The kukri (pronounced koo-kree) is an intimidating curved blade knife/weapon that originates in Nepal.
Shown below is a photo of a a traditional kukri, along with a secondary knife commonly carried along with the kukri, and a sharpening tool. The kukri’s main feature is the curved blade that resembles a machete. It also has a notch in the bottom of a blade, which helps blood, or whatever, drip off the blade rather than run down and make the handle slick. If the kukri is used as a weapon, it can catch another blade on that spot. The notch also is said to have some symbolic meaning in that it resembles a cow’s foot.
The blade of a kukri is typically 10 to 15 inches long. It hacks like a machete, is lightweight, and the bottom of the handle, because it’s typically flared out and wide, can be used as a hammer.
Modern kukris are, of course, similar but different.
The knife shown above, with the green handle, has a 17-inch length with a 10.86 blade, so it’s right in line with the traditional knife. But as you can see, it’s quite different. The handle, rather than being wood, is fiberglass reinforced nylon. It doesn’t have that flared base, so this would likely not be an appropriate knife to use in the event that you needed to hammer in a nail.
If you drop this bright green knife in the grass, chances are you’ll be able to find it more easily than the traditional wooden handle. It still chops and is lightweight (this one weighs 1.54 pounds).
A kukri is originally designed to both be a well-balanced weapon but also to clear heavy brush. If that’s what you want one for, maybe you should get the traditional model.
Some knives are tailor-made for one role. This is not one of them. Boker’s Blacklist fixed blade can do just about anything an outdoor enthusiast could ask for. The combination of the sweeping blade and great ergonomics make for one of the more versatile fixed blades on the market today.
The blade is 440C stainless steel. Boker hardens the steel to Rockwell 57-58, meaning the user gets a high degree of edge retention and corrosion resistance.
The 4.9-inch, .20-inch blade shape is what makes this knife a winner in many outdoor catagories. The sweeping belly is great for slicing and processing food and the thickness allows it to do small and medium batoning work. The high flat saber grind allows the user to make fine shavings when making tinder. Hunters will also like the blade shape for processing game. The top of the blade has a spine that comes to 90 degrees at the corners, allowing the user to strike a ferro rod with the spine instead of the blade if they don’t have a dedicated striker available.
The knife could do anything from being a survival blade to a camp tool or hunting knife so long as the user is comfortable carrying the 10.2 ounce knife on their belt or in their pack over long distances.
The handle on the Blacklist is incredibly comfortable. It feels good in the hand in any type of grip. The G10 handle scales are lightly textured, allowing for good grip but not so aggressive that the user feels uncomfortable after using the knife without gloves. One slight downside that users will find is that the handle does not allow a user to chop without making a tight lanyard. I’m not a huge fan of chopping with small and medium-size knives, but some survival enthusiasts find it to be good practice in some situations.
The kydex sheath on the knife is another win. It fits snugly and has a drainage hole at the bottom. There are holes and attachment slots for webbing and different mounting systems.
The belt adapter is the only area I really have an issue with the design of this package. The adapter can be adjusted to fit different sized belts, but attaching it to the blade and finding a comfortable position is a bit of a doozy. The only way to do a traditional belt mount is to mount the knife high on the waist, which can be uncomfortable for some users. Scout carry is an option with the knife, but I did not use that since there is no secondary retention strap and scout is uncomfortable with anything larger than a small pack on.
While some knife forums list 440C as a hard-to-sharpen steel, I was able to re-sharpen it easily with a few runs through my Work Sharp. The edge came out near-shaving sharp.
You can find this knife for around $100 from some retailers. Check out Boker’s website for more designs.
Specs: Total Length: 9,9 Blade length: 4.9 in Blade thickness: 0.20 in Weight: 10.2 oz Blade Material:440C Handle Material:G10 Sheath: Kydex w/Belt clip
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
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.
Columbia River Knife and Tool has a reputation for taking designs from custom knife makers and manufacturing them at affordable prices while still maintaining a high level of quality. Their blades are used the world over by outdoorsmen, first responders and members of the military. We wrote about two of their new knives Shadowfox saw at SHOT Show just a few days ago.
One of CRKT’s more recent programs is Forged by War, which takes designs from military veterans and sells them with ten percent of profits going to the charity of that veteran’s choice. The program has received widespread praise for both the purpose and designs coming out. And for 2017, CRKT is bringing three new knives to the program that are sure to satisfy anyone from hunters to tactical professionals.
The Tecpatl is a push knife designed by Michael Rodriguez, a special operations veteran with more than two decades of experience. The blade is piece of SK5 carbon steel with a clip point black powder coat. The package comes with a Kydex sheath and clip for attaching to webbing. The blade instantly presents itself as a self-defense tool as well a work of art; laser engravings can be seen along the entire blade which are inspired by Rodriguez’s heritage and service. The charities that benefit from the Tecpatl are the Special Operations Care Fund and the George W. Bush Institute.
