Tuesday, June 23, 2009

US Made Spyderco under $100!

Spyderco's Manix 2 should be widely available soon. I don't see it listed on their SITE, but KnifeCenter apparently has two versions in stock at a very reasonable price, compared to most recent offerings from the Golden, CO cutlery firm. It uses what appears to be a revised version of Spyderco's ball-bearing lock and has G10 handle scales and a blade of 154CM, an American made steel. I look forward to the opportunity to handle one of these in person, as I've always dug Spyderco's stuff. I just went through a box of stuff I had packed up from when I moved 2 years ago, and found an early incarnation of a Spyderco Delica Salt, with the H1 rustproof steel that utilizes nitrogen instead of carbon. It's been sitting in a garage a few hundred yeards from a saltwater bay for close to 2 years, and the blade wiped clean, no spots, no pitting or discoloration. Spyderco's knife offerings in recent years tend to have been hit-or-miss with all but the most diehard fans, but this new Manix 2 may prove that Sal Glesser and his crew always have something new up their sleeves.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Guyot Designs hits the spot with on-the-go meal kit and more.

On my first foray into the Tacoma REI location, I picked up some good, inexpensive every-day-carry stuff. When I moved down here, I threw out my old Camelbak and Nalgene bottles that were the old style using the harmful chemical, BPA (Bisphenol-A). So, first off, I got a new Nalgene widemouth 32 oz. bottle. It's Eastman Tritan copolymer, just as durable, and safer than the old stuff. I noticed Guyot Designs, known for their Firefly LED lantern device, has redesigned their widemouth splashguard to have more of a "universal fit" in theoretically, any widemouth bottle from any manufacturer. Instead of the old hard plastic style, they are now food-grade silicone, and flexible. I picked up one in camo, and a badass one with a skull and X-bones.

These new splashguards seem to be way more effective at their intended mission, of preventing water splashback at your nose when you tip your mammoth bottle back down after a sip. They slide right into any widemouth bottle and stay put, and work exactly as promised. Good stuff, oh and even better, they only cost about $3.00 USD each. Couple one of these bad-boys with an $8.00 Nalgene bottle, and you are in your own personal hydration business for the summer season and beyond. Good stuff indeed, I've been guzzling water out of one of either of 2 new bottles and I feel great. I'm trying to cut back on the soda and energy drinks, and these bottles are helping tremendously.

Next was an item I had seen on tadgear.com a while back. The Guyot Desings MicroBites set. It goes beyond your Snowpeak ti spork and offers a bit more, at about 2/3 the price. Microbites apparently come in 3 colors, tomato, slate and tangerine. Tadgear.com sells the more tactical looking slate color, while the REI I went to only carried the more vibrant "ketchup and mustard" colors, as I like to refer to them. Personally, when it comes to gear I will use and maybe lose on trips, or in the car, or wherever, I'm liking color. I've lost "camo" and tactical colored items on forest floors and sandy areas. An infamous camping trip that led to spiritual enlightenment of several individuals found me awakening to our food and cigarettes eaten by raccoons, and my camo zippo lighter and an old Benchmade Monarch folder nowhere to be found. No joke, I'm not a soldier or assassin, so I don't give a shit if my knife, spork, or water bottle stand out.

The MicroBites set is a competent spork which hitches a ride on the back of a square-ish spatula/spreader. The sporks tines are well placed and the middle two are nice and sharp. I tested it out with a container of Fred Meyer Chicken Gorgonzola salad. Everything from the chicken, to noodles and grapes and walnuts either scooped or stabbed easily with the MicroBites spork. The serrated spatula spreader is great too. one entire edge is nicely serrated, and interestingly, the grooves are beveled on BOTH sides of the device. I was able to cleanly slice through thin receipt paper and the plastic container the salad was weighed in, with the serrated edge. It's a hell of a lot sharper than it looks and works well.

