Wednesday, April 4, 2012

State of the Blog and More Giveaways

So, with the end of March the site has reached a milestone.  All of the money from the AdSense revenue will, from here on out, be devoted to the grand prize giveaway of the McGizmo Haiku.  I am still working on the official rules, and when that it finished and I am convinced they are fair, I will post them (they are coming very soon, I promise).  But this leaves the Everyday Commentary coffers with a few bucks to spend (about $100 total).  I am determined to make this a strictly not-for-profit enterprise so none of this cash is going to me.  Instead, I have decided that I am going to use it to buy things for review and then give those things away.  I have a other few things already queued up for giveaways as well.  One giveaway will target the people that submitted entries for the logo contest but did not win.  The others will be random giveaways to people that follow the blog. 

With that said, here is what I would like to do.  I am DEFINITELY reviewing an Olight i1.  That is already on the list, but I have not decided on the other items.  I would like to buy at least one knife and one flashlight for review.  Ideally they would be in the "sweet spot" of the market--knives with blades around 2.5"-3" inches and single cell lights.  They would both sell for around $40-$75 a piece.  In my experience, looking at the data from the reviews page and the Google information I get, these items tend to be the most popular for review and based on the Amazon rankings, the most popular for purchase.  I would also like to increase my list of reviewed brands as well as looking at different mechanisms and UIs. A few other things--I'd like to get a light from either Fenix or JetBeam as I have not reviewed a lot of their products.  I'd like to get a knife from Boker or maybe one of the new Cold Steel blades.  A Kershaw blade would also be good.  In general I want to have a diverse database of reviews with lots of different brands and models, including what I think of as "touchstone" models, things like the Spyderco Tenacious or the Kershaw Skyline, gear that for one reason or another is the starting point for a lot of folks.

Here are the four finalists for the knife review and giveaway:

Boker Exskelibur II:  I liked the clean look of this knife and the opener is really different from most knives.  It'd be nice to add both a Boker to the list and a knife with this kind of opening device to the list at the same time.

Kershaw Ener G: Again a very clean look, but this is out of production, so I might have to go hunting for it.  If this is not an option then I might just review a Kershaw Zing.

Cold Steel Mini Recon I Drop Point: A new knife and one that seems to be about the right size, plus I think Cold Steel has turned the corner and is producing some of the finest designs out there.

AG Russell Titanium Button Lock: A new knife, a new brand, and a new locking mechanism, all in one knife.  This would be my absolute first choice, if it were a little cheaper. 

Here are the three finalists for the flashlight review and giveaway:

Fenix PD22:  The new standard bearer for Fenix--a dual switch flashlight that is still quite small.  I'd like to add more Fenix lights to the list and I'd like to try out the dual switch UI.

JetBeam BC10:  A super simple, basic EDC light.  This is a perfect light for beginners and I think a review of it may help out a lot of folks.

Nitecore EX11.2:  A brand I haven't reviewed yet and a UI I have only seen once (in the Arc 6, ugh....), so again two new things in one item.    

There are two polls over to the right, one for flashlights and one for knives.  Vote and in a week I will announce the winners and then once the AdSense check comes in (around the end of April) I will buy them, review them, and give them away.  Both of these giveaways will involve me randomly choosing among the list of followers.  This way you don't even have to comment to be eligible, just sign up.  Also, if you have OTHER recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments. 

And stay tuned, the rules for the Haiku giveaway are in the works.  I imagine I will announce them sometime in April.  Thanks again for the support and interest.


  1. Kershaw has a new model, I think 1555, that should be out soon. It reminds me of a blockier Spyderco Sage, with metal scales on the model I saw displayed on a video of Kershaw's new knives. It is much differenet from Kershaw's current offerings, of which I have 2 Skylines (I bought an insurance knife because I like the Skyline so well.) and an Oso Sweet. The new knife looks like something that would fit in a watch pocket, always a good thing for smaller carries. It might make for an interesting review because it is atypical for Kershaw and will make for interesting comparisons. Just my thoughts.

  2. Tony, If you like the Boker Exskelibur II, check out the Boker Exskelimoor II. Is has the same blade and opening but has two Titanium liners ('bur only has one) and wood scales. Price premium is not much. Rigidity and robustness is much better with the 'moor and there is zero weight difference. Thanks for your enjoyable and informative blog. Best HF

  3. I haven't seen a ton of reviews for Sunwayman products, although I'd guess they are in the same class as a Fenix or Olight. Maybe a V10R (1xCR123 with variable brightness)? As far as knives go, a Benchmade Impel would make a great review as automatic openers have been absent so far - although maybe I could do a review of that one for you once you publish the rules for the Haiku giveaway!

    1. I have a Sunwayman light on the way already. A Mr. Elfin should arrive in the next week and then a review two or three weeks after that. Check the "On Deck" list for when it arrives.

  4. I would recommend a review of a Preon P0. This light is one of their new AAA keychain lights that isn't any bigger than the needed AAA batteries and also includes the uncommon feature of a magnet in the base that allows you to attach it to any metal surface to make a stationary light when using the light to help you mechanic/do some plumbing.

    I have been using one since it came out and I do have some small complaints, but for the price point of ~$25, this is a pretty good light.

  5. Oh man, I am all about the Mini Recon 1 and the NiteCore. I've been curious about the Mini Recon 1 myself and would love your take. I'm also unfamiliar with NiteCore's products so I think that would be interesting to see as well. Regardless of how the polls shake out I am lookin forward to the new reviews!

  6. I'd be interested in a review of one of Spyderco's SLIPIT range. I know Spydercollector has raved about the Squeak:

  7. hey congratulations on your giveaways and the healthy state of your blog. Google Ads has largely been a waste of time for me. I have yet to reach the minimum amount for payment, and will probably take them down after that. Good job on keeping the blog active!