Top 6 Best Rescue Knives For Rapid Response Action

lmf2-insulated-shock-proof-handle

Rescue knives represent their own unique class of blades. They incorporate specific design features you won’t see in other blades. A good rescue knife must be up to the task of rescuing a person or persons from a range of life threatening situations. The knife must easily cut through seat belts, rope, and other restraining material. It must be able to punch through glass, slice, and easily be retrieved and deployed. The rescue knife is strong, locks securely into place in the case of folding rescue knives, and is ultimately more useful than not in a rescue scenario.

Here are a few things to look for in a good rescue knife:

  • Serrated edges (good for cutting through seat belts and other cordage type material.)
  • Prominent thumb studs for easy opening even with gloves
  • Shorter blade 5″ MAX. Longer blades quickly become cumbersome and difficult to work with.
  • Blunted tip. Especially crucial for EMT’s and firefighters working around moving humans and animals. You don’t want to stab anything.
  • Comfortable handle
  • Glass breaker pommel
  • Corrosion resistant coating especially if used frequently around water
  • Stainless steel (less prone to rusting and extremely durable)
  • Full tang

The quality of the knife is also most crucial. What if you roll your car off a bank straight into a lake and your seatbelt locks up? Are you trusting your knife to one of these trinket knives that are going to bust as soon you as you go to do something useful? When you buy a high quality knife, you are buying it for life.

Let’s take a look at the contenders.

1.) SpyderCo Assist Combo Knife

spyderco-assist-rescue-knife

  • Overall Length: 8.375″ (213 mm)
  • Blade Length: 3.687″ (94 mm)
  • Steel: VG-10
  • Closed Length: 4.875″ (124 mm)
  • Edge Length: 3.188″ (81 mm)
  • Weight: 4 oz (115 g)
  • Blade Thickness: .125″ (3 mm)

The SpyderCo Assist rescue knife is the knife chosen by professionals time and time again. Take good note of the features. The blade itself is made of time tested VG-10, a material very resistant to corrosion while also retaining a good edge. It’s a big knife with a lot of handle but a shorter blade. When cutting anything it’s crucial to have a firm grip. If you notice, the dull top edge of the blade is grooved out. This is so you can squeeze the serrated blade and handle together making for a relentless rope or cable cutting tool. Extremely ergonomic. The bright orange color makes it easy to locate if dropped in the dark or in a place with a ton of debris, it sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s exactly what you want. The blade also features a prominent hole for drop dead easy opening. SpyderCo was the first to pioneer this unique design. The SpyderCo Assist is a durable trustworthy companion.

2.) Benchmade Triage 916 Rescue knife

benchmade-916-rescue-blade

  • Blade Length: 3.40″ (8.64cm)
  • Blade Thickness: 0.124″ (3.15mm)
  • Open Length: 8.25″ (20.96cm)
  • Closed Length: 4.85″ (12.32cm)
  • Weight: 5.24oz: (148.55g)

The Benchmade Triage 916 is another all time classic rescue knife and a staple for emergency personnel around the globe. This American Made rescue knife packs loads of features and delivers above and beyond the call of duty. The blade hits all the spots – partially serrated with a wicked sharp edge, bright orange, built in seat belt/cordage ripper, and a fully functional glass breaker on the butt end of the pommel. The knife easily opens with a single hand thanks to the ambidextrous thumb stud and securely locks into place, ready for deep action. The grip on this handle is ultra aggressive – people often complain about the texture wearing down their pockets. For the serious knife user this is not a problem and in fact, a solid advantage. This blade grips extremely well even in wet weather. The blade is made of N680 stainless steel and treated with anti corrosion coating making it well tasked for water work. Another great knife.

3.) Cold Steel SRK

cold-steel-srk-knife

  • Weight: 8.2 oz.
  • Blade Thickness: 5.0 mm
  • Blade Length: 6.0″
  • Handle: 4.75″ Long Kray-Ex
  • Overall: 10.75″
  • Steel: Japanese SK-5 High Carbon Steel w/ Black Tuff-Ex Finish

The Cold Steel Survival Rescue Knife is a fixed blade knife designed as a general purpose survival and rescue knife. It’s seen heavy use in the military and a directly issued to the Navy Seals for combat training. It’s sharp as hell, durable, and non-slip. It’s a solid general knife that does a lot of things well.

4.) Kershaw Funxion EMT

  • SpeedSafe® assisted opening
  • Liner lock
  • Thumbstud and flipper
  • Single-position pocketclip; deep-carry
  • Carabiner clip, cord cutter, screwdriver tip, hex wrench, glassbreaker tip
  • Steel: 8Cr13MoV, black-oxide coating
  • Handle: Glass-filled nylon, K-Texture™ insert
  • Blade length: 3 in. (7.6 cm)
  • Closed length: 4.25 in. (10.7 cm)
  • Overall length: 7.25 in. (18.4 cm)
  • Weight: 4.8 oz. (137 g)

The Kershaw Funxion EMT packs all the features of a solid rescue knife into a value bomb dropper. If you want a halfway decent survival knife but don’t want to spend the big bucks, you can pick this bad boy up for less than $30 bucks. Kershaw is a solid brand but cheap does come at a price. This particular blade uses an inferior form of stainless steel known as 8cr13MoV. It’s a weaker metal but still does the job. Just don’t expect it to last a lifetime or never break.

