Tag Archives: Knives

Tired of Tantos.

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I’m tired of Tantos.  Once again the Tanto Rage is in full swing and all the new blades I’ve been seeing… the ones other guys are all “Look at this” all about… They are all Tantos.   The Tanto design is completely over rated.  While it has it’s Pro’s, I’ve found over time that the Cons are out-weighting them.   I’m not going to go into a Nut’n Fancy detailed breakdown of all the points and elements.  These should be apparent to you… you’re a big boy and Google is your friend.

I use my knives a lot.  My “Tactical” knives – most guys keep them well oiled and unused in their “Kit”.  Totally razor sharp.  In case of Zombies, or a call from SECDEF requesting the use of their particular sets of skills.   I’m not that guy anymore.  So all my throat slitting, 4/5 rib punchers get used for other things.  Like what they are designed to actually do – cut things.  Not “Testing” by chopping tree limbs, bending the blade sideways or all the other “Torture” tests people do.   No, I used them to cut things.  Like food.  My Combat Bowie?  That’s become my favorite BBQ knife.    I don’t care if a blade is forged by Hephaestus himself out of meteorite and the souls of fallen Samurai.  It’s pulling KP over here.  It’s going to open packages.  It’s going to slice sheets of vinyl.  It’s going to do the every day menial tasks that is of the peasant class, not the warrior class.

full_gi-tanto-80pgtk-full-1I’ve found that Tanto knives are cool looking, but they don’t like to really work.   For the most part, much of the cutting ends up happening at the point of the blade where there should be a wide curve.  Instead there is a sharp angle.  This is an exaggeration of the original design and is a modern invention from fantasy.  And it puts all the cutting in real world use at that point.  Which will dull easily and quickly regardless of how elite the steel is.  Now, I’m not talking about swords or sword length blades.  I’m talking about knives.  One handed, and generally under 18 inches of blade length.

CS88SDI feel no sense of history or belonging with a Tanto.  It’s not culturally connected to my heritage.  Of course, the blade that does connect with me culturally is of little actual field use either… but I know it’s a part of my family history in early times before they came to America.   These are actually good for deboning and slicing baked goods.   But that’s not entirely the point either.   When I pick up a Tanto, there is no connection to my past in any way.   They feel hollow to me these days.   There is no feeling patriotism.   I have one tanto bladed knife left.  It was a gift from friends… I will never part with it.   All my other Tantos have been given away or just lost and I’ve not bothered searching for them.

My favorite blade, that touches on my American Heritage, and makes me feel that sense of “this belongs here”… are the Bowie Knives.

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Bowies can be big and beautiful.  They can be elegant and refined.   They speak of our Frontier History as a razor sharp national icon.  The Bowie is as American as the 1911 pistol and a Harley Davidson motorcycle.  The actual history of the Bowie has some questions as to the design.  The first Bowie Knife designed by Jim Bowie, carried and used famously by Jim Bowie… we don’t know what that knife looks like.  Or the actual size.  It was just reported to be a big freaking knife.   But the modern style of what we call a Bowie fills the void of details just fine.  The style is unique in a large blade, and translates well into smaller blades.  It’s beautiful and it’s effective… and best yet it actually works.

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Now, I’m not about high polished elegance and all that.  I like working blades.  Just like my guns.  They need to speak of their use and capability.   They need to tell you just by their appearance that they will do horrible things to you.  They need to tell you to be careful with them… and that they don’t care if they have to hurt.   That’s a real Bowie to me.   One of my favorites that says all that is from ZOMBIE TOOLS.   These guys got the Bowie just right.  And added some serious DGAF attitude.

I think that’s probably the #1 thing that Tantos just don’t have.  Attitude.  They don’t don’t have that machismo.   CHARACTER.  The most interesting man in the world wouldn’t carry or use a Tanto.  Most importantly… a Tanto is unfit for use in preparing and serving BBQ and spending the day Grilling.

Go get yourself a damn Bowie Knife.

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Favorite Blade Roster

I have a lot of favorite knives, but most are from only a few sources.  I’m set in my ways… so mostly I like the Plain and Plain Edged versions of these knives instead of Serrated or Coated if those are options.  And some are no longer in production .  I also favor larger knives as a bigger blade makes work easier.   The Spyderco Native is probably the smallest of the knives on this list outside of the Spikes.  Why I like the Spikes so much?  I’ve no idea – I just do.
Is there a knife on this list that you like too?  Or is there a knife on this list that you just hate?   Let me know.

Fixed Blades:
Ka-Bar Becker BK9 Combat Bowie*
Ka-Bar Becker BK2 Companion*
Ka-Bar Becker BK11 Necker*
Ka-Bar “Big Brother”.
Ka-Bar “Warthog”.
Buck Omni Hunter 12pt*
Cold Steel Recon Tanto
Cold Steel SRK
Cold Steel Trail Master
Cold Steel Marauder
Cold Steel Scottish Spike
Cold Steel Tokyo Spike
Spyderco Warrior (Formerly known as the REKAT Hobbit Warrior**)
Ontario Marine Raider

Folding Blades:
Buck 110
Buck 110 Paperstone*
Spyderco Native*
Spyderco Native Stainless**
Spyderco Endura
Spyderco Police*
Spyderco Ulize
Spyderco Chinook*
Cold Steel AK-47*
Cold Steel Voyager
Cold Steel Recon Clip Point
Cold Steel Vaquero Grande*
Cold Steel Espada XL G-10*
Cold Steel Talwar XL G-10*
Benchmade AFCK***
Benchmade Rift Osbourne
Benchmade Bedlam*
Benchmade Onslaught
Benchmade Mini-Onslaught*
Kershaw Knockout*
Kershaw Blur

Hawks:
Anything Designed by RMJ Tactical

*Especially Favorited
** Unicorn Knife – Always wanted, never been able to snag.
*** Wish they would bring back!

