Sunday, November 26, 2023

Secrets of the Sorting Hat


I've moved, which forced me to confront my knife collection with the certainty that all good things end.  My previous dwelling had plentiful storage, but the new digs, well, not so much.  I’ll add cabinets, shelves, and drawers for storage, but I need to deal with limited storage and the need to put things away.

The move has also prompted a confrontation with my mortality.  Do I want to continue to curate knives I have for no apparent reason?  As much as I wish it, I do not have a Harry Potter sorting hat to make determinations for me.

I realized that all my possessions could be categorized into two distinct classes and a third, more nebulous one.  The first two are obviously "Keep" and "Discard.”  The third is “Maybe.”

Don't let this fool you.  There are only two options.  Maybe is actually a Discard.  If a knife doesn't create enough passion to become a Keep instantly, it's a Discard you're trying to be polite to.  Ditch it.

The original Tigersharp

Here’s a couple of examples.  I picked up a Tigersharp at the SHOT Show.  The company later sold the design to Camillus.  The novelty is the replacement blade eliminating the need to resharpen the knife; just use a new blade.  It's going.

Boot dagger from S&W

Years ago, at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot, I bought a S&W H.R.T. dagger boot knife.  I am still trying to understand why.  The handle is too small, the blade is sharp on one side but not the other, and I don't typically wear the proper boots.  Bye-bye boot knife.

Boker's Pocket Knife by Mickey Yurco

I bought a knife from Boker, designed by Mickey Yurco, called the Pocket Knife.  Mickey told me he thinks of it as a self-defense tool, but Boker, fearful of public backlash (What!  You mean to tell me you could hurt someone with a knife?) calls it a camping or survival knife.  I wore this on my pack for years.  It's a keeper.

So, there you have it.  When you start thinking about that great collector's meeting in the sky and can't decide what knives need to find a new home, remember, Maybes are just polite Discards.  You really didn't care for them in the first place.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Unpack: CRKT's Kith and Razelcliffe


Receiving and unpacking knives is one of my favorite activities.

I just got two from Columbia River Knife and Tool and they are both winners.  The first knife is the Razelcliffe, designed by Jon Graham and the other, the Kith, designed by Ken Steigerwalt.

CRKT Razelcliffe, Cool Knives
The top is the Razelcliffe and the bottom the Kith.

The Kith is a locking folder with a 3-inch blade ground from 8CR13MoV stainless steel.  It is a good knife steel, especially for a working knife.  Compared to D2 (you'll see why later), D2 tends to have more edge retention and hardness than 8Cr13MoV but is more expensive and less corrosion resistant.

The Kith utilizes a front lock set in the 3.75-inch glass-reinforced nylon handle.  It is relatively lightweight at 2.3 ounces; I get mail heavier than that.  I like the handle, but the contrast in the black handle is not from pigmentation but surface geometry. 

CRKT Kith, Knives, EDC, pocket
Unfortunately, the gray handle spots are just different reflectivity

It's a good length for many basic jobs at a campsite, fishing, in the office, or preparing the yard for winter.  The Kith has an MSRP of $40.  You can't go wrong at that price for a working knife.


Years ago, I had a Razel with a stag handle from CRKT.  I last saw it in the pocket of an Australian heading home to their anti-knife culture.  I hope he made it.  It was a very cool knife.

The Razelcliffe, let me suggest it would make a very icey club knife.

The Razelcliffe is also very cool.  The 2-inch blade is made from D-2 steel (see, I said we'd get back here).  D2 isn't quite stainless, but I never see rust on any D2 knives I own.  A little oil takes care of all my problems.  D2 takes and holds a good edge and can be resharpened with basic stones.  The Razelcliffe utilizes a frame lock and IKBS ball-bearing pivot.  That is very cool!

The G-10 handle is 3.25 inches long, and the knife weighs 3.3 ounces. 

The MSRP is $48, a reasonable price for a step up in cool factors. 

I've always thought CRKT over-engineers their knives.  You get a lot of knife for a reasonable price.  That’s invaluable in a world where you pay for a name.


