Review

Showing 27 posts tagged Review

The Best EDC Flashlights
Compared to knives, people have only recently started carrying flashlights on a daily basis. In the past, carry options were limited to giant, dim Maglites or plastic Energizer torches. Since then, innovation in LED, battery, and optical technology brought a new generation of lights that outshine their predecessors. These brighter, smaller, and more useful modern lights are worth including in your EDC. In the second installment of Carry Smarter, we recommend our favorite lights to carry with you.
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When buying an EDC light, there are many features and technical nuances to consider. If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology, choosing your EDC light can be daunting. Some features are straightforward, such as a pocket clip, battery type, or output. Keep in mind that while there are plenty of great lights that take common AA and AAA batteries, the best of them will require lithium ion or rechargeable cells. Also, there’s more to a light than how bright it is – generally, anything with more than 100 lumens will be sufficient, and anything over 400 is overkill. Runtime, beam and tint quality, and a good user interface are just as important as brightness, if not more so. Lastly, some terms worth explaining – CRI refers to a light’s ability to preserve colors accurately (think of how your skin looks under a fluorescent bulb versus sunlight), and tailstanding refers to a light’s ability to stand vertically to act like a candle in an emergency situation by bouncing its beam off of a ceiling for diffuse illumination. With that said, let’s take a look at our favorite lights to EDC.

This is the entry level for modern flashlights. Compared to an old Maglite, it’s a revelation – two to three times brighter than the MiniMag on a single AA battery. While it uses a twist, twist-again UI, its modes are well-spaced and fortunately start on low to preserve night vision. The clip is an excellent bolt-on clip, which is unusual at this price point. Most inexpensive lights have flimsy clips that clamp using friction and simply don’t stay in place. Finally, this light tailstands well. A light of this size and price isn’t without drawbacks – on high, it puts out a meager 70 lumens with an overly bluish tint.
BUY NOW ($25)

This tiny jewel truly demonstrates just how far flashlight technology has progressed. It’s only the size of a AA battery, but ten times brighter than the colossal, common 2D Maglite. It not only has a screaming high output, but it also has a beautiful medium mode and a perfect, moonlight low. You’d be surprised just how often its dimmest setting is more than enough to get the job done. No light is a better showcase of flashlight technology than the HF-R. It’s called “Holy Flashlight” for a reason.
BUY NOW ($88)

No flashlight manufacturer stays on the cutting edge of LED technology like FourSevens does. The super compact Atom AL is one of the most affordable lights on the market to use a staged twisty UI – one that accesses output modes by continuously twisting the head of the light in one direction, without needing to toggle on and off to change modes. If you’ve been turned off by hassling with complicated UIs, using the Atom AL will spoil you – it’s amazingly easy to use. The light is also compatible with a headstrap for hands-free work (or if tremendous dork is more your style).
BUY NOW ($35)


While the diminutive D2 comes in at only 1.5” long and 0.5” in diameter, its ability to reach a 100 lumen high is no small feat. In addition to its impressively compact design, the D2 is unique in that it operates using a quantum tunneling composite (QTC) UI. The QTC material in the light varies its conductivity with applied pressure – in the absence of pressure (twisted off), the material acts as an insulator and the light stays off. Twisting the light compresses the material, increasing its conductivity to produce infinitely variable output. Although QTC lights can be inconsistent when dialing in a desired output, the well-machined fine threading on the D2 mitigates jumps in brightness levels and allows for more a more stable, precise output.
BUY NOW ($48)

Much like the smooth, heavy knobs of quality, vintage audio gear, the HDS Rotary’s selector ring provides a classy, silken feel and very intuitive user interface. Using the ring, you can seamlessly dial into one of 17 separate outputs, as the jump from one brightness level to another is so subtle, it’s virtually unnoticeable. Additionally, you can select brightness and then turn on the light – allowing for convenient, direct access to your desired output without the hassle of cycling through modes and ruining your night vision. The Rotary’s stroke of genius that sets it apart from the many selector ring click lights on the market is its design. Putting the click button and selector ring in such close proximity allows for one-hand operation. Add to this a 200 lumen output, immaculate fit and finish, and a build quality so robust it turns tanks green with envy, and you have one of the most praised lights ever made. As such, they aren’t easy to come by.
BUY NOW ($199)

Jason Hui of Prometheus Lights is no stranger to making quality lights, with his full-sized, custom Alpha flashlights under his belt. The Beta-QR is Hui’s sophomore effort – a smaller, more mainstream production light that maintains the look and feel of a custom light. Fortunately, it isn’t as expensive as its luxurious design would suggest. Its unique list of features starts with an ingenious quick-release method of connecting to a keychain. Above all, it boasts a beautiful and uncommon Nichia 219 emitter, producing beautifully accurate light with a CRI of 93 out of 100.
BUY NOW ($55)

Even for the discerning flashlight enthusiast, the McGizmo Haiku needs to be experienced to understand why it costs a hefty $500. Simply put, there is no flashlight in the world that can fit in your pocket and do things as well as the Haiku can. It can be fitted with a high CRI emitter and operates via a fantastic clicky UI. It’s supernally beautiful and incredibly well made. And yet, the Haiku’s success lies in its reflector – it’s been tweaked and redesigned until it reached an unparalleled usefulness, able to balance the light’s smooth, flawless beam between flood and throw better than anything else on the market. Even though it has a maximum of only 140 lumens, you’ll reach for the Haiku first and frequently for lighting tasks. $500 for a flashlight is quite an investment, but if you need the best, the Haiku delivers.
LEARN MORE ($500)

One of the best lights in the world regardless of price, the SC52 can do it all. It has the versatility to reach over 250 lumens on a single alkaline AA battery or an utterly amazing 0.01 lumen low for a three-month long runtime. Zebralight has worked extensively and almost exclusively with AA battery lights. While other manufacturers relied on the newest LED or most powerful battery on the market, Zebralight focused on efficient circuitry for the common AA. The result of their efforts is absolute mastery of the battery like no other, giving us a light with runtimes and outputs that lap the competition.
BUY NOW ($64) High-res

The Best EDC Flashlights

Compared to knives, people have only recently started carrying flashlights on a daily basis. In the past, carry options were limited to giant, dim Maglites or plastic Energizer torches. Since then, innovation in LED, battery, and optical technology brought a new generation of lights that outshine their predecessors. These brighter, smaller, and more useful modern lights are worth including in your EDC. In the second installment of Carry Smarter, we recommend our favorite lights to carry with you.

