Friday, September 1, 2017

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tonife Squirell: Great Small Full Tang EDC Fixed Blade Neck Knife!

This is a cool little fixed blade I received a few weeks ago and would like to tell you my thoughts and impressions of it.

I've been looking at this model for some time now, but just recently pulled the trigger on it.
My main concern was about the practicality of such a small fixed blade (this is a dedicated neck knife and I don't wear those) over a folding knife and the pretty short blade it has (a bit less than 2 inches).

First impressions:

The knife arrived in a Tonife branded box with a black neck chain and some paperwork in English and Chinese. It was sharp (not hair splitting, but sharp), no fit and finish issues, sat great in the sheath (almost no rattle and actually got even better with time).

What did I like about it:

- The design. Especially the part about this being an original design from a Chinese knife company, that is smart, appealing and that I really liked. I even like the name they gave it (fits it very well).
- The execution. It is made really well, from the 3D milled G10 scales, the tan real kydex sheath, the metal tubes and the fact that those all are fitted great around the full tang blade.
- The looks and the concept. I like that the Chinese have noticed the love neck/small knives in general get in recent time and made one that can compete with budget offerings from other knife companies. 
I also like that the design is very people friendly and not intimidating at all (sort of like Spyderco knives - it raises smiles more than fear).
- The ergos. Those are surprisingly good, especially if you attach a snake knot lanyard to it.

What I loved about it:

- I loved that as it turns out this could comfortably be carried in the small pocket of my jeans and because the sheath is slim but wide - it gets stuck in the pocket, so the blade deploys easily and quickly. That increases the knife's overall functionality for me (as I don't wear neck knives).
Tried it as a neck knife - works great as well.
- The price - although it is made well and has original design - the price is still dirt cheap.

What I liked less about it:

- The steel. It's 440A (7Cr17MoV), nothing really special about it. It does take an edge well and could be easily restored if gets dull.
- The blade length could be a bit longer IMO (would also increase the practicality).

- As you might have noticed - I really like this knife!
It is so fun to carry and it could be practical as an urban primary/backup people friendly blade for those light EDC tasks - opening packages and envelopes, cutting paper, ropes, ducktape, zip-ties and even light prying tasks. Also could be a funny and original small gift for even a non-knife person.

Knife could be found here: Tonife Squirell EDC Neck Knife

Competitive options:
CRKT Folts Minimalist
Boker Magnum Lil Friend

tonife squirell, neck knife, edc fixed blade, tonife knife

Monday, July 24, 2017

New Original Design Knives on AliExpress and DHGate (Different price ranges) - Updating post!

Ok, so I have decided to create a post where I will write about new knives that appear on AliExpress and DHGate and update this post as new knives pop up (follow me on Facebook/Google+ to receive updates).

I will also post some pictures and give a few words of information if this will be needed (like info on the logos and locks that might be photoshopped in the pictures), real blade steel, some interesting facts about the knife or the original model, etc. You are also more than invited to give your opinion and ask questions in the comment section.

Please notice that some of the locks in the seller's pictures might be edited out to comply with AliExpress knife selling rules, but most of the knives in the lots have fully functioning locks (I will state otherwise).

Also Check out great deals on knives on Gearbest: Knife Deals on GB

Budget original designs (under $90):

Bear Claw Parrot - New slipjoint on bearings, the design and the concept remind of the Lansky World Legal knife, but couldn't be called a clone IMO.
Check out World Legal Knife here: Lansky World Legal Knife

Bear Claw Parrot Knife

Turen Knives on Ali - Relatively new versatile maker with lots of different products.

Bear Claw ST004 Flipper - Stainless Steel handled flipper on bearings.

Enlan Knives on Ali - Most of the models are now available on AliExpress as well.
enlan knives on AliExpress

Premium original designs ($90+):

Andy A06 Horizon - Semi-Integral knif
e with a hidden pivot from a great maker.

