Yoder’s Canned Bacon

This is the real thing.  +1 for Yoder’s.

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Tom Brown Tracker Review

In this review I examine Tom Brown’s self-proclaimed do-all knife as produced by TOPS Knives and find it’s most useful function was not described in its instruction manual, that of being a movie prop.

Despite the Tracker’s ergonomic handle and sexy lines seldom is a less useful knife in full production.  This video examines the history of the knife then tests all its functions as touted in the Tracker’s manual to see if it can do them all.  Or in this case do any of them.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this knife.  This review is not meant to inflame and your constructive comments and alternate points of view are welcome below!

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My Favorite Machete

Talkin’ machetes!  I’d like to look at some different style machetes today.  I’ve posted review videos of specific models below.  For the record, the Ontario Military Machete is the one that gets the most use at my house.

Note the Linder Machete review is first because in it I examine the very pertinent and interesting history of machetes – an important perspective to have if you want to make an informed decision on what type of machete is right for you!

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Stout Gear Ibex Knife Review

Always on the lookout for new knives, my spidey sense was tingling when a tall, bearded fellow by the name of Anthony Stout approached me with his hand-made knives one morning .

Mr. Stout is a custom knife-maker in eastern Oklahoma and a subsistence homesteader where he uses one of his knives daily for a wide range of tasks.  He and his business partner and fellow knife-maker, Chris Dees’, daily use of blades inspired them to create hard-use, tough and beautifully designed knives with stunning lines and purpose driven performance.

With the exception of their new skinning knife (3v steel) and the heavy duty 10″ Oxe (O1 steel), their knives are made from s35vn – Crucible’s now famous next generation stainless super-steel known to be tough and have excellent edge retention.

When combined with Stout Gear’s proprietary heat treat that includes a cryogenic phase, their signature convexed edge grind with “V” micro-bevel is an absolute winner.  As Mr. Stout put it “I tried to see how many rope cuts it would make but I wore out before the edge did.”  My own limited testing supports this claim (see the video above).  I’ve not tested a knife with better edge retention and was astounded to find it still shaving sharp after batonning against the grain through an entire 1 x 6 board.

Stout Gear’s knives are truly something to behold.  These are fantastic blades with excellent G-10 handles and unique, high functioning kydex sheaths that soldiers, hunters, outdoorsmen, homesteaders and anyone else in need of the toughest knife they’ve ever owned will praise.

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Svord Peasant Knife Review

At $16-$20 Svord’s Peasant knife is an attractive offering.  Its straight razor-like design is based on a centuries old knife from Bavaria that captures the imagination of many users.  The knife is a friction style folder that is “locked”open by the lever on the back of the blade being held firmly within the handle by the palm of the user’s hand which secures it from closing.  Clever.

Svord makes numerous knives, including chef’s knives.  Their outdoors models are basically divided into an economy line and deluxe line.  The fit and finish of the economy line seems poor based on my experience with their economy Drop Point Hunter model.

The Peasant Knife relies, questionably, on a brass bolt for a pivot pin and brass washers which ultimately get the job done and keep costs controlled.   The knife can be easily disassembled and altered making it especially attractive to anyone who likes to tinker.

The steel is a bit of a mystery.  It used to be touted as Sandvik L6 carbon steel but is now only referred to by Svord as Swedish high carbon steel.  I’m not sure what the purpose of hiding the steel from the consumer is unless it is to let our imaginations run wild with the blade’s rustic, unfinished look and the term “high carbon”, as if to suggest we are purchasing some secret recipe crucible steel from the middle ages!  All I know is that edge retention is soft here and this high carbon folding knife blade is prone to rust.

Svord states their heat treat and temper is unique and results in a one-of-a-kind blade.  From internet forum posters and my own use of their their drop point hunter and Peasant knives I suspect  these blades are tempered to an HRC in the low 50s making them durable but soft and possibly affecting edge retention.  Note its poor performance sparking a magnesium rod.

Overall, however, I think the Peasant Knife is a big win.  Watch the video and find out why!

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Fire Ribbon Firestarter Review

There are many chemical firestarters on the market.  Unfortunately, it can actually be hard to find a well functioning, inexpensive replacement for the vaseline dipped cotton ball or homemade char cloth.  Alcohol based gels, for example, can be difficult to ignite and often generate lower temperature flames.  Solid fuels can be more difficult to ignite and tend to produce foul odors.

We take a look at a product called Fire Ribbon in the video below to find out if it makes good tender (will it ignite easily and burn long enough to ignite kindling) and might it be used as fuel in a pinch (will it burn hot and long enough to boil water).  The results are interesting.  Take a look.

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World’s Largest Gun Show – The Wannenmacher.

We are located in Tulsa, Oklahoma – a beautiful community with a multitude of cultural attractions and people from all walks.  I haven’t done all the math but there are many gun shows in Tulsa and its surrounding communities. MANY.  In fact, I’ve heard Tulsa referred to as the gun show capital of the United States.

Whether or not Tulsa has the most gun shows per year wouldn’t do as much to solidify this title for the city as the fact that twice a year it is home to the world’s largest gun show.  No joke. The Wannenmacher Arms Show is a gigantic event and a site to behold.  Well over 4,200 tables of private sellers and businesses hawking their guns, gun related wares and other items.  We attend to sell hunting backpacks and other unique items from our business.

People from all over the world visit the Wannenmacher providing some truly some unique opportunities for antique collectors.  The accompanying footage will give you an idea of the scope of the show – it is gigantic.  Remember, this is not a trade show (although we’ve seen some institutional buyers making the rounds), everything is on sale to the general public.

No matter how you feel about guns the Wannenmacher is likely to give you a broader perspective of the numbers, people, firearms and commerce that are all at the heart of the gun and gun control debate.

We’ve met some truly spectacular people at the Wannenmacher and seen some amazing  things, from the bizarre to the beautiful.  There is something for everyone at the world’s largest gun show! 🙂

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