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Before I get into the actual review of the knife I really wanted to quickly provide some context and background about what knives I currently carry as an every-day carry knife and where this knife fits into that. When it comes to daily carry there are two knives that I will choose on a regular basis, and depending on where I go that day determines which knife I ultimately carry with me.
The two knives are the Doug Ritter RSK MK1 (made by Benchmade) or the Hissatsu folder that I reviewed in a prior article that you can find here.
Why I switch off between these two knives is because of their differences in terms of utility.
However, it functions poorly as a survival tool because of its steep blade angle, lack of drop point, and thick spine which prevents it from easily slicing into wood and overall, making bushcraft activities a difficult process.
Mel has been around the knife making seen for over 25 years now and is well known for his elegant style and his simplicity in design. The locking mechanism of this folder leverages the proprietary Benchmade Axis Lock System. The fact is, locking mechanisms for folding knives have been and still are in many cases far from reliable.
Older designs like the lock back or the liner lock designs are some very common ones where the mechanisms don’t always keep the blade in the lock position.
Bench made’s axis lock is a proprietary mechanism that is probably my favorite locking mechanism. The butt end of the folding blade itself has a flat spot that allows the spring tension bar to lock into place when the knife is open. To close the blade all you have to do is pull the bar backwards and then using one of the thumb studs (again these are on both sides allowing for ambidexterity) to fold the blade shut.
The blade is premier stainless steel that is been coated with a black non-reflective coating and a plain edge that lends itself to a large variety of every-day uses. For you steel hounds out there who care about the details (like me), the steel has been upgraded from Benchmade’s current M390 steel to this CPM–20CV steel. Still, with that being said, the blade profile ultimately what won me over to this knife. While the blade profile design is enough to sell me on this knife, the excellent handle was just icing on the cake which lead me to want this to be my every-day carry.
As with other Benchmade knives, the construction will provide for easy disassembly, cleaning, and overall maintenance.
As a side note, the combination of the handle size and locking mechanism lends itself well to working with gloves on during colder temperatures.
The retail price for this knife goes for $225 and can be found in most knife stores online. Recently I had a gentleman over at SkyTech Lasers contact me about doing a review on the blog for one of his portable high-powered lasers. But after receiving it and playing around with it for little while, I was able to see some pretty decent applications in a survival situation. When picking up the laser, the first thing I noticed that this is no run-of-the-mill red laser pointer you can get at any dollar store. On the front of the laser there is a rotating aperture that allows you to prevent the light from being emitted.
The remote interlock is a pin type lock that must be attached in order for the laser turn on. The loop key is used if you require the addition of a third party switch to activate the laser remotely.
The standard use for this laser is the concentrated beam (which you can see in the intro picture at the top of this blog post). The two things that stood out for me from these specs are the expected lifetime (5,000 hours!) and the 2 year warranty.
After playing around with this at night and seeing just how powerful this laser is, the first thing that came to mind terms of an immediate survival application is as a nighttime signaling device.
When I was testing this laser, I wanted to see how effective it was through glass (which it is). I don’t recommend using this if you are in a threat situation where an attacker is close and coming at you. Another application I could see it working well in, is to prevent someone from pursuing you in a car. Let’s say you were in a bug-out situation or had a remote camp and you were a distance away for whatever reason (gathering supplies, night patrols, etc).
If you’ve ever used a normal laser pointer to play with your cat or dog, you know how the glowing and moving dot on the floor draws them in like a moth to the flame. Well, this technique doesn’t just work on your pets, it also works on wild animals as well.
This last application I played around with just to see how effective it would be in making fire. In the video below you can see me attempting to start a fire with it directly on the tinder bundle (it smokes, but no flame) versus lighting the char cloth and then blowing that in a tinder bundle into a flame. Besides how impressive these lasers are in their normal applications (you really need to experience them at night to fully understand how powerful these are) they are actually fairly useful in a variety of survival situations. Especially when it came to my own homemade flint-and-steel kits, I’ve never considered them any more then objects of utilitarian purposes.
The first time I heard about these kits was when my friend Bill reached out to me asking if I’d be willing to review a product made by a Russian friend of his.
On receiving the package I was blown away by the incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail and quality that these kits are created with. If flint and steel fire making is new to you, you may think it’s a difficult skill to learn. I still use the boots, even though the toes are horribly scuffed and they look war battered. These boots gained the nomenclature “Mickey Mouse boots” because of their obvious blob style.
I used to wonder why a UK based survival magazine always had monthly articles showcasing new boots.
While I may dream of finding a dusty knife at a pawnshop and noticing in a split second the butterfly wings of the Benchmade brand I’m well aware this is unlikely.
Years ago some brilliant engineer plucked up the humble carpet cutter utilized by thousands of leathery handed laborers and converted it into an even more portable tool.
Over the years probably millions of carpets have been vanquished by the teeth of the razor blade.


