Category Archives: Knives

Freeman Outdoor Gear Model 451 Knives

I was immediately drawn to Jeff Freeman’s booth at Blade Show 2014.  His Freeman Outdoor Gear knives looked just right for first responders.  I discovered exactly why when I learned that Jeff is a U.S. Army veteran and a former wildland firefighter. To honor the men and women with whom he worked in the fire service, Jeff named his Model 451 after the radio call sign “451” which was his crew’s.  It is coincidentally the ignition temperature at which paper burns, according to the famous Ray Bradbury novel. Regardless of the reasoning, these are some hot knives.  The standard and compact 451 are full tang CPM-S35VN steel at a RHC … Continue reading

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Miller Brothers Blades Serious Heavy Use Knives

Miller Brothers Blades does not fool around with dainty knives.  If you think I’m kidding, watch the video at the end of the article where they pound one of their knives through 1/4″ plate steel, then cut with the same edge.  Whoa. With care, I handled over a dozen of their wares at Blade Show.  Each one had a scary sharp edge.  The steel for their knives is high carbon 5160.  Most of their knife profiles can be done in 1/4″ or 5/16″ steel.  The blades are black phosphate coated, which I was told treats the steel and is more durable than a powdercoat or spray on finish. The Miller … Continue reading

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Introducing the iStab

Oh, boy. “The iStab is a 3D printed iPhone cover which has a folding knife along one edge, producing a blade whenever you might need one. This phone case is “cutting edge”, and is designed as an exploration in conceptual 3D printed weapons.” The models I based this idea from are free, and the programs needed edit the 3D files are also free: Netfabb and MeshMixer.” “The iStab is a great way to keep a cutting implement on hand at all times. This can be used as a weapon for self-defense for the next time you’re in a knife-fight like Michael Jackson in Beat It, or harmlessly used for everyday … Continue reading

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New KA-BAR TDI Hinderance and Hell Fire Knives

I feel kind of vindicated.  I wrote an article about the original KA-BAR TDI Law Enforcement Knife a while back that essentially said, “Like the knife, hate the sheath.”  And I got hammered for it on a few forums.  To be fair, my article was titled, “KA-BAR TDI Knife Review: Unsafe for Duty,” so I guess I started it. But that is in the past since the updated knives have a hard plastic sheath with a sliding thumb lock to keep the blade under your control.  Well, KA-BAR has finally addressed what I thought was the shortcoming and officer safety issue. In the avalanche of booths at SHOT Show 2014, … Continue reading

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Timberline Tactical Dave Young Combat Breaching Tool

GATCO/Timberline has brought on board police trainer and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Dave Young to design their new Timberline Tactical Combat Breaching Tool.  This tomahawk is 17″ overall with a full tang D2 blade at RH 60.  Dave explains all its features in the video.  MSRP will be $225.00. Dave has over thirty years of experience as a corrections officer, police officer, and Marine.  He has dedicated his time to training LE and the Military in officer survival, force on force strategies, and tactics.  He is the founder and director of ARMA Training.  Thanks for your service, Dave! Randall

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Combative Edge Knives M1 Fixed Blade

I saw this new fixed blade on the Blade Show table at Combative Edge Knives.  Rob Walker told me that is a prototype for their newest knife, tentatively called the M1 Fixed Blade.  This is a hard-use knife made from Bohler-Uddeholm N690Co blade steel, HRC 58-60.  N690Co is a high carbon stainless steel which is reported to have excellent edge holding abilities and superior corrosion resistance.  The N690 will be DLC coated.  G-10 composite scales will be snugged down with titanium hardware.  A kydex sheath will be standard. Randall

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Schrade SCHF14 Fixed Blade Knife

This striking knife from Schrade (Taylor Brands) is their SCHF14.  When I saw it at Blade Show, I joked to the rep that SCHF must stand for, I dunno, “Sh*t Can Hit the Fan?”  His face told me he was not amused.  Yeah, but I was. One of my first SWAT knives was a Navy Mk3 knife that weighed at lease 14 ounces with its plastic sheath.  It was a beast and guys quickly shed it from their belts for more manageable cutters.  I think the trend toward smaller blades has continued and this Schrade SCHF14 looked like one I would hang from some tactical nylon. The thing I really … Continue reading

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Colonial Knives Tat Cutter–TSA Compliant?

