Monthly Archives: August 2013

Pilot Survival Knife Thermorun Handle Zytel Sheath Review

Pilot Survival Knife Thermorun Handle Zytel Sheath 02People often think that the length of the blade equates to its effectiveness. Ergo, the longer the blade the more effective it is. While that may hold true in some arguments, it does not hold water when compared with the Pilot Survival Knife Thermorun Handle Zytel Sheath, which is also referred to as the F1 and made by Fallkniven. If you ever needed a knife that could do it all, and I mean all, the F1 is the perfect tool/weapon for you to own.

Who is the Product For

Whether you are a knife collector or a person that needs to buy a really, really sharp knife, the F1 is a sound investment. You will not be disappointed with its features at all. Plus, when compared to other knives on the market, this one is quite affordable than popular brands. When it comes to what it can actually do, the sky is the limit. Be it for cutting wood or hunting, you can be rest assured that the F1 will do the job.

Main Features

Let us first tackle the aesthetics of the product. When you first catch a glimpse of the F1, it looks very sleek and stylish. While most knives would look like a broadsword due to their bulkiness, this one is compact and easy on the eyes. After all, the blade is only a little below four inches in length.
However, don’t let its length fool you at all. What it lacks in inches is made up by the fact that the material is sharp or even sharper than surgical steel. Then you have the Thermorun handle, which is comfortable to hold regardless of what you are using the knife for.
Finally, the Zytel sheath is perfect for the blade and fits very well. It also has drainage at the bottom to drip any fluids that the blade may have come into contact with.

Product Specifications

  • Blade length: 3.82 inches
  • Overall length: 8.38 inches
  • Steel: VG-10 steel (laminated)
  • Weight: 8.40 ounce
  • Blade Thickness: 4.5 mm or 0.18″ inches
  • Handle: Textured Thermorun
  • Sheath: Zytel

Product Pros

Whether Fallkniven is a brand you may or may not be familiar with, this product is definitely well-worth your money. Priced at around $100, it is quite affordable especially with the features it has. It is sharp, durable, as well as rust and corrosion resistant.

Product Cons

One thing it does lack is an extended warranty. Fallkniven only offers two years and no more than that. On the other hand, with a knife like the F1, you wouldn’t even need the warranty at all.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife Review

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife Review 01One of the icons made popular by television is Bear Grylls. You know the guy. He gets thrown off a chopper and is basically left to fend for himself. Armed only with things he can carry with him, he educates us on how to live off the land and use a survival knife. So, it’s no surprise that he comes out with a signature knife of his own and thus, the Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife is one of those products. However, does this survival knife hold up to the hype? Will the Bear Grylls name be put to shame? Let us find out.

Who is the Product For?

The Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife is for people who are going hunting, camping or just want to have a really sharp knife, as this product can be used for mostly anything. It will not disappoint you as it is armed with tons of awesome features. There is nothing you cannot do with this knife.

Main Features

First of all, you will notice the size of the Ultimate Knife. It’s not that short, but it isn’t that long either. With a total length of 10 inches, in which the blade is 4.8 inches, you could say that this product is somewhere in between in terms of size.

That being said, it is the perfect size for a multitude of tasks that it can be used for. The blade of this product is its highest selling point. It is made with high carbon stainless steel and is a fixed blade.

In terms of sharpness, this blade will not corrode and it is built to take literally tons of abuse. It also has a drop point design, which provides strength across the blade and will preserve the edge. Plus of course, the lower half of the blade is serrated.

This means that you can use it like a saw and cut through things like rope and wood with ease. What’s even more awesome is that Gerber, the maker of this product, provides a lifetime warranty for the Bear Grylls Ultimate Knife. Do note though, this product is made in China.

Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Serrated Knife Review 02Products Specifications

  • Blade length: 4.75 inches
  • Overall length: 10 inches
  • Steel: High carbon stainless steel
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Blade Thickness: 3/16 inches
  • Handle: Glass-filled nylon handle
  • Sheath: Military-grade nylon

Product Summary

Handling the knife is made easy with the textured rubber it is made with for the handle. You can use it for long periods of time and it won’t give you any blisters, which is very important for individuals who use survival knives a lot. Plus, it is also very comfortable to use and will not tire your wrists regardless of what you use the knife for.

Another feature that you can’t miss is the steel butt this knife comes with. This is extremely useful to pound things or smash objects; much like you would do with a hammer. In some tests, people were even able to pound nails into a tree using the pommel/hammer the knife is equipped with.

Finally, you will notice that this product has three lashing holes in the handle. This is used to tie the knife so that it can be used as a spear once it is attached to a pole.

DCF 1.0

Product Pros

This product is versatile and sharp that it can be used in several activities whether indoors or outdoors. Its rubber handle is comfortable and prevents slipping. It also comes with a diamond sharpener and fire starter, which are great for camping and hunting.

Product Cons

While this is a useful product, it also has its disadvantages including its poor craftsmanship. Plus, the handle is not as sturdy as the blade.

