Monday, January 15, 2018
Since when do we find weather the new source of chills, goose bumps and scary things that go creak in the night? Why do we find it entertaining when the weather person gets on the tube and tells us it could be bad weather ahead, (assuming the parameters don’t change over the next three days) and the facebookers announce that they have traded their car for a two-person dog sled and 100 pounds of potatoes.
I use to work with a bunch of Texans, who at the mere mention of snowy driving conditions, would raid the vending machines and horde candy above the ceiling tiles in their office. And I want to say categorically, no evidence of cannibalism was ever suspected or even found. At least they had good reasons. They never saw snow before, but the rest of us?
Anyway, the Medina
knife gun show was pretty
empty. A lot of vendors got snowed in at
home, frightened off or just plain figured it would be poor show. And they were right. Saturday was very empty, but I don’t know
why. It took me about 45 minutes to
drive in because I slowed down to 40-45 but the roads were drivable. It would have been a good day for bargain
hunters. Most of the vendors needed a
sale and could be talked down to a better price.
By Sunday the roads were clear and we got a few more walk-arounds and quite a few more walking sellers. I don’t know if it was the need to raise cash for Christmas bills, got a better one for Christmas, or had too much money tied up in weapons. Many people had simply stocked up in anticipation of a presidency that would order out the troops to go house to house in search of guns, bullets and any knives other than the plastic ones you get at Mickey D’s.
Don’t sit there smug you muzzle loaders, you and those 1776 assault rifles would have been next!
I welcomed one man to my table, telling him he was free to handle the knives. He confessed he was just looking, cause he didn’t have any money. I told him that’s okay, because none of the knives were for sale.
I’ve got to give him credit. He came back with “Except for what sticks to my hands,” but I informed him that I was sure that I and the police would manage to get the knife free. He didn’t buy anything, but then again he said he didn’t have any money.
One of my potential customers had some specific needs and no matter how I tried I couldn’t find the right knife for him. He was, or perhaps I should say, is an elderly fellow with a bad case of the shakes. The shakes rob him of both strength and dexterity. He wanted a knife that he could open with one hand and it would lock open. It had to be a small, quality knife with a pocket clip and of course it had to be cheap.
Now cheap is an interesting word. Some people think an $8 dollar steak meal is expensive and others think a $45 steak meal, without bar bill, is cheap. I understand it. But personally, when I have to purchase something to make-up for my inabilities I expect to pay more, rather than less.
I had a small, Gerber with a great price, but it was too hard to open and didn’t have a pocket clip. I showed him a Spyderco Delica, too big and too hard to move the blade with his fingers. I showed him several others but they were too hard to open single-handed and he insisted it had to be a one-hand opener and small. Frankly, small was his enemy. With his loss of strength and dexterity, a larger knife would have given him more surface to grip and better leverage, but he insisted on small. I skipped over the Benchmades with flippers and showed him a nice sized auto. I thought I had a winning card for this fellow. Boker makes a small auto for 45 bucks. Too expensive for him. I had to admit defeat and send him on his way.
I don’t think he’ll find a knife to match his rigid expectations.
I also had a fellow with an absolutely beautiful damascus knife that he wanted to sell. I don’t have a picture of it, but let’s give words a try.
It had a shape similar to a Gurkha Kukri made from 250-some fold damascus steel. The damascus had strong lines and formed a raindrop pattern. The blade edge was split into front and back edges by a decorative structure resembling a single 3 inch row of corn kernels still on the cob.
It only took one look to realize that it was a classic wall hanging, ‘barbeque knife’ for the man cave. My seller confided in me, when I indicated that as much as I liked the knife it wasn’t right for me, that he was in a financial bind. He just bought a gun and owed his buddy 80 bucks. Still, there wasn’t a maker’s mark or name stamp on the knife and it just looked too good. I knew that even for 80 bucks, it might take years to find the right buyer.
Did I miss the bargain of the show? Did someone sell everything they had to buy this pearl of great price? I don’t know. But I doubt it.
Friday, May 13, 2016
I just got a new Boker Plus knife in to inspect. Unfortunately for me, it’s for sale. The Boker Urban Trapper is a great looking knife. It’s very lightweight, partially due to its thin slender blade and partially due to its titanium and G-10 handle.
|The knife has a nice hand feel and good balance.|
The knife uses a small flipper to open and it depends on an IKBS ball-bearing pivot for its smoothness. Not familiar with IKBS ball bearing designs? Man, have you been hiding under a rock?
Here’s a link: http://www.ikbsknifetech.com/11/1504.html
The design is so ingenious and so simple that most home hobbyists could make one. Since they act like ball bearing races they let knives glide open.
So lets talk specifics:
Hollow ground clip point
G-10 over titanium
1.9 oz or the weight of a double rye whiskey, neat
VG-10 steel is one of the darling steels of the knife industry. Originally marketed to Japanese chiefs, VG-10 was quickly adopted by the knife culture as a potential super steel. It’s lived up to that promise.
If you want to make some yourself, start with nice clean iron and add 1% carbon, 15% chromium, and 1% vanadium. Add 1.5% cobalt and a pinch (just a 0.5%) manganese. Mix well and allow to cool under precise conditions. Ingredients are easy, cooling and heating are the key. Just buy a Boker Urban Trapper. It is already razor sharp!
The knife utilizes a frame lock to lock the blade open. Titanium has wonderful properties, but excessive springiness isn’t one of them. The G-10 scale limits the outward motion of the titanium frame lock. It’s a clever solution to prevent over extension of the lock.
