CRKT Shenanigan

This weekend we’ve got some crazy Shenanigans in store for you all. That’s right, our weekend special is the Ken Onion Shenanigan line from Columbia River Knife and Tool. The name is something of a playful juxtaposition, because this workhorse flipper is Ken’s take on a no-frills work and sport knife.

The appearance is quintessentially Ken Onion, with a modified drop point blade and classically Ken shaped handle. This style is tremendously ergonomic, lending itself to extended periods of fatigue-free use. The pronounced index-finger indent and aggressive jimping on the top of the handle contribute to a confident sense of control with your cutting.

There are a few handle varieties on this line, the entry level being a full glass-reinforced nylon build. This version is available in either black or camouflage, with some diamond texture contributing to the overall sense of grip. My personal favorite though is the model with the aluminum handles. This offers a much sturdier frame, and it still has textured, injection-molded inset scales to maintain the model’s no-slip grip. The aluminum is available in either a matte black or a pretty slick bead blast grey.

The pocket clip here is affixed in the right-hand, tip-down position. It’s a wide clip that enables a pretty deep carry, and the smooth lines of the knife keep it feeling comfortable in the pocket.

The flipper on the Shenanigan is small but responsive, making for a snappy, assured action. Each model has the same 3.25″ blade length, but there’s some really nice variety to be had in this line. This particular one here is a modified drop-point with partial serrations. There’s also a version of the modified drop-point with a plain edge and healthy recurve for some solid slicing action. Both of these blade styles come in either a matte black or a bead blast finish. The third style is a modified tanto with partial serrations, which is only available in a tactical black.

At this point it’s almost unnecessarily obvious to praise Ken Onion for his design work, and the Shenanigan is another solid collaboration with CRKT. It’s an affordable, well-built knife that is tailor-made for everyday carry. To learn more about these knives, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Böker Plus Exskelibur I & II


This time on Steal of the Week we’ve got the Exskelibur folding knife from Böker Plus. The Exskelibur design, from Fred Burger and Mike Skellern, proved to be a big success for Böker, which prompted them to begin releasing versions with different handle materials and blade steels.

The particular version we’re looking at today is a simple and elegant iteration with olive wood handle scales over attractive blue anodized stainless steel liners. Besides looking gorgeous, this combination of materials makes for an almost unbelievably light feeling in the hand. The overall hand feel is comfortable thanks to a solidly ergonomic shape, though you’re not going to get much grip beyond this jimping on the spine of the blade.

The pocket clip is also the blue anodized stainless steel, which nicely offsets the otherwise sparse appearance. The clip can be positioned for right side tip-up or tip-down carry, and holds confidently in the pocket. The smooth wood scales make for an extremely easy draw, enabling a lightning fast deployment.

This olive wood model is available in both the Exskelibur 1 or Exskelibur 2, which are functionally identical with the notable exception of their size. The blade on the Exskelibur 1 is a solid 3.5″ long, while the blade on the Exskelibur 2 is only 2.75″. Both are hollow-ground spear-points made from 440-C stainless steel, equally suited for slicing or piercing tasks.

Deployment is handled like a front flipper, with the thumb using the jimping on the spine to catch and open the blade. This action works smoothly on both models, but is easier to do quickly on the Exskelibur 1 thanks to the greater protrusion of the blade heel. The 1 can also be opened with just a quick flick of the wrist, which is not the case for its little brother. Both versions employ a liner lock to hold the blade securely in place.

All-in-all, these rustic olive wood variations on the classic Exskelibur design make for a smooth, streamlined gentleman’s folder with some serious class. To learn more about these knives, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

CRKT 2365 Lucas Burnley Obake Skoshi

This week on Spotlight Series we’re taking a look at the new Obake Skoshi fixed blade from Columbia River Knife & Tool. The original Obake, designed by Lucas Burnley, has proven to be a very popular knife for CRKT, and this model carries all those same aesthetic traits into an all-new low-profile package.

The appearance is inspired by classic Japanese designs, featuring a straight-back, full-tang blade with hollow grind. Some lovely acid etching gives the blade a really attractive finish that is equal parts classical and modern. Skoshi is a contraction of the Japanese word Sukoshi, which translates to “a little bit” – a perfect qualifier for this particular knife. Whereas the original Obake had a blade length of 3.64″, the blade on the Skoshi is a compact 2.4″.

