Posts Tagged ‘Kraton’

Anyone know where to find human dart boards?

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Why? Because I have some unique darts I’d like to try out…

Cold Steel Urban Dart

Cold Steel Urban Dart

This is the Cold Steel Urban Dart. Now to be honest, the name is a bit of a mystery to me. Why call it a dart? And why an urban dart? I dunno. But it is certainly one cool looking dart. And it’s design has a lot of merit as a concealed tactical bladed weapon.

Sporting a 5.75″ Aus8 blade, attached to a 2.25″ kraton handle with a small lanyard hole, all put together in a trim, slim form factor, this dart has all the makings of an easy to conceal little knife. Could easily be used as a neck knife, though I would not recommend you rely on this for something like outdoor use, since that I think 2.25 grip is waaaaay to small for a good wilderness knife. No, this looks like it would really be best used for things like an easily concealed defensive tool. Perhaps that is where the “Urban” part of it’s name comes from.

The design does have some interesting characteristics. About an inch or so above the kraton grip, on the ricasso of the blade, we see a grroved depression, clearly intended to be used as a thumb grip area. This would suggest the blade would be best held in a form of full handed pinch grip, with the ricasso held between thumb and folded forefinger.

The swell of the kraton base should fit in the closed palm of the hand, giving it a decent grip. And the flat kraton pommel should also allow it to be used as an impromptu punch dagger, with the blade held between the fingers, presuming Cold Steel has put enough Kraton down on that pommel to prevent the steel from pushing through.

And, of course, it is also very nicely shaped for throwing. perhaps where the “dart” part of the name came from, though I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you get one of these and start throwing it like you would throw a dart. Certainly not at another human. Unless, of course they started it first.  🙂  But either way, it ought to be a rather nimble little defensive blade.

And, funnily enough, I think I have just solved the riddle of why they decided to call it an ‘Urban Dart”.

Very cool idea. I like it.

Urban Dart by Cold Steel – [True Swords]

A cool short sword…

Monday, November 30th, 2009

As you should all well know by now, I have an innate bias towards blades of dark, pointy, sharp and curvy nature. However the nature of the sword industry today is such that most swords are made for collectors, and are generally shiny wall hangers. Obviously, this is almost the polar opposite of the kinds of things I look for in a sword. But every now and then, I find one that just speaks to me…

Junglee Short Sword

Junglee Short Sword

Meet the Junglee short sword. A symphony of modern technology melded with beautiful lines that look like they were taken from a few different sword styles. A beautiful curving blade of AUS-8 steel, that looks like a cross between a bowie knife, a scimitar and a khukuri. A blade that widens down towards the hilt into a small integrated guard, and then down to a textured kraton covered grip. All finished in an understated black teflon finish. Absolutely beautiful. I love it.

Now as short swords go, this is indeed a beauty. However I do have some concerns about it. One of them is about the steel. AUS-8, when properly heat treated, can be a great knife steel, possessing qualities similar to 440 stainless. For small knives, they are good, will take and hold an edge well, and provided they are sufficiently thick, are fairly resilient against flexing stresses. However these steels tend to be low carbon, relatively hard, inflexible  steels, so I generally do not like to see them used for swords.

Swords, due to their greater length, do tend to flex a lot more than knives do, and so my concern would be that under hard use, or in cold conditions, this sword could chip or break. A thick blade can generally help avoid possible breakage, but given it’s relatively light weight, (a whole 1.4lbs, lol ), I tend to doubt it is particularly thick. However to be fair, I should also add that this sword is a “short” sword, so the typical weaknesses of AUS-8 may not be as pronounced, and it could have been tempered slightly softer than normal in order to help mitigate that risk.

Another possible cause for concern would be the grip construction and material. While I love the way Kraton feels, and the kind of grip it gives you, most Kraton grips are essentially tang sleeves, and the tang has to be designed in a specific manner, or employ some additional retention methods, like a lanyard sleeve that goes through both grip and tang, for instance, in order to prevent the kraton grip from slipping down the tang under hard use. Don’t really see any of that on this sword, which means there is the possibility of the grip moving around on you…

So, if you plan to relying on something like this as a primary tool for survival purposes, you may want to keep the above points in mind.

But apart from that, I just love the lines on this. And the dark beautiful curves. Just can’t help it. I will probably never be able to rely solely on it for outdoor treks, however I’m probably still gonna get it because it just so cool… 😀

Junglee Short Sword – [eBlade Store]

A primitive knife for the caveman in all of us…

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

SOG has built a reputation for themselves in the knife industry, and for good reason. They make a lot of good knives. They are also one of the many knife companies that subscribe to the idea of “tacticool” knife design. Meaning, they don’t just focus on making good tactical knives, but that they also try to give them some sex appeal too.