The removable, but sadly non-reversible, pocket clip also looks like titanium. The knife is set up for right hand, tip-up carry. The pocket clip provides for deep carry both to help retained the tool as well lower its visual profile. I like to carry in my right side pocket, but drop this knife in any pocket and it will work well for you.
I don’t own this one, but I should. This thin knife has a dressy business look that will work in the office, at urban play and more formal activities like funerals, weddings and board meetings. It’s not the knife I’d pack away for elk hunting in Canada, but I’d carry it as a back-up when I was hunting.
It’s a good knife but VS Godzilla? Well, it just my sense of humor, but several years ago there was a short cartoon video called Bambi VS Godzilla. It showed Bambi standing alone when it was suddenly crushed by a giant lizard foot. If Bambi had an Urban Trapper the cartoon might have ended differently.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
I get a lot of catalogs.
All sorts of catalogs ranging from clothing, woodworking equipment, outdoor stuff, guns, shooting supplies and of course, knives. I read them all.
I recently got a catalog from a company that sells high-end work clothes. I’m sure you’ve seen the catalog. You can purchase a canvas sport coat or extra long tee-shirts to prevent butt crackitis from them.
Recently I saw a knife that’s an old favorite of mine. It’s the Boker Sub-Com. It’s been re-branded as the Boker Biscuit Knife.
|It works better as a money clip or clipped on your shorts behind your belt buckle.|
The re-branding seems to have affected the price.
The catalog prices it at $46.95.
The 2013 Boker catalog lists it at $48.95.
My supplier lists the retail cost at $49.95.
It’s a nice knife and it’s true. It fits well in the watch pocket on men’s jeans. Not too many of us carry pocket watches any more. That’s kind of a shame. There was a certain class to taking the watch out of your pocket and pushing the stem in to pop the protective cover off the crystal.
The 'Biscuit' also works well as a money clip.
I’m getting ready for the Blade Show. We called the hotel to make a reservation and was told:
- They are full.
- All Blade Show attendees and vendors have to check out Sunday morning, because they have a new show coming in Monday and they need the rooms for those people.
Sunday morning at the show should be interesting.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
I’ve started working on a new writing project involving Boker’s Yurco. It’s a nice self-defense knife and I like the its lines and feel. An additional plus is I’ve met Mickey Yurco. He's a member of a local knife club, so I think that will add another dimension to the article.
It’s a phobia of mine. I always photograph the knife first. Then I evaluate it, cut with it, carry it, sharpen it and test it. This way if the blade or handle picks up scratches, discolorations, or other damage, I’ve got good images for the article.
Taking the photos isn’t always fun. I don’t have a dedicated photographic studio so using guidelines from Knife World and ideas from Eric Eggly’s DVD, I cobbled together my studio.
|It’s sort of the photographer’s perspective of Bismarck’s comments on making laws and sausages.|
It isn’t pretty and I hate spending all the required time setting up, ironing backdrops, trying to find wedges to stick under the knives to get the angles I want and then cleaning up. But it does work.
Innovation Theory of Knives
I subscribe to the 'Tupperware theory'* of knives. That is, descriptions and names of knives are made by manufacturers. Knife use is defined by the purchaser. Just because it’s called some type of knife doesn’t mean it can’t be used for other purposes.
I once pitched an idea for an article to an editor. He indicated since it was a bushcraft knife the article had to be about using the knife to make snares, fires and other survival activities. I wanted to talk about how the knife worked on a daily basis. Did it create hot spots and blisters after a few hours of cutting? How did it resharpen or clean up after cutting meat for dinner? And could I use it for self-defense? We never did come to terms.
Some knives are constructed in such a manner they can only be used for a limited task. TOP’s California Cobra is a great example of that.
|Other than angry, what else could you say?|
Sure you could open a letter with it, and maybe make a fire stick with it, but the best description of it came from a customer of mine. “It’s an angry looking knife.”
So I guess it should come as no surprise that my wife found that cutting her roll-up Christmas cookies was a dream using her ceramic food preparation knife.
|Stone River ceramic knife. Note: she's using a plastic cutting board. Always use a plastic or wood cutting surface with a ceramic knife ~ if you want to keep an edge.|
Previously she had confined it to slicing vegetables, thin enough to read a newspaper through.
Who would have thunk it?
*My wife learned years ago that just because Tupperware calls it a 'bread keeper,' that doesn’t mean it will not work for ice cream, cookies, etc.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
I’ve seen it in several knife magazines and it always attracts my attention: the green-handled Boker Nano. It took a little work, but I got one.
|The Nano comes in a nice foamed line box.|
It’s a sub 2-inch curved blade made from 440C steel. The blade locks open utilizing a frame lock. The green handle is one of those almost indestructible engineering plastics, Zytel.
The clip is removable and reversible for tip up or down. The knife is set up for right hand carry.
|The back side of the Boker Nano. The clip can be changed with two screws.|
The overall open length is 4.75 inches which gives you a relatively large handle for griping. It’s a compromise between size and usefulness, but I think even with my larger hands I can get a good grip on it.
It takes a little practice to open one-handed, but not so much you give up. Spend a half hour in front of TV driving your spouse crazy opening and closing the knife and you’ll have it. Spend two hours and you could be in divorce court. But you knew that already.
It weighs in at 2.9 ounces, mostly from the heavy steel blade. You could take the clip off and save a little weight, but I like knowing my knife stays where I put it.
I think these knives are under-appreciated and give you good quality and value for your dollar or Deutsche Mark.