Custom Benchmade Griptilians – Making a Great Knife Even Better

If you read my site, you’ll know that the Benchmade Griptilian is probably my favorite folder of all time. The combination of good size, good steel, and the axis lock, combined with a reasonable price, make it a top choice. The normal Grip comes with a black handle, although you can get the standard configuration in various colors handles, with or without serration, and in a drop point with a thumb stud or a sheepsfoot blade with a thumbhole. The fullsize Griptilian is readily available in handle colors of black, orange, sand, and olive drab. Mini-Grips come in a variety of colorful options such as black, blue, yellow, pink, and yellow.

However, the choices are still limited, so Benchmade has set up a Customize Your New Griptilian page on their website. It allows you to order a customized Griptilian or Mini-Griptilian in almost any set-up you can imagine. Choices include 12 different color options including black white, orange, blue gray, yellow, pink, hot pink, and olive drab among others. You can also choose between three different blade styles with drop point, sheepsfoot, or tanto and each can be plain edge or serrated. Four steel choices are available with D2 and S30V being high end steels. You can also choose whether components should be silver or black and the color and type of pocket clip. At the end, you end up with basically a fully custom setup. These custom Griptilians are not cheap, but if you have the money, you can design an awesome knife – even better than the standard, which I love!

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Kershaw’s Excellent New Customer Service Policy

I’m a big fan of Kershaw as you can tell from reading this site, just because they have a large selection of knives at very reasonable prices.  They are also well known for good customer service and they have added to that reputation.  Kershaw has just introduced a new policy where they will replace any blade on a folding knife – even if you break it by doing something stupid – for $10.  This policy does not apply to knives they no longer make or to factory seconds.  This is a great deal, as buying a replacement knife might well cost 6-10 times that $10.   They will still replace any blades with a manufacturing defect for free.


For more information, visit Kershaw’s blog.

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Finally, the TSA does something right

UPDATE (4/23/2013):  This post is now incorrect.  Well, so much for the TSA doing the right thing.  They have decided that for right now, knives will not be allowed on planes on April 25, 2013 after all.  Hopefully, they will come to their senses reasonably soon!


Since its inception, the Transportation Security Agency has done their part in making the skies of America much more difficult and troublesome to fly than ever!  They certainly have never been known for common sense and the defense of the natural rights of American citizens.  Banning knitting needles and scissors surely did make us a lot safer, didn’t it!  However, they finally have done something right.  Starting April 25, 2013, small pocket knives will be allowed in carry-on luggage!

You definitely can’t just carry your normal folder on the plane, though!  There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to have a knife on an airplane.  They are as follows:

1.  The knife must be a folding knife – fixed blades are not permitted.

2.  Blades cannot lock in place.  This requirement removes tactical knives from any possibility and limits carry to traditional style pocketknives.

3.  Blades must be less than 2.36″ long.

4.  Blade width has to be no greater than 1/2″.

While these limitations do eliminate many otherwise great knives from consideration on flights, any move toward common sense is a great thing.  The classic Peanut style is the perfect knife for this purpose as well as some of the small whittlers.  Case, Buck, and Boker all make knives that would do very well.

For more information, go to

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Knives are expensive!

Obviously, I like knives of all kinds or I would not have started this website. The problem is – knives are expensive and quite often I don’t have the money to buy the knives I want! One thing that has helped me buy knives is Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a search engine and website that lets you earn “Swagbucks” by searching the web through their search engine. There are a few other ways to get the Swagbucks and, at worst, you can get three a day on their website in about 1 minute by taking the daily poll and clicking through some offers. Once you get a number of these bucks, you can get gift cards to different places. I generally get the $5 gift cards to and then use some of them to buy knives. The Buck Vantage Select that I reviewed was partially paid for with SwagBucks.

Swagbucks is definitely not a program to get rich or save tons of money, but I like being able to get one or two $5 gift cards a month for doing basically nothing other than using their search engine instead of google. If the idea of an extra $5 every month or two to buy knives sounds good, then check them out (just to be clear, this is an affiliate link). There is no cost or obligation associated in any way, so if you try Swagbucks and decide you don’t want to do it, you just stop. I really like the program myself and it has let me buy some things that I just didn’t have the money for otherwise.


Search & Win

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Kershaw’s Value Folders – An Excellent Buy

As discusses on the main Kershaw page, Kershaw is known for excellent quality as a reasonable price, with most of their knives being made either in the United States or in Japan. The Junkyard Dog II (JYD II), the Skyline, Shallot, Leek, and a number of other models are at or lower in price than knives by the other top tactical makers, such as Benchmade and Spyderco. However, most of these knives are still a bit expensive for those who like knives, but have very little money to invest in them.

Kershaw Clash

Kershaw has introduced a line of very decent quality at a low price, with a selection for almost anyone! The knives are made in China, which allows the price to be almost unbelievably low. Frankly, I hate to support Chinese-made products, but sometimes you have no choice. The Kershaw Nerve, Volt II, Tremor, OSO Sweet, and Clash are just an example of available models that are available between $20-30 on average.  All models use the same basic 8CR13MOV stainless steel as is available in Spyderco’s value line (Resilience, Tenacious, etc). 8CR13MOV is easy to sharpen and holds an edge reasonably well, although not with the same edgeholding capacity as the newer stainless steels. On the other hand, the price is much cheaper than it would have to be if one of the supersteels were used. The primary problem with 8CR13MOV is that its rust-resistance is not that high, especially with the beadblasted finish that Kershaw puts on, allowing it to rust easier than some other stainless steels. Still, it is a fine choice for a cheaper knife that will be used well and with a little care and some oil can resist rust quite well.

Kershaw Tremor

If you like big folders, the Kershaw Tremor is an excellent choice. Blade length is 3.75″ and has a slight recurve and aggressive tip. Although not quite as large as the Spyderco Resilience, the Tremor is in the same class and the Kershaw Tremor is slightly cheaper. The blade shape is a little too recurved ideally for me, but still works well. It is a little large for some jurisdictions, but if you like large but inexpensive folders and can legally carry them, the Tremor is an excellent option. Of all the new value models, the Tremor is probably the best if you like and can carry slight larger folders.

Kershaw Nerve & Volt II

For slightly smaller models, but still large enough to be full-size folders, the Volt II and the Nerve are great choices! They won’t quite endure the abuse that the Tremor might take, but will still make solid edc and work knives. The Nerve has a 3 1/8″ rather oddly shaped drop point-style blade. It has a thumb plate rather than thumb studs, which some people like and some just can’t get accustomed to using. (Edit: I have since used owned a Nerve and love it! See my review.)  The Volt II is a economy version of the Kershaw Volt, which has been discontinued and is quite expensive. It comes with a narrower 3 1/8″ blade, and uses a flipper and assisted opening instead of thumbstuds.

Kershaw Clash

If you need to carry a knife with a blade of 3″ or under, consider the Clash. It is not a tiny knife, but has a 3″ blade if you are limited to that length. It is one of the more popular knives in this cheaper line, and is a favorite folder for a lot of people.

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Ten Great Large Pocket Knives – My Choices

The list of my Top 10 Large Pocket Knives has been moved to

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Top Ten Small Pocket Knives

 What is the best small-medium pocket knife? There really is no way to determine the best knife for anyone as well all have different preferences and uses for a knife. Even if we could agree, there are too many good knives to determine the best (or even the ten best) small pocket knife, but here is my list of the best smaller pocket knives and folders. Opinions may vary on what size constitutes the line between small and large, but somewhere around a 3” blade or 4” closed knife is close to the line.

 The list is based on all criteria including size, cost, appearance, use, and any other criteria that I might come up with. It can change at any time if I get to try out new knives or find out other information. For an enlarged and detailed version of this post, go here.

    1.  Benchmade Mini-Griptilian

    2.  Case Small Trapper

    3.  Victorinox Farmer

    4.  Spyderco Delica

    5.  Kershaw Skyline

    6.  Boker Copperhead

    7.  Buck Cadet

    8.  Buck Stockman

    9.  Kershaw Leek

    10.  Queen Canoe

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Steel Types (Part 1) – Basic Carbon Steel

Many knives (especially fixed-blades, but also some pocket knives) are made of basic carbon steels such as 1075, 1080, 1084, 1095, and 5160.  These are high carbon, non-stainless steels that are fairly simple to work with and heat treat, yet, make a good quality knife blade.  They have varying amounts of chromium, manganese, and silicon in the steel.  Since none of them have high amounts of chromium, they will all rust and care must be taken to keep them clean and dry.  The steels still make excellent blades, though, and should not be avoided just because they might rust a bit.

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Welcome To The Best Pocket Knife Blog!

The blog will have some odds and ends about pocket knives and tactical knives that don’t really go into the main website right now.  Come by and see what will be coming up new here!

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