5.) Gerber LMF 2

LMF2
  • Overall Length: 10.59″
  • Blade Length: 4.84″
  • Weight: 24.28 oz. (w/ Sheath)
  • Weight: 11.67 oz. (w/o Sheath)
  • Blade Material: 420HC Stainless.
  • Blade Style: Drop Point.
  • Blade Type: Serrated.
  • Handle Material: Glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold.

The Gerber LMF2 infantry knife was specially designed to assist downed aircrew pilots and personnel in the event of a crash landing. It’s strong enough to cut straight through the fuselage of an aircraft and versatile enough to assist in a range of survival oriented tasks. It has a partially serrated blade and a unique tang design allowing you to hack straight through electrical wire without getting shocked. This is a fixed blade knife. The back of the knife features one of the hardest glass busting pommels you’ll find on a knife.

6.) Kershaw Blur

  • Made in the USA
  • SpeedSafe® assisted opening
  • Thumb stud
  • Inset liner lock
  • Reversible pocketclip (tip-up/tip-down)
  • Lanyard hole
  • Steel: Sandvik 14C28N, DLC coating
  • Handle: 6061-T6 anodized aluminum, Trac-Tec inserts
  • Blade Length: 3.4 in. (8.6 cm)
  • Closed Length: 4.5 in. (11.4 cm)
  • Overall Length: 7.9 in. (20 cm)
  • Weight: 3.9 oz. (110.5 g)

The Kershaw Blur is a tactical folding knife with Kershaws signature Speedsafe opening mechanism. This blade flings open at a moments notice. The steel in question is 14CC28N, a stainless steel mix which sharpens up to a razers edge and fairly anti-corrosive characteristics, not to mention the coating. The blade is serrated and the glass breaking pommel is standard on all models. This is a solid knife with an aggressive grip well suited to rescue situations.

 

Cold Steel Recon 1 DEEP DIVE review

There’s lot’s to be said about the Cold Steel Recon 1. For starters you WILL not find a higher value blade for the price of the Recon 1. For under $100 bucks you’re simply not going to find a sturdier feature packed EDC folder knife. That is the magic of the Cold Steel Recon 1.

In this review we’re gonna take a deep dive look at the Recon 1 and discover everything there is to know about this value packed blade.

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 9.375″
  • Blade Length: 4.00″
  • Blade Thickness: 0.13″
  • Blade Material: CTS-XHP
  • Blade Style: Clip point, Spear point, and Tanto
  • Blade Grind: Hollow
  • Finish: Black
  • Edge Type: Serrated or non-serrated
  • Handle Length: 5.375″
  • Handle Thickness: 0.51″
  • Handle Material: G-10

Full review

cold-steel-recon1-serrated-edge
The Cold Steel Recon 1 with serrated edge

 

First off, we’re talking about a full blown tactical blade made into a standard EDC folder knife. The spear point version of the Recon 1 screams tactical. The blade is sharp and sturdy enough to do serious damage in the deep woods while also doubling as a formidable self defense weapon. I’ve used this bad boy to split firewood, skin small game, and bust open boxes and envelopes. The blade comes in from the factory sharp as a razor. That is one thing about Cold Steel blades – they all come out of the box sharp as hell. In fact, this blade takes the hairs right off your arms and doesn’t ask twice.

As a folder/EDC/pocket knife some say this is a big knife. I will agree with that statement but I will also say that the second generation of this blade is much lighter. While it IS a big knife it carries the weight of a much smaller knife. You’re gonna have to get used to this knife taking up more space in your pocket than your standard EDC blade. Still, this knife is quickly moving up the ranks on my shelf as my main EDC knife. Especially when I’m heading out to the city, the tactical shanking applications of this knife cannot be understated. The spear point tip means this blade is going to sink deep into whatever you stab it into. You do not want to be on the business end of this blade, that’s for sure.

And speaking of shanking, the blade flings open at a moments notice. The thumbstuds are ambidextrous and with a quick flick of the wrist, flys out of nowhere ready to do business. the blade locks surprisingly firm into place thanks to the Cold Steel signature locking mechanism. Nothing short of serious pressure applied to key leverage points is going to get this thing to bust once it’s fully locked into place. Getting the blade unlocked is drop dead simple and smooth. With only the slightest pressure on the release mechanism the blade is ready to be concealed and placed deep into pocket with the clip.

