Custom Victorinox Spartan

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This awesome looking knife is the Spartan by Victorinox with custom textured brass scales. This knife was customized by Robert Lessard (take a look at his website here). Robert makes some incredible custom swiss army knives. He may be the best SAK modifier out there in my opinion.

I have several Spartans, and even though it may not be my favorite Swiss Army Knife model, it is probably the most widely known and used. The Spartan is the model that kind of “commercialized” the Swiss Army Knife to the world. Whether you’re in the office all day, or spending time camping outdoors, the variety of tools on this model make it useful for everyone.

The Spartan features a large blade, a smaller blade, a can opener with a small screwdriver, a bottle opener with a larger screwdriver, a reamer/punch, a corkscrew, tweezers, and  a toothpick. (This custom version only has tweezers on the opposite side)

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Log & Jotter

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This picture features the Pioneer by Victorinox, a copper flashlight by Maratac, a Fisher space pen, handkerchief by Cranky Hanky Co, and a notebook from Log & Jotter.

Log & Jotter is a new notebook subscription service that sends a new notebook to you once a month. The color/design changes each month, and you can choose between a graph paper, a dotted graph paper, or a blank paper. You can also choose between a classic cover, a cover with a graphic design on it, or both.

I really like the concept that these guys have created here. I use pocket sized notebooks daily for work, and having a new one mailed to me every month without thinking about it will be great. They have also added a few features inside the notebook like a calendar for the current and next month of that notebook.

If you’d like to find out more about their subscription notebooks and would like to help support their small business, just follow the link above to their site.

EDC Caddy

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The EDC Caddy by Hitch & Timber is a great little “pocket organizer”. It’s handmade with quality materials, and you couldn’t ask for better customer service. It will hold a small Swiss Army Knife (I use it with my cadets), a small AAA flashlight or pen, and it has 2 slots for cash and some cards. The second card slot is in the back and not visible in the picture. I’ve found myself using this wallet more when I wear shorts, just because I have limited pockets and this really combines everything into one easy to carry item.

The Viper Odino designed by Jesper Voxnaes is one of my all time favorites. I featured it in one of my first posts where you’ll find a little more detail about this awesome knife.

Also featured in a previous post is my plaid handkerchief by Cranky Hanky Co. I can’t say enough about how great the quality and customer service is from them.
Inside of the caddy is a Victorinox Cadet knife, and a Lumintop Worm AAA flashlight. The worm really is a great little light for the price.

F3 II / Olight S1A

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This combo features the F3 II by Boker, and the Olight S1A.

The Boker F3 II is the smaller version of the F3, both designed by Jesper Voxnaes. The F3 II is a much more carry-friendly option while keeping the design and functionality of the larger F3. The materials are also the same as the larger version (CMP-S35VN blade and titanium handles). The blade is right at 3”, only .25” shorter than the F3. The big difference is in the handle and weight of the knife. The handle measures 4” and 4.37oz, but the F3 comes in at 4.75” and 6.55oz. This really reduces the “bulk” some may feel with the F3, without sacrificing much of the blade size and length.

The clip and backspacer are anodized a nice blue color from the factory. I generally don’t do lanyard beads, but this set by Grumpy’s EDC just matched too perfectly to not add to this knife.

The Olight S1A is an awesome EDC light. It is powered by 1 AA battery, or a rechargeable 14500 battery. This is the stainless steel limited edition which comes in copper as well. The regular S1A will come in a anodized aluminium like the majority of lights from Olight.

The S1A has a max beam distance of 387’ and 4 brightness settings – .5, 5, 50, and 220 lumens, which is pretty impressive for a single AA battery. Even more impressive is the “turbo” mode that blasts 600 lumens for one minute with a 14500 rechargeable battery. Not bad for a light measuring just over 3”..

Swiss Army Compact

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This EDC features a Victorinox Swiss Army Compact model, a Fisher Space Pen, the bi-fold wallet by Big Red Beard Combs, and a handkerchief from Cranky Hanky Co.

The Swiss Army Compact is a great model that fits it’s name well. It’s a 93mm model that features a blade, bottle and can opener/large screwdriver, scissors, a “parcel” hook with a file on the spine, and a corkscrew. This model also comes with tweezers, toothpick, a ball point pen, and a mini screwdriver that fits within the corkscrew. My compact does not have the ball point pen because it has the “silvertech” scales.

The Fisher Bullet Space Pen is a great little compact pen that fits just about anywhere. It is only 3.75” when closed (almost the size of the swiss army knife), but opens up to 5.25”, which is about the size of a standard pen. It is made of all brass with a black matte finish. Fisher claims the space pen can write in some extreme conditions including underwater, upside down, in zero gravity, and in temperatures ranging from -30F to 250F. I have not tried any of these personally, but I will take their word for it. The refills for Fisher space pens are relatively inexpensive, and are said to last 3 times as long as a normal pen.

The Big Red Bi-Fold Wallet is a great quality minimalist wallet. See my previous “Budget EDC” post for more information on this wallet.

Maroon Handkerchief from Cranky Hanky Co. Just another one of my many handkerchiefs from Car at Cranky Hanky. Always great quality products and customer service!

The Yeoman

IMG_0022This is the Yeoman by Victorinox (boy scout version). This was my very first swiss army knife, and I carried it EVERYWHERE. I wasn’t in scouts very long, but because of this knife, my EDC obsession started early. This knife was my most prized possession for the majority of my childhood. This thing has to be about 20 years old, but every tool still functions perfectly, including the pen!