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Karas Kustoms made a name for themselves amongst EDCers and pen addicts with their exceedingly successful Kickstarter campaign for their first pen, the Render K. Part of that success stemmed from the demand for a durable, functional pen body to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use that plastic pens couldn’t. The newest Karas Kustoms pen, The Retrakt, follows suit by offering both rugged construction and a unique clicky design that makes it a great option for EDC. Dan Bishop of Karas Kustoms graciously sent this pen to us for this review.
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The Retrakt body is machined from 6061-T6 anodized aluminum (also available in copper and brass) and fitted with stainless steel hardware. Its fully metal exterior weighs in at just 1 oz for a 5.625” overall length. To access its interior, the front half of the barrel unscrews from the pen just below the pocket clip. The threads are machined as well, and while not sloppy, they aren’t buttery smooth. The pen accommodates Pilot G2 and similar refills with the help of the included spacer. A knurled tailcap, stainless steel pushbutton and pocket clip round out the pen. Aesthetically, it looks very much like a high quality instrument. Upon very close inspection, I found some fine scratches on the barrel – but this would likely result from everyday use anyway. The pen doesn’t look overly polished or luxurious, but instead, its appeal lies in its sterile, understated ruggedness.

Other pens in the Karas Kustoms lineup differ mainly by their operation (Render K has a screw cap, while the Bolt uses a bolt-action mechanism). The Retrakt’s unique, all-metal “clicky” mechanism allows for a retractable tip and easy deployment, making it ideal for everyday carry. The purchase on the pushbutton is decent, but it forgoes the satisfying audible and tactile clickiness of plastic pens in favor of a smoother, muted action. The size, weight, and balance of the pen make it feel surprisingly nice both in hand and in the pocket. However, my main disappointment when writing is that the smooth, uniform barrel causes me to lose my grip. I think some slight knurling near the tip would improve grip and keep in line with the utilitarian aesthetic. Otherwise, the added heft of the body helps to ‘do the work’ of writing, but isn’t too heavy to be fatiguing or to weigh down your pocket. If you carry it clipped to your pocket, you’ll find it sits securely, albeit not very deep. The exposed portion of the pen, however, looks totally natural, unassuming, and non-threatening. 

With its sturdy clip and clicky mechanism design, the Retrakt lends itself best to jotting down notes quickly, frequently, and easily. Opting for a pressurized Fisher refill would make it an excellent “field pen,” but its compatibility with various G2-styled refills shows its versatility. Regardless of your refill of choice, if you tend to write for long sessions, the lack of any additional grip on the barrel might be an issue. Despite this, my overall writing experience was highly satisfying. In my hand and in my pocket, it feels like nothing less than a dependable, quality writing instrument.
Everyday Carry Score: ★★★★☆
Pros:
High quality, sturdy construction
Retractable tip with full-metal knock mechanism (no loose cap to lose or break)
Decent versatility with multiple refill compatibility
Sterile, non-threatening aesthetic
Great balance of weight and size both for writing and carrying
Strong, removable pocket clip.
Cons:
Lack of additional grip near the tip of the barrel
Slight imperfections to finish on body and hardware
Internal spacers and spare parts made of plastic, does not match sturdiness of the rest of the pen
(Knock mechanism neither audibly nor tactilely satisfying, personally.)
Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable, no-frills writing tool for everyday carry, the Retrakt makes a strong case.
BUY NOW ($45) High-res

Karas Kustoms made a name for themselves amongst EDCers and pen addicts with their exceedingly successful Kickstarter campaign for their first pen, the Render K. Part of that success stemmed from the demand for a durable, functional pen body to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use that plastic pens couldn’t. The newest Karas Kustoms pen, The Retrakt, follows suit by offering both rugged construction and a unique clicky design that makes it a great option for EDC. Dan Bishop of Karas Kustoms graciously sent this pen to us for this review.

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Yannick Henriette, founder of Jac Henri, sought to optimize his carry with a slim, durable, elegant wallet. Dissatisfied with the slim wallets available on the market, Henriette took it upon himself to design one for his own use eight years ago. After many revisions, Henriette brought the Jac Henri Slim Wallet to the market in 2013 through a successful Kickstarter campaign.
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High quality materials like supple Italian leather and contrast top-stitching define this handsome cash and card holder. “Exotic” skins are farmed and the wallets are hand-crafted in the USA in limited quantities. Along with his Parker 51 Aerometric Fountain Pen, Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust II, Opinel No. 8, and Paragon pocketknife, Henriette carries his Jac Henri Slim Wallet with black alligator skin. You can find this wallet and the rest of the Jac Henri product line at his website, linked below.

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Yannick Henriette, founder of Jac Henri, sought to optimize his carry with a slim, durable, elegant wallet. Dissatisfied with the slim wallets available on the market, Henriette took it upon himself to design one for his own use eight years ago. After many revisions, Henriette brought the Jac Henri Slim Wallet to the market in 2013 through a successful Kickstarter campaign.

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Camillus Knives has a long history of producing traditional pocket knives, dating back to 1876. Since their re-launch in 2009, they’ve put out some interesting modern folders to make their re-entry into the everyday carry knife market. Jake Tauriainen of World Knife Outlet thought the Camillus 7.25” Folding Knife would be an interesting product to showcase here, so he kindly sent over a copy for me to review for Everyday Carry. Let’s see how successfully Camillus approaches more modern folders in this review.
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Everything about the knife speaks modern design – surprisingly utilizing a good VG-10 Japanese steel with a Carbonitride Titanium coating on its 3” drop-point blade. The black coating allegedly strengthens the steel’s hardness up to ten times that of untreated steel for long-lasting sharpness, and doesn’t peel, flake, or chip. Externally, the knife features an ergonomic carbon fiber body, housing anodized blue titanium internal structures. Its liner lock and pocket clip are also made from the same anodized blue titanium. As the product name suggests, it’s 7.25” long when open, and fairly compact at 4.25” long when closed. Despite its interesting materials in carbon fiber and titanium, the knife manages to weigh in respectably just shy of 2.3 oz, or 65g. Overall, it’s a fairly sleek knife with some striking aesthetics.

Upon closer inspection, the construction, fit, and finish are acceptable. The carbon fiber handles have a visually interesting finish with decent grip and texture. The blade on my copy centers well, and its black coating has even coverage throughout. However, with some use, the black coating in the belly of the blade eventually revealed some light scratches. The titanium bolsters have a striking blue anodized color, but it isn’t perfectly even with some slight imperfections along the spine, near the lanyard hole, and on the pocket clip. With time, the titanium does display some scratches, and the deep blue tends to fade into a smoky purple color in areas prone to abrasion and wear. Personally, this adds character to the knife and I consider it more of a patina than a poor finish.