The textured grip on the Recon 1 is aggressive. In fact, you even feel the roughness through your own pocket. This is why some will never consider the Recon 1 a true EDC – something you can carry everyday. For me personally, I don’t find the texture bothersome. I know if I ever need to work in the rain, the extra grip is going to come in mighty handy. The aggressive texture is something to make note of however. And another thing to note about the handle – the G10 material and the finger choils allows for a truly deep and comfortable grip. Pick this thing up and the first thing you notice is the aggressiveness of the material combined with powerful grip action. There is no jimping however, but I find it grips good none-the-less.

Conclusion

The Recon 1 is one of my favorite Cold Steel blades and a great option for an EDC. The value of the knife is unheard of, it brings a ton of features and design elements to the table you won’t see in other knives of the same price. As a tactical folder, it’s a no brainer.

Have experience with the Recon 1? Leave a comment and let everyone know what you think about this blade.

Benchmade Mini Griptilian 556 review

benchmade-mini-griptilian

In search of the greatest EDC knife of all times I had a number of requirements. The knife had to be small yet powerful. You can’t simply carry a giant RAMBO knife everywhere you go and expect to call it an EDC. With the EDC, you’ll be doing everything from cracking open boxes and envelopes, to skinning small fish and game. I ran across the Benchmade Mini Griptilian and everything looked good on paper…but how did it stack up to the daily wear and tear of life? In this review I take you through a deep dive look at the Benchmade Mini Griptilian. 

Specifications and benefits

benchmade-mini-griptilian-full-profile

  • Blade length – 2.91″
  • Open length – 6.78″
  • Blade thickness – 2.54mm
  • Blade material – 154CM
  • Drop point
  • Slim profile
  • Sharp as a razor
  • Extremely grippy and ergonomic; patented scales and form factor
  • Easily resharpens thanks to the 154CM material
  • Locks securely into place
  • Sturdy pocket clip
  • Flys open with thumb tack
  • Comes apart for cleaning
  • Perhaps the most famous EDC knife of all time

Full review

benchmade-mini-griptilian

The BMG boasts a number of crucial design specs. First and foremost, the blade material is made of time tested 154CM stainless steel. This blade material delivers the wicked sharp edge of a carbon steel blade while also boasting the serious anti-corrosion characteristics of stainless. The best of both worlds? Yes. This steel does make this blade a jack of all trades knife. It’s not going to give you the FULL benefits of carbon or stainless. For an every day carry, this is just fine for me.

The handle on the BMG immediately burns into your brain the reason they call this the mini griptilian. The handle practically molds right into your mitts, giving you a balanced an extremely ergonomic grippy feel. The name of the knife also pays homage to the scaled grip patterns on the handle and the numerous washboard moldings placed at key grip areas of the knife. The knife also features solid jimping, ensuring you get a clean and solid grip even when slicing deep into a fish or piece of game.

One thing I love about the knife is the dimensions. It’s not too wide and does not annoy you in the pocket. There’s nothing worse than a bulky pocket knife. This knife leaves plenty of room in the pocket with just enough weight to let you know it can be busted out at a moments notice.

With a bit of practice the knife flys open using the prominent thumb stud on the side of the knife. Once the blade is open it locks securely into place using the BMGs classic AXIS locking mechanism. To close the blade, press down on the release mechanism and then fling it back into place, ensuring to let go of the release button before the blade arcs all the way back into the handle.

Lastly, the blade is fully serviceable. The entire thing can be taken apart for a proper cleaning using standard allen wrenches. Now that’s custom.

Conclusion

The Benchmade Mini Griptilian has earned it’s rightful place in the hands of thousands of users who consider this knife the best EDC knife on the market – and I can see why. It’s hard to find a flaw with this blade.

Do you have experience with the BMG? Leave a comment and let others know what you think about this knife.

Gerber Strong Arm vs Prodigy vs LMF 2

In the past years we’ve seen ESEE dominate the market when it comes to survival knives. ESEE has long been the standard but that all changed with Gerber. Gerber has 3 knives which are now held as some of the best knives on the market for the best prices. The Gerber StrongArm, The Gerber Prodigy, and The Gerber LMF 2 all hold their own in the ring and represent some seriously powerful blades in the bush.

At first glance though it’s difficult to spot the differences and make a firm buying decision. Let’s take a spotlight look at these blades and highlight the features and differences between each knife.

