Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
I'm VERY pleased to see Buck Knives returning to doing much of their manufacturing here in the United States. Evidently they have a spanking new facility in Idaho. Inexpensive, American made designs have been coming forth since the beginning of the year. I'm not a hunter, but I really liked the looks, price and general idea of this knife. It should be here early next week, so I'll throw out some further impressions after I've had a day with it. I found it on a retail knife site for $16.95, brand new. It's from Buck's new Paklite series, and they have this to say;
"Lightweight, sturdy and effective. This skinning knife can be carried alone or used to compliment any hunting knife. The skeletal steel frame is heavy-duty, yet lightweight for easy carry. You won’t even know it’s there. The 420HC stainless steel blade ensures durability and corrosion resistance, while the minimalist design is effective and reliable while in use."
Pretty cool, I'm a fan of carrying small neck-knife style fixed blades in a pants pocket, and that's likely where this one will go. It has a brother, a slightly thinner caping knife, with a unique profile, that looks cool too.
Kudos to Buck for helping to keep jobs here in our country, and hopefully redeeming themselves for some of the less-than-impressive product they've put forth from China and Taiwan in recent years. More to come...
9-17-2009; post-arrival addendum:
So, I really AM impressed with this piece. It's stout, with a high hollow grind, the spine thickness is nice, and consistent throughout the entire length of this knife. The handle is nicely shaped and comfortable, surprisingly, even in larger hands like mine. There are little patches of 'jimping', areas on the handle treaded for traction. I tried it in my hands under running water, and found the grip to be decent. The sheath, while not great, does leave plenty of handle room, and doesn't lock the knife in like kydex, so you could wrap the handle in some cord fairly easily, and it'd still fit the sheath, which secures the knife in a hard plastic insert with a snap-strap.
I'd like to check out the little Paklite caping knife too. Way to go Buck! For bringing back American manufacturing!!
I'm guessing Kershaw has resorted to recruiting washed up 80's rockers for "signature" versions of best-selling knives because custom knife guru Ken Onion's contract is reportedly up with them. Yup, The Nuge has his own signature edition of Kershaw's Leek assisted opener (designed originally by Onion).
Goofy rockstar/"activist" aside, it's a pretty cool take on the little folder. I wish so badly it was a fixed blade, so I could've titled this post, "Wang Dang, Sweet Full Tang".
Friday, September 4, 2009
Arnold's famous words from 'Predator' ring true with Spyderco's newest beast!!!
Spyderco's "Ethnic" series of knives seemed to start several years back with Ed Schempp's Persian (which I own and love) and continued with a folding kriss design from Schempp and several others. Here's the lowdown from the great Sal Glesser's Spyderco marketing team:
"Chokwe people live in the Zambia/Democratic Republic of Congo region of Central Africa. Primarily agricultural, they are gatherers, fishermen and hunters. Highly positioned in their society are blacksmiths who craft fixed blade knives for daily use in feeding, harvesting and protecting their communities. Our Chokwe folder is patterned off a historic fixed-blade, keeping true to the triangular shaped blade and coffin-shaped handle."
Other than being incredibly ugly, it's made with quality materials:
* Overall Length: 8.5" (216 mm)
* Blade Length: 3.75" (95 mm)
* Cutting Edge: 3.375" (86 mm)
* Handle Length: 4.75" (121 mm)
* Steel: CPM-S30V
* Weight: 3.7oz (104g)
* Clip: Right
* Tip Carry: Up
* Made in Taiwan
I would hope that with an MSRP of $220 USD that the framelock side of the knife would be titanium, but I can't find any info on that yet, it just says "Full length internal liners reinforce the Reeve Integral Linerlock (R.I.L.).", not bothering to state whether it's steel or aluminum or titanium. Based on the fact it's made in Taiwan (WTF?), I'm guessing aluminum, as a full framelock like that made from steel would create a hellishly heavy knife in the pocket. I would have hoped for Japanese manufacture (especially @ this price!), as by and large, everything I've ever owned from Spyderco out of their Japanese factory has been close to flawless.
The following is from an outstanding Spyderco site based out of the Netherlands. These guys have fantastic pix and info, and a really nice site, so be sure to check them out. The address is clearly printed there right on the photo, and I'm too lazy to post a link right now. But really, a great site for the Spyderco enthusiast!
So you guys know I'm a Spyderco fan, in general, I'm not hating on this knife, I think it's bold, but very ugly. I have to give props to Sal and his spyders for branching out and constantly innovating, the man, and his company are owed a HUGE debt by the entire industry for what they have done since the 1970's, the company is nearly as old as I am, and I'll be 32 in a couple weeks.
So, performance wise I'm sure the Chokwe is beyond competent, maybe even outstanding, but for me, I'll pass until I see something that grabs my eye at the right price, but you can find any number of Spyderco knives in my pocket, @ least one day of the week, every week. Lately it's been my trusty ol' Police model with G10 handles, or a combo-edged Ladybug in my shirt pocket.