Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder"

I originally bought this knife to replace the Cutco pocket knife that I lost during the holidays. I wanted something a little easier to get my hands on than the Cutco, which I could only find on eBay. After some digging on the Internet, it seemed like the Kershaw Chill might be the knife I was looking for.

What I wanted was something compact, rugged, light and preferably cheap. Boy, did I find what I was looking for. This is touted as an EDC blade and it fills that role well for me. I've also seen it called a "gentleman's folder" and that seems a good description. I like that it is very understated.

It's a pure flipper, meaning it has no thumb stud to open it. My review sample was purchased from Amazon.com.

UPDATE 10/19/2013: I'm going back to some of these older reviews and redoing the photos since I have a better camera and better skills.


Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Split View: Open

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Split View: Closed
Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - RG Martin Design
Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Kershaw Logo


Official Specs

  • Locking Liner
  • Pocket Clip
  • Right or left-handed flipper
  • 8Cr13MoV Steel
  • CNC Machined G-10 handle
  • 3.125 inch blade
  • 7 inch open length
  • Weight: 2 Oz.

Construction


The knife is made in China, which explains the $20 price tag. But don't let the price fool you. This knife means business. The G-10 handle has a great feel, and the blade holds a good edge. The action is silky smooth and mine has no play whatsoever.

Blade


The blade on the Chill is made of decent quality 8Cr13MoV Chinese steel. It features a hollow grind with a drop point. I think this has one of the sleekest blades I've seen on an EDC type pocket knife.

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Blade Closeup #1

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Blade Closeup #2

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Blade Closeup #3

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Blade Closeup #4

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Closeup Of G10 Handle

Clip 


The Chill comes with a deep carry clip which can be configured for right handed tip-up or tip-down carry. Sorry, lefties. As other reviews have pointed out, the clip is definitely on the tight side, so this is one of the few knives I've taken the clip off of, as it was just too tight for me in daily use.

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Closeup Of Deep Carry Clip

Liner Lock


The liner lock on the Chill is a little on the thin side, but plenty robust for an EDC type knife. Combined with the G10 scales, the liner gives the knife a more solid construction than you would find on a lock back knife such as the Spyderco Dragonfly.

My review sample opens smoothly with the flipper and locks up solid. The lockup has a great feel considering this is a 20 dollar knife.

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Liner Lock Closeup #1

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Liner Lock Closeup #2

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Liner Lock Closeup #3


EDC (Every Day Carry) Use


This has been my EDC for almost 6 months and it's held up well. About the only thing I don't like about it (as other reviewers have noted) is the pocket clip. It is way too stiff, so I don't use it. But for whatever reason I can't bring myself to take the clip off. But it doesn't get in my way, and I like every single other feature with the knife. Some reviewers have noted that it takes some getting used to flipping it open, but personally I like it.

Conclusions


This was originally intended to be a temporary replacement for my lost pocket knife. But 6 months isn't very temporary. It's still a little long for just a pocket knife, but it's so light that I can't seem to replace it with a smaller knife. I'm sure my infatuation with it will end someday with something new and shiny, but for now this knife is a workhorse for me, day after day.

Picture Gallery


From Top: Spyderco Dragonfly 2, SanRenMu GB-763, Kershaw Chill, Victorinox Sentinel
From Top: Spyderco Dragonfly 2, SanRenMu GB-763, Kershaw Chill, Victorinox Sentinel

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Closeup Of Flipper

Kershaw Chill "Gentleman's Folder" Pocket Knife - Next To Quarter Showing Scale

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Selfbuilt - the world's authority on flashlights

I use to think there wasn't much to LED flashlights. That was before I discovered a whole world of people who took flashlights seriously. Like many "flashaholics" before me, I learned most of what I know from reading a guy named Selfbuilt's reviews on the CPF web site. So I wanted to pay homage to him with a blog post.

Here is his main review page:

Selfbuilt's Flashlight Reviews

And here's a link to his flashlight video primer thread on the CPF site:

Selfbuilt's Introductory Flashlight Primers

Mostly I share my LED addiction with unlikely (un-nerdy) folks such as cops and military. But there are still lots of people who value them for their cool electronics! Did I mention that some of them are shiny?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dad's In Idaho May 2012

Bobby and I had a great time in Idaho. The weather finally warmed up for a trip outdoors, but it was still a little chilly on our outing. I think it got down to 29 degrees!

Bobby's tent. He chose smooth terrain but on an incline.

















Found a nice clearing for my tent




The ground was level but there were some tire ruts

 
 
 
 

























Big Moose


















Dad



















Zoey and Bear had a great time

Zoey was a handful


































Saw a couple turkeys - there were deer too























Friday, May 4, 2012

Maxpedition Rat Wallet Review

Don't Say It


Maxpedition Rat Wallet
From the minute I took it out of the box, the word lingered in the air, unspoken. Man-purse. The wife snickered. "It's not a man-purse" I said, only halfway believing it myself. "I didn't say a thing" she said. But I knew what that snicker was. We both did.

The Rat Wallet was much bigger than I thought it would be. I thought "cellphone case+" but this thing was almost big enough to be a fanny pack. I vowed never to own one of those. I'm a dude. The stuff in my pocket is supposed to be the stuff in my pocket, not a lifestyle choice.

