Posts Tagged ‘Knives’

The All Natural Trench Knife! Don’t mess with Mother Nature…

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

So let me pose a hypothetical question. IF you were given a choice of a weapon made of wood, and one made of steel, which one would you pick? I’m sure most of you would, without hesitation, pick the one made of steel. I, on the other hand, would be on the fence. Especially given that I tend to like things that are just… Cool. That’s not to say that wooden blades are entirely worthless, after all, you can do a lot of damage with a piece of wood, and even more if it has been sharpened and the edge hardened.

But what if it had teeth as well? Yeah… You heard me… A wooden knife. With a wicked set of teeth for a blade. Uh huh. Yeah… Now things get interesting… Imagine, if you will, an all natural fighting implement… Made entirely of natural materials, and edged with rows of razor-sharp shark teeth. Oh, but I’m not done yet. How about we throw in a spike. From a swordfish no less. Awwww Yeah… Now we’re talking…

Think about it. We are talking about the hand weapon equivalent of  a shark with a rapier attached to its snout. Certainly a laser attached to its head might be far more impressive, but with a spike, you’ll never have to replace the batteries. I’m just saying.  A spike is nothing to sneeze at. Take that and make a weapon out of it, and voilà! you have a personal, wooden hand shark. With a spike attached to its freakin’ head!

A fearsome weapon capable of horrific damage, but so stealthy that would not even set off metal detectors in an airport. Unless, of course you happened to use teeth from a shark that had somehow had the benefit of a modern dental plan, and had braces and amalgam fillings to boot. No, don’t laugh. It could happen. No, seriously. Go watch “Finding Nemo” and tell me that can’t happen. But I digress.

Today, I fawn over a very old but very cool all natural weapon of war called the Pahoa A’u Ku, also known as the Swordfish Bill Dagger. A combination of this:

A`u ku - Marlinspike Dagger

A`u ku - Marlinspike Dagger

And this:

Leiomano pahoa a`u

Leiomano pahoa a`u

 

To create this:

Pahoa A'u Ku - Marlinspike Leiomano Dagger

Pahoa A'u Ku - Marlinspike Leiomano Dagger

 

In case you didn’t quite catch just how much awesome I just laid on you up there, let me recap. The A`u ku is a dagger made from the spike of the broad bill Marlin a large fish with a very distinctive spike, much like a swordfish. Sometimes swordfish swords were used. The Leiomano pahoa a`u is a mêlée weapon, usually made of Koa wood, with a row of fairly wicked looking shark teeth affixed to the front edge of it.

Both weapons are relatively cool and awesome in their own right, but combine to produce the Pahoa A’u Ku, a weapon more awesome than the Decepticon Devastator! And all with materials straight from nature, in an almost unmodified form… WIN!

Proof, once again, that in spite of all the cool things we can do with steel nowadays, Mother nature was a total BAMF long before Chuck Norris and Samuel L. Jackson came along…

Yeah, I said it. Don’t hate. You know it’s true…

A`u ku -[Kumulau]
Pahoa A’u Ku – [Kumulau]
Leiomano pahoa a`u – [My Armory]

The Mighty Machete!

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you may know that I have a good amount of experience with machetes. I have done many things with them, clearing fields of 10ft tall elephant grass, felling small trees, even carving field hockey balls. (Yeah. Betcha didn’t know you could carve a hockey ball using a machete did you!)

Indeed, there was a time when I used them routinely, I dare say even more often than I did my laundry!  The result, is that I tend to reach for a machete where most folks would reach for an axe. As a matter of fact, I consider machetes a blade that is highly underrated in North America. This may or may not actually be true, however when people start looking for a medium to heavy-duty chopper, the first thing people seem to reach for is a camp hatchet or axe.

Smith & Wesson Bullseye Paul Bunyan Hatchet.

Smith & Wesson Bullseye Paul Bunyan Hatchet.

