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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.   (Serrated edge is on top of blade)




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.



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.

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.



+ 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.



+ 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.



+ 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.



+ 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



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




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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energizer recharge AAA

Haikus to Recharge the Heart

I broke my first flashlight at 13. It was a compact maglite, built to keep me safe during the scout jamborees and band camp. It sat in my pocket as a lightweight reminder that I was prepared.

Prepared to fight a burglar.

Prepared to fix the circuit breaker in a black out.

Prepared to kill a spider in my sister’s bedroom during the blackout that crawled up her arm before being flung across the bedspread.

But before the end of the second week, my batteries were dead. In the crux of my newly born passion for flashlights, my energy source had been sucked dry. With no means of making it to the store, I asked my mother for more money.
“One small investment,” I pleaded. “It WILL make the difference between OUR safety or OUR sorrow.”
I pronounced each word carefully, straining to find the right angle to help her see the light. She looked at me expressionless, soaking in my junior sales pitch with no inclination to lean one way or the other. Rubbing the ball of her foot into the hard tile, she waited for me to finish my lecture on the importance of  rechargeable batteries, and how they would save us millions.  As I concluded, she reached into her faded blue jeans and produced a folded piece of paper from a yellow legal pad.

“You make some great points,” she agreed. “But batteries don’t grow on trees.”
She handed me the folded paper, and launched a campaign of her own. She didn’t have to explain that rechargeable batteries were expensive. She didn’t have to explain that pennies saved are pennies more sweetly earned.  She merely created a lane and asked me to stay in it. She was shining a light of her own.
So I worked, and began saving for a four pack of AAA batteries for my Mini Maglite. After one month, and some extra chores, I had enough for some batteries. By the end of the second month, I had bought another pack of AAA, a new mini-flashlight, and a charger for my batteries. Thanks to a lucrative packed lunch and canned soda business during lunch hours, I was making a killing. Now, more than a decade later, I own more flashlights than I will ever need. My battery supply is plentiful, and I will never need to worry about running out again.

And I paid for it all with MY sweat. MY tiny tan hands swept, wiped, and dragged garbage to the light.

Sweet, LED light.

In gentle reverence to the noble battery, I offer up several haiku poems from my private collection. Enjoy.

Selections from General LuPont’s Batteries over Broadway: A Celebration of Energy

Batteries, I think
power life-forces mad quick
but it never lasts.

They breathe life in two
AA, AAA, give
whole circuits thrive

They dance gingerly
The acid corrodes their stage
Soon it shines no more

Battery sits caged
Plastic cartons won’t protect

Varieties of Knife Grinds, Part I



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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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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What’s in my pocket? Randy Soto Edition

Randy's pockets
Here’s what Randy keeps in his pockets.

So we’ve started a segment called “What’s in my pocket?”, and I figured I’d let you guys and gals in on what I keep on me everyday. Being that I now consider myself a flashaholic, I just don’t keep lights on my persons. It ranges from keys, wallet, my phone, my watch, a cool looking paracord bracelet, a SOG pocket knife, and my new Olight M23 Javelot. Peep into my every day, as I dump everything out.

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