Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April 2016 Carry

In a weird turn of events, April was significantly colder this year than March.  It snowed at the beginning of the month and closed out at 46 degrees.  There were some warm moments in between, but unlike most of the time, the weather had little bearing on what I carried.  The reason was simple--the production Aeon Mk. III arrived.  To say it is splendid is like saying the Bugatti Veyron is fast, it's true, but vastly underrates that truth.  This is not just a great light, but a great piece of gear.  Who else does near space testing?  That kind of test makes Cold Steel Proof videos look like they were for preschoolers.

My knife carry was rather stale, as two knives that I am waiting for are well overdue.  The Darriel Caston Kadima and the DPx Urban, both Kickstarter blades, are more than a month past their predicted release date.  It's not surprising, given how KS projects usually go, but the Urban was supposed to ship in February.  I can wait, of course.  It's not like I have zero knives, but it is a bit frustrating to see DPx release another knife, the Chop, between the close of the Urban's KS and the Urban's actual shipping to customers.  I am sure that was not the plan.  Given when the Chop was announced, DPx likely had them staggered so that the Urban would ship and a month later, building on the momentum, the Chop would release, but alas the Fates have conspired against us.  

I also had something of a sale on my knives.  The Indian River Jack fell victim to the Canal Street Cutlery Boy's Knife.  Both are superior tools, but I like the Boy's Knife better and the IRJ sat in my knife chest.  It had to go.  I also let go of my beloved Gedraitis Pathfinder.  This was something of a hard choice, as the knife is simply amazing, but I realized that for the vast majority of people a flipper is inherently threatening, even if looks all purdy.  Finally, I got rid of the Paramilitary 2 in Elmax.  Nothing against the knife at all, it's spectacular, but I just wasn't carrying it all that often.  When I need hard use I usually go for my Jarosz JFS, which, in sheath, is the same size as the PM2 is closed. 

Anyway, here we go (note: there is a lot of Aeon):

Even though the Pioneer X is out I still like my custom SAK from SAKModder.  The clip is awesome and the anodizing is quite good:


SAKModder Pioneer and Aeon Mk. 3

When I am not sure what the day holds--whether it will require a repair to a toy or the door to my car, or just beers, the Pioneer is a winner.  And the fact that it is very similar in color to the Aeon Mk. 3 is a huge bonus.

Here was a common set up--lots of clean, awesome gear.


Gareth Bull Shamwari, Aeon Mk. 3, and Sinn 556i

Not having a Sebenza and being a knife guy is strange, but it is hard to justify a Sebenza when I have the Shamwari which I think is just a better design.  The steel, N690, is probably worse than S35VN, but I couldn't tell the difference.  This isn't a beater, so steel doesn't matter that much.  I still dislike the pocket clip.

Here is a funny EDC, beauty and the beast:


ZT0909 and the Aeon Mk. 3

It is hard to find a knife that is bigger than the ZT0909 and still useful.  I liked it a lot and I was surprised at how good the handle was and how capable the grind is.  Thanks Jonathan for the recommendation.

And finally, a bit of palette cleansing:


MBI HF-R and Ver Steeg Imp

It is really important to me that I don't just become a "flavor of the month" reviewer.  With gear there is so much out there and stuff comes out so quickly that even great stuff can be forgotten.  As good as the Aeon Mk. 3 is, I want to make sure that it stacks up to other historically great stuff and the MBI HF-R is still uber competitive in the market, more than a year after its release.  The Imp, is, simply put, one of my three favorite knives I have ever owned.  Front pocket fixed blades are great.  Thanks Kyle!

May looks like a good month--I have a Mnandi coming (the Pathfinder's less aggro replacement) and a Busse second gen Battle Mistress coming.  Talk about two diametrically opposed knives.  I can't wait. 


  1. Great post Tony. I am glad you are giving the "new nick" Mnandi a chance. I have never understood the criticism of it being more difficult to open than the old nick--I have owned both, and the new nick is just as easy to open. You need to use a pinching action between two figures to break the detent, and then you can roll the blade out as normal. I learned it within the first 5 seconds I owned a new nick Mnandi. Some may argue it's not "intuitive" or "organic," but neither was flipping open a knife when flippers became all the rage--that is a much weirder motion (totally reposition hand so index finger is on flipper, hit flipper, totally reposition hand so as to actually grip the knife.) Everyone I know that likes flippers has actually dropped a knife while trying to flip it because the grip when flipping is insecure. The new nick Mnandi is fine in comparison. Plus, the new clip looks much better and S35vn is a big upgrade over S30v IMO.

    I am the guy who bought your Gedraitis. It's a dream come true, thank you for a great deal. I get your point about the threatening nature of flippers to the general public, but I have found myself using the same "Mnandi pinch" to open the Pathfinder at times in certain settings. Works just as well... but no, I will not sell it back to you!

    1. Nah, the new nick is less convenient than a normal 1-hand opener. The Mnandi is still great, though. Amazingly refined design.

      The pocket clip on the new-gen Mnandi is the single finest pocket clip I've ever used. It is perfection.

  2. What? You got rid of the IRJ?! Sacrilege! Nice carries Tony. I look forward to your take on the Battle Mistress and the new Mnandi. -Dan

  3. I'm jealous of all this Mnandi talk.

    Been really enjoying a Bark River Mikro Canadian, so I get you on the front pocket fixed blade love.

  4. Ugh, Tony. I am mulling over getting a Muyshondt Aeon Mk III in either deep indigo or desert tan, and as you may remember, I also have a three-layer blue anodized SAKmodder knife with a pocket clip (though mine has seen more service so the anodizing shows significantly more wear). The only reason I'm deliberating between the two colors is that I'm not sure how similar the Deep Indigo is to SAKmodder's blue anodizing. That first picture... I can feel the money flying out of one pocket, and the blue Aeon Mk III flying into the other...

  5. I am also waiting on my DPx Urban (Mr. Dp) but I'm sure it will be worth the wait. Very stoked for this one! What kind of edition do you get?

    1. I got the sterile edition. The DPx logo drives me crazy.