The Gear Journal

Zippo SureFire

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Zippo makes a multi-tool? Who knew? Appropriately, it’s designed around starting fires in an outdoor/camping environment… I dig specialized stuff like this.


Best EDC Folder

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Email from the reader:

“What’s the best EDC folder in your opinion? I’d like to think I have no budget for such a thing, but really… I don’t want to spend more than $200.”

I don’t carry a traditional knife anymore. Instead, I carry a replaceable (utility) blade folder as I don’t like stressing out about sharpening blades or worrying about ruining my fresh blade or…

That being said, my last traditional was the best I’ve ever owned and I still recommend it to anyone in the market. The Small Sebenza fits in your pocket perfectly, has a fantastic pocket clip, is made of great materials, and is… well just a perfect EDC blade. It’s also damn near $400. Details here.

The best sub $200 knife that competes with the Sebenza is probably the Benchmade Mini Bugout. It’s comparable in size and functionality of the Small Sebenza, it just isn’t made as well. You can get them anywhere really and usually for under $160 or so… Details here.


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Ok… I’ve had this thing for a couple of months now, have used it every day, and can now say this:

The Exceed Designs Tirant Razor is better than the Maker Knife. It doesn’t have the coolness factor or the fantastic design aesthetic, but it’s made better, handles better, and has a more secure opening and closing mechanism.

For me, it’s the best EDC utility blade holder on the market.

Details here.

WESN Microblade

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I don’t carry full-sized pocket knives. I just don’t like the way that much weight feels in my pocket. In the past, I’ve tried “micro folders” from Boker and others, but they feel too diminutive in hand and not all that useable. So, I’ve always settled on folders that sort of fall between these two classes.

Recently, however, I was sent a WESN Microblade to test along with a matching sheath. It’s a super classy setup that I wouldn’t carry every day, but is perfect for those outings where you just might need a blade.

The Microblade is available with G10 or titanium scales, features a decent blade steel, and feels pretty damned good in your hand despite the size. And even with the really high end feeling sheath, the whole package just disappears in your pocket.

You can get the Microblade here and the sheath here.

Exceed Designs TIRANT RAZOR

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The design of the Maker Knife is second to none. However, the build quality and delivery practices are… well… shit… As such, I’m always looking for an alternative for my utility knife EDC carry.

Recently, I stumbled upon the Exceed Designs Tirant and I think I’ve finally found something to replace my Maker Knife. It’s light, small, compact, and easily manipulated (open and close) with one hand.

It’s gonna take a few weeks of testing, but yeah… I’m loving this thing so far and will report back with my findings after more use.


Tullen Snips

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If you grew up in Australia or New Zealand, you are already familiar with these. But if you didn’t and you have no idea what Tullen snips are, behold the most indestructible household snips the world has ever seen.

Typical usage for these is in the kitchen and initially, they were relegated to that duty alone. However, through the decades people have started to use these things everywhere from the kitchen to the garage.

Essentially, they are like heavy duty scissors or light duty tin snips… and you can misuse them for a lifetime without too many consequences. I guess the secret is in the relatively dull blades made out of steel that has been hardened through some wacky and innovative heat treating process.

I actually first saw these in a Formula-1 shop in France… And I’ve had a pair in my kitchen ever since. I’ve often wondered why you don’t see them very often in the states.

Get yours here.

Compact EDC Multitool

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One of my seven readers sent me another question last night. Behold:

“Ryan, I want to EDC a multitool, but I don’t want the weight of a Leatherman and would prefer something with a bit driver and without pliers. Any suggestions?”

My first suggestion would actually be a Leatherman Skeletool CX. I like these because the blade can be deployed one-handed. In fact, the Skeletool carries like a regular flipper that just happens to have a bit driver and a set of pliers attached to it. And it only weighs 142 grams.

That being said, if you really hate pliers and don’t mind having a blade that can’t be deployed single handedly, your best option is a classic – the Victorinox Cyber Tool S. The smallest Cyber Tool features:

  1. A decent set of blades (one small and one large).
  2. A bottle opener.
  3. A can opener.
  4. An awl.
  5. A corkscrew.
  6. A bit driver with bit storage.

And the bit driver on these is really better than anything from Leatherman. Using Leatherman bit drivers, you are often fighting the shape of the tool itself. Screwing or unscrewing with the Skeletool specifically is just flat out awkward because there’s not a good place to stow the other side of the tool when doing so. The Cyber Tool S is small enough that it makes a decent handle when performing the same task.

Also, the Cyber Tool is light – especially for a multitool. At only 95 grams or so, you don’t even notice the thing in your pocket… Which is good, because unless you go custom, there is no pocket clip with the Swiss Army offering.

So, conclusion… If you use the blade a lot, I would suggest you deal with the pliers in your pocket and get a Skeletool. However, if you are more in it for the bit driver, the Cyber Tool is a no brainer.

Get the Skeletool here.

Get the Cyber Tool here.

The Kraken Blade

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This damned thing looks unwieldily as all hell, but… you know… I have a thing for disposable blade EDC tools.

You can back the Kickstarter here.