Images by Jennifer Wood
When they say size doesn’t matter, “they” have never held a Spyderco Civilian.
This knife is one of the biggest, meanest pocket knives on the market with an overall length of almost 9.3 inches. It was created more than two decades ago to fill a need for undercover agents who had no way to protect themselves other than to carry a knife. Spyderco wasn’t afraid to the unleash this beast to the public but you should know that this is not an everyday carry. It is for self-defense only.
One look at the reverse “S” SpyderEdge VG-10 steel blade, and you’ll see why.
The pin point tip is intended to penetrate with ease and the intimidating serrated edge is meant to slash the skin down to the bone, causing significant injury. With a strong back lock there is no doubt the blade will stay open in a worst-case scenario situation.
The sandpaper texture on the scales makes the large G-10 handle easy to grip and hold. One-handed opening is a breeze with the trademark Round Hole in the blade. Out of the box it is ready for tip-down carry but can be changed to tip-up carry with a Torx tool.
The knife community has its stable of opinions, but if I always listen to what they have to say, then there’s a good chance I would have already missed out on a number of great knives.
Today’s review is on the SOG Flash II, a slick budget folder that could have easily passed me by had I not started formulating my own carry knife criteria. This knife isn’t just tacti-cool, it’s tacitly practical.
For a long time, I had openly resisted the SOG Flash II, mostly because of how the knife looked on paper. But we have to get away from this style of thinking. Paper opinions or even YouTube reviews can’t compare to how things really apply to your daily life.
Many in the knife world claim the Flash II to be lame, cheap, or something only a novice would carry, but I’ve been trying to challenge those opinions head on. Despite some of the opinions about this knife, I believe the SOG Flash II is the perfect knife for getting shit done.
My preference for carry knives swings back and forth from bushcraft style blades at one side to tactical knives at the other. Needless to say, the pendulum is currently swinging toward the tactical side of things. I wanted to add a level of contrast to my daily routine by trading in my Ontario RAT 1 for something a little more aggressive and badass.
That’s where the Flash II comes in.
The Flash II packs quite the versatile punch. It has an overall blade length of 3.5 inches, half of which comes equipped with very stout and useful serrations. Its FRN frameless handle makes the Flash II’s weight almost immeasurable. The assisted-opening mechanism makes one-handed or gloved-operation a breeze.
I recently started to take notice of the simple fact that people age, that the older we get the more we begin to lose. For some, the body goes first—maybe we start packing on a few more pounds than what we had in high school. For others, the mind begins to fade—remembering faces and facts isn’t quite as easy as it was when we were kids. Our vitality, health, and creativity slowly start to drift away from our once youthful selves.
But with age also comes a whole new host of feelings that our younger and sometimes dumber selves can’t quite tap into yet. Feelings like tradition, nostalgia, and an understanding of just how important the little things in life can be. The CRKT Squid is a knife that single-handedly channeled those emotions in me and somehow played time machine like a small piece of childhood memorabilia.
Right off the bat the CRKT Squid has a great overall look to it. A look that is simple and understated yet still grabs your attention with both hands. This amazing design comes from the mind of Lucas Burnley, a very popular up-and-coming knife maker with an almost cult-like following for what he has done in the knife community. The Squid has been one of his custom designs for a long time, but with his work in such high demand, getting your hands on one was almost impossible… until now.
The great thing about Burnley partnering up with a production knife company is that we the consumers get to experience knives that we otherwise never would due to budget, materials, or availability. With this partnership, we now get a glimpse into what owning a custom design feels like. Besides the Squid, CRKT and Lucas are making other knives, which can be a win-win situation for both parties if done right.
I’m not sure who deserves the credit. Is it the peanut butter or the jelly that makes the sandwich complete? Is it the spaghetti or the meatball to whom the praise belongs? Does a perfect collaboration have only one crucial ingredient or is it the yin and yang that brings two ideas together? In the case of the Kershaw Emerson CQC series, I believe it’s both.
When Kershaw and Emerson Knives announced its collaboration back in 2014, I figured there was no way to successfully pull this marriage off. Building a quality Emerson design on a Kershaw budget seemed like a long shot. Still, I’d be lying if the original idea didn’t have me chomping at the bit.
Our friend Mike over at Cutler Road was kind enough to write a post for us detailing the best way to sharpen your knives. You can find more of his tips on his blog.
The majority of factory-sharpened knives come with a relatively steep bevel angle of approximately 25 degrees. This gives them an acceptably sharp edge, which retains its sharpness with considerable use, and ultimately keeps the consumer happy.
Improvements can be made to the sharpness of most factory-finished knives by decreasing the angle of the bevel edge slightly. Having a shallower angle will give a sharper edge; the downside is the edge will become blunt more quickly.
Machetes and axes have the steepest angle at approximately 35 degrees. A cut throat razor, at the other end of the scale, is approximately 15 degrees. An angle of 20 degrees is a very good compromise between sharpness and edge retention for pocket knives, tactical knives, and hunting knives.