In general I cannot really complain about this way of thinking. Personally, I grade all of my blades on both functionality and aesthetics. I like knives that not only work well, but look cool. And being dead sexeh, or simply evil looking, certainly doesn’t hurt their grade in my book. 😀

However some folks occasionally tend to take it just a little bit too far…

SOG Fusion Jungle Primitive

SOG Fusion Jungle Primitive

Folks, meet Bob. Say hi Bob! My friend Bob here, is a SOG Fusion Jungle Primitive. “Wassat?” you say? Well, he’s a cave man. Or a cave knife. Actually a Cro-Magnon or prehistoric modern knife, to be exact. Yep. Prolly ought to be in a museum. With all the other primitive knives. But here he is. Looking us right in the eye, and trying to establish alpha knife dominance over the lowly pocket knives we all happen to be carrying. A modern day barbarian. Heh.

LOL OK, yes, perhaps I’m being a little mean. But it’s all in the name of a little fun. I don’t really mean anything by it. 🙂 The SOG jungle primitive is not actually a bad knife. In fact I think that, apart from one or two features that are minor pet peeves, it’s actually a great knife. I think they just kinda took the tacticool thinking to a bit of a new level. But not actually in an entirely bad way either.

Lets start with the kraton grip, which should be fairly grippy, even in adverse conditions. SOG went one better by molding an artistic faux knurling to the pattern of the kraton grip, (which they are calling a “Digi-Grip”… go figure)  that gets irregular at the top and bottom. Nice touch actually. The shape of the grip is also very nice, with a decent guard at the top, and ridges at the bottom and top of the inside curves to help increase traction. The pommel, protruding from the grip of this full tang blade has been given a small saw tooth finish. This, I am on the fence about, for reasons I’ll get to later.

The blade on the Jungle Primitive just drips with that second kind of cool (aka Tacticool). The blade is a large 9.5 in clip point, with lots of belly, a good combination for a survival blade. Just above the grip, the first inch and a half of the blade sports a serrated edge. Just above the grip, on the spine, we have a thumb recess with the same saw tooth pattern used on the pommel. Above that, a cute little divot for who knows what. And above that, we have my main pet peeve; a section of rearward facing saw teeth. Lots more on those later.

Obviously, this knife was designed with optimal grip for both gloved and bare handed users in mind. The size and the shape of the little saw teeth both on the thumb section on the spine, and on the pommel pretty much make that fairly clear. However I tend to think the design is perhaps biased a little too much towards the gloved users. The serrations seem overly large, like they would actually become tiresome against a bare thumb over long periods of use.

But that could just be me being a wuss. The other thing, is that the same pattern on the pommel makes sense if the knife is going to be used in a reverse “ice pick” grip, with the thumb over the pommel. Again, the saw teeth would provide added purchase for your gloved thumb, but would probably become very irritating against a bare thumb. Another concern would be that because a common use for the pommel is as a hammer, and there are some things that you might end up splitting instead of hammering, because those teeth would concentrate the force of each blow into a few very small points instead of  across the whole pommel.

Now as you can probably imagine, this is by no means a small knife. It is basically a knife modeled on the large, single knife only, survival role. As I’ve said in other posts, going this route is far from ideal, the ideal would be to carry a much larger heavy knife (a camp axe or a machete), and at least one small knife. However if you have to do it with just one, this would definitely fit the bill.

But now, if you all don’t mind, I’d like to vent about my one major pet peeve with this design: THOSE BLASTED SAW TEETH ON THE SPINE!!

The most hackle raising feature of this otherwise very cool knife was how the spine saw was implemented. Rather than put an actual saw blade on the spine, the folks at SOG opted for the much more difficult “dino tooth” option. They went back in time, grabbed some hapless velociraptor, performed an X-Men, Wolverine-style dental job to replace all of its teeth with steel, then pulled it’s newly transformed steel teeth out and stuck them on the back of this knife.

No. Really. That’s what they did. What? Don’t beleive me?

Ok, fine. Maybe they didn’t. But it certainly looks like it. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except that a velociraptors teeth are designed to help them catch and eat live prey. Not for SAWING WOOD. Do any of these knife makers actually ever look at a real wood saw any more? Seriously? Have you ever seen teeth like these on a wood saw? A hand saw? A folding wood saw? Branch cutting saw? Anyone? Why is it so hard for knife makers to get that oh, so simple little detail right?

I mean I can understand the cool of having the spine of your knife look like a hungry velociraptors jaw, but this knife is supposed to be a survival tool FIRST, and cool tool SECOND. Weapon/tool aesthetics aren’t called the SECOND kind of cool for nothing. Pro tip folks: Always get your basic design fully functional before you go designing in the sexy. OK?  Aaaaand… I’m done. End rant.

OK. To be fair, the knife is still quite evil. In a jungle primitive kind of way. My kind of aesthetic. And it will do most everything you might want it to do. Some things (such as sawing through wood) will require a little more effort than others. But it will get the job done. Just remember that if you are looking for a knife for survival purposes.

The way I see it, there’s the tool, and then there’s the cool. Sometimes you can have both the tool and the cool. Sometimes the cool overwhelms the tool. Me personally, especially for survival use, I prefer the tool to pwn the cool. Because if you are in a survival situation, the cool ain’t gonna get you through. It will be all about the tool… 🙂

Now say that 20 times fast. 😀

SOG Fusion Jungle Primitive – [eBladeStore]

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