Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review - CRKT Eat'N Tool

The CRKT Eat'N Tool comes in a variety of colors.
While not technically a knife, the CRKT Eat'N Tool is technically a multi-tool which is why I thought to review it today.

First, my background with this tool. I have been using the Eat'N Tool for about 5 years now. There have been several times where I wanted to eat something and didn't have a small utensil integrated into my everyday carry (EDC) gear. This led me to search and discover the Eat'N Tool. I have been using it ever since.

While you would carry it mainly for the utensil (Spoon/Fork) function, it also features a Bottle Opener, Screwdriver and 10, 8 & 6mm wrenches.

The Eat'N Tool comes with a small carabiner
and can be easily clipped onto a backpack.
This tool is rather minimalist in nature, and packs function into nearly every millimeter of space. It is targeted to those who was to maximize function into a small and light form factor. This is a great utensil and would even work well for the minimalist backpacker or camper.

The tool is 4.0" in length, 2.3" in width and weighs 1.3 oz. It's small but also heavier than plastic options. You do get the durability of steel, which in my opinion is worth the extra weight. Personally, I always prefer metal utensils due to the fact that cooking in the outdoors often involves using an open flame, where a plastic utensil could scorch or melt.

To use the Eat'N Tool, there is a hole to stick your
index finger through that allows you to grip it easily.
Holding the Eat'N Tool while eating is fairly simple. There is a large hole to put your index finger through. My one criticism about the tool would be that the spoon is a bit shallow, so eating soups is more difficult than using a conventional spoon. I am guessing this was intentional to save on space. A deeper spoon would be thicker and more difficult to carry.

If you're looking for an EDC utensil, I would definitely encourage you to give the Eat'N Tool a try. You may find it's just what you're looking for.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review - Tramontina Machetes

Tramontina machetes are gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason. For those who have read this blog for a while now, you will know that I love value. That is why Mora knives are some of my favorites. What Mora is to fixed blade knives, Tramontina is to machetes.

A little background:
Here are just some of the machetes made by Tramontina.
Tramontina began as a small company in Brazil established in 1911. Their first major product was pen knives. Throughout the years, Tramontina expanded its production to various other products, among them being cookware, furniture, gardening tools, sinks and metalware, and various tools. It's safe to say that Tramontina is a company with a broad spectrum of products. Today, however, we'll be focusing on their machetes, which I think should be a staple tool for every outdoorsman.

Tramontina's machetes are manufactured in Brazil. While I don't know the specific background of their machete design, Brazil is a country known for its jungles and rainforests, and I think that this climate had a lot to do with the functionality of their machetes. Speaking frankly, Tramontina machetes are the best machetes that I have found for the price.

Their machetes all measure about 0.08", which is a very good compromise between strength and weight. Sure, you can have a thicker machete, but it will also be heavier. In my testing of Tramontina machetes over several years, I have not found them to be weak at all. In fact, I have been very surprised by their performance on numerous occasions.

A side view of the 18" Tramontina Machete.
Tramontina's machetes are made out of Carbon Steel, but coated with varnish to limit rusting. The machetes are all a full-tang design, meaning that the blade steel extends to the end of the handle.

The handles on Tramontina machetes are either made out of wood or polymer, depending on the model of machete. My personal favorite is the wooden handle. All of the handles consist of two slabs of material, wood or polymer, that are riveted on securely.

The machetes come sharp, but can use some sharpening. This is incredibly simple with a file. Simple file the edge down on both sides until it's sharp. This will get you a good working edge that will consistently be easy to sharpen should you ever need it again.

The machete that I have the most experience with is the 18" Wood Handled Machete. I have been using it since the summer of 2010, and it's still going strong. Since Tramontina doesn't sell sheath's, I have found the Cold Steel Machete Sheaths to be a good fit for most of the size machetes that Tramontina makes.

So, if you're in the market for a budget machete that is something that you won't be afraid to beat on, take a look at machetes by Tramontina. There's a reason why they have such a high regard in the knife community.