Spec comparison

StrongArmProdigyLMF 2
Blade Length4.5 Inches4.75 Inches4.84 inches
Total Length9.8 Inches9.75 Inches10.59 inches
Blade Thickness3/16"NANA
Blade Material420HC Stainless Steel420HC Stainless Steel420HC Stainless Steel
Weight7.2 oz8 oz11.67 oz
TangFullFull3/4 insulated
Sheath IncludedYesYesYes

The breakdown

gerber-strong-arm-review
StrongArm
gerber-prodigy-knife-review
Prodigy
LMF2

 

The chart above gives you a good idea about the core differences between each of the blades. You can see that all of these blades use the same type of steel and are more or less the same length. The LMF2 is the longer and heftier of the group lending itself well to doing some serious damage. The LMF2 was the signature knife sent to the US armed forces for direct use in the field. The design implements a partially insulated tang to cut through electrical wire without getting shocked. I usually advocate for FULL tangs no matter what but this could be seen as an added feature. The LMF2 also has drilled holes to quickly transform the knife into a spear with a bit of paracord lashing. Also, with the added length and weight comes more steel…and a bigger price tag – The LMF2 is going to run you over $20 dollars more than the StrongArm and Prodigy.

The StrongArm and Prodigy are nearly identical in price tag and perhaps even more difficult to decipher the core differences. The Prodigy has a slightly longer blade and weighs in only slightly heftier than the StrongArm. Still, you will be paying just a bit more for the StrongArm. Why is this? My guess is the included sheath. With the Prodigy you’re getting a basic nylon sheath with limited mounting options. With the StrongArm you’re getting a much better sheath with modular mounting options. The StrongArm sheath can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or on any Molle compatible webbing. It’s up to you to compare both sheaths and decide which one you like better.

Besides the sheath you can also see a clear difference in the handles. The shapes and textures of the handles are much different. With the prodigy you have the textured over-mold while the StrongArm has the rubberized diamond grip. Both handles grip very well even in wet weather conditions. You can also see the glass breaker points are located on different sections of the pommel. The point on the StrongArm is strongly centered while the point on the Prodigy is angled off to the side. I like the angled approach personally, you feel like you can get a nice strong crack.

Price wise the Prodigy and the StrongArm cost nearly the same. The LMF2 is significantly more costly. I can’t say the extra cost is justified. Besides the insulated tang there isn’t much of a difference between the knives at all.

Individual reviews

I’ve reviewed all of these knives as individual posts. Read these for a more in depth look at each blade.

Gerber StrongArm Review

Gerber Prodigy Review

Gerber LMF2 Review

Final thoughts

Looking at all the points and features of all the knives it’s obvious the LMF2 is in its own category considering the cost. The StrongArm and Prodigy are much more comparable. In fact, they are so similar you could almost make a decision based on the looks of the knives alone. In that case I personally spring for the Prodigy. I don’t require a super fancy sheath to justify the few extra bucks of the StrongArm. Plus, I like how the pommel breaker is angled off to the side. With all this taken into account, both knives will do any job just as well – I can guarantee that.

Which one do you choose?

 

 

Gerber Prodigy Knife Review

Every so often a knife comes around and blows everything else out of the water. The Gerber Prodigy is a solid knife at a price point even a McDonalds burger flipper can afford. The Prodigy gets a lot of things right and incorporates many features I frequently discuss when choosing the right survival knife.

Let’s check out the Prodigy in full detail and break down and discover why this is a knife that belongs on your belt.

Specifications and features

  • Fixed blade knife
  • 420HC stainless steel
  • Full tang
  • Drop point
  • Blade length – 4.75 inches
  • Total length – 9.75 inches
  • Total weight – 8 ounces

Full review

gerber-prodigy-knife-review

What’s to love about this knife? First, we’re talking about a solid brand here. If the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Gerber is baby food – think again. These are 2 seperate companies all together. Gerber the knife brand has picked up some solid contracts with the military. The Gerber LMF2 has seen extensive use in the military and still utilized to this day by armed forces. The Gerber Prodigy takes many of the same hardened features from the LMF2 and incorporates them into a more budget friendly knife.

The Prodigy is of course a full tang knife – the tang being the metal part of the blade that runs into the handle. Partial tangs only run a partial way down the handle while the full tang runs the entire length. Full tang knives are much stronger and you can still use them if the handle breaks off. Wrap a bit of paracord around the tang and you got yourself a brand new knife.

Moving on to the blade we see Gerber implementing 420HC stainless steel. This is a decent steel for a knife. High quality steel significantly drives up the cost of the knife. The steel used on the Prodigy sharpens up quite nicely and holds an edge. In fact, the knife is sharp as razor wire straight out of the box. Making feather sticks is no problem at all with the prodigy. Running partial length of the blade is a serrated edge. I find this part of the blade comes in mighty handy. The serrations bite in deep to whatever you are cutting making a rapid separation.

One thing Gerber knives have nailed down is the ergonomics of the handle. Picking up a Gerber knife feels like you just pulled the Excalibur from the sacred stone. With a grip this powerful you must be careful not to go full blown Rambo mode around the house. On the end of the handle you notice the bolstered pommel. Use this edge to break through glass and as a powerful self defense weapon. A couple cracks with the glass breaker pommel and you’ve successfully knocked your opponent down long enough to make a smooth getaway.