Tom Brown Tracker Micarta Handle TBT-010 Survival Knife Review

Tom Brown Tracker Micarta Handle TBT-010 Survival Knife 01The Tom Brown Tracker Micarta Handle TBT-010 is a survival knife that you can either love or hate. With its unique features, you will either be impressed with its potential or be dismayed with certain tasks that you cannot do with it. For instance, the blade’s design is much wider than others.

This means you can do a whole lot more chopping and carving with it, but on the other hand may not be able to do smaller tasks that require a tad more finesse with thinner blades. The Tracker is essentially a great survival knife to have, basically. At the same time, it’s cool and manly look will definitely make you want to have it as a part of your collection.

Who is the Product For

The Tom Brown Tracker Micarta Handle TBT-010 Survival Knife is a good investment especially if you are an avid knife collector. It has a blade that can be used for cutting, as well as a saw back that can be used for various projects at home, as well as for outdoor activities like camping.

Main Features

This knife’s features are quite impressive. First of all, it has a 4.25 inch blade that is made from high carbon alloy. This simply means that the knife is durable even if it takes tons of abuse.

At the opposite side of the blade, you have the serrated feature which you can use as a saw. It is 2.50 inches in length which is a little over half the overall size of the blade itself. The saw is quite short but even with its length it can cut through wood with ease. If you are trying to start a fire, you can shave magnesium and not have to worry that it might dull the blade.

The material of the handle is made from Micarta and it is very comfortable to use. Handling the knife is easy, even with the wide and thick blade this model is designed with. It also comes with the Kydex sheath as the tracker’s carry system which is not that bad either but nothing more special to it other than just being able to house the knife well.

However, the sheath was designed comfortably for people that are right-handed. When you draw the knife and you are left-handed, you might have a hard time doing so and feel a bit awkward. Best of all, the knife is very easy to maintain as it is already very sharp. Little sharpening is required to maintain the blade.

Tom Brown Tracker Micarta Handle TBT-010 Survival Knife 02

Product Specifications

  • Blade length: 5.50 inches
  • Overall length: 11.87 inches
  • Steel: 1095 High Carbon Alloy RC-58
  • Weight: 1 lb 12oz
  • Blade Thickness: ¼ inches
  • Handle: 7.63 inches Micarta
  • Sheath: Kydex Sheath
  • Back saw: 2.50 inches

Product Summary

The Tom Brown Tracker Micarta Handle TBT-010 can be used for several things such as cutting, curving and slicing of different materials. It is durable and sharp making it convenient to use even for a long time. It has a blade and saw part, which are perfect for your specific needs.

Product Pros

The blade is sharp and can effectively cut, slice and curve different materials and even ingredients if cooking. The saw part is also useful when working on tough woods, as well as when starting fire.

Product Cons

Some maintenance is required to keep the blade in tip top shape. For instance, if you are not using it, the blade needs to be oiled or else it has a tendency to oxidize quickly. The coating on the blade will scrape off after some use and although this is perfectly natural, you wouldn’t expect this to happen with a survival knife that costs a lot of money.

The tracker is a little bit on the expensive side, and you can consider yourself lucky if you find an online price that is just a little above $200. More often than not, this model is sold for way more than that amount, which is more expensive than other survival knives we may have gotten accustomed to.

Fallkniven A1 L Survival Knife Review

Fallkniven A1 L Survival Knife Review 01The Fallkniven A1L Survival Knife claims to set a new world standard for technical design, economy, and ease of use. This durable knife from Fallkniven complies with and is even touted to surpass standards for strength, personal security, and value. The Fallkniven A1L is a semi-large all-purpose survival knife particularly designed for heavy-duty use. Despite looking plain or minimalistic, it capably does the things expected of a survival knife.

This knife easily does the job of hard chopping with its adequate heaviness. It has the right weight and impressive durability to serve as a reliable chopping knife. Of course, it also performs well as a slicing tool. It may not be the greatest knife for kitchen use but it does well in food preparation. It is built durably enough to resist frequent heavy use. It also offers great ergonomics. Using this knife wouldn’t strain the hands even over prolonged periods.

Who Is It For?

The Fallkniven A1L is intended for those who need a durable knife that can be used frequently. It is built to be durable to withstand regular wear and tear for a long time. This knife is not only meant to be kept in an emergency kit. It is also great for daily or regular use. Not only is it durable, it is also ergonomically designed. It can be used by campers and those who are into outdoor adventures. It is likewise a great tool for rescuers. The knife is versatile and durable enough to be used in various settings.

Main Features

This durable survival knife from Fallkniven has a laminated blade made of VG10, a stainless steel with high carbon content. The blade features a modified spear point and has a black CeraCoat 8H coating. It can be considered medium in size with a typical blade thickness at 6 millimeters. It comes with a black checkered Kraton handle that offers a comfortable grip.

The Fallkniven A1L comes with a solidly built black zytel sheath that can be readily worn around the hips, attached to a belt. With the sheath, carrying the knife around shouldn’t be a problem. Likewise, storage is conveniently addressed by the free sheath. It is also worth noting that the Fallkniven A1L features a water-repelling design and the notable attribute of being usable in either extreme cold or hot conditions.