To fix the two items together, just place the spork bowl-down over the spreader and press, you'll hear a faint click, then you can attach it to a carabiner, like the ITW/Nexus Grimlock pictured above. From there, the Guyot Designs MicroBites set can ride on your Nalgene bottle's loop, your belt, your pack, or even a fixed blade knife sheath. This little set far exceeds its $5.00-ish pricepoint. Excellent as well, is the ethical disclosure with which Guyot makes this and some other products. They claim that the materials and methods used in the production of MicroBites and a couple of their other products reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There's a whole section on their WebSite devoted to how they do what they do, and how it impacts the environment. Guyot seems like an ethical company, and they sure as hell make some inexpensive and smart items to add to your outdoor gear kit, or food tub on your next trip out. Now that I have both "tomato" and "tangerine" colors of the MicroBites set, I'm sort of wanting to get the "slate" color as well. I didn't think that I could get so into what amounts basically, to a portable plastic table setting...but these things are versatile and extremely intelligently designed. These are available @ REI, and tadgear, and probably other places too, and you should go get one. As a knife guy, I'm particularly impressed by the sawing ability of the serrated spatula, and the whole package is feather-light. These little sets actually carry a limited lifetime warranty also!
At $4.95, there's no excuse not to pick one up to throw in your car or bug out bag.
Guyot Desings MicroBites @ REI
IMO, this is an A+ product for either every day use, or specialized purposes. This is the evolution of the spork.

Friday, June 19, 2009

ipood! is no joke!

It's been a long time since I've been so far off trail or away from a campsite that I've had to dig a hole to drop a deuce. While I would usually turn to a thick stick, a beater fixed blade knife, or even a tent stake, seems there are many gear-heads that want a specific tool for everything. The U-Dig-It Stainless folding shovel has been popular at stores like REI and sites like TADGEAR for years, and seems well made, though I've never actually dropped dung in a hole dug with the U-Dig It.

I was at REI the other day, my first trip into the Tacoma location, and I happened upon the iPood! collapsible trowel/shovel by Sea To Summit. Just the name alone had me laughing uncontrollably, and it seems like another smart product from Sea to Summit who make or import a wide range of useful items for your camp kit or hiking bag.
I think these little devices to "cover your leavings" run about twenty bucks, keeping them off any outdoor-shitting need or want lists I personally might have, Butt for some, they may be just what's needed for what they leave Behind. Pardon the bad puns, this product practically begs for puns and jokes with its own lighthearted name, which is a hi-tech play on words in its own right, (in case you were too slow to get it the first time around).

Should the need arise, I'll stick with a stout do-it-all fixed blade, or a simple stick, as Ma Nature probably intended, but I had to at least drop off a quick little post, about the iPood!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Knife News: Whiplash, bold new Kershaw fixed blade!

I was just perusing Kershaw's site and found this under "What's New". I'm assuming it was shown at the SHOT show this year, but this is the first I personally have seen or heard about this bad boy!

The following is directly from Kershaw's site:
"The new Whiplash has the kind of dramatic looks that are sure to turn a few heads. But, believe us, this is the kind of Whiplash you want. This bold, military-style fixed-blade knife has a built-in parachute cord lanyard. Pull the tab at the butt of the knife to release the elasticized lanyard, wrap it around your wrist, and you’re good to go. For an even more secure grip, the Whiplash features extra-large thumb notches and an oversized index-finger notch. For hardness and strength, the blade is 8CR14 stainless steel with matte-black PVD coating. Includes sheath for easy carry and storage."

VERY cool! And the best part is the MSRP is $59.95! Which means on better knife retail sites, it should be available in the sub-$50 range! Looks like, though the knife is USA made, Kershaw chose an inexpensive 8CR13MOV stainless steel, the type of stuff that many companies have gone to to decrease overall cost lately. Benchmade has been using similar steel on many of their redbox knives for a few years, and I believe Spyderco and their sub-company Byrd use a Chrome/Moly/Vanadium type steel on many models now too. In my experience, it's good stuff, probably won't outperform blades of S30V...but there are whispered rumors of Crucible Steel (makers of CM and CPM knife steels) filing for bankruptcy, so I'm sure a new super steel for cutlery applications is bound to rear its sharp and wicked head next year, and for many years to come. I've actually found that in many name brand knives, the bladesteels perform very similarly. Can I tell in a blind test between ATS-34 and 440C? Probably not. I think people (knife enthusiasts) get too hung up on the "buzzword" hot knife steel of the year. In my opinion, if a company has a well established reputation, and a knife seems to fit your needs, blade steel alone should never be the sole deciding factor! When I buy a knife I look for things like comfort, looks, and manufacturer rep (and warranty). Then I think about how, where or when I'll use it. Not like I need another knife. But hey, I'm in this for life, I'll never stop learning about purpose driven knives that are made to be used.