The Blade Show

So I finally made it to the Blade Show.  It was fun and I saw many wonderfully crafted bits of sharp metal.  I was tempted greatly to buy many of the wonderfully crafted bits of sharp metal.
A couple of the blades I really liked were from Fremont Knives in Wyoming.   The one they call the Farson Blade, I found most interesting and think it would be very useful.   They also have it in a hatchet style tool.  Of course this is too light to be used like some camp hatchets… But damn if that wouldn’t be awesome for use as a cleaver.  These would be put to great use in the Ogre’s Grilling While Armed Echo Laboratory.
Now, the coolest stuff that resonated with me, was Zombie Tools.

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ZT was holding court in style in the lounge, chilling and drinking cold ones, and talking blades with whoever wanted to talk.   They have a wicked Gladius type blade that I love, their axe, (which they call the Traumahawk – shit, I love their names) the cleavers… Gotta have me the Rat Bastard…   Freaking everything they make is just badass to the bone.  Finally meeting them face to face was the highlight.

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Buck 110 Ecolite

Remember me talking about this knife… like back in the Spring?  Well the order I put in for one never showed up so I did a One Click order on Amazon.com and bam.  I finally have it in my ogerish paws.

The Buck 110 Folding Hunter is the lock-blade knife that legitimized folding knives for any serious use.  It wasn’t the first, but it was at the time the best.  Good sized clip point blade, good steel, and a solid lock that just flat out works.  It was the Folder to have for years.

Now the Buck 110 is still popular among the Outdoorsmen, but the Tactical community looks askance at it. It is heavy.  It is shiny.  It doesn’t have a pocket clip, assisted opening mechanism, or any gadget or do-dad to make it tacticool.  It’s simply a knife.  And that’s what I like about it.

The Ecolite version (I got the green one – don’t be shocked) fixes two of the 110’s major complaints from the Tactical Guys.  It’s not shiny and its not heavy.  I do wish it had a pocket clip, but I can live without it.  I mean, don’t we have enough pockets and pouches and things we can carry it in?  If not, it comes with its own.  It’s nylon and black and can be worn vertically or horizontally.   It’s a little off the beaten path for those that want to be Contractor Cool, but it’s worth looking at.  Why?  I’m seeing the Buck 110 as being the edged equivalent of the 1911.  It’s a pioneer and its still every bit as good now as it was back in the day.  In fact, the day is far from over for both of these classics.

The 110 Ecolite is sporting handles made of what Buck is called Paperstone.  It’s a strong compound material that looks handsome, and really does keep the knife light.  It might, I dare say, it even makes the knife more useful, as one is going to be less prone to leave the at home and use something else.  And don’t think it’s too large. That’s crap. Your cell phone is probably the size of four of these knives.

I really like the knife.  Wish I had it a lot sooner.

 

CRKT, I don’t like them.

CRKT makes a lot of good looking blades… and they are popular with a lot of my friends and other Gun Owners who are into knives.  However there is something about CRKT that is a bit off.

For one thing, it’s their locks… or LAWKS as they say.  Gimmicky locking mechanisms don’t make a for a good blade.  A good blade is all about the blade.  And CRKT has some great looking ones, but the company takes shortcuts.  Steel quality, heat treatments… I don’t know what it is with these guys but every blade I’ve had from CRKT has gone dull faster than knife made from silly putty.  You take any CRKT knife and it can be made twice as good if they had got rid of the silly gimmicks and concentrated on making really good blades.  Like Buck.  It used to be that I’d not own a Buck.  Now I’ve purchased a couple and they are great knives.  Why?  They have great blades.  A knife is a sharp edge of metal… the cutting edge is the most important.  Everything else is just to make that edge usable.   Now I know others will say that they had great luck with their CRKT knives.  And that’s fine.  But I use my knives hard.  I’m not saying you don’t, just that my other knives hold their edges a lot better.

Going Classic… kinda

I wanted a new pocket knife.  I know, I have a bunch… but I’ve carried all of them and they have lint on them now.  You know what I mean?  That and they are mostly all “Tactical” of some sort.   Well, one of my favorites has been a Buck Avid Select.  The problem it has is that it feels too delicate for hard work.  It’s a great knife and wicked sharp… but I want something a little more tough.  This thin Buck though has made me look at other Buck knives and I kinda kept coming back to the classic 110 Folding Hunter.  The Buck 110 is what really started the folding knife as being an acceptable outdoorsman’s knife.  The lock mechanism, the clip point blade, and a good size made it great knife for all around use.   Continue reading Going Classic… kinda