Every Day Carry

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.


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



Benchmade’s Infidel

IMG_0293I’ve carried numerous out the front (OTF) knives in my day and they all seem to fall apart relatively quickly. While looking into a new one that would stand up to daily use I kept finding links to Benchmade’s Infidel. Although the price tag was a bit on the high side it was a great looking knife and met my needs so I decided to buy it. The Infidel is one of the sleekest, most aggressive looking OTF knives on the market but, can it do more than just look sexy? You bet it can.

With my work and life style I use a knife numerous times a day and need something that is reliable and holds an edge. I’ve had the knife for more than a year now and it has performed how I need it to everyday. The action and speed on the blade deployment and retraction is just as fast as the day I got it. The handle, made out of machined 6061 T-6 aluminum, is of ample size and the bi-directional tread pattern makes it easy to hold onto. The double edge dagger blade is made from a corrosion resistant D2 steel hardened to 60-62HRC. Its double auto blade action means that you have to commit to opening or closing it using the ambidextrous thumb slide. This double action lock style makes the chances of an IMG_0292accidental deployment while its clipped in your pocket nearly impossible. A deep pocket clip comes attached to the body but It also comes with a MOLLE compatible soft sheath in case you don’t want to use or choose to remove the clip.

While I was doing research on new knives I found some articles that had negative things to say about the Infidel. They complained about the spring configuration and the speed of the blade deployment. Since purchasing mine I have put this knife to the test against other OTF knives and the speed is just as fast as most of the other OTF knives and in some cases faster.

After having this knife for a fair amount of time and having used it on a daily basis it has quickly become one of my favorite every day carries. It opens and closes quickly and reliably, and stays sharp. While the price is a more than most OTF knives it’s well worth it and if you met the criteria Benchmade offers discounts to active military and law enforcement officers. If your looking for a new everyday OTF knife it would be hard to find one better than this.

Manufacturer: Benchmade

Website: www.benchmade.com

Rating: 4.4 out of 5 pints.