EDC

Knives by Panhandle_Iron

Fixed Blade Knife

A solid reliable fixed blade is a necessary part of your EDC. I’ve been looking for a good utilitarian everyday blade that was small enough to conceal carry easily but had enough balls to it to get the job done. After some investigation, about a month ago I was lucky enough to get one from Joe Gilliam AKA Panhandle_Iron on Instagram.

When I received the blade it came packaged with a horizontal carry olive drab Kydex sheath. The sheath measures 4 7/8″ long and 3″ wide counting the belt clip. The over all size of the knife is 7 1/4″ with the handle being 3 1/4″ and the blade 4″. A perfect size for everyday use and.

The blade is forged from 1095 steel, which is a basic form of carbon steel, and has a carbon content of .95% which serves to harden the steel, and reduce the amount of wear that a blade will experience over time. It holds a great edge which can be seen by Joe’s efforts in sharpening the blade before shipping it and is very easy to re-sharpen when needed. With the properties of this type of steel it can rust but as long as you make sure to not leave it wet after use and occasionally oil it up this is not an issue. After the initial photos taken at the beach and a month of use there has been no problems of rust what so ever.

 

The blade also has a noticeable hamon on it which makes for an overall esthetically pleasing look to the final product but shows the effort put into the blade. Hamon is a visual effect created on the blade by the hardening process, it is the outline of the hardened zone which contains the cutting edge. This means that the cutting edge is harder than the spine make for a better edge but a more durable spine. 

The handle is fitted with natural micarta scales and brass pins that fit very nuclei in the hand and is Fixed Blade Knifecomfortable to hold on to. Micarta industrial laminate sheets are a hard, dense material made by applying heat and pressure to layers of prepreg. These layers of laminations are usually cotton fabrics, synthetic yarn fabrics, glass fabrics, or unwoven fabrics. When heat and pressure are applied to the layers, a chemical reaction transforms the layers into an incredibly durable industrial laminated plastic.

 

After carrying this guy around everyday for over a month and beating the crap out of it I can’t say enough good things about it. It’s easy to carry, holds a great edge, can be used in almost every application and is just an overall fantastically made knife. Joe knows his way around a knife and can custom make a blade to your specifications for whatever you might need. If your looking for a great fixed blade that you’ll get years of use out of I strongly suggest you talk to Joe. Prices will vary depending on what you want,but are going to start around $100 which for a custom made blade is not a bad price at all. You can find him on Instagram under the name @Panhandle_Iron, just shoot him a direct message with what you’re looking for and he’ll make it happen.

 

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Lion Stock Knives

IMG_2217Recently I was in need of a new every day carry knife but this time I didn’t want to just walk into a store and grab something off the shelf I wanted something that was unique and fit specific needs. I was looking for a good fixed blade with a full tang that I could carry easy and could take a beating. So I started doing some digging and after a few days of hunting online I was lucky enough to find Ethan who owns Lion Stock Knives. The work looked great and he was able to customize his knives, so I shot him an e-mail and in less than 30 minutes I had a response. We spoke through e-mail for the next hour going over what I wanted out of my knife and what size I wanted. After he felt he had a good grasp on what I was looking for he went to work putting together photos of things that were consistent with the ideas I had given him plus other options that I hadn’t considered yet. It only took us a day to narrow everything down to exactly what I wanted, I felt great about it so I paid him for the job and he got to work.

Over the next few weeks Ethan stayed in contact with me giving me updates of the progress and sending photos along the way. I was lucky enough to get some time to talk to him about his the process, and what goes into making one of his knives.

“My process begins with flat bar stock (52100 high carbon steel). I layout my design patterns and cut them out on my band saw. Then I profile them more precisely using my 2″X72″ belt grinder. Once they are profiled, I drill holes and countersink them. This is for balance, handle pins, and it also helps the epoxy to bond the handle scales to the steel. Once the holes are done, I grind my primary bevels, and add jimping. After that I’m ready to heat treat and temper my blades. Once the tempering process is complete, I clean up the blades and put on the handle scales. Whatever material the customer wants, (G10, Micarta, exotic woods, all in a variety of patterns and colors.). Then I shape the handles to what the customer wants; contoured or textured in various patterns. When the handles are complete I mold kydex sheathes for each specific blade. Then I sharpen them with a leather strop and ship them out. There is a lot more that goes into each blade and these are the things that make them truly custom and art-like. Every blade is different and unique in it’s own way, A one of a kind.”