The CST is a first responder’s tool designed by Kelly Rodriguez. Using her experience as an Army medic, Rodriguez designed a tool that replaces trauma shears for stripping clothing away from a patient. I admit, I was skeptical of the design’s functionality until I saw the demonstration in the video below. The CST design has no moving parts and doesn’t require fine motor skills to operate. The blades are replaceable, so the operator can change them out when dull. The CST comes with a MOLLE compatible sheath, and CRKT also sells replacement blades. The charity benefiting from the CST is Operation One Voice.
The second Forged By War design by Austin McGlaun is a knife that excites me particularly due to my love for medium sized fixed blades. The Rakkasan is designed to be a utility blade and self defense tool for someone in harm’s way. The blade’s large G10 handle will hold solid even when wet or dirty. The blade is SK5 carbon steel with a big recurve belly that may even draw the eyes of hunters. The Rakkasan comes with a Kydex sheath with paracord for mounting. The charity benefiting from the Rakkasan is the Green Beret Foundation.
These are only the newest additions to the Forged by War Program by CRKT. To see the entire lineup, click here.
Image of Tecpatl knife from CRKT.com
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
We’d love to give an Acme Crate of Doom as a Gift. Better yet, we’d love to GET one as a gift! Check out the amazing stuff in this thing. The crate contains 12 weapons spanning human cultural and social history. Seriously. you can get this crate delivered with a baseball bat, grappling hook, war club, mace, tire thumper, bullwhip, kukri, ninja sword, tomahawk, nunchucks, two-handed machete and a double bit axe. There is no one who wouldn’t think this box arriving on their doorstep wasn’t the coolest thing ever.
To sweeten the deal, the weapons arrive in a crate measuring 12 inches by 40 inches by 20 inches. When ordering, you can specify what you want your personalized locking combination to be, so that only you can open it. Purchase the Acme Crate of Doom for $500.
The Lynx Knife is $90 and is available in either satin or stone-washed finish. The photos show satin finish. The Lynx is a fine quality card blade knife that fits right in your wallet at a size of 3.46 inches (88 mm) x 1.96 inches (50 mm) and a thickness of .079 inches (2 mm). Even though it is narrow, it grips well. The Lynx blade is made with vacuum heat-treated CPM S35VN steel (HRC:58-60) used only in high-end production and custom knives. It ships worldwide for only an additional $10.
We love these kinds of knifes because they fit right in our wallets, which we always have with us. We don’t need to worry about putting it on or putting it in a backpack each day, it’s just always in the wallet in case we need it. Most people don’t think about card-sized knifes, so we don’t have to explain or show people that we are actually carrying a knife. The blade is useful for shaving, slicing or chopping, or self-defense in a pinch. Purchase the Lynx knife by JHO for $90.
It’s nice to enjoy the finer things in life. For drivers, it could be English cars. For foodies, French wine. For outdoorsmen, Italian knives.
The Fox Knives Njall is designed by Jesper Voxnaes and made in Maniago, Italy. It is a beautiful and uncompromising piece of equipment. The blade is 4.25 inches long and is made of Bohler N690Co stainless steel with a fine edge. This gives you great edge strength and rust resistance. The satin polish gives off a wonderful shine. The clip point is stout and has a deep belly, making it a good choice for a skinning knife. The steel is also .19 inches thick, allowing it to baton through wood easily. However, the cutting edge is only 3.5 inches, so this blade will only handle thinner pieces of wood.
The handle is olive drab micarta and is held in place with stainless steel tube pins, which can be seen in other Vox fixed blade designs. There is also an option for orange G10 scales for better visibility.
The knife weighs in at 8.07 ounces and does a fair job chopping for a knife of its size. This is because of the added heft towards the belly of the blade. However, the micarta handle scales are quite smooth and the Njall almost came out of my grip without a lanyard. Consider horizontal batoning if you really need to get through larger pieces of wood.
This knife is practically a light saber when it comes to processing tinder. The fine edge holds well and creates feather sticks without a problem. Because the handle is quite comfortable, I was able to make quite a tinder pile before needing to relax my grip.
The knife doesn’t penetrate as well as other clip or drop point blades that I’ve used because of how stout it is. This doesn’t bother me because there is a lot of strength in the blade and a lower risk of bending the tip when stabbing harder materials. The smoothness of the handle does pose another risk with this motion, since my gloved hand was sliding forward a bit when stabbing in a standard grip.
The sheath is high quality Italian leather and keeps solid retention on the blade. Beware, it does not have a snap or other closure to secure it upside down. The retention could also wear off over time and use. It’s also dedicated for righties (again, I am a left handed gear tester).
In short, the Njall is a beautiful and capable knife that is a companion to any outdoorsman.
Lansky Sharpeners has released a knife sharpener that will replace every other knife sharpener you may already have. The new QuadSharp Knife Sharpener [$19] is a portable blade sharpener that will let you maintain your knives in the field. The sharpener features the same four angles as the legendary Lansky Controlled-Angle System. Angles are set to 17, 20, 25 and 30 degrees.
With a built-in ceramic polishing benchstone, the QuadSharp is a fully functional, stand-alone sharpening solution that is small and highly portable. Sharpen your regular blade, serrated or filet knives in only three to four strokes. The unit is made of metal for long-lasting durability and is 100% compatible with all Lansky Kits and accessories. Purchase the QuadSharp for $19.