Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Current Light&Saber Pairs

I rarely show you the gear I own and carry because I am fortunate enough to be testing review samples on a regular basis.  I have reviewed everything that I have purchased, but still, I thought it would be nice to see everything paired up together in one spot.  I'll give a brief description of the gear and when I carry it, linking to reviews whenever possible.

Small High Performance EDC


Light: Muyshondt Aeon Aluminum
Knife: Spyderco Dragonfly II with ZDP-189 blade

This is the pair I carry most often when not reviewing gear.  It is also something I carry when reviewing stuff as a sort of comparison or baseline.  I like to split it up and carry the Aeon when I am working on a knife review so that I don't really have to think about the light I'm carrying and I do the opposite when reviewing a torch.   Even 18 months later I still can't find a light or a knife I like better than these two, both are all time classics.  They also taught me the value of having light, low maintenance gear--its there when you need it ready to go, but never interferes with what you are doing.

High End EDC


Light:  McGizmo XPG Haiku
Knife:  Chris Reeve Small Sebenza 21 with S30V

I keep these on my desk organizer and carry them when I can hide bigger pieces of gear.  Both are really excellent tools.  Sometimes the Dragonfly is a little too small and the Aeon can't quite throw enough.  In those cases, I'll carry these.  I usually carry them when out for a walk at night or if I am going hiking (and not testing out gear).  They have never given me any problems whatsoever.  Furthermore I think they are handy to have as references for reviews.  Both are about as nice as you can rationally justify owning and in that sense they let me compare things easily.   If you had no idea what was coming next and just wanted to have two tools that will never let you down and work without trouble, these two are it--not too big, not too small.  Just right. 

Work/Office EDC


Light:  Steve Ku 40DD
Knife:  Bushido Mosquito Custom SAK Rambler

Both items are customs and I needed to go that route to get something that was small enough to carry everyday and still do what I need them to do.  There is really no production gear that offers this sort of performance for the size and weight.  The Quantum DD is every bit the equal to the 40DD, but the regular Rambler lacks a pocket clip, which makes it significantly less functional for me.  The ability to clip the SAK Rambler on my button down shirt's dress pocket and drop the 40DD in behind it makes this pair incredibly discrete and easy to carry.  I often pair it with a small primary blade, either the Al Mar Hawk Ultralight or Fox Cutlery SpyFox if I think there will be more than the few cutting tasks or if I need something to fidget with.     

Mid-Priced EDC


Light:  JetBeam RRT-01
Knife:  Benchmade MiniGrip 555hg

This pairing is a great set of tools, something I carry around when doing chores or home improvements (usually with a Skeletool CX).  These two tools do quite a bit plus their lower price tag, compared to the High End EDC makes me less worried to use them and less likely to baby them, though I don't really baby the Haiku/Small Sebeza.  Again, this pair serves as a benchmark as they are a great pair of mid-sized and mid-priced tools--they are perhaps the best light and best knife under $100 respectively.  Best UI on a light, best deployment method and lock on a knife.  I only wish the RRT-01 could stand up better than a drunk driver. 

Slim EDC


Knife: Benchmade Aphid
Light:  47s Preon 1 with Zodiac Tailcap

This is my discrete weekend carry.  They drop into my jeans pocket and disappear.  Both work quite well despite their size.  I love the Aphid, probably my second favorite small knife behind Dragonfly II.  It is a real shame that Benchmade discontinued this knife.  When I want a bit more people friendly slim EDC, I drop in a SAK Alox Cadet in the Aphid's knife slot.  The Preon 1 has, over time, become one of my three favorite lights, especially with the Zodiac Tailcap Mod, allowing the light to tailstand with a clicky.  Furthermore, the Zodiac Tailcap has NEVER accidentally activated in my pocket, unlike the 47s tailcap.  Totally worth the money. 

Advantage EDC 

Light: EagleTac Ti D25a XML
Knife: Tuff Thumbz Modded Buck Small Vantage Pro (A.K.A. the Advantage)

This is a pair I am not wholly satisfied with, as the EagleTac is not quite as cool and unique as the Advantage.  I have carried the knife a bit and Jeff did some real magic on it.  It is a wonderful knife in the hand and is an excellent user.   It is equally nice to look at as it is to carry thanks to the deep carry clip, which is my all time favorite. The form factor of the knife, which I loved so much, is retained while the fit and finish has been improved.  The D25a is still a nice little light, with my favorite tint of any light I own, but I need something added to it, maybe some flame treatment or cerakote to have it match the uniqueness of the Advantage.  Still a work in progress, but the bones are a great starting point--an excellent AA light with a Ti body. 

I hope you enjoyed this change of pace article.  It was fun to write. 


  1. I'd be interested how you store these items when you are not using them.

    I don't really have any good kind of system now, and my stuff is kind of in drawers around the house...

  2. Hey Tony,

    I was wondering if you've ever looked at the SAK Money Clip (http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-Army-Money-Silver/dp/B000FNIKUY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349197428&sr=8-1&keywords=swiss+army+money+clip)? It has larger scissors and blade than the Rambler, plus the file/flat head tool and is substantially thinner than the rambler. The clip is designed as a bill clip, but I have found it works *perfectly* as a pocket clip with a nice deep carry and the right balance of tension and grip. Might be a good subject for a review!

    My EDC is this SAK plus the Quantum DD I just picked up after your last review; Absolutely love the light and find these two together make a great minimalist carry. Love the reviews; keep them coming!

  3. "Both are about as nice as you can rationally justify owning"

    While I admire both the Haiku and the Sebenza I doubt if I'll ever buy a piece of gear at that price point. Owning a piece of perfection is tempting but we're still talking about a $500 flashlight. I have too many other things to spend money on.

    I also bought a Quantum DD after your review. I am quite pleased. Logan, thanks for the heads up about the SAK Money Clip. It's not a deep carry clip but it still looks promising.