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Archive | Utility

Victorinox Paring Knife Pocket Sheath – Pocono Pocket Sheath from KSF

I use Victorinox Paring Knives a lot around our little homestead. They are great utility knives but finding a decent sheath for them can be a challenge. I bought a Pocono Pocket Sheath years ago from Knives Ship Free and it is has been sitting in a drawer, mostly unused until I noticed that it fit my favored 3.25″ paring knives perfectly. Now, you’ll be hard pressed to find me without my paring knife and sheath riding in a back pocket while I do my chores.

Eventually, I would like to pick up the Knives Ship Free City Sheath. I suspect that it would fit a Victorinox Paring Knife and a pair of my favorite Knipex Cobra Pliers. That would make the ultimate homestead EDC pouch.

RMJ Tactical Origin Neck Knife

I’m a sucker for small fixed blade knives and RMJ Tactical’s new Origin neck knife certainly fits that bill. It’s just 4.125″ long with a 2″ blade but there is a lot of functionality packed into those few inches of knife.

The Origin features a triangular blade shape with a fine point for delicate tasks and a mostly straight cutting edge for utility tasks. The handle is skeletonized and features a deep finger groove to lock the small knife into your grip. The handle also hides an integral bottle opener. It comes with a kydex neck sheath.

Check out the Origin at RMJ Tactical.

ESEE PR4 – A Modern Kephart

There are a few names and associated blade designs that everyone interested in wilderness survival knows – George W. Sears and his Nessmuk pen name/knife design, Ray Mears and his influential Woodlore Bushcraft Knife, and Horace Kephart with his iconic “Kephart” knife design. In spite of how well these men and their knife designs are known, modern versions of their designs have been mostly only available from custom knife makers. This is especially true of the Kephart design until now.

Photo credit: ESEE Knives – PR4 shown with original Kephart, 1 of 2 in existance, belonging to Ethan Becker of Becker Knife & Tool

ESEE will be releasing a new knife called the PR4, a Kephart inspired design by Patrick Rollins in their Camp-Lore line. The PR4 has a decidedly modern appearance with its textured micarta scales and black wash finish.

However, the soul of a Kephart design still shows through that modern look. The handle is mostly straight with a rounded pommel and small, rounded guard. The edge comes close to the handle and runs straight to provide plenty of useable cutting edge for leverage cuts and fine work. The blade ends up in a well rounded spear point that is unmistakably Kephart.

 

Specs:

  • Overall Length: 8.90”
  • Blade Overall Length: 4.19”
  • Cutting Edge Length: 4.0”
  • Thickness: .125”
  • Weight (without sheath): 6.3 oz.
  • Steel: 1095 Carbon, 55-57 Rc.
  • Blade Finish: Tumbled Black Oxide
  • Handles: Sculptured Micarta
  • Sheath: Leather Pouch

Check out the ESEE PR4 product page at ESEEKnives.com.

Casstrom No. 3 Dangler Adapter for Knife Sheaths

I live on acreage and it is rare to find me working without a fixed blade knife on my belt. I’ve found that this can be done much more comfortably with dangler style sheaths. Recently, while talking to a friend who makes sheaths about having a custom dangler sheath made for a favorite knife, he recommended that I just take a look at a dangler adapter instead. He mentioned the adapters from Casstrom specifically.

The Casstrom No. 3 Dangler consists of a leather loop with an aluminum gate clip that makes it easy to install it on the belt loop of your sheath. The leather loop is riveted closed so there are no worry about snaps coming undone and loosing your knife at an inopportune time. The leather and gate clip are available with a number of color options.

I need to use mine longer before I try to complete a full review but initially, this seems to be the most convenient type of dangler adapter I’ve tried. They are available from a number of sources but I purchased mine on Amazon.

Casstrom No. 3 Dangler on Amazon

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.

Specs:

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.

SXB

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

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

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.

Wolverine

Wolverine

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