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Author Archive | Matt

Bladetricks Trick Bars

Bladetricks, a custom maker out of Madrid, makes some very interesting edged tools that are not limited to just knives. One of their newest items, Trick Bars, are a downright wicked take on the classic pry bar.

Bladetricks Trick Bars

Trick Bars look like a simple hooked shape piece of steel but closer inspection reveals various angles and surfaces that are designed to allow them so serve as a pry bar, hammer, ice pick, and more. They are also very obviously designed to serve as a self-defense tool should the need arise. Something like this would be at home in any BOB or vehicle emergency kit.

They are ground from 5mm thick O1 tool steel and available in two sizes. The EDC size is compact at 25cm in overall length and the large size comes in at 34.5cm in overall length. They have a paracord wrap on the handle and come with a kydex sheath.

Check out the Bladetricks website and Facebook Page.

LeValley Outdoors

The state of hardware store axes is really dreadful. A typical hardware store axe has a poor quality metal head that is sand cast into a single, inefficient shape with a poor heat treat and a handle that promotes blisters rather than preventing them. There really isn’t much that these axes get right which leads many people to look overseas for their axes. Manufacturers like Wetterlings and Gransfors Bruks make wonderful tools but they are often expensive, they may not be well suited to American hard woods, and their available patterns are somewhat limited.

The lack of quality options leaves the savy axe user to seek out and rehabilitate old US made axes. However, not everyone has the time, know-how, desire, or work bench space to rehab their own axes. Thankfully there are people like Jon LeValley of LeValley Outdoors who are doing their best to restore these old, used axes to usefulness.

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LeValley Outdoors offers a staggering variety of axes that have been cleaned, inspected, re-profiled, sharpened, and properly hung on a new handle that is hand finished with linseed oil and beeswax. They have hatchets with several lengths of handles, boy’s axes, full size single bit axes, cruiser size double bits, full size double bits, and other useful patterns like Pulaskis and broad axes. They have axes from many of the great American makers like Collins, Kelly, Plumb, True Temper, Norlund, and more along with some very nice European makers.

The axes range quite a bit in price based on their condition and desirability but all them come ready to work with a fresh edge and handle. The majority of them are priced for those who plan to use them rather than collectors. It is possible to purchase a top quality tool for half of what you might pay for a new European import.

levalley outdoors unmarked boys axes

For instance, if you are looking for a great general purpose camping/hiking axe, LeValley Outdoors sells unmarked boy’s axes for $60. Vintage unmarked axes are often the best deals on the market because they were usually made by a manufacturer that you would recognize but came with a paper label that has worn off or were made without a mark to be sold in a large department store. Much of an axe’s collector’s value is based on the maker’s marks and since these axes lack marks, they can be sold without regard to collector’s value. The prices are even more reasonable when you consider that any over $25 ships free.

If you are in the market for an axe that is actually worth a darn, check out LeValley Outdoors.

Jeff White Knives and Robert Jones Sheaths

Jeff White’s hand forged knives have long been one of the best kept secrets on the knife market. Jeff’s knives are known for their frontiersman style and their amazing value (most cost less than $50). Now, sheath maker Robert Jones has teamed up with Jeff White to offer an even better value.

R Jones J White Bushcraft

Robert Jones Hand Sewn Leather is offering packages that include a Jeff White knife with a handmade sheath. There are several packages available ranging in price from around $50 to $90.

One of the most popular of those packages is the Bushcraft knife that Robert designed with Jeff. The knife features a 1/8″ thick, 4 5/8″ long blade that is forged from 1095 steel. It has full tang construction and curly maple handle slabs. The sheath is a fairly straight forward leather pouch design with an available dangler option. It sells for just $90.

Check out all the packages at the Hand Sewn Leather Ebay Store.

USA Made Blade Modified ZT0700

The Zero Tolerance ZT0700 is one of the best deals on the production folding knife market. It has features like a large S30V blade, G-10 handle slabs, typical overbuilt ZT quality construction, a flipper, and thumb studs. It is a lot of knife for less than $100. The only problem for some people is the blade shape. It has a unique modified tanto blade that some people just don’t like.

