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Black Cat Snarling

Make It Through the 13th: A Guide to Surviving This Frightening Friday

Broken Glass

It’s the end of the week, and while Fridays usually bring relief and joy, we find ourselves avoiding the cracks in the sidewalk and steering clear of dark colored felines. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen; we’ve Friday the 13th. While you haven’t necessarily succumbed to bad luck in previous years (knock on wood), it can’t hurt to plan around the possible jinxes that seem to be particularly present on this most unlucky of days, and Battery Junction is here to help you with your preparations.

Avoiding Black Cats:

black-catThese pesky hex machines are a prominent symbol for misfortune on any given day of the year, so encountering one on this particular date can only amplify the chances of receiving 13 years of bad luck. While you’re able to put your house on black cat lock-down, you won’t have the same environmental control once you step out into the outside world, so you’ll need something more mobile than walls to keep them from crossing your path. What better repellent is there to keep the cats at bay than their seemingly sworn enemy, man’s best friend. Keep a dog close to your side, which can be easily done with the help of a proper leash, and your path will stay clear of any unlucky felines.

 

Umbrellas Aren’t Worth The Risk:

Open-Umbrella-in-House-grey2001-300x233If it’s raining on your Friday the 13th, then you may already feel like bad luck has found you, but don’t let it trick you! All the rain is doing is prompting you to use one of most potentially unlucky objects out there; an umbrella. This seemingly innocent device may keep your head dry, but has the potential to cause a severe depletion in luck when opened inside and is just not worth the risk on this unluckiest of days. Sure, you may tell yourself that you’ll remember not to open it until you walk out the door, but all it takes is one distraction while you’re leaving and BOOM, you earn yourself an unhealthy dose of hexes. Keep yourself dry with a nice waterproof poncho, or better yet, just say inside; there could be black cats out there anyway.

Steer Clear of Hazardous Mirrors:

broken-mirrorSure, you’ve had that mirror in your bathroom since you’ve moved in and you’ve never come close to breaking it before. Well unfortunately, bad luck doesn’t check your track record of maintaining your reflective surfaces. It’s Friday the 13th, should checking to see if your hair looks good really your top priority? Be confident in your own appearance, or at least accept that approaching something so fragile on a day like today isn’t worth the potential 7 years of bad luck. If you truly find yourself in need of gazing upon your own beauty, at least use a nearly unbreakable mirror to lower your risk of jinxing yourself.

Be Ready For The Unexpected:

friday-the-13th-jason-voorheesFor 363 days of the year, we can all be fairly confident that a masked man wielding some form of bloody cutlery won’t be a major concern. However, from what horror cinema has taught us, today (along with Halloween) is the day where that sense of safety and doubt of the supernatural may cost us our lives. Don’t let your common sense lure you into a false sense of security; anybody wearing a hockey mask isn’t worth approaching. Just because you don’t live near Camp Crystal Lake doesn’t mean you’re safe (Jason somehow made into a spaceship, he can certainly make it to your front door). If you do unluckily stumble across a masked man wielding a long knife, make sure you’re evenly matched by carrying a machete of your own. With the proper equipment, you may just survive this Friday the 13th in one extremely paranoid piece.

Knife Edges

Knives come in three basic cutting edges: serrated, straight, and partially serrated. I personally like a straight edge because it has a more precise cut, almost like a surgical blade in its sharpness, and it’s the edge I have the most experience with. But there are definitely serrated and partially serrated enthusiasts out there who would probably argue that these types of edges are the best. Me, I can’t say — I don’t think I’ve ever used those kinds of blades.

 

machete                   Serrated

For jagged, but deep cuts that will penetrate the material you’re cutting. Has a saw-like surface that might in some cases be more effective than a straight edge. This type of edge is used a lot in kitchen cutlery because it cuts food up beautifully, everything from meat to bread.

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sog-mc0-sogfari-machete-opt.html   (Serrated edge is on top of blade)

 

 

sogflashStraight

If you want a scalpel-like cut, then this is your edge. No grooves or ridges in the material once you’ve bit into it with the blade. The straight edge is known to sharpen very efficiently.