Bear Claw P60 ti handle s35vn blade

Bear Claw P60 - Very high quality flipper knife with Ti handle and S35VN blade.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cold Steel Voyager Vaquero XL Serrated - Slashing Beast!

So, I received this knife in a trade and would like to share with you my thoughts about it.

Because I have received it used (but definitely not abused), I won't do first impressions, but can say that this used knife is very smooth, the blade is just a bit off-center and the lockup is excellent.
The knife is really sharp and tears really well (because of the serrations).

What did I like about this knife:

- The Looks: the knife is genuinely impressive and looks scary and intimidating. I would even go a bit further and say that it almost looks evil.

- The Slashing: this is definitely the best slashing blade I ever owned, and if you use your blades to slash water bottles, trees etc - you should consider this knife!
- The Action: the knife is very smooth (surprising for such a large knife on washers).

- The Ergonomics: sits very comfortably in the hand with different grip options.
- The Lockup: Triad Lock holds the blade without any bladeplay and also allows easy one-handed closing.

What I liked less about this knife:

- This knife couldn't be flicked out with a finger: I even cut my finger trying it. It could be however opened pretty easily by gravity-flipping it.
- This isn't an EDC knife. Despite Lynn Thompson's (founder and head of the Cold Steel company) statements that this is his favorite EDC knife and he carries it every day - it's too long, too wide, too heavy, too everything (and that what makes it so cool).


- This knife is definitely special. It has awesome looks, tons of charisma and is genuinely impressive to hold and to use. On the other hand, it has no intended practical use (at least for me), unless I find a way to teleport myself into medieval times, when it was legal to slash people and use the knife for self-defense.
With that being said, I enjoy owning this knife very much, even if it doesn't fit in my knife case and I am excited each time I have a task when it is possible to use it.

The knife could be found here: Cold Steel Voyager Vaquero XL Serrated
Plain version here: Cold Steel Voyager Vaquero XL Plain

cold steel vaquero, cold steel vaquero xl, cold steel voyager xl

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How are TwoSun Knives? Where to buy them?

"I'm interested to try custom anodizing stuff and given the price and Titanium handles, TwoSun knives seem like an ideal starting point. I also like some of their designs.
But how is the quality? What should I be aware of? And where should I purchase and from whom?"

This was a question I've been asked in one of the forums and I've decided to share my answer with you:

If I could break the TwoSun knives into 2 groups it will be those:
  1. TwoSun started as a company which takes generic Chinese knives, rebrands them (puts their logo) and sells as their own. It's a very common practice in China and it is not a cloning, but more of a marketing strategy.
For example - this knife is branded TwoSun and this knife is not, but those are 2 of the exact same knives, only one has a TwoSun logo on it.
  1. Due to their success with re-branding - they started to produce their own original knives, using designs from a talented Chinese knife designer - Night Morning Design. Those are more high end, have better F&F and very interesting (IMO) lines and features.
Those knives could be bought here:
On AliExpress: Here.
On DhGate (although I don't personally recommend buying there because of the CC security issues and poor customer protection and service): Here.
Or on eBay: Here.
They even could be found on Amazon: Here.
(As you can see - the prices on Amazon could be a lot higher than on other platforms).
The quality of the knives is generally excellent, especially the original designed ones and the Tanto models.
You should be aware that the Tanto model has a version with a steel handle, which is generally sold for less and will be a problem for you to anodize, so make sure it specifically says titanium in the description (not the title).
twosun knives, twosun knife, two sun knives, two sun

BTW - check out this video of my buddy Nico and his profile, he has anodized a lot of the TwoSun knives:

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Lochsa Integral Clone Aluminum Knife Review: Sebenza on steroids!

I got this knife and would like to do a short review of it.