The knife opens via bilateral thumb studs. Deployment is not the smoothest I’ve seen on a knife, but opens just fine with a slower, controlled motion. Flicking the knife open proved difficult for me, which I suspect could be from having a weaker detent to facilitate opening, making it harder to build up enough pressure for a strong flick opening. Because of this, I’d recommend a traditional right-handed thumb opening as opposed to a left-handed or middle-fingered opening. Disengaging the liner lock to close the knife requires some adjustment, as the lock bar is difficult to access. It appears the opposite liner has a recessed cut out to accommodate thumb access, but the actual carbon fiber handle over it doesn’t follow the same cut, rendering the cutout useless outside of cutting weight from the knife. This oversight was one of my main disappointments in the knife.

Actually using the knife is much more enjoyable. The blade locks up decently, albeit a bit late. The ergonomic body feels especially good in hand – there’s enough length in the handle and comfortable curves along the inside of the knife to let my fingers grip the knife naturally. Thumb jimping on the back of the blade further solidifies the handling on the knife. I have smaller hands, and to me, the knife doesn’t feel unwieldy at all. I suspect folks with larger hands shouldn’t have trouble using the knife either. Out of the box, it’s sharp and slices effortlessly. For being only a 3” long blade, it’s shaped nicely, giving it versatility in its capabilities to slice, cut, and puncture.

Although the design of the knife lets it fit comfortably in hand, it’s somewhat lacking in available carry options. The pocket clip design constrains the knife to a right-handed, tip-up carry only. Nonetheless, I am confident in the clip’s retention – it’s easy to clip and unclip, but manages to still feel secure on my pants pocket. The knife doesn’t sit all too deeply when clipped, and the exposed portion of the knife does appear more obviously like a knife, and less like a pen or something more discreet. Lastly, lanyard holes on the bolsters at the end of the knife provide other means to carry the knife, such as clipping it to a bag. More simply, it’s a place to attach a lanyard for a convenient way to carry cordage with you, provide more grip, and improve accessibility from the pocket.
Camillus’s modern folder is most suitable for everyday urban carry. Those who prefer exotic materials would especially appreciate this knife. Unfortunately, its right-hand only pocket clip, slightly inaccessible liner lock, and awkward deployment would probably be less than ideal for you southpaws out there. I’d be wary of using this knife for extremely heavy duty as it doesn’t seem designed for that kind of use, so hardcore knife users might want to pass on this knife as well. Otherwise, it’s a good folding knife with decent steel for those on a budget, or looking for a unique entry-level to mid-range knife.

Everyday Carry Score: ★★★☆☆
Pros: Affordable, good steel, exotic materials, slim to carry, comfortable in hand, slices well for everyday urban use, unique aesthetic
Cons: Deployment could be smoother, liner lock slightly late and difficult to access comfortably, limited carry/clip options, minor imperfections in anodization
The 7.25” folder is an interesting departure from the more classic Camillus Knives offerings. Its strength lies in its affordability, good steel and materials all around, ergonomics and performance. While ambitious with its materials, the knife’s fit and finish are close, but not quite perfect. Furthermore, some oversights in its design, namely in deployment, lockup, and carry options, hold it back from really shining. These oversights hardly render the knife unusable, however. With some adjustment from the user to learn the knife, it makes for a great addition as a sleek everyday user for general and urban carry on a budget.
PURCHASE @ WorldKnifeOutlet:
Camillus 7.25” Folding Knife Drop Point - Carbon Fiber Handle ($66)
Article and Photography by Bernard Capulong on Monday, Mar 24, 2014 High-res

Camillus Knives has a long history of producing traditional pocket knives, dating back to 1876. Since their re-launch in 2009, they’ve put out some interesting modern folders to make their re-entry into the everyday carry knife market. Jake Tauriainen of World Knife Outlet thought the Camillus 7.25” Folding Knife would be an interesting product to showcase here, so he kindly sent over a copy for me to review for Everyday Carry. Let’s see how successfully Camillus approaches more modern folders in this review.

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HDS Executive Clicky Review and giveaway
A wise person on Candle Power Forums once wrote that just like you can’t evaluate the quality of scotch by its proof, you can’t judge the quality of a light by its lumens output.  The more HDS stuff I handle the more I realize how true this is. This is my second HDS light and it was provided by Kaufmann Mercantile for this review.  Stay around until the end for a special giveaway where you can win this HDS Clicky from Kaufmann Mercantile.   [[MORE]]   The first HDS light I got from them (which I purchased with my own money) was the HDS Rotary and that light has gone into my collection as one of my all time favorites.
Here is the review sample of the HDS Executive Clicky:

Product Description
The HDS Clicky is a medium sized 1xCR123a light.  It is made of lightly knurled aluminum with a stainless steel bezel.   The clicky is a forward clicky covered in a nice rubber boot.  The pocket clip is a black coated steel pocket clip.  It is a washer style clip, and you attach it by unscrewing the tail end, dropping the clip in place, and then screwing the tail end down again.  The light is very stoutly built with a potted (or glued in place) electronics bundle and a significant amount of engineering designed to make this light shock resistant. 
Design
The overall shape of the light comes from a long line of old flashlights, all of which have the fingerprints of HDS’s founder Henry on them.  The heritage of Henry’s designs can be traced back to the first LED light and the first practical LED light.  There are all sorts of take offs on this design, the Arc4, many of the Novatac lights.  The basic shape has been used and copied and used again many, many times and the reason is simple—it is a fantastic shape for a flashlight.  

With the inclusion of a pocket clip the Executive is one of the best overall shapes and sizes you will find.  Its big, especially for its format, but its a design repeatedly validated by experience.  The narrow section of the body tube allows for the perfect grip.  Here it is next to a Zippo for size comparison:

The clicky is nice and responsive and the bezel is perfect for leaking out a bit of light when the torch is placed bezel down.  Overall, the light, the clip, and the clicky are simple, proven, and uniformly excellent. 
Build Quality
While the design is conservative and functional, the build quality is unparalleled.  This light crushes the fit and finish on a Surefire.  I don’t write that lightly—I am squarely in the “Surefire Fanboy” camp.  It is not just more robust, it is tuned to the point of graceful perfection.  Take the finish on the bezel.  They are well cut, but not sharp, rounded off like the smooth, proud surfaces on a piece of Greene and Greene furniture.  The emitter is perfectly centered, the threads are acme threads and are smooth as silk. The entire surface finishing is inviting to the touch.