This particular model is now discontinued, though they did a limited run back in 2007 with an updated magnifying glass and repositioned a few of the tools. It’s similar to the Explorer model (which is still available), minus 2 or 3 functions.

This model is the closest thing to my idea of a “perfect” swiss army knife. I’d probably swap the corkscrew with a reamer, because who really uses the corkscrew anyway? Other than that, I think this is one of the more functional swiss army models around.

ZT 0220

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Here’s a look at the ZT 0220 designed by Jens Anso.

I was trying pretty hard to sell this knife not too long ago, but it has become one of my favorites in the last month or so. I just really wasn’t a huge fan of the bright orange backspacer or the large blue “ZT” medallion on the front of the knife. (Be warned if you don’t like the medallion, there’s just a hole in the scale behind it, so it won’t look any better without it!)

So after removing the orange anodizing on the backspacer with Greased Lightning, I sent it over to Mark Mansfield (@mmans0311 on Instagram) to do some work on the blade.  As usual, Mark did a fantastic job darkening, etching, and sharpening the blade to completely change the look of the knife.

Little did I know, the knife now comes with a black backspacer from the factory. So I called ZT and ordered a new stock black one (pictured above). Now the knife looks as good as you would expect with the quality of design and materials that went into making it.

The blade is 3.5” and made from CPM-S35VN. The knife overall is 8.375” long, so it’s a pretty good size. It weighs about 6.25 ounces, giving this American made folder a nice sturdy feel to it. The action of the ball bearing system makes the “flipping” smooth and effortless. I guess it just took a little bit of modifying to make the 0220 a knife that I want to hold onto for years to come, but I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Pioneer X

IMG_0019I just got the new Pioneer X from Victorinox and I have to admit, it may be the most functional Swiss Army Knife ever made.

The Pioneer model by itself is one of my favorites. It’s essentially a larger version of the Cadet model, only it replaces the file with a reamer. Now they have added scissors into the mix, and I’m not sure there is anything this knife couldn’t do.

The Pioneer X is in the 93mm size group of Swiss Army Knives (about 3.6”). It’s just small enough to be carried without noticing it’s there, but big enough to feel like it can take on more robust tasks than a smaller SAK would be able to. As much as I love the Cadet, sometimes I feel like it’s a little too thin/small for certain situations (i.e., cutting something thick or needing to pry something heavy).

The Pioneer X features a blade, can opener/small screwdriver, bottle opener/large screwdriver, a reamer, and scissors. Tell me that wouldn’t make you feel like Macgyver..

The X only comes in the silver color (like the one above) and a limited edition metallic grey color that features a Damast blade.They are becoming increasingly harder to find, but they normally run about $45 or so for the silver model and about $185 for the limited edition.

Ursa Minor

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This shot features the Ursa Minor by Kizer Cutlery, the Bottle Scalper by Tony Nicholl, and handkerchief by Cranky Hanky Co.

Ursa Minor This knife is designed by Ray Laconico and produced by Kizer Cutlery. The knife is a frame lock folding knife with “flipper” opening style. The action on the Ursa Minor is probably the smoothest of any knife that I own. The blade is made from CPM-S35VN stainless and measures 3.125”. The handle and clip are both titanium. The hardware comes in a blue color, but I have had some customization done to mine. The hardware and clip have been anodized to a bronze color, and the handles have been stonewashed. The blade has also been acid washed, etched, and sharpened to a mirror finish. One thing I really love about the blade is the “harpoon” style grind that gives it a little more character than just a regular hollow grind would.  

Bottle ScalperThis simple bottle opener/pry bar is designed and made by Tony Nicholl (@nichollknives on Instagram). I like the simplicity of this small tool. It’s thin and lightweight, but sturdy enough to be used as a light pry bar or flat screwdriver. Not to mention the ability to open an ice cold beer! Tony makes these in different thicknesses and metals. Mine is made from a stainless steel.

Plaid Handkerchief This is another one of my many handkerchiefs from Cranky Hanky Co. These usually measure 10.5”x 10.5” and are double sided made from cotton.

Budget EDC

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This time around, I’d like to prove that a good EDC doesn’t have to completely break the bank. Here are some high quality items that I carry that are affordable yet extremely reliable.

Olight S10 Baton – $40

The S10 is a classic EDC light. It’s small, bright, and extremely sturdy. The magnet in the tail cap allows you to use it hands free in just about all applications. The clip is reversible so that you can carry it face down in your pocket, or flip it around and put it on the brim of your hat for a headlamp. It runs on one CR123 (or rechargeable CR123) and has a max brightness of 400 lumens. There are 4 brightness levels, as well as a hidden strobe feature.

CRKT Pilar – $25

Designed by Jesper Voxnaes, this compact frame lock folding knife may look small (just over 3.5” folded), but it feels pretty comfortable in the hand. The handle is made from stainless steel and the blade from 8Cr13MoV. Maybe not the best steel, but that’s what makes it so affordable. You may need to sharpen the blade more often, but it will be an easy sharpen. This is a great option for someone that wants a compact knife with a clean design and doesn’t want to drain their bank account.

Big Red Bi-Fold Wallet – $40

This is my absolute favorite minimalist wallet. Hand made by Big Red Beard Combs, this thing will last forever. It will hold about 4-6 cards, but I usually have about 2 cards, driver’s license, a little cash and some business cards in it. It will also fit Big Red’s number 9 or number 5 comb if you can spare the room. The leather quality is some of the best I’ve seen, and the stitching is on point (little sewing humor there).

So at just over $100, you get a small but powerful flashlight, a simple, well designed knife, and a wallet that you’ll probably be able to pass along to your grandchild someday. Not bad..