Now to be fair, there are many things an axe is just better for. For instance, you don’t hear much about machete murderers in the good old U.S. of A. Axe murderers, on the other hand… Common knowledge. And look at how under represented machetes are in the media. You see hunting and survival knives portrayed prominently in movies all the time, like the Rambo movies, The Hunted, etc. Even in games, machetes get a bad rap. You see throwing knives, in all kinds of First person shooters, ballistic knives in Call of Duty, etc, etc, etc, the list goes on forever!

Even on Youtube, machetes get little love. There was recently a game of “Name your two favorite knives” tag on Youtube, and not a single person (whose videos I have seen so far) has even mentioned a machete. It is a sad state of affairs people. Especially when you look at what you can do with a good machete. Chopping, carving, wood processing, digging, brush clearing, dismemberment… etc. (And just so we are all clear, I mean dismembering large game animals, not people. Not that it hasn’t been done before, but it’s just not my style. I’m just saying.)

Anyway, a machete can do it all! And what is most amazing about it is that you can get a good machete for a mere fraction of the cost of many of the fancy schmancy designer knives that people all seem to love. But you can thrash a machete and not have to worry about, ride it hard, put it away wet (thought if you do that, you deserve to be flogged, hung from you hair from the tree of woe, for wild emu to slowly pick at you… No seriously.)

The fact of the matter is, machetes get no love. At least not in North America. In Africa, South America, and many developing nations, it is the hero of large utility blades, and today, I’d like to speak out on behalf of all the poor neglected machetes of ‘Merica! I’d like to show you that machetes are not only good, but that they can be cool too!
First, allow me to introduce you to the working mans machete, two of my favorites from the Ontario Knife Co:

Ontario 12in Camper Machete

Ontario 12in Camper Machete


 The Ontario 12″ camper machete. This one has a saw blade spine and a “D” handle to offer added protection to the user, though I must say that as a seasoned machete user, I can’t recommend either, as the saw back is incredibly inefficient at sawing anything. It is best used for notching, but that is about it. And the D handle simply makes it harder to use that saw back anyway, so this is what I would consider a bad combination. Moving on to one of my more favored workhorse machetes:

Ontario 18in Military Machete

Ontario 18in Military Machete

The Ontario 18in Military Machete is my go to machete for camping trips and such, it is versatile, tough, and best of all, Cheap! I have both the 12in and the 18in version of this machete, and I really don’t know why every outdoorsman doesn’t have the 12in version in their pack. They are awesome! Next up, a light duty machete: The Gerber Gator Machete.

Gerber Gator Machete

Gerber Gator Machete

Now this is a nice, easy to use machete, ideal for someone who wants to pack light. It is not as heavy-duty as the Ontario or Cold Steel Offerings, but is light weight, low fatigue, and has one of the best grip ergonomics I have run into on a machete for a long time. It also has a saw spine, however its performance is surprisingly disappointing, especially given that they know how to make a good utility saw. Phail on you Gerber! PHAIL!! >:{

And now, on to the machetes that I classify simply as “Cool beyond Words”. Ok, so they aren’t really cool beyond words. But they are pretty darn cool. I refer, in this case, to Cold steels line of machetes, starting with their quite impressive Kukri Machetes:

Cold Steel Kukri Machete

Cold Steel Kukri Machete

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete

Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete

Both the Regular and Magnum Kukri machetes from Cold steel are simply quite good. Strong, tough, can be made shaving sharp, and quite versatile, I have both versions, and can say that they are great, especially for the price, being excellent low cost choppers and all around bush whacking blades.

Last but not least, allow me to introduce you to my favorite machete design of all time, the Cold Steel Kopis Machete.

Cold Steel Kopis Machete

Cold Steel Kopis Machete

Now this machete is just beautiful. Based on the ancient Greek Kopis sword, the Cold Steel Kopis Machete is a beautiful piece of work, a combination of style, function, strength and beauty that is really hard to come by these days. And, of course, as if simply to spite me, it is no longer being made. Curses. CURSES!!! Curse the machete gods for depriving me of this thing of beauty! Oh well. C’est la Vie. It is my own fault for not getting one while I could.

