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Shannon Carter Knives – Urge

Shannon Carter should be on your knife radar. He is a relatively new maker with a strong visual style, great feel for ergonomics, sharp attention to detail, and a great portfolio of available models. All of those traits are obvious in his Urge model which has the type of refined look and feel that even seasoned knife makers struggle to achieve.

urge1 urge3

The Urge is one of those knives that you can envision being used for anything. It’s size, proportions, and blade shape lend themselves well to every day carry, hunting, general utility tasks, and everything in between. It’s muscular lines look simultaneously graceful and brutish but also serve the functional purpose of locking it into the hand. It is form and function.

Check out Shannon Carter Knives on Instagram and at Fall Creek Hand Crafted Knives.


Blade Length: 3″

OAL: 6 1/2″

Steel: 3/16″ CPM S35VN, stonewashed finish, cryo treated

Handle Treatment: G-10 over contrasting liners

Sheath: Kydex IWB (small Tek-Lok compatible)

sheath1 sheath2

TOPS Knives Releases the SXB Knife

Knife people seem to have a love/hate relationship with the Wilderness Survival Knife (WSK) design. Some love it for its ability to perform a wide variety of tasks and potentially replace multiple tools. Some hate it for its large size and brute force approach. All I know is that I have seen some very capable people doing a multitude of survival related tasks with them and doing them very effectively. I also know that the new SXB from TOPS Knives is one of the most radical WSKs I have seen yet.


Take TOPS Knives’ well known Tom Brown Tracker, stretch it out by nearly 5″, add TOPS Knives’ Rocky Mountain Tread handle treatment, add an extended pommel and guard, and you have something close to the SXB EJ “Skullcrusher” Snyder. Interestingly, because the SXB is not quite as tall as the Tracker, it manages to weigh 2 ounces less in spite of all the extra blade length.

SXB Flyer

Overall Length 16.75″
Blade Length 10.38″
Cutting Edge 9.75″
Blade Thickness 0.250″
Blade Steel 1095 RC 56-58
Blade Finish Black Traction Coating
Handle Material Black Linen Micarta
Handle Style Rocky Mountain Tread
Knife Weight 26 oz
Sheath Included Yes
Sheath Material Black Ballistic Nylon
Sheath Clip Molle Backing
Designer EJ “Skullcrusher” Snyder

Ek Knives Reborn

The Ek Commando Knife is one of the most important pure fighting knives of all time. Its maple handle slabs, poured lead rivets, and long double edged blade should hold a special place in the heart of anyone who appreciates knives, history, and design. The Ek Knives name has been passed around between various entities over the years and most recently it has settled with an American company who knows a thing or two about classic combat knives…

Ka-Bar is reintroducing the Ek Knives brand under the name Ka-Bar Ek Combat Knife Company and they officially released their first knife, the Model 4, today.

The Model 4 manages to look both very modern and unmistakably like an Ek at the same time. It features a 6.625″ double edge blade that is ground 1095 Cro-Van steel and given a parkerized finish. The handles are made from texture glass filled nylon which is a functional choice for a knife like this. The sheath is a self-locking design that is similar to Ka-Bar’s other hard sheaths.

It warms my heart to see a classic back on the market. Check out the Ek Model 4 at Ka-Bar. You can see more about the history of of Ek Knives at EkKnives.com.


TOPS Knives – New Site and Giveaway

TOPS Knives has launched a new website that makes it MUCH easier to browse the more than 200 active knife models that they offer. The new site is easy to use, easy on the eyes, and is a massive improvement over their old site.

They are also hosting a giveaway with 5 prizes including an MSK Survival and the new Baja 4.5. Entering is easy. All you have to do is register on the new site.

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Tahoma Field Knife Kydex from InnerBark Outdoors

The Tahoma Field Knife, a large fixed blade designed by Andy Tran of InnerBark Outdoors and produced by TOPS Knives, is one of the finest large survival knives on the market. It comes from TOPS with functional sheath but there is always room for improvement.

innerbark sheath

InnerBark Outdoors worked with Red Feather Gear to develop is a kydex dangler sheath for the Tahoma Field Knife. The sheath has a welt to add rigidity which is nice for such a heavy knife. It also features a closed dangler loop that can not be accidentally opened and a well formed thumb ramp to aid in removing the knife from the sheath.

Check out the Tahoma Field Knife Kydex Sheath at InnerBark Outdoors. The price is quite reasonable considering the size of the sheath.

