Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Hampshire repeals all knife restrictions.

Substitute that with an American flag, and put some clothes on Rep. Jenn Coffey, and you have a good idea of her hard work that went into this bill:

A HUGE victory for We The People. Spearheaded by NH Rep. (R) Jenn Coffey, the new bill allows the sale, carry and ownership of any knife. You can bet that we'll start to see some new knife companies crop up in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire's Bill is outlined here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tell ME a knife story! SB&T's 1st Contest EVER!

Hey All! Our 2 year anniversary is coming up in August!
I'm gonna offer up a little contest here @ S, B & T! All that you, Dear Reader, gotta do, is submit to me a short (page or two) true story about a knife experience you've had in real life. It could be about using a certain knife while camping or in combat, loaning a knife to a reckless buddy, whatever. Intrigue me, make me laugh or gasp and I'll send you a hand selected Sharp, Bright and Tactical surprise care package. So... you can leave your stories on the comments for this post, or email me:<>;

All YOU have to do, is tell me a true story, funny, shocking, stupid or wrong, about a life experience you've had involving knives. Maybe you got stabbed in the ass by a girlfriend (wait...that's me), maybe you did hard time and disarmed some badass dude's shank right before he lunged at you. Perhaps you got your favorite custom knife lifted off of you by a jealous cop?
Just make it entertaining and I'll send you some form of knife, some form of flashlight and some other cool tactical goodies to get your summer 2010 adventures started off right. I know this is all sorta vague, so email me with questions, or as with the story, leave questions under this post's comments. I've never done this before, but I promise I'll send a 1st and a 2nd prize to the 2 best stories, (IMO). Eric and I will read your submissions and pick our 2 favorites. I promise I'll make it worth your while, I won't send you a used Swiss Army toothpick and a scratched up carabiner! Our two winners will get a knife, a flashlight and some bonus goodies.

In addition to sending you some cool gear, I'll repost your tale of you and your knife as a new post, for all readers to see, with you or your pseudonym getting full credit.

I'll announce the 1st and 2nd place prize packages in a couple weeks. It'll be something from my vast collection that's either redundant, or maybe something that I acquired in a trade and never carry. Be patient, and leave your story under this post's comments, or email me at the previously mentioned address. Don't forget to leave an email or phone number where I can contact you to get your shipping address. Don't worry, I WILL NOT give ANYBODY access to your email or physical address, name etc. I'm not a dick. At least not like that. There's nothing I hate more than being badgered by junk emails and phone calls from assholes trying to sell you some shit you don't want. So, I won't share your info, and I'll pay shipping too.

I thought this thing might be fun and get people talking and sharing on here. There's probably some law about holding an unlicensed contest and sending people knives and stuff in the mail, but I'm "ignorant of the law" and just wanna give you something cool for a story. Please! Please! 18 and over ONLY. Sorry kids, I don't want to field angry emails from some 12 year old's dad who wants to fly out here and kick me into a coma for sending his kid a sharp knife!! I won't be held responsible for the contest prizes after I ship them either. Use your head, and respect property, people and animals, or you'll have ME tracking you down to punch your kidney into your lung!

BEST OF LUCK!! I look forward to reading your stories! Gentlemen...Ladies...BEGIN!!!

5/20/2010 UPDATE:
COME ON GUYS!!!!!!!!!
I've got one fantastic entry, that's it. The man is question is going to get a mega-prize if we don't get some more entries! Get to writing y'all!

5/31 UPDATE:
ok, I have my main winner and a couple other guys who sent fantastic stories who will be sent prizes. Congrats to George and Lee, and Perkunas' story was great too. However..I'm out of stuff to give away right now. I always welcome your knife stories, and enjoy reading them, but I'm gonna have to call an end to this particular contest. This was fun though, so keep your eyes peeled for additional contests in the coming months, with new ideas and chances to win cool gear.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cold Steel Double Agent I

I recently felt the need to obtain a couple of small Cold Steel fixed blades. Maybe it was Lynn C. Thompson's propaganda hard at work, as I kicked back with the newest Cold Steel "Proof" dvd, in which LT and the gang subject Cold Steel's items to obscenely damaging torture tests and the knives come out without much damage at all. I got the newest Special Projects catalog, which came with an updated 2010 x2 dvd set of "Proof". It's extremely entertaining and lots of fun to watch. Regardless of how you feel about Thompson the Showman, I can't argue that Cold Steel is a modern factory knife innovator which tends to make really rugged stuff at pretty reasonable prices. As I paged through the newest catalog, I counted the number of in-production CS items I own...the number was higher than I thought! Turns out I own 27 Cold Steel items, not all knives of course, one of their Sjambok whips, throwers, and the Grivory plastic Nightshade knife series, in addition to various actual cold steel knives.

So, it's safe to say, I do like their products. They're not the prettiest, they don't always use the best materials, but ever since my first tanto voyager back when I was but 16 or 17, there's just something about a Cold Steel knife. I guess they're sorta like the Tonka truck of edged weapons. Usually fairly inexpensive, but tough as nails and very utilitarian.

