Multitool users are always being told to use the right tool for the right job, and I agree for the most part. Whenever possible the right tool (usually a dedicated tool) is preferable to using a multitool, but what about the type of situation where a multitool is the right tool?
According to our friends over at Knifenews.com (full story HERE) the famous firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson has purchased Taylor Brands LLC for $85 million. For those who don't know, Taylor has long produced knives and multitools with the Smith & Wesson name on them, and I have often commented on the quality (more accurately, the lack therof) of Taylor knives, whether they are marked S&W, Schrade, Uncle Henry or Imperial.
For years I had labored under the impression that the folks at S&W were blissfully unaware of the crap that Taylor was producing with their name on it- I am a big fan of Smith & Wesson firearms, and that name has become (in my mind at least) synonomous with quality revolvers. I had assumed that someone at Taylor had arranged for a dump truck full of cash to arrive on a bi-monthly schedule at the house of S&W's licensing manager, and that as a result, he or she just didn't ask any questions. It seems that isn't the case, and that S&W is fully aware of the crap that Taylor is producing, and that is very disapointing to me.
The worst part is that S&W doesn't appear to even want to fix it- they seem content to merely take advantage of the distribution network that Taylor has, so that they can make their own in house accessories more available. As if having their name on crappy knives wasn't damaging enough to the brand, now Smith & Wesson will be selling their actual merchandise on the shelves right next to crud, strengthening the connection.
This is one of those times when I really hope I am wrong. As I said, I have lots of respect for S&W, and I hate to see them take a bad decision (like giving a license to Taylor in the first place) and make it worse.
While not necessarily a multitool, the new RESCOM from Boker has more in line with tools than it does knives.
In a world dominated by multitools and tactical knives, the demand is becoming greater for knives that could very well be called “super knives” and are being favored over the once popular pocket knives our dads and grandfathers carried. It used to be about simplicity, nothing warmed your heart like warm jigged bone handle with nickel silver bolsters and that ever popular carbