Friday, October 4, 2013

Bugging In

A friend from my old job has a pretty great Youtube channel, "Bugging In." He demos all sorts of cool new gear and tools. Check it out and subscribe if you like it!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Talking About the Gerber Shard

The Shard is a nice little one piece multi-tool, or OPMT,  that I've been enjoying a lot recently. It's a true minimalist's tool, a single piece of titanium nitride coated steel with some handy functionalities built in. The Shard features a pry bar, the end of which serves as both small and medium flathead drivers and a groove that can strip wires. Underneath is an effective bottle opener that according to some can also open oxygen bottles like those used by EMTs in an emergency. On the opposite end of the tool is a phillips driver.

There is a very large lanyard hole that makes it very easy to carry on a keychain. I added a gate clip to make it easier to separate from my keys. Right now the Shard is a little over $6.00 on Amazon with free shipping. At that price most people could afford to pick one up in their next order, it's a solid OPMT at a fantastic price. If you're looking to add one to your EDC or just have an interesting bottle opener to keep around, the Shard is a winner.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pete TAK Paracord

I just opened my paracord store on Etsy! Check it out when you get a chance.

8/27/13 EDC Pocket Dump

Maxpedition Urban Wallet
Ka-Bar TDI Last Ditch Knife (main blade)
Bic Lighter with cord wrap and pull tab
5.11 PLx penlight
KZ Stinger tactical pen
Volt E-Cig
On Keyring: True Utility Utili-key, Kingston SD reader,
Countycomm pocket light, small coil of paracord,
Gerber Shard tool, Gerber Dime multi-tool, and
Victorinox SD SAK.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Talking About the Gerber Dime

As much as I love my Skeletool CX, sometimes you have to mix things up. Recently I don't use my Skeletool very much, and most of the jobs I used it for could have been done with a lighter, more compact multi-tool. I looked around for a while and was planning on a Leatherman Squirt, but I played with a Gerber Dime in a store and loved it. I bought it right then and there. The Dime is a nice little tool, carries easily on a keyring and is only 3" long while closed.

I attached a spring clip to make it easier to remove from my keyring. Here you can see the bottle opener, which works whether to tool is open or closed. It's actually a great bottle opener, it can get a cap off in one try.

The Dime is equipped with a blade, a retail package opener, spring loaded scissors, a bottle opener, two flat head drivers and a file. All tools open via nail nick and can be accessed with the pliers closed. The retail package opener is a really cool function. A slightly hooked, chisel ground blade lets you get those horrible plastic traps your electronics came in open. With pulling cuts it's a very useful tool and I'd like to see more of these on other multi-tools.

The pliers are spring loaded, which is a pretty important part of why I like the Dime so much. Spring loaded pliers are just overall easier to use and cause less strain on your hands during prolonged use The wire cutters are pretty good for cutting thin gauge wire.

At $20, the Gerber Dime would be a great multi-tool for somebody who isn't sure if they need a multi-tool. it would also be great for somebody used to carrying a pocket brick of a tool who wants to streamline his EDC. There's no doubt in my mind that this was intended as a light duty multi-tool, but on a typical day that's all most people need. This is a fantastic tool with a fantastic pricepoint.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Talking About the Fenix E11 Flashlight (2013 Version)

I got an E11 flashlight a few months ago and I'm loving it. Running on a single AA battery it reaches 115 lumens on high, which isn't setting any records but it's enough for almost every common application. By slightly unscrewing the head you enable low mode at 35 lumens. A regular alkaline battery gets you over an hour of runtime on high, or six hours on low.

This is not a tactical light, it was designed specifically for outdoor sporting. It's shock resistant, waterproof to the IPX-8 standard and the body is durable aircraft grade aluminum. This light makes a great EDC light or backup light, it's compact enough to carry comfortably in the pocket and it's very lightweight.

The switch, located on the tailcap, gives a nice affirmative 'click' when pressed. A spare rubber boot for the switch is included, because any boot will wear out eventually. The only thing I'd change about this light is a good pocket clip, but many Fenix fans have attached clips from old flashlights to the E11 with good results. If you want a good basic flashlight in the $30 range, you can't go wrong with a Fenix, and the E11 is a great model.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Talking About The Morakniv "Swedish Mil."

It can be hard for me to find a balance of a knife proficient enough to handle tough tasks and replaceable enough to not worry about using hard. Since I received a Mora brand "Swedish Mil," it hasn't been hard at all. Mora knives are kind of an anomaly in the knife world, they're made in Sweden, the materials are good, and the Swedish Mil model is less than $16 on Amazon. That's a bizarre and wonderful thing. These are the official knife of the Swedish military and It has become my main blade for yard work, crafts and wood carving.

The sheath is injection molded plastic, but many kydex sheath makers make aftermarket sheaths for the popular knives of the Morakniv line. I added a paracord wrap to carry a few extra feet of cord for emergency use. A flaw in some hard plastic sheaths is water accumulating inside. A nice little drainage hole on the Mora SM solves that problem.

The blade is a true "scandi grind" meaning there's only one bevel on the knife forming a robust edge that can handle a lot of hard use. The blade is made of a special carbon steel called UHB-20C, I don't know much about it but I'm impressed by the edge holding capability. The grip is solid. Hard plastic and rubber won't be damaged by the elements and provide a confident grip. This is not a full tang knife, but you'd never know it unless you tried to do something crazy with it.

The spine of this knife comes unfinished, which I thought was odd, but it hasn't prevented this knife from being a reliable and functional tool. Every time I use this blade I come away from it with more respect for it. If you're an outdoors person, a camper, hunter, hiker and such, pick up a Morakniv Swedish Mil. and I'm sure you'll find a use for it.