 

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sog-fsa-7-flash-str-sat.html

 

 

sogtwitch             Partially Serrated

 

This type of edge is getting more popular with knife manufacturers, since it combines both the straight edge and serrated edge into one blade. This makes it extremely versatile, and able to take on a wide range of projects and tasks.

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sog-twi98-cp.html

Knife Finishes

stonewash knife

 

 

 

In this post, I’m going to talk about what style finishes and coatings are used on knives, from the popular, high quality types to the lesser quality kinds that perhaps you should avoid if you truly want a long-lasting, durable blade.

 

 

+ Bead Blasting —

A rather drab finish on knife blades that is achieved through striking the metal/steel of the blade with rough material, such as anything from beads to sand to even crushed walnut shells. While I don’t have a bead blasted knife, I do think its muted appearance is sort of attractive. Be forewarned, however, that it has a habit of rusting and being uneven in texture. If you like a duller look without the bumpy surface, you might want to try out a stonewash polish for your knife.

 

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sog-ff-salute-folding-opt.html

 

 

+ Satin —

Very popular finish that is common on knife blades sold today; it gives a shiny surface that is reflective and stands up well to rust and corrosion, and general wear and tear. Hides dents and scratches pretty well.

 

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sog-fsa8-cp.html

 

 

+ Titanium nitride —

This finish is being used more and more often to coat blades, because it is the ideal coating for steel, as it is one of the strongest coating materials; it makes the blade very tough, and has a great-looking appearance that will not scratch nor peel.

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sog-tf-21.html

 

 

+ Mirror —

Extremely shiny finish, like its namesake. Not too common, because it can potentially cost a lot of money for the user/buyer, but there are some advantages to choosing this kind of finish, such as it being anti-corrosive and also very smooth. Unfortunately, the mirror polish is a magnet for fingerprints and scratches; so this fact should be taken into consideration as well when you select your finish or coating.

 

 

 
+ Powder coating/Black oxide–

A powder coating has the potential to wear off from the blade; it’s often used for cheaper knives that are not of great quality. Powder coating consists of black paint, which can be prone to flaking and accumulating nicks. Black oxide, on the other hand, can be applied to obtain a slight rust-resistant quality on the blade. I say slight because there are other finishes and coatings out there, including several listed in this article, that offer much better protection against rust and corrosion than black oxide does.

 

http://www.batteryjunction.com/sog-s37-seal-team-fix-opt.html

 

 

+ Stonewash —

This is a finish that is produced from jostling the blade with small stones or pebbles. Sometimes people will attempt this method for themselves at home, with mixed results. Stonewashing a blade produces a darker, weather-beaten look that is smooth and will withstand corrosion, scratches, dents, and other possible damage nicely.

Knife Handles

Wood-Handle-Knives

 

I want to talk now about the various components that make up knife handles. There are a lot of different kinds of knife handles, and you’re sure to find the perfect one for you out of this list. The types of knife handle compositions are: glass-reinforced nylon/GRN, aluminum, Micarta, Kraton, G-10, carbon fiber, and natural materials, like leather, bone, and wood. For myself, I like the sturdiness of a classic wood handle; I inherited a couple of beautiful knives from my late father, one of which is a Bowie knife from the 1960s/1970s that has a thick wooden handle. The other is a smaller utility knife/work knife with a shorter, thinner blade that has a leather-wrapped handle. Regarding that one, I really like the feeling of the smoothness of the leather in my hand. I will go into each one briefly for you, so you can understand the differences among them and why each is valuable to the knife enthusiast.

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What is a knife’s tang and why is it important? Part I

knife-tang-graphic

 

 

A knife tang, which many people may not realize, is one of the most important structural components of a knife. It is the portion of the knife blade that juts into the handle of the knife and gives it resistance and strength and durability when performing tasks big or small. The tang comes in many different forms, such as a full tang (which is ideal to have), a partial tang, a push tang, and a skeletonized tang. The tang is most commonly found on fixed blade knives.

