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 comfortable 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.