Spike’s Tactical/Emerson Knives CQC-22
So I grabbed this limited edition knife n’ gun combo offered as a collaboration between Emerson Knives and Spike’s Tactical. More info on both these companies here:
So as you all know, I love these two companies. Spike’s is always coming up with interesting new stuff and the folks there at Spike’s in Apopka, Florida are top notch. I’ve had the chance to meet AJ a handful of times and work with the Spike’s team on a number of occasions as well. All I can say is that these folks are as good as people get.
As for Ernie Emerson; the man is a legend. I have also had the pleasure of meeting the man and his family on a number of occasions and they are a top notch group. Ernie himself is a great guy and even if he wasn’t a knife maker or business owner, he’d still be one of those kinds of guys you’d want to trade lies with over a pint on any given day.
That said, you know I don’t pull punches on reviews and I always give raw and personal reviews of the gear I swing. I will judge this combo pack as follows:
- Initial Impression
- Fit n’ Finish
- Cost/Benefit Ratio
- End User Comments and Notes
- Overall Impression
So let’s get started…
Is that a cleaver in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?
Here is a sneak preview of the DVM Pocket Cleaver made by Robert Scheppmann and designed by Yours Truly in the DVM Skunk Works Labs that will be available in a few weeks
The Idea came from a combination of a few things. Way, way back in the day in another life I was a chef, one of the most used and best multipurpose knives in a professional kitchen is the Cleaver. There really isn’t anything that you cant do with it. And from living, traveling and working in Asia for so long you cant help notice the 30 year old cleaver being used in every chow shop from Bangkok to Hong Kong. It is just that versatile.
I am also a big fan of smaller Wharncliffe style knives for self defense. So when I was designing this I knew I wanted a straight edged blade. On a resent trip to Indonesia I saw a Pineapple street vendor chopping with a cleaver that had an edge ground into the front. I thought it was a brilliant idea, basically you get two Wharncliffe style cutting surfaces on a single blade that can be used for cutting on every imaginable motion.
And after watching the movie “Wanted” and seeing the Cuban guy slicing and dicing a cleaver I knew I wanted to have a cleaver in my collection. So the “cool” factor is also a part of this design
But you cant really carry around a cleaver without looking like a serial killer so I figured why not chop it down in size. And after getting my hands on one of Roberts other knives [the DROP-POINT-P.D.K.] I really liked how the handle fit in my hand and the blade length.
So I drew up a Cleaver design inspired by his handle but with a cleaver head and a dual grind – with Roberts considerable talent this bad boy popped out. Big thanks for Robert for taking this on for us.
I think it will be great for everything from utility to fighting, something you can use on a camping trip or stashed around your neck in some 3rd world suck-hole – all in a sharp looking package.
Here it is with a couple of different Grinds:
Yep, a Folding Dive Knife
I have been looking for a new dive knife after leaving my fixed blade Benchmade Dive Knife [model 100SH20] in a hotel in Pattaya, Thailand after a weekend of diving and drinking massive amounts of booze last year.
I was planning on just getting another fixed blade Benchmade just like the last one I had because it was a great dive knife and one of the only high quality ones that had a yellow handle. But when I was surfing some knife websites I saw that Benchmade now had a Folding Version of their Fixed Blade Dive Knife.
At first I was thinking “a folding dive knife, that is strange” but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. One of the other reasons why I liked Benchmade’s fixed dive knife was because it was not so big that I looked like a serial killer with it strapped to my leg.
I do 99% of my snorkeling and diving overseas in the 3rd world and I want to be somewhat discreet when I am walking around the beach and docks. So carrying a big-ass knife on my leg or waist either screams “tourist, rob my hotel room” or “crazy person walking on the beach with a bowie knife”. So having a dive knife that I can discreetly stick in my pocket [I like to wear shorts when I dive] is something that appeals to me.
the 888 Professional S.O.L. Knife – a new take on an old school spy knife
I have been a long time fan of anything to do with Cold War clandestine operations, Tech-Ops, and tradecraft, I have every book, documentary or magazine that even remotely mentions this; lined up in the library at DVM HQ.
