Posts Tagged ‘Knives’

Persnickety splits…

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

I like boot knives. I think they’re cool. They are small, fast, fairly sturdy (usually)  and best of all, easier to carry than most others. All great reasons to love boot knives. Especially if you actually wear boots. Though it is by no means a showstopper if you don’t. Lots of different leg, arm, chest, small of back, and belt carry solutions for these cool little knives.

But here’s something I don’t like; gimmicks. Like unnecessarily compromising a perfectly good blade for the sake of making it look “cool”. Dunno what I’m talking about? Here, let me show you:

Double Edged Combat Boot Knife

Double Edged Combat Boot Knife

Yes, this, ladies and germs is a so called “double edged” combat boot knife. I dunno. Lots of boot knives are double edged. This is more like double pointed. Double the pain? I doubt it. More like double the amount of effort to use this as a thrusting weapon. Ok, so that is a gross exaggeration, but when it comes to dagger points, two are generally *not* better than one.

And then there’s the issue of mechanical strength. Two smaller points, imho, are just two weaker points that will break faster than one larger, thicker point. But that could just be my tenuous understanding of physics/metallurgy at work. Who knows. All I’m sayin’ is, one mans cool is another mans DOH!

Me personally, I thought the design would have looked great without that split point. The all metal grip looks good, and the blade, had it been a single blade, would have had some awesome lines to it. The fork just kinda messes it all up for me.

But then again I don’t design knives for aesthetics over function…

Double Edged Combat Boot knife – [True Swords]

Trading Blade Overkill…

Monday, October 12th, 2009

When I was but a wee little balrog, I remember seeing a rather unique little multi-tool folding knife. This one wasn’t like any other multi-tool i had ever seen before because it had… a SPOON! *gasp*… Yep. It had a fork too… And a can opener and a corkscrew… a rather interesting little tool. Looked a little like this:

Hobo style folding knife with fork, knife, spoon, can opener

Hobo style folding knife with fork, knife, spoon, can opener

Except the one I saw had antler scales and a leather sheath… At the time I could remember thinking… “You know, that is an interesting idea… I can use a knife like a fork, but I’d be hard pressed to use a blade like a spoon…” But it never ceases to amaze me how people manage to come up with little ways to ease outdoor living.

But there is, in this balrogs humble opinion, such a thing as going too far with this. And it all starts innocuously enough…

Sportsman's Blade Trader

Sportsman's Blade Trader

This is the Sportsmans Blade Trader, by Kershaw knives. As you can probably tell, this is no ordinary knife. You might be looking at the pic going… “Well what the heck is going on? Them blades don’t got no handles on ’em!!” And you’d be right. They don’t. Because they all share a single handle. That black one on the left.

Do you see what they did there? They got all smart on us. See, they put a keyed socket in the base of each blade, and in the handle there is a little key block attached to the tang, that you attach the blade to, and then there’s a cover that sorta folds tightly over the whole thing to keep it all in place.

As ideas go, this isn’t necessarily a bad one.  I’ve played with knives like these a bit, and the lock up is pretty solid. They don’t budge, and are surprisingly strong… At first. over time, however, the blades tend to wear a little bit, there’s a little play, the sleeve doesn’t close all that tightly any more, and well… It’s all down hill from there.

However their choice of blades here is good. A good straight blade, for light cutting, and a saw blade for wood cutting. Personally, this thing seems a little small to be a good general purpose saw, but then again, that isn’t what this was designed for. It’s more of a convenience tool, intended to allow you to do two things with one tool. Not too bad, as things go… But they can get much, much worse…

Allow me to present “Worse”:

Camp Tool Trader

Camp Tool Trader

This here is the Camp Tool Trader. Also by Kershaw. Yeah… Same idea as before, with the blade swapping switcheroo dealio and whatnot, except taken to a whole new level… It’s the Pampered Chef… For the outdoors!! With this here kit, you can fry yourself some eggs, over easy, with some bacon on the side. Or cook a gourmet 5 course steak and potatoes dinner…

OK so I’m exaggerating a bit. This isn’t that bad. It’s just not really an “outdoors-man” kit. This is for those of you who like the occasional weekend RV getaway, and don’t want to bring a full complement of barbecue utensils. Clearly, if you were one a weekend hike, you might choose something a little less… Big.

