Keen Cutters

Technology And Handwork Triumph!

By Aimee Grant

Bobby Tyler of Tyler Gun Works cannot stop playing with metal! Each blade starts with five pieces of steel welded and forged together. Then the blade goes into the color case process just like a firearm receiver! All the blades are carefully heat-treated and should last a lifetime. When the blade is completely finished and sealed, it’s complimented with fine mammoth ivory. Tyler Gun Works’ Damascus knives are the only color-cased Damascus knives available, anywhere. Don’t be afraid to use this handmade beauty though; these tough knives are ready to work, just like Bobby Tyler and his family!

The Spyderco Chaparral is a true gentleman’s folder. The flat-ground leaf-shaped blade has outstanding edge geometry for near-effortless cutting performance. The Chaparral has the trademark hole and the reliable lock mechanism associated with Spyderco excellence. The Chaparral’s reversible wire pocket clip makes the knife completely ambidextrous too. The CTS-XHP steel blade is 2.80″ with an overall length of 6.40″, but closed the Chaparall is a sleek 3.60″, weighing in at only 2.7 oz. The Chaparral’s geometric design has the lines of a sports car — but it’s as reliable as your favorite pickup truck.

The Socom folder has been the flagship of Microtech Knives since 1996. The newly revamped Socom Elite is forged from M-390 for toughness and has an overall open length of 9.18″. The 4″ blade is available in both tanto and single edge, with partial and full serrations. The Socom Elite comes in auto and manual operation versions too. Choose your handle color and one of seven blade colors. Almost too much to decide on. Almost.

The SOG-TAC CA Special is one of the most discreet folders on the market. Fully compliant with California laws regarding automatic knives, it has a 1.9″ blade made of quality AUS-8 steel. This smooth automatic ejects from a full-sized 3.9″ hard-anodized aluminum handle making it functional for day-to-day duties. The SOG-TAC CA is comfortable in the hand, with a lightly textured grip. Yes, the SOG-TAC California Special really is California compliant, and this knife is an expertly machined winner.

CRKT, Ruger Firearms and custom knife designer Bill Harsey collaborated to add to the Ruger custom knife line-up. The Accurate Folder (designed by Bill) has a plain edge 4″ steel blade and a handsome satin finish. The rubber handle provides the perfect amount of grip for hunting and everyday use. Open the Accurate Folder and feel the Harsey “touch” at an affordable everyday carry price.

The Spyderco Para 3 is a smaller version of the popular Para 2, perfect for everyday carry and features Spyderco’s signature G-10 handle scales. The texture is aggressive enough to keep the blade comfy in your hand, without feeling like sandpaper. The Para 3 has a 2.95″ blade made from CPM S110V steel, and an overall length of 7.24″. The S110V steel is resistant to wear and corrosion, just the ticket for an EDC knife. The high-strength Compression Lock mechanism, and versatile four-position pocket clip make it a very capable folding knife. This work beast looks like a beauty dressed in Spyderco’s midnight blue.

The GATCO professional sharpening kit by Bear and Sons includes everything you need to keep your cutters in top sharp shape! The GATCO kit includes five sharpening hones ranging from extra-coarse to fine, including a hone for serrated knives, an easy to use clamp and their honing oil. The patented knife clamp locks the blade in place once you pick your angle. And the easy-to-follow instructions are included on the lid, just in case.

Kirk Rexroat’s “Thumb Dagger” is a hand forged tiny terror (that’s a 9mm in the pic for size). The neck sheath keeps it handy and the “flat on one side, contoured on the other” design feels snug and easy to manage in the hand. His Editorship, Roy, has one and told me, “It’s a constant companion and does all sorts of chores around the place here, from opening boxes to a zillion other cutting jobs I stumble onto daily. Kirk’s work is always first class and this is no exception.” So there you go, from the horse’s mouth, as they say. Did I just call my editor a horse? Coulda’ been worse I’d say. (Find Kirk at: [307] 689-5430.)

Here’s a trio from the justly famous Chris Reeves Knives label. The Pacific (tan blade) continues their tradition of honoring elite military units. A Reeve/Harsey design, it honors the 50th anniversary of the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). The Green Beret (dark blade), also designed by Reeve/Harsey, features a dorsal tapered profile, and the Rockwell 55-57 means it’s durable and can withstand chopping and tough use — like its namesake. Both knives are available with and without serrations (and offer many other features not covered here!). The folder, called the “Large Inkosi” (plain edge) is Reeves’ most technologically advanced model, pushing characteristics of the Integral Lock blade strength, pivot and lock tolerances and overall ergonomics. Available with left or right handed orientation. This knife has an amazingly smooth action and, simply put, exudes quality.

Hoffner’s Covert Calf Holster allows you to secretly carry a fixed blade, flashlight, baton, or valuables, comfortably, all day long, on your calf, and no one knows but you. “I carry the big heavy Hoffner BEAST knife on my calf daily,” Brian told us. “You never know when you’re going to need to pry a door or break through a wall to save your family or deal with an emergency.” With an adjustable calf strap, and made of high-grade neoprene, the Hoffner Covert Calf Holster ensures whatever you choose to carry on your calf will be hidden, comfortable, and ready when you need it. Brian’s a cop and puts his field experience to use designing practical “stuff.” (Find Brian at: [281] 855-8800)

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