Thursday, March 17, 2016

Photo Review: Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly

HAP40 is hot. I just got my hands on a Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly--the latest in the series-- and I'm surprised I got one. So far the whole HAP40 series has sold out, but it seems like the Dragonfly has gone even faster than the Delica. If National Knives didn't put a one-per-customer limit on these, I don't think I would've scored one.

My sample is a good specimen. The lamination lines look a little wonky as usual, but I like that "artisan" look they have. The lockup is good, without any trace of "lock rock" in it. It's a tiny hair off center which is acceptable, especially since I'd have no chance of getting it exchanged.

Fit and finish is good, edge is good (not great) and overall it's a fine specimen. Owning the whole HAP40 set so far has been like being punched in the wallet, but I won't lose anything if I decide to part with one or more. Right now all I've decided is that eventually I'm going to start using the HAP40 Stretch.

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 1

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 2

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 3

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 4

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 5

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 6

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 7

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 8

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 9

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 10

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - 11

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - Blade 1

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - Blade 2

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - Blade 4Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - Blade 3

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - Scale 1Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - Scale 2

Spyderco HAP40 Dragonfly Photo Review - With Stretch, Endura and Delica

Friday, March 11, 2016

Flashlight Scam: AlumiTact X700

This is a new flavor of the same flashlight scam which mutates almost every single day. It's easy to spot because they use phrases like "controversial military technology" and "bright enough to blind a bear" and "flying off the shelves" among others.

The AlimiTact X700 scam is in good company with the StrykeLight x2000, T2000Shadowhawk X800, Illumitact G700, Lightstrike 360 and others. It's the same scam, put out by the same people, who make the same ridiculous claims, and mutate the scam to stay one step ahead of the few bloggers who care enough about reporting on this. Most major media outlets show their ads, and none of them seem to care because they make money too from the ads.

The scam basically goes like this: get you, the customer, to pay $75 for a $6 cheap, Chinese flashlight you can get from Amazon, eBay or even direct from China. Anyone who knows flashlights knows that this is a scam, but many people don't know, and that's what I'm doing here. This is a blog about doing gear reviews such as flashlight reviews, and I never intended to turn this into a sounding board for scams. But it's just disgusting to watch this scam mutate and suck more people in.

Many of the different scam ads use different variations of this same photo, usually with different colors emanating from the "flashlight" in the photo. Some of the newer scams use photos of known flashlight brands such as Nitecore and Thrunite, only to get you to order the same $6 flashlight they've been selling all along.

They've been toning down the "blogs" these ads link to, but all the buzz words are still there, like "Navy SEAL" and "Military" and others. They only mix it up slightly from scam to scam.

I'm skeptical about the claims above that all these media outlets have featured this product, which itself is just one of the many flavors of the same scam that anyone in the media could easily find out if they cared about due diligence. But sadly, it wouldn't surprise me if some if these media companies fell for the scam themselves, since most of their collective moral compasses point straight to money.

If you want to gain actual knowledge of flashlights, there are communities out there such as the Budget Light Forum and I also wrote an article, Understanding LED Flashlights as a starting point that readers can use to get a feel for the landscape.

One thing I am hearing from people falling for the scam is that many of them never receive anything for their money, which isn't too surprising. The best I can tell, if you live in many of the countries targeted in the scam, they figure there's no way it would come back to them, so they just take your money.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Flashlight Scam: Stryke Light x2000 Tactical Flashlight

This is yet another mutation of the G700 flashlight scam, also known as the Light Strike 360, also known as different flavors of the X800, and even more variations, which are all just a $6 cheap Chinese flashlight for a lot more than $6. If you searched one of their products and found yourself here, it might be helpful to read my recent article on understanding LED flashlights.

Click one of their links, and you'll go to their main page, which shows a hijacked image of a legitimate Lumintop flashlight. But click through, and you'll see a Nitecore charger re-branded as a Stryke Light x2000 Flashlight Battery Charger and, surprise, the Stryke Light x2000 Tactical Flashlight with a picture of our favorite scam flashlight, the G700,

All the elements of this scam are there: the wild claims, the sock puppet reviews, the "limited quantities" and a new wrinkle, where you can buy warranties for more than the flashlight cost!

In a major twist of irony, you have what's probably a US scam using photos of a high end Chinese Lumintop brand. Usually it's the Chinese doing scams and counterfeits of USA made products.