The handle is styled after the Katana, with a faux ray-skin texture wrapped with Nylon cord, making for an exceptional no-slip grip. The handle is of course quite small, and perhaps a bit too small for my taste, but it’s quite a comfortable, secure hold nevertheless. Even in larger hands the knife never feels like it’s in any danger of slipping or dropping.

As with the original, the Skoshi features a glass-reinforced nylon sheath with an attachable belt clip. The knife slots into the sheath extremely securely thanks to this notch at the end, and the low-profile makes for an unobtrusive carry. The Obake was designed to be carried discreetly inside the waistband for immediate access, and as such features a nylon lanyard to keep the sheath attached to your belt after drawing. The lanyard sports a cool little skull bead as a nice accent in this sea of black.

Overall, CRKT’s Obake Skoshi takes everything you loved about Burnley’s original Obake and scales it down for a compact, capable fixed blade that makes for an easy and stylish EDC. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

ASP Poly Triad Flashlights


This weekend our special items are a couple of vibrant models from ASP’s Poly Triad line of flashlights. You’d be hard pressed to find two brighter flashlights in this price-range, and they’re ever so stylish in a neon orange or, uh… high-visibility pink.

The shape is standard and comfortable to hold, with a soft vinyl grip that enables some nice traction. The package includes two CR123A batteries, which will power the light for two solid hours. The butt of the handle twists to enable three different modes, the primary of which is your standard click on, click off mode. One twist over puts it in a locking mode that keeps the switch from being pressed, so you can stow the flashlight in a bag without it getting turned on when bumped or jostled. The final mode makes it so the light only remains active for as long as you are pressing the button down.

The output on this model is an impressive 300 lumens, for a nice and bright, focused beam. I know to a lot of you lumens don’t necessarily mean much of anything, so we’re going to do a quick comparison. We’ve pulled a comparably-priced light from our stock, one that only puts out 125 lumens, so we can demonstrate the difference.

For this test we’ve turned the camera’s auto-exposure off and locked it at the correct setting for the room as currently lit. With our standard set up you can clearly see all the details on this Kershaw Intellect. Now I’m going to turn all the lights off and put us in pitch blackness. Here’s the 125 lumen light from two feet away, and as you can see it doesn’t do much to light up the space, with the camera barely able register anything. When I push it closer you can pick up more detail, but of course that narrows our field of vision. In contrast, from two feet away our ASP flashlight illuminates the whole space and you can see quite a bit of detail. If I push it closer like I did with the other one, areas of the image will actually blow out to pure white.

All-in-all, the ASP Poly Triad is a solid and reliable flashlight with an impressively bright beam for its price range. To learn more about these two flashlights, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Böker Plus Kalashnikov Line

This time on Steal of the Week we’re going to be checking out the storied line of Kalashnikov folding knives from Böker Plus. The Kalashnikov, or AK-47, has been one of the most popular guns in the world basically since it was introduced to active service in 1948. Its designer, former Soviet tank corpsman Mikhail Kalashnikov, passed away in 2013, but before that he licensed his name to Böker and the Kalashnikov line was born.

The designs draw their inspiration from Kalashnikov’s seminal rifle, sometimes in a subtle way and sometimes in ways that are the complete antithesis of subtle. Models like the 10 and the 15 wear the assault rifle aesthetic on their sleeve by being modeled to resemble rifles themselves.

The models I like best are the ones that take their cues from Kalashnikov in a more indirect way, by borrowing certain design elements but focusing on simplicity and functionality above all. Models like the 42 are almost elegant in their stripped-down appearance. While this knife is called the 42 by Böker, it is a variation of model 74, and bears that marking on the blade. The best thing about this one is the ergonomic handle with structured finger grooves and heavy texture to lend it a certain grip. There’s a deep, bayonet-style pocket clip that makes this knife a really comfortable carry.

The blade is a nice 3.5″ recurve, so it’s going to be great for slicing tasks. In this particular case it’s got a fingernail nick for an easy two-handed open, but this same model is also available with dual thumb studs for single-handed operation. There’s even a version of the 74 with a beautiful damascus blade. Across all these variations, the blade is held in place with a stainless steel liner lock.

