Father’s Day Gift Guide: Go Big or Go Home

In our final Father’s Day edition of Warehouse Hunts we’re looking at few knife options for those looking to go all out on the big day.

First up we have the king of the EDCs: the Spyderco ParaMilitary2, which won the 2015 crown in KnifeCenter’s Ultimate EDC tournament back in March. The thing is a perennial favorite; it combines fantastic functionality with solid construction, materials, and definitely punches above its price point. The blade is nearly three-and-a-half inches long and made from CPM-S30V steel, and the handle is textured G10 with a crazy versatile 4-way pocket clip. It’s easily one of my favorite knives ever.

The Benchmade 940 Osborne is another incredible carry option. It’s super slim and a breeze to carry around at under three ounces. I love the deep green color of the aluminum handle scales. The blade is three-point-four inches long and made from S30V stainless steel with a slim and interesting modified reverse tanto shape – very unique. Deployment is via the dual thumbstuds. My favorite part of the knife has to be the AXIS locking mechanism. It’s just so solid and easy to manipulate, and it provides a rare and refreshing level of ambidextrous functionality.

The LionSteel SR-1 stole my heart the minute I opened the package. The single-piece aluminum handle has great construction, a subtle, pleasing “rippled” texture, and a great overall hand-feel. Comes in several color schemes. The blade three-point-seven inches long and made from D2 Tool steel with a satin or black MilSpec finish. Deployed via the dual thumbstuds. Big fan of the frame-lock mechanism, which secures the blade with a satisfying certainty.

Finally, at the top of the Father’s Day gift Olympus we have the Rick Hinderer XM-18 flipper. Pretty much out of the realm of possibility for most of us gift-giving mortals, but mere image of Dad prying his jaw off the floor after unboxing one of these beasts is something to savor. The attractive wharncliffe blade is made from S35VN steel and the handle features a G-10 face scale and one of the smoothest titanium frame-locks I have handled. Hinderer designs are darlings of the current knife industry, and this blade is certainly something to strive for.

Overall, these are a few knives that really go the extra mile – or ten – when it comes to Father’s Day gifts.

Check out our entire Father’s Day Gift Guide at KnifeCenter.com!

QTRM5TR QSE-8 Emmett “Doc” Brown

The QSE-8 Emmett “Doc” Brown flipper – yet another quality reference from the pop-culture-happy naming gurus at QTRM5TR Knives – is a collaboration project between the company and designer Austin Weiss. The final product retains a rock-solid construction while easing away from the rather bulking, tank-like structure of other Quartermaster models.

The modified wharncliffe blade is three-point-seven inch long and made from CPM 154 stainless steel with either a Texas Tea stonewash or limo tint finish. Its slim, tapered look took some getting used to, especially coming from a company like Quartermaster, but I’ve started to appreciate the understated and utilitarian design.

The action on this thing is crazy fast thanks to the nice-sized flipper feature and smooth movement along the ORB pivot system. Combine that with a great titanium frame lock and you have a knife that is a real joy to open and close. Total weight is just over four-and-a-half ounces, giving the knife a solid level of portability.

Overall, the QSE-8 “Doc” Brown is a nice addition to the Quartermaster line up, and probably my single favorite design from them so far.

See more of our extensive inventory on our website, KnifeCenter.com!

Weekend Special: Spyderco Equilibrium


The Spyderco Equilibrium is actually a re-design of a previous Spyderco product, the Balance, which – hard to believe – was even smaller than the current rendition.

The blade is one-point-seven-three inches long with a one-and-a-quarter inch edge, and it’s made from VG-10 steel; so not a lot of cutting room on this thing, but it’s sharp and should handle a variety of smaller everyday tasks with inconspicuous ease. Deployment of the small blade is surprisingly simple thanks to the Spyderco Round Hole.

The stainless steel handle features a frame-lock design and provides enough weight and structure to make this pint-sized folder feel solid rather than flimsy. The finger choil helps gives the hand more room to move, though it will probably still disappear in larger paws. Features a 4-way pocket clip for carrying versatility.

Overall, the Spyderco Equilibrium offers a solid build, good materials, and most of all, a high level of portability.

Father’s Day Gift Guide: Shave Edition

It’s Week 2 of our Father’s Day Gift Guide and we’re looking at some products to help Dad shave smarter this summer.

Now a truly good shave starts even before the razor meets skin; it starts with a great shave soap. This shea butter-enriched soap, from Pré de Provence of France, is a nice alternative to typical canned shaving creams, which often contain irritating and suspect ingredients. The five-and-a-quarter ounce tin is attractive and the sage fragrance is fantastic.