Saturday, September 2, 2023

The Future of Knife Making

 This could be the future of knife making.

These beads are the results of 3D printing

Yes, really.

These beads are 3-D printed plastic and can be any color, texture or shape you want by Chroma Scales.  You could customize any sort of knife scales/handle you want.  This is the beginning of the future.

Several years ago I saw a demonstration of 3-D metal printing.  Essentially it was a computer-controlled arc welding system that would deposit a spot of metal and build up a 3-D component.  This has evolved into printing metal engineering components and prototypes using high purity metals and laser beams.  Lincoln Electric is using this technology as is 6K Inc.  Many companies now offer this service.

 Miniaturization is a economical driving factor.  Big things will get smaller and find a way into your home.  Look at computers and microwave ovens 

One video showed a company printing out manifolds out of 316L, a low carbon stainless steel.  Not the best for knife blades, I grant you.  They video demoed a Trumpf TruPrint 3000.

Prices are still high, but you can buy 3-D printers that use plastic on Amazon now at reasonable prices, from under $200 to around $3000.  The polymer used is very affordable.

I was able to find glass fiber reinforced polymer, which gives the finished product high strength.  I believe carbon black reinforced polymer is available.  High strength metal alloys are just a bit farther down the road.

We’ll see the big guys, like Spyderco, Benchmade, Civivi, or Buck use it first to print unique blade shapes and designs.  But what about temper and hardness?  How will they heat treat it and such?  I remember those same questions asked about powdered metal.  Early adopters had problems with porosity, just ask Kimber.  They found answers.

The big change will occur then you no longer buy a knife, but purchase a program to print your own.  I suspect there will be acceptable options built into the software which will come with a license for one or more printings at which point it erases itself.  Code hackers will find a way to tweek the code to make unique knives or print unlicensed copies.  We see that problem with knockoffs.

There will be laws forbidding this and a new class of criminals. 

Remember the Star Trek episode ‘Tomorrow is Yesterday’?  A plot complication  occurs when the ship beams up an Air Forse security officer from the 1960s.  They keep him in the transporter room as to minimize the historic contamination from the future.  Scotty tries to relax him by offering the fellow Scotsman a dish of haggis from the replicator.  What is a replicator but a fast 3D printer?

You’ve seen the future.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Get Your Knife!

We are coming up on National Knife Day.  Yes, there is a national day commemorating the knife. 

 We sometime forget how important knives are to the story of civilization, perhaps to the evolution of humanity.  I often think early man’s first tool was a stick to extend his reach, followed by a rock to pound things.  Somewhere along the way he got the idea of cutting things and everything took off!

We have been celebrating National Knife Day since 2011.  For some of us, every day is a celebration of knives.  Knives fill our lives both in the physical sense and in our thought process.  Our cars have windshield wiper blades, I buttered my toast with a knife, the mill at work has a doctor blade, we need something to slit the envelope open to announce the winner.  And nobody tried to cut the cake without a knife.


We cut to the bottom line, a foolish person is described as “not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”  We like (sometimes) people with a razor wit, we cut the fat out of a job quote, and we want to sharpen the pencil to work a better deal.  


Rumor has it the day was selected from a letter written August 24, 1838, by Rezin Bowie, claiming he (and not his brother, Jim) was the actual creator of the Bowie Knife and deserved the fame and credit for it.  Of course, Jim was dead by then…


Celebrate August 24 by carrying your favorite knife.  Maybe show it a little respect by sharpening the edge and wiping it down.  A drop of oil isn’t too extravagant, is it?

Remember the proverb:  “A knife-less man (and woman) is a lifeless man.”

Sunday, August 13, 2023

SixLeaf Knives

 My friend Derrick introduced me to SixLeaf Knives.  After handling and opening the knife, the question, "Where did you buy that cutie?" was not politeness.  I really wanted one.

Actually, I ended up buying three!

He found it on eBay.  You have to win your auction, and SixLeaf will ship you one from Yangjiang, China.  Yangjiang, I am told, is moderately famous for making knives, scissors, swords — anything that cuts.

