KME has been around for over a decade and was conceived when a friend was having difficulty sharpening his broadheads. Ron volunteered to see if he could come up with a way to make it easier. He came up with a device that was rudimentary but functional. After refining the design their self-aligning broadhead sharpener was born. A few years later Ron adapted this system to knife sharpening and the rest is history as they say.
The company's ethos is to create products that simplify the process of sharpening. They take tremendous pride in their products and it's evident in materials, craftsmanship, and customer service. Today we're taking a look at the KME Sharpening system and some accessories.
Edge Pro Inc is another one of those companies whose founder had developed a product for his personal needs. Ben Dale president of Edge Pro developed the sharpener for his own use on a commercial knife route, he built 100 prototypes and sharpened over 100,000 knives over a 10-year period. His father taught him to sharpen, and he has always been fascinated by it. Dale felt working with knife sharpeners by hand was too slow and he began working on a better way. For years, he just kept sharpening and designing.
That rich history is translated into the quality products that Edge Pro makes. Today we're checking out the Apex model, it's a model that's a staple in the company's lineup and the most popular. The Apex can handle any blade up to 3 ½ wide including serrated knives. Because of its design knives can be sharpened at the same angle every time. This helps take the guess work out of finding your angle and making sure you keep it. This unique system doesn't have a clamp like similar systems, this allows for a variety of blade lengths and shapes. I'm a sucker for domestically made product and the Apex is proudly made in Hood River, OR.
There are a few players in the multitool market, but only one is synonymous with the product. It's hard to deny the juggernaut that is Leatherman. They just celebrated their 40th anniversary and they have no intention of slowing down. Just before this anniversary, new information emerged about a tool Leatherman was developing. Dubbed the Arc, it had a lot of features we grew to love on the FREE series. What really excited people was the fact that it solved a lot of issues people had with the FREE series and said to have a Magnacut blade.
These rumors and speculations fueled heated discussions, and anticipation of a product that some thought was a pipedream. I can't think of a single tool since I've become a fan that has created this much hype and anticipation. If this tool became a reality, it would fix the shortcomings of the toolset on the FREE series. Also, it would solidify Leatherman as the innovator that it is, a testament to its leadership in the industry. As their anniversary came around, they announced a limited-edition tool, which for all purposes was an Arc with a different coat of paint.
I tend to cover a lot of sharp things but rarely talk about things made to keep them sharp. On social media I've been bombarded by advertisements for a sharpening device by Tumblerware called a rolling knife sharpener. I thought it seemed strange, maybe even gimmicky compared to other systems I've used in the past. I started reading the comments in these posts to see what people thought. Mixed in with the comments was folks pointing out that this sharpener was a copycat, and they stole the ideal from a company called Horl.
Otmar Horl and his son Timo launched the first Horl sharpener in 2016 and in 2020 launched the Horl 2 collection. This collection includes accessories like additional stones, and a leather strop for refining the edge. The Horl rolling sharpening system consists of two parts, an angle guide that holds the blade in place for sharpening, and a double-sided cylinder that's rolled back and forth to hone the edge. The Horl 2 system has a diamond disc on one side and a ceramic disc on the other. The diamond disc is designed to fix your edge, while the ceramic one helps further refine the edge.
The Thunderbird is a legendary creature in American Indian history and culture. It's considered a supernatural being of power and strength. It's said to create thunder by flapping its wings, and lightning by flashing its eyes. Vosteed does a great job of naming their products, and the Thunderbird is no exception. The company has done a great job of creating a knife worth of such a namesake. The knife has awesome specs to boot; g-mascus handles, M390 blade with a tanto grind, and their Trek Lock. Let's take a walk around this bird and see what she's got.
VICTORINOX INTRODUCES LIMITED EDITION SWISS ARMY KNIVES IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Leatherman has announced via social media about the Arc, which is Oct 17th. There's been a lot of leaks and goofs since we have heard about this new tool, from what we hear the hype is valid. The new Leatherman Arc has a tool set that many have been asking for and Leatherman has delivered.
Last week the retail outlet REI accidently made the Leatherman Arc page live before the official release date. All this transpired via the r/Leatherman Reddit group and the 50 units they had available were gone in no time. One of our members Gadgetman7 (Dale Carr), was so gracious to show off his new acquisition. There is no official launch date for the Leatherman Arc, but at or around October 17 has been floating around. I feel if REI had stock already, then release is imminent. In the meantime, enjoy the pics of the new Leatherman Arc, compliments of Gadgetman7.
There's a lot that goes on at Blade Show every year, but one thing that people really look forward to are the Blade Show Awards. These are the awards given for makers and knives in different categories. These are the 11 different categories for production knives.
The big winners this year was Giant Mouse, they took home Overall Knife of the Year in the production category for their GMX folder. Also, a new company RoseCraft Blades got their first Blade Show Award, Import Knife of the Year for their Clinch River Swayback. Here's a list of all the awards that were given out in the production category:
Overall Knife of the Year: Giant Mouse GMX
American-Made Knife of the Year: Benchmade Narrows
Imported Knife of the Year: RoseCraft Blades Clinch River Swayback
Most Innovative American Knife: Buck 590 Paradigm
Most Innovative Import Knife: Maserin W-Lock
Manufacturing Quality: Spartan Blades Limited Edition Spartan-Harsey Folder
Best Collaboration: We Knife Co. Solid (collaboration with Gustavo T. Cecchini)
Best Investor Knife: Shirogorov Knives Mini Quantum CD
Best Kitchen Knife: MKM Prima
Best Buy: Kershaw Iridium
Accessory of the Year: Work Sharp Professional Precision Adjust
The folks at OKnife have sent me their new Heron L1 folder to review, and they were nice enough to send an extra one along to give away.
I just got them in yesterday afternoon and I'm a bit rushed to get it posted, because they are also having a flash sale on these from April 16th to the 22nd.
Today I had a great chat with SOG founder Spencer Fraser, and members of his team. Spencer is retiring and we wished him the best on behalf of the fine folks here at MTO.
But what's going on with SOG? We all know that SOG has produced some really interesting designs over the years. Their compound leverage tech for multitools is effective too. But as you can see through the threads on our forum, the quality has not always been up to par. My conversation with SOG leads me to believe that they're listening. They're changing up what they're doing and they'll be moving away from lower end retailers like Wal-Mart, and Amazon, meaning they won't be catering to that price point market.
I was happy to hear that they've been reading threads here on our forum. They heard how annoyed MTO members were with the giant flashy SOG logos on all of their products, and the concerns over material and workmanship.
They're currently in the middle of a re-brand and they say they're going back to their founding roots. They're moving away from “SOG” and going back to “Studies and Observations Group”.
Their newest multitool was designed prior to the changes and re-brand. I will admit that I am not sure it will be one of my favourites, however I am really into their new knife line up. They feel very good in the hand, and the quality to me matches the clever design.
I'll be posting more about the knives when I have a moment later, but I wanted to share something with you ahead of time. I had an opportunity to see where Studies and Observations Group is headed for 2021 and I am pumped. It looks like, for the first time in a long while, we might have a unique plier-based multi tool. I viewed some early designs which I wasn't permitted to take photos of, or describe. But I will say that we have something to look forward to in 2021. And I think SOG will be one to watch. SOG has always been good to us at MTO, and our fingers are crossed that their new multis are what we're hoping for!