Of course, the easiest way to utilize a bar shaving soap is with a badger hair brush like this one from Colonel Conk. The brush helps to produce a rich lather and prime the hair for shaving. You can either mix the lather right in the tin, or pop the bar into a shave mug for an extra bit of atmosphere and ceremony.

For those looking to get the closest possible shave, I would highly recommend looking into a quality safety razor – the German company Merkur, for example, is a popular razor brand. The style stands as a nice mid-point between the run of the mill disposable blade and the intimidating Sweeney Todd-ness of a full on straight razor. And while there is still a degree of finesse involved in using a safety razor, I have found the benefits of a closer and less irritating shave to be completely worthy of the small learning curve. What’s more, you’ll actually spend less on shaving products after the initial razor purchase thanks to the affordability of replacement blades, which can be had for a fraction of the price of disposable cartridges.

After the shave comes the after-shave, a crucial step in rehydrating the skin you just scraped away at with a sharpened metal flake. There are many great post-shave balms on the market; as with the soap, try to look for one with natural and soothing ingredients.

Now, for some guys out there “clean-shaven” is as good as a curse word, and their eternal whiskers require a different type of care. For the bearded and mustached faithful we have wax, trimming scissors, combs, and even specialized oils to keep their scruff up to snuff.
So there you go: a few quality products to give dad a great shave from start to finish. You can see the entire list of products mentioned by clicking here, and check out our entire Father’s Day Gift Guide here.

Böker Plus Urban Trapper

The first thing you notice when handling the Böker Plus Urban Trapper pocketknife is its feather-like feel. At an airy one-point-eight ounces, this thing can be carried anywhere and everywhere with worrying about unnecessary heft or bulk.

The blade is three-point-four-three inches long and made from VG10 steel in a nice slim, attractive shape. It is deployed via the flipper feature, which succeeds in the tough task of being both effective AND inconspicuous. Very fast deployments on this thing.

The titanium handle features a liner-lock design and handles scales – either black G10 or this nice cocobolo wood version – for added grip and aesthetic appeal. The hand-feel is quite comfortable, and there is a pocket clip for tip-up right-hand carry.

Overall, the Böker Plus Urban Trapper’s slim build obviously disqualifies the knife from workhorse status, but it’s a good looking blade with solid construction and materials.

Brous Blades VR-71 G10


The original VR-71, of course, came equipped with some slick carbon fiber handle scales, as opposed to the eponymous G10 scales that adorn the current version. That change resulted in a dramatically more accessible knife that costs nearly half the amount of its predecessor, which is especially good news for folks who dig Brous’ animalistic designs but don’t want the price tag to chew at their bank accounts for too long.

The other materials and design elements are similar to some other Brous models: the attractive drop point-style blade is made from D2 Tool steel with four different finish options, from satin to acid stonewash. The cut-out in the VR-71’s blade is more functional as a deployment option than, say, the Exo flipper we reviewed a few weeks back, though the handle’s finger guard does take some finessing around.

I’m also not a diehard carbon fiber fan, so the shift in materials doesn’t interest me near as much as the price-drop aspect. The G10 is still comfortable and ergonomic, and the liner lock is easy to manipulate. It would be interesting to see a frame-lock design from Brous at some point, though that might detract from his smooth, contoured aesthetic a little bit.

Overall, the new VR-71 G10 is a nice tactical folder at an intriguing price point.

You can see this knife and much, much more at our website, KnifeCenter.com!

Father’s Day Gift Guide: Every Day Carry Edition


Welcome to Warehouse Hunts everybody. For the next few weeks we’re going to be highlighting some great gift options for dad. This week we’re looking at several every-day-carry knives and tools.

spyderco

First up, we have the Spyderco Tenacious folding knife, which is one of the most frequently reviewed items on our site – and for good reason. It combines form, function, and affordability. The trademark Spyderco Round Hole is a joy to use, and the liner lock mechanism moves with certainty on deployments and closings. The blade is almost three-and-a-half inches long and made from 8CR13MOV stainless steel, and the handle is lightweight and textured black G-10 with a four-way pocket clip for nice versatility.

rat

The RAT models from Ontario Knife Company are fantastic entry-level pocket knives with a number of color schemes and carrying options. We even featured them on our YouTube channel a few weeks back.

leek

The Kershaw Leek is definitely a favorite here at the office. Most everybody has one in some form or fashion. The slim profile, frame-lock design, and Speedsafe assisted opening mechanism are welcome features for a knife in this price range. The blade is three inches long and made from Sandvik 14C28N steel, while the body is bead-blasted 410 stainless. Total weight of just three ounces.

style

On to a couple more novel EDC items, this is the Leatherman Style PS. It’s a cool little keychain multi-tool that is also TSA-compliant, so it’s a nice, compact tool for frequent travelers (According to March 2009 TSA regulations. Check www.tsa.gov for full details). Compliance, of course, comes at the cost of a blade on this thing, but with the solid pliers and seven other handy tools, you should still be prepared for most situations.

xikar

Finally, we have a unique tool for the connoisseur in your life. This pocketknife from Xikar is part blade, part cigar cutter, and part money clip, making for a very cool and compact carrying piece for cigar lovers or those looking to get into the past time. Made from 440 stainless steel with a two inch blade and weight of just two ounces.

