Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A House Rule for Life

Of course I begin this post with a nerdy tangent to talk about something slightly less recognizable as geeky, but I assure you, knife nuts can be VERY nerdy.

In most of my RPG groups, we have a house rule that if any of your items are +3 or better, they should be named. Favorite results include the shocking, returning +2 boomerang dubbed "Stunbob the Stop Stick" and the +3 seeking frost Heavy Crossbow simply named "Angus."

So, in a very similar fashion, I name many "important" items in my life, no few of which are my knives. I think we all know where this is going. Lets jump in, shall we?

Name: Three
Make & Model: Benchmade, McHenry & Williams, 710SBKD2
Specs: G-10 handle scales, Axis Lock, D2 blade, powder coat & Partial serration, drop point blade geometry, roughly 3.9 inch blade, swappable clip.
Carry condition: EDC-Heavy Use

This bad boy was my first SERIOUS high end knife. I was originally looking to snag a Spyderco Native, but instead opted for a big upgrade and was seriously lured by the Benchmade Axis Lock. It was my ONLY EDC for almost 3 years until I started to acquired more blades. I named it "Three" from a Monty Python: Holy Grail gag, where "Three shall be the number of the counting, and the number to be counted to shall be, three. No more, no less. Three." I use this joke because, as a pocket knife, as a cutting tool, for versatility and utility, the 710SBKD2 is everything a pocket knife needs to be; crazy good edge retention, serration, black blade, super strong/one handed open & close lock and super durable/strong/simple handle.

Name: Aniki
Make & Model: Kanetsune CW-6 "Beauty*" or "Dragon*" *(Still not confirmed)
Specs: Made by Hitachi in Japan, 14-15 layers of "White" or Blue" Steel in Green Paper technique. Laquered Oak Hnadle. Full tang, and a 27cm blade. Also, a sexy wood sheath with leather & buckle clasps. Check that thing out.
Carry condition: At work when I'm wearing a tie, striking sets after shows & special occasions.

This big ol' Island beast is a unique piece, and as of this post, I am confident one of TWO in the entire United States. I can not find ANYTHING on it on the internet that's not on a Japanese, Chinese or Russian site. Apparently the manufacturer that crafted this fine "ken" normally only makes blades 6" or smaller which makes it even more rare. As it is I have TWO Japanese majors working on translating the various Katakana found along the blade, the box, the pamphlet it came with and even the catalog my store ordered it from as there is virtually NO ENGLISH associated with this knife. As for how I dubbed this short sword, if you watched Gurren Lagann Subbed, then I think you might get the reference. I wrestled wiht this partivular name for a while, trying to think up clever things, but ultimately I wanted something with a nod to it's heritage. I went with some goofier ideas like "Ken (Blade)" or "Dai (Great) Ken" but since I liked the idea of it being something great, with mighty soul, that I could rely on when I needed something exceptional and elegant, I went with "Aniki (Big brother)." With this knife I can Peirce the Heavens!

Name: Big Chief Broom Bromden (or any variation thereof, usually "Chief Bromden")
Make & Model: Columbia River Knife & Tool 8102 "Tighe Tac"
Specs: 3+" Aus-6 blade, stainless bolster & Liner lock. Zytel handle scales. unique flat cap thumb stud and cross pattern carry clip.
Carry condition: EDC-"Sheeple knife"

This slab of class was a gift from a fantastic gentleman who's a friend of the shop. It is a discontinued model and therefore slightly more collectable. Due to all the stainless internals it has a really nice heft to it and something else I'm not used to, the clip is tip down which is new to me and I am having issues adjusting. As for his moniker, I always told myself, that if I acquired a blade from CRKT (pronounce as initials, most knife people I know snicker if you call them "Cricket") I would name it after the central character from Ken Kesey's novel. I think it's fitting. He's a big brute, but conducts himself as one much smaller and gentler, quiet and nonthreatening, unless moved to action. Taking comfort in menial tasks but capable of great feats of strength. "You're gonna make it out there, Chief."