Fallkniven A1 L Survival Knife Review 02

Product Specifications

  • Overall knife length 280 mm (11 inches)
  • Blade length 160 mm (6.3 inches)
  • Blade thickness 6 mm (0.24 inch)
  • Blade material VG10 steel
  • Blade laminate/outer cladding 420J
  • Total knife weight 305 grams or 12 ounces
  • Blade hardness rating 59 HRC

Fallkniven A1L is a Japan made survival knife with dimensions that are comparable to typical survival knives. It is a full tang knife that looks like a typical survival knife albeit lacking the iconic serrated back that is usually expected from heavy-duty survival knives used in the wilderness.

Product Summary

Using the Fallkniven A1L survival knife is comfortable enough. It has just the right length and weight that can be expected from a survival knife. The 305-gram weight provides just enough reassuring heft so the knife can be used for chopping wood or other not so hard objects. This knife’s medium size is just enough for camping activities, hikes, or excursions. The knife’s blade features a modified drop point design that seems to enhance tip strength and stabbing ability.

This knife has a blade with a remarkable cutting capability. It is impressively sharp right out of the box. It also stays sharp for a reasonable length of time. Using the knife for batoning or as a hammer to drive nails or install stakes, however, is not advisable. It may hammer nails or stakes but not so reliably. You’re better off using a stone for this purpose.

Much of the knife’s strength and durability comes from the VG10 laminated steel it is made of. The laminate uses a 420J outer cladding. Moreover, the blade is designed well that it effectively chips through rocks without exhibiting signs of brittleness. It is also an added advantage that the tough blade is quite easy to re-sharpen.

In terms of ergonomics, the Fallkniven A1L is quite easy and comfortable to use. The partially rubbery and high density kraton handle provides reassuring grip. It hardly slips off when used, even when slashing the knife onto shrubs or tall grass. The textured diamond pattern of the handle adds to the tight but comfortable grip of the knife.

Product Pros

Well built, the Fallkniven A1L does well as a survival knife that can also be used for daily activities. Its medium to semi-large size makes it easy to wield. The blade design also seems well thought out. It may not have the weightiness to be a good chopping knife but its ability to chop and chip things is passable enough. The quality and handling of materials used is also commendable. The VG10 steel used does not appear to pose the risk of being brittle.

Product Cons

The disadvantages that can be pointed out in the Fallkniven A1L don’t appear too significant. Some may not like the simple design or the lack of the serrated back edge but it’s just a matter of preference. Also, issues with build quality may only be attributed to the sheath that comes with the knife. It looks well-built but it does not appear to be the perfect match for the A1L’s sturdiness.

Ontario Knife Company Blackbird SK-5 Wilderness Survival Knife Review

Ontario Knife Company Blackbird SK-5 Wilderness Survival Knife 02Designed by Paul Sheiter, the Ontario Knife Company Blackbird SK-5 Wilderness Survival Knife is a knife designed around simplicity. Sheiter opines that “the more complicated a product becomes, the more likely it is to fail when your life depends on it.” That’s why the Blackbird SK-5 is created with a prominently minimalistic look and greater emphasis on function. This knife looks utterly plain that it can be mistaken as a simple kitchen knife. However, it is designed to maximize functionality and ensure that it works as expected. Its designer aims to make sure that handling the knife should be very intuitive and familiar to make optimally utile especially during emergencies.

Who its For?

The Ontario Knife Company Blackbird SK-5 survival knife is meant to be used by everyone. It is designed to provide a great balance of dimensions, weight, features, and usability. It is something that should be easily used by anyone who needs a survival knife in whatever location or situation.

Ontario Knife Company Blackbird SK-5 Wilderness Survival Knife 01Main Features

Simplicity is the main highlight of the Blackbird SK-5. It is intended to provide users something that is familiar to use so it can serve its purpose better. It features a plain edge blade. The build is solid enough to withstand the challenges most survival knives are subjected to. The blade is made with superiorly tough steel that possesses an impressive edge-retaining ability. This knife does not need sharpening every so often. The blade is resistant to rusting or corrosion. The blade also features a full-taper grind for optimal carving efficiency.

The sharp edge along the spine of the blade, on the other hand, is designed to help strike a spark from flint-and-steel fire starters. Moreover, the knife comes with a rounded and Micarta covered handle that offers comfortable grip. The knife also has a lanyard slot and it comes with a MOLLE compatible sheath that has a belt loop.

Product Specifications

  • Total knife length 254 millimeters (10 inches).
  • Blade length 127 millimeters (5 inches)
  • Blade thickness 3.3 millimeters (0.13 inch)
  • Blade hardness rating 58-60 HRC
  • Overall knife weight 238.14 grams or 8.4 ounces
  • Blade material 154CM steel

The 154CM steel blade material is an American-made steel noted for its excellent toughness and rust-resistance. This knife is a full tang type and the handle is securely attached to the blade by a triple anchor system designed to resist abusive shocks or stress whenever the knife is used to baton or hit things like a hammer. Moreover, the Blackbird SK-5 features a spear point and center lined tip designed to provide a high degree of point strength and efficiency.

Product Summary

Arguably, the Blackbird SK-5 could be one of the least attractive survival knives available. It is plain looking at best. However, it offers a design and form that is very familiar to anyone who has used a knife a few times. It is a tool meant to cut, slice, chop, pierce, stab, or probe. All these functions are adequately served by the Blackbird SK-5. It is a no-frills survival knife anyone can take advantage of.

Because of the focus on simplicity, the durability and solid build for the Blackbird SK-5 are easily achieved. It makes use of durable and tough materials for both the blade and handle. Users are likely to feel the solid build quality every time they use this knife. It is designed to be heavy duty and long lasting. Cleaning and maintaining this knife is also relatively easy.

All in all, the Blackbird SK-5’s straightforward approach to being a survival knife seems to be hitting the right points. The familiar design makes handling very intuitive and easy for frequent even for those who are not accustomed to using other more typical survival knife designs. For experienced campers or outdoor adventure seekers, however, this knife may not be the right choice. Some may not find the concept of “kitchen knife simplicity” very appealing.

Product Pros

The simple design of this knife can attract those who are new to survival knives. Build quality is great while the materials used for both the blade and handles are excellent. The Micarta-laden handle makes for a good and comfortable grip although some may not like the way it looks.

Product Cons

This knife satisfactorily covers the basics of what a survival knife is expected to do. It is great for “amateurs” who may only need something familiar, durable, and reliable. For those who understand the fundamentals of survival knives, however, this knife is just not enough. It does not have enough weight and heft to efficiently do chopping. It is also too short to be a reliable survival knife. There are many other knives with better designs, in terms of aesthetics and function.

Spyderco Gayle Bradley Folder Carbon Fiber PlainEdge Knife Review

Spyderco Gayle Bradley Folder Carbon Fiber PlainEdge Knife 01Spyderco is one of the top choices when it comes to reliable high performance knives. The company has introduced a good number of innovative knives with out-of-the-box designs. Gayle Bradley, on the other hand, is a renowned producer of handmade folder and fixed blade knives. He has been making custom knives since 1988. Today, his works are known for durability and fine appearance. With the fusion of Spyderco and Gayle Bradley’s expertise in knife making comes the “Spyderco Gayle Bradley Folder Carbon Fiber PlainEdge Knife.” This is a knife that can represent the excellence of two leading names in knife making.

Who is This Knife For?

This highly portable fold-able knife is ideal for campers, hunters, fishermen or fishing enthusiasts, hikers, and those who are engaged in small construction or carpentry projects. The knife is versatile enough to serve various functions. It may not be as sturdy and multi-purpose as survival knives but it does a great job being useful for various situations. This foldable knife from Spyderco and Gayle Bradley offers adequate performance in cutting, slicing, probing, and gouging tasks. It is obviously not good in chopping, though, and is unlikely to replace a proper survival knife in the wilderness.

Main Features

Being a fold-able knife, one of the most obvious features of the Spyderco Gayle Bradley Folder Carbon Fiber PlainEdge Knife is its portability. It is very easy to slip it into the pocket or bag to be carried around everywhere. It no longer requires a separate sheath. It is well secured when folded close to prevent accidents. The knife is not very light but its heft is not necessarily a disadvantage. The handle is made of carbon fiber while the folding mechanism makes use of a screw-together construction. The handle also features a 4-way hourglass steel clip and full-length internal liners.

Product Specifications

  • Total knife length 205 millimeters (8.078 inches)
  • Length when folded 119 millimeters (4.687 inches)
  • Total blade length 87 millimeters (3.438 inches)
  • Length of the sharp cutting portion 81 millimeters (3.188 inches).
  • Blade thickness 3 millimeters
  • Blade material CPM-M4 with high grind property
  • Total knife weight 155 grams or 5.5 ounces.

Product Summary

At an average price of $160, this knife definitely offers great value. The nice design, solid build, and quality materials used couldn’t be easily had for such a price. Many would likely consider this knife as one of the better folder knives available on the market. It lives up to the Spyderco brand and Gayle Bradley name. Those who hesitate to get a folder knife for the fear of durability issues can be assured that this knife is solidly built enough. At the least, it should be able to outlast most other folder knives on the market.

The knife’s handle that also serves as its sheath has a great and durable design. It exudes a “gentlemanly” appearance and comes with adequate rigidity when folded open or close. The handle is made of twill carbon fiber with a Michael Walker LinerLock to safely and securely close the knife when not in use or when placed inside the pocket. Moreover, the hourglass clip provides a convenient way of wearing or carrying the knife around. It can be clipped tip-up, tip-down, right-handed, or left-handed.

This knife is a quite versatile tool that can be used for various purposes. It is sharp enough to slice or cut things for DIY projects or even for food preparation. It is durable enough to be used in creating or probing holes. It may be quite short but it can also suffice as an immediate self defense tool.

Product Pros

This knife is well built. It is even advertised by Spyderco as a folder knife that has the strength of a fixed blade knife. The material used for the blade and handle are great. Likewise, the folding mechanism is snappy, secure, and reassuringly tight.

Product Cons

This high-performing knife is really a great tool to buy but some may be turned off by the type of material used for the blade. The blade is not made of stainless steel so there is a great possibility of rusting or the development of patina if the knife is not properly maintained. Also, the knife is not weatherproof. It needs to be promptly cleaned and dried if used on wet or moist materials.

Buck Hood Hoodlum Hunting Knife Review

Buck Hood Hoodlum Hunting Knife 0

The Hoodlum from Buck is created and designed to be the best survival tool. The knife is designed by Ron Hood and was created with the excellent standards of Buck, giving this Hoodlum the best survival in the extreme outdoors conditions. This knife is lightweight just enough that it can be carried in sheath, but is still heavy duty and sufficient for several tasks in the wilderness. The handle or grip of the knife is created with the SMS or the Shock Mitigation System working to minimize the shock as well as the wasted energy while using it for chopping. The huge finger choil is also present giving users enough control while whittling or other related and detailed usage. There is a notch present that acts to cut to the spine of the blade for the scoring bone, removing pots from camp fire, bending wire and other tasks.

Whom is the product for?

This knife is equipped with a Micarta® grip or handle that can be removed in order to create a tool similar to spear. This then can be lashed in a branch to the blade’s tang. The knife also has an integrated lanyard hole and hammer in the lower portion of the grip and it is compatible with M.O.L.L.E.

Plus, it has a nylon sheath that is truly heavy-duty. This Hoodlum knife model will definitely serve as the all-around survival tools that users will needs from food preparation to protection while being out in the wilderness. The Hoodlum knife is also considered as a Pro Level knife – meaning it was created with the company’s century old methods of developing and crafting knives to the unprecedented level and is designed to be used in the most demanding conditions. It is made with premium materials with the excellent quality of the American craftsmanship. This knife from Buck is a part of the Ron Hood line of outdoor survival knives.

Main Features

This knife weighs about 14.6 ounces and this value is less than what people would expect from heavy duty knives. The knife is mainly designed for chopping purposes. The SMS will make sure that the user can safely baton while using the Hoodlum. The over length of the knife is around 15 inches and this length plus the design of the handle makes it somewhat awkward to be utilized for non-chopping tasks. The material used in the blade is 5160 Carbon Steel.

This type of steel is extremely tough because of the content – about 0.5% carbon with high amount of chromium and this makes it ideal for usage on chopping blades and axes. This type of steel does not keep edge and hence, there is a need for sharpening provided that you will use this knife for any tasks aside from chopping. Fortunately, this type of steel can be sharpened easily. In addition, the lower carbon content will mean rust will not be much of a problem and most of the time, there is a coating used in order to prevent rusting.

Product Specifications

  • Blade Length: 10″ (25.4 cm)
  • Blade Material: 5160 Carbon Steel
  • Carry System: Black, heavy duty nylon, M.O.L.L.E. compatible sheath
  • Handle Material: Micarta
  • Weight: 14.6 oz (22.0 g)

The blade of the Hoodlum knife is ten inches in length with full tang and flat ground with plain edge. The design of the knife features huge finger choil located on the ricasso and in this place, the balance point is also located. In the middle of the blade’s spine, you will find the notch of bone marrow and this enforces the knife. The performance of the blade of this knife is greatly when use as a chopper or chopping tool, but it can have lesser performance as batoning knife.Nevertheless, if you decide to make use of this Hoodlum knife for batoning purposes, it is recommended that you will wear a pair of thick gloves for protection.

The scales of the grip or handle are built out of theenormouslyhard composite material called the Micarta. These scales are linked to the Hoodlum knife through the two screws that are located at the bottom and the top of the handle of the knife. Being attached by screws, you can detach them using flathead screwdriver and use them as for lashing.The shape of the grip or the handle is definitely working to help the overall function of the knife in chopping.

Product summary

It is also set and positioned at slight angle with respect to the blade and will then curve downward. The presence of the deep finger choil and jimping located near the handle will provide variety of gripping/handling options. The handle/grip is considerably thick and this can fill the hand. The scales are then separated from the tang using red spacers giving the knife a pleasing style. In addition, the handle or grip provides amazing traction for the user’s hand even when it is wet. The Hoodlum knife from Buck also comes with a sheath. This sheath is constructed using the excellent quality of nylon and is compatible with the M.O.L.L.E.

The sheath comes with a non-removable plastic liner. Also, this sheath can be subject to adjustments in order for this knife to ride high or low. The presence of multiple pockets is also in the sheath that can be used in storingother knives such as folding knives that can serve as back up. The knife is being held in the right place using the main and secondary retention strap. However, without the straps, the knife will not be held in place. All in all, the sheath has great features in terms of styles and designs.

Product Cons

One of the drawbacks of this Buck Hoodlum knife is that it lacks heftiness, which means that users will be able to achieve lesser power while using this knife in cutting. Most of the time, when you will purchase this knife, you will possibly get a knife that is unsharpened and hence, you have to be ready to sharpen it first before you can use the knife.