This knife is a dangerous one indeed. Believe me, take this thing outside and we’re talking about doing serious damage in the bush. The knife can easily handle camp tasks like splitting firewood and even finer tasks like skinning game. Overall the Prodigy is a versatile knife well suited to many tasks.

One last thing to touch on is the sheath – the best in the business. The Sheath securely locks the blade into place and Molle compatible webbing allows for easy attachment to your belt or backpack. I like how the blade snaps firm into place while being easy to retrieve at a moments notice.

Final thoughts

This knife is a great daily driver. If you want a single knife that can do it all the Prodigy is the blade for you. At just around $50 bucks you’re getting a blade of very high quality, durability, and value. This knife is going to last you for years requiring the occasional resharpening of course. Do yourself a solid and pick up this knife today.

 

 

Gerber StrongArm Knife Review

gerber-strong-arm-review

Gerber continues to pump out quality product after quality product. Knives like the Gerber LMF2 stand as some of the best knives in the business and have seen extensive use by the military. This time they have released one of the best budget knives on the market with the Gerber StrongArm. The StrongArm is a serious knife lending itself to many survival and tactical scenarios.

Check out the specs below and see Amazon for the current price.

Specifications

  • Blade Length – 4.5″
  • Total Length – 9.8″
  • Weight – 7.2oz
  • Blade Material – 420HC Stainless Steel
  • Blade Thickness – 3/16″
  • Grind – Saber
  • 90 degree spine
  • Handle Material – Glass filled nylons with rubber overmold
  • Sheath included – YES
  • Made in USA

Full Review

Gerber strikes a great balance of high quality and affordability. Gerbers reputation as a solid brand shows once again with the StrongArm. There are a number of things I love about this knife. The first thing I noticed picking up the knife was the extremely comfortable grip material on the handle. The rubberized diamond grip makes it virtually impossible for the StrongArm to slip out of your hands even in wet weather. When I look for a knife I always make sure the handle is ergonomic and designed to grip as much as possible. On the end of the handle is a reinforced pommel for smashing through glass, hammering objects, or for self defense. Having that reinforced pommel on the butt-end of the blade comes in might handy in lots of survival/outdoor situations. That pommel is also a very effective self defense weapon. If you don’t want to kill the guy simply deliver a couple skull crackers with the pommel.

Now…the blade itself came out sharp straight out of the box. I was worried about how sharp the edge would be considering the blade is 3/16″ thick. I was surprised to discover the overall sharpness of the blade was on par with thinner blades made of traditionally sharper materials like carbon steel. The blade on the Gerber StrongArm is made of 420HC stainless steel. Stainless steel doesn’t quite sharpen up as fine as carbon steel but it tends to hold edges longer and is much more resistant to corrosion. With a carbon steel blade you almost have to babysit it and always wipe it down after use. A quality stainless steel blade like the StrongArm can get nearly as sharp and you can put it through much more abuse. I found the blade also held its edge for a considerable amount of time even after putting it through several cutting, hacking, slicing, and wood splitting tasks. One last design I like to see on a blade is a 90 degree spine. This makes it easy to use with a ferrocerium rod and always comes in handy in the bush.

On to the sheath…

If a good woman makes the man, a good sheath makes the knife. The sheath sets the Gerber StrongArm apart from even the ESEE line of blades. The Gerber sheath included with the StrongArm is best in class and features design elements you simply don’t see in other sheaths. The versatile design allows you to mount the blade vertically or horizontally on your belt or mount to any MOLLE compatible attachment systems.

Final Thoughts

The Gerber StrongArm is a competent knife and is comparable to much more expensive knives like ESEE. For the price this is one knife you can’t pass up on. Plus, the sheath is the best in the business. All Gerber products are made in the USA and many of the Gerber knives have seen use in the military for training purposes. Gerber stands behind their products and the reviews for the StrongArm are very good. You will not be disappointed if you choose to purchase this knife.

 

ESEE Laser Strike Review | Best Knife In The History of Ape Tool Making

esee-laser-strike-review

In this review I’m taking you up close to one of my favorite survival and bush knives. The ESEE Laser Strike is a knife that’s been around the block and time tested by many people. The Laser Strike simply gets a lot of things right while other knives fall short in either quality or functionality. Previously designed and made by TOPS knives, ESEE now manufactures the knife and reforged the knife with their own time tested qualities.

Let’s take a look at the specs…

Specifications

  • Overall Length: 10.00″
  • Blade Length: 4.75″
  • Blade Weight: 9.5 oz
  • Blade Thickness:
  • Blade Material: 1095 High Carbon Steel
  • Spear Point
  • Powdered coating to protect blade
  • Handle Material: Micarta
  • Sheath: Kydex

Full review

esee-laser-strike-review
The ESEE Laser Strike With Sheath

 

When I choose a knife I need it to do a number of things. I first want the blade to come out of the box sharp as a razors edge. Looking at the thickness of the blade before hand I was concerned about how well the ESEE Laser Strike would take an edge. Out of the box I can say this blade came out dangerously sharp and cleaned the hairs straight off my arm. Smoothing the blade across your arm you can see the hair build up into a nice nest leaving a trail of bareness in its path. Even MORE importantly than the out of box sharpness is how long it retains and edge and easy it is to sharpen back to former glory. I can tell you the Laser Strike blade will hold an edge for a considerable amount of time before it requires a resharpening. I spent weeks batoning wood and abusing this knife like a red headed step child before it required edge work.

