Sunday, July 29, 2012

Keychain Stuff

     Like many of you out there I carry a lot of stuff on my keychain, mostly keys as well as a few useful tools.  The first tool I have attached is a flashlight, in particular an iTP A3 EOS XP-E Q5.  This is basically a led flashlight that uses an AAA battery, and has 3 modes with a twisty operation.  This size is perfect for pocket carry and is difficult to accidentally activate in a pocket.  Here are some specs:
     Three output levels - Medium 18 lumens (4 hours) -> Low 1.5 lumens (50 hours) -> High 80 lumens (55 minutes).
     This light has proven to be quite durable with most of the finish still in place and plenty bright for most tasks.  With an easy to find battery, lithium 10440 compatibility and decent runtime this light is a winner.

      The second tool is sort of a multi tool.  It's an Ultrafire Stainless Steel Bottle Opener(with screwdriver and wrench), purchased from DX.  This has a Phillips screwdriver, a bottle opener and different wrench openings cut into it.  I figured I'd keep the amount of doodads hanging off my keychain to a minimum, and with these two I have quite a few bases covered.  Here are it's specs:
Dimensions: 2.95 in x 0.08 in
Weight: 0.78 oz
     The finish is just black paint, but it is still decent after a few months of pocket carry.  I think I'll probably order a few more to give out as gifts.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spyderco Ambitious

This knife, the Ambitious, is the smallest in the Chinese made series of knives put out by Spyderco.  Here are it's specs:

length overall5.812 " (148 mm)blade length2.25 " (57 mm)blade steel8Cr13MoV
length closed3.594 " (91 mm)cutting edge2.25 " (57 mm)weight3 oz. (85 g)
blade thickness.125 " (3 mm)handle materialG-10

This knife is part of their Value Folder line and cost $30CAD from eBay.  For a cheap folder it uses some decent steel(8Cr13MoV), which from other reviews takes a sharp edge quite easily.  Downsides is that it lacks a bit in edge retention and is a bit prone to rusting.  Handle material is G-10 which I quite like, as it is quite grippy and durable without being overly aggressive where it wants to shred pants.  It has three bigger brothers, in order of size going up, they are the Persistence, Tenacious, and the Resilience.  I like this knife for EDC as it just slips into a pocket or clips into the watch pocket of a pair jeans.  This little guy is up for any edc task you might require of it, whether it's opening boxes or doing a bit of food prep at a camp site.  It's not really suitable for a self defense role, but if pushed into service it would be better then having nothing at all.

Niteye TF-25

     I just received my first light from Niteye.  This is an OEM manufacturer for other well established flashlight companies, such as Jetbeam.  Now they have come out with their own line of flashlights.  This particular model uses 1x18650 rechargeable lithium battery or 2xCR123 lithium batteries.  This light provides about 1 hour at the highest setting of 500 lumens and 50 hours at the lowest setting which is approximately 1 lumen.  It has a large head which accommodates a wide a deep smooth reflector which provides it with good flood and quite decent throw.  The light uses the latest XM-L U2 led which is from Cree and is capable of producing a ton of light from a small package.

     I received the light in a nice box which held the light in a foam packing.  The light comes with a nice open style holster where only the head is covered allowing access to the switch.  It also comes with a lanyard ring, nice quality lanyard, rubber grip ring, spare o-rings and a spare rubber tailcap.  Quality of this light in terms of machining, fit of parts and anodising is excellent to outstanding.  I own many other lights from other manufacturers such as Fenix, Nitecore, Sunwayman and I have to say that this is the nicest I've seen to date.  I paid around $80CAD from eBay and the light is on par or better than a Surefire for half the price of their higher end lights.

     The reason I purchased this light apart from trying a new light from a new brand, was the manner in which it is controlled.  Like lights from Sunwayman and other manufacturers this light uses a magnetic rotary ring to switch between the levels.  If you turn it clockwise or to the right the light will ramp up.  For every little increment there is a ball detent that you can feel, so you have more precise control over the levels, as well as keeping the ring from moving inadvertently.  If you turn it counter clockwise, or to the left past the lowest level it will switch off, and if you turn it one more notch to the left it will go into strobe.  It is quite easy to engage the ring with one hand and each position is easily detected.  The tailcap also will turn the light on/off and will allow momentary activation with a light press.

     All in all this is a high quality tool that I will take pleasure in using and I intend to collect more of these fine lights in the future.  I have enroute Niteye's EYE30 which uses 3xXM-L's and the EYE40 which uses, you guessed it, 4xXM-L's.  I will update this blog with a full review of my impressions of these lights.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

DX Steel Snake Manual-Release Folding Knife

     I just received a new knife from a website many of you enthusiasts are probably already aware of.  It's from a site called DX.  This is actually the first knife I've received from them as I was kind of leery of their knife quality.  I'd been a frequent purchaser of their flashlights and other assorted trinkets, but after seeing how cheaply priced their knives were and reading several positive reviews of one knife in particular I decided to take the plunge.  The knife up for review is called the Steel Snake Manual-Release Folding Knife.  LINK

     First off this is quite a large knife measuring 12.5 cm closed and 21.5 cm open with a blade length of  9 cm.  It is a liner locking knife with a black finish all over which is probably just paint, but appears to be fairly durable.  The description states that this knife is a manual release, but my sample is actually assisted opening as many of the reviews stated.  The knife can be opened with the thumb stud or with the flipper.  Opening is effortless and quick and feels excellent to grip.  There is jimping on the top of the blade to provide extra purchase.  The snake like scales on the handle provide a good grip as well as looking cool.  The clip on the back rides quite high and conceals the knife in the pocket nicely as well as being fairly tight.

     The knife is labelled as a Boker but I'm sure that it's a counterfeit.  It only cost $9.99 CAD but it feels and looks more expensive.  I'm not really sure what blade steel it has, but it came plenty sharp and hopefully it'll be easy to resharpen.  Overall I'd definitely recommend this knife for someone looking for a cheap but very functional knock around knife.

Newcomer to the flashlight and edc reviewing world.

     My intention in creating this blog is to write about and review EDC gear such as knives, guns and flashlights. I've been collecting led flashlights since they first starting appearing in abundance in early 2000.  I saw that this was going to be the future of lighting and I wanted to be at the forefront of this new advancement in technology.  I've always been interested in technology and flashlights, so this was a perfect blend of my interests.  I also enjoy collecting a variety of knives and firearms, as well as watches and other miscellaneous edc gear.

     I will attempt to talk about these different things, as well as posting pictures and the occasional video discussing them.  I've approached a newcomer to the led lighting field called Niteye.  They are actually an OEM manufacturer for many other established brands, but this is their first foray into the market with their own branded product.  They've agreed to send me a couple samples of their new lights for review.  These lights will be the EYE30 and the newly released EYE40.

     I will put forth a layman's perspective and a real world use review without getting too technical.  Once I receive the lights I will use them for a period of time then document my findings.  I will also post to this blog, as well to a Niteyelight Facebook page that I have created.  Any videos I make will be posted to my YouTube channel and linked here as well as to the Niteyelight page.

     Stay tuned for my forth coming reviews....