Anyway, there are a gazillion other machete designs i could talk about today, but these are some of my favorites. And hopefully I have demonstrated that Machetes are not just ugly choppers, and that you can have it all; strength, style, beauty and utility… with the Mighty MACHETE!! 😀

P.S.

By the way… Anyone got a Cold Steel Kopis machete they want to… umm… donate to… “charity”? I can take care of that for you… Yes, yes, it will be for a good cause. You know, like the Happy Balrog Knife Charity… No, no, it’s a real charity… It goes to Balrogs in desperate need of hard to find knives… No, really… 😀

Smith & Wesson Bullseye Paul Bunyan Hatchet – [True Swords]
Ontario 12″ Camper Machete – [True Swords]
Ontario 18″ Military Machete – [True Swords]
Gerber Gator Machete – [True Swords]
Cold Steel Kukri Machete – [True Swords]
Cold Steel Magnum Kukri Machete – [True Swords]
Cold Steel Kopis Machete – (no longer made)

Wood: the other dark steel…

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Ok, So I will readily admit that the title of todays post was highly influenced by thoughts of thanksgiving turkey…Light meat or dark meat… It’s all good… But I digress.

You may recall a few posts I’ve done in the past on weapons made of wood. Some of them have been about reproduction, prop or cosplay weapons, weapons you could give to your little rascals, or for cosplay (costume play), designed primarily to be a safe alternative to the real thing.

Macahuitl

Macahuitl

However, I’ve also posted about weapon designs that, while made primarily of wood, were still quite lethal as edged weapons. The Macahuitl was one such weapon, using flint or obsidian blades, embedded in a wood frame shaped like a club, or a large broadsword. And then there was the Leiomano, which accomplished the same thing, using shark teeth, but packaged in a small axe form factor.

Leiomano

Leiomano

But I recently ran across an even more beautiful design, yet another based on the small axe form factor, but without any kind of hard blade material whatsoever… Just wood. Really hard wood… Have a gander at this:

Samoan War Axe

Samoan War Axe

Now chances are, the edge would be nowhere as keen as that of a macahuitl, so this would be more likely used freehand as a club, or to break or dislocate bones than an actual cleaving device,  (unless you had a hard surface to chop against and were willing to keep whacking away until the job was done :/ )  However,  it is just a beautiful piece of work.

I just love this thing. Between the smooth and highly polished finish on the weapon, the Samoan patterns on the blade, and the absolutely evil lines on this axe, I just love it to death. Ok, maybe not to death, since I kind of like being alive, but you get the point.

The points on this thing are amazing. The deep bevel of the edge is accentuated by the light colored patterning of the blade area, making it look almost like a thick slab of dark steel. The patterning runs all the way down the shaft, stopping just short of the light colored jute or twine wrapped grip. The combination is just sweet.

Truth be told, I think this wooden axe looks more both more beautiful  and sinister than most of the other evil steel axes I’ve posted on this site so far…

And that’s no small feat for a weapon made entirely of wood.

Samoan War Axe – [My Armory]

The Black Widow Strikes Again…

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Now I could have sworn I had already put together a post for this blade, however my (admittedly hasty) searches seems to turn up nothing. So I thought I’d go ahead and post about this interesting little knife, duplicate post or not!!! Allow me to introduce the Widow Queen.

Widow Queen

Widow Queen

It should be fairly obvious where the name of this blade came from, but for the entomological neophytes among you, the spider whose front legs are oh, so possessively surrounding the hilt of this dagger is, in fact, meant to be a female Black Widow Spider, most easily identified by the red hourglass shape on it’s abdomen.

The Black Widows is a highly venomous spider, and envenomation by female black widows has been known to kill humans. I’d be willing to bet that whoever designed this knife probably had a rather personal experience with one… 🙂 Now in in real life, of course, black widows tend to be black in color, however in this case, I think we can afford to make an exception. Especially since this particular variety of black widow would probably be a heckuvalot lot more deadly in the right hands.

Either way, I certainly like the black widow motif of this blade, even though I think it goes too far in several ways. For instance, do we really need to have a full double sided hand guard (the widows front legs) and a cross guard on the same blade? I would rather have just had the cross guard, and even that is a little overly ornate for my taste.