I won my auction, and despite the warning of how long it could take (46 business days!), it arrived in a couple weeks.  I liked it so much that I bid and won a second one.  It arrived just as quickly.

Prices can vary because you're bidding against someone who thinks they want it more than you. 

Let’s take a look at it.  The matte blade is 3.25 inches long and 0.125 inches thick at the spine.  The blade is a drop point with, for all practical purposes, a flat grind.  The steel is D2, hardened to Rockwell C 60.

Good looking knives.

I like D2 steel.  It is seeing a resurgence in the knife world.  It’s almost stainless, so it takes a little care to prevent rust formation.

The 4-inch handle is titanium with linen Micarta scales.  This keeps the weight of the knife under 2.9 ounces.  The lock mechanism is a frame lock, and to compensate for titanium's softness, a small steel insert makes contact with the back of the steel blade.

The knife is designed to open with a flipper, and the blade flies open on KVT ceramic ball bearings.  These are used by companies like ZT and others. 

A 3.25 inch blade is, for most parts, a perfect size for EDC.

Is it perfect?

No.  The clip isn't reversible.  The knife arrives set up for right-hand, tip-up carry.  That's my preferred carry mode, but it is not a universal standard. 

Closed, there is a little height difference where the frame lock meets the frame.  Just enough of a difference you can feel it when you rub your thumb over it. 

The frame lock engages very nice, with quite a bit of contact with back of the blade

And if I’m picky enough, I would point out that when open, the frame lock separates slightly from the Micarta scales.

I like the linen Micarta scales.  They look and feel nice.

Frankly, for an under $50 knife (It's an auction.  Your price may differ.) you can't beat a SixLeaf.  I like them so much, I gave my wife one!

Monday, June 19, 2023

Delica in the Key of K390

 Back before it started, the old gods came together for a meal and to brag about what they contributed the newly forming reality.  Loki/the Coyote/the Trickster was especially gleeful.

“I gave them iron and carbon.”


“They mix to form an alloy.  Too little carbon and the steel formed will be soft and useless.  Too much and it becomes brittle cast iron.  If they add the just right amount they get properties all over the place.  And it still rust!”

The old gods thought it was a clever joke on the humans.  All but one, Vulcan/Brokkr/the Master Forger.  Without steel, how could they build things, he wondered.  He crept off and threw a hand full of elements, and perhaps more important, undiscovered knowledge into the mix.

Thanks, Vulcan!

Delica in the key of K390

I just got Spyderco’s K390 Delica and it is quickly becoming my favorite pocket knife.  I really like the Delica/Endura line.  Back in day, I used to fly with two Delicas and airlines had no problem with that.  Even back then those sealed packages of peanuts were hard to open!

K390 steel Delica
I found I could always depend on Delicas and the K390 is no exception!

I’m not really a super steel fan.  Almost every steel the national brands use is hardened and tempered to bring you good performance.  But right now, for a working knife, I suggest you look at K390 steel.

K390 is a tool steel with interesting properties.  Right now, Spyderco is one of the few companies making knife blades with it.  Chemical analysis would find:

Carbon: 2.47%  (Wow!),

Chromium: 4.2%,

Molybdenum: 3.8%,

Vanadium: 9%,

Tungsten: 1%,


Cobalt: 2%.

The rest is iron.

Delica from Spyderco in K390
It isn't a gamble with Spyderco's four position clip 

 Each of these elements affect the basic crystalline structure of the steel and its properties.  The metallurgy is more complicated than you can imagine.  In its simplest form, chromium and vanadium form small hard carbides that contribute to edge properties.  The remaining elements alter the metallurgical properties.

It doesn’t take a lot of study to realize K390 isn’t a stainless steel.  It is a hard-working tool steel.  And no, you just can’t add another 8-9 %of chromium and make it stainless.  Well, at least if you want to retain the other properties, most of which go unnoticed by the user.  Science tells us why, but that’s just an understand of how the universe work.  For the real reason you’ll have to ask the Trickster.