And when I say I abuse my knives I truly do. I want a knife that can take the abuse and keep doing good work. When I baton wood I come down hard over the spine with a sizable log hammer. My intentions are to break the knife and test its fortitude and reliability. I found myself exhausted from hours of batoning while the ESEE Laser Strike stood its ground and came back for more. I quickly surrendered and offered a deep bow of respect to my new companion and life long bush friend. There’s something about this knife that looks damn good in the bush and fits comfortably on your belt. Almost like years of ape tool making coming to a concentrated LASER focus in the best blade possible.

There’s also something about this knife that’s just downright comfortable in your hand. The handle is of course made of ESEE’s signature Micarta material. Micarta has an interesting rugged grip that feels natural and earthy unlike rubber or hard plastic materials that feel fake and manufactured. The jimping on the ESEE laser strike is a welcome friend allowing you to get a good grip and leverage for a variety of cuts and styles. The Choil sinks deep into your fingers for a powerful grip. Grip the Laser Strike and then grip any other knife and you’ll quickly feel the difference in comfort. Other knives? Awkward as you stumble and bumble your way to a clean grip. The ESEE Laser Strike? A perfect match made in the woodland heavens.

The tang is full and you wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t know understand how you could ever purchase a knife without a full tang. If anything ever happens to the handle you still have a usable knife because the metal runs all the way through to the blade. Also notice on the handle there are screws that secure the blade to tang. Unfastening these screws reveals a hidden treasure trove consisting of a ferrocerium rod with tinder tabs. In all honesty it’s a strange thing to include because it’s impossible to strike the rod with the knife due to the powdered coating protecting the carbon steel. You can use the knifes edge to make a strike but this compromises the blade and rounds the edge. Some people grind down a portion of the spine in order to use the knife with a ferro rod. This is my recommendation as well.

The ESEE Laser Strike also comes with one of the best sheaths in the business. The Sheath is Kydex and the blade is happy to snap right into place. There’s no fear of the knife ever slipping out of the sheath. There’s a sliding retention screw letting you adjust how tight of a grip the sheath puts on the knife. Even at its loosest its got a solid hold on the blade. The more I use Kydex the more I enjoy the material and functionality.

Conclusion

For $100 bucks this is one of the best knives you can get. Most people will look at this knife and then go and cheap out on something that’s 20 or 30 bucks. There’s a good reason those knives are cheap. They quickly discover why when they take the knife out into the bush and attempt to do any real work. The ESEE Laser Strike is a serious knife for those who demand quality and performance over all else.

 

The Bear Grylls and Les Stroud Knife Showdown

bg-ls-knife

Bear Grylls and Les Stroud have long been at the top of the ranks for the most popular survivalists on the planet. They both have hit shows. They both have their own line of products. Both being survivalists of course they also have their own signature knives. Is one better than the other? In this knife showdown we pit the two knives together in an all out deathmatch!

First, take a look at the review I did on the Bear Grylls knife and then take a look at the one on Les Strouds knife. At the top of each of those reviews I have created tables outlining the specs of both knives. You’ll notice right off the bat they are nearly identical to each other! Was this by mistake? I think it’s possible that Les Stroud’s knife came out to market first and then Bear Grylls had to one-up the blade length by a measly .25 inches!

Taking a look at the chart you’ll see the blade length on the Les Stroud knife is 4.75″ while the length on the Bear Grylls knife is 4.8. Some might say a quarter of an inch can make all the difference. I’m not so sure about that and I’ll let you decide if the extra length is a game changer or not.

Another thing to note is that you can’t find any specs for the Bear Grylls knife indicating what kind of blade material was used. It’s clearly some Chinese stainless steel but there are so many varieties out there. Looking at both blades it is very possible they are both using the same exact material. Maybe Bears plan was to swipe the material and keep everything on the hush hush. Well, maybe the conspiracy theorist in me is coming on too strong! Whatever the case, both blades sharpened up the exact same.

You will also notice besides the length the blades are nearly identical in every other way possible. Both feature a drop point and both have a serrated edge. Something is certainly starting to get fishy about this!

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Les Strouds Blade

 

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Bear Grylls blade

Moving on the handle is more of the same similarities. Sure the colors are different but you can clearly the see the same design elements in the finger grooves and the overall shape. The one difference is the Les Stroud knife has a hammer point on the end of the pommel. This is one thing missing from the Bear Grylls knife. I’m not entirely sure how hard you can hammer with this thing but you can give it a go if you want. Some traditionalists would balk at you for hammering with a knife, opting to find a rock or something other than your most prized and valued survival gear.

