I have a mental rule of thumb--if there is snow on the ground on Opening Day, this year March 29, it was a bad winter. Welp, it was a really bad winter. Actually it was an average winter in terms of overall snowfall, it just happened to all fall during March. The result is the carry here is still winter carry.
There is no slouch here. The BOSS 35 (review link) is just an incredible light. It does everything well and every single detail is SPOT on. This is a tough competitor to the recently arrived Muyshondt Beagle. I can't wait to write that review and then get to the Shootout (with the HDS Rotary serving as the third entrant--a trio of the best high performance lights on the market--no show pieces or machining exercises here). The Eco (purchase link) is the cheap item here and it really throws off the scale for pens. This is a $90 pen that sells for $30. And yes, I like the Half Track (purchase at Blade HQ).
I am not sure how I feel about the S1 (purchase at Blade HQ), but I do like the size of the knife. There aren't a lot of good small flippers, for obvious reasons, but this little blade has good action. Its the pokey clip and the sharp flipper tab that gives me pause. We'll see. The Titan Plus (review link/purchase link), with the new clip and the lanyard delete, is a truly amazing light. Too bad it doesn't come like this stock.
This is a very solid EDC with no real weaknesses. The MaxMadco (review link) is the best all around EDC pen on the market. Its simple and straight forward with a still not yet bested bolt action. The Gent (review link) is an all time classic and it is less than two months old. I love this knife. And the S1R (review link/purchase link), well, it is a smoking good little torch and part of a great system of lights.
Holy moley, this is an unusual set up. The Beagle is a light that nicely rivals the Boss 35. The SK23 is a knife design packed with enough innovation that it resulted in Kevin's rookie effort being made into a Spyderco collab. The Decograph (review link) is a good pen, albeit a bit pricey for what you get.
The FRN Chap (purchase link) is, like the TWSBI, a scale reset. Just exactly how do you purchase a Delica over this knife? A Mini Grip? A...well, fill in the blank. Its a dominating blade at a crucial price point with a stellar design and a very good steel. If you have no knife or two hundred knives and you don't own one of these, buy one now. Its amazing.
The Reylight (purchase link) is clearly the best 1xAA light on the market, heads and shoulders over the body tube swaps from Eagletac and oLight. With a little work you can make this a tritium-based fireworks display. The clip is good. The light escapes are effective. The light tailstands. There is literally nothing missing here. It is a superb torch. Matching that is the quirky slipjoint from Massachusetts' best knife company, Three Rivers Manufacturing. The Viator is slim, just the right size, and has elite slicing abilities. This is a great knife, but don't think that is a thumb hole. This is a strictly two-handed affair.
I don't get it. The Alcyone (purchase at Blade HQ) is a great knife, a cheap knife (for the new post-MAP'd Spyderco), and a sterling design, but it is apparently a sales disaster. It is basically the best budget Spyderco of all time by a wide margin. I love this knife even if it lacks a lot of the features of newer design--choil, wire clip, you know. Still, BD-1 is a great budget steel and when ground this thin the knife is a good cutter.
As the Bravo 1 (review link/purchase at Blade HQ) has aged, the natural micarta has turned a deep butterscotch. The blade is still incredible and the convex edge loves biting into stuff. The stock sheath was, if you remember, a nightmare and so I opted for an awesome sheath from my favorite sheath maker Bayou Custom Sheathes. With winter tapering down, I thought it was time for a good fixed blade picture.