CJRB Feldspar; The knife so nice I bought it twice.

CJRB Feldspar; The knife so nice I bought it twice. Yes, it’s made in China but I was buying it to rip apart.  Hear me out. It started when I saw a Blade HQ video about dying your natural G10 scales. I thought it could be a fun experiment but didn’t want to spend any real money on a knife to use as a lab rat.  So shortly after I saw another video showcasing a variety of knives.  One of the knives was a cheap Chinese blade with natural G10 scales. It seemed a good fit my potential guinea pig. So I took a look and found that CJRB is a budget brand belonging to a Chinese company called Artisan Cutlery. But who cares right?  I bought the CJRB Feldspar on Amazon for $37. What I got was pretty surprising. The Felspar sports a 3.5” D2 stonewashed blade with a dual sided thumb stud. As stated, it had the natural G10 green handle and a reversible deep carry pocket clip. Also, it’s a liner lock. That’s quite the package for such a cheap find.  Then the knife arrived.  The geometry of the thumb stud relative to the pivot is perfect. The blade has a tiny hesitation as the thumb pressure builds and the it flies into position like a quality auto.  Blade centering was spot on. The knife feels great in the hand and is addictive as a fidget toy. Further, that D2 blade is wicked sharp out of the […]

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Krudo Knives Dao Folder

Over the years I’ve written about several types and brands of knives. When discussing folders, I’ve given a list of hard to find wants that aren’t often found together in a pocketknife. In January 2016, I met Louis Krudo at shotshow. He was showing off his prototype Dao folder and my list flew out the window. Yes, Krudo supplied a sizable blade. Yes, Krudo certainly had the innovation covered. But nothing mattered more to me at that moment than the Krudo aesthetic seen in the Dao folder. From the first moment I was hooked by the shear attitude of this knife. The look of the Dao folder is certainly unique. While the design is very forward, it conjures images of back alley straight razors. It’s an intimidating look to say the least. It throws out the usual folder ideas and shows us that more inspired designs can be just as functional. Starting with the blade shape. The Dao shape is not one that you would think of as a piercing tool. However, after a little time with the Dao you come to realize the point is more accurately described as well supported. The point is far from blunt and has so much steel nearby in the spine, it seems indestructible. While the wedge of steel leading to that thick spine may slow a straightforward stab, an upturning motion would use the curve of the blade to your advantage allowing the curve of the tip to slice its way in. And […]

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SOG Quake XL Folder

As stated many times now, I bring a product to your attention when it is new, innovative or just down right useful. I can make an argument for SOG in each category but the Quake XL folder attracted me innovation for sure. The flashy draw of the Quake design is in the moving crossbar guard. In the closed position, it rests in line with the handle of the knife, completely unobtrusive. The Quake is spring assisted in it’s opening and in that process the guard pivots into place. When you first see that transformation it really gets your attention. After some time with the Quake XL you start to see that while that pivoting action of the guard may have gotten you in the door the design is actually a lot smarter than you expected. The guard itself is also the lever that sets the spring assisted blade into motion. When I first started getting familiar with the Quake it seemed excessively difficult to open. (Most folks that have picked it up without instruction have had similar difficulties.) Regardless, the design had outsmarted the handlers. The first inclination is to thumb the lever at the front of the knife near it’s pivot point. Upon adding pressure near the front, you will find little to no movement and you will immediately fail to deploy the stainless VG10 blade. Instead, the trigger point is at the bottom of the guard near the middle of the handle. In a world where flipper designs […]

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Steel Will Apostate Folder

Steel Will Apostate Folder As many of my stories begin, I was walking the aisles of Shotshow on day 3, on the lower level. I came across the Steel Will booth and, of course, I wanted to stop and say hello and see what was new in the line. I was lucky enough to meet the Vice President of sales and he let me get up close with a lot of new blades. There were a bunch of knives I would gladly review and introduce to my online friends. We talked about several items and then we pulled the Apostate folder from the case. Honestly, once I saw that knife I got tunnel vision. Nothing else seemed to matter in that moment, I found a personal white whale and all I wanted to know was when I could get one.   It didn’t take long to get a very special package in the mail. I liked it then and after carrying it everyday since it arrived, my affection has only grown. Each time I look at a potential EDC pocket knife I return to my list of wants. Each item is easy enough to find on its own but together they become neigh impossible. Durable, relatively light weight, quick to deploy, not bulky and a blade of 4 or more inches.   The Apostate has a 4.1 inch blade and low print factor with a G10 scale and bare frame on the other side. It’s light weight too, partly because […]

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Hoffner’s Beast

While at Shotshow 2016 I was visiting with one of the owners of Frog Lube, discussing the performance of the product when I met another visitor; Brian Hoffner. As it happens, Mr Hoffner was there as a long time friend of the Frog Lube family and was promoting an upcoming cross over event of sorts. He was showing off the Frog Lube branded version of his fixed blade “Beast”. The man was high energy and it was infectious. But as big as his presence was, his knife quickly made a bigger impression. Hoffner was standing there demonstrating thrusts and pivots in an expert manner with the thickest blade I’ve ever seen. The Beast in his hand was the “Frog Lube” version and he was making it sing through the air and pivot to a reversal in a way that seemed crazy for something so substantial. I told him it was one of the most monstrous knives I’ve seen and certainly unique. He told me “pry on anything, you can pull on it while your friend pushes and you’ll never hurt it.”   I was impressed with what I could see and wanted to get some time with that knife. It didn’t take long to arrange a sample for T&E. I didn’t specify what should be sent just a version of the “Beast” (it comes in a variety of choices such as blade color, grip color, texture, etc.). When the Beast arrived I was excited to see what was sent. I […]

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Krudo Knives Krona Folder and Quick Deployment Holster

