Friday, May 13, 2011

Novatac Liquidation and new Dragonflies

So if you are like me you get pounded every day with emails from this or that reseller advertising gear. Apparently, Novatac's off shores line up didn't sell well, as they are being liquidated by a bunch of places. The Novatac Storm is selling for $40. So is this a good deal?

In a word: no.

Here are some reviews of the Novatac Storm: Light-Reviews review, Bright Side review, and a YouTube review (embed is disabled on this review, but it is worth watching if your in the market, though some of the facts are wrong, it is not a USA made light).

I owned a Novatac Wichita, another product in the off shore line (i.e. any Novatac light other than the 120E, 120P, 120T, and 120M) and it was okay. As is par for the course with a Novatac, the beam was gorgeous. But the finish was flakier than dandruff. It seemed to be shedding from the moment it came out of the package. The form factor on the light is nice, really nice in fact, and it can tail stand well, but I strongly disliked the pocket clip. The light's modes and outputs are not well chosen or easy to get to. This was the light, along with the Lite Flux I had, that made me yearn for a simpler UI. The Storm can be hacked, as described here, to make it programmable. Also, there is a spring inside that makes the connection for the power, and it is flimsy and entirely unnecessary (but a cheap way to make the light work). If the Wichita is representative of the line, and I have no reason to think it is not, this is not a good buy, even at $40. At $30, that is a different question with a different answer. If I was in the market for a $40 light I'd look at the 4sevens MiNi CR123a or the very nice Leatherman Serac S3 (which I just got and will review).

Now on to news about my favorite animal and pocket knife--the dragonfly. If you watch these things, you'll have noticed that the Spyderco's H1 Dragonfly came out this week (even without a product page on the Spyderco website). Here is the knife, image courtesy of Spydercollector (though I think you could imagine what it looks like):

If you've been reading for a while, I think your already aware of how much I like the Dragonfly design. So adding the v2 upgrades AND the H1 steel make this knife a potential all time great. The only real problem is what super steel do you get: ZDP-189 or H1? I opted for the ZDP-189 version and a review is coming, but there is a very good argument for H1 (and even better argument for both, if you can afford it). I would love to know more, but Eric Glesser in an interview said that H1 cannot work in a FFG blade as small as the Dragonfly's, hence the saber grind. The upgrades to the body in the v2 design are worth the purchase alone, even if you owned a v1 Dragonfly. With the improved steels, I can't see how anyone could resist.

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