Monday, July 11, 2011

Jesse Takes on Peter Atwood's Poltergeist Tool.

Author's/Editor's note:  Jesse is in his last year of undergraduate school (6th year!) at North Carolina State University, Majoring in Biological Engineering with a concentration in Environmental, & works for a GeoTechnical Engineering and Construction Testing Firm.
He has been a volunteer firefighter for 7 years & is also a state certified EMT Basic.  Jesse is a certified SCUBA diver; holding certs from NAUI in Advanced Open Water, Nitrox, and is also a qualified Rescue Diver.
He is an avid hiker, camper, kayaker, and sailor.  Jesse holds a lifetime license in the state of North Carolina to Hunt and Fish both Salt and Fresh Water.  Jesse also brews his own beer and plans on attending brew school after graduation.   Needless to say, he's got a lot of real world experience using knives & other tools.  (Aside from that, his life of work & play makes me seem downright boring! Jesse, along with Mitch, has also been helping me keep the SB&T Facebook page fresh-Aaron)

Photo found @ mini Atwood Poltergeist, a shade smaller than Jesse's
     Peter Atwood, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is a knife and tool maker.  He occasionally makes knives, but currently seems to focus on small pocket/keychain type custom tools. 
I would consider the Poltergeist to be a medium sized tool; it is smaller than his popular prybaby but not as small as the mini version.  There are other tools he makes that are larger but it seems that most would fit in the palm of your hand.

     His work is quite sought after.  In fact, he no longer maintains his sale website and now simply updates a blog whenever he has made a run of something.  You simply have to check the blog at the right time to catch something for sale and order one before they sell out.  Unfortunately I don’t have the patience to check the blog everyday, waiting for weeks, or even months for a tool I am interested in to come up for sale… enter EBAY.  The downside of the ebay approach is, of course, cost.  While it seems this tool was sold for about $55 new, I paid about $100, the price of impatience.

   Now onto the specs: this tool has a pry-bar/screwdriver tip, a bottle opener which serves as a 5/16 inch wrench, a ¼ inch, and a ½ inch hex wrench.  The included card states that it is either made of CPM S35v steel or titanium.  Since the tool is magnetic, I will assume the former.  Let me say that I am in no way a steel expert.  I did a little bit of reading and it seems that this is a newer stainless steel that is in fairly common usage by companies such as Benchmade, CRKT, etc.  (Editor's note: Pretty much spot on, Crucible Particle Metallurgy makes this one in the USA, I believe, specifically for the knife industry. -ARL)

     Right now I have made a very simple para-cord lanyard for it and have just been dropping it in my pocket.  I have thought about putting it on my key ring, but it seems a bit large for that and I think it would limit its usefulness. 

     I have been in the process of moving this month and have so far used it to take apart some pieces of furniture and open some cold ones post-work.  In both tasks, its performance was stellar.
The other reason I bought it, and why I don’t want to put it on my keys, is its potential as a kubotan.  I am not an expert in martial arts but I have recently been getting interested in this style of self-defense and tactical pens.  Fortunately I have not had to use it in that capacity so far but I feel that it would function well in that sense. 
     It is a little shorter than would be ideal for limb manipulation but the sharpness and square edges of the pry-bar end allows some serious pain to be inflicted with very little effort, especially to the hands and abdomen of the assailant.  (Ed. note:  I agree, as an on-again, off-again martial arts practitioner. -A)  It could also be wielded in a hammer fist style to strike at the face.

     Overall I am quite happy with the tool. I look forward to future use of this unique tool and will continue to keep an eye on the Atwood blog for neat tools in the future.  I should also mention that this tool was a gift from my wonderful wife as a welcome back from a trip to California. 

The original Atwood site:
The current Atwood blog:
Photo borrowed from Atwood's site.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Nice write up Jesse - Atwood makes some nice stuff, expensive, but nice. I'd like to get my hands on some to try it out so it looks like I now have another blog to add to my RSS reader. :)