First impressions:

The knife came in a presentation black box.
Out of the box there have been some issues: the action was a bit gritty and the knife wasn't very smooth. There also were a couple of small nicks on the edges of the aluminum handle, burr on the blade tang and the lock was a bit stiff.
Other than that it was great - no lockup issues, blade was centered and came razor sharp.
I immediately disassembled the knife and found out what caused it to be gritty - some dirt inside the pivot area. I cleaned it up with WD-40, lubed it, took off the burr from the tang and assembled it back.
Then I saw what is causing the lock to be stiff - the ti pocket clip pushed on the sub-frame lock bar, so I pushed it back a bit. After all this work (that took about 15 min), the knife started to function awesome!


- The materials and features: the knife is made from a solid chunk of aluminum, has a titanium sub-framelock with a steel insert, ti, pocket clip, awesome angled thumb studs, double row steel bearings and a D2 blade with beautiful vertical and horizontal satin finish and a rounded spine. Also comes with a brown genuine leather lanyard.
- The construction: it's actually my first integral knife and I loved this way of making a knife. It also has 3D machining on the aluminium handle and on the lock bar, so the handles aren't flat, but have curves, like on the genuine Lochsa.
- The pocket clip: is made from titanium and has just the right amount of tension. I also liked the fact that it is positioned tip-up, while the genuine Scott Cook Lochsa sometimes comes with a tip-down clip.

- The fit, finish and machining: Except those 2 small nicks on the bottom of the handle (could be because of the seller) the details are great.
- Ergonomics are great, largely because of the shape of the handle and the fact that it has an integral construction.
- I like that although it is a clone, it comes without the logos, and has a slightly different design, so couldn't be considered a counterfeit.
- The price and the bang for the buck.


- Proprietary screws: are beautiful and could be turned pretty easily with a pair of pliers, but I still would have preferred usual torx screws.
- The gimping on the spine doesn't really work, but it is about the same way on the original.
- The condition out of the box and 2 small nicks on the handle.


- Overall I feel like this is a great knife to have. 
I probably won't ever get a genuine Scott Cook Lochsa (as of now I'm not ready to spend $2K+ on a knife) and even if I will eventually get it - I certainly wouldn't use it. 
This knife provides the opportunity to get a Lochsa style knife that you can actually use and that is a great thing, because trying out an integral handle at work is an awesome experience, that makes you understand why those are being made. 
It also carries very well and is a much better choice to buy than a clone Sebenza.

I got the knife here: Wild Boar Lochsa Integral Clone Knife
Other integral knives are sold here: Knives with an Integral Handle
Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 here: Genuine Chris Reeve Sebenza 21

Lochsa Integral Clone Aluminum Knife Review: Sebenza on steroids!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

LW Knives Boa 2 Bowie Fixed Blade: That's not a knife... THAT'S a knife!

I have received the LW Knives Boa 2 fixed blade knife and would like to share with you my impressions of it.

First impressions:
The knife came in a large plain black cardboard box.
It is really striking and impressive out of the box. The fit and finish are great for a knife at this price point and so is the quality of the sheath. The knife has full tang construction with pretty thick blade stock. Satin finish is done great on the D2 blade.
The flax micarta handle has a pinned construction (with nice embossed pins I might add), providing comfortable grip.
The sheath is made from a thick and hard leather, the knife sits very well, no movement at all (with the latch closed).
There were a few cons out of the box as well with the grind and the sharpening and I will address those in the Cons section.


- The looks. The knife is genuinely impressive by it's size, overall style and looks. Really reminds that old Crocodile Dundee saying.

- The style and design. Loved the fact that it has a genuine design and it uses that modified Bowie style blade with elements from other knives, such as the Navaja. Also great to have gimping on the top of the blade, the hidden lanyard hole and that pronounced steel finger guard.
-  The quality, fit and finish. Aside from the grind, there are no quality issues with the knife, almost no gaps at all between components and overall very good execution for the price.
- The ergonomics. The knife's thick flax micarta handle sits very comfortably in hand, provides decent grip and will fit most hands due to it's shape.
- The sheath. Best production leather sheath I ever owned, made from thick and hard leather has dark red-brown color, knife has no movement when the latch is closed and the belt loop is adequate.


