Zytel Handles



To buy or get more information on the Cold Steel Ti-Lite with 6" Plain Edge Blade and Aluminum Handle
, click the link below.

Cold Steel Ti-Lite with 6" Plain Edge Blade and Aluminum Handle


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Friday, March 16, 2012

SOG Fusion Fixation Bowie Knife Review


The SOG Fixation Bowie is one of the fusions larger knives coming in at 12.25” and the blade alone is 7”. The blade on the SOG Fusion Bowie is made of 8Cr13MoV stainless steel and the research I have done indicate it has similar properties to AUS-8 stainless steel. Thus far, I have no complaints on the performance of the steel. I can’t see any difference from the more expensively priced tools I own.


The handle of the
SOG Fixation Bowie Knife is made of Kraton, a very durable material that is found in a lot of blades these days. I own a number of tools with Kraton handle and I have never had a problem with the material. In fact, I prefer the Kraton over leather because it doesn’t shrink or rot like leather will. The blade for the Fusion Bowie is similar to a Ka-Bar but the tip is more Bowie style. The handle of the knife fits my large hands perfectly. The Kraton handle is such that it would fit any size hands quite securely and it would be ideal for persons with medium to large size hands.


The SOG Fusion Fixation Bowie has performed great for me and I have very little to complain about in fact only one thing and that’s the black oxide finish tends to come off quite easy but when you take into account that your getting a knife that is comparable to knives twice the price. I would have to say that is a very small price to pay indeed. I recommend using this knife for light to medium use as a survival knife.

The reason I purchased the SOG Fusion Bowie because I bought a SOG Seal Pup whose quality really impressed me. The Fixation knife was not a let down. It feels really good in your hands and it's really solid too. Overall, this knife is a very good price/performance value. I would definitely purchase this knife again and highly recommend it.


To buy or get more information on the SOG Fusion Fixation Bowie Knife with 7" Plain Edge Blade and Nylon Sheath, click the link below.

SOG Fusion Fixation Bowie Knife 7" Plain Edge Blade with Nylon Sheath



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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Folding Knife Review

The Kershaw Leek, another Ken Onion masterpiece, is quite popular among knife enthusiasts across the globe. Its popularity is attributed to the variety of different handle options as well as blades colors. You can choose from Tungsten DLC Coating, bead blasted stainless steel or the one of a kind smoked aluminum finished handle style. There are over 12 handle and blade combinations! (CLICK HERE to see them).

The usability of the Kershaw Leek Folding Knife is another main factor contributing to its popularity. Kershaw has designed the Leek with performance and safety in mind. It features the Speed Safe assisted opening system allowing for one hand opening with the press of a button. Also, the Leek’s locking liner and tip safety lock are crucial to ensure safe knife operation, especially when opening, using and closing your Leek.


The Kershaw Leek Knife begs to be opened the second it comes out of its box. Releasing the safety and pressing the blade extension, the knife springs into action opening smoothly and confidently as it locks into place with surprisingly solid feel. I can almost guarantee you will open and close this knife several times with a big smile as you watch it snap open with little to no effort. Once you get passed the fun/cool factor of how the knife opens, you start to admire the quality and good looks of this little, razor sharp pocket knife.


The 4" handle has a well thought out shape that fits comfortably in your hands. With the blade closed or open, you can feel how well put together this knife is. Shake the knife and you will hear no rattles or loose parts moving around as you do with some other cheaper quality knives.

The 3" blade is razor sharp out of the box and ready for work as soon as you are. I dare you to refrain from finding something to cut just to see if its as sharp as it looks. Trust me, it is.

The Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Knife comes with a pocket clip that is slim and tight making sure that it stays in place. The Leek will ride in your pocket all day without weighing you down or having to adjust for comfort. It comes ready to spring into action.


As an overall rating of the Kershaw Leek knife, it is considered a slim profile knife that is durable, made by a reputable company that uses high quality materials and superior craftsmanship. The razor-sharp, easy assisted-opening blade, slim and sleek profile makes this knife a great choice for any knife enthusiast.


To buy or get more information on the Kershaw Ken Onion Leek with Assisted 3" Composite D2 Plain Blade and Stainless Steel Handles, click the link below.

Kershaw Ken Onion Leek Assisted 3" Composite D2 Plain Blade, Stainless Steel Handles




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Friday, March 9, 2012

Kershaw Blackout Folding Knife Review


The Kershaw Blackout Knife is a folding blade primarily marketed as an everyday utility knife. It features a Sandvik 13C26 stainless-steel blade, a scratch-resistant Tungsten DLC coating and Kershaw's patented SpeedSafe opening system. Tungsten DLC (Diamond like Coating) was first developed by a weapons company looking for a non reflective coating that increases steel hardness.


The SpeedSafe is the opening device that helps you to open your Kershaw Knives. It consists of a torsion bar that keeps the blade closed. To open the knife you have to put manual pressure to overcome the force of this torsion bar. But once that this force is overcome the same torsion bar changes its motion and finishes to open the knife on their own. The Speed Safe system opens the knife smoothly and fast, and the blade locks into position ready for use. The key advantages of the SpeedSafe (besides being so cool) are that it permits an ambidextrous opening with only one hand and that it is really safe, because the torsion bar prevents that the blade deploys by accident.


The Sandvik 13C26 stainless-steel drop-point blade measures 3.25 inches and is available with a plain edge or a serrated edge. It is hardened to 55-57 on the Rockwell hardness scale. The quality of the blade is very good. The shape is nice, the point is sharp and the edge is straight, which ultimately makes sharpening it easier. There are no serrations on the blade. Sandvik is one of the largest global materials companies. They make a lot of different stuff and a lot of different steels. 13C26 is a newer modern steel. Sandvik's website has some very interesting microscope pictures of their steel compared to other stainless steels, showing a very fine and uniform grain structure. Finer grains make it easier to get a sharp edge, and even grain structures reduce the kinds of imperfections that create weak spots in the steel.

Sandvik 13C26 holds an edge very well. Sandvik's website recommends this steel for razor blades. For hard use knives, they recommend a different steel 12C27, because it's tougher (a little softer but resists breaking better). I use my Kershaw Blackout for a wide variety of everyday tasks and the blade has held up very well. It came very sharp from the factory and it has stayed very sharp for a long while before I had to resharpen it.

The handle is made of Injection Molded Polyimide - an extremely durable, stress resistant plastic for a secure grip.

The pocket clip works well. It is removable, but not reversible for lefties.

The Kershaw Blackout is an all around great knife. I recommend it.


To buy or get more information on the Kershaw Blackout Folding Knife with Assisted 3-1/4" Plain Blade and Polyimide Handles
, click the link below.

Kershaw Blackout Folding Knife Assisted 3-1/4" Plain Blade, Polyimide Handles



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