Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Boker Plus Batman folder is no Joker!

Looks as if the Boker Plus Batman folder is finally available. Designed by South African couple, Kevin and Heather Harvey, the Batman has a karambit-esque blade, and deeply arched, wide serrations. It looks just plain badass, but I still wonder how Boker plans to dodge a lawsuit for the name "Batman"? Did they get permission from DC Comics/AOL-Time Warner? Do they not care? Is their marketing staff stoned?

It looks cool, and if the quality to price ratio is anywhere near the Chad Los Banos Boker Plus line, I'm sure fans will be excited to see what 2010 holds, as far as other Boker Plus releases. I'd venture an opinionated guess that Chad Los Banos saved Boker, in an industry eschewing classic German folding knives with 1980's styling, for black and tactical futuristic things, made with G10 and pocket clips.

Boker's Solingen made line still has some great stuff to offer (Boker Jetstream, below), with distinctively German looks (sorta dorky looking IMO), but I'm sure quality is great, as Boker's German made stuff has typically been very tough and well constructed.

Aerosmith's Joe Perry, and Cheap Trick BBQ with Rachel Ray, Perry shows off Darrel Ralph custom folder.

I missed this one evidently, from a few years back. It's an amusing BBQ meetup before an Aerosmith show, featuring Rick Neilsen from Cheap Trick enjoying barbecue with renowned food host and cooking sexpot, Rachel Ray, as Perry proudly uses some variation on the DDR Maxx folder as a meat skewer and BBQ tool. Perry sounds like a real knife guy as he explains to Ray and the camera, that the knife is spring loaded, not quite a switchblade, but a similar idea.

Darrel Ralph has always done some cool stuff, and he's recently been doing some cool mid-tech stuff, and stuff at a reasonable price, manufactured by a new Ralph partner called HTM (Hand Tech Made), in addition to his in demand customs.

Check out Darrel's Push Skull! It's like a hybrid push dagger/kubotan with a shiny bronze skull. This is a beautiful weapon, and under $200...I may just need to look into one of these.

Check out Ralph's stylish tactical collection HERE

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fancy Benchmade Nimravus Cub limited edition

The original Benchmade Nimravus, originally designed by Allen Elishewitz, is one of my favorite fixed blades of all time. I have the original, in its pre-revamped kydex sheath with the boot clip. I actually prefer the overall look and feel of the original Elishewitz Benchmade Nimravus line to the ones they are producing now, but it's still a hell of a knife.

I'm not into exotic woods and brass bolsters and shiny stuff that needs a bit more care, but you can bet this dressed up Nim Cub performs every bit as ruggedly as its ancestors and newschool cousins.

Here are the specs for Benchmade's model 147-1001, straight from the folks at knifecenter, the only place I've seen this available thus far:

* Aluminum Bronze Bolster and End Cap with
* Amboina Wood Inlay
* Ted Blocker Custom Sheath
* Limited Run of 200 Pieces


* Blade Length: 3.50" (8.9 cm)
* Blade Thickness: 0.125" (3.175 mm)
* Overall Length: 7.87" (20.0 cm)
* Weight: 6.4 oz. (181.44 g)
* Sheath Weight: 1.7 oz. (48.20 g)
* Blade Style: Drop-Point
* Blade Steel: S30V Premium Stainless Steel (58-60HRC)
* Handle Material: Aluminum Bronze Bolster and End Cap with Amboina Wood Inlay
* Sheath: Custom Ted Blocker Leather Sheath
* Made in USA
Best of all, it's not as expensive as it looks, it'll set you back maybe as much as a pair of nice Benchmade folding knives. Like I said, it's not my style, I mean, it's gorgeous, and if I collected classier stuff, I'd probably be all about it. You can bet as a limited edition it's gonna go fast.