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USA Made Blade is offering a version of the ZT0700 that is modified into more of a spear point blade shape. The blades are reground to remove most of the hard angles that are indicative of the so called American tanto blade shape but the over all look and feel of the knife is maintained. When the modification is complete, the knives don’t look perfect and the ZT warranty is voided (but ZT will still send replacement parts) but the knife has a more useable shape.

If you have been love everything about the ZT0700 but the blade shape, check out the Modified ZT0700 at USA Made Blade.

Sharpening Your Edged Tools Outdoors

innerbark outdoors logoInnerBark Outdoors is a YouTube channel that deserves your subscription. They generate excellent reviews and outdoor skills tips including this latest video that shows how to sharpen your knife outdoors both with proper sharpening tools and without. This is the best video that I have seen on this subject.

Coronado Bowie

This massive chunk of survival steel called the Coronado Bowie comes to us all the way from France. It was designed by Donovan Lagarfeld of Currahee Surplus and is custom made by Gamma.

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The O2 steel┬áCoronado Bowie is 40 cm long (15.748″) and 8mm (.30″) thick! The blade has a massive clip, a massive choil, and a true, full flat grind (no secondary edge). This type of zero bevel grind has proven itself as a real performer in cutting competition and should make short work of survival tasks like fire prep.

The handle thick and well contoured for comfort. It features a large guard and a hooked pommel for chopping performance.

There are customization options that you can discuss with Donovan at the time of purchase. If you don’t speak French, don’t worry. Donovan spoke very good English and he does ship to the US.

Check out the Coronado Bowie.

See it in action…

ProTech Rockeye Fixed

Les George of George knives had a very successful SHOT Show 2014. In addition to the introduction of his dagger collaboration with Spartan Blades, a new fixed blade version of the ProTech Rockeye was introduced. ProTech, though mostly known for autos, makes some great fixed blade knives.

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The Rockeye Fixed is one of those designs that looks like it can do everything pretty well. The drop point blade has a fairly tall, flat primary grind with a false edge. The handle has knurled G-10 slabs, a deep first finger groove paired with a guard, and a heavily jimped thumb ramp.

This knife is 8.5″ overall with a 4″ blade. It is ground from .17″ thick 52100 steel. That’s right, I said 52100 steel. 52100 is a great steel that I rarely see makers working with any more. The Rockeye Fixed is available in a number of different Cerakote options that range from pretty mild to pretty wild. It comes with a nylon sheath with hard insert.

Check out the Rockeye Fixed at BladeHQ.

Wilderness Ironworks – Wilderness Axe

Some people are surprised to find that there are still people forging fine axes, one at a time, the old fashioned way, right here in the USA. One such place is Wilderness Ironworks.

Wilderness Ironworks Wilderness Axe

Their new pack axe, the Wilderness Axe, is quite unique in its size and shape. It has a bit shape that is very reminiscent of a carpenters axe with its more straight cutting edge and undercut bit for fine work. It’s size (7″ head, 4.5″ bit, 18″ haft) is similar to one of my favorites, the Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe except the Wilderness Axe weighs about 3/4 of a pound less at 2 1/4 pounds. That is quite light for an axe of this size.

Everything about this axe is hand crafted. Wilderness Ironworks forges the heads and hand carves the hafts. The result is a very attractive axe.

Check out the Wilderness Axe at Wilderness Ironworks.

Skallywag Tactical Spin-Drift

The Steve Reichert designed Spin-Drift that is being produced by Skallywag Tactical is now available.

Skallywag Tactical Spin-Drift

The Spin-Drift is CNC machined from a chunk of D2 tools steel and features a distinctive clipped point, tanto design with a false edge. The deep jimping and thumb notch work with the machined black canvas micarta scales to provide grip. The knife is black Ionbond coated for corrosion resistance and durability.

Each Spin-Drift comes with a kydex sheath from Survival Sheath Systems. Check out the Spin-Drift at Skallywag Tactical.

Steve is a U.S. Marine, a trainer, and the founder of Tier 1 Group. See his website for additional information.

Fletcher Knives in CPM154

Fletcher Knives is now working with stainless steel. Several of their models that were previously only available in O1 tool steel (a carbon steel) are now available with CPM154 steel.

Check out FletcherKnives.com. Fletcher Knives does not take orders so check out all the new stainless models in stock at USA Made Blade.

Fletcher Knives Delta-4 MKII

Fletcher Knives Delta-4 MKII

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