Sunday, November 2, 2008
Coming soon-Nov. 2008 knives a plenty
I have purchased so much new gear in the last few months that I'm having a hard time deciding what to cover or review here. Yes, I pay for all my stuff, as does Eric, we shop where anyone else might shop. Stores like REI, Joe's, Sportco, Sportsman's Warehouse, knifecenter.com, knifeworks.com, local gun shops etc. We'd love it if some wonderful cutlery or firearm companies would send us T&E samples at no charge, but that just hasn't happened yet. Maybe we just need to be more forward, it never hurts to ask I suppose. I have paid my dues, working in retail cutlery and promoting knives and tools on a personal level with friends or even on the job...hell, any job, especially when I was in QA for a corporate housing company. My knives and multi tools saw real and hard use while I worked there. I spend virtually all of any recreational income I might have, on knives, lights, tools and gear. Be it Benchmades, ammunition, water bottles or Surefire lights, this is what I enjoy. I'll continue to blog about the things I love whether anyone wants to send us samples or not. Knives are my hobby, my passion, and an important part of my life from adolescence until the day I leave this life.
To the point. I just acquired a pair of Tim Wegner's Blade-Tech Taiwan-manufactured knives at a ridiculously low price. I got the Ganyana Lite and the Mouse Lite for under $45.00 USD for the pair. I just finished taking pix yesterday, and used the Mouse Lite at work yesterday. It was a hit with a very cute, but very married store manager at a retail location that I worked at where my company's products are sold. She was excited to hear that Blade-Tech offers the knife in purple FRN [zytel] handles in addition to orange, green and black. I'm still evaluating these knives and will report in the next few days. It's funny, Wegner is known as a consummate outdoorsman, his knives are designed with hunting in mind. Here I am, former vegetarian animal lover, student, and volunteer, buying his knives. Wegner has pictures of himself sporting a big shit-eating grin, with a beautiful but very dead leopard he killed in Africa on his site, along with dozens of other pictures of animals he's slaughtered for sport. Who is he? Lynn C. Thompson [Cold Steel president] Jr.?
I understand hunting for food or survival sustenance, but killing a big cat kind of just pisses me off. I'm not judging the man, I just don't understand the desire to destroy something so powerful and beautiful just to stuff its corpse and display it to show off your masculinity or whatever. I think it'd be perfectly fair if safari hunters pursued game using only a knife, the odds would be even. I would bow down to a man or woman who could chase down and murder a big cat or exotic animal with just a fixed blade knife. Don't get me wrong, I know hunting is a proud tradition in certain families and cultures worldwide, and I respect that. I have friends and family who hunt, and I fish, many would say it's no different. I think there's an obvious difference though, between trolling for a few trout, and actively stalking a leopard, cheetah, or rhino with the intent to kill it and hang its preserved corpse on your wall. To me, that just reeks of a power-trip mentality, the type of mentality that we all possess as humans, always trying to dominate every species and environment, never content to just leave things be.
I see the challenge and inherent beauty of hunting for food, but killing a big cat, elephant or other non food-bearing animal just seems really fucked up IMO. Oh well, I will continue to support Wegner's Blade-Tech Industries, as he has an outstanding reputation and I simply like his knives. I don't have to agree with the man's sporting habits to enjoy his products. I stupidly traded away my Spyderco Wegner several years ago, it was a great knife. So I'll be reporting on the cheapie Blade-Tech knives asap, maybe even later today. Again, no disrespect to the hunting community, it's just not my proverbial bag.
I also was compelled to pick up CRKT's goofy Zilla-Tool. At first glance when I saw it a year or so ago, I got that Spyderco Spyderench "overpriced paperweight" vibe from it. Then Jon got one and loves it and uses it, the Eric got the Zilla Jr. in black and he enjoys it's simplicity. So I blew $29.95 on the full-size black Zilla Tool. It is cool, and musch more functional than is first apparent. I just got the Leatherman Kick, and I've been carrying it daily in my pocket with one of Eric's hand-tied lanyards threaded through its flip-out lanyard hole. It's a great tool, but so is the Zilla. I'll write a review and provide more info once I have had some more time with the bizarre looking Zilla Tool. I showed it to my dad and he was shocked that it was in the $25-$35 price range, he assumed it was at least $100, or more. I love CRKT's willingness to take risks and do weird stuff that often works very well. CRKT also has a great warranty, on par with companies like Benchmade and Gerber.
I have had more time also with Cold Steel's Finn Bear and Roach Belly budget fixed blades, so I'll report on that too. Ohhhh! So many knives...so little money! But there's lots of stuff out there that's reasonably priced, like the Zilla from CRKT, and Blade-Tech's foreign manufactured gems.
My EDC knife has been the Benchmade Rift, since I got it mid-summer. I love it. probably my favorite Benchmade since the original AFCK, a design of which I own at least 3 variants. The Benchmade Rukus earned a permanent place in my "untouched" collection, meaning knives that for some reason only get carried a few times before they become pretty collector's objects. The Cold Steel Ti-Lite is the same way, as both knives are huge, even by my standards! Lately I have been going for smaller, but still capable folding knives, as they are more discreet and IMO, offer more utility options than an expensive folder with a 4"-6" blade.
Anyway, I know I have more gear that I left out, so I'm sure even more reviews are coming down the pipe ASAP. Eric has been released from the hospital and is recovering on the East Side. I think he's going to be just fine, all he needs is a little PT, and a few consecutive days at the Sportsman's club, shooting his pimped Ruger 10/22. If you know Eric, and would like to wish him well, contact me and I'll pass your message along, or you can comment on our blog articles, as I'm sure he's checking up on things while convalescing, and hopefully getting in some good PS3 and XBOX 360 game time!