The handles do seem to be made out of slightly different materials and I did feel that the Bear Grylls handle had a better grip. Something about those grooves allows the hand to get a good handle on the blade even when wet.

The sheaths are quite different beasts and it’s about time something changed up here. The Les Stroud sheath features a Kydex holster and a nylon backing. The knife slips into the Kydex holster and is secured with a single nylon strap. The sheath also features a number of bells and whistles including a signalling mirror, a flashlight + whistle, a ferrocerium rod, and a built in blade sharpener. All of these items are as cheap as possible, the one redeeming quality being the signalling mirror which is half decent.

 

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The Les Stroud Knife Sheath

 

The Bear Grylls sheath comes with all of the same things minus the signalling mirror and the flashlight. I found the Bear Grylls sheath secures the blade in a much more secure manner than Les Strouds. It also has 2 nylon velcro straps to further secure the knife at different parts. You can feel the blade snap securely into place. It’s this feeling that tells you your knife isn’t going to fall out on the trail.

bear-grylls-sheath

Now let’s discuss price. For the most part all things have been fairly equal up to this point. As of this writing the Bear Grylls knife will cost you $20 more than the Les Stroud knife. Is the slightly extra length on the blade and the better sheath worth the cost? I’m not so sure. The Les Stroud knife is on hell of a deal I must say.

The final verdict

At the end of this review we discovered that these two blades are nearly identical for the most part except for a few minor features. We also discovered that Les Strouds knife is $20 cheaper than Bears. The choice is now on the table. Perhaps the final deciding factor can be answered with the following question…

Who is the ultimate survivalist, Les Stroud or Bear Grylls?

 

Kershaw Cryo 2 Review

kershaw-cryo-2-review

It’s not easy looking for a great EDC folder knife that can also function well as a survival knife. I’m the first to advocate a strong fixed blade any day of the week but I can’t always have one of those on me. I needed a good strong folder that could easily fit in my pocket. I needed a knife that didn’t make me look like I was about to go Rambo at a moments notice. I think I found one.

In this review I take a hard look at the Kershaw Cryo 2 and break down why this is a great knife to have on you at all times.

Specifications

Blade TypeFolder
Blade Length3.25 inches
Total Length7.75 inches
Blade Material8Cr13MoV Steel with carbo-nitrade coating
Weight5.5 Oz
TangPartially Extended

Features

  • Pure stainless steel
  • 2 ways to open (thumb stud and quick release flipper)
  • Carbo-nitrade black matte coating
  • Quad position adjustable pocket clip
  • Drop point
  • Hollow grind
  • Sits deep in pocket
  • Discrete and extremely sharp

The blade

kershaw-cryo-2-blade

The blade is a sharp as hell piece of steel known as 8Cr13MoV. This is a Chinese made stainless steel. Don’t let that detract you from knowing that this steel sharpens up to a crazy edge. If it’s one thing this steel can do is it takes a wicked sharp edge. Unfortunately the opposite is true when it comes to holding an edge. This type of steel dulls very quickly depending on what kind of work you’re doing with it. Cracking open envelopes and doing some light unboxing is fine but anything heavier will require a resharpening too frequent for most. To be honest, I don’t mind sharpening my knives and I find the process very meditative. Instead of taking a smoke break these days I simply sharpen my knives like a crazy person. 

If you’re familiar with the original Cryo you’ll note the Cryo 2 has received a significant length upgrade from the original design. While the Cryo 1 blade came in at 2.75″ the Cryo 2 was lengthened to 3.25 inches. This is still a laughable length for a true survival knife but I find it a nice sweet spot for an EDC knife that can still do some damage in a survival situation.

The handle

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The handle is sturdy piece of metal. Compared to many EDC knives the Cryo 2 actually feels like you’re holding something substantial. When one picks up the Cryo 2 one can feel the power flow through the hands and also through the loins – Okay I’m being dramatic. However, the handle on this knife feels very comfortable and both the blade and the handle are finished off nicely with a titanium carbo-nitrade coating. This is a matte finish which does a great job at hiding dings and not looking too flashy to any left leaning feminist types in the near vicinity.

Full review

I typically don’t review EDC style knives but I gave this one a pass for a number of reasons. First, one simply can’t carry a fixed blade full tang knife on them at all times. I needed something low profile but also something that could do some serious damage in a survival situation. The Kershaw Cryo 2 fits the bill. The blade is sturdier than anything I’ve felt in a standard folder. I also like how low profile this knife is. The clip allows the blade to sink deep into your pocket and the black matte finish doesn’t draw attention. In fact, you can barely notice the knife when it’s clipped in to your pocket.

