Showing posts with label EDC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EDC. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

SOG Brothers


One knife often in my pocket is the SOG Spec Elite 1.  It’s one of my working knives and it has a lot of the features I like.  The blade glides open with a little thumb pressure and the SOG Arc Lock is easy to use and secure.  The arc lock and design of the glass reinforced nylon handle makes this a truly ambidextrous knife.  The 4 inch VG-10 steel blade is sculpted into a clip point with a subtle sweep of the cutting edge giving it more power. 

The handle has a round end butt and a slight wasp waist.  Black nylon surface is generously covered with rows of small, raised elongated diamonds.  I’ve always found that surface to be non-skid, even when wet.

The blade closes into a 4.75 inch handle with a left/right reversible pocket clip.  It isn’t exactly what you might call deep carry as approximately 0.75 inch of handle, complete with silver attachment screws, extends out of your pocket.  This has never been a problem for me, I live in a relatively knife friendly environment.  That is to say, the police are more interested in what you are doing than what you carry in your pocket.  I’m fine with that.

The knife comes wickedly sharp from the factory and despite my use has required only touch-ups.  It sounds like the perfect knife doesn’t it?  I do have one tiny bone to pick.  The channel for the knife blade is wider than it needs to be at the blade tip.  Sometimes the skin of my fingers can deform enough to slip in and catch the very sharp point resulting in a small, shallow puncture.

This is a small potato problem and I finally got around to mentioning it to the SOG people at the 2017 Blade Show.  They grinned at me.

My EDC and new SOG Spec Arc
Mine's the one with a dirty blade, I told you  it was a working knife.

Turns out that I’m not the only one aware of these small injuries.  They just handed me a SOG Spec Arc.  It’s essentially the same knife, except for the handle.  It’s 4.8 inches long.  A 5/100 of an inch longer than the handle on the Spec Elite I and it’s bye-bye problem.

Pocket clips



They made a few other changes: the clip is much smaller and allows for deep pocket carry.  The handle is finished differently and it also feels good.  The blade is still VG-10 and opens like a dream.

I’m not going to replace my knife.  It isn’t that I like the little unexpected finger stabbings.  I just sharpened my tip and took a little metal off and solved my problem some time ago.  Duhh!



Have you ever wondered what the difference is between SOG’s Arc Lock and Benchmade’s Axis Lock?  Is it just advertising?  Both companies claim to have the strongest-best-easiest-to-use knife lock on the planet.  Of course they aren’t the only ones making these kinds of claims.

If we turn to the Fountain of all Internet Knowledge, Wikipedia, we find:
“Axis Lock – A locking mechanism exclusively licensed to the Benchmade Knife Company. A cylindrical bearing is tensioned such that it will jump between the knife blade and some feature of the handle to lock the blade open.
Arc Lock – A locking mechanism exclusively licensed to SOG Specialty Knives. It differs from an axis lock in that the cylindrical bearing is tensioned by a rotary spring rather than an axial spring.”

So now you know.




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Schrade Color Shift

There was a car called the Crocodile, so the old vaudeville joke went.  It was touted to have Detroit’s newest safety device.  One side was painted blue and the other red.

What’s so safe about that?  You ask.

Well, in itself nothing, but if you were in accident it sure left the witnesses with conflicting statements. 

I did think it was funny the first time I read it, but I was 12 at the time.  Since then I have seen color shifting paint.  The most impressive were gun safes at the SHOT Show.  The colors shifted from red to blue as you walked by them.  It was very impressive.

the Schrade color shift knife
Yes, the handle looks black, but note the waffle-like depressions

Schrade has released a color shifting knife with the imaginative name of Color Shift.  I got one so let’s take a look at it.  And despite my first thoughts that’s this is really cheesy, it does change between reddish purple and greenish blue.  I even got a flash of gold once, but I have never been able to reproduce that relationship between eye/knife and illumination source.
  
The 2.9 inch drop point blade is made of 8cr13MoV steel from Ahonest Changjiang steel in China.  This is a high carbon steel similar to AUS8 made by Aichi Steel Corp of Japan. 

The blade is black coated and I don’t know the Rockwell hardness.  If I had to guess I would suspect it’s in the 56 to 58 range.  It’s not a bad steel for an everyday carry knife.  But it’s the handle that’s so interesting.

The 3.75 inch handle is aluminum with a pocket clip set up for tip up carry but you might be able to find someone who could drill and tap the metal in another position if you wanted it bad enough.  The really interesting aspect of the handle is its coating.

up close look at the pigment in the handle
The small white particles are at different depths in the clear handle material

The casual examination shows a waffle like surface pattern.  I suspect it’s a big part of the color change.  Let’s get up close and personal.

Color shift pigment
The particles have different thickness, shape and orientation in the handle material, the depressions helps insure the particles are at different tilt angles

The coating on the knife has little whitish flakes of material in random directions and depth.  If we move in even closer we can see the flakes.  They look like defoliated mica to me.  

There is a surface treatment used on pigments called ITT.  It stands for a chemical, specifically Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate.  Minerals can be reacted with compounds like ITT which allow the surface to refract light like an oil slick on water.  Oil slick colors (no, don’t worry, I’m not going to draw charts and write equations as much as I would find that fun) are formed by the very thin layers of oil refracting specific colors of light.  The organic coating formed by ITT works the same way.  Add the cone-like depressions from the waffle pattern and you get color. 

Does it work?  The difference in colors is significant in terms of when the colors are in the spectrum.  The knife handle would be more impressive if the colors lived next to each other like yellow and green.  

The Schrade Color Shift Knife at one angle 
















                                                      and 

The same knife at a different angle


Still, if you want a flashy knife for EDC, look into the Shrade Color Shift (SCH106ALC).  I understand an assisted opening is now available.