Product Pros

The handle or grip of the knife is well built and solid and will definitely provide the users with the good and right grip but some users reported that it does not fully absorb the impact at all.

ESEE Knives ESEE-5 OD Plain Blade Knife Review

ESEE Knives ESEE-5 OD Plain Blade Knife 01Since 1997, an emerging maker of knives, Randall’s Adventure and Training, has been designing and creating affordable and no-nonsense field knives that are developed particularly for the use of backpackers, adventurers, law enforcement, special operations community and the military and are used specifically as survival tools. The company is run by full time employees that are trainers and also adventurers and these people have the difficult task of testing and developing products that is intended to work in the outdoors, in the remote areas such as the wilderness and other harsh environments. Randall’s Adventure and Training has a very simple philosophy and it goes like this: if the products do not work in the real environment and world then they will simply refuse to create and build the products as well as stop training and teach how to use these products to students.

Whom is the product for?

Randall’s is a company known for building the ESEE knives. These knife series was created and developed with years of tough and logical experiences and these are embedded into every blade. The reason for this is mainly because the products of the company are geared directly from their training. Randall’s Adventure and Training has been the frontrunners of several survival training and expeditions courses in the jungles of Amazon as well as in various countries including Peru and all over the USA.

In fact, their courses as well as their survival tools and gear have been featured in many television shows such as Discovery Channel and Travel Channel. Randall knives are also a staple in many survival, adventure and outdoor books, magazines and trade publications.

ESEE Knives ESEE-5 OD Plain Blade Knife 03Main Features

The ESEE Knives from Randall’s Adventure and Training are made in a series. These are the 3, 4, 5 and 6. All of the knives in this series have the same purpose and style wherein the main objective is survival. Among all of the knives, the ESEE 5 is regarded as a beast – surviving machine. Adventurers and outdoor people should have this ‘tool’. The knife has a blade that is about 5.25 inches in length and has the spine thickness of about 0.25 inches, making the ESEE 5 very tough.

The blade for this kind of knife is made from 1095 steel that comes with a 57 Rc. Rating. This rating is said to be hard enough in cutting well, but it is still easy to be sharpened if the user is in the field. The handle of this knife is made using the Canvas Micarta that also has the Bow Drill Divot that can be utilized in starting a fire. The overall length of the knife, which includes the handle, is about 10.88 inches. The thickness of the blade makes it nearly impossible for the blade to bend this knife while using it unless you decided to force it.

The material of the steel has high carbon content and it is finished using textured powder coat. The width of the blade is measured at 1.56 inches and this gives the ESEE 5 (the OD plain blade model) the necessary power and strength to be used for survival outdoors. The 1095 steel is the most popular material used in the industry of cutlery and knife-making and the 1095, as part of the 10 series has the most amount of carbon giving it better edge holding and is reasonably tough. It is also an affordable material with exceptional quality. This kind of steel has more wear resistance and is great to sharpen. This knife can also come with serrations at the edge in the blade aside from the plain edge. The weight of the knife is 16 ounces making it a good survival tool that users can carry around without having problems in the weight as well as in the length.

Product Specification

  • O.A Length: 10.88″
  • Blade Length: 5.25″
  • OD Plain Blade
  • Weight: 16 ounces (Knife Only)
  • Handles: Canvas Micarta w/ Bow Drill Divo

The handle is made from Canvas Micarta giving users a grip that feels great. It also has enough amount of texture. Many users commented that with excessive use of this knife or long term usage, you could get blisters. You can consider this in buying this knife, but it should not be a deciding factor in buying. The knife also comes with a sheath that is created using the formed Kydex that can hold the ESEE knife in the right place and in very well condition. It also comes with the clip that helps in quickly and easily attaching the knife to the user’s belt. The sheath also features blade tension that is adjustable and this permits users in maximizing the tightness of the blade and how it stays in the sheath, especially for users who are carrying it or planning to carry the knife upside down position.

Product Summary

The ESEE knife, particularly the 5 series can be described as full tang kind and solid knife. On the lower portion of the knife, in the handle, there is a tool called “Glass Breaker” that is designed to break glass. Some have said that the knife has the right weight, but there are some who felt that this survival knife is a bit heavy for its size. Nevertheless, it can be a tradeoff for having a solid and well-built knife like this one from Randall’s Adventure and Training. If you plan to use this knife in splitting firewood, you will not encounter any trouble.

Product Pros

This feature is largely thanks to the right thickness of the blade assuring users that it will not bend or even break while you use it to split the firewood. One of the pros that users will have in this knife is that the company, Randall’s Adventure and Training, offers lifetime warranty for all of their gears and this says a lot about how they care for their customers and their survival gears such as the ESEE 5 OD Plain Edge.

Product Cons

One of the downsides of the 1095 steel is that it rusts easily, hence, the company used a powder coating in order to combat the rusting problem.