Anyhow, I'm sure we'll be seeing Kershaw's new Whiplash soon. Some manufacturers save some of their new model offerings until late summer/early fall, so appropriate buzz can be generated by the time the Christmas holiday season rolls around. I'm still waiting on Cold Steel's big Spartan Folder to be released! Rumor had it that it would be this month...so I'm gonna get one as soon as I can find one and report on it, in full, right here.
Kershaw's site is HERE along with a link to their excellent Zero Tolerance knife line as well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mini Tac Beaver Tail from Cold Steel

Those who know my knife preferences know I have sort of a love/hate relationship with Lynn C. Thompson's world famous company Cold Steel Knives. On one hand (for better or for worse) the man is a 3-ring hype master who unabashedly promotes and talks-up the violent use of his products toward both game-animals and humans (those who would do you harm). On the other hand, the man and his company have continually blazed trails and released some of the finest and most fairly-priced knives for outdoor use, self defense and any other application one could think of. I've never met the man, and I'm sure he's a good guy, so I'm not saying these things to judge the guy...I just think some of his advertising is a bit "over-the-top". I'm not sure how much good advertising of that style does for the image of we, the American knife-culture, and the entire American (and foreign) knife industry as a whole.

That being said, I own probably well over 25 or 30 Cold Steel knives and other products. They've always made some really badass stuff. One of my favorites which I lost in an unfortunate trade, was the Scimitar folding knife, fully serrated and black and mean as hell, that's a great knife. Cold Steel's Sjambok rubber short-whips are also great fun. They are dirt cheap (about $12.00 USD) on most knife retail sites, fill some gallon milk jugs with water and strike and them with a 42" Cold Steel Sjambok, it's a great way to spend an afternoon. Again, in defense of Cold Steel, they make probably THE widest range of creative and unique products of any cutlery company going today.

Anyhow, new for 2009 are 3 Cold Steel Mini Tac neck knives. There's a pointy Japanese Kiridashi inspired design, an upswept skinner with plenty of belly, and my fave, the Beaver Tail!

I've been waiting for this series since well before they actually became available. I was drawn to the kiridashi pattern at first, but I figured the beaver tail blade looked a bit less weaponized and probably had more utility applications.

* Weight: 2.8 oz.
* Blade Thickness: 2.5 mm
* Blade Length: 3 3/8"
* Steel: Japanese AUS 8A Stainless
* Overall: 6 3/8"
* Handle: 3" Long G-10
* Secure-Ex® Neck Sheath

These things are feather-light. MSRP is in the upper $50-something range, but most good websites, including Cold Steel Special Projects should have them considerably less expensive. I got mine at a warehouse sporting goods store for under $35.00
These three new Mini Tac knives all come with a concealex plastic sheath and a bead-chain, but are light and small enough to wear in the front pocket of a pair of shorts or jeans. They might also be a good choice to tuck in your car's visor too.

Cold Steel's crazy "Proof" DVDs have to be seen to be believed. They hack up stuff with their swords and put their products through some really abusive and entertaining torture tests. I believe you can still request a free dvd and catalog on either of the two websites.
Cold Steel's original site

Cold Steel's discount site

The Mini Tac Beaver Tail, as well as the others in the series have very nicely textured G10 handle slabs over a full tang. The handle also features a pseudo-sub hilt design that effectively prevents your finger from sliding forward. It grips great, and is comfortable, even in large hands like mine. The knife snaps securely into the sheath and I'd have no hesitations about wearing this around my neck, it's not coming out of the sheath unless YOU want it to, which is more than I can say for a couple other neck knives I've owned that have cut my midsection while escaping their sheaths without my permission (Chinese V-Tech brand knives, I'm looking at YOU bastards!)
Any of the 3 new Mini Tac neckers would make great all-around choices, be they for utility, boat knives, camp kitchen, or even walking home at night through a shady urban jungle! I don't think you could go wrong with these guys if you want a small and easily concealable fixed blade that has definite crossover value. Cold Steel offers a 5 year warranty on their fixed blade/non folding knives.