Minox cameras, pens with hidden Garrotes, tape recorders hidden in briefcases, microdots and poison tipped umbrellas are just a few of the pimp gadgets the OSS threw together in some “Q-Like” Skunkworks lab no doubt hidden in a basement somewhere in Northern Virginia. When it came to hiding tradecraft tools into everyday objects the OSS was the golden standard.
I guess it was a combination of growing up during the ass-end of the Cold War in the late 80’s and Q in the James Bond movies that really sparked my interest in spy tools used by the OSS and CIA.
One of the neatest OSS Toys was the OSS Thumb Dagger, a small double edge knife meant to be used as a last ditch weapon or E&E tool. The OSS Thumb Dagger has a thin leather sheath that could be sewn inside a Lapel or Sleeve making it hard to find if someone frisked an agent.
It was really a clever little idea, and recently a few versions based on it have popped up here and there. Most are small double-bladed knives that require a sheath just like the original OSS Thumb Dagger. But one version made by Triple Eight Professional called the S.O.L. Knife has a cool handle that rotates completely to enclose the blade [sort of like a folder] negating the need for a separate sheath.
Where the hell did i put my knife?
This is a beautiful knife with fantastic ergonomics, the blade design is wicked and came out of the box razor sharp. I thought, since there are a lot of questions about the blade and the new coating and all that I’d do a little sampo (Japanese for “stroll”) test here in Japan and see how the design holds up out in the world.
I also took a few shots to show the camo against common objects and / or environments. The area I went for a stroll in is a nice mix of urban, foliage (parks, natural wooded areas), and riverine (rivers and streams everywhere). I basically just went for a walk along a route I like to take on nice days and used the shit out of the knife to see how it would hold up.
I was very excited about this knife. The Rhino / Commander recurve / CQC-10 handle combo is about as awesome as you can get without reinventing the wheel. Add the A-TACS camo pattern to it and you’ve got one mean looking blade.
But how does it handle? How does the finish hold up to real world usage? Is the tip strong? Is the G10 grippy with the ATACS coating on it, or is it slippery? These are questions I wanted to know the answers to, so here is what I think:
The Blackhawk Be-Wharned – used by Team DVM in Iraq
I have been looking for a wharncliffe folding knife for some time now, but most of the wharncliffe folders I have seen were custom jobs [= $$$]. I did take a look at the wharncliffe folders made by Spyderco but I am not a huge fan of Spyderco knives, I think the hole they use for opening looks ugly and they don’t work that well with my Neanderthal thumbs.
I also wanted a liner lock, a blade length around 3 ½” and a price under a 100 bucks. Now, I am cool with paying a premium price for a blade but in this instance I was looking for a wharncliffe folder for the specific purpose of only using it as a fighting knife. So I would not be using this knife for doing EDC things like opening boxes or utility cutting, basically it would stay in my pocket unless I was going to cut a fool.
I ran across the “Be-Wharned” when I was on the [oddly, not painfully slow anymore] Blackhawk website looking for Plate Carriers for an upcoming Hostile Environment class I am teaching. And when I saw it was designed by famed knife designer and knife fighting instructor/author Michael Janich it definitely sparked my interest [Janich is the reason why I like the wharncliffe blade for fighting knives].
At first the 99.00 dollar price on the Blackhawk website sort of put me off, but when I checked the LA Police Gear website they had it for only 69 bucks so I ordered one up.
The Blackhawk Be-Wharned is a 4.2 oz liner locking 3.4 inch [overall opened length 7.8 inches] AUS8A stainless steel wharncliffe bladed folder with G-10 scales. The G-10 scales on the Be-Wharned stick to your hand like superglue, even when wearing gloves or with wet sweaty hands. The pocket clip can be mounted in 4 different positions for left and right handed tip-up or down pocket carry.
Boker Plus Credit Card Knife – Don’t Leave home without it
I first saw this cool little folder about a year ago, it was made by custom knife maker John Kubasek out of Massachusetts. I thought it was a clever idea but the 175.00 price tag sort of turned me away from picking one up.
