Pocket machete

Well, I guess since the cat is outta the bag, I can quickly mention a cool toy I was gifted.

20150731_151835The knife is done by Cold Steel with input from SurvivalBlog’s own ,Rawles. (Yup, thats his name on the blade. Yes, they included the comma.) Proceeds from the sale of the knife go to charity.

This monster of a pocket knife was gifted to me at the Missoula gun show a couple weeks ago. It’s an interesting knife and a far departure from what I normally carry around. While calling it a ‘pocket’ knife may stretch the definition of ‘pocket’, it definitely doesn’t depart from the definition of knife. This thing is a big folder with a half-serrated blade, beefy, rough-textured handles, and everyones favorite black/olive tacticool finish. It’s a litte big for my personal EDC, but it will definitely go in my bag when I’m out tromping around the woods or E&E’ing ahead of the zombie hordes. Personally, I like half-serrated blades. Sometimes stuff needs to be cut that is just too challenging to a straight blade….nylon/plastic strapping comes to mind…and the serrations make short work of that sort of thing.

From Cold Steels website:

The RAWLES VOYAGER was made to James’s unique specifications, with an O.D Green Griv-Ex™ handle, heat treated 6061 Aluminum liners and our famous Tri-Ad® locking mechanism, offering unparalleled shock and impact resistance and durability in the field.

The Rawles Voyager has also been equipped with a high performance American CTS XHP steel Tanto point blade and a durable black DLC (Diamond Like) coating, making it an excellent choice for the modern day survivalist!

This limited edition knife is the only version of our highly popular Voyager that features an American CTS XHP blade, giving it even greater edge retention properties!

Cold Steel, Lynn C Thompson, Andrew Demko and James Wesley, Rawles have all chosen to donate all proceeds from the RAWLES VOYAGER to charity.

Cool knife with cool backstory. My thanks to the person who generously gifted it to me.

Sharp pointy cutty things

I hate knife sharpening. I mean, I hate it with a passion. You have to remove material (which you can never put back) from your favorite  knife and keep the right angles on the blade and still produce a good edge. I swear, every time I sharpen my own stuff I cringe when I have to go cut something because all I can think is ‘geez, now I’m going to have to sharpen this thing again’.

Obviously, some metals are better for knives than others. Stainless steel has the edge, so to speak, for maintenance but carbon steels win for holding an edge. Unfortunately, given the nature of the world that you and I are preparing against,. stainless blades tend to dominate. Sure it would be nice to have everything made out of that nice blend of carbon steels so that they cut wonderfully and sharpen easily…but the future is going to be full of days where being able to wipe down your metal tools with an oily rage at the end of the day is just not gonna be in the cards.

Lansky makes one of those sharpening tools that keeps the blade at the same angle every time and I know quite a few folks who love that setup. I’ve only fiddled with them and for a guy who grew up using the old-timey methods it was a bit…difficult. What I use nowadays is one of those three-stone deals. Lansky and Smith both make them, I use the Smith simply because thats the brand of stone I’ve used since I was old enough to start accidentally slicing myself with dull knives.

See, it’s the dull knives that cut you. You use a dull knife, you start to use more effort than normal to make the cut, something slips or gives way and -whammo- QuickClot and a trip to the ER for some mattress stitches. If something is supposed to be sharp, keep it sharp…it’s actually safer than using a dull tool.

YouTube is full of knife sharpening how-to videos and if any three of them agree on the technique and materials…well..I haven’t seen ’em. I put some oil on the softest stone, spread it around, and start like Im trying to slice off long strips of the stone…one side, then the other, repeated a buncha times….then switch to the next hardness of stone and lather, rinse, repeat. Some folks like to finish up with ceramic sticks or a strop…I don’t usually go that far. The test that I’ve read about to determine if the edge is good is to pull the blade across a fingernail..if it just slides across, thats bad. If it bites and drags into the nail, thats good…means you’ve got the microscopic little ‘teeth’ just the way you want ’em.

Someday they’re going to have adamantium knives that will never need sharpening but until then…ugh…shhhhhhk, shhhhhhk,shhhhhhk,shhhhhhk, over and over, as you slide the blade across the stone.