Anyway, for less than the price of a night out at the movies with your sweetheart, you can own one of these really nicely done Cold Steel Mini Tac knives. Mr. Lynn C. Thompson, you are a despicable genius...

If you want to see all 3 knives in the series, here they are at KnifeCenter

Monday, June 15, 2009

Petzl Tikkina vs. Black Diamond Gizmo, coming soon

These two headlamps are probably THE two most affordable name brand headlamps. I got myself the 2 bulb, 3xAAA Petzl Tikkina recently. Today, for my dad's birthday, I picked him up the Black Diamond Gizmo, which I believe has 1 more bulb than the Petzl, yet 1 less battery also. My dad lives on a saltwater bay and sometimes has to bring the boat in in low light, amongst floating debris, steering while keeping an eye on the gps/depth screen. I figured a hands-free light would be useful.

I haven't had enough time with my little Petzl, and Pops hasn't unwrapped his Black Diamond yet, so a true review is on its way. Both lights retail for right around $20.00 (I think the Petzl was $19.95 @ REI and the Black Diamond $20 even).

I look forward to seeing how these budget-conscious headlamps perform, especially out on the water or as get-up-and-piss lights while camping!
more soon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Knife Rights redux

I didn't want this post and the KnifeRights.org link to get overshadowed by other recent content I've written here. So here's the post AGAIN, please go to the site and take 5 or 10 minutes to read and educate yourself about the potential threat against your freedom to carry an essential daily tool:


Kniferights.org promises to be a strong voice on behalf of we knife users, carriers and owners. The AKTI, or American Knife and Tool Institute was a step in the right direction, but they mainly act in the interest of knife manufacturers, not individual citizens. Whether or not you believe in organizations like the NRA, please just check these guys out and read what they have to say, then pass it on to a friend or family member. I'm joining tomorrow, when I get my paycheck.

Keep Customs Out of Your Pocket - www.KnifeRights.org

The US Government is poised to demonize and eventually outlaw many, if not most common pocketknives, and redefine "switchblade" laws to include almost ALL ONE HAND OPENING KNIVES. It happened in the UK not long ago, those poor citizens can't even carry knives with LOCKING blades (a safety feature for Chrissakes!).

Whether you join or not, is up to you, but please visit this site by clicking on the above banner, and pass the word on to somebody else!!!!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Light My Fire Spork vs. forklift and semi-truck

This video is from the Light My Fire website, care of Industrial Revolutions. Industrial Revolutions is a plastics company out of Redmond, WA the former home of both Eric and myself, Aaron. They are just blocks from my former apartment at Shadowbrook, and not far from where Eric grew up. They make those cool plastic balls that enable you to make ice cream on camping trips and I think they locally distribute some products for Light My Fire, through a partnership also. Industrial Revolutions is the sole maker also, of the very popular UCO candle lanterns and other outdoor lighting products.

I own that same green spork in the video, it came in handy when I worked for a corporate housing company and did much of my work out of a delivery van. There's no excuse to use a goddamn flimsy teriyaki joint fork to eat your lunch on the job! These sporks are cool because one end is a true spoon, for coffee and such, and the other end is a true fork, with a serrated knife edge. The best part is, these ingenious little things only cost (on average) about $3.00 US. I love my Snowpeak titanium spork, but these LMF sporks are way more versatile, come in a ton of colors, and what's $3, even in this economy, if you lose it? I think one of the coolest things about Light My Fire gear, is that it's MADE IN SWEDEN! I'm sure any company could crank out a polycarbonate spork in any armpit corner of China, where human rights violations are an everyday thing...but NO! These are Swedish MADE!!!!!!!!!!!! And Industrial Revolutions products are USA made, in my second hometown!

When I first saw the Light My Fire Sporks at REI several years back, they only came in 4 or 5 primary colors (useful for outdoor use, if dropped). Now it appears they come in tactical blacks, greens, there's even a titanium version available for a few more bucks....and don't forget "tactical" pink for wives, girlfriends and moms (or gender "secure" male friends) who dig the outdoors! After all, Jeff Randall's RAT Cutlery Company makes their awesome Izula neck knife in pink, reasoning being they operate exclusively in the jungle, and the South American jungle's floor is pretty much *just* green. Pink might be an un-macho color, but for outdoor use, knives and sporks in pink make a hell of a lot of good sense!

btw: A recent trip to my local Tacoma REI yielded a $20 Petzl Tikkina basic headlamp (which kicks ass) and is made somewhere other than China (yay!)
I also picked up Light My Fire's "Grandpa's FireFork" which is simplicity and ingeniousness combined for about 5 bucks! Reviews on the Petzl lamp and FireFork are coming ASAP for an SB&T summer essential gear roundup (I'll need Eric's help on this one).
Stay safe, cool, and don't forget the sunblock!!!!

