Saturday, March 23, 2013

Blading About

I had a chance to look at two very interesting knives recently.  In retrospect they represent the extremes of the knife industry.  One is a folder, factory made overseas, small, lightweight with a lot of bells and whistles built in.  The other is a fixed blade, elegantly simple, but effective.  It’s a heavy, thick knife but I can’t get over its sharpness.

The folder is from Blackhawk MOD (Masters of Defense).  MOD started as a high-end company making custom designed knives by people like Graciela Casillas, Chief Jim Watson, Michael Janich, Massad Ayoob and others.  I seem to remember MOD was connected with Microtech knives.
The knives were designed specifically for fighting.  I remember listening to Ayoob describe how his knife was designed to fit between the rib’s intercostal spaces to reach vital organs like heart and lungs.
Blackhawk, a tactical equipment company now owns the brand.  I own some BH equipment and have been happy with it, but I will say the adjective tactical is code for black.
The knife is the CQD mark II Type E.  It has a lot I like about.  On the sides of the handle the hilt has a ridge flared out perpendicular to the flat side of the blade.  It acts as stop to prevent you from sliding onto the blade should a stabbing motion suddenly stop because you hit something hard, like a bone.  In a knife fight you’re going to get cut, period.  Cutting yourself is doubly painful.

The MOD CQD has an extended hilt has a guard
CQD mark II Type E

The knife sports a secondary lock where your thumb normally sits.  The knife is also available as an auto.  The pattern of locks and openers on the manual knife suggests BH didn’t install the spring.  I’m not saying you can take it apart and convert it to an auto, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you could. 

The clip is reversible but the knife has to be carried tip down.  The blade is a sharpened slice of AUS 8 steel 3.3 inches long.  

CQD Blade Lock.  The entire knife gives the impression it needs a spring to go auto on you.
The grip is reinforced with 420J steel and has textured panels for grip.  Despite the fact that it has a fixed carbide glass breaker spike that jabs me in the palm, it’s a nice knife.
I said this in my Jan 10 posting.
“So I’m pretty excited.  I just got my hands on a knife made by Brian Davis.  It’s an early attempt, in fact it’s his second attempt.  But it’s a glorious attempt!” 

That's a knife!
Well, Brian stuck with it and I just got to see a newer model.  I’m still excited about this fixed blade.
It’s a slab of sharpened steel and is it sharp!!!  I like to test sharpness by shaving paper.  It cut nice little curly q’s and shaves paper like nothing I’ve seen before.  

Sharp!   My friend, Derrick, lent me this knife after he took it winter camping and quartered frozen fire wood with it.  He said it just needed a little touch-up. 
 I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at its sharpness.  Brian enters cutting contests and if there is one activity that will not tolerate a less-than-razor-sharp knife, it’s cutting contests. 
All my little bitches and complaints about the knife have evaporated.  Check out the grind, it’s very well done.  The black micarta handle is well executed.  It has that well defined look and feel people like in a knife handle.  It even has a lanyard hole! 

No, it's not his fifth knife made.
 Best of all, Brian electro-etches his mark into the blade. 
I’ve never met Brian.  Both knives were passed to me through a third party, so I don’t have a dog in this fight.  But I hope Brian continues to make knives.  I think he has an eye for it.  He represents the individual striving to excel.  I wish him well.
You can reach Brian at  I'm sure he'd be interested in talking about future projects.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wandering the Internet

I just started writing about sharpening and I ran across an article in Wired about sharpening.

It’s their idea of a review of sharpening stones, mostly for kitchen knives.  I didn’t see a single folder or serrated knife being used to test the sharpening stones and systems.  I liked Wired, but they are a very Yuppie techie-orientated website.  Still, if you’re interested in Japanese water stones you might find their comments interesting.

If your lifestyle is better typified by having pan-fried walleye for breakfast and following tracks in the snow you might find Field and Stream more to your temperament.  Field and Stream has come up with their list of the best 20 knives of all time.  You should take a look, some of the selections may surprise you.

I agree completely with their selection of Ka-Bar’s Marine fighting knife and Leatherman’s multi-tool, for example, the Wave.  But Busse's Battle Mistress and Marbles Ideal Sheath knife?  I’m not too sure about them.

If you believe that the right fashion accessory or brand of shirt will get you in bed with incredible hotties, (usually pictured in the sidebars) or you need someone’s approval for the beer you drink, you might want to visit Made Man.  No, it’s not an organized crime site, although I can’t see how that would be any worse than this site.  The advertisements and the all the rest just confirm my belief why marketers pander to the young.  The reason?  Simple.  They aren’t old and cynical.

Still, they have a selection of 7 pocket knives that you've just got to carry to be part of the boy's club.  They may be right about that. The first was a very nice Benchmade 3150 Impel which is backed up with Emerson’s Gentleman Jim.  You might also find the other five knives interesting too.

Maybe the best thing about other people’s lists are their selections.  Assuming they just didn’t flip open a knife book and pick nice pictures and names, there was a reason for their choice.  Your job is to try to see why it was selected. What would you replace it with? Sometimes you’ll discover something different and unique about a knife.

TSA vs. the Knife Culture
So unless you’re living in a cave (How did you get internet service in there?) you know that TSA will allow small pocket knives on board domestic flights.  Here’s the poop from Yahoo news:

“Starting April 25, passengers flying on U.S. flights will be allowed to carry small pocket knives – blades less than 6-centimeters, up to two golf clubs, ski poles, as well as sporting sticks used for hockey, lacrosse, and billiards. Baseball bats will remain on the no-fly list, though wiffle-ball bats and souvenir baseball bats (less than 24-inches long) will be allowed.”

The blade has to be under 2 some odd inches, non-locking, no serrations and other silly stuff.  People are up in arms, but you can bring a hockey stick or souvenir base ball bat on board.  I don’t know, what’s the difference between a cop-on-the-corner’s night stick and a souvenir baseball bat.  Oh yeah…. The souvenir baseball bat is easier to hang onto when you swing it.