But we have a few things going on in Das Blade Haus that I'll touch on an provide in-depth reviews later.
First is sharpening. Last month I lamented that I'll never get the hang of sharpening a knife. After writing that I had an epiphany. Why continue to suffer? In this day and age there is no reason to put up with dull or less than shaving sharp blades. Man is the tool-maker and he's made some great sharpening tools designed specifically for dullards like me.
So I went out and bought myself what looks to be the premiere non-powered sharpening system available - the Apex by EdgePro out of Oregon. So far I've only tested it on a few blades, a badly nicked Buck 105, a Buck 402 folder and a Becker BK-16. The system works as advertised - it is fairly easy to get a good, consistent bevel on a blade (consistency has been my big failure in sharpening). However, there is a technique to it all and it does require a bit of practice so I'm still in the learning stages. The real test will be putting a usable edge on my Becker BK-2.
New knives. New knives continue to trickle in and I'm behind in photographing them. Again, blame the weather. I do all of my stock knife photography on my deck using a tripod mounted digital camera, and I like to do one set-up and photograph a series of knives in one session using the same background and lighting conditions. But when it's 80 degrees in the sun at 0700 my motivation just ain't there. I'll wait for cooler fall mornings to get all this done.
But like I said, new knives and accessories are trickling in. Some are new designs that caught my eye, some are just to round out my collection. Two interesting new arrivals are a Buck 124 Frontiersman and a Cold Steel Lone Star Hunter folder.
The Buck Frontiersman is a knife I've wanted for a very long time. In fact, I used to own one until, decades ago, some SOB mover stole the duffle bag that held my small knife collection. We were moving from Fort Bragg, NC to Fort Belvior, VA to attend the Engineer Officer Advanced Course. This was back in 1983, and at the time I had more important things to worry about than replacing an expensive knife. I always intended to replace it when the time (and finances) were right, but not long after the knife was stolen the Frontiersman went out of production and the knife entered collector status. Buck would do occasional limited runs of the knife for various retailers but it pretty much remained a tough to acquire knife. Recently Buck put the Frontiersman back into limited production and I was able to grab one directly from the factory. It is just as I'd remembered it - a big full tang chunk of steel. We'll talk more about it in a later post.
|Buck 124 Frontiersman|
The Cold Steel Lone Star Hunter is one I just stumbled across. I think I spied it discussed on one of the knife forums I haunt (more chronic procrastination). I was impressed by it's elegant simplicity - a large (4") single blade lockback folder in a slim stainless steel frame. I make no secret of my respect for Cold Steel knives. A lot of folks are put off by their bombastic advertising (and it IS over the top), but the truth is they put out good blades at good prices. The Lone Star Hunter is a surprisingly good knife. It is a little cheesy looking with it's faux stag handle slabs, but everything is nicely fitted and finished. A darned good knife for less than $50.
|Cold Steel Lone Star Hunter|
Last up, the BK-14. More accurately, handle scales for the BK-14. The BK-14 was originally designed as a skeleton handled knife and it works very well in that role. However, Becker knife nuts can't leave well enough alone and started fashioning handle scales for the knife. Ka-Bar, never one to let a good idea pass them by, decided the time was right to introduce a set of 'official' handle scales for the BK-14. I picked a set up at the 2012 Blade Show here in Atlanta and I have to agree - they make the already great BK-14 a better knife. The scales are made out of DuPont zytel and fit the knife perfectly. I like that they are orange - the compliment the black blade very nicely and make it easier to find the knife when I drop it on the forest floor. You actually get two sets of handle scales with each order - an orange set and a black set. Lets you tailor the look of the knife to your current activity - orange for day wear, black for evening wear. Nicely done Ka-Bar. Now how about some orange handle scales for the BK-16?
|Ka-Bar/Becker BK-14 with orange handle scales|
Oh, and last, last, last (I promise). Over on the Blade Forums I've posted so much garbage and drivel, particularly about Becker knives, that they have officially designated me Beckerhead #252. I'm so honored. I'll be signing autographs in the lobby after the show.
That's it. Stay sharp!