My personal favorite from the Kalashnikov line is the 101. This particular version sports a tan zytel handle and plain edge blade, but other versions exist, like a black and green with partial serrations. What I love about this one is the oversized handle that facilitates numerous comfortable grip styles. There’s some jimping present to give your thumb purchase in both the forward and reverse grips. This one also features the bayonet style pocket clip, as well as a hearty glassbreaker tip on the butt.

Blade is deployed using the ambidextrous thumb disc, and the action is really smooth and swift. The 101 has a massive 4″ blade, also with a healthy recurve, made from 440C stainless steel. As with the 74, this one has a stainless steel liner lock to keep the blade in place.

With a whole host of durable, affordable designs, each taking their cues from Mikhail Kalashnikov in a distinct way, the Böker Plus Kalashnikov line is a really solid group of folders. To learn more about all the models available, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

New Spyderco Folders

This week on Spotlight series we’re going to check out a couple of strange and exciting new folders from Spyderco Knives. With a couple of custom knifemakers putting up some truly unique designs, and the always reliable Spyderco construction, these are elegant, durable knives with some weird and wonderful flair.

The first, and slightly more understated, of the knives is the Myrtle, designed by Belgian custom knifemaker Filip de Leeuw. This one manages to keep its unusual appearance a secret in the closed position. You have a pretty standard handle shape with an attractive stonewashed titanium back scale and bolster, and a beautiful marbled carbon fiber scale on the presentation side. Once you deploy the blade by way of the slightly inset Spyderco round hole, its strangeness manifests itself in a big way.

The CPM S30V stainless steel blade is a unique, recurved shape that combines the cutting performance of a typical Spyderco leaf-shaped blade with the additional functionality of a slightly hooked point, which is going to give you more dexterity in your cutting. Handling is ergonomic and comfortable for extended use. The blade is held in place with a titanium framelock, for secure, safe cutting. To round out the features on this model we have a right-hand, tip-up carry pocket clip and small lanyard hole at the butt of the handle.

Our next knife, designed by Brian Tighe, is a little more wild right out of the gate. The titanium handle has a distinctive curve to it and boasts a quite pronounced 3D-sculpted pattern. Besides looking stylish that will also enhance grip. The pocket clip on this one is reversible, for either a left or right-hand, tip-down carry. You’ll note the protruding Spyderco round hole on this knife, which gives you an excellent angle of attack for an extremely smooth and easy open. It also functions as a thumb ramp when the blade is extended, and when combined with the pronounced index finger indent contributed to a supremely confident overall hold.

Blade on this one is CPM S90V, in an aggressively upswept style with a saber grind. It’s a pretty sophisticated, exotic design, but of course we would expect no less from Tighe. There’s also a framelock on this model, for an equally certain cutting experience.

As long as they keep putting out well-constructed, experimental folders like this, nobody could ever accuse Spyderco of stagnation. To learn more about these knives, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Javelin by Timberline Sawback Machete

This weekend our special is this hearty sawback machete from Timberline’s Javelin line of products. With a durable full-tang construction, a comfortable molded handle, and a price tag under $20, this is a totally terrific tool to keep in your arsenal.

The handle is zytel with some soft rubber patches enabling an excellent no-slip grip. The shape is about as ergonomic as it gets, with indents for all four fingers and a nice row of rubber grips up on top for your thumb to rest on. It’s a comfortable, secure grip that’s going to enable using the machete for lengthy periods of time without fatigue. This is aided by the excellent weight and balance. There’s a good heft to this model, but it manages to avoid feeling top-heavy or unwieldy.

The blade is fifteen inches of stainless steel with a black oxide coating, in a flat ground tanto shape. The blade is not very sharp as this isn’t intended for slicing tasks, and that will prevent the edge from getting marred when hacking heavier branches. One of the big benefits here is the aggressive sawback on the spine. These are long, jagged teeth that are going to let you make quick work of your minor sawing tasks. The full-tang construction makes way for a protruding pommel at the butt of the handle for marking or smashing.

The machete comes packaged with a nylon sheath that hangs comfortably from your belt for swift access. Often with sawback tools like these you can experience difficulty with a quick draw, but in this case you’re looking at a smooth, easy motion.

All-in-all, Timberline’s Javelin sawback machete offers great functionality and high durability for a super affordable price. To learn more about this item, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Zero Tolerance 0200

This time on Steal of the Week we’re going to be checking out the 0200 from Zero Tolerance knives. This beefy flipper was designed by the incomparable Ken Onion, and his ridiculously rugged take on the folding combat knife is a force to be reckoned with.