There are several other kinds of knife tangs, which I can’t cover today, but I will renew this discussion in a future post.

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Varieties of Knife Grinds, Part I

Blade-grinds

 

This time, I will take you through some common “grinds” used in knife manufacture. There are several different kinds, and they all have their own uses and unique qualities. A grind is a synonym for an edge, and it is one of the most important and most interesting parts of a knife’s anatomy. These grinds include hollow grinds, (full) flat grinds, high flat grinds, chisel grinds, convex grinds, compound/double bevel grinds, and asymmetrical grinds. There is also another one called the sabre, V-, or Scandinavian, grind, which is a subdivision of the flat grind. This article will be discussing the first few types of knife grinds. Please check back in future weeks for part II of this discussion.

 

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How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

fear-the-walking-deadIn honor of the new series, Fear the Walking Dead, I thought it would be suitable to write Zombie Apocalypse survival guide for our readers – How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. BatteryJunction.com sells a plethora of flashlights, batteries, survival gear and cutlery – all of which would be extremely helpful during such a time of crisis. Check out the list below and add your suggestions and ideas in the comments!

 

1. You Need a Weaponsog-knife
We all know that the only way to eliminate a zombie is to destroy its brain. That being said, the first weapon that probably comes to mind is a gun (or if you are a Walking Dead fan, then a crossbow.) Unfortunately, guns and crossbows require good aim. If you are anything like me, I would probably panic if a zombie is running towards me, therefore eliminating any aiming skills I may have acquired at the shooting range, thus leaving me with a bullet-less hunk of metal. (This is one of the many reasons why I don’t currently own a gun – I know my limits.) So for this reason, I would suggest a fixed pocket knife. Sure you have to get closer to the zombie in order to destroy the brain, but it is effective and reusable. Plus it is quiet! Remember, zombies are attracted to noise. So when you are stabbing the gruesome monster in the eye socket, please refrain from letting out a Serena Williams-esk shout. My knife of choice is the SOG Fixation Bowie Fixed Blade Knife. This knife has a bad-ass 7-inch-long blade with clip point and a really sleek-looking black finish. The knife was developed by SOG with military experts so you know it will last through a zombie apocalypse. The stainless steel construction is incredible durable and it even comes with a nylon sheath for when you aren’t saving your loved ones’ lives. To clarify though, in most cases, I think the best solution is to run. Unless the zombies are from World War Z and can run, you should be able to get away…

led-lenser-h72. You Need to be Able to See
For whatever reason, zombie apocalypses always seem to start at nighttime. Yes, I know zombies are not vampires – they can wander during the day without fear of being disintegrated by the sun(or twinkling – any Twilight fans out there?) But when the power grid goes out, because it’s bound to happen, you need to have a reliable tool to help you see at night. In my opinion, I think a headlamp would be the best choice for a situation like this. Your hands need to be free at all times so that you can fight off a zombie attack if necessary. You may also have to climb over fallen furniture, trees, cars, you name it so the hands-free way is, in my opinion, the way to go. My headlamp of choice is the LED Lenser H7.2. The light is pretty bright at 250 lumens and it features an adjustable head strap that fits most and is comfortable for long periods of time. Another important feature is runtime. When in Low mode, the headlamp can last up to 30 hours. Zombie apocalypses typically last for many many days, weeks or even years. You need a flashlight on which you can rely. Most importantly, this headlamp runs on four AAA alkaline batteries. There is no electricity when the zombies attack. You need to make sure you have a light that runs on primary batteries. Speaking of batteries…

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What type of knife is best for me?

bowiefixedKnives are fascinating tools, because, appropriately enough, they have a dual nature in the fact that they are so straightforward, and yet they are so incredibly versatile. They are actually quite a complicated subject when you learn about them, but I will guide you through some relatively basic information about different types of knives and their characteristics. First off, there are two major categories of knives: folding and fixed. Both are equally interesting and valuable, but each has different uses depending upon your needs and your desires.

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