The same goes for the pommel. You have the little spider limb thing going on, *and* a spike. What’s up with that? In fact, now that i look at it, this dagger would have been just fine entirely without the spider. A simple spiked pommel, the cool black ridged grip, a simpler, not so spikey cross guard, and that absolutly beautiful blade…

Yes… The blade on this thing is the main reason why I really like it. Now don’t get me wrong, the Black Widow was excellently done, and i could see them making replicas of that all by itself, sans the dagger. But for me, the blade is where it’s at on this knife. The swell of the ricasso, the smooth sweep into that almost straight blade, narrowing smoothly down into an absolutely evil point… I just love that profile.

Sometimes I wonder whether the people who design things like this actually realize how beautiful the blades are, all by themselves. No need for themes, motifs, spiders scorpions and whatnot, even though they can sometimes be cool. Because even if this had been a simple dagger, just this blade, a simple cross guard, black smooth grip, maybe with a simpler point on the pommel, it would still have ended up on this page.

Or maybe marketing has no clue… Who knows.

Either way, it’s a real pity…

Widow Queen – [The Collectors Edge]

Twin Spinning Points of Doom… :D

Friday, November 6th, 2009

A while back, there was an interesting discussion on the Exotic Automatic Forums (http://exoticautomatic.com) about a rather cool weapon, or set of weapons, called Emeici or Emei Piercers (aka Emei Daggers). they are basically a set of steel rods, with sharp broadhead-like points on each end and a finger ring on a pivot attached at the center. Looky here:

Emei Piercers

Emei Piercers

Emeici are a traditional Chinese martial arts weapon, most notably practiced in Wu-Shu. The primary purpose of these weapons is obviously to speedily inflict deep puncture wounds, and in that regard, they are excellently designed.  The rods are of an extremely efficient design, in my opinion, very strong, but still extremely light and quick. I cannot fault that aspects of the design.

I’ve known of these weapons for a long time, and between the mechanical aspects of it’s design, and the rather visually impressive techniques typically used when wielding them, I cannot, argue they aren’t really, really cool. However in typical DarkBlader fashion, I cannot help but ask myself… What percentage of this kind of this “second kind” of cool is actually useful?

I have a lot of respect of traditional martial arts, the vast majority of my experience has been in TMAs, and so I see value in many of the traditional ways of doing things. *However* I have always found TMAs to have a rather unfortunate tendency towards the retention of outdated techniques and ideologies, and this weapon seems to be no exception.

[pro-player width=’320′ height=’240′ type=’video’]http://thedarkblade.com/wp-content/uploads/emeici.mp4[/pro-player]

Besides the obvious snafu of having an overenthusiastic martial artist pretty much admitting, on a nationally syndicated television series, that he is prone to the colloquial *bloodrage*, 😀  my point of contention is this: Does allowing the weapon to spin actually add any useful value to the use of the weapon besides the cool or intimidation factor? Or is it just for show?

If you ask a TMA what the practical benefits of being able to spin emeici around are, they will tell you it is helpful for confusing your opponent. They will argue that it allows quick switch ups, changes in direction, etc. And to some degree, this is true of most knives. The grip, the position of the edge or edges, the orientation of the point, etc. tell you things about how and where your opponent might strike.

But while the quick change-up explanation has merit, there are really only two grips that you can use with a set of emeici, between which you can perform any strike, to any target. So while this all sounds good in theory, I wouldn’t be looking predominantly at the position of the weapon to try and figure out where the next attack was going.

For spinning, double-ended stabbing weapons, since the spinning, by itself, does not really change any of those factors, methinks it would not matter so much. I don’t think I would be any more confused by the spinning than if it were being held still. I have yet to spar an Emeici wielding opponent, so my analysis may turn out to be entirely wrong, but…

What do you think? Anyone feel like weighing in on this one? Spinning Emeici: Mostly Show? Or Absolutely Go?

Emeici – [Chinatown Shop]

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