$19.95 USD Petzl Tikkina headlamp on the way:

My guess is that this is the best headlamp you can own in the sub-$25 range, I've only had mine a few days and I've already gotten my money's worth out of it! BAD F***ING ASS!

For more info on Sporks or Light My Fire's other cool Swedish Made products LightMyFireUSA

Kniferights.org, please check out this link!

Kniferights.org promises to be a strong voice on behalf of we knife users, carriers and owners. The AKTI, or American Knife and Tool Institute was a step in the right direction, but they mainly act in the interest of knife manufacturers, not individual citizens. Whether or not you believe in organizations like the NRA, please just check these guys out and read what they have to say, then pass it on to a friend or family member. I'm joining tomorrow, when I get my paycheck.

Keep Customs Out of Your Pocket - www.KnifeRights.org

The US Government is poised to demonize and eventually outlaw many, if not most common pocketknives, and redefine "switchblade" laws to include almost ALL ONE HAND OPENING KNIVES. It happened in the UK not long ago, those poor citizens can't even carry knives with LOCKING blades (a safety feature for Chrissakes!).

Whether you join or not, is up to you, but please visit this site by clicking on the above banner, and pass the word on to somebody else!!!!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

CRKT Hole In One, WTF?***UPDATE 6/12/09

"WTF is that?!", you ask?
That was my first thought too. This is a CRKT project in conjunction with an Oregon knifemaker/engineer named Tom Hitchcock. Good retail knife dealers will have this in the $25-28 price range, before shipping. I'm intrigued, for sure.

I have one of these headed my way, this design was just too far out and atypical, so I had to order one. It's inexpensive enough that if it gets here, and I totally hate it, I'll gift it to someone, or put it up for trade on craigslist for ammo or something. Pretty funky design, evidently somewhere in there, is a springloaded carabiner clip to attach this puppy to a pack or keyring.

this is what I know so far:
# Blade: Length: 2.50" (64 mm)
# Thickness: 0.14" (3.6 mm)
# Steel: 420J2
# Taiwan manufacture

CRKT has always been a leader in trying new stuff and giving designers a chance to have their work known far and wide. The CRKT warranty is pretty awesome (lifetime) and I've exchanged emails with CRKT president Rod Bremer, who seems like a hell of a nice guy.
Anyhoo, my Hole In One (no sex jokes guys!) should be here next week, and as soon as I get it, I'll post impressions right here on SB&T.
stay sharp


Friday, June 12, 2009 addendum:
I got my Hole In One today via UPS! This thing is AWESOME, it's totally UNLIKE ANY KNIFE you have ever handled, the two-and-a-half blade length is only from the SHARP tip to the end of the sharpened edge, overall, it's actually a pretty large piece. It feels good in the hand and the blade swings out either way 360 degrees, then locks up. All you need to do is depress the little locking plate to unlock it, oh, did I mention it locks CLOSED also?! This is a knife that must quite literally be seen to be believed. The only thing that doesn't thrill me is the bead-blast gray finish, typical to a large majority of CRKT knives. Sure the bead-blast gray looks good, but if you live near saltwater as I do, or sweat half as much as I do, your knife will soon be spotted in little brown/orange "pre-rust" spots. Even Sentry Solutions' Tuff-Cloth, great stuff that it is, doesn't seen to help this problem. I have had similar pre rust occur on every bead blast finished knife I have ever owned, custom pieces, Benchmades and Emersons among them. So obviously the tendency of bead blast finishes to attract spotting is not at all contingent upon the cost or implied value of a knife, it simply IS what it is.