TOPS Knives Baja 4.5 – Now Available

The Baja 4.5 that we previewed a couple of days ago is now available for purchases at TOPS Knives. This is one of the most hotly anticipated TOPS Knives releases since the BOB Field Knife.

Baja 4.5 Flyer

First Look: TOPS Knives Baja 4.5

If you find me walking in the woods or working outside, there is a good chance you will find a TOPS Knives Baja 3.0 (check out the review) on my belt. I think it is one of the best small fixed blades on the market and one of the best knives in the TOPS line. I like the Baja 3.0 so much that the announcement of the larger Baja 4.5 at the 2015 SHOT Show had me pretty excited.

TOPS Knives has been teasing the release of the Baja 4.5 for a few days now so it should be available any day now. They also just released a video that gives us out best look yet at the soon to be released knife.

Keep an eye on TOPSKnives.com for more details.

Update: TOPS Knives sent us additional information. The release date will be 6/23 (tomorrow). Check out the additional, more detailed images and specs below…

Baja 4.5 Flyer Baja4.5 Baja4.5_8

Stout Gear

If you like hard working, custom knives that offer big performance at a reasonable price (who doesn’t?), Stout Gear should be on your radar. I have been purchased one of their Ibex models and I’m seriously impressed. I like it so much that I am already making room in my budget to pick up their Scout model! You can stay tuned for a full review of the Ibex.

Stout Gear Ibex


Stout Gear offers several models in several sizes so it is difficult generalize their knives but there are a few things that characterize them. One of those characteristics is good cutting geometry. These knives are made for hard work so they are very thick at the spine and in order to make them cut, Stout Gear uses very tall, slightly convex primary grinds and then applies a 20 degree, polished bevel. The result is a tough edge that cuts very well.

They also have large, hand filling handles with comfortable contours. You’ll find deep bellied, drop point blade shapes on most of their knives. Their work is extremely clean (look at those plunge lines!). They also use tough, high quality steels that are well suited to the tasks envisioned for the knife. Most of their knives use CPM S35VN which is one of the only modern stainless steels I have been able to warm to because it is fairly easy to sharpen. I can sharpen anything, I just don’t care to spend a lot time doing it!

The Scout

Thankfully, Stout Gear is not one of those companies that sells you a great knife and sticks you with an afterthought of a sheath. I could probably write whole post just about the sheath. It is completely unique and very functional. It is a kydex sheath that is constructed much like a leather sheath in that is has an HDPE (tough plastic) welt between the outer layers of kydex. This allows the kydex layers to retain the knife without contacting the blade. This prevents scratching the blade and dulling of the edge by contact with the kydex and all the grit that ends up in the sheath of a knife that is actually being used. The sheath also features metal belt loops that Stout Gear makes themselves. It has to be the most bomb-proof sheath system I have ever seen.

All of their knives have starting prices below $300 – most well below $300. They cost less than many production knives with similar features (thick premium steel, sculpted G-10 handles, quality sheath, etc.). You need to get to know Stout Gear.



The Return of Nick Allen and NWA Knives

I have been a long time fan of knife maker Nick Allen and his NWA Knives brand. His knives were characterized by flowing, organic shapes, deeply contoured handles, fine finishing, tall flat grinds, tough carbon steels, differential heat treatments, an intuitive understanding of cutting geometry, and a love for the outdoors. He has a very distinctive visual style which is something all good knife makers have. You can recognize one of his knives from across the room.

NWA Knives Sierra Scout

Several years ago, he had to stop making knives due to some life changes and a lack of space. I was recently searching the web for his knives in case a good deal had popped up and I came across something that made my day. NWA Knives had a Facebook page and… It was active! I contacted Nick and, sure enough, he is making knives again. Judging by the examples on his Facebook page, it looks like he never stopped!

Check out the NWA Knives Facebook page for details on ordering.

NWA Knives 1 NWA Knives 2

Bradshaw Blades Combat Angler

What happens when you apply tactical knife sensibility to a purpose built fishing knife? You get something like the Bradshaw Blades Combat Angler.

bradshaw combat angler

The Combat Angler is ground from 1/8″ thick AEBL stainless steel. Its 6 3/4″ flat ground blade sweeps into a wicked point for fine work. The handle features brown cavas micarta slabs with carbon fiber bolsters and a deep choil to keep your fingers off the edge no matter how deep you are in fish guts.

Check out Bradshaw Blades on Facebook.

bradshaw combat angler sheath

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