Posts Tagged ‘Wood’

Mans best… pal?

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Ok, so I’ve been looking for a few good all around large wilderness knives, large blades, like machetes and the like, things I could substitute for an axe. My personal philosophy for wilderness excursions is to carry a large blade instead of an axe, because while an axe is really, really good for heavy duty chopping, unless you are doing something really involved, like building a log cabin, you could probably get by with a large knife instead.

And in addition to that, there are a gazillion things you can do with a large machete that an axe would just be too unwieldy for. My personal benchmark, my reference blade, my standard for any large blade that can double as an axe, is the Nepalese Khukuri. And I actually did find a Khukuri to add to my outdoor kit. That blade, however, is the topic of another post.

Today, I’d like to talk about one of the more popular machete type tools I happened to run across during my search: The Woodmans Pal:

Woodmans Pal - Site Logo

Woodmans Pal

Now this is one of the more unique machete designs I’ve happened across during my ramblings across the internet, and for the most part, I like what I see. Good solid construction, no gimmicky features, like some of the other specialized machetes I’ve blogged about in the past. I will admit that in my opinion, this machete does carry a little bit of bloatware on board, depending on how you plan to use this useful not-so-little blade, however this ends up working in it’s favor, which I will talk a little bit about later on.

So, lets start from the bottom. The Woodmans pal comes in two flavors, one with a nice hardwood grip, and the other with the premium, and very nice looking compressed leather grip, with an integrated D shaped knuckle guard, as shown later below. Me personally, I like the leather grip and knuckle guard, but depending on how you plan to use the machete, the wood may be a better choice, for reasons I’ll also get into later.

But perhaps the most distinctive feature of this machete is it’s blade. The woodmans pal features an interesting forward swept design, with the blade getting a little wider, as it gets towards the top. Interestingly the edge is not sharpened all the way to the top, but stops just short of the wide, flat tip. However at the top of the blade, opposite the unsharpened top edge, we have a billhook jutting from the spine.

The billhook sits in a depression stamped into the top of the hook, so as to ensure that, when oriented correctly, the blade of the hook is always lower than the blade of the machete, which should make it easier to catch limbs and brush with. I thought was a very clever design feature, though this is also where my little nitpicks begin.

The Woodmans Pal

The Woodmans Pal

Here’s the thing. This design is quite innovative, however it suffers from a few shortcomings. For instance, if you opt for the model with the leather grip and knuckle guard, you may find that your options for using the billhook are actually a little limited. Because as clever as the design is, that depression makes it biased towards one hand over the other, depending on whether you are a southpaw or not, and also depending on how you use a machete.

If you are one of the unfortunate few for whom the placement of the depression for the billhook makes it a little harder to use, you may want to opt for the wood grip, since the knuckle guard will generally only aggravate this problem, and the wood handle is actually much better designed to allow the machete to be used upside down. I also found that, at least based on the way I use machetes, there was only a marginal advantage to having it. A lot of what I might do with the billhook, I could do with just the machete blade alone.

However I will say that the bill hook, in combination with the slight flare of the blade as it rises towards the tip, provides the tool with a top heavy balance that should give it rather khukuri-like qualities in terms of chopping power. Perhaps with not quite the same kind of elegance that the Khukuri carries, but some semblance of it’s chopping ability nonetheless.

Now individually, none of these features are particularly unique. However put together, it makes for one heck of a well balanced, exotic gardening implement! The wood and leather, where used, appear to be of great quality, and the steel is a good quality tempered carbon spring steel, so no demerits in that area either. All in all, a really great machete, if you are in the market for something of this nature.

Equally confidence inspiring is that Pro Tool Industries, the maker of the Woodmans Pal, offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back. I’m tend to be a bit leery when I see things like that, but based on what I’ve seen of it, I’d be willing to bet few have ever taken advantage of this offer.

So really, apart from the whole billhook thing, I can’t really knock this. And it even comes in black. I wish they made one without the billhook.

But then I guess it just wouldn’t be a Woodmans Pal.

‘Tis a shame really…

The Woodmans Pal – [Pro Tool Industries, Inc]

Yet Another Beautiful Dark Blade…

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

A fellow DarkBlader (Many apologies, I do not recall who) recently turned me on to this absolutely beautiful dark sword from the excellent Kult of Athena Site.

BlackSword

BlackSword

It is quite fittingly called the Blacksword.  And man… What a sword!!  There are few swords that truly capture the both the flash flaire of the many finely mirror polished swords out there today, while still being subtle, dark, understated and, most importantly, evil… and this is one of them.

The Blacksword is made by the outstanding Windlass Steelcrafts, and is an absolute work of art. 32.5″ of slim, dark, hyper blued, sinister steel, with a simple fuller running down it’s center, into a simple diamond flare at the ricasso. The hilt is equally charismatic, with a simple elegant, upward curving cross guard rising from the simple center shield-like emblem.

The spiral leather wrapped wood grip presents us with yet more sinister but oh so tempting darkness, bordered at each end by silver studded bands, and finishing at another equally simple pommel.  A simple, beautiful, dark, sinister but breathtakingly magnificent sword.

When I look at this sword, I think of the Drow, The dark elves of the Underdark. If your average, highly polished sword were a fair-skinned forest elf, this sword would be the light haired, dark skinned Drow equivalent.  I’ve probably said this before, but I wonder what it would be like to have a dark, beautiful Drow girlfriend. A dark irresistible beauty whom you knew could turn and plunge a knife through your heart at any moment, for any reason, but who was just too stunning to say no to.