So when I was browsing some of my favorite knife retail sites I was surprised to see that Boker had licensed the design from Kubasek for production, and at a wallet friendly price of 19.95. At that price [and considering I had wanted one for quite some time] I went ahead and ordered one up for myself.
I am actually not really familiar with Boker knives outside of seeing them for sale in the PX. But from looking over a few Boker folders that some buddy’s of mine here in Iraq have they seem like ok blades, especially considering the price [all the Boker knives in the PX are under 30 bucks].
The Boker Plus Credit Card Knife is a cool little knife that opens by rotating the blade across the handle/liner where it locks into place. When closed, the blade lays on the handle/liner, at first I thought the exposed blade may be unsafe but it fits snug enough as not to expose the sharpened blade.
This knife just screams “stab someone”
Hey folks – I have been working with Spencer over at SAR Global Tool to make a DVM Contractor Fighting Knife. Below is his work in progress and some notes from him.
[Spencer from SAR Global Tool] Hey everyone,
I have been working with James for the last few months on a knife for him and possibly become for sale in the DVM store. James gave me some great input on what he was looking for.
Based on what his ideas I put this design to paper. James liked what he saw so I put the design to steel and got rolling, I will take pictures, write comments as I work on these three blades over the next few days.
The design is a fixed blade which is 9 1/4″ long 5″ handle 4 1/4″ blade, the blade features a modified tip sometimes referred as “harpoon”
SARclops – the finest fool-slashing handmade neck-knife your mom can buy you
For some time now I have wanted to pick up a neck knife to use as a last-ditch weapon and E&E tool for when I’m working overseas. I’ve looked at different brands here and there but nothing really caught my eye [given, aesthetics don’t have anything to do with stabbin’ a fool, but admittedly I do like the “wow” factor when it comes to knives].
So when Spencer Alan Reiter over at SAR Global Tool [formally SAR Custom Knives] sent over one of his handmade SARclops Knives I was way stoked. The one he sent to me is made of Titanium, but the standard SARclops are made out of 1/8″ thick, CPM 154 CM heat treated [in house by Spencer] to a Rockwell hardness of 59, with a 1 ½ inch long blade, Ceramic tumbled finish [stonewashed] and a carbide deposit on the back side with a Rockwell hardness of 71.
Spencer tells me that the carbide deposit is a challenge to lay without rolling the edge, but it gets sharper after use [so the more fools you cut the sharper it gets, that just sounds evil – “I like it!”]
The cord-wrapped ring [or “eye’ hence the name] is big enough to stick your finger through even while wearing gloves [unless you’re wearing arctic gloves]. The cord wrap around the eye is tight and beautifully weaved, I am guessing that he does this also by hand – it looks way cool and makes for a nice slip free grip. The cord wrap comes off by just slicing it free, but that would take too much away from the “cool” factor for me to remove it.
CRKT Hissatsu IWB Concealed
After working in Iraq for a couple of months and making the mistake of being competent and having a fairly polite personality as opposed to the shitty security contractor douchebagnus “I am a tough bearded guy” attitude I was placed on a tedious project (because I am “responsible” and know how to write) in an area where I would not be able to carry a firearm for a while.
This had nothing to do with the threat level; it had to do with some stupid political BS that I won’t get into here. Considering that would be on a base shared by Local Nationals with the constant threat of kidnapping I sure as shit was not going to walk around unarmed.
So I decided to go way old school and arm-up with a full sized fixed-blade knife as my primary weapon that I would conceal – with an Applegate-Fairbairn gerber Mini Covert clipped to my pocket as back-up. My original plan was to rig-up an ankle rig for my Short KA-BAR but on a PX run I saw the sexy looking CRKT Hissatsu hanging on a rack so I snatched one up.
Despite its rather long length it ended up being an excellent choice for concealing, mostly due to its Zytel Sheath that is unintentionally perfect for concealing. The Zytel Sheath has a removable Zytel belt clip that can be screwed on and off the sheath with a flat head screwdriver (I used my thumbnail) that can be attached to the holes and rails anywhere on the sheath.