But its not just a finely made object.  The HDS is the gold standard for flashlight durability.  I have owned or reviewed well over 75 lights, many proclaiming they could survive an EMP blast or some nonsense like that.  I don’t know if the Executive Clicky could survive an EMP blast, but it could survive anything you could reasonably throw at it.  In normal use, this light will last a lifetime if you maintain the threads and o-rings.     
Performance
First, let’s get the “I beat this thing up” out of the way.  I left the flashlight outside, buried in snow during the harshest part of the New England winter (on accident) for two days.  I found the light, covered in a thin sheen of ice, and hit the clicky.  Bang, instant light.  It was as if I just pulled it out of my pocket. After that I took the light with me on my most perilous drives during a period of epic snowstorms this winter knowing full well it could take what nature dished out.  
In terms of things that flashaholics care about—the beam, the tint, and the lumens, the Executive Clicky is something of a mixed bag.  This isn’t a lumens cannon, but again, high lumens count does not equal quality.  At around 120 lumens on high (conservatively measured as HDS is want to do), it will handle almost all of your daily tasks.  Only those that need truly football-field illumination will be disappointed.  The beam itself as a pleasant color and temperature, but it is not a Hi CRI tint.  There are no artifacts, rings, or holes in the beam and unlike most other lights, the beam shape is perfect round.  All of this means that what you see at night will not be distorted or changed by your flashlight, handy if you have to spot a raccoon on the way to garbage or a more nefarious animal lurking around at night.  The mix between spill and hotspot is good, but not as good as I have seen on other lights, such as the McGizmo Haiku.  For 99.999% of the population, the set up is just fine, but seeing as the Executive Clicky runs with the best in every way, it will be compared to the best and here, its just a bit below the apogee of flashlight beam design.
There is one notable deficiency with the Executive Clicky—the UI.  Technology has advanced to the point where the Clicky is no longer state of the art.  Compared to the Rotary (on the right below) it is almost primitive. 

Despite all of the programmability build into the Executive Clicky, the fact remains that even a practiced flashaholic sometimes misses going into moonlight low.  I also don’t like that you can’t get to moonlight low directly without going into programming mode and changing things around.  Compared to the Rotary, the Executive Clicky falls flat.  Its not even that good of a clicky UI when compared to lights like the McGizmo Haiku.  Again, if you do so many things incredibly well you place yourself in elite company and comparisons can be tough.  
Tailstanding is fine and the clip is good.  It also works well as an antiroll device. 

I wouldn’t try the Executive Clicky between the teeth, its too big and heavy.  Also, the difference between the Executive and the Tactical is the clicky.  The Executive’s clicky is flush and the Tactical’s is not.  While there are some issues with the clicky relating to tailstanding, I have not experienced them on the Executive Clicky (though I have on the Rotary). 
Conclusion
You can get a brighter light, for sure.  But its hard to find a better light, especially for EDC purposes.  The real thing that makes the Executive Clicky amazing is the price compared to the performance.  The McGizmo Haiku is probably the finest EDC light in the world (though some think its the Lunasol 20 or a variant of the SPY 007).  And it costs about $500 new.  The Executive Clicky falls short of a few things the McGizmo does, but it is easily in the same class.  And it costs 1/5 as much.  There is probably no better value in the flashlight world than the HDS Executive Clicky.  At $99, it will last you a lifetime and perform better than any light you’ll likely encounter.  To put it in car terms your getting Ferrari performance at Nissan prices.  Its hard to call a $99 flashlight a bargain, but the Executive Clicky is absolutely that.
Amazon Score: 5 Stars
20 Point Score: 18/20 (1 off for Output, 1 off for UI)
ContestKaufmann Mercantile was kind enough to send this light along for review and they are, to my knowledge, the only place on the Internet that has HDS lights consistently in stock. They have also reached out to the Everyday-Carry team with a proposal. They want to give some stuff away and here is how the contest will work.
1. Sign Up for the giveaway at Kaufmann Mercantile below. http://kaufmann-mercantile.com/giveaway/
2. Submit a Pocket Dump that shows off your favorite gear and comment on this post.3. On March 21, 2014 we will then pick one of the submissions and that person will win the HDS Clicky from KM. Runner Up will win the KM EDC Keychain Kit that is coming up for review.
Update: The giveaway has concluded – Kaufmann Mercantile has selected winners and will be notifying them directly via e-mail. Please check your inboxes to see if you were selected. Thank you! High-res

HDS Executive Clicky Review and giveaway

A wise person on Candle Power Forums once wrote that just like you can’t evaluate the quality of scotch by its proof, you can’t judge the quality of a light by its lumens output.  The more HDS stuff I handle the more I realize how true this is. This is my second HDS light and it was provided by Kaufmann Mercantile for this review.  Stay around until the end for a special giveaway where you can win this HDS Clicky from Kaufmann Mercantile.  

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Gear Watch: Early March 2014In this edition of Gear Watch we have two new arrivals, both of which are awesome in their own right. Solar Eklipse -There is a lot of new gear floating around out there after SHOT, but it is a very rare event when a master, at the top of his game, releases something new.  It didn’t happen at SHOT, but just after. 
[[MORE]] Read on if you are interested in a brand new Hinderer flipper.  If your not, well, I am not sure how you found this website by accident.




In January of 2014 Rick debuted a new knife at the Tactical Knife Invitational.  It is a titanium framelock flipper (he can go back to that well—he dug it in the first place) with a 3.5 inch blade.  The initial offering was a very small batch of all titanium knives handmade for the TKI.  The world learned of the knife when it was released on Rick’s site on February 3.  Its called the Eklipse.   Here is a good video overview from Monkey Edge, a ultra premium knife dealer:

The knives released at the TKI were handmade prototypes and one or two have leaked onto the secondary market and commanded HUGE prices.  The knife itself is something like the XM series, but they are differences.  First the handle has less of an organic shape.  Specifically the butt end of the knife is truncated while the XM series had a rounded end.  Second, and perhaps most importantly, the blade does not have the wide finger choil/ricasso the XM series does.  Lots of folks criticized the XM series for this feature as it wasn’t QUITE big enough to be a real finger choil but was too big to be a ricasso that allowed you to sharpen the knife all the way to the edge.  Of all the criticism out there of the XM this is probably the most legitimate, and with the Eklipse, Hinderer took the feedback and made changes. 
Given the huge number of counterfeit XM series knives out there I also would have to believe that this new model will have features that make it more challenging to machine so as to stymie counterfeiters.  This is a common reason knife makers change models.  The original AG Russell Sting boot knife became a huge collectible and as is often the case, that brought on a wave of fakes.  With the Eklipse, I am sure Hinderer is trying to do something similar. 
The prototypes were titanium on both the lock and show side, but I would imagine that the production models will have the standard G10 swappable handle scales, if for no other reason than the opportunity to sell accessories.  The blades appear to be Spanto-ish, but with a small harpoon on the top.  I would imagine that the production models will come in a wide variety of blade shapes.  Finally, don’t worry if you love the XM series, Hinderer indicated that he’d continue to be make his uber popular folder.  Now it just happens to have an upscale brother. 
Ruby Anniversary
One piece of news that was slow to leak out of SHOT Show was Kershaw’s gem—the Ruby.  As 2014 is the 40th anniversary of Kershaw knives they decided to release a very limited edition, high end blade to commemorate the event and that knife is the Ruby.  A friend over at KAI (thanks, Thomas) sent some press shots so take a look:


and

The Ruby joins a very small club of ultra premium Kershaw knives.  Typically the premium stuff is reserved for the Zero Tolerance line, but every once in a while we get an amazing, high end, blank check blade from Kershaw itself.  The lineage is impressive.  First there was the Blade Show darling, the Speeform with its Scandinavian or Japanese clean angular lines.  Then there was the RJ Martin Volt.  Then came one of my grail knives, one so beloved that it has a fansite—the Tilt.  To this day the Tilt has features and design elements that have not been surpassed.  The handle are skeletonized, no big deal, but the skeleton holes spell out “TILT”.  That’s a pretty cool touch.  The knife is a framelock, but the overtravel is incredibly clever—the lock bar is cut at an angle so it runs into the handle before it passes out of alignment.  Then there was the bearing system in the Tilt—the first on a Kershaw blade.  All of these super premium Kershaws are grail knives, hunted by collectors like big game.  And the Ruby clearly fits in that group.
The knife itself is pretty special.  First, it is a flipper with the Tilt bearing system, called KVT.  Second the blade steel is one of my favorite steels—ZDP-189.  There is also a large and beautiful pivot.  Finally, the handles have been double sanded, leaving a beautiful and clean two tone effect.  The overall lines are sleek, with a downward curved handle, producing an almost scimitar-like negative angle for the blade to meet material.  There has been no mention of how many will be made or when they will be released, but I would imagine the numbers will tiny. 
It bears mentioning that these blank check blades from KAI USA have all be challenges to make and some are released in painfully small numbers.  The ZT0777 was announced, delayed, delayed again and then canceled without a few making it into the wild.  Similarly the the ZT0888 was delayed quite a bit.  The Tilt was similarly difficult to make again resulting in very small numbers.  We are still awaiting last year’s Blade Show winner, the ZT0454 and the Martin ZT0600 came and went in a blink of an eye.  All of this is a way of saying that I don’t expect the market to be flooded with Rubies and even if they do make it out to the public it may not be in the numbers Kershaw intended to produce originally.   If you want one you may have to throw caution, and money, to the wind and just bite on anything you can find. 

Gear Watch: Early March 2014

In this edition of Gear Watch we have two new arrivals, both of which are awesome in their own right.
Solar Eklipse -
There is a lot of new gear floating around out there after SHOT, but it is a very rare event when a master, at the top of his game, releases something new.  It didn’t happen at SHOT, but just after. 

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by Bernard Capulong on Friday, Feb 28, 2014
It’s 2014. Most of the pocket knives shown on the site are modern folders, so today’s review should be a refreshing and interesting departure from the norm. The kind folks at Great Eastern Cutlery have sent me their River Boat Gambler “melon tester” pocketknife for this review. It’s not your granddad’s pocketknife, but it very well could be!
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Great Eastern Cutlery (GEC) specializes in producing authentic, high-quality, classically American pocketknives from the early to mid- 1900s. This particular model, the #891212 River Boat Gambler in American Walnut exemplifies their approach very well. At a glance, it’s a beautiful slip joint folder, at a modest 4” closed length, with clip point and pen blades in 440C stainless steel. Knives of this format, commonly referred to as “melon testers,” were popular in the early 1900s. Great Eastern Cutlery’s offerings preserve that traditional styling and spirit in the knives’ construction and materials. However, the River Boat Gambler boasts a more modern 440C stainless steel to better withstand rust and staining, while still keeping good polish, sharpness and edge retention.

Taking a closer look, the fit and finish of the knife is impressive and meets, if not exceeds expectations of a traditional slip joint. Overall, the knife has heft and substance, and its impeccable construction gives the handle the feel of being one solid piece. The whole handle is actually an assembly of a beautiful, rich, American walnut wood handle, along with liners, springs, and so on. Each layer interfaces with the next flushly and evenly. The overall attention to detail, such as in its fluted bolsters and layers fitting tight tolerances reflects the great craftsmanship of GEC products. Other details include an acorn-shaped shield, identifier stamps on the tangs, and the GEC trademark on the body of the main blade. As a disclaimer, the knife comes in immaculate shape, but in the photos shown here, the knife exhibits a week or so of wear from testing and everyday use.
The knife opens using nail nicks on both the clip point blade and the smaller pen blade. Deployment of the main blade is smooth, with enough resistance in the backspring for a deliberate opening that doesn’t feel difficult or labored. The smaller pen blade features a 90º half-stop, and like the larger blade, snaps nicely into place with satisfying clicks — to use an old-timer expression, it “walks and talks.” In handling the knife, no wobble, grittiness, or play can be found in the pivot and backsprings.

Unlike many older melon testers, which normally have much longer blades, this model features a more modest 3” blade, which lends a little bit better to common EDC applications. However, keep in mind these knives were popularly used with the specific purpose of cutting out chunks of fruits to test their ripeness, and do well with food prep in general. The blade is sharp enough for such tasks, but is not as sharp as more modern knives with advanced steels. By lacking a pocket clip, the knife can really only be carried “deep pocket” or in some sort of pouch. I would recommend using a pocket slip or sleeve of some sort to not only protect the rest of your gadgets from scratching, but also to protect the knife’s finish and to keep it in place. Furthermore, as a slip joint knife, it lacks any locking mechanism. Given its slim profile and classic handle materials, it also does not provide an aggressive grip. As a result, it’s better suited as a gentleman’s folder for light use, as opposed to survival, self defense, and so on.  One advantage of foregoing a modern ‘tactical’ folder for a more traditional pocketknife is that the knife draws less negative attention, looks less threatening, and likely complies with more laws than other knives on the market.

