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.

Thanks to American Concealed for the previously published article.

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

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

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.


The Comparison

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.


SHOT Show wrapped up last week and while most of the focus at that show is guns (it stands for Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades), there were a lot of knives. As you can imagine, many different knife makers show their stuff at SHOT Show and it’s a pleasure to walk past a booth and be able to see so many different beautiful and functional knives. The knife maker CRKT is a favorite with our gear tester (you can read Rick’s review of the CRKT Homefront) and we were excited that there are new knives coming out.


The CRKT Pilar is supposed to be available early in the year. Designed by Jespers Voxnaes, it is small and affordable at only $40. I love the shape of the blade. It gives it a low profile and the shape of the blade makes it useful for different tasks without having only a sharp point that can get in the way. Since the designer is Danish, it has that understated, minimalist look that the Danes go for. For me personally, I wish the handle was a little thinner in the back end because my hands are on the small side. But overall, it feels nice in the hand. Blade length is 2.402 inches and a closed length of 3.530 inches. Plain edge on the blade with a satin finish.


The CRKT Hi Jinx Z is coming out sometime later in the year. The availability is yet to be determined so we’re not sure when you’ll be able to get your hands on this knife yet but as soon as we know we’ll keep you posted. Designed by Ken Onion, a Hawaiian man, it’s a simple and elegant knife. It opens with one smooth motion and has a locking liner safety. The blade is 3.293 inches and with a plain edge. Satin finish on the blade and a closed length of 4.721 inches. Weighs only 4.9 ounces and the handle is glass reinforced nylon. A little more than the Pilar at $80, it’s still a very affordable, beauty of a knife. You can sign up on the CRKT website to be notified when it’s in stock.


Images from crkt.com

There are a lot of reasons to love the invention of tactical pens. If you’re trying to figure out a good gift or stocking stuffer for someone in your life, consider a tactical pen. We got to test one out from UZI recently, the UZI Tactical Glassbreaker Pen ($22) and we think it’s just great. Here’s why.

It’s a smooth writing pen that is also a weapon.
Most of us carry a pen around with us on a daily basis. Women carry them in their purses. Men tuck them in their pockets. There’s always a pen or two in the car’s glovebox. With a tactical pen, no matter whether you’re in the grocery store or in line at the bank, you’ve got a weapon on you. The tactical pen is larger than a typical pen but still the same size and shape of a pen.

The Pen is compatible with Fisher space pen refills which write upside down or in the rain. It can write underwater, in zero gravity, and from below zero to practically the surface temperature of the sun.

It’s affordable.
While prices vary, this particular model is super affordable at only $22.

It’s a glass breaker.
This pen has an integrated glass breaker tip which could help you save someone’s life. Or your own. If you frequently drive around in vehicles that are not your own, this gives you a convenient way to get out of the car if you ever need to.

You can take it on airplanes.
When you’re traveling away from home, it can be a very vulnerable feeling to have to leave your weapons at home. When you get to your destination, you don’t have your EDC or survival gear on your person like you normally would, or your bug-out bag in your car like you normally would. The tactical pen gives you back some of that confidence.

You can carry them where you can’t take other EDC weapons such as knives.
In many workplace environments, guns and knives are not allowed. A tactical pen makes for a self-defense item that no workplace rules can take away from you. You can take a tactical pen into a courthouse, for instance.

It’s easy to hide.

These pens fit into a purse or pocket, suitcase, glovebox, lunchbox, or anywhere you might want to tuck a weapon that could be used as a punching tool. Tactical pens don’t appear as a weapon to most people. You can hold it in your hands and it is not obvious. This can give you the element of surprise in a self-defense situation.

It’s a good conversation starter.
The tactical pen looks enough like a pen that using one does not call attention to yourself. But, if you really look at it and think about it, a tactical pen looks different enough that people who are wondering about it might ask. It’s a great opening for a conversation about self-defense and to let the people around you know that you are not to be messed with.

It’s a jabbing tool.
Tuck it in your pocket and it’s not obvious like a knife or gun might be. It can make puncture wounds similar to a knife. It can gouge eyeballs better than fingers alone. It’s lightweight but solid enough that it can be held in the fist to support a punch.

It’s difficult to get taken away from you.
Tactical pens let you keep a tight grip on them. Because of the size and shape, they fit very well into your hand. It’s difficult for someone to pry your grip off a pen and take it away from you.

They are overlooked in pat-downs.
Because they are the same size and shape as a pen, they are easily overlooked if you are in a crowd such as a concert venue. It’s nice to know that you can retain a weapon just in case you ever need one.

There you go. 10 fantastic reasons to get the UZI Tactical Pen.