Gerber also has a similar knife and I hope others follow suit driving the prices down even further. Some people will look at your utility knife, whatever species it may be, and chortle at such a thin blade. The advantage of the Outdoor Edge brand of knives is that it lends a spine to the utility knife family.
I still remember handing my little pocket knife over to my Grandfather and watching sparks fly as he sent the blade skimming across his bench grinder. Everyday carry seem obvious enough but when you look closer you will see that the definition can be quite loose. What if we carry an item all of the time except under special conditions when we substitute it with a more specialized tool or larger tool? The text above is an edited quote from the EDCforums, on the philosophy of EDC, by JonSidneyB, the forums’ founder. I found this blog as a result of an interest in EDC, then preparedness, but felt that EDC as a concept is not dealt with as thoroughly as it should be in comparison to, say, Bug-Out Bags.
In my experience there are two types of EDC: that which is carried ‘on-person’ and that which is carried somehow else, normally in a bag or pack.
However, if you were going on a hike, or doing a bug out drill, what would become one of your essentials? You might think that all of that would take up a lot of space but actually, I only sacrificed one hip pocket in a normal pair of trousers. If you decide to carry similar equipment to me, I recommend a small pouch called the Maxpedition Micro. In addition to considering adding the above the your EDC, it is probably worth considering what you carry now, and how you carry it.
With regards to carrying this stuff, I recommend a good quality, strong pair of cargo trousers, and a belt. Along with what they keep in their pockets, most people have a bag or pack that they keep with them, holding secondary, auxiliary or backup items, or items that are too big to keep in a pocket. I do a lot of traveling, so my bag is largely centered around necessities for relative comfort in urban life (a full change of clothes, and a good hydration bladder), and maintaining this (a good sewing kit, and a wash kit). Then there are miscellaneous items, which don’t fit into a category but are still very useful.
Warm Shower: Fill your trash bag with water, tie it up above your head and let it sit in the warm sun. Waterproof Leggings: Take two trash bags and place one foot with your shoes on inside each.
Gear Protector (Dry Bag): You can use the bags to keep your gear stored in your BOB dry while traveling in wet conditions. Although less than ideal, you could also partially inflate the bag for a pillow (but it will be less comfortable than leaves or other soft debris). Strong Rope: Yes, trash bags can actually make surprisingly strong cordage and rope when braided correctly. Bug Out Washing Machine: For extended bug-out travels you can place your dirty clothes in a bag, some soap scrapings (or if you packed small amounts of detergent) and some water, twist or tie off the bag and vigorously shake the bag for a few minutes. In addition, let me just stress again that while normal trash bags can work in the above examples in a pinch, again, ideally you want to pack contractor bags which you can find at most any hardware stores.
For preppers, survivalists and others desiring to have other means of electricity when the grid goes down, solar has always been a valid means of off-grid power. The 14 watt SunJack is a portable solar array made up of four solar panels organized in a black cloth foldable case. The battery, charging cable, and USB ports are located in a mesh bag behind the charger.
The solar array has two USB ports which (when in full sun) will each produce an output of 2 amps.
In direct sunlight, it will fully charge the 8000mAh lithium polymer battery in around five hours with this 14 watt SunJack model (the manufacturer also sells a 20-watt version that comes with two batteries). When the battery is at full capacity (again, after only 5 hours) it has enough power to charge an iPhone around 4-5 times. In both cases I did not see any significant difference between charging on the wall or from the SunJack battery. Think it’s not tough enough to stand up to the rigors of a survival or bug-out lifestyle? According to the manufacturer, the monocrystalline solar cells will still produce 80% of their power even after 25 years of use and the the lithium-polymer battery holds roughly 80% of it’s capacity after 1,000 cycles.
Assuming this is true (I couldn’t test this for obvious reasons) this is great news for us preppers who want products that can last not only through abuse (see the durability section above) but through the duration of a long-term collapse situation. SunJack’s manufacturer has fortunately come up with a decent (although not ideal) workaround.
Their weatherproof sleeve is specially designed to maximize sunlight pass-through while protecting against the elements.
All in all I really found the SunJack to be a solid product and one that I would definitely recommend as part of your preps and especially in your Bug-Out Bag. The SunJack is ideal for preppers who want to have portable power available for small gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. The Doug Ritter knife I used primarily for every-day carry in the rural town that I live in and if I visit the surrounding areas. All you need to do is manipulate the thumb studs like many other folders and open it that way. The upgrade in steel offers better edge retention but it is not quite as tough to resharpen as the M390. You could hook up the remote interlock wire to a switch that is triggered when someone trips a line entering your camp.
The range and brightness of these lasers will easily overcome any washing-out that the sun would do to a normal red laser pointer. While it is not the most effective (in terms of the laser directly causing fire) it can be used to start a fire indirectly by igniting a primer like char cloth, birch fungus, or even a cigarette.
