Image by Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
Shortly after 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, a helicopter in New York City plunged into the frigid waters of the East River.
Stunned onlookers watched as the Eurocopter AS350 slowly landed on the water — where it quickly flipped upside down and started sinking.
The pilot was able to escape the downed helicopter but the five other passengers were killed in the water or shortly after.
Here is a brief video someone captured on their phone of the crash:
It’s an extremely sad story that once again calls into question the safety of helicopter tours that take private passengers around the city for photo opportunities.
When designer Paul Scheiter created the original Blackbird SK-5, he made sure to strip it down to the necessities. He also said, “I believe the more complicated a product becomes, the more likely it is to fail when your life depends on it.”
The resounding success of the Blackbird SK-5 led Scheiter to expand the line to include a smaller version of the knife better suited for a wider range of tasks. That knife is the latest Badass Knife of the Week.
The Ontario Blackbird SK-4 is a compact version of the renowned SK-5 and subscribes to the same ethos of function over gimmicks.
The SK-4 isnt just a shrunken version of its larger brother. Instead Scheiter reworked the design to ensure it performs well and feels good in the hand.
You asked for it and we answered.
Instead of hiding your love for knives deep in the recesses of your pockets, now you can express your love for knives with one of three brand new shirts.
Here’s a quick look at the three shirts.
“Knife Depot” T-Shirt
When you want to read some fascinating stories about knives or want to buy one of your very own, there’s only one place you should go: Knife Depot. This shirt has our logo surrounded by three knives.
“Never Lose Your Edge” T-Shirt
I’m pretty fond of our tagline because of its multiple meanings. We not only like to keep the tagline in mind when we’re talking about our knives but also when we’re talking about our approach to life.
For some reason, Cold Steel still gets the label as a company that only makes products for mall ninjas. While they still do make those ridiculous proof videos, that simply doesn’t capture the whole image of the company.
Cold Steel has made huge strides the past few decades and have heeded the call of customers while putting out some truly awesome knives.
First they brought the great Andrew Demko on board (who brought the Tri-Ad lock). Then they updated their steel from AUS8 (CRKT could take a page from this). But best of all they are always communicating with their customers.
Kershaw makes some mighty fine knives. But, like anything you buy, an issue may arise.
Fortunately, all Kershaw products are covered under a Limited Lifetime Warranty against manufacturing defects. This includes defects in material, construction, and workmanship. For example, if the lockup is not up to par or the blade centering is off, Kershaw will happily take care of it.
However, unless you have some of the timeless models like the Leek or Blur, chances are your Kershaw will one day be discontinued.
There is an old theory called the stepping-stone hypothesis that claims using mild drugs will lead to the usage of more potent and addictive drugs. This phenomenon became more widely known as the concept of the “gateway drug” in the 1970s.
I am not here to argue the merits of the claim, but the term “gateway” has now become a catchall for an introductory item that leads to a greater obsession.
I was curious to learn more about how people came to the obsession of knives, so I set out to find the most common “gateway knives” for every brand. These are the knives people first got that made them more interested in a brand, slowly consuming them until they had bought up as many knives from the brand as possible.
I thought I’d focus on the 20 top brands. I’ll include a secondary choice at the end.
Benchmade – Mini Griptilian
The first brand up is Benchmade. Benchmade is already a brand known for higher-end knives, so it’s not likely a person’s first knife will ever be a Benchmade. However, for those interested in trying out the brand before they make a long-term commitment to its more expensive offerings, there’s the Mini Griptilian.
This knife is an icon and still represents the best of Benchmade. The Mini Griptilian uses 154CM steel on its sub-3-inch blade and Noryl GTX scales. After this knife, you shouldn’t be surprised to see someone upgrade to the premium version of the Mini Griptilian and maybe even try out some other Benchies like the Barrage or Infidel.
Secondary Choice – Benchmade Griptilian
I was tempted to choose the Benchmade 940 as a secondary option, but it’s about $182. So the larger Griptilian seems like a better option.
Boker – Kalashnikov Automat 74
Of all the brands, I had the most trouble finding the perfect gateway knife that could get people hooked on Boker. The problem is that there are so many models — not to mention several different brands under the Boker umbrella. I ultimately decided on the Boker Plus Kalashnikov Automat 74.
