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Author Archive | Matt

Review: Gearward Compact Survival Cord

It was kind of hard to take the paracord out of my EDC bag and set it aside. I have been carrying it for years and it has come in handy numerous times. I suppose that, like most guys who like to be at least a little prepared, I was used to having paracord with me and it was going to take something pretty exceptional to displace it. In my case, that something exceptional was Compact Survival Cord from Gearward.

Gearward Compact Survival Cordage

Overview

Compact Survival Cord comes in 3 different configurations each wound on a special spool that is part of the success of this cordage. They are listed below from largest to smallest:

  • Small – 50 feet of 600lb break strength Technora line
  • Mini – 50 feet of 200lb break strength Kevlar line
  • Micro – 25 feet of 200lb break strength Kevlar line (sold in pack of 2)

The cord comes pre-wound on a plastic spool that has one hard plastic side and one flexible plastic side. The flexible part can be folded to open or close the spool. I’ll expand on this later in the review.

Observations from Use

All three sizes are FAR more compact than a comparable amount of paracord. This alone could have bumped paracord out of my EDC bag but there are even more advantages to explore.

The spool that this cordage comes on is part of the magic of this package. It makes it so easy to carry and work with this cord. As I mentioned above, it can be opened and closed via its flexible plastic side. This ensures that you have full access to the cord when you need it and that it doesn’t unravel in your bag when you aren’t using it. It can also be used to keep the working end accessible by closing the flexible side on the end of the cord. I really appreciate that when my hands are cold.

Gearward Compact Survival Cordage Closed Gearward Compact Survival Cordage Open Gearward Compact Survival Cordage Retained Working End

The “Small” size, which is the largest of the bunch, has the highest break strength of any of the cords that Gearward sells. The Technora line is half the diameter of paracord but stronger, more resistant to heat and other environmental factors, and lighter in weight. In spite of all that, it was the least useful to me in part due to its larger size. I don’t use the cord for many applications that really push its break strength so more cord in a smaller package is probably more useful to me. I would love to see Gearward offer a Kevlar cord option on this large spool size.

The Mini and Micro sizes are most useful to me. They are both extremely compact and both packed with 200lb break strength Kevlar cord. The Kevlar cord is extremely versatile. It can be unraveled readily into three separate strands, each with a break strength of around 60lb. These single strands are more than strong enough to serve as lashings in a survival shelter and well suited to be used in gear repairs if you also have a sewing needle in your kit. The Micro in particular is small enough to fit an Altoids tin style survival kit with plenty of room to spare for other items.

Gearward Compact Survival Cordage Scale

Wrap Up

This is a fine example of something that is greater than the sum of its parts. The spools are good. The cordage is good. Together, they are great. These are lightweight, compact, and extremely functional. It may be sacrilege to the cult of EDC but these might just stand a chance of bumping paracord from your bag.

Check out all 3 sizes of Compact Survival Cord at Gearward.

Cross posted from JerkingtheTrigger.com

Flexxx Strops

A good strop can help a novice sharpener achieve shaving sharp edges and it can help a skilled sharpener split atoms. The best strops that I have personally laid hands on are those from Flexxx Strops.

Flexxx Signature Field Strop

Flexxx Strops makes several different sizes and shapes to fit various intended uses and budgets. Their Signature Series uses 8-10 ounce leather and contains several very functional and very affordable designs.

The Flexxx Strops Pro Series offers the kind of quality and features that people who spend a lot of time maintaining their edges require like thicker, 12 ounce leather.

Flexxx Pro Field II

All Flexxx Strops come pre-loaded with black and green Bark River Knife and Tool stropping compound unless you specify otherwise. I have used the BRKT compounds for years and they just flat work. The black compound cuts fairly aggressively and is perfect for maintaining an edge or to knock down the burr left by your sharpening stone. The green compound polishes the edge to a very high level of sharpness and is best used after you strop on the black compound.

If you have ever wondered why you can’t seem to bring your edges to shaving sharp like the old timers, it is because they know something you don’t. You need a strop! Check out the full line of strops at Flexxx Strops.

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit

Vigilant Gear has access to all the best survival and E&E tools. They know the tools inside and out. It makes absolutely perfect sense that they would start offering their own kits.

The first kit to be available through Vigilant Gear is the Micro SERE Kit. It is, as the name implies, a very compact E&E kit. How compact? I’m glad you asked. The entire kit will be 2.3″ x 1.8″ x .5″.  You could hide it under a business card! It’s definitely small.

You can see the contents of the kit in this image that Vigilant Gear produced (below).

Vigilant Gear Micro SERE Kit

Final pricing and availability information will be released soon. Check out Vigilant Gear.