Jimping on the spine of Spyderco's K390 Delica
I like the coarse jimping on the FRN handle

K390 was submitted for an Austrian patented by Bohler in 2002.  Bohler wanted a steel to compete with Crucible’s CPM-10V.  It is not a new steel and gradually found a place among knife makers.

Like all steel, the properties have a give and take aspect and are affected by heat treatment.  K390 is one of the top tier steels with excellent toughness and slicing edge retention.  That is the take.  The give is corrosion resistance.  You need to take care of your steel, wipe it dry and use a good oil.  Spyderco incudes a little handout on caring for the steel.  I’d read it if I was you.

Heading out for Deer camp?  Make sure you take a Spyderco Delica in K390.

Which oil?  There are really two options, food safe and non-food safe.  I tend to lean toward food safe, but I’ve used  penetrating oils too.

I like my new Delica with K390 steel.  Currently all of Spyderco’s K390 steel come with a unique blue handle.  Mike Janich tells me he calls it K390 Blue.

The Delica has a flat grind, which contributes to it’s cutting powers.  Not having shoulders, like the saber grind or it’s brother, Scandi, it doesn’t have to push material out of the way to keep cutting. 

Delica  K390 steel
I don't always go off the beaten path...  But when I do it's with a Delica  in K390 steel

The grips are FRN or fiber reinforced nylon.  The fibers, to the best of my knowledge are short glass fibers which strengths the nylon.  The grip sports bidirectional texturing which radiates outward from the center of the handle.  The texturing is strikingly attractive and more importantly, provides increase purchase with wet and slippery hands.

The blade has the trademark Spyderco hole.  I don’t know which is more uniquely Spyderco, the fat tick-like spider logo or the functional opening hole.  In either case, the thumb hole was genius!

One of the major improvements in the knife world is movable clips.  Sal Glesser, Spyderco founder, is credited with the pocket clip he called "Clip-it."  Later versions of Delica and Endura had a reversible clip.  Eventually most Spyderco folders have four-position clips.  I simple love that options.  Most of my knives are carried tip up right hand, but I’ve been known to set up a knife for tip up left-hand carry.  While this may seem trivial to you, this allows Spyderco to be essentially an ambidextrous knife.  Its estimated 10% of the world’s population is left-handed.  Being able to operate a pocket knife with either your left or right hand is amazing.  Unfortunately, many companies have not caught on to this pocket knife innovation.

For me the ability to make a fire by shaving fir sticks and scrapping Birch bark in the touch stone to all knives.  Spyderco Delica have never let me down.

Spyderco’s  K390 Delica cuts.  I cut seatbelt material.  No problem.  Opened packages and bags, cut string and rope.  I shaved feather sticks to build a fire, my personal touchstone of knife performance.  Carboard trembles in its presence.  What a knife!

The suggest retail price is $176.  Right now, all I’m finding on Spyderco website is the full serration: 

I suspect if you look about, you’ll find the plain edge on line.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Finnish Delight

 Iisakki Järvenpää Puukko

I recently picked up a lovely dual Finnish puukko set made by Iisakki Järvenpää Osakeyhtiö.  The puukko set is a traditional dress knife pair with a painted red handle and brass fittings.  The two blades are engraved with the founder's signature, Iisakki Järvenpää.

I have recently discovered an interest in puukkos.  I admire the refinement and practicality of a knife designed to survive in the brutal arctic environment.

Puukko knives
A Puukko by Iisakki Järvenpää Osakeyhtiö

A puukko is a general-purpose belt knife with a single curved cutting edge, solid hidden tang, and usually a flat spine.  Military models of puukkos have been popular in the Russian criminal underworld under the name "Finnish knife" or finka since the 20th century. 

Puukkos don’t have a ricasso (a section of the unsharpened blade nearest the handle) because this is where the most power can be applied.  While finger guards are uncommon (it is a cutting tool, not a stabbing weapon), puukkos intended to be used in wet or slippery environments will have some form of guard or grip enhancement carved into the handle.