This is a hand-filling handle with some heavy-duty 3D-machined G10 over some ultra thick liners. The G10 has a cool grenade-like texture that provides some really great traction. The ergonomic shape and massive size make it a comfortable hold for folks with large or gloved hands, and there’s ample jimping for precision cutting tasks. With no hotspots to speak of, handling in general is a pleasure with this model.

There are two blade deployment methods present here. Primary is the flipper, which allows for an easy if not especially swift deployment. The secondary method is the dual thumb studs, which allow for just as nice an action as the flipper, using either your thumb or an atypically productive flick of the middle finger. If you’re not happy with the action you can loosen or tighten the pivot with a basic wrench or socket, making it easier to adjust in the field than the standard torque screw.

The blade is a distinctively Ken Onion recurve shape that makes for some really great slicing action. This is a wide blade that comes in at 4″ long and is made from 154CM stainless steel with a black DLC coating. The handle’s thick liners mean a heavy-duty liner lock to keep the blade extended.

You can carry this model just about any way you want thanks to the four way pocket clip. It’s a nice thick piece of stainless steel which enables a really secure, certain carry. Also present is a lanyard hole to aid you in finding this knife in deep pockets or a tactical bag.

Ken Onion is one of the best designers in the business and nobody overbuilds quite like ZT, making the 0200 one formidable flipper. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Benchmade 320 Ball Precinct Flipper

This week we’re spotlighting a new Benchmade collaboration with custom knifemaker Butch Ball. The 320 Precinct takes Ball’s custom Skorpion M flipper design and strips it down for a lightweight, capable production model that’s made right here in the USA.

The cool thing about this line is all the blade variety available. You’ve got four models differentiated solely by their blade type, though all are 3.3″ long and made from 154CM stainless steel. There’s a drop point blade with a pretty healthy recurve for some great slicing action, and a combo blade with partial serrations. Both blade styles are available in either a satin finish or a tactical black.

Flipper on this knife is nice and responsive thanks to a pivot bearing system that enables a slick, speedy action. It’s a large but unobtrusive flipper with some heavy jimping on it for easy purchase when activating. Once extended the blade is held in place with a liner lock, which holds very securely but as a result is a little tough on the thumb.

Handle scales are black G10 with a fine texture for an excellent no-slip grip. The handle is Butch Ball’s finger relief design, with a pronounced index finger indent for super ergonomic handling. The jimping at the base of the blade gives your thumb a good spot to lock into for an extremely confident overall hold. The pocket clip here is reversible, allowing for a left or right side, tip-up carry.

The refined Butch Ball design, a quality Benchmade build, and some great variety make the 320 Precinct line an awesome pick for a basic EDC. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com

Buck 816 Lux

This weekend our special comes to us from Buck’s Lux line of folders – this is the bead blast version of the model 816. The 816 Lux is quite an elegant gentleman’s folder with a sturdy build and a slight tactical spin, making for a sleek and capable EDC.

There’s some heft to this bad boy due to the stainless steel handle scales, which have been titanium coated for additional durability. In order to keep the weight from getting too unwieldy, you’ll note the open spine on this model. This flow-through design also makes for easier cleaning of the interior. Handle is on the smaller side, but the ergonomic shape and heavy flare on the butt lets it nest really comfortable in the palm of the hand.

The blade deployment via the dual thumb studs is deceptively satisfying. I’ve always been more of a flipper guy, but even I can’t deny this confident action. The thumb studs are the right size for good traction, and opening is smooth, it’s easy, and you can really hear the frame lock activate and hold that blade down solidly. The pivot is nice and tight, with no play anywhere along the axis. Blade is a 2.75″ drop point with a hollow grind and just bit of a recurve, enabling some great slicing action.

The pocket clip is the same titanium-coated stainless steel as the handle scales, and is affixed in the right hand, tip down position. It’s a bayonet-style clip, allowing for a super deep carry so the knife disappears comfortably in the pocket. Thanks to the smooth finish on the handle it’s a very easy draw as well.

If you’ve been on the lookout for an affordable gentleman’s folder that is sophisticated in appearance but rugged in construction, you can’t go wrong with the Buck Lux. To learn more about this knife, click here. To see our entire inventory, visit knifecenter.com