Overall, the #891212 River Boat Gambler by Great Eastern Cutlery makes for an excellent option for those looking for a high-quality traditional pocket knife. While it doesn’t offer the latest and greatest technology in its design, it functions well as a light use knife and its traditional design and nostalgic appeal would make a great addition to any knife lover’s collection. Great Eastern Cutlery offers other traditional knives in different styles, handle materials, steels, and more. Be sure to check out their products at their shop.
PURCHASE @ GEC:
#891212 River Boat Gambler, American Walnut Wood ($100) High-res

by Bernard Capulong on Friday, Feb 28, 2014

It’s 2014. Most of the pocket knives shown on the site are modern folders, so today’s review should be a refreshing and interesting departure from the norm. The kind folks at Great Eastern Cutlery have sent me their River Boat Gambler “melon tester” pocketknife for this review. It’s not your granddad’s pocketknife, but it very well could be!

Read more

Top 10 Knives you can buy now Part 2 -
Well, we are entering hallowed ground here.  The under $100 market is and always will be the most crowded part of the knife market and so the knives that have floated to the top here have done so dodging hundreds of competitors.  These are the best of the best and many represent among the best values of any kind of EDC gear.  There are incredibly knives out there for more (the Caly3 and the Chapparal are very good), but if you have a hard ceiling of $100, these are it…
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5. SOG Mini Aegis (purchase)


SOG has so many knives in and around this price point, blades like the much ballyhooed Flash 1 (which I think is a dud) and the Twitch and the Slimjim and the…well…you get the point.  After disappointing experienced with the Flash I and the Twitch I had basically written off the low-middle priced SOG knives.  I had a chance to get a review sample of the Mini Aegis and boy am I glad I went back into the SOG waters because this is an outstanding blade.  There are a lot of things on this knife that I am not a huge fan of—a thumb stud and an assisted opener to name two, but the overall package is really quite good.  The blade shape is simple and useful.  The grinds, like all SOG grinds, are amazing.  The pocket clip is a good but not great over the top design for deep carry.  So far it is a ledger of features that results in a decent knife, but there is a little secret to the Mini Aegis—its three inch blade is housed in a knife that weighs two ounces.  Read that again.  It is really stunning to see a knife of this size with all of these bells and whistles that weighs virtually nothing.  A standard deck of Bicycle Brand playing cards weighs 3.4 ounces.  This gem weighs 2.  The AUS-8 steel is not anyone’s idea of advanced technology but it is plenty adequate.  If you have sharpening skills is probably better than that.  All of this for around $45 is a true bargain.  It may not be anyone’s darling—lots prefer the Delica or the Flash 1—but as a package the Mini Aegis beats them both in my opinion.  
4. Spyderco Manix 2 Lightweight (purchase)


Its awfully tough to find a legitimate reason to carry a folding knife bigger than 3 inches.  Setting aside their use as a defensive weapon, big knives cannot make the utility calculus work in their favor.  They are big.  They are tough to carry.  They are more expensive.  They startle people.  They are wide and heavy in the pocket.  They can get you tangled up in legal troubles.  And yet for all of those disadvantages, they don’t really DO all that much more work, compared to their 3 inch or less brothers and sisters.  As I think you can tell—I have a bias against big knives.  But oh man does the Manix 2 Lightweight stand out.  This is a very slim knife. Its wide, as all Spydercos are, but it is a true featherweight.  At 3 ounces with a 3.37 blade, the Manix 2 weighs just a bit more than the significantly smaller Delica.  It has a blade of BD-1 steel, an American made Carpenter steel I found to be quite good, similar in use to AUS-8.  Its also relatively inexpensive, coming in around $70.  The one thing that really stuck with me about the Manix 2 Lightweight was just how good it was in the hand.  The finger choil and slim, curved profile worked very, very well.   
3. Kershaw Skyline (purchase)


Reaching the Top 3 is a big deal.  All of the knives on this list are excellent, but these three really stand out over and above the competition.  They are all superior blades in their own right and I would not disagree with anyone rearranging the order of them.  I strongly prefer the Dragonfly, but I can see the reasonableness in making an argument for the other two.  For me, the Skyline represents one of the best values of any single one EDC item (probably tied with the Zebra F-701 pen with the Space Pen mod).  The Skyline works a number of different angles to reach this rarified position—it is very light, the flipper is quite nice and thankfully unassisted, and the overall shape of both the knife and the handle is quite good.  The steel, Sandvik’s 14C28N is easily one of my favorites on the market, performing as good as steels that are much more expensive.  The clip, borrowed from Strider during the KAI USA/Strider collab period when ZT started, is a work of simple brilliance.  The Skyline is the knife that Kershaw made when it really questioned everything.  Do you REALLY need an assist?  Nope.  Gone.  Do you REALLY need two metal liners? Nope.  Gone.  Do you REALLY need jimping on the spine?  Nope. Gone.  That process of reduction, like in French cooking, leaves behind a knife with such concentrated quality that it is better than many blades two or three times its meager $41 price tag.  Oh, and it is made in the USA.  
2. Benchmade Mini Griptillian 555hg (purchase)


The Benchmade Mini Griptillian is a special knife.  Its very good.  But thumb studs aren’t my favorite thing in the world.  But the Mini Grip 555hg actually has a thumb hole, making it significantly better than its studded brethren.  In many ways the Mini Grip 555hg is like the New York Yankees of EDC knives—it takes the best from all over the knife world and puts it in one awesome package.  It has the opening hole of a Spyderco, a lock, the Axis lock, invented by a man and his stepson, then bought by Benchmade.  It has a nice simple pocket clip that reminds me of the simple greatness of an Emerson.  It has excellent jimping all around the knife.  The steel, 154CM, is pretty darn good too.  All of these things, borrowed from other sources, are tweaked just a bit and the end result is one of the best knives in the world, regardless of price.  Yes, I mean that.  You can spend thousands of dollars on a blade and it might have fancier material and nicer fit and finish, but it won’t perform as a knife much better than the Mini Grip.  The entire knife, is ambidextrous, a huge achievement.  You can close the knife without putting your fingers in the blade path, another great design feature.  And the blade shape, a nice modified sheepsfoot, is really really useful.  Finally, Benchmade wisely made the blade just under 3 inches, a magic number as many jurisdictions ban blades any bigger.  Finally, the “hg” has a purpose here, designating this knife as a hollow ground blade, which I strongly prefer for EDC (especially compared to the regular Mini Grip’s flat grind).  There is simply nothing bad about this knife.  Well, okay, that is a bit of an exaggeration.  There is one thing—the pocket clip is placed on top of some really coarse material that eats away at your pocket fabric.  But that is such a small point for such a great knife. 
1.  Spyderco Dragonfly II in ZDP-189 and FRN handles (purchase)