Overall, these are a few good options for every-day-carry products that you or your dad might enjoy.

Thanks for checking out Part 1 of our Father’s Day Gift Guide. Next Friday we’ll be featuring several great shave products for the bearded patriarch in your life!

KnifeCenter’s #Sharp4Summer Giveaway

KnifeCenter.com is kicking off the warm-weather season with our Sharp for Summer giveaway on Instagram.

This year we’re giving away a great every-day-carry blade, the Benchmade 940-1 Osborne, for the most fun/creative summer blade Instagram post.

Sounds good? All you have to do to participate is:

1) Follow us on Instagram @knifecenter
2) Snap a photo of your knife in a summer scene. (Be creative!)
AND
3) Post to IG using both #sharp4summer and @knifecenter in the description.

Post as many times as you like until June 16th. We’ll choose a winner the next day and send the blade off to its new home. So what are you waiting for? Get to snappin’!

Click here to see full details!

CRKT Ken Onion Hootenanny

This Ken Onion-designed blade has gotten a lot of praise from the folks here at KnifeCenter for its great design, functionality and price point. The knife was designed to incorporate aspects of the typical hunting and bird knives into the framework of an every-day-carry offering, and the final product certainly achieves that crossover appeal.

The three-point-three-four inch blade is made from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel with a satin finish and a hollow ground, drop point shape. It’s an attractive design with some nice jimping on the finger choil and higher up the spine for a more precise grip. Deployment is via the small but responsive flipper feature – great action on this thing.

The handle features milled glass-reinforced nylon scales and a frame lock design. The blade moves smoothly on the IKBS bearing system. I really like how easy the frame lock is to manipulate, as well as the handle’s slim profile and all-around feel. There’s also a pocket clip for right-hand, tip-up carry.

Overall, the CRKT Hootenanny is a functional and affordable every-day-carry option that would be a solid first buy for those new to knives.

See more about the Hootenanny, or check out our entire selection of CRKT products at KnifeCenter.com!

Camping and Survival Fixed Blades

A quality fixed blade is a must-have for the serious outdoor enthusiast, so this week on Warehouse Hunts we’re looking at a few knives to help you fill out your camping and survival gear packs this summer.

Schrade

First up is the Schrade 37M Frontier – this one with the Micarta handles – which we featured a few weeks back when it was on special. The seven inch blade is made from powder-coated 8Cr13MoV high carbon steel and a finger choil for a more technical grip. It’s a solid and affordable entry-level knife that offers a sharp edge and a nice collection of accessories, including a nylon belt sheath with ferro rod and sharpening stone.

rat

The RAT-5 Survival Knife from Ontario Knife Company keeps it simple and effective. The five-and-a-quarter inch blade has nice size and is made from 1095 Carbon steel with a black powder coating. The handle is tan Micarta with a rather beefy but comfortable hand-feel. I can definitely see why it’s a favorite for outdoorsmen and military personnel around the world. Comes with a secure nylon and Kydex sheath.

ESEE

The ESEE-4 is a slightly longer, more “wilderness” version of the popular ESEE-3 model. The four inch blade is the shortest of the knives we’re going to the look at, but I actually prefer the compactness for most applications, and it’s rather pack-friendly at less than 7.5 ounces. There’s some jimping and a finger choil for more precise cuts, and the Micarta handle feels quite ergonomic in hand. The molded sheath can attach to either a MOLLE back or clip plate for carrying versatility.

fallkniven

Finally, we have the Fällkniven A1. There are a lot of great things going on with this knife. The VG-10 steel blade is just over six-and-a-quarter inches long and nearly a quarter inch thick along the spine. Very heavy-duty. I really like the shape and the satin finish on the blade. The Kraton handle is simple but textured and comfortable and features a lanyard loop. The Zytel sheath is impressively slim and inconspicuous, which is great for saving space without skimping on knife size.

Overall, these are nice camping and survival knife options to take a look at whether you are a year-round enthusiast or just starting out. You can click here to see more about these knives, or see our entire selection of survival knives at KnifeCenter.com!