- The biggest con with the knife is the grind at the tip - it's uneven. Not a huge issue and not very noticeable, but I would prefer it to be symmetric. 
- It also has uneven sharpening at the tip.


- Overall I liked the knife very much for its classic looks, the execution and the rugged functionality.
It will excel in the forest (especially after a proper resharpening) and could also endure hard use like batoning and chopping with ease and comfort. The knife will also look awesome attached to a belt and impress even non-knife people when will be shown to them.

Check out the knife here: LW Knives Boa 2 Bowie Knife

Competitive options: Boker Plus Valkyrie Bowie
Ontario 8604 RAT-7 Knife

lw knives, bowie knife, lw fixed blade, that's not a knife

Monday, July 3, 2017

Ganzo Firebird G759 F759M Knife Review - Not quite Delica!

I have received this knife along with the G753M1 and want to tell you my thoughts about it.
Right off the bet I will say that this knife reminds a lot another knife - the Byrd Meladowark 2 by Spyderco, which itself is somewhat a budget copy of the Spyderco Delica.

First impressions:

- The knife came in a Firebird branded box along with a microfiber sleeve.
Out of the box it is excellent - razor sharp (along with a thin blade and a sharp angle), no bladeplay, action is smooth, the blade is centered, no F&F issues.

The Good:

- The quality (especially for the price). Almost no issues out of the box (except some uneven sharpening, which can be fixed) is something you can't expect from a ~$10 knife.
- The materials (for the price). Nested FRN scales, skeletonized liners and 440C steel are things you also can't expect from a ~$10 knife.

- The low weight, bright orange color, ergos (full 4 finger grip), smoothness (out of the box), pocket clip are all excellent (again, for the price).

The Great:

- As you've probably already guessed - the Price. The expression "you can't expect that from a $X knife" was made irrelevant by Ganzo so many times that now you kind of expect them these things for that price and that is just awesome.
That, in comparison to other companies that don't even make knives for those prices and their quality is much lower than the Ganzo standard. Don't expect anything from those guys.

The Bad:

- The backlock is smooth and functions great, but has a bit of vertical flex to it (like on some genuine Spyderco backlocks). Not a huge issue, but thought I should mention it.

- As already mentioned - some uneven sharpening on both sides of the knife.
- The blade opens smoothly but could be flicked out only with a wrist flick (because of the backlock and the opening hole).

The Ugly:

- So now to the elephant in the room - the opening eliptic hole. As already being said in the beginning - this knife is a slight adjusted copy of the Meladowark 2, which itself is a slight modified copy of the Spyderco Delica.
So it seems that the Ganzo folks wanted to make it a bit different and changed the shape of the opening hole to an elliptic one, that is not very comfortable, makes flicking a blade out possible only with using a wrist and not very appealing.
I don't understand why they didn't just make it round/more prolonged/used a thumb stud - any one of those would make a much better choice.


- So I seem to be a bit torn about this knife, from one side the awesome value and quality level for the price, from the other the thumb hole issue.
I'll say it like this - I appreciate this knife very much, because it dominates the model that it is a copy of and if I had to choose from it or the Byrd (even at the same price) I would choose the G759.
However Spyderco Delica would be my choice if those two were sold at the same price (and I wanted it to dominate that as well).
This knife will make an excellent small and very light EDC knife for light cutting tasks that don't require a long blade and if you always wanted to try a Delica, but didn't want to spend that much, this could easily fill the void.

Check out the knife here: Ganzo Firebird G759 F759M

delica clone, ganzo delica, Ganzo F759, ganzo g759,

Friday, June 30, 2017

New Clone Knives on AliExpress and DHGate (Different price ranges) - Updating post!

Ok, so I have decided to create a post where I will write about new knives that appear on AliExpress and DHGate and update this post as new knives pop up (follow me on Facebook/Google+ to receive updates).

I will also post some pictures and give a few words of information if this will be needed (like info on the logos and locks that might be photoshopped in the pictures), real blade steel, some interesting facts about the knife or the original model, etc. You are also more than invited to give your opinion and ask questions in the comment section.