There is no right way to carry a knife — unless you ask the millions of people who carry knives. Some will insist that the only true way to carry a knife is clipped to the pocket so that the blade tip is pointing up.
A smaller but still vocal minority say that’s preposterous and that one should carry a knife in the pocket with the blade pointed down.
The truth is that it’s simply a matter of preference.
According a survey in Knife News, 64 percent prefers tip up and 19 percent prefers tip down while 15 percent don’t care and another 2 percent prefer no clip.
This post isn’t to persuade anyone to carry a knife a certain way but to enlighten those who don’t carry their knives tip down.
So if you can’t understand why anyone would carry a knife tip down, here are a few reasons.
Better Positioning for Larger Knives
One of the main advantages of carrying a knife with the tip up is that you can slid your thumb into your pocket, pull out the knife, and already be in the natural position to open it. This is true… for most knives.
Larger knives — like those with blades longer than 4 inches — are a bit trickier.
When you slide a larger knife like the Spyderco Resilience out of the pocket when it’s tip up, you won’t be in a natural position to open it. You’d end up need to adjust the grip a little to open it effectively.
The great thing about knives is just how many minor changes and innovations there are. Sure, we know about the biggies like creation of the pocket clip by Spyderco’s Sal Glesser or the Reeve Integral Lock, but what about the smaller things?
For example, if you’ve bought a Spyderco with a lockback mechanism in the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly used something called the Boye Dent.
But just what is the Boye Dent?
Here it is.
The Boye Dent is a very minor addition that’s infiltrated modern lockback knives from Spyderco. It is essentially a scallop-shaped recess in the release bar of the lockback or mid lock.
What is the Purpose of the Boye Dent?
The Boye Dent was pioneered by knifemaker David Boye, who is now known for designing boating knives. On his site, it says that the dent is for “preventing accidental disengagement of the blade when the handle is gripped tightly.”
Blue Whale Folder by Boye Knives
Essentially, when you put the palm of your hand against the release bar, there is less material there to accidentally disengage the knife.
What is going on?!
Just a few months after Canada joined the rest of the world (except the United States, of course) in allowing small knives on planes, it announced a sweeping change that essentially bans nearly every type of folding knife in existence from being imported into the country.
On January 5, here’s what the Canada Border Services Agency wrote on its website:
In accordance with subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code and the CITT’s recent decision in T. LaPlante, the CBSA resolves that centrifugal knives will be classified as prohibited weapons if the following conditions are met:
a. a knife has a blade that opens by centrifugal force, when the blade is released from the handle into the fully ejected and locked position with a simple and brisk outwardly flick of the wrist; and
b. it includes knives that require some preliminary or simultaneous minimal manipulation of either a flipper or other non-edged parts of the blade.
Knives that can be opened with the flick of your wrist are prohibited. This could include those knives that also use a flipper or other non-edged parts like a thumb stud.
If applied broadly, that pretty much covers the vast majority of folding knives — whether it has an assisted-opening mechanism or not. While slipjoints are safe in theory, you could probably open most of them with centrifugal force if you tried because this includes non-edged parts of the blade. (Hold the spine of a blade on your Swiss Army Knife and it’s not hard to see how you could do it.)
The ZT0350 was the subject of other CBSA disputes.
If you think I’m being a bit flippant, just take a look at how a similar law was implemented in New York City. The laws there are very vague and police have taken advantage of the vagary to classify pretty much any folding knife they want as an illegal gravity knife.
Needless to say, the takes have been brutal.
The knife world is plagued with fakes and frauds.
People on eBay are trying to pass off $400 Sebenzas as real and sellers on Amazon are unknowingly selling fake CRKT and SOGs to unsuspecting customers.
Because of all the tricksterism plaguing the knife community, I often get asked whether a knife is real or fake. While I recently wrote a guide on how to spot a counterfeit knife, it didn’t address another popular question — is my Damascus knife a fake?
Damascus knives are becoming more popular and more prevalent from the most popular knife brands like Spyderco (with the Endura and others) to lesser known brands like BucknBear.
What makes people even more confused about the legitimacy of Damascus steel is the vast price differences. Could a $50 knife with Damascus steel be real when you see other Damascus blades topping the $500 mark?
Let’s dig deeper.
What is Damascus?
Before determining whether your Damascus is fake or real, we should first define what Damascus actually is.
Damascus is that wavy pattern in steel that looks exotic and downright gorgeous.