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by Matt Adika, January 9, 2016

Benchmade Small Summit Lake Review

Benchmade’s Hunt series (or “Munt”, depending on how you interpret their packaging), is a series of outdoor inspired hunter focused knives. I have never been a hunter, so my first impulse was to ignore the Hunt series. But a deeper dive into the line left me curious about a couple of their knives.The Small Summit Lake had me intrigued, especially given my somewhat newfound interest in traditional knives. And especially in the wake of the success of the Boker Urban Trapper, which masterfully blends old timey pocket knife charisma with titanium, bearings, and stainless steel.The Small Summit Lake is less of a mashup, but it takes things people appreciate about knives like the Buck 110, classic lines, rugged…
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Foursevens Preon 2 Review

I chose the Streamlight Microstream for my first flashlight review because I felt like it would establish a good ‘control’ for whatever I decided to review next. It was simple, straightforward, unadorned: an appealingly plain little light.But I also chose it because it wasn’t an enthusiast product, in the sense that something like the Prometheus QR and the Peak Eiger are enthusiast products. These are designed for people who want to read the spec sheets, who know the names, pros, and cons of different emitters like knife guys know the quirks of different steels. In the gear world, there tends to be a pretty clear distinction between what’s made for the enthusiast, and what’s made for the…
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Cold Steel Large Espada Review

Although knife collecting, like any hobby, is a mild form of mania, I like to think that within this gentle madness I am a reasonable man. My uses for my tools are reasonable. My knife preferences are reasonable: I prefer simple handles, simple blades, and I generally like those blades at 3” or less. No one could look at my collection of knives and think me anything but a very reasonable individual – unless their eyes by chance fell on my Cold Steel Large Espada.How did I end up with such a ludicrous knife? Well, even though most of my purchases come after much consideration, reading, and weighing of pros and cons, every so often I like to impulse-purchase a knife that is out of my comfort zone,…
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Spyderco Positron Review

The original Southard Flipper was a landmark knife for the Spyderco. The company’s first flipper, and a collaboration with popular knifemaker Brad Southard, the Southard Flipper helped prove the flipper concept for Spyderco and set the bar for things to come. Subsequently Spyderco released the Domino, an in-house Spyderco design, and the extravagant Rubicon, an over the top high end collaboration with Peter Carey. But everything leads back to the Southard Flipper.The Positron is Spyderco and Southard’s second collaboration. At first glance it more resembles a piece of modern art than a knife, blending Brad’s primitive lines with gleaming steel and carbon fiber. But the simplicity to Brad’s design belies a…
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Benchmade 940-1 Review

Benchmade is a company that prefers iteration over innovation. Most of the new knives fall comfortably, and somewhat uninspiringly, within the boundaries of its recognizable, slow-to-change design language. Even really good new Benchmade knives, like the Valet, aren’t that differently from the Benchmades of five, even ten years ago.I can understand Benchmade’s adherence to its own unchanging vision to a certain extent. When the stars align it results in some unforgettable knives. To my mind there are few knives under $100 that compare to the Mini-Griptilian as an all-purpose EDC knife, and I’ve always thought the 710 looked like an incredible large folder.But, for a lot of folks, the Warren…
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