This is the perfect EDC knife.  I have customs in my collection.  I have an XM-18, a Strider PT, and I have owned a Sebenza.  They are all great knives. 
This knife is better. 
I know that sounds like heresy, but it is true.  This knife is a rare combination of performance and price.  Its size is perfect for me.  There is really no reason to carry a knife bigger than this, especially if defensive issues aren’t a concern.  The Dragonfly II can accomplish probably 99% of your daily cutting tasks and it does it with splendid design grace.  The blade shape, the classic Spyderco leaf shape, is wonderful.  The flat grind here is amazingly thin.  The handle is shaped nicely and the choil gives you a full four finger grip on a blade that is slightly smaller (when closed) than half a US dollar.  The blade is well under 2 ounces.  The wire clip is great, a thicker more rigid version of the wire clip found on the Caly3 and other knives.  There is even a swedge, bringing the knife to a needle like tip without making it flimsy.  
But all of the Dragonfly II are this good.  The ZDP-189 FRN version is a step above the others.  First, the steel is truly insane.  With 3% carbon and 20% chromium, this is a knife that can take and hold an edge like nothing I have ever seen.  It can get a little stained, but that is rare in my experience.  I have cut wood, rope, cardboard, linoleum tile, insulation, roof shingles (not recommended), paper, plastic, tape, fabric, rubber, and just about any other material you can think of with a ZDP-189 blade and it stays sharp forever.  That combination of edge holding and corrosion resistance makes this a truly perfect EDC steel—you can just use it without having to be vexed by maintenance.  But be kind to the steel and strop it.  A full resharpen on a steel this hard is a task even Hercules is upset to undertake.  And be sure to skip the fancied up Nishijin handled version—it adds weight and no utility.  Plus it is ugly.  
You can spend more on a knife, certainly, but you probably can’t buy one that is noticeably better in the EDC role than the Spyderco Dragonfly II in ZDP-189 with FRN scales.  Its amazing.    High-res

Top 10 Knives you can buy now Part 2 -

Well, we are entering hallowed ground here.  The under $100 market is and always will be the most crowded part of the knife market and so the knives that have floated to the top here have done so dodging hundreds of competitors.  These are the best of the best and many represent among the best values of any kind of EDC gear.  There are incredibly knives out there for more (the Caly3 and the Chapparal are very good), but if you have a hard ceiling of $100, these are it…

Read more

The top 10 knives available now, Part 1

One thing you will notice about carrying a pocket knife on a daily basis is that it is a lot like owning a truck—there are things you with your knife that you’d never imagine doing before but are a part of your daily routine.  Its hard to explain this to folks that don’t carry a knife, but there is a reason that men have carried small, pocketable knives on them since Roman times.  Carry one for two weeks and it will be a lifelong companion after that.  I first started carrying a pocket knife during a summer job while I was in college.  It was a warehouse job and I broke down lots of boxes and crates.  Now, its just as much a part of my daily carry as my wallet or smartphone.  
But if your new to knives, it can be pretty daunting.  All of the brands and steels can be confusing.  All of the opening mechanisms are a pain to compare.  Worse yet, brick and mortar knife stores are vanishing, making it very hard to compare knives in person.  [[MORE]] Fortunately I have handled hundreds and hundreds of knives and have detailed reviews of a few dozen (found here).  Every knife on this list is a knife I have used and reviewed.  
10. ESEE Candiru (purchase)


On its own, the Candiru would rank much, much higher on this list, probably in the Top Five, but because of its form factor (this is a fixed blade knife) it is both more difficult to carry on a daily basis and more likely to startle people when you use it.  But, it is definitely my favorite fixed blade for EDC use.  You’ll be surprised at just how easy it is to carry, it is very thin and relatively small (probably the same overall length as the Spyderco Military when closed).  The steel is a time tested favorite—1095.  1095 is a high carbon steel, meaning it is not stainless, so this is a knife that cannot be left in the snow, for example.  But it is coated, so that should inhibit rust a bit.  The performance of the steel, corrosion resistance aside, is really great.  1095 is known for its ability to get razor sharp and be very tough and this iteration of 1095 is no different.  In fact, ESEE uses a proprietary heat treat developed by Rowen Manufacturing and the results are great. 
9. CRKT Drifter (purchase)


You can spend a lot of money on a knife and it sill won’t be better than the Drifter.  I have always been on the lookout for great, inexpensive blades and after a lot of trial and error (Budget Blade Shootout here), it became clear that the Drifter is one of the best buys in the gear world.  The G10 version is the way to go as it is basically the same knife, but lighter.  I also like the feel of G10 better than stainless steel.  The blade shape is very simple, and but for a slight recurve, it would be perfect.  The steel is 8Cr14MoV, a very small but oddly noticeable upgrade over 8Cr13MoV.  By following the Occam’s Razor of Gear, CRKT figured out how to make a budget blade really work, spending their few dollars on exactly the right parts to make this knife punch well above is price.   
8. Falkniven U2 (purchase)


This is one of the more expensive knives on the list, but is probably my personal #2 or #3.  It is, however, decidedly trend bucking as it lacks both a clip and one handed deployment.  The U2’s overall package is the perfect balance of time tested elements (the handle, the great blade shape, and the lockback) with cutting edge performance (thanks to the very rare SG-2 aka SGPS steel).  The fit and finish on the U2 rivals the fit and finish on a Sebenza and it does all of this for under $100 in an easily pocketable package.  GREAT. 
7. Kershaw Injection 3.0 (purchase)


If you want a custom Todd Rexford you going to need a budget about 70 times the budget for this series as his customs are among the hottest in the knife world right now.  A custom knife he made for Triple Aught Design sold originally for around $700 and then was flipped on the open market two weeks later for around $7000.  The reason for this is twofold—Todd’s elegant designs and his immaculate craftsmanship.  With the Injection you get quite a bit of that design and a surprising level of craftsmanship.  The blade shape is dead simple—a classic drop point.  While the rest of the knife shows off touches entirely foreign to the budget and mid tier knife categories like a decorative pivot, milled thumb studs, convex handle scales, and faux floating backspacers.  I have a handled a ton of knives over the past few years and if I didn’t know the steel (a tough, sharp, but stain-prone bead blasted 8Cr13MoV) I would have never guessed the price of the knife. 
6. A.G. Russell Medium Barlow


