BLADE Show 2016 and a Different Path

Blade Show 2016 suppliesThis year’s BLADE Show was transformational for me.  For the last four years, I have attended as a writer, with the job of interviewing people and taking photographs.  Maxpedition bag slung over one shoulder, I wandered into the Cobb Galleria Center Friday with the intention of talking to folks and examining goods in preparation for articles once again.

A familiar pang came over me when I walked in, though.  I was inspired by the master bladesmiths and craftsmen, and women, gathered to show their wares.  My purpose was to write, but I really wanted to be there as a knifemaker.  Leaving the pen, pad, and camera inside my slingbag, I began walking the show floor, thinking like a maker.

I have not made knives in many years.  In fact, I had only ever made a few stock removal fixed blades for my own use.  All my tools are long since gone–sold in a clandestine garage sale by a spiteful ex-wife.  I would have to buy more machinery.  And that could come later…

My plan was to find some small pieces of steel and a few Continue reading

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Spyderco BaliYo Pen Review

The modern spinning yoyo was invented in the late 1920’s by Filipino immigrant Pedro Flores, thus it is fitting that Spyderco’s Filipino balisong-inspired spinning pen is named the BaliYo. Both the yoyo and BaliYo take practice and patience to learn, but each can be a handful o’ fun. Really!

We all realize that it is a no-no to twirl a butterfly knife in public, but sometimes you just need to stretch the fingers and mind. While I’m not good with the stringed instrument, the BaliYo is a good choice for absentminded flippery when I am out of the homestead. The BaliYo has pocket clips and is supremely Continue reading

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Seiko SSB031–My Moonwatch

Seiko SSB031 close upOn my sixth birthday, I was in Hawaii at my grandparents house watching the live launch of a manned Apollo mission to space on a black and white TV. It seemed like the whole nation, or at least what I knew of it, was consumed with dreams of travel to the stars. The endeavor represented our technological prowess and, especially to a boy, it was awe inspiring.

I have never forgotten that feeling. My real life has had no connection to astronauts, or rockets, or lunar modules, but I have admired what they achieved. Much like I have purchased watches reminiscent of the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms or the Rolex Submariner that I cannot afford, I went in search of a timepiece that would resemble the Omega Speedmaster Professional Chronograph, or Moonwatch, issued to our American space warriors.

A glimpse of Seiko’s SSB031 Chronograph made me think of serious men with buzz cuts and dangerous ambitions in Cape Canaveral. Continue reading

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Paragon Warlock–Truly Unique Mechanism

Paragon Warlock BlackParagon Knives’ Warlock may be the one true gravity knife on the market.  It has a very unique “safety” mechanism.  By grasping and squeezing both over-sized pivot housings, the halves of the handle split open to expose the blade, allowing the user to manually swing the blade out and back in again.

Once the blade is deployed, releasing the pivots closes the handle halves and locks the blade out by two pins in the tang.  Now it cannot close.  You will have to watch the videos I have included below to really grasp how it functions.  Think of it as a one-sided butterfly knife that can be flipped in and out.

The Warlock is currently a pre-order.  They will come in black, dark earth, or OD green anodized aluminum handles with either black or bead-blasted S30V Continue reading

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New Zero Tolerance Knives for 2016

0095bw_profile_1020x400Zero Tolerance Knives has released its new knives for 2016.  Here are some highlights and the manufacturer descriptions and specs.  If you’ve handled a knife by ZT, you know they are high quality pieces.  Enjoy!

The new Zero Tolerance 0095BW offers a dramatic look and top performance.

The 0095BW is built with premium quality materials—from its S35VN blade steel to its solid titanium handles. S35VN ensures the 0095BW offers a reliable edge. Added niobium gives this powdered metallurgy steel improved toughness over S30V without loss of wear resistance. The end result is a sharp edge that lasts for a long time. Next, ZT adds a BlackWash™ finish to the 0095BW’s “harpoon-style” blade to give the knife a sleek, unified look and to hide hard-use scratches.

The high-performance blade is paired with a titanium handle with wide, contoured chamfers to provide a secure, comfortable grip. A titanium frame lock with a hardened lockbar insert secures the blade open during use. ZT’s KVT ball-bearing opening system lets you open the 0095BW with speed and efficiency. The 0095BW’s pocketclip is reversible for left- and right-handed tip-up carry. Finally, a decorative, two-toned pivot adds a finishing touch to the 0095BW, completing the look of this solid handful of precision.0095bw_clipside_closed_1020x400

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New Knives Presented by Boker USA

Boker AuroraBoker USA has announced two new knives at the opening of SHOT Show 2016.  The first is a flat-ground framelock folder.  This could be called an “art knife” from Jens Ansø, with its anodized and accented titanium handles, but it also looks to have plenty of working potential.

Lakewood, Colorado (January 18, 2016) – Boker USA is proud to present the Boker Aurora.

A true Solingen masterpiece and Jens Ansø design. Durability and elegance are not a contradiction here – the new Boker Aurora (Latin for “dawn”) is a great example of this. The massive titanium liners of the framelock design grant extreme stability, while the radial milling maintains an appearance worthy of a showpiece. The special effect is created by the two-tone anodizing, showing a grayish-blue base tone, with bronze colored accents highlighting the ridges.

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New Spyderco Knives for 2016

Spyderco MambaIn December, Spyderco came out with their 2016 catalog.  To keep things simple, I have made some screenshots of the new folding knives.  Some of these knives are shipping now, and some will begin to appear later in 2016.

Spyderco WolfSpyder

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