Name: Solstice
Make & Model: Spyderco C123TIP "Sage 2"
Specs: CPMS30V Steel with ambidextrous thumb hole. Titanium frame lock. Modular wire pocket clip.
Carry condition: EDC-Medium Use/"Sheeple knife," Special occasions
This clean, classy little carver is like having two companies in one knife. The Sage line currently has 3 models, each one is a nod to a different innovator in the blade industry. The Sage 2 is a salute to Chris Reeve and his fantastic simplicity of "Ti Frame lock & S30V" and it's versatility. It gained its name thanks to a certain youtube review I have mentioned previously, and since it cancels Christmas, I am left with Winter Solstice. I suppose if I come to own other sages they would in turn be named Kwanza & Chanukah.

Name: Sir Patrick Stewart
Make & Model: William Henry B10 TZ "Lancet"
Specs: Anodized detail Titanium handle and modular clip. Sapphire Gem Button lock. Coated ZDP-189 blade. Sapphire gem thumb stud. #106 of 500 ever.
Carry condition: EDC-"Sheeple Knife," Special occasions
Much like his namesake, not EVERYBODY has heard of him, but as soon as you begin to describe him, his accolades and capabilities, it becomes apparent he possess a fantastic character and fiber. From a company more commonly found in jewelry shops this well dressed tool delivers. I have used this exact knife to help me set up our Wondercon Booth and he performed admirably, or should I say "Captainly" or even "Knightly?" Honestly though, the real Sir Patrick Stewart was made a Knight Bachelor shortly after I gained this knife, so he was prevalent in the media, and I also look up to Sir Stewart as an inspiration as a storyteller and actor. So "Although he may not be the best for a particular job, Sir Patrick Stewart is acceptable in every situation."

Name: Patrol Leader
Make & Model: Benchmade 610SBK "Ruckus"
Specs: Powder coat with partial serration. 4.25" S30V blade steel. Axis lock. G10 bolster. Micarta handle scales.
Carry condition: EDC-Heavy Use
This beefy folder is one of my few "Grail" knives as I fell in love with it my first month with my store. At the end of that year it was discontinued and I wondered if I would ever have a chance to grab one again. Thanks to the many collectors I know at the shop, one was found and I jumped at it. As I've said to many people, it sings to the Boy Scout in me and when I began to ponder what to call it, the name had already been given to itself. I also found Benchmade made replacemnt handle scales in various materials and colors, and well, we all know chicks dig case mods (and nerds love customization gimmicks). So I ordered them (some of the last in Benchmade's inventory, SCORE) and now have different "uniforms" for PL. His stock scales, the micarta are his "BDU's (Battel Dress Uniform)" or normal outdoor gear.
"Class A Uniform" is the snazziest handle scales, as they are carbon fiber. Subtle, understated and high quality apparel.
"Blacks" for STEALTH MISSIONS! Or if I want it to match Three, OR if I want black on black awesomeness, I have normal black G-10 scales.
This is Patrol Leaders "Winewood Camo" and it is pretty. When I first put it on I made the joke that if I were to stick it in a tree he would say "Um . . . I'm a branch, you can't see me!" And I liked that joke, so I'm sticking with it.
Although I have dubbed this one "Class B Uniform" I must admit it's one of the cleaner, dressed up looking presentations. Silver G-10 scales give it an almost tuxedo appearance. Daddy likes.
And of course, one for, THE LADIES! I figured, if you do an apparel shoot with this much sexy, you should do a nude shoot as well, if the model is comfortable with it, of course. And oh boy was he. Even without the scales, the Ruckus is built so well that you could use it in this skeletal state (with some care taken, of course).

For those of you who got this far and wonder at some of the terminology I used, it's either "just me" or, some of it is knife jargon.
"Sheeple knife" - A knife that is socially acceptable in mixed company and most situations.
"Grail knife" - fairly self explanatory, an item one is constantly seeking.
EDC - Every Day Carry
Zytel - a glass filled polymer commonly used as the industry standard in handle materials in high end knives
G10 - inter-woven fiber glass bathed in epoxy resin. Stupid awesome durable, nigh indestructible. a favorite for hardcore knife handles.
Micarta - Very similar to G10, instead of Carbon fiber linen is most often used. Other weaves include paper or burlap. As a result of the more fibrous base components they often become tacky when moist and allow for better grip. The durability is almost on par and much more supple to the touch.
Different numbers and letter combinations in relation to the blade steel are the steel codes and should be researched separately as they are greatly varied and diverse. I have said before "There are as many steels as there are types of bugs in the world, good luck learning them all."

And, as an added Joke for some of my fellow McHenry and Williams fans, I decided to post this one a little late in the eve. I'm holding mine, are you?

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