I used to dismiss traditional knives as relics of a bygone era.  But as with many things, as I got older the more I saw the wisdom of these knives.  They lack the pocket clips and one handed deployment that is the hallmark of modern knives, but there is something about the elegant blade shapes, exquisite natural materials, and bolsters that grab your imagination.  If your not ready to jump into the deep end yet and track down a Tony Bose, but you want something different than the horde of black G10 handled knives, look no further than the A.G. Russell Medium Barlow.  This is a spectacular EDC blade with an appearance that will offend no one, a blade shape and size that scream utility, and a trick.  That long nail knick, sometimes called a French cut, is actually cut sharp enough that it can grab the pad of your finger allowing you to swing the knife open one handed.  Its not as fluid or thoughtless as opening a Spyderco, but with a bit of practice you can do it.  You’ll also be shocked at the fit and finish on this knife.  As a sign of the times, it is an American classic, tweaked by the living legend of the knife business (A.G. Russell’s celebrating his 50th Anniversary in the business in 2014), made overseas.  This is a Chinese knife with 8Cr13MoV steel, but its an excellent rendition of the steel with a nice satin finish.  I prefer the cocobolo handles.


Part 2 Continued Here High-res

The top 10 knives available now, Part 1

One thing you will notice about carrying a pocket knife on a daily basis is that it is a lot like owning a truck—there are things you with your knife that you’d never imagine doing before but are a part of your daily routine.  Its hard to explain this to folks that don’t carry a knife, but there is a reason that men have carried small, pocketable knives on them since Roman times.  Carry one for two weeks and it will be a lifelong companion after that.  I first started carrying a pocket knife during a summer job while I was in college.  It was a warehouse job and I broke down lots of boxes and crates.  Now, its just as much a part of my daily carry as my wallet or smartphone.  

But if your new to knives, it can be pretty daunting.  All of the brands and steels can be confusing.  All of the opening mechanisms are a pain to compare.  Worse yet, brick and mortar knife stores are vanishing, making it very hard to compare knives in person. 

Read more

selectivebeef, a friend and longtime supporter of everyday-carry.com, recently reached out to me, offering products from his new line of high quality, hand-crafed, military-inspired leather goods and accessories called Silent Whisper. Immediately impressed by their offerings, I opted to review what I felt would be most relevant to the average EDCer — a zipper pouch and a carabiner keychain. The Silent Whisper team graciously assembled and sent me their Supplier and Vertical Sustainment pieces for me to review.
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「AF-W01-007」SUPPLIER Snakeskin Zipper Pouch
The Supplier struck me as a good candidate for EDC as its design offers some universal utility — a zipper pouch can be used to carry a variety of essentials in a simple way. It has appropriate dimensions for EDC purposes, coming in at 10cm tall by 13cm wide. A pouch this size could easily accommodate cash, credit cards, extra small notebooks, and coins. The pouch is well-constructed in every way and can provide moderate protection to things like earbuds, small electronics, cables, smaller pocketknives, etc despite using a supple, buttery snakeskin leather throughout. While the leather is pliable, I’ve found objects that are thin or flat carry better in the pouch in general. So, things like extra batteries, flashlights, and other irregularly-shaped essentials might not fit as well or could be difficult to remove from the pouch. 

Its contents are secured by a YKK zipper and attached to cowhide leather, stamped with the Silent Whisper logo. Opening and closing obviously requires both hands, but is otherwise effortless. Internally, it lacks any additional pockets, slots or organization otherwise. I keep cash, cards, change and hearing protection in mine, and it fits just fine in either the front or back pocket of my jeans. Overall, the pouch is functionally fairly simple. This is not necessarily a bad thing — depending on your needs, simplicity could serve better. What really sets it apart is its quality, fit and finish. It would do well in an urban EDC, especially in one that appreciates utilitarian design and understated luxury.

「AF-K01-001」VERTICAL SUSTAINMENT Spec Carabiner Keychain
The other product I received is their Vertical Sustainment piece. Like the Supplier, its design blends both simplicity and sophistication. In essence, it’s a carabiner, a leather tag and a split ring for keys, but in execution it boasts robust spec iron hardware and high quality Italian cowhide leather, with superb fit and finish. The carabiner itself is tanky — I have plenty of confidence in its gate strength to secure my keys. However, the gate resistance is not so great that clipping and unclipping becomes difficult. The gate also has some pseudo-jimping texture for better thumb grip, which was some attention to detail and user experience that I appreciated. A decently sized black coated split ring is used to attach keys. I’ve observed some of the coating wearing off from constant contact with keys, which is not particularly surprising in coated hardware.

The split ring is held by loops in the leather tag, which have multiple pieces folded over and burnished at the edges for a sleek finish. Interestingly, the folds on the backside of the keychain provide an area for a pocket clip attachment. I used a slim and light Victorinox moneyclip/knife here to add some more utility without affecting the footprint of the keychain too much. Combined with some keys and a flashlight, I have a fairly minimal but complete “core” EDC on the Vertical Sustainment piece alone. As a disclaimer, the leather loop isn’t explicitly designed for pocket clips, but I’ve tried other knives and they do well attaching there — but keep whatever’s attached light to reduce the risk of it slipping off, and to put less strain on your ignition should you keep car keys on here. The keychain is a good length to tuck into a back pocket, which I recommend doing not only for security and retention, but also to dampen the clanking noise keys swinging makes. At 3.5cm wide by 14.5cm long, it’s not the most compact keychain solution, but it makes up for that in its substance and robustness. I don’t have that anxiety of losing my keys that I get with smaller alternatives like S-Biners, McGizmo Clips, and dollar store non-locking carabiners.

The guys at Silent Whisper have only recently begun producing their line of bags, wallets and accessories, starting in 2013. At the conclusion of my two-week testing period, I’m confident in their products. With prices at 70USD for the keychain and 115USD for the zipper pouch, they might not be practical for many EDCers’ budgets. However, you definitely get what you pay for in these high quality, hand-crafted, uniquely beautiful accessories.
PURCHASE @ GG-STORE:
「AF-W01-007」SUPPLIER
「AF-K01-001」VERTICAL SUSTAINMENT
by Bernard Capulong on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 High-res

selectivebeef, a friend and longtime supporter of everyday-carry.com, recently reached out to me, offering products from his new line of high quality, hand-crafed, military-inspired leather goods and accessories called Silent Whisper. Immediately impressed by their offerings, I opted to review what I felt would be most relevant to the average EDCer — a zipper pouch and a carabiner keychain. The Silent Whisper team graciously assembled and sent me their Supplier and Vertical Sustainment pieces for me to review.

Read more