I realize it's a fairly inexpensive, attractive was to dress up a knife without doing a teflon based black coating, but it's because the blasting treatment opens up the pores in the steel so moisture and sweat can really take hold in there. Granted with regular tuff-cloth treatments and buffing out those little spots with a good metal polish (flitz or metal glow), your gray blade will never truly rust, but hey, it IS a carbon steel blade of which the shine has been blasted off, of course it's going to develop stain faster than a BK1 or black teflon coating. Anyhow, I would heartily suggest visiting a CRKT retailer, or just taking a gamble and buying a Hole In One online, hell son, it'll only set you back about $30 bones after shipping, and it's way fun to play with!
Hole In One FTW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kershaw-Emerson Auto Commander!

A friend brought this to my attention. Looks like this Emerson/Kershaw collaboration should be available very soon.

Emerson's Commander has a huge following in military, LE and civilian circles. No doubt a push button auto version will be a huge seller. I'm thinking the build quality will be similar to some of Kershaw/Zero Tolerance's pricier auto knives, based on the looks, and the fact that it's coming out of the same US factory in Oregon. Pretty cool.

Badass Budget Blackhawk!

The Blackhawk Blades BHB41, the little brother of the BHB40:

I went into a local tactical supply store near Ft. Lewis to buy a belt, specifically another 5.11 Tactical TDU Belt. It's the easiest, most comfortable belt I've ever worn, they come in large sizes, and I wanted one in OD green. Of course I couldn't JUST buy a belt at a store that sells as much cool shit as these guys. Their knife prices are usually right around suggested retail, but certainly never overpriced. The Blackhawk! BHB40 caught my eye. It's a folder; China-made and tanto of blade. It was priced around $49.99, but for some reason, the guys at this store always give me the military/LE discount, maybe they give it to everyone, who knows, I wasn't about to argue with saving $6+ on my purchase total!

Let's take a look at the overall specs:
* Blade Length: 3.75"
* Overall Length: 8.85"
* Blade Material: 9Cr13CoMoV stainless steel
* Blade Finish: Matte stonewashed
* Edge type: Partially Serrated
* Handle Material: 420J stainless steel liners nested in injection-molded nylon scales
* Pocket Clip: Right or left-side, tip-up or tip-down carry

It's light for a knife of its size and feels good in the hand. The nylon scales are patterned with the MOD/Blackhawk Blades delta symbol which provides a good grip, even while wet. When I got home, I toyed around with switching grips and flipping and turning this knife in my hand under the running shower nozzle, I was surprised at the way this relatively nondescript handle shape stuck in my hand. It's a simple lockback, like a Cold Steel Voyager or Spyderco Endura, but it snaps in place with authority, and feels solid.

I like the fact that holes are tapped to allow for left/right and tip up/tip down carry. The clip on mine came attached for right side tip down, and I may keep it that way, but knowing my preference, I'll probably flip it to tip up carry. The thumb opener is an odd-looking sort of slot, but it works surprisingly well with the thumb, or my trademark double-jointed thumb hold/middle finger flick (too complicated to demonstrate here) which I mastered back in the day on Spyderco Enduras and Delicas.
I also like the fact that these knives have a long thin leading edge, as opposed to the square-looking tanto style where the front of the blade comes up at say, a 45 degree angle, giving such knives kind of a blunted, bulldog sort of look.

My knife was shaving sharp right off the shelf, as it should be, and the serration pattern looks competent enough to slice pretty much anything that might need slicing, and the tip is needle sharp.
This knife has only been in my possession a matter of hours, so I obviously haven't had any real time or energy to use and abuse it (and honestly, that's not really my style anyway) but I'll update as needed with anything this blade excels at.

Some might have their reservations about a Chinese made folder, but many simply can't afford, or or don't want to spend the cash associated with a US made knife like an overpriced (IMO) Strider folder or even a higher end Kershaw/Zero Tolerance, or a blue or black box Benchmade for every day carry. The $50-or-so retail of these makes them affordable for cops, firemen and military people with a family on a budget, and just makes knives like these damn tempting for single dudes like myself with no kids and minimal expenses. Even better, I've seen this same knife up to $10 less online, than what I paid for it in a brick-and-mortar store!

I'm liking this simple blade more and more. I've repeatedly pierced the bottoms of several aluminum energy drink cans and the tip, while very pointy, is holding up well. This knife is a cinch to touch up on a diamond rod. I'm thinking this Blackhawk knife would be a good self defense tool in trained hands as well. Nice...