But that’s just my opinion. If space is not an issue, and you aren’t looking for long term daily use out of things like this, they are pretty good. But me personally, I’d just throw a full size spatula, tongs and barbecue fork,  along with the brats, burgers and  the side of beef I plan to barbecue, into my trunk… 🙂

Camp Tool Trader by Kershaw Knives – [eBladeStore]

Sportsman’s Blade Trader by Kershaw Knives – [eBladeStore]

Hobo Style Folding knife, with fork spoon and can opener – [Advanced Mart]

A Combat Oriented Fighting Knife.

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Today I thought I’d talk a little about one of my favorite topics. Knife design. Specifically, knife designs for CQC purposes. In an earlier post, I spoke about one of my favorite classic fighting knife designs, the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife. The Fairbairn-Sykes knife is, in my opinion, one of the most versatile fighting knife designs ever developed.

The double edge allows for a very wide variety of grips and many more ways of cutting. The sharp, narrow point also makes it an excellent thrusting weapon, and the narrow 6 inch blade made it capable of deep organ strikes by a skilled combatant. However, as with everything, there are compromises and trade offs, and the FS fighting knife was no exception. The FS knife was made for one thing, and one thing only. Close quarters fighting.

In contrast to the vast majority of combat blades issued at the time, the FS knife was not a combat or survival knife. Compared to most other designs, it was much thinner, much lighter, and as a result much weaker. It’s point was more than enough for thrusting attacks during fights, but would never hold up to the abuse that a “combat” knife like a Ka-Bar, or a bowie, could handle.

And while the vase shaped, tapering, grip of the FS knife, with it’s circular cross section, was lighter, easier to control, and faster than other designs, it did not provide as much grip, and no real feedback about the position of the edges of the blade with respect to the grip. Certainly not show stoppers, since general purpose combat was not really what the FS knife was designed for, BUT… What if?

What if you could forge an FS style blade into something that could be taken into combat? What if you could change the design so that it was just a little more durable, maybe make it a little more suitable for general combat use, without losing all of the great things that makes it an excellent fighting blade? Well, in my humble opinion, I think you’d end up with this knife right here:

Ranger Stealth Kill - Shiva Ki Knives

Ranger Stealth Kill - Shiva Ki Knives

This is the Ranger Stealth Kill, by Shiva Ki knives. As you can see, this design has a lot in common with the traditional FS fighting knife. It is double edged, has a small but effective guard, has a vase shaped handle, and a sharp point. But that is where the similarities end.

This knife incorporates some changes to the design that, in my opinion, makes it a good compromise for a combat blade, as opposed to being simply a fighting blade. Lets start with the grip. In contrast to the FS design, the kraton grip on this knife is removable, wider, and flatter, and incorporates grooves, as well as a rounded flat pommel.

These simple design change allow for better control under hard use, and the wider, flattened grip provides much better feedback about what the knife is doing in your hand at any given point. The removable grip allows it to be cleaned or replaced quickly and easily in the field, and the flat pommel allows the knife to be used for hammering. These are all areas in which the original design was relatively deficient. But the changes don’t stop there.

The blade is also larger, at 8.75″ wider, and heavier, though perhaps not as heavy as it looks, since it also appears to be hollow ground, which would allow it to hold a rather wicked edge. And rather than the fairly sharp needle like point on the traditional FS design, this knife sports a spear point, which is considerably stronger, without giving up all that much in penetration power.

The resulting larger, heavier blade, while slower than the original, would be much more flexible as a general combat blade, and it’s added weight and size would make it capable of being used in a number of other roles, hammering, digging, punching through hard objects, light chopping duties etc. that would probably kill most of the knives that follow the original FS knife formula.

And of course, there’s one more thing. I think this knife is sexy. Perhaps not as sexy as some of the others I’ve posted about, but it certainly has a kind of rugged, no nonsense charm that I find intriguing. Now I’ll admit that for pure CQC purposes, a faster, smaller knife would be better. Thinner, lighter, blades are faster, more agile, and easier to control, while heavy knives tend to work against you.

