Sunday, July 10, 2011

MIA: Stuff not in the Recommendations

So as you read the recommendation series of commentaries you might be saying to yourself "Where the hell is X?". Generally, I tried to select things that I find interesting. I might have different tastes than you so that may be the simple explanation for the omission. In some cases there is a bit more.

Where the Hell are the Sodbusters, Pinched Peanuts, Canoes and other traditional-style knives?

They are in your grandpa's attic and that is where they belong. Seriously, these knives just don't interest me at all. I understand the tradition. I know Case makes really nice stuff, but I just can't get excited about a knife that lacks a clip, a lock, and a convenient way of opening the knife. That means, for me, it is missing 3 of the 4 ingredients that make a modern knife (the 4th being modern steel). This not the difference between manual transmission and automatic transmission, it is the difference between power steering and unassisted steering.

If you have to have one: A.G. Russell Hen and Rooster Model 107. The fit and finish rival any production knives I have seen and I have only handled a USED version of this knife. How polished is it? Even the liners are mirror polished.

Where the hell are the multi-cell flashlights?

In the closet, backpack, or drawer where you store your flashlights, which is probably where they have been most of the time because they are not convenient to use and carry regularly. Sure you get some extra lumens and runtime and in some models a bit more throw, but in the end, these lights are just too big to be useful on a regular basis. The other issue is that modern single cell lights have improved in quality so much that the performance gap doesn't justify the inconvenience.

If you have to have one: Surefire Lumamax LX2. This is a nice light with a really innovative clip. It is just slightly too big to stuff in your pocket. If you carry a bag then this is no problem. It is pricey though.

Where the hell are the fixed blade EDC knives?

They are in Bartertown with the rest of Max Rockatansky's weapons. Seriously, there are not too many places where you can unsheath a knife and not draw a bunch of looks. It is not about being socially acceptable, it is about using the stuff you carry. You can go and be a weirdo all you want, but really, fixed blades aren't convenient. If that doesn't dissuade you maybe the looks of "Oh My God" might (or should be) enough to convince you not to pull out the knife. If that's the case, then it is not likely to be used, and then what's the point of carrying it? If your in law enforcement or an emergency responder then I can see the merits of a small, tough fixed blade. If not, leave them to Mad Max.

If you have to have one: ESEE Izula. The blade shape is really nice, the hollow hand makes it light and the size is not TOO intimidating. And it is cheap, cheap, cheap.

Where the hell is the gear from Gerber?

In the trash. It is all either junk or overpriced underperforming wastes of money. There is nothing here to recommend. One small and elegant exception: the Gerber Shard. Poor man or smart man's Atwood? Depends on how much you think a tiny bar of steel can be worth.