Monday, December 21, 2009

ARMA: The Association for Renaissance Martial Arts

This stuff is pretty fascinating. The ARMA site, is a wealth of knowledge on ancient fencing techniques and medieval combat in general. In their own words.
"ARMA - the Association for Renaissance Martial Arts, is an educational non-profit organization dedicated to the study and practice of historical fencing and the exploration and promotion of our Western martial heritage. "

It seems since probably particularly from the late 1960's until the present, that Western martial arts have largely been ignored on any serious level. The karate craze of the 1970's along with kungfu, popularized Asian martial arts, and led to a string of what people commonly refer to as "McDojos" in a mocking fashion. That is, a chain school set up in Anytown America, usually in a strip mall. I understand this derogatory term, but I've been trying to avoid usage myself, as my first martial arts instructor was Master Sun Hwang, in Kirkland, WA. A man with some very serious credentials, whose school happened to be situated, back then, in a suburban strip-mall, in my hometown. Anyhow, personal reflections aside. ARMA offers a fascinating look into ancient medieval fighting techniques, complete with pictures and excerpts from "Fechtbuchs" (fight books). Absolutely fascinating stuff that proves there's a whole blade culture based on European martial arts that is NOT necessarily associated with acne-scarred role playing nerds taking up space with their foam swords in your favorite local park.

Benchmade mini Presidio Ultra in BLUE

This image is respectfully borrowed from Roger, and his team @

I have been EDC-ing my original plain edge mini Presidio Ultra for many months now. The size and light weight have made it my go-to knife. I've usually got an additional folder on person, but I LOVE the feel and fit of the Presidio Ultra. IMO, it's one of the best American made folders you can get for under $75 USD. This new blue edition, looks to be a limited edition for some sort of team. I can't make out the word before team though, and knifeworks offers no additional info! If you can tell me what the "USA" logo represents, and what team this was created for, please fill me in! Does it say "USA 'Shooting Team'? It goes without saying, that as I've been wanting to pick up a 2nd Presidio Ultra, this handsome blue one is likely gonna be my #1 choice.

Knifeworks is offering both plain and combo edge versions, both blackened, for under $70 USD, before shipping.

I have purchased from many online retailers, and I can say without hesitation, that on in-stock orders, knifeworks offers the fastest processing and shipping of any web retailer I have done business with. I'm gonna go check my credit card balance, and if things look good, this bad blue boy will be in my hands by the end of the year.

UPDATE, 12/28/08:
Yes, it is a partnership with the USA "Shooting" team, as in Olympic shooting team. I must have missed it the first time around on BM's site. More details from BENCHMADE.

US Soldier survives knife through head.

You may remember this from 2007. This AMAZES me every time I see it. Sgt. Dan Powers gets stabbed in the head (in Iraq), and survives. 9" kitchen blade rammed straight through his head, he lost 40% of his body's blood. 3 words come to mind: Warrior, Survivor, Lucky.
CNN's video report.

Amazing, and morbidly fascinating. Props to Sgt. Powers for serving, and surviving.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cool FMA vid

This is a quick and cool example of the beauty of various FMA styles. Almost all FMA techniques can be adapted from empty-hand, to be used with an object like a knife or stick. The quality of this vid is not fantastic, but it concisely illustrates a few of things I love about FMA movements in general.

Shane Sibert TAD Edition D.U.P.K

Simple, utilitarian awesomeness. TAD Gear has teamed up with tactical knife maker Shane Sibert on this piece. It's apparently sold out currently, but TAD sells it for $289 USD. I'm really, really excited to see what the coming year's Sibert/Benchmade team-up will bring. For now, I'm content to look at these pix, of yet another blade I wouldn't mind owning.

Straight from the horse's mouth:
"The Sibert Dive Utility Pack Knife is a TAD Gear limited edition. Expertly crafted from a single piece of S30V steel with the attention to detail that Shane is known for. Our version of the classic design is updated with modern steel and Shane's versatile sheath system. These knives can fill many roles from diving to a lightweight pack knife. Wrap the handle with 550 cord to give it more heft and always have lashing material with you. Shane's work is a favorite at TAD and this is a rare opportunity to get one of these limited knives."

I'm a HUGE fan of single-piece concealable fixed blades, and Sibert makes some awesome looking ones which appear refined but not overblown or ridiculous. As I stated a few days back, be it folder, fixed blade or both, I already know that Sibert's upcoming Benchmade collabs will be in my hand as soon as they are available.

Sibert Knives

Just for fun. Knife fight scene from "The Hunted"

Man, Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio (I like to call him 'Benny the Bull') Del Toro are both badasses in general, but throw in knives, and some rugged scenery and you've got film gold. I'm a huge movie fan, and Eric (resident gunman here) is as well. It's so rare to find a decently choreographed knife fight scene in a movie. The Hunted, was not real deep on story, or character development, but it has some great action.