Buck Hood Punk Survival Knife Review

Buck Hood Punk Survival Knife 02The knives from the famed knife-maker Buck were developed from Kansas by a young apprentice of a blacksmith. His named is Hoyt Buck and in his quest to look for a better means of tempering the steel so that it would be able to get a hold of the edge in a longer way. His one of a kind approach led to the birth of the maiden Buck Knife way back in 1902. The development led to the creation of every knife by hand with the use of worn-out file blades as the raw material. His work with knives was immensely appreciated during the time of the World War II.After WWII (particularly in 1947). Hoyt, together with his son named Al, migrated to San Diego in California and then started a business called the H.H. Buck & Son.

Seventeen years later, Hoyt’s son revolutionized the industry of making knives with the introduction of the Model 110 Folding Hunter and the folding “lock blade” knife. This instituted the Buck brand as the leader in the industry of cutlery. Since the beginning, the Buck family has been at the forefront in terms of the development of innovative products as well as in the enhancement in the knife industry. Accordingly, the so-called Buck “Hoodlum” is the outcome of this long standing tradition.

Buck Hood Punk Survival Knife 01Whom is the product for?

The knife called the Buck “Hood or Punk”is meticulously created and designed to be a knife that can be used for outdoors, survival, and adventure. It is made to handle the toughest and most rugged of conditions. This knife is entirely based on the design of Ron Hood and is developed using the quality standards of the Buck Company. The “Punk” knife provides assistance to ensure a person’s survival in extreme outdoor conditions. One of the outstanding features of this knife is the Shock Mitigation System or SMS and this feature can minimize shock as well as reduces wasted energy while being used. In addition to that, it is designed in such a way that the security and comfort of the grip or handle slabs can be removed easily. This is in order for the knife to be pounded to the stave in forming the makeshift spear in the instances that the user is in the situation being threatened by the predatory and wild animals.

Main Features

In addition to these, the Hood Punk knife is available with M.O.L.L.E., a heavy duty and lightweight that is compatible the nylon sheath and has storage pouch. It features the 5 and 5/8 inches of the blade, which is clip point in structure, and is made using the 5160 alloy steel that has a matte and flat ground finish. This also incorporates the huge choil for the index finger of the user. The purpose of this is to provide greater control and maneuverability over the blade when the user performs delicate and complicated tasks within the raised hump on the parts located at the spine of blade.

Product Specifications

• Overall Length: 11″ (27.9 cm)
• Blade Length: 5.625″ (14.3 cm)
• Blade Thickness: 0.175″
• Blade Steel: 5160 Powder Coated
• Handle Material: SMS (Shock Mitigation System), Black Micarta
• Weight: 7.4 oz (209.8 g)

This feature can provide the user with more leverage when the knife is used for carving. Also, this also features ergonomic feel and look that is full tang kind of grip or handle. The handle also has a small sub-hilt, finger groove and textured in black color and this is called the Micarta slab. Finally, there is also a lanyard loop that is exposed.

Product summary

This model of knife from Buck is extremely fitted for use during outdoor adventures. It is considered as the ultimate survival tool. The blade, which is shaped as a clip point, has the right length as it can perform nicely as a general purpose kind of knife. In addition, the flat, full and grind part of the blade allows the user access to the very sharp (not mostly tough) edge. With the addition of the matte finish, corrosion is prevented. However, the length of the blade is not fully effective as a chopping tool. Longer blades will give problems in terms of controlling it especially in making precision cutting.

The 5160 alloy steel has its own pros and cons in this knife model. This alloy steel exhibits increased hardness, wear resistance/toughness and strength than a knife made from carbon-based steel. Therefore, these alloy steels are utilized well in a wide array of industries. Alloy steels are used in creating knives with a high quality of edge retention. It is very tough in a sense that it can resist chipping problems as well as breakage because of hard use. However, the downside is primarily due to the content of the alloy steels – it has less than four percent of chromium and hence, these steels are not as popular as stainless steels. In order to become stainless steel, the material must have more than 12.5% of chromium. This means that there is a need for extra caring for knives with 5160 alloy steel. You must be extra vigilant in the prevention of corrosion unless these knives are being coated with a non-corrosive finish.

Product Pros

The grip or handle of the knife demonstrates substantial prudence about the knife’s ergonomics such as the raised hump on the spine of the blade and the little dip in tang. There is no official statement about the length of the handle in the official website Buck, but by observing it, one can conclude that the handle is enough to accommodate even users with bigger hands – especially those who prefer to handle the knife without the placement of the index finger in choil. But the Micarta slabs provide toughness to the handle and have a waterproof characteristic.

This slab is removable as well. Lastly, the addition of the M.O.L.L.E. and its overall design is very compatible especially the nylon sheath material because this material is tremendously tough and is waterproof and impermeable to the absorption of the moisture. The design makes it possible such that it is compatible to M.O.L.L.E. and this can give users with several and varying options in terms of attaching the knife to the gear.

Product Cons

One possible con of this knife is the price, in which it is cost close to $200. The second disadvantage is that you will have to take extra good care of this knife because of its alloy steel content.