Karambits have been the knife industry hot item in the last 2 or 3 years, and I own a few. If you care to page back through older posts here, you'll find a surprisingly positive review for United Cutlery's Undercover Karambit, which is dirt cheap and very decent. I think I reviewed it some time last year. When Cold Steel launched the Double Agent series, I liked them enough, but not enough to buy them. It wasn't until a friend came over with his recently ordered Double Agent I, plain blade, that I decided I needed the fully serrated version of that knife. The Double Agent series is extremely thin, and made out of a solid piece of AUS 8 stainless. the handle area is coated with some sort of zytel/grivory-esque thermoplastic, your typical glass-filled nylon. You've got about a 3 inch blade, with an overall length of just under 8 inches. That overall length creeps a bit over 8 inches in the sheath, which is pretty well designed, but a little tricky.
Double Agent Specs:
Blade Length: 3"
Overall Length: 7 7/8"
Steel: Japanese AUS 8A Stainless
Weight: 2.5 oz.
Handle: 4 7/8" Long w/ Grivory Grip
Sheath: Secure-Ex Neck Sheath

The sheath for this series of knives is made out of Cold Steel's proprietary Secure-Ex, which is basically thermoplastic that works much like real Kydex, and probably costs a heck of a lot less to make. The sheath is light and highly functional. You use your thumb to gently push a button to release the blade, and the concept works nicely. Now it's a little trickier to insert the blade back into its home quickly and smoothly. I noticed sometimes, due to the curved nature of the blade, the tip would catch inside the sheath, or upon insertion, the tip might hit the release button and snag, or I'd just feel like the sharp edge was grinding on certain spots until I wiggled the knife to get the sheath button to engage with the handle's front finger ring. Regardless, once you play with your Double Agent knife for a bit, you'll get used to it, and unless you've no brains in your head, it'll become clear how to easiest resheath and unsheath your knife. I wonder why they didn't just do a friction/tension fit sheath like many other fixed blades? Oh well, the sheath takes some practice to use quickly and smoothly, but other than that, it functions well.

I found that despite the length of the knife/sheath package, it is worn really easily around the neck. I'm surprised Cold Steel didn't fit it with a clip, as on their Safekeeper series. This piece is curved, but still might do fairly well as a boot knife. So far I've slung mine on the included black bead chain around my neck, in the front kangaroo pocket of a hooded sweatshirt, and in a side zippered pocket in my Eddie Bauer fleece jacket. It's nice that such ferocious cutting power in such an intimidating looking knife can be simply dropped into a pocket and feel so light. It didn't make the side of my jacket sag suspiciously, nor did it print clothing too obviously around my neck. The Double Agent series' lack of weight may just be its finest feature.

The handle is amazingly comfortable, for such a thin piece. The dual finger rings would make a disarm almost impossible. The knife is just as comfortable in standard and reverse grips, and the ring holes fit my enlarged knuckles just fine, as well as being comfortable to another buddy who is much smaller a person than myself.

These knives retail for about 45 bucks, USD, but I got mine on a good knife retail site for under $30, before shipping. The full-serrated edge I chose was sharper than HELL. Shaving straight out of the box, a stark contrast from my Safekeeper III, which needed a light touchup on its plain edge before I felt comfortable carrying it. All around, as a generalization, Cold Steel's knives are, IMO, the sharpest brand right out of the box, that's an aspect I've always really liked about Thompson's knives.
So, with the Double Agents, we've got a comfortable handle, light weight and an adaptable, if not tricky-at-first sheath system. That's all good! They even throw in a blackened ball chain for neck-carry. On mine, the usual wicked Cold Steel serrations are present, and cut as good as I've ever seen serrations cut, aided in part by the curved blade which pulls material into itself.

For under $30, I'm satisfied with my newest knife, and now I've gotta lay off the purchases for awhile, while I look for better employment to feed my steel addiction!
I really think that, much like Cold Steel's Safemaker and Safekeeper series, that all of the knives in the Double Agent series (they have a variant blade style as well) would make a great discreet carry self defense knife that would compliment many different martial arts styles, but especially Filipino martial arts. I have a few years of Korean and Filipino martial arts training, but I'm pretty sure that even a novice with simple, basic fighting skills would be able to make the most of these knives as a defense tool. Heck the karambit style like mine looks intimidating enough! I know I would walk away from somebody who pulled one out!

For those who might want something different Cold Steel offers these in a more traditional clip point as well, both plain edged or serrated:

See Cold Steel's Special Projects site for more info

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Cold Steel Trench Hawk, coming June 2010

Cold Steel is stepping into some new tomahawk designs, starting with the all black Trench Hawk. It looks much more expensive than its MSRP of $50-some dollars, doesn't it? Polypropylene handles and sheath, big ol' spike. If you don't own a Cold Steel Hawk yet, wait until June and grab one of these badboys.

Overall Length: 19"
Hawk Length: 8 3/4"
Primary Edge: 3 1/2"
Steel: Drop Forged 1055 Carbon
Weight: 24 oz
Handle: Polypropylene
Sheath: Durable Ploypropylene Sheath (included)
Made in Taiwan

Looks like the good folks over @ are accepting pre-orders for the Cold Steel Trench Hawk. I'd pre-order, but after buying the fully serrated Cold Steel Double Agent I, and the classic Cold Steel Safekeeper III the week prior, I need to hold off on knife buying for awhile. Though this Trench Hawk is in my future later this summer, for sure.