Probably 7 circles of hell all wrapped up in a single Evil Drow Beauty…

Man… Evil can be soo tempting… o_O

The BlackSword by Windlass Steelcrafts – [Kult of Athena]

Monster Stilettos

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Don’t have a whole lot of time today, so I thought I’d throw some eye candy your way to distract you, and then while you were looking the other way, I’d skedaddle. Let the game begin… 😀

The topic of todays’ post? Stilettos. Monster Stilettos. Monster Folding Stilettos. Yeah. Don’t believe me? Here Ya go:

Monster Folding Stiletto - Natural Wood Scales

Monster Folding Stiletto - Natural Wood Scales

Would you just look at this thing? It’s like a freaking short sword… 13″ long, 6″ blade. Ok, maybe a short sword is exaggerating a bit, but still, how many 6″ folders do you run across?

Monster Folding Stiletto - Pearl Handle

Monster Folding Stiletto - Pearl Handle

Honestly, stilettos have some of the most sexiest blade profiles around. Actually I think a few of the Fairbairn-Sykes profiles are similar, and much more evil, but nonetheless, the stiletto is a classic. The narrow 6″ blade, with the false edge, and the sharp point, is, as the website suggests, the stuff of classic 50’s gangstas. But I bet none of them ever carried around a 15″ stiletto…

Monster Folding Stiletto - Midnight Blue Handle

Monster Folding Stiletto - Midnight Blue Handle

Absolutely beautiful…

Now just keep your eyes on the pretty flashy not-so-little knives… 😀

Custom 13″ Oversized Folding Stilettos – [True Swords]

Caution! Dangerous Curves Ahead…

Monday, August 31st, 2009

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I have an abiding love of curves. Lots of different kinds of curves. I’ll leave the specifics up to your imagination. However this site was started for one specific brand of curves. Those of the sharp, shiny and dark steel variety.  And these.. curvy steel implements… 🙂 can in fact carry curves so *sexy* that if you happen to be the religious type, you might well need to go to confession for just looking at them.

OK maybe that’s just me.

But still. There are some knives that I find almost immoral… Kinda like this one:

Fighter

Fighter

Yeah… The Fighter. From the South African site Herbst. And more evil, seductive lines I have not seen, barring those of elven design. Not to mention the level of detail, fit and finish on this knife is just absolutely mind blowing. Look at the grip on this blade. Incorporating an integral, twisted iron patterned full hand guard, the grip sports a set of beautiful polished wood scales, capped on either side by finely detailed gold and silver accents.

Fighter - Grip

Fighter - Grip

The gold treatment even goes between the scales and the blade, all the way up to the top of  the bolster. Just absolutely amazing detail:

Fighter - Bolster

Fighter - Bolster

The pommel is equally well treated, but also sporting a rather evil point:

Fighter - Pommel

Fighter - Pommel

On either side of the blade at the ricasso, the guard flows into a highly polished flourish, that contrasts excellently with the flat finish of the ricasso area.

Fighter - Ricasso

Fighter - Ricasso

And from there on up, is one of the most sinful blades I have ever come across:

Fighter - A Sinful Blade

Fighter - A Sinful Blade

A double scalloped spine, meets the smooth complex curve of the front edge of the blade in a beautiful symphony of shiny, curving steel, with curves that just, don’t stop… Absolutely eeeeeevilll… *droool..* Errr.. Ahem.

Yes… I, err, I think I need a cold shower now. Not that it will do me much good, but…

The Fighter – [Herbst]

Don’t make me take off this belt now…

Friday, July 10th, 2009

Show of hands, how many of you have heard a parent or guardian utter the words…”Don’t make me take of this belt…”

Huh… I thought there would be more… There’s just no discipline anymore these days dagnabbit! The world is going to hades in a wicker basket. A pity they let the old punishment die… Was a time detention found you hanging by your thumbs in the dungeons… Man, do I miss the screaming. Bah!

In any case the topic of todays post is not whips, chains and/or thumbscrews. Just belts. One particularly interesting belt. A belt with a blade…

Belt Knife

Belt Knife

Yep, A belt knife! Yeah, I’ll bet non of your parents had one of these… Then it would be like, “Eat your food or I’m gonna hafta cut ya.” Or “Clean up your room. Don’t make me come up there and cutcha!” or the all time favorite: “Child, I will whip of this belt, right here in this mall, and…” You can just imagine the rest… Ah… the good old days… *sigh*

Anyway there are actually a lot of belt knives on the market today if you know where to look. What I found very interesting about this particular design was the very beautiful wood grip. This I do not see very often. Also this belt knife is not a belt buckle, like many other designs and does not require you to remove your belt in order to get to the knife. The knife is stored in a separate sheath area in the belt.

Belt Knife - Deployed

Belt Knife - Deployed

My only complaint would be that the angle of the a blade to the grip is a little odd. However given a choice between no knife and a knife with a funky blade angle, well… there’s really no choice.

As a side note, while this is certainly one of the more stealthy ways to carry a blade on your person at all times, this will *not* make it past any security worth their salt. very few belt knives would. But I thought it was still quite an interesting design nonetheless.

Belt Knife – [True Swords]

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