There’s 2 methods of opening the blade depending on your preference. First you have a thumb stud on the side of the blade. This is the style I prefer. You also have a speed safe assisted flipper style opener on the black of the blade.

This is a fun blade to have in your pocket and beats a fidget spinner any day of the week.

Conclusion

Even as an EDC knife you would be hard pressed to find a better blade than the Kershaw Cryo 2. Disagree? Let me know in the comments what you think about this blade.

Thanks for reading.

Les Stroud Knife Review

les-stroud-knife-review

In this post I’m cracking into another knife review. This go around? The Camillus Les Stroud knife. If you’re a reader of the blog you might have read my review of the Bear Grylls survival knife. While this write up won’t specifically compare the two blades, I think it is only fair to include a proper review of the blade Les Stroud has to offer. Let’s get into it.

Specifications

Blade TypeFixed
Blade Length4.75 inches
Total Length10.0 inches
Blade Thickness0.153 inches
Blade Material440 stainless steel with anti-stick coating
Weight8.3 oz (no sheath)
TangFull
Sheath IncludedYes

The Blade

les-stroud-knife-blade

Let’s talk about the blade itself. The material used to make the Les Stroud knife is 440 stainless steel. Now, as far as stainless steel goes this is the cheapest material out on the market explaining why the Les Stroud knife is considerably cheaper than most other knives. Does that mean the blade is complete garbage? Absolutely not. In fact, 440 stainless steel can take and hold quite the edge for most purposes and is extremely resistant to corrosion.

The quality of the 440 steel depends entirely on where the steel was sourced and how well it was tempered and formed. I found the Les Stroud blade to sharpen up quite nicely and held its edge. Sure, it might not have the longevity of an ESEE knife which favors the 1095 steel but for the price difference its not fair to compare or complain. All in all, this knife held up in the bush and is competitively priced for someone who wants a decent knife but doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg.

It should also be noted that this is a drop point blade and a 1/3 of the knife features serrated edges. A drop point knife lends itself well to things like skinning, butchering, and carving.

The Sheath

les-stroud-knife-sheath

The sheath is actually quite slick. The blade snaps in to the Kydex holster and takes a considerable amount of force to unsheath. This prevents the blade from falling out in the bush. Also on the sheath is a signalling mirror, a slot for the included ferrocerium rod, blade sharpener, flashlight, and survival whistle. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sheath pack in this many survival tools. And the thing is, you think these tools would be low quality but I was surprised at the usefulness of all of it.

Full Review

When I saw this knife I was thinking “oh great, another celebrity survival knife.” Knowing that Les Stroud was one of the more seasoned and realistic survivalists I took the plunge and gave the knife a shot. I must say, it stands on its own in the bush and comparable to even the more expensive survival knives.

First, there’s a lot of features on this knife I like. For starters, the knife comes with a ferrocerium rod and the blade has a built in notch to make striking drop dead simple. The ferro rod strikes smooth through the notch and throws a considerable amount of sparks. You can easily get a fire going with this thing if it came down to it.

Second, the handle is extremely ergonomic. The grip is perfect for my medium size hands and the synthetic rubber material provides a good grip even when wet. The handle towards the blade side of the knife has a bright green flare. While many knife companies go camo, black, or brown I like that if I drop the knife in the woods I can easily find it. With a camo handle knife you’ll be lucky to spot it on the ground especially if you dropped it and didn’t notice until much further down the trail.

Now, how does the knife stack up in the bush? It’s one thing to admire the qualities of the knife but another to take it out into the bush and use it for something useful.

When I buy a survival knife I have a few questions:

  • Can it baton wood?
  • Can it make fine feathersticks?
  • Can you skin game and fish easily?
  • Could you use it as a self defense weapon?

I found the blade was just long enough to baton wood decently. While I don’t expect a knife to produce a whole winters worth of wood, I do want to secure the wood I need for a night or two if I am camping or stranded somewhere. The Les Stroud knife batons would efficiently enough.

Making feathersticks is another crucial element of starting a fire in a survival situation. The blade has to be sharp enough to produce fine feathersticks so the tinder can be ignited either with a lighter or ferrocerium rod. Again, with the Les Stroud knife I was able to create the feathersticks I needed to make a nice roaring fire.

I’ll admit that I have never skinned any game with this knife but I will tell you this – I know it wouldn’t be a problem. The drop point design makes this knife a natural when it comes to skinning. The blade is also thin enough sharpen up to a razors edge.

Finally, one thing I like about this knife is the steel pommel on the end of the handle. The purpose for this is two-fold: You can use the knife as a self defense weapon against an attacker or use it to crack open nuts or hammer whatever you need.

Conclusion

For the price the Les Stroud survival knife cannot be beat. Currently this knife is less than half the price of the Bear Grylls knife and to be honest, it would be very difficult to justify the price for Bear Grylls. Grab one today and test it out for yourself.