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There are many pages of posts on many subjects, and only a few show on this main page. Search for the subjects that you are interested in.

Topics covered in here tend toward Gadgetry, Weapons, Books, Tools, and a lot of other things that have captured my interest.

Please note the "Linked From Here" tab on the results, which lists search results from sites I have linked to in my posts.

Custom Sheaths

Eric at ON/SCENE TACTICAL makes custom synthetic knife & tool sheaths for just about any knife. I just got one to replace the crappy sheath that came with my Buck Nighthawk. Great service, friendly communication and a high quality product.

The OLD & the NEW:

The protrusion on the back of the sheath is for a Firestick.

In His words:

I Stake My Reputation on my Quality! Eric E. Noeldechen - On/Scene Tactical

I've never understood why a manufacturer of a seemingly high quality knife, would pay such little attention to a sheath. A Good quality sheath is Just as important as the blade itself... If Not More!

All On/Scene Tactical products are manufactured from Concealex© a High Tech Thermoforming plastic that has been specially designed for the firearms/cutlery industry. Similar to Kydex but Better..

Every sheath I produce is Handcrafted one at a time. Not stamped out or slapped together. Quality is Strictly controlled through each phase of the process.

Being a Craftsman in real life has given me the ability to pay special attention to workmanship and an eye for detail. There is still something to be said for Handcrafted work. All sheath makers are Not cut from the same sheet of Concealex©, So to Speak...

Unlike leather or ballistic nylon, Concealex© sheaths will not retain water and are pretty much resistant to most household cleaners and petroleum products.

Concealex© cleans up with ordinary soap and water and can even be sterilized with alcohol or a bleach solution if blood or body fluids come in contact with your tools and sheath. The inside of the sheath can be hosed out with water if grit gets caught inside.

Concealex© will not retain moisture, separate, decay and will retain it's shape and only change shape under high heat conditions. A Properly Engineered sheath will last Many more years than a Nylon or Leather production sheath.

Not to mention that a Synthetic sheath is the Absolute Best in Security and Safety!

All On/Scene Tactical products come standard with a 1 year warranty against manufacturing defects and are hand tuned to get rid of as many rattles as possible. If you destroy it under normal working conditions, I'll replace or fix it at no cost! (exposure or tampering with high temperatures will void this warranty) A sheath of this high quality however should last you many years!

Please contact me if you have a design idea in mind, I would be happy to work out any details you might have...

Eric E. Noeldechen - On/Scene Tactical or (519) 738-6693

(Me) (Home)

If You Need To Carry Something

Maxpedition® was established in 1988 as a small workshop fabricating hard-use military specification nylon gear. The main corporate facility is based in Gardena, CA. With growth in international reputation, Maxpedition has become even more self-demanding: pursuing the most user-friendly designs, using the highest quality materials and meticulous workmanship, and upholding our strong philosophy of constant self-improvement.

(Me) (Home)

My Thoughts on a Hunting Knife

Knives. Great tools, probably the second-oldest that mankind developed, since I am pretty sure the club was the first tool/weapon. The first knife probably came as a result of someone cutting a finger on a fragment from a bone they'd just smashed with that first club.

There are a lot of books available and articles & forums all over the internet on choosing & using knives, but I thought I'd drop a few of my thoughts on the subject here.

I've carried one ever since grade school and owned dozens. Some I have liked, some I have hated, and some, like a girl with a pretty face and no character, I fell in love with for a while and then discarded when I couldn't handle their faults, but I still haven't found the perfect knife or knives for all my uses.

There are a lot of choices to make when you shop for a knife, just like shopping for a car. You have to decide what type of vehicle will suit your purposes and what price range you can afford before you even start shopping. Even with those two broad criteria settled, there are a ton of other decisions to wade through.

In knives, the first major decision will be what you want the knife to do. If all you want is to trim your toenails, that's one thing. Splitting firewood or stabbing grizzlies is something else entirely.

The second decision is fixed or folding blade. The folding blade is easier to carry, the fixed blade is stronger.

The third major decision is blade material. Your options run from obsidian through ceramic to Damascus and the latest stainless steel, and every one of those choices has upsides and downsides.

Next, you have to decide on a blade style, and they run the gamut from needle-like stilettos to Bowie knives, heavy duty machetes and double-edged spear points, in serrated or non-serrated styles.