Krudo Knives Krona Folder and Quick Deployment Holster   If you’ve been to ShotShow since it’s been at the Sands Expo center you know there are three levels of enormous floor space.  The second level is the center of all the big name firearms companies, the third is the pressroom, meetings and new exhibitors that are displayed in the hallway kiosks hoping to gain a booth in coming years.  Finally, the first floor; it’s enormous and a mix of smaller sized gun brands and a large number of accessories.  Generally, as a media person, you hit floor three as part of the daily trips to and from the pressroom.  The second floor, as you would imagine, is the primary focus for the media.  You can’t possibly see everything so you need to cover the biggest names first.  I generally begin my coverage of the first floor on Thursday, most don’t get there until Friday, if they go at all.   In fact, this year while waiting for the shuttle early on Friday morning I overheard a media person say “I hope everyone has their rubber nose and clown shoes, it’s time to hit the first floor.” That jerk is an idiot.  While the displays on the first floor aren’t as flashy as the ones backed by multi-billion dollar companies, there is true innovation and quality to be found if you just open your eyes to see it.   This year I found Krudo Knives on floor one and I sure […]

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TOPS Knives SXB (Skullcrusher’s Xtreme Blade)

TOPS Knives SXB (Skullcrusher’s Xtreme Blade) designed by E.J. Snyder   E.J. Snyder is a reality television star in my household.  In real life he is retired military with some serious survival chops and a bigger than life personality.  You may know him from no less than three adventures on Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid” and if you do it’s safe to say we’ve all seen a bit too much of him.  Put some clothing on man!  E.J. joined up with TOPS Knives to produce a signature blade and with its arrival I can tell you I’ve learned more about E.J. Snyder.  In the 40 day extreme challenge on “Naked and Afraid” E.J. had the SXB with him for the trip.  At the same time I had the blade in hand.  This knife is huge and weighs in at over 2 lbs of carbon steel, micarta and nylon.  E.J. was wearing it around his neck and made it look like a normal sized blade.  The man is enormous. So let’s talk about the knife. My first reaction was to be awestruck.  Truly, the blade just spoke to me.  I loved the way it felt, the way it looked and in fact was dreading doing any testing on the knife at all.  Why? Because I just didn’t want to mark it in any way.  It’s just that nice.  In fact I wrote to the marketing people at TOPS to tell them I think it’s their finest work.  All that from just […]

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Steel Will Knives Censor 1320

Steel Will Knives Censor 1320 I saw my first Steel Will knife at ShotShow 2015 and unfortunately it was behind glass at the time so all I could do was look. Luckily SteelWillKnives decided to send a Censor from their Urban line for us to get a closer look. I was told the concept was a set of knives for concealed carry and when you get it in your hands you see it’s very well suited. When the Censor arrived Steel Will Knives made an overwhelmingly positive impression before I even saw the knife. The packaging was truly a display and imparts a sense of quality and care. Looking through the box you find the knife with a multi-positional kydex sheath and the hardware to connect it to a very nice hinged, lockable and adjustable belt loop. The sheath can be attached in nearly any position and adjusted for a snug fit that locks in place for absolute security.  Inside the open belt clip, you can see, the space provided for belt width may be adjusted by moving a spacer bar.The features of the sheath really are a big selling point for me because they add a lot of flexibility to the position of wear. In the case, the position is nearly horizontal. On to the main event, the knife itself. A quick look will show you multiple unique features in handle and blade. As for the grip, you can see a pistol grip shape was chosen for this line. […]

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CRKT Otanashi Noh Ken

Designer James Williams made this a mouth full for us. With a 4.5 inch blade you would think it a pocket full as well but it’s not. I first got a hand on this knife at ShotShow 2015 and followed up with CRKT a few times to see if I could get a sample to review and give away. Eventually, they passed on the idea and while I was out of mind for them this knife stuck in my head. Eventually, I bought one to get a better look. The Otanashi Noh Ken (ONK) is one of the knives I was looking for in an attempt to conquer my nearly impossible list of wants that I shared in my review of the SOG Kiku folder. 1) Durable. 2) Quick to deploy. 3) Relatively light weight. 4) Not too bulky, something that won’t stick out badly in the pocket. 5) Large blade (4 or more inches) The ONK is a contender. Durability: the ONK is AUS8 steel and will certainly be tough as hell. The Kiku has the same steel and I cut trees down with it. I didn’t try that with the ONK due to this model having the CRKT Verf serrations (I’ll come back to this point). Quick Deployment: the ONK is too large for a spring assist and has a round thumb stud on the spine of the blade that protrudes like a half moon to the back of each side. I find this style of stud to be […]

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Klecker Knives Cordovan Folder

Klecker Knives Cordovan Folder You may or may not know the name Glenn Klecker. Glenn is a knife designer and heavy contributor to the Columbia River Knife and Tool company. We all know you can find a pretty good production knife from CRKT. They are a leader in style and selection of mid-priced blades of all sorts. What you may not realize, Glenn Klecker has his own website where he sells a small selection of designs he has held back and put his own name on. The Klecker offerings are truly designer knives and we took a good look at the Cordovan folder, the largest knife in the Klecker line.  The first thing anyone would notice about the Klecker Cordovan is its beauty. The design, just from a shallow standpoint, is simply very attractive and immediately sets the knife apart. Klecker obviously went to great lengths to maintain a fine form without endangering function. The color accents are obvious but smaller touches are somehow more important in my mind. The purposeful contour of the flipper tab, rather than the usual triangular hump.  The subtle convex flow of the cutting surface. Finally, the very specific way the blade is ground to add a little extra material just behind the tip that is only appreciated when viewing the spine of the blade. All these small touches add up to a knife that was designed by someone that truly appreciates what he does. What drew me to the Cordovan in the first place was […]

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