Cold Steel Master Tanto Knife Review

Cold Steel Master Tanto Knife 05Cold Steel, Inc. is company known for making high quality knives and related products. The company was established in 1980 and they have been creating and producing the sharpest and strongest knives in the entire world. In the past three decades, the company has been the front runner of several innovations that have provided assistance in defining the industry of knife making as a whole. The company has been the subject of progressive development and accomplishments like the handle called checked Kraton and the blade style called American Tanto.

These features have gone from stimulating features to becoming a hallmark in the industry in terms of sophistication and quality. Features such as San Mai III and “Tri-Ad Lock” mechanism of lock are introduced. One of the prime examples of the high quality craftsmanship of Cold Steel is their Cold Steel Master Tanto. This knife was invented as well as popularized by the company since they began and since then, this knife has been the cornerstone when it comes to piercing, cutting and slashing power. This knife can become a good tactical weapon as well as an outdoor survival tool (but not fully dedicated as a survival tool).

Cold Steel Master Tanto Knife 02Who is the product for?

Being a tactical weapon, those who are in the authority such as police, army and other forces can have this superior knife at hand. Of course, common person can also carry this around as part of their protection, but they must carry it with caution simply because it is a “weapon” that can inflict damage not only to the target, but also to the person holding it. As stated earlier, it is not fully designed as a survival type of knife or tool. There are many reasons why it is not a survival tool in the wild that will be discussed later; however, carrying this kind of knife from Cold Steel is far much better than having a foldable knife or worse, having no knife at all. Logically, this is just a knife and carrying it in the wilderness or outdoor is necessary.

Main Features

What makes the Cold Steel Master Tanto Knife a superior knife and a great tactical weapon? Its features include the overall length of 11 ½ inches with the American version of the Tanto blade that measures about six inches in its length. The blade, on the other hand is created using the 3/16 inches VG-1 (V Gold 1) San Mai III stainless steel material. This VG-1 is steel made up of Carbon Molybdenum type of stainless steel. Chemically speaking, this stainless steel is composed of Carbon, Chromium, Molybdenum and Nickel. The forming of double carbide bonds by Molybdenum and Chromium during the steel’s forging gives the steel its powerful resistance against abrasion and corrosion.

In addition to that, the VG-1 stainless steel is somewhat one of a kind among the steels used in knives because it is constructed via the lamination of a layer of high and hard carbon and steel between the two layers of tougher yet softer stainless steel. This is opposed to the common process of smelting and forging. Cold Steel has been using VG-1 in many of their knives and the company had observed that this stainless steel has a cumulative characteristic in the field of edge retention, sharpness, shock, strength characteristics and point strength.

Cold Steel Master Tanto Knife 01Product specifications

  • Blade Length: 6″
  • Overall Length:11 1/2″
  • Steel: VG-1 San Mai III®
  • Weight:9.5 oz
  • Blade Thickness: 3/16″
  • Handle:5 1/2″ Long Kray-Ex™
  • Sheath:Black Leather Sheath

These blades have an extremely high bevel, which is also hollow ground plus intensely checkered grip called the Kray-Ex™ grip or handle. The knife also has the stainless steel bolster with one quillion. The knife also has finely and durably crafted sheath made from leather. Henceforth, the construction of the knife is the same as, but in the reverse from, the novel Japanese blades that are folded and were made using the core materials of softer stainless steel confined inside the sheath of high carbon steel called the Tamahagane. This kind is deferentially hardened in order to form the so-called Hamon. So, this knife will not only hold a tremendously sharp edge because of the core, which is made from high carbon steel.

In addition, this knife is also remarkably tough because of the layers of stainless steel that are laminated and as a result, it is expected that it can withstand the hardest task that a person would usually perform using a dedicated knife for survival. With the presence of the Kray-Ex™ handle or grip, which is in oval shape and reverse taper, the user of the knife will have the ergonomic feel and the positive/easy griping surface in which it will help in the prevention of the knife from slipping or twisting while being use as well as some form of protection for the user.

Cold Steel Master Tanto Knife 03Product summary

On the other hand, the edge that is straight and long can provide a suitable length if you will use it for carving. It has an acute angle located on the belly of the knife. It also has nearly vertical sweep found at the blade’s tip – unfortunately, this feature is not that useful if you intend to use them in butchering and skinning the game animals you harvested. In addition, the huge ricasso that is found at the back of the blade can minimize the amount of the leverage that the user of the knife can apply to the blade when he/she carves due to it being placed at the back of the edge that is somewhat farther from the hand.

This designed made it possible for the increase of the length of the so-called “Moment Arm”. In addition, the solid and tapered steel pommel is another worth mentioning feature of the Tanto knife series. This pommel was designed by Lynn Thompson with the objective of concentrating the entire force of the crushing blow within the small area making a moderately strong blow produce extraordinarily effectiveness in the disarmament or else in making the attacker incapacitated.

Product Pros

Given the Cold Steel Master Tanto’s overall features, you can definitely conclude that this knife is an excellent knife for tactical use.

Product Cons

If it is intended to be used as a survival tool, it will not be able to produce the best results. What this knife can do is provide some slashing, cutting and piercing power.