But the stuff in my pockets was getting to be too much for my pockets. I just wanted a wallet that maybe had a zippered pocket for my Microstream AAA flashlight and Leatherman Squirt PS4 multi-tool. I was gonna put that stuff on my keychain anyway. Ok, if it could hold my Kershaw Chill pocket knife too, that would be nice. I've seen people wearing those cellphone pouches. Those didn't look too bad. Kind of like a tool belt. A tool belt is manly, right?

The Rat Wallet looked perfect for all of this, so I ordered one. What I got was ... different than what I expected. Not in a bad way. More like I hadn't thought it all through and here was something that was trying its best to follow confusing orders.

My review sample was purchased from Amazon.com.

First Impressions


Clearly, this is a well made wallet. The fit and finish on mine is nearly perfect. The stitching is precise and the beefy YKK zippers just give me this great impression of quality and durability. This is my first Maxpedition purchase, and I can honestly say that I want pretty much everything in their catalog. If my Rat Wallet is any indication, I can see why they get such good reviews.

Spacious But Not Roomy


That's my only real gripe. It's an issue I saw in a video review and bought it anyway. I didn't think it would be a deal breaker and it isn't, though it may be to some. For being that big there should just be more usable space, and it should be laid out better. It's not horrible. It could just be better.

If I am going to proudly display my man-purse to the world, I would like it to be laid out better.

The Good News


The good news for me is that I still find enough value in it to wear it proudly around town. There's nothing else like it that I could find. And all snickers aside, I'm getting forgetful in my old age, so it's nice to have everything I need to be away from the house for a few hours with only one thing to grab.

One thing I really like is that it's so easy to attach to other bags.

Pictures


Here's a bunch of pictures. Notice my knife doesn't fit inside the wallet, but clipped to the outside. The Microstream clips in a really neat space in the cell phone holder.

Pictured:

-- Rat Wallet
-- Aluminum Wallet
-- Antique Cell Phone
-- Streamlight Microstream
-- Leatherman Squirt PS4
-- Kershaw Chill
-- Lexar 8 GB Thumb Drive
-- Money Clip With Meager Allowance


Maxpedition Rat Wallet

Maxpedition Rat Wallet


Maxpedition Rat Wallet
Shown with the Kershaw Chill clipped to it

Maxpedition Rat Wallet



Maxpedition Rat Wallet with Streamlight Microstream
Shown with my Streamlight Microstream clipped to the phone pouch - the light shines straight through!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Otterbox 3250 Review

One of the issues with being a nerd who likes the outdoors is that I have a lot of small electronics that I don't want to get wet if I'm camping near a lake or out on the water. Camera, phone, thumb drives, batteries, it all adds up. Even if I try to trim it down to just the bare minimum for a day outing.

Some people put those little items inside a sealed plastic bag. That's not a bad solution, but I wanted something a little more uber-nerd. Plus, I'm very clumsy, so getting my small, sensitive electronic items is just half the worry. There's also a very real chance of me crushing those items as well.

There's too many ways to count the possibilities of me doing something clumsy, stupid or criminally negligent that will result in the (usually spectacular) demise of my sensitive devices.

Enter the Otterbox 3250. I searched for a couple days for the right waterproof box that was also hopefully shock-resistant. It's really confusing because it's very hard to get a feel for the size of the box. Most of the ones I looked at were way too small once I tried to conceptualize the dimensions. Some, like the Otterbox, have a layer of foam inside the box, so the dimensions don't tell the whole story. Finally I decided on the Otterbox 3250, which I purchased from Amazon for around $17.



















The box looks to be well made and has a really durable feel to it. They advertise that the box is waterproof up to 100 feet, and I believe them. Why it came with an attached lanyard is beyond me, but it looked cool so I left it there. Normally the last thing I want with my small electronics is to flop around, so I won't be attaching the lanyard to anything or carrying it around like that.

In the bottom picture you can see there's a spot on each side to tie it down to something, which might actually be useful some day. There's also little rings to on each side of the latches to put a small lock. I guess it could be useful, and the box is certainly rugged enough. to be tamper resistant with a lock on it. My only problem with this reasoning is that the box is so small that I would be just as worried as someone stealing the box - contents and all!

The latches have a really good feel to them. I get the impression that I could latch them thousands of times and they wouldn't fail. The single hinge runs almost the whole length of the unit and also gives me a great impression of durability.The foam insert is just about the perfect thickness to keep my items safe without taking up too much of the volume.



































Inside the box is plenty of room to hold an assortment of small electronic items. It has plenty of room to hold my camera, old man cell phone, some batteries and small items like thumb drives. Even my TomTom GPS too when I bring it. I also usually keep a couple small flashlights in it. They are waterproof but expensive, so I try not to temp fate. Just the bare minimum.

When I began my search I envisioned this huge box that would hold all my electronics. But it wasn't realistic or even necessary. I'm a nerd, not a Navy SEAL. If I'm not walking distance from the truck (which usually keeps my electronics safe) then I shouldn't be carrying that much!

Since I bought this case, I've seen some of those huge suitcases, and that's not what I want. I also hear that they have a harder time keeping your items dry. I quickly gave up on the expectation that I could keep even my small netbook dry realistically.

So, leave the laptop at the camp site and take just what you need in this Otterbox. It's not what I originally envisioned, but that wasn't Otterbox's fault. They've obviously put quite a bit of thought into the design of this box.

I bought it during the winter, so I can't wait to get out into the wilderness and not drown my phone!