However for a knife that you need to be a between a capable fighter, but not entirely useless as a general purpose combat knife, I think the Ranger stealth Kill is a very, very attractive design compromise. One of these days I will have to make one…

Ranger Stealth Kill – [Shiva Ki Knives]

Twin Dragon Daggers

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Double the Dragons! Double the fun!! Or so people would have you believe. Though, to be honest, I think it does depend *greatly* on the disposition of the dragons in question. But that’s just my opinion. Take it or leave it. 🙂  Back to the topic at hand.

Twin Dragons!

Draco Twin Daggers

Draco Twin Daggers

An interesting set of dragon daggers aren’t they? Though they are both a bit busy for my personal taste, I like some of the design aspects of these knives, though I will admit to being biased, as Draco is one of my favorite Dragons of all time.

We have a set of two daggers, one large and one small, both of which reside in separate pockets of the same sheath. Pretty nifty. They are essentially identical apart from the size, so I’ll just run through the design of the larger one. The hilt isn’t half bad, with a small cast polished metal pommel, with what looks like talons curving inwards at the base.

The ridged jet black grip looks equally cool, though I get the feeling it wouldn’t be too comfortable. The guard is quite the interesting bit, featuring a simple straight rear talon/spike, with the beginnings of the same spike on the front, terminating in a large, upward pointing  winglike extension. I actually liked that design feature.

The rest is a little… too much maybe. Above the guard is an extension of the cast metal hilt covering the bottom of the blade to form a short ornate ricasso with a rearwards and downwards pointing spike. Still a bit busy, though I liked the spike. The blade, however, tops the cake in terms of interesting flaws. At least in my humble opinion.

The blade has a large curving void just above the ricasso, which, as I have argued on many occasions, is generally not a good idea from a strength perspective. Above that, and compounding the problem, are a set of rearward facing spikes cut into the spine of the blade. Opposite the void on the front are a set of small divots. More unnecessary cuts. Above all of this, the blade is etched with an interesting tribal design.

To top it all off, the blade has a rather unusual contour. It appears to be double edged, but actually curves inwards. This design is unusual, though not unheard of, but is generally reserved for garden implements and specialized tools, like Karambits. The reason is that cuts using such a blade will tend to push the knife back towards the hand, or out of the hand, (depending on the direction of the cut) and this generally does not play well to the general ergonomics of knife use.

The Karambit is a general exception to this rule, as it usually incorporates a ring that makes positive retention possible, regardless of the grip. But that is a subject that deserves it’s own post. The point is, on this knife, it is just another in a long line of bad design ideas.

At least they look cool, have black grips, and are named after a cool dragon.

That’s got to count for something right?

Draco Twin Daggers – [True Swords]

A Triangle of Darkness…? Why?

Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Today we have our first entry into the “What on Earth…?” pantheon of inexplicable weapons. Entries into this hall of fame are weapons whose design seems ill suited to serve their most obvious purpose, but seem to be more likely to be a product of some ADD stricken designers flight of narcotic induced fantasy. First up:

Triangle of Darkness

Triangle of Darkness

OK, all I can do is tell you what it appears to be, and let you take the next subjective step of determining aesthetics and functionality. It appears to be three fairly nice “tactical” (lol.. I said “tactical”… LOL) knives similar in design to the Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife, except that they are hinged together via some sort of double-legged display stand contraption thingamajig. The center knife appears longer than the two peripheral knives that it is connected to. And that’s all I got.

Now could someone please tell me what in tarnation this is supposed to be? The blades themselves don’t appear to be anything special, (apart from having a fairly proven tactical design, and being black, for which it gets it’s due props) so why would anyone feel the need to display a set of 3 fairly similar and unassuming combat knives? Somehow it just doesn’t feel right. This is the sort of thing I always have a hard time understanding. I think these would look much better on a ninjas belt, or in a nylon web sheath, on a British commandos belt, than on a display. But that could just be just me.

Triangle of Darkness – [True Swords]

Log In

Please leave these two fields as-is:

Protected by Invisible Defender. Showed 403 to 159,328 bad guys.

Your Weapon Sir?
The Raiders Almanac
January 2018
« Sep    
Surf the Sands of Time:
Phyreblades Site of the Month!