Thursday, December 13, 2012

Paracord? What's Paracord?

Fireball from E.L. Wood is one of the
more attractive colors of 550 Paracord.
Hey all. Back from a long hiatus but I'm ready to write more posts!

It seems like lately there has been a 550 Paracord craze happening with all the Paracord Bracelets, Keychains, Gunslings, etc. being sold.

What is 550 Paracord?

Well, 550 Paracord, officially known as Parachute Cord, is the cord used in Parachutes. It come in many different versions/strengths, but the most common is known as Type III, which is rated to 550 lbs. It consists of a colored outer sheath (rated at 305 lbs) and 7 internal strands of string (rated at 35 lbs each). Together, the combined strength is 550 lbs, which is a huge amount for cordage that is about as thin as a shoelace.

Due to the popularity of 550 Paracord, you aren't only limited to Olive Drab anymore. Paracord manufacturers such as E.L. Wood and Gladding have expanded their color selection greatly to include colors and patterns such as Royal Blue, Kelly Green, Neon Orange, Silver Gray, Woodland Camo, Multicam, Fireball and Denim, with many other colors as well.

Why am I talking about 550 Paracord on a blog dedicated to knives?

Well, 550 Paracord has a ton of uses when it comes to knives. People have been wrapping knife handles with Paracord for years. It gives you good purchase on the blade, but is also useful in case you ever need to have some useful cordage in an emergency situation.

550 Paracord also makes great knife lanyards, sheath lanyards or anything else you can use some cordage for. For many, 550 Paracord has become to outdoorsmen and campers, what duct tape is to the handy man.

Make sure that you pick some up if you haven't already!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review - Lansky Quick Fix Knife Sharpener

Usually, when we think of knife sharpeners, we think of something big an bulky that often consists of many stones, knife holders and other such contraptions.

Wouldn't you like a knife sharpener to be small, portable and lightweight? Wouldn't it be great if it were easy to use? Wouldn't it be even better if it were inexpensive?

Yes, yes and yes.

I have just the sharpener that fulfills all of these criteria and can achieve a hair-shaving sharp edge in one a minute or two. It is the Quick Fix Knife Sharpener, by Lansky.

No bigger than a pack of playing cards, the Quick Fix really is a sharpener that you can take with you anywhere. It has two sharpening sides to it, a tungsten carbide side and a ceramic side.

True to its name,
the Quick Fix Sharpener is
fast and easy to use.
The sharpener is used by first taking a few quick passes on the tungsten carbide side to shape the edge. Then, you take a few passes on the ceramic side to polish the edge. Care should be taken so that the last few passes on the ceramic side only use the weight of the knife to press down, so as to make the edge as fine as possible. From my experience, this technique produces a razor-sharp edge each and every time.

After your initial sharpening, if you don't use your blade too hard, you can get away with only using the ceramic side to touch up your edge. I use this sharpener about once a week to re-polish the edge on my everyday carry folding knife.

The great thing about the Quick Fix is that it is super-easy to use. The sharpeners are placed at the appropriate 23-25 degree angle, which gives you a durable but also sharp edge. If the sharpener is placed flat on a surface, all that one needs to do to sharpen the knife is to hold it upright while pulling it past the sharpeners, from the base of the blade to the tip.

The Quick Fix comes in 4 colors: Black, Blue, Red and Green. It is made out of a high quality polymer body, with a rubberized hand hold. It should last for years. I've had mine for many months, and it's holding up great to weekly use.

If you're looking for a simple to use, inexpensive and very portable sharpening system, check out the Quick Fix Pocket Sharpener by Lansky. In my opinion, it's the best sharpener on the market in terms of value and ease of use. You'll be a believer too the first time you turn your dull knife into a hair-shaving edge.