The next decision is price range, since knives can cost from pennies to thousands of dollars. As a general rule, around $50-$75 is the bottom end for a quality knife and the peak is probably around $300 for something that isn't custom made.

Which reminds me, I was looking at a site that specialized in high-end $300+ knives, which asked the question "Would you trust YOUR life to a hundred dollar knife?" Well, yes I would, actually.

If you are rich, things are simpler. Go to an experienced custom bladesmith with a good reputation and tell him what you need. Satisfaction guaranteed!

I'm not rich, so I am shopping.

I know what I expect to use a hunting knife for:
  • Dressing, skinning, & butchering fish, birds, and animals that range from rabbits to moose.
  • Chopping wood or cutting limbs for building fires, shelters, etc.
  • Prying & pounding, if nothing else is available.
  • Camp cookery, food prep & eating.
  • Opening or modifying cans
  • Self defense, as a last resort.

I know what I want:
  • A handle that fits my hand, orients properly, & doesn't slip when wet, bloody, or greasy.
  • A straight or drop point -- these work best for field dressing animals.
  • A blade arouind 6" long and not over 1.5" wide -- I've tried shorter and longer blades and did not like them. Longer or wider gets in the way and shorter sometimes doesn't reach where I need it to.
  • A bolster or guard to keep my fingers away from the cutting edge (A guard gets in the way sometimes, but cutting all the tendons and nerves in your fingers if your hand slips down the edge is more inconvenient, as a knifemaker friend of mine learned to his sorrow.)
  • A metal cap on the butt of the knife so I can use it as a hammer or, conversely, pound on if I need to drive the knife into something.
  • Made from 3/16" or 1/4" thick stock for strength. Thinner blades can slice better, but they are also fragile.
  • A full length tang, also for strength.
  • Something like AUS8 steel, which is a good compromise in edge holding, flexibility & rust resistance. The harder the steel, the longer it holds an edge, but the harder it is to sharpen. Butchers & many guides who might use their knives for hours on end prefer a soft steel and touch up the blade on a stone every little while.
  • A Titanium Nitride (TiNi) coating to prevent rust.
  • A hole through the top of the handle, so a loop of cord or lanyard can be attached for added security.
  • Manufactured by a company with a reputation for quality -- the way the steel is tempered is at least as important as the type of steel used. (Too soft a steel doesn't hold an edge, too hard a steel is brittle.)
  • A fixed blade. No folding knife can meet my specs.
  • Price under $100.

I want a synthetic sheath, preferably of Kydex. Leather deteriorates and does not really protect the knife from being damaged or damaging you if you fall. A well-designed Kydex sheath actually locks the knife into place when the blade is inserted, a nice security measure, and is designed for several different carrying options. Adding a sharpening surface or fire flint to a kydex sheath is relatively easy and adds utility.

I DO NOT want a gut hook, which I consider a gimmick to sell knives. A double edge is out -- I don't need a slashing tool. Saw teeth on the back of the blade? I guess they are okay, but I can live without them: I've never used one that worked well. I don't want serrations on the blade, a serrated edge is good for cutting rope or seat belts and that's about it. I don't want a Rambo-style hollow handle, which weakens a knife and is not comfortable to hold.

This knife comes close to what I want. The brand is SOG, the model is the S21T, the Gov-Tac Black TiNi.

"Features a 3/16" 6.10 in.bead blasted single plain edge blade of AUS 8 steel, and a 4.90 in. Kraton rubber handle with Black and Grey washers. Comes complete with a Kydex sheath. Overall Length: 11.375" Weighs 9.6 oz."

It has a slightly slab-sided handle shape with bold diamond checkering, and grip lines that don't twist in the hand and give good control. The Kraton cushions your hand and adds comfort. There is a proprietary rust-proof TiAlN deep black coating on blade, pommel, guard, and spanner nut, and a stainless steel sculpted crossguard and pommel, capable of being used as a field hammer. There is a lanyard hole on the pommel.

The choil (the rounded-in portion of the blade between the cutting edge and the guard) and a grooved section on the top of the blade allow you to choke up on the knife for fine work.

Perfect? No. Acceptable? Probably. Just another infatuation with a pretty face? Hopefully not!

(Me) (Blacktail Books)