IMG_2576IMG_2577IMG_2578IMG_2579After what was a short production time, but felt like an eternity due to my excitement, the blade came in. It was exactly what I wanted, to say the least. The handle scales were exactly what I wanted, the blade was the size and shape I requested, the jimping was simple but effective, and most importantly it felt rugged and durable. Since I’ve gotten mine a few other of us Distinguished Ruffians have picked up a blade from him and so far none of us have been disappointed.

I’ve had this knife for several months now and I abuse the hell out of this thing and it takes it. If you ever need a good EDC knife that is custom tailored to you and that you can use and don’t have to worry about ruining it’s great looks just get ahold of Ethan at Lion Stock Knives and place your order.

Brand: Lion Stock Knives

Contact Info: (610)-781-8683

Rating: 5 pints out of 5

 

 

Armordillo Concealment’s / Boker Coye Knife Sheath

image-2So you finally got yourself one of those most Coveted Boker Production versions of the Coye Ridgeback that Bladehq.com never has in stock for more than 30 mins at a time. You wait patiently for it to arrive aka checking your tracking numbers 3 times a day. Then that day comes, you rush home to rip the box open like a kid on Christmas morning and, as you look at your new knife it all its glory, your eyes move towards the knife sheath that Boker provided and you get the WTF is going on look on your face. You pick up the sheath and start studying it saying to yourself “How the F*ck does this thing work?” after multiple attempts at properly assembling it, you finally get it together, still with the question in your mind is “Is this really how it works?” Now you try to wear your new EDC (every day carry) fixed blade knife out into the wild blue yonder, ok in reality you just wear it when you run around town doing your errands and such, while doing your daily activities you realize this knife sheath isn’t worth the plastic and hardware its made out of. Now you have reached a conundrum “what’s the point of an EDC if it isn’t comfortable to carry every day?”

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The answer to that question is you need a new sheath but who makes a good comfortable sheath, Why Armadillo Concealment does! By some digging through Instagram I found out AC was in the process of making them, and were accepting pre orders. So I pre-ordered it immediately because anything could be better than the hot slice of turd Boker provided. The next day I check my email, I notice I have a confirmation email from Booth the owner of AC but I also notice I have another email from Booth, explaining that the website charged me too much for shipping, and that he would refund me the difference. A few weeks later I received my sheath in the mail, I opened up the box and to my surprise not just the new sheath but also some stickers, an AC patch and the shipping refund money exactly in cash down to the cent. Now that my friend is how you run a business, seriously how often do you see this now a day? Rarely to never is the answer to that question.

Let’s get down to Technical reasons why the AC sheath is superior to the Boker original. The size is smaller, is it hugely smaller? No, but when it comes to EDC items fractions of an inch become a mile. AC sheath trims down the size by not having excess material like the Boker sheath, Booth really trims down the kydex so it’s minimal. One of the main reasons the Boker sheath is so damn uncomfortable is the bulky belt clip that the sheath is attached to. For something that is imagesupposed to attach to your belt to make you feel it isn’t even there, it is the furthest thing from what it does. The AC, on the other hand, uses a simple yet effective soft belt loop that loops up and over the sheath being secured with “pull the dot” snaps. Those style of snaps have been used by many gun holster manufactures for a while now and work just like it says “pull the dot.” If you have had any experience with them you know they are pretty effective. I can’t say the Boker sheath has any imperfections in the finish but then again its mass manufactured in some factory somewhere across the world. The AC sheath lacks perfection but in that sense you can tell human hands have made this, and its actually made here in America by a small business and that means something to me. You can see Booth cares about every product he puts out, to the point he goes over every edge, making them buttery smooth. This is important because with this knife most people appendix carry and a smooth edge makes bending ,moving, and even sitting in a car comfortable and making it seem it isn’t even there.

In reality if you don’t have a Boker Ridgeback you should order one or be saving your hard earned pennies to get one. My only complaint was that I had to swap the loops around for my left handed use, which honestly most of you could care less about because you’re all right handed SOB’s and laugh at us lefties, but, I digress. In the end if this article ever makes it back to Boker in Germany, I know some designers and engineers will be taken out back and shot in the head for not making the Sheath “superior” enough but hey that’s just how the Germans roll.

 

Manufacturer: Armadillo Concealment

Website: http://www.armordilloconcealment.com/

Price: $34.99 (+10 dollars for any other color than black)

Would I tell a Friend: F*CK YES