When you're done enjoying this, check out a great interview with Benicio Del Toro on Sayoc Combat Choreography's blog. BDT discusses his experience with tracker Tom Brown, and his experiences training with the Sayoc guys.


I spent a couple years training with a fantastic Filipino Martial Arts club (LESKAS) in Seattle in 2005 and 2006. I met some great guys, and learned way more about practical self defense (armed or empty handed), than I learned in nearly 4 years of TKD as a teenager. I'm sold on FMA for practical defense and winning a fight decisively and with (hopefully) minimal injury (to ones self, screw the other guy!).

There are tons of variations on Eskrima/Kali/Arnis, but the Sayoc group is awesome, check out their SITE

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cutlerylover on Youtube rules!!!

I'm long overdue in praising this guy, I *think* his name is Jeff. He's a staple of the Youtube knife community, and he does great knife and gun and EDC reviews.

Check out Cutlerylover's channel, seems like a really good guy, and I enjoy his vids immensely!

here's the link to Jeff's CutleryLover Youtube Channel

Hey Kringle/Claus! Bring me a manstopper this year!

Forgive me for abandoning class and appropriate language this time of year, but SHIT-GODDAMN! This is a real beauty. The video-game fed, George A. Romero fan in me NEEDS a pistol like this! I love my babyGlock, and even my cheapo Cobra Freedom .380 performs better after a bit o' break in and a lube job, but my next pistol will be a grand piece of work.

I don't, and won't have a grand+ to blow on a pistol anytime soon, but I've always looked to the future of my handgun ownership and thought it'd be nice to hanve something along these lines. Last year at Cabela's I handled a larger Kimber .45 ACP and it felt beautiful, a really nicely crafted weapon. I'm a blade-guy first, but there's no denying there are now TONS of wonderfully made guns like this on the market that bridge the gap between production and custom.

Santa, if you're reading this old man...stuff my stocking with firepower! Please...


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Spartan Blades Enyo

Man, I love smallish fixed blades. This is a somewhat newer model from the real-deal guys at Spartan Blades. This is more-or-less a reminder to myself to look into procuring one of these beauties when I can. I don't own one yet, so their site says everything better than I could say it, in a very concise way.

Knife Name: Enyo
Designer(s): Iovito/Carey
Overall Length: 6 1/4"
Blade Length: 2 11/16"
Blade Thickness: 3/16"
Blade Steel: S30V
Blade Hardness: 58-59 HRC
Blade Style: Fixed Drop Point - this design allows for strength of the blade tip by placing it in line with the users hand while keeping the upward curve of the cutting edge.
Coating: SpartaCoat - PVD - ZrN (Flat Dark Earth)
Sheath: Kydex (Tan) with neck chain, IWB loop, and 2' of Para-Cord (550).
Weight: 0.176 LBS (Knife)

These are apparently sold out until later this month. A testament to the popularity and reputation for quality these guys have built in a very short amount of time. Unlike a couple of other popular "mid-tech" or "semi-custom" combat blade companies out there, Carey and Iovito are the real thing, and both apparently have tons of real world military experience all over the globe. *(Inaccurate statement removed here by author, after being contacted by an informed reader)*

Two Americans who have served their country proudly, making some mega badass blades that would be more at home in scary places, than sitting in your safe.

If you haven't yet, take a peek at Spartan Blades; "Knives with Intent"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cold Steel Spartan is a muther-effing WARBEAST.

Yes, I finally took the plunge after waiting several months, reading reviews and wringing my hands. It's only been with me an hour or so, but soon friends, soon I'll give more personal and detailed impressions. The above pic is in the car, still parked at the store, with a quarter and a penny in a futile attempt to give you the impression of the SHEER MASS of this pocket sword.

More soon..........

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Emerson Knives/Les Baer set

This isn't terribly recent news, but for those who haven't seen it yet, check it out.

Full info is HERE

2010 will see Benchmade continue custom maker partnerships

Well...that's a no-brainer. Benchmade's legendary collabs with the likes of Ernest Emerson, Allen Elishewitz and Warren Osborne (to name a few) have likely been a huge part of their continued success and growth as a leader in the industry. Evidently I missed this press release from about a month ago, so here it is.

"The latest partnership between Benchmade Knife Company and custom knife designers Eddie Killian and Shane Sibert will pave the way for new innovative and quality designs that are built for performance, reliability and dependability."