If you’re not familiar with the flint-and-steel fire making, it is one of the oldest forms of making fire that we know of. He was going on about how his friend made these wonderful flint and steel kits that were works of art.
Mikhail, the creator of these kits, is clearly an artisan of the highest order and his passion shines through.


Mikhail comes from a long line of artisan blackmiths, so the skills and methods used in the manufacture of these kits has been preserved and passed down from generation to generation. Yet today, the hoard of knives in production is so vast, a wise choice in selecting one can be a daunting task. Recently the market has exploded, and I have joined the crowd that just can’t have enough of these tools. Just a month or so ago, I flicked open my Kobalt knife and began paring off wood splinters to start a fire. The Sheffield 12339 Rhino Lock-back Utility Knife combines the utility of the utility knife with a more conventional replaceable blade. For years, utility blades have been hacking through carpet which is far from easy with its highways of thread fiber. You can sharpen a blade again and again relaxing to the buzz of metal against stone or diamond. Knives, Flashlights, Cameras, Pens, Handguns, and many other things often have the label of EDC attached to them. So I am writing this article, to educate people about the usefulness of taking care of your EDC. Because of this, I will not discuss the use of knives or handguns in EDC in this article. Yo can buy fairly cheap, but very strong nylon or kevlar threads, impossible to break with your hands.
Find some good trousers at a local army surplus store, or (if you money is no object and you really want quality) buy these. You had to buy a fairly small flashlight to fit in your pocket EDC, so buy a bigger, better one that can go in your bag. Although point #1 is applicable here, it is very important to have a decent FAK in you bag. Just rip a hole in the bottom of the bag for your head and two on the side for your arms and it will do a fine job at keeping the wet weather at bay.
Tie up the bags around your ankles and calves with some duct tape or cordage (both of which aren’t bad ideas to have in your BOB). In addition, you can enclose your entire bug-out bag with the trash bag (cutting slits for your backpack straps to get through) for a makeshift poncho for your bag. In addition, a smaller bag (or a large one only partly filled with leaves) will work pretty decent as a pillow (it would be best to place a piece of cloth on it (like a Shemagh or bandana) for your face to lie on for more comfort.
While it will hold in heat, it’s not a good idea since it also traps in moisture, which when cold outside can easily lead to hypothermia.
This allows you to easily charge a smartphone, an iPad, or other tablet requiring 2 amps to charge its internal battery directly from the sun.
But after putting it in the direct sun (it was slightly cloudy that day) it took just under 3 hours to bring it to a full charge. To test this, I timed how long it took to charge two of my devices (an iPad and an iPhone) directly from the fully charged battery.
No, the Assads, Russians, Iranians, Hezbollah and Shiite government in Bagdad have not mounted terrorist attacks on Europe or threatened them. The laser is so powerful that it could easily blind a pilot and can be seen from miles away. Well, a small amount of the laser light was reflecting back at me off the glass and just that small reflection was enough to temporarily blind my eyes and cause discomfort which I felt for a few minutes. With the laser pointed to the sky you would immediately see and know that someone is in your camp, alerting you to their presence. Skeptical, but always willing to help a friend out, I gladly welcomed the product not expecting the prize that I would shortly receive. The instructions Mikhail includes are very clear and when followed you’ll be making fire in no time.
From man’s conception they have adored the blade; whether it be a knife, a dagger, or a sword.
Perhaps a good quarter of survival enthusiast live in situations where $300 is just a bit too much for a new knife. Or you can invest in a kit, cheap or expensive, that almost gets the knife sharp, but as for me?
They can be pressurized (though this is not automatic; you can use it with or without), hold up to 2 litres (easily enough for an EDC pack) and are compatible with a wide variety of filtration stems and extra gadgets. Once the water has reached your desired temperature, poke some tiny holes to enjoy a nice warm shower. Now you have some decent waterproof leggings to temporarily cross through shallow brooks or streams or traversing over deep, wet snow. That’s the dastardly work of their enemies——the Islamic State and its enablers in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. So how about taking a second look at some of the ugly duckling of knives that never get any press. I know purist grouse that such fast fading skills should be relearned no matter the cost in time, but sometimes I’m just lazy. The chief advantage of this knife is that you can always have a blade razor sharp in seconds. If you really feel cheap you can even buy the medical handle for about $6 to attach these lightning sharp blades to.
One person’s life might depend on his EDC one day while another person just likes to carry certain items.
Doughboys in World War I felt the slap of their tall bayonets as they paced in foreign trenches.
Whether you’re cutting rope, or duct tape, or even shaving wood for a fire, you can count on a razor edge on this knife.
But unfortunately it seems most of these knives and the blades are limited to sale on Amazon and the blades only truly fit the Sheffield knife. I have almost bought these blades just to carry in my bug out gear, but so far at about $10 for a couple blades, at last check, I haven’t made the leap.
Those who take the time to produce a knife that can send hair on your arms falling like a forest being timbered.



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