Why should everyday carry gear be boring? If every day you’re like, ‘Oh gees, this heavy, plain, boring thing again that I have to hook to my belt,’ you’re eventually going to stop caring whether you have it on you or not. We predict that will never happen with this coin claw.
Designed by Serge Knives – we have to say we’ve never seen another knife in this style that is this high quality. To me, this claw coin is the perfect pocket size. No one would ever even know you have it. It’s just slightly larger than a quarter…sort of in between quarter size and half-dollar coin size. The curved blades follow the arc of the circle as they open.
When they’re closed, the coin is 1 5/8 of an inch in diameter and it’s 2 5/8-inch when open. The 1-inch blade stays securely closed when it isn’t in use thanks to a slipjoint-like built-in spring. This is good because you wouldn’t want this baby opening up unexpectedly when it’s in your pocket! They come in different colors on the blade holster part of the coin.
At least the first generation of the claw coins were made with your choice of CTS-XHP, 154-CM, or CPMS30V steel for the blade. The housing is built from 6AL4V titanium using stainless screws. When we first heard of these knives Serge Knives had some available. They’re no longer available now but the website is offering a sign-up for alerts about more being made. That’s one mailing list we want to be on.
Images courtesy of SergeKnives.com
Everyday carry is a concept that most firearm owners know these days, however this should include more than just a firearm. I have had a few people ask me what my everyday carry load-out is and why, so I figured that this would be a great topic to cover.
Ask anybody you know, what are the things you have on you every time you leave the house? There will be a list, some shorter than others but the point remains; everybody has some sort of “everyday carry” items. Those of us that carry concealed do as well, ours just may be a bit more extensive. What should this list consist of though? What should we have on us at minimum, especially if we are carrying concealed?
First things first, something I was told a long time ago has really stuck: Bad guys travel in packs. What does this mean for us and how can I apply this concept to my everyday carry load-out? The first thing to touch on is also the first problem I encounter with everyday carry pistols. The three “C’s” of concealed carry are: Concealability, capacity and caliber.
You are always going to sacrifice in one of these categories. More often than not, I run into people that go out and get the smallest pistol they can find, because it’s easier to conceal. Now, with the smallest pistol you can find, you sacrifice in capacity, so I see people try to compensate by finding the smallest pistol in the largest caliber possible. While this is an option, there is a better solution that many don’t consider: carry at least one back up magazine. My general rule of thumb is to never leave the house with less than 25 rounds. With that I am comfortable in dealing with any situation that may arise, potentially multiple threats, and subsequently being able to control my scene until help arrives.
The next aspect of everyday carry that I see many people ignore or fail to consider is that roughly half of every day is night. Therefore, it would be wise to carry a light. I personally carry two separate lights on my person at all times. One is a weapon-mounted light and one is a pocket light. This allows me to utilize the weapon-mounted light in a self-defense situation in low light conditions. Not all situations are going to justify me drawing my firearm however, so if this is my only light I would not be able to utilize it in every situation that I may need a light. One thing to consider as well, both of my lights use the same type of battery. If one goes down I have uniformity, therefore I can switch a battery out and get my light that I need back up and running.
A few other things I always have in my everyday carry load-out are: a knife, some kind of medical or trauma kit, and pepper spray or some other less-than-lethal defensive weapon. If I am going to carry a firearm for self-defense purposes it would be advisable to carry a medical or trauma kit to deal with any injuries sustained in a situation should I need to defend my life or the life of another. There are a ton of places to get pre-made medical and trauma kits online, or you can build your own. There are also tutorials online that will walk you through what should be in a medical kit should you want to make your own for your everyday carry bag.
Does it matter if your knives and other accessories are carbon steel or stainless steel? Let’s examine the difference of carbon steel versus stainless steel for your everyday carry items.
First of all, let’s give a little explanation of the different types of steel that you are likely to encounter in this situation. When you get into serious cooking in a kitchen, either professionally or as an avid home cook, you’ll probably figure out that high-end kitchen knives are made of carbon steel whereas the silverware on the table is typically stainless steel.
Backtracking even more, what is steel? Steel is an alloy, which is the metallurgic word for combination. The combination of iron and carbon makes steel. I’m not a metallurgist, so this is a very basic explanation. Carbon is added to iron ore generally in the form of coke, which is a high-carbon content material made from coal.
Stainless steel also has iron ore and carbon but it also has a bit of chromium added to the original steel. This chromium adds resistance to corrosion and rust. That’s probably easy to remember because that’s why we call it “stainless.” Chromium is what gives stainless steel silverware its characteristic silver “sheen.” It doesn’t tarnish or show water spots. It doesn’t rust very easily. A stainless steel knife will rust, it will just take longer. Stainless steel is also harder to sharpen. It is considered a “softer” steel, which means it won’t take an edge as readily as other forms of steel. This “softness” means that if it is bent it will likely be fine.
Carbon steel is steel that has an increase in hardness. This hardness issue can be a little confusing. It is considered to be a “harder” steel, but it also increases its brittleness. Scientifically, this is described as being less “ductile.” Ductility is the material’s ability to deform under stress. So a stainless steel knife blade may bend a little under stress whereas the carbon steel blade won’t. This means it’s more likely to chip if you drop it.
Along with the hardness comes the fact that a carbon steel blade can be more highly sharpened. It takes an edge more easily than stainless. The knife is overall “harder” meaning stronger, but the edge can also chip more easily and gets worn down faster. Carbon steel will stain more readily, so it should be cleaned right after use. It should not be left wet for very long. You can rub the blade with mineral oil to form a protective coating that prevents rust when your knife isn’t being used.
High carbon steel knives simply have more carbon added. The increased carbon increases the steel’s hardness (it takes an edge even better) but it also increases its ductility an equal measure.
Because stainless is less prone to rusting, if you’re in a wet environment and are going to be using your knife on a boat, in the rain, in snow, or generally near a lot of water, you might opt for stainless. It really depends on what type of knife you want. If you’re willing to give your knife ongoing, maybe sometimes daily care and take care of it, you might want a carbon or high-carbon steel knife. If you want a razor’s edge and you’re willing to sharpen your knife frequently to get that edge, you want a carbon steel knife.
If you want an EDC knife that will be there when you need it, not need a lot of extra care and handling and will be less likely to chip if you drop it you probably want a stainless steel knife. Stainless knives won’t stay sharp as long and won’t get sharpened to a razor’s edge to the same degree as carbon steel, so you’ll need to continually sharpen your stainless knife if you want a really sharp edge.
What are your thoughts on the best type of EDC knife to carry?
Here are a couple of examples of affordable EDC knives in both categories.
The Kershaw Cryo Knife
This knife has a stainless steel blade and a stainless steel handle. It’s a sturdy pocket-size folding knife with a secure locking blade and opens via a thumbstud or flipper. A good deal at only $56 from the Kershaw website (it seems to be cheaper on Amazon so check around).
The Opinel Carbone
Another pocket-size basic everyday carry knife, this one from Opinel is a 3.35-inch folding knife with a beechwood handle. Beech is a hard wood and has an elegant look. But, it even says right in the description, “can corrode easily” and the manufacturer advises users to avoid dampness and wipe and grease the blade after use. That means after every use! So if that sounds like too much work for you, stick with stainless. On the bright side, this knife comes from the Opinel website for only $15.