Eddie Killian designed the brutal Marc Lee "Glory" fixed blade for the big BM, and Sibert, well he's got an aggressive and unique style all his own.

While we're waiting for benchmade's sure-to-be-badass 2010 knives to start trickling out probably in February, be sure to check out Killian's K5Tactical site

and Shane Sibert's excellent custom offerings as well.

You can bet that Killian probably has some more bombproof fixed blade designs coming out, and Sibert's Benchmade collabs, fixed or folder, are certain to be on my 2010 want-list.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Spyderco goes xxxtra tiny with the Bug and HoneyBee

Rumor has it that Spyderco cranked out a bunch of their tiny slipjoint miniature "Bug" knives for last year's Blade Show, or some other knife event. Rumor also has it that these little, yet usable Spydies were incredibly popular. They're Chinese made and use some variation or other or an inexpensive CrMo stainless. Best of all, at good knife retail sites you can find them for about $8.00

The HoneyBee is the just slightly newer and slightly larger brother of the Bug knife
length overall 3 5/8 in. (the original Bug is 2 7/8")
blade length 1 5/8 in.

While neither lil' knife locks, the are both fully functional and seem to be getting decent reviews for go-anywhere keychain or coin pocket knives, or the type of knife that's so tiny, it's almost invisible when used responsibly in public.

Well, I can't resist a Spyderco (even if it's miniscule) for under $10.00 USD. Look for an upcoming review of either the Bug, the HoneyBee, or maybe both, right here.

TOPS+BUCK=USA Made badass folder.

TOPS knives, and their fellow well-known (dare I say legendary) Idaho neighbor appear to have collaborated on what looks to be a big, beefy folder, in the tradition of some of the Buck/Strider collabs of the past.

The design to me looks like trademark TOPS style. The "CSAR-T" is a fat little folder with a blade just over 3", from what I've read. The lanyard hole appears to be able to accept a hex bit/socket in order to rig the butt of the knife for impromptu tool-use. Pretty cool. I believe MSRP is going to be just under $150 USD...and I know I'd love to get my hands on this bad boy for a bit of T&E

more to come.....

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Humangear Capcap for widemouth bottles

This product has been available for several years now, so it's not my wish to go in-depth here. If I could say anything, it's that the Capcap by Humangear is the best Nalgene/Nalgene-type bottle accessory I've ever purchased. I love Guyot Designs' inexpensive and awesome Splashguards, but Humangear's product goes many steps further.

both cap pieces are made from foodsafe polypro from the get go, so no worries about BPA or any other tumor-causing, unsavory chemicals leeching into your water. It replaces the lid of most widemouth bottles, and creates a small, spill-free spout, via the top cap. When screwed on tight, both sections are leakproof.

Humangear's site and packaging card advocate hand washing of the Capcap, though I've put mine on the top dishwasher rack with no ill effect. I've also had my Capcaps (that's right, I like it so much I bought 3!) in and out of the freezer and fridge with no ill effects. On both Nalgene and Camelbak widemouths, it fits flawlessly, and I have several generic/no-name widemouths that it fits perfectly as well. As I mentioned, I own a bunch of Guyot Designs Splashguards, and they are a durable and inexpensive solution to drippy, drooly widemouth water bottles, but the Capcap actually replaces the entire top. At this point, I only keep my old Nalgene loop tops in case I need a spare, but I'll eventually have enough Capcaps for all (probably a dozen) 32. oz widemouth Nalgene (and other brands) bottles.

The thing that initially kept me from investing in some Capcaps, was price. I've bought all of mine @ REI, and they are just under $6.00 USD. Not terribly expensive, but almost the price of a new bottle. Well after I realized how much I was digging the Capcap, I said "screw it" and went back to REI for another one. I'd purchased an extra for a family member too, who uses her Nalgene both at work, and keeps another one in the car. This is just one of those pieces of gear you have to use to appreciate, you can see the immediate simple genius that went into the design, but it takes drinking from it to fully realize how great it is. I like the fact that the cap strap is set up so it can go around the bottle's collar, like a stock Nalgene top, or you can leave the Capcap assembled together and make quick changes between bottle fast and easy. In other words, to use the Capcap, all you need to do is take it off it's packaging card, rip your old top off your bottle and screw the Capcap on (my preferred method). Or, you can slip the black base ring around the Nalgene collar (like how they come new), then screw on the gray base cap, this way the strap is more securely linked to the bottle, with the only free-floating piece being the large gray base cap...if that makes sense.