New from Ka-Bar

Those of you who know me from my other blog, Jerking the Trigger, know that I am a fan of the Ka-Bar TDI. It should come as no surprise that I was excited to see a new TDI variant being displayed at the SHOT Show. It’s called the Hellfire and it is a collaboration with both TDI and Rick Hinderer. It features the typical TDI series offset blade angle paired with recurve American tanto shaped blade with a deep, jimped thumb notch on the spine.

Ka-Bar TDI Hinderer Hellfire

Ka-Bar has also shown the first fruits of their collaboration with Mike Snody. The Snake Charmer is a compact, fixed blade neck knife with no scales, slight finger grooves, and a pinky loop for retention. It features S35VN blade steel. You can also see the first images of the Ka-bar Snody Boss and Big Boss (below).

Ka-Bar Snody Snake Charmer

Ka-bar Snody Boss and Big Boss

There will also be a few additions to their Johnson Adventure Blades series. The smaller of the two is the wharncliffe shaped Wharnstalker. The larger is a new Johnson Adventure Blades take on the classic Parang called the Parangatang. The Parangatang in particular looks very interesting.

Ka-Bar Johnson 2014

Check out Ka-Bar.

Justin Gingrich Signature Series Knives from White River Knives

If you are familiar with hard use knives, you are likely familiar with former Army Ranger Justin Gingrich or you are at least familiar with Ranger Knives which was his company. Ranger Knives was purchased by Ontario Knife Company and many of Justin’s designs are still offered by OKC today. Justin has started a new company, Gingrich Tactical Innovations (GTI), that makes custom knives and offers tactical training. He has also been working in collaboration with White River Knives.

White River Knives is showing off some of Justin’s latest designs in their booth at SHOT Show (2848). The series consists of a lightweight neck knife, a smaller utility knife, and a larger field knife. The utility and field knife both feature textured micarta slab handles and fairly tall saber grinds.

White River Knives GTI Signature

Interestingly, all knives in the series are Ionbond coated. This coating is used more in the firearm industry than the knife industry. It offers a dark black finish that is extremely wear resistant, corrosion resistant, and has very high surface hardness.

These knives will be available after the SHOT Show.

SHOT Show E&E Kit from SerePick

Oh no! Your pinned down by a talkative product rep who is bending your ear about how awesome the Taurus Judge is. Its time to put your SHOT Show E&E plan into action and this SHOT Show exclusive, custom kit from SerePick just might help (if the Taurus rep has physically restrained you in some way which I doubt they would, but still… you never know).

This kit will only be available at the SHOT Show and you are going to have to track down Matt at SerePick to get one. They will cost $50 or you can potentially barter for them (I suggest good bourbon or maybe comfortable walking shoes, those would be worth a mint on the show floor).

SerePick SHOT Show Kit

The kit consists of a compact plastic case and several other useful items…

  • Bogota Nano Entry Toolset
  • Quick Stick X2
  • EZ Decoder X2
  • Polymer Universal Handcuff Key X2
  • Steel Split Pawl Handcuff Shim X2
  • Glue Dots X2

You will have to add your own pocket change because the dime in the photo is just there for scale. This kit is tiny.

Check out SerePick.com.

Joe Watson – 3-V Shiv with T4RESEARCH Sheath

Joe Watson is known for slim, easy to carry, self-defense oriented knives and this 3-V Shiv certainly fits that mold. He recently introduced a very unique and very limited variation on the Shiv which is worth a look. This special version comes with a black Cerakote finish to match its black, resin hardened cord wrapped handle and a very trim, custom kydex sheath from T4RESEARCH.

Joe Watson 3V Shiv

As the name would suggest, Joe grinds the 3-V Shiv from 5/32″ thick CPM-3V. The 3-V Shiv is 8.25″ long with a 4″ blade. These knives receive a Paul Bos heat treat.

The 3-V Shiv features a very slick compound ground. The tip and false edge are convexed for strength while the main cutting edge has an asymmetric edge bevel. The result is striking to look at, durable, functional, and well suited to the intended purpose of the knife.

Joe Watson 3V Shiv Sheath

The real kicker in this special edition combo is the T4RESEARCH low-profile sheath. It is very compact and allows for a variety of carry methods. This style of sheath works very well carried tucked into the wearer’s belt loops with the handle of the knife on the wearer’s center line for easy access with both hands.

Check out this special 3-V Shiv combo all Joe’s knives at his website and on his Facebook Page.

Joe Watson 3V Shiv Grind

 

Welcome to BladeBomb.com

BladeBombLogoWelcome to Blade Bomb!

I started BladeBomb.com for much the same reason that I started JerkingtheTrigger.com, to shine a light on small craftsmen and family businesses who are doing truly innovative things with edged tools, survival gear, and EDC items. These folks don’t have an advertising budget, they don’t employ a PR firm or social media guru. They just spend their time making amazing tools, often the same way they have been made for generations.

Blade Bomb will bring you news from around the knife industry along with reviews and commentary. I will dig to make sure you are seeing knife and gear makers that you might not see anywhere else.

Stay tuned!

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