Please notice that some of the locks in the seller's pictures might be edited out to comply with AliExpress knife selling rules, but most of the knives in the lots have fully functioning locks (I will state otherwise).

Budget clones (under $60):

ZT0350 Clone - New clone, 3 color options.
Genuine Zero Tolerance 0350 could be found here: Genuine ZT0350

ZT0350 Clone - New clone, 3 color options.

Spyderco PITS Clone - New version of this interesting and special knife.
Genuine Spyderco PITS here: Genuine Spyderco PITS

Buck 110 Auto - Great dual action knife! I had one of those (without the filework) and it was excellent.

Fric Bric Clone - A clone of the popular, but unreleased Kickstarter campaign.
The campaign ended over a year ago, but people still haven't received the knives they paid for.

Microtech Nemesis OTF Clone - Single action OTF knife with liner lock and dagger blade.

Microtech Halo IV OTF Clone - Single action OTF knife with button lock and drop point blade.

Premium clones ($60+):

Strider TAD Dauntless Clone
- G10, Titanium and S35VN on the blade.

Strider TAD Dauntless Clone - G10, Titanium and S35VN on the blade.

Discontinued BM 710 CF Knife - The Chinese didn't waste any time and made this as soon at this got discontinued by the manufacturer.

New Versions of the F95 Flipper - New style and color options of the very popular clone.

Carbon Fiber Marfione Starlord - New CF version of the well made clone.
Carbon Fiber Marfione Starlord - New CF version of the well made clone.

Green Thorn Shiro F7 Clone - Very high quality premium knife made by Green Thorn.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

UK Legal Friction/Slipjoint Folder Knife with Wooden Handle Review

This one has arrived a few weeks ago and I feel like I can review it now.

First impressions:
Not great. The action wasn't smooth, it was very stiff and was hard to open. 
In addition it had sort of chemical smell coming from the wooden handles.  
The blade was sharp and centered.
I realized that I will need to disassemble the knife from the start to make it work right and I did.

The knife's construction is pretty simple - 2 liners (not skeletonized), 2 wooden scales (glued to the liners), 2 bronze washers, 2 screws and pivots, 1 blade, 1 stop pin, 1 standoff.
It has a detent created by the liners (2 bars from both sides) and those were pushing too hard on the blade and that caused the bad action. I bent them out a bit, polished the washers and assembled the knife back. 
The action improved significantly and it became possible to open the knife with all the methods.

Friction/Slipjoint Folder Knife with Wooden Handle Disassembly


- Unique looks. It doesn't look like any other blade I've seen before, and it looks great and very special IMO.
- Opening methods - could be opened by the trigger like a friction folder and by the hole in the blade (with a thumb and flicked out with the middle finger). Options are usually good.

- The design. I like the concept that combines the advantages of a friction folder and a slip-joint, that makes it legal to carry in places where locking blades are prohibited, but also keeps the blade in the open position (like a slip-joint).
- Pretty good ergos for my medium sized hand. It is also rounded and wide, so fills the hand nicely.


- Like I already noticed, out of the box the knife isn't great. The smell is much weaker now, but is still present.

- No pocket clip.
- Overall not a practical knife (for everyday carry). That is probably the knife's biggest con, starting from the blade shape, the lack of pocket clip, the weight and the very wide handle will make it difficult to carry every day (maybe only in a sheath).


Overall it is definitely an interesting looking and functioning knife, that will probably bring joy to knife collectors and users, who have seen it all and used it all. It is different from any other knife I owned and that makes it special.
I wouldn't recommend it for daily carry or for beginners in the knife world (because it will require to work on for a bit to make it function right).

Check out the knife here: Friction/Slipjoint Folder Knife
Similar looking Spyderco Friction Folder here: 
Spyderco Friction Folder Knife 
Other friction folders here: Friction Folder Knives

Friction/Slipjoint Folder Knife with Wooden Handle Review