Anyhow, at around $6, I personally don't have any excuse to have one of these permanently affixed to most, if not all of my widemouth bottles. The Humangear Capcap is an elegant piece of designwork. It's durable, and works exactly as promised, plus it's not terribly expensive, even if you buy it somewhere that's typically higher priced, like REI. Good stuff indeed.

Ken Onion and CRKT, new folders with Ikoma Korth Bearing System opening

From my understanding, Ken Onion's decade plus involvement with Kershaw has come to an end. I don't know the details, but I remembered reading something to that effect late last year. I haven't heard anything specific about other collaborations between Mr. Onion and other manufacturers, but it seems the first fruits of outside-Kershaw involvement go to Columbia River Knife and Tool. No doubt Onion's partnership with Kershaw was immensely profitable for both parties. Onion still turns out his handmade customs, and from what I can see, many of the Kershaw knives he designed will still be produced in some form or another. Allen Elishewitz did the Stryker with Benchmade waayyy back in probably 1997/1998 and Benchmade still to this day makes a variation of the Styker, with the same name, but sans Elishewitz's name and logo, so I bet we'll see the same thing with Kershaw and Ken Onion.

quick specs for the CRKT/Ken Onion "Ripple" series of folders: (note that a smaller version exists as well, with a 2.7" blade)

* CRK405KXS: High Satin blade finish with Black Titanium Nitride frame coating Pocket Worn, Partially Serrated Edge
* Blade Length: 3.125” (79 mm)
* Blade Thickness: 0.10” (2,5 mm)
* Steel: Acuto, 59-60 HRC
* Handle length: 4.375” (111 mm)
* Overall length: 7.50” (191 mm)
* Weight: 2.9 oz. (82 g)

I'm not familiar with "Acuto" steel, but it sounds fancy, and with an MSRP of $125 USD, and a discounted average online price of about $80, I'm sure it's a great steel. This knife also uses the IKBS (Ikoma Korth bearing system) popularized by custom maker (and fellow South Puget Sound, WA neighbor) Todd Begg.

IKBS is a technology designed by South American knifemakers Rick Lala and Flavio Ikoma. Ikoma from Flavio's last name, and "Korth" is the name that Rick's custom blades go under. I've heard from some folks that the Todd Begg folders using IKBS, are buttery smooth, maybe the smoothest opening knives ever. It'll be interesting to see how Onion's new collaboration with CRKT, as well as the licensed mass production of a super technical ball bearing pivot system translate to a new factory made knife.

On the Onion/Kerhsaw front, today I picked up the limited edition G10-handled "Needs Work" knife by Kerhsaw, USA made. I always thought "Needs Work" was funny, not only for the obvious, but how it could be misinterpreted, like the knife "needs improvement" LOL. It's a very cool little knife, extremely stout with a great pseudo wharncliffe blade shape. The original Needs Work has cheesy polyamide handles, so I was glad to find the limited G10 model today at Sportco, for nearly $15 less than the suggested retail price. I've only had it a few hours, but, so far, I can't think of any way it needs work, except maybe to be put to task breaking down recycling, or cutting through Coke cans like they were butter, just for fun. The G10 Needs Work is one of the most insanely sharp knives I've ever owned, right out of the box. I have owned and played with thousands of factory fresh knives, having worked in a knife shop, and this is definitely one of the sharpest. The Speedsafe assisted opening is pretty smooth, though not quite as fast or sensitive as many of Kershaw's other assisted openers. All around, the Needs Work is a great knife, and speaks nicely to the quality of Kershaw's USA made products.

Also amazing for having paid well under $20, is Kershaw's Chinese made Oso Sweet (Onion). It's super lightweight, and is a descendant of Kershaw's early A/O's like the Whirlwind and Blackout. Kershaw and Onion damn near perfected the foreign made assisted opener, and the overall quality of the Oso Sweet shows just how far they've come since the late 1990's when overall Kershaw quality was severely inconsistent.

Anyhow, it'll be cool to watch what direction Ken Onion's new CRKT partnership takes, I'll keep y'all posted.

(they also make the Ripple knives with blue handles)