At the Blade Show 2013, I had a chance to trade ideas with Steve Paolantonio, the owner of the Colonial Knife Company.  There was a banner at the back of the booth proclaiming:  “Colonial Knives Tat Cutter–TSA Compliant.”  Or words to that effect.  I was curious, since I had just flown in sans sharp objects. Mr. Paolantonio showed me the little rescue hook.  He said the marketing of the cutter was purely by accident.  Paolantonio said he loves the outdoors and is a rock climber.  To save on weight, he disassembled a Colonial Rescue Hook Auto Tool and hung the steel cutting portion on some ball chain around his neck … Continue reading

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Mission Knives CSP

Who better to show prototypes for the Mission Knives CSP (Chance Sanders Professional) than Chance Sanders himself.  Chance is a former DOE SWAT/Marine Corps guy that now specializes in urban and wilderness survival training.  He has joined with Mission knives to produce the CSP. In designing the knife, Chance said he wanted a strong all around blade for either the city dweller or outdoorsman who wants utility and fighting potential in their knife.  The CSP is made from A2 tool steel that is hardened to 58 on the Rockwell C scale, then black oxide coated.  Contoured G-10 scales are bolted on.  The blade length is 5″.  A MOLLE-compatible Kydex sheath … Continue reading

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Ontario Knife Company Wyvern Crash Axe

A Wyvern is a two-legged winged mythical beast resembling a dragon.  Wings and claws seem especially appropriate for this U.S.A.F.-inspired tool. New for 2013 is a military grade axe from the Ontario Knife Company called the Wyvern Crash Axe.  Robb Cass, OKS’s Director of Special Projects, told me that U.S.A.F. Pararescue Jumpers wanted an aircraft breaching and rescue tool for their load-out.  OKC came up with this variation on their SPAX axe that has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. Okay, we get the curved axe face for cutting.  On the backside of that is a pick for punching holes.  Once an aircraft skin is pierced, the other end … Continue reading

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Fox Knives FX-599 Ultimate Karambit

I love karambits.  Their extreme CQB capabilities are powerful when wielded with a knowing hand and mind.  In a clench, karambits’ fight stopping potential is off the charts.  I have a problem, though.  Most karambits don’t fit my hand.  I have small to medium mitts.  I loved the Emerson Combat Karambit I carried for a while, but in the end it was too large in the handle for me. I met the frenetic Lad Mandiola, Development Manager for, hucking his wares at the Fox Knives booth Blade Show 2013 booth.  He was on fire–snapping open his orange karambit trainer and talking at 1.6093 kilometers in a sixtieth of an … Continue reading

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Kramer Custom Knives

I met Eric Kramer in his Kramer Custom Knives booth at Blade Show 2013 and immediately I liked him.  He is, ahem, a younger guy and active duty U.S. Coast Guard.  Sometimes, I don’t just want to see a knife, I want to see what is in the mind of the man who makes it.  In Eric, I found a thoughtful tactician as a knife maker. Eric high-hollow grinds beefy 3/16th” S35VN blade stock into shape.  The premium S35VN has a small amount (.5%) of niobium, which gives the stainless steel much-increased toughness and edge holding abilities over S30V, current darling of the knife making world.  Textured G10 handle scales … Continue reading

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Trip to the 2013 Blade Show

For the last day and a half, I got to leave my DNA and fingerprints on an evidence room’s inventory of tactical knives at the 2013 Blade Show.  For a knife enthusiast, this is a much more enjoyable time than SHOT Show, where the edged tools’ manufacturers and makers get lost in the retail maelstrom.  The fun here was more in focus. I saw wayyy more knives than I could write about, but I think I picked out some interesting ones and hammered the shutter button on them.  Please be patient and I will get the articles scribed as soon as I can.  Below is a prototype I was able … Continue reading

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Blade Show & International Cutlery Fair 2013

I’m headed over one state to the 32nd Annual Blade Show & International Cutlery Fair at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta.  As you may have read, I like sharp thingies.  I’ll keep my eye out for anything new from the Law Enforcement/SWAT/Military point of view.  There will certainly be some products to see.  Be safe. Randall

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New Gerber Propel Downrange Folding Knives

Missing from SOFIC this year were many of the knife manufacturers I normally visit.  I think Gerber Legendary Blades was the only maker I saw at the show. After he showed me the Downrange Tomahawk, the Gerber Rep said they had new folders for 2013.  The Gerber Propel knives have 3.5″ blades and G-10 scales.  With overall lengths of 8.52″ and weights at 4.28 oz’s, the Propels are solid tools.  There are versions in black or tan G-10.  You can also choose between an assisted opening model or a full automatic model. Designed and Built in Portland, OR S30V Blade Steel or 420HC Tanto Style Partially Serrated Blade Black Oxide … Continue reading

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