Monday, February 29, 2016

February 2016 Carry

In New England we expect one thing in February--misery.  This year we got just enough snow to remind us what real New England winters are like.  To that end my carry was a bit different than last year.  Last year was the snowiest in the last 100 years, so it was a lot of Leatherman Skeletool (my favorite carry for snow removal) and HDS Rotary (my go to light in tough situations).  This year I was able to carry a much wider array of things.  The ability, however, didn't mean that I did.  A lot of flashlight carry was confined to the Surefire Titan Plus.  As I noted in my review, it's a somewhat dated design (it would be goddam perfect if it had a staged twisty like the Aeon Mk. II), but that didn't stop me from reaching for it a lot.  The reality is that it's just a great sized package with tons of light.  That's a combination that is hard to complain about (even for me, a professional complainer--I am a lawyer remember).

The knife that I had a lot of the time was this blade:


I really, really like the Mantra 1.  It is definitely my favorite flipper from Spyderco and the question for the review, which is in the works, is whether or not it's as good as some of the best flippers on the market.  The choice of steels results in complex feelings--one one hand M4 rusts almost as fast as Corten, but on the other it holds an edge and slices better than any steel out there.  Spyderco really should have used one of the M390 family of steels, but then the price would have been much higher and the knife would compete with their premium flippers in terms of price.  

I also had a chance to play around with two new CRKT fixed blades, the Mossback Hunter


and Bird and Trout.


Both are Krein creations and both sport Krein's awesome handle design.  The sheathes stink, but the blades themselves are quite handy.  The Hunter fits into a sweet spot for fixed blades for me--choppers can't do much else other than chop (yes, I have seen the videos of machete masters getting all sorts of performance out of their Tramontinas).

In addition to the CRKT fixed blades I got a Jettison to handle.  It is a positively tiny knife, but it flips with an impressive snap.  Here it is with Surefire Titan Plus at the Beneski Museum of Natural History, which is a free and wonderful place on the campus of Amherst College (the background is a piece of polished petrified wood):


Another piece of kit that came in recently, one that has really captured my brain, is the Edison Pen Company Pearlette (here is the link to Edison).  Here it is with the Shamwari:


The Pearlette is modeled after a Nakaya, which, I think will eventually be a will be a while though because the Pearlette is pretty darn spectacular and has worked very, very well thus far in my really unfairly hard fountain pen testing regime.


I am looking forward to March as I have a few new things in that have really intrigued me. 


  1. What is the knife in the last picture, with the Fenix light?

  2. M4's potential for tarnish is the only thing that gives me pause about the Mantra. (I imagine it's joyous to slice with.)

    Do you have any tricks for treating/oiling M4 to prevent oxidation? One dude on YT mentioned seasoning the blade with FrogLube, a food safe CLP gun lube product.

    S35VN would be a practical stainless alternative at the price point. It does, however, lack M4's marketing pizzazz.

  3. With its tapering handle and that blade shape, the Jettison reminds me of a tiny, flipper-deployed version of the Blackhawk Be-Wharned -- a low-profile yet nasty fighting folder designed by Martial Blade Concepts guru Mike Janich.


    The Be Wharned terminates in a scarily acute, slim point that is kind of fragile; not appropriate for utility work beyond light chores.

    The Jettison's tip is swedged and the angle looks shallower -- all which makes sense for a little EDC knife.

  4. How are you using your skeletool for snow removal? Couldn't work out that bit.

    1. Haha, I was wondering the same. It seems like a regular pools scraper would work better...

    2. I use it mostly to remove the sheer pin on my snow blower. The other uses include grabbing icy locks and electrical socket covers. Mainly it is the sheer pin thing.