The short knife is 5.75 inches long, while the larger one is about 8.5 inches.  They occupy a leather and brass sheath.  The front is partially painted/coated in red to match the knife's grip.

This set appears to be part of traditional ethnic dress, needing only a Helavyö belt.  The Helavyö is a leather belt decorated with several metal plates (or "hela"s).  The belt is an accessory worn by men and women in traditional garb but only by men in non-Karelian attire.

Karelian Dress
Traditional dress with Helavyö belt and knife set

The Karelian people are from an area in Northern Europe with historical significance for Russia, Finland, and Sweden.  Often, a trinket of some shape hangs from each metal plate.  The pendants are a pretty decoration; they show off the wearer's wealth.  As a bonus, they are reported to keep the devil away.

Hot girl with metal belt
Non-Traditional dress

The company’s founder was Iisakki Järvenpää.  He was born on January 7, 1859.  From an early age, Iisakki was curious and thirsty to learn everything new.  He practiced his reading and writing skills on his own initiative.  While writing, he practiced not only the writing skill itself but also his penmanship.  His attraction to uncompromising and meticulous visuals is reflected in his knives and writing.  Iisak's signature is the company logo.

Red handled Puukkos

The Iisakki Järvenpää Company was founded in 1879 and is the largest manufacturer of knives in Kauhava, Finland, a well-known town with a long and rich history of knife making.  He had to learn everything from forging to metal polishing.

Self-taught, Järvenpää made simple work knives, but in 1888 he made a gift knife for the hereditary prince of Russia and the future emperor Nicholas II.

Because of the gift knives' impact, Iisakki received the title Keisari's knifesmith, which was entered in the church's books in 1889.  Keisari's blades had the lion coat of Finland carved into the handle and the emperor's crown on top of a lion.  The imperial thanks from future emperor Nicholas II received a lot of attention in newspapers nationwide, which led to a widespread increase in the demand for Iisakki’s knives.

Despite this success, his knife business grew slowly.  Wanting more for his family, Iisakki gave up 20 years as an independent craftsman and became a foreman at the newly founded knife factory in Kauhava.  Discovering the company had lied to him about benefits, he resigned from his position and re-established his own knife shop on February 15, 1904.  From this point, Iisakki's company became known as Iisakki Järvenpää Osakeyhtiö (Limited Company).

The larger Puukko with signature in the blade
Iisakki died on March 6, 1929, but his company continues, and the knives are made by hand in Kauhava, Finland, from locally sourced materials.  You can find out more at:


Any errors are from my misunderstanding of the translated Finnish.


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Pro-Tech Steam Punk

Every once and awhile, you come across hidden treasures.  Sometimes neither the buyer nor seller realizes how much that gem is worth. 

When you’re the seller you may never find out.  Smart buyers will not tell the seller he has made a foolish move.  They will not rub it in or humiliate the seller.  It’s enough to get a silent win. 

Then too, you don't know what they paid for the treasure; they could be laughing all the way to the bank.

I didn't gamble on this!

I recently bought a Pro-Tech Godson with Bruce Shaw’s Steam Punk motif in bright metal.

I really like the Godson.  For me, the size is Goldilocks, that is, just right.  The knife is easy to Google, try:

But all the websites I visited say they are out of stock.   They also say the knife they had was some number of 200.  Mine says 72 of 100.  What’s going on?

I called Pro-Tech and asked.  Here’s what they told me.  Pro-Tech makes a special run of 100 knives called prototypes, sold only at shows.  The regular limited edition has 200 members, making a total of 300 Steam Punk Godsons in existence.

My new Steam Punk claims to be a prototype 72 of 100 while my older copper one is from a run of 200 .  What is going on? 

Pro-Tech has no plans to make any more.  I don't know why.  Perhaps it was a limited edition, as the artist Bruce Shaw specified.  Bruce got his training at Cal-State University of Los Angeles.  Bruce is better known for his firearm engraving, but his Steam Punks are icey! 

When they were introduced in 2014, Blade Magazine listed them as "Investor/Collector Knife of the Year."  I don't know about the investor part of that claim, but it is very collectible.

I’ve always been cynical about knives as investments.  It’s counterintuitive, but many custom knife makers experience a drop in value when they die.  They are, after all, done.  There will be no new creative work to keep their name in the public eye.  As their collectors pass on and leave their collection to people who don't care, the custom maker becomes increasingly a closed chapter.

It doesn't always happen that way.   Randall Knife is one example of a knifemaker going strong after their death.  Bob Loveless is another.  The corporation with his name marches on.

Despite those two examples, I am reminded of the joke:  How do you make a small fortune by investing in knives?  Start with a large one. 

I'll share what I learned about stamp and coin collecting.  If you want your collection to have great value, put great value into it.

I also have the copper version of the Godson Steam Punk with a bright blade.  It is part of the regular limited run of 200, but I'm thrilled to have it.  I also assume there is a prototype run of 100 somewhere.

There might be more prototypes and limited run consisting of only bright of black blades.  I don't know.

I doubt I'll buy another Godson Steam Punk for my collection.  I'm not interested in having some unique number sequence or group of numbers.  But if the price is right, you could see it on my table.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Club Knives

 I’m not a huge fan of club knives.  Most club knives have a simple engraved blade and little else to recommend them.  However, I do occasionally purchase them.  My local club, Western Reserve Cutlery Association, had a swing guard with an ivory handle from Keen Kutter that I bought.  By comparison, most current club knives seem ordinary.

WRCA Club Knife...They forgot to have the year engraved.

Recently I found a Gerber NKCA knife from 1986.  It was number 3013 of 6200.  The raised NKCA shield over the blade pivot caught my eye, as did the excellent brown jigging and engraved blade.

NKCA stands for National Knife Collectors Association.

1986 NKCA Club Knife  one of 6200.  That number amazes me!

You don’t hear much about the NKCA anymore.  I googled their name and found a website selling cheap chewtoy holsters.  You take the metal parts off, if any, and give the holster to your dog to chew on.

NKCA started in 1972 when a group of collectors/dealers working at knife shows in Kentucky and Tennessee realized there was a growing market of knife enthusiasts and collectors.  They decided to form an association to grow a hobby into a profitable (keyword profitable) business.

It shouldn’t surprise you to discover the original name was the National Knife Collectors & Dealers Association.  After a couple of years, the dealer part was dropped.  Too much honesty, I guess.

James F. Parker was the first elected president in 1972.  He was a leading knife dealer at the time.  Parker was an interesting fellow.  James F. Parker founded Parker Knife Company as a sideline to his employment as a paint sales rep.  He was one of the first to effectively utilize direct mail services to buy and sell collectible knives in the 1970s.  Parker helped start Frost Cutlery by partnering with James Frost in a short-lived partnership and owned Case knife for a short time.

Parker guided the development of the NKC&DA to include enrolling members nationwide with a yearly membership fee.  They received a small monthly newsletter which developed into a monthly magazine.

1974 was two years into his presidency and Parker thought outside the box.  He proposed a "Collector's Knife" to be made exclusively for members.  Essentially, Parker originated the almost universal club knife, primarily to promote membership and a degree of eliteness.  Only members could buy a limited-edition knife from the NKC&DA.  This was unheard of at the time!  That factor drove the desire to be able to own one of these knives to high demand!

Parker chose an Anglo-Saxon whittler pocket knife with the most desired Case XX pattern 6391.  But Parker had difficulty finding a U.S. manufacturers willing to make the 1200 knives. 

Howard Rabin of Star Sales in Knoxville, TN, stepped up.  Rabin was the U.S. importer of German-made Kissing Crane knives.  His company wanted to be part of this new venture and eagerly made the 1200 knives Parker asked for.

For fun, I've converted the prices to 2023 dollars in parentheses.  The days of buying a new quality pocket knife for under $20 are gone.

NKC&AD sold their first club knives for $12 ($73) and only one knife per member.  They didn’t sell out as anticipated.  Being savvy or perhaps desperate businessmen, they created a second offer to their members.  Each member could now order up to three knives each at $15 ($83). 

Thus began club knives being used for promotion and as fundraisers.

Sold in 1986 for the equivalent of $106

In 1975, the desire for these limited edition NKC&AD club knives pushed the knife price to a staggering resale price of $600 ($3336).  The 1976 club knife, a Case XX 4380 whittler with a production of 5,000, would sell out!  The price of $15 ($83) would peak at a resale value of $250 ($1390).  The 1977 club knife was a Kissing Crane stag handled gunboat canoe knife and 6,000 were produced, followed in 1978 by 8,000 IXL Wostenholm green bone handled three blade canoes.  The peak number of knives produced for NKCA was in 1981 with an issue of 12,000 made by Queen.

That was high point of NKCA club knives.  NKCA membership started to decline as did the number of annual club knives produced. 

Regional clubs wanted their own club knives, and the uniqueness and potential for up-market sales decreased.  Soon, various regional clubs had copied all the rare vintage and unusual patterns.  Clubs would try many variations by changing the handle materials, shifting blades around, adding blades to existing patterns, etc.  Nothing worked as well as the early revival of long discontinued vintage patterns originated by Parker and the NKCA.

There were so many club knives that it made it almost impossible to collect them all.  The oversupply had affected the value of the knives. 

Soon the resale value of a club knife was the same as the knife without the club markings.

In the end, the NKCA folded.  The exact date seems hard to determine.

There are still more than enough hard feelings to go around.  In 2010 an NKCA life member posted on Blade Forum:

“The NKCA became a slick scam by a series of office managers and presidents and sgt. at arms and various other 'officials' who helped to bankrupt what was a 3,500-member organization with a brick-and-mortar, state-of-the-art museum that I am grateful to have visited once.  Jim Parker, bless his soul, bought the land for 50 thousand and built the museum.  The thieves and scoundrels; yes, you heard right, going back to the thief who never delivered the pearl-handled 'club' knife forced the closure of the museum and the sale of the museum property for 1 million, all of which went to pay the NKCA's debts.  They should all have been 'hung'; both men and women!"

So, club knives?  Are they a scam?  A gimmick to make money and attract members?

Maybe, but I suggest you buy based on what you like and not a financial investment.  The 1986 NKCA knife was sold for $39.00 or $106 in 2023 dollars.  I found my knife for around $50, but I see others trying to sell at $125 and they collect dust. 

Will the WRCA club knife increase in value or just get lost of the ubiquitousness of club knives?

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

TOPS Lite Trekker

 One of my favorite fixed blades is the TOPS Lite Trekker.  It is a little lightweight knife that performs in a heavier weight class.  I picked mine up at the 2015 Blade Show.  Seems a company was offering free laser engraving with your purchase.  Somehow, the wrong name was lasered into the steel and I found it marked down on the last day of the show.

Why would I want a knife with someone else’s name on it, especially a misspelled name with lots of tricky letters and vowels?

Simple, I had the retailer laser out the name, leaving me with just the show date.  Later, I wrote an article about it for Knife Magazine.  Yes, Mr. Pasknyuskas III’s knife worked out well for me.

The knife locks into a deep kydex sheath with a positive click.  It’s not about to bounce out and be lost in the weeds because you took a fall.  The overall length is 8.75 inches long.  The blade measures out  to 4.25 inches long.  The Lite Trekker weighs in at 5.1 ounces.

TOPS describes the blade as a Hunters Point.  I see it as a basic drop point.  The steel is 1095 carbon, so a little oil and blade dressing is needed to keep the edge in great shape.  The steel is hardened to a RC 56-58.

I hear you.  I know a bunch of you whiny little mall commandos are telling me you only carry the newest super steel hardened to at least RC 60.  I’m not going to attempt to convert you, but remember, hardness and brittleness are related and a bent knife is still a knife but a broken blade is just junk!

I’m going to swap out the olive green paracord for something a little brighter to make it easier to find when I place it on the ground.

The Lite Trekker comes with a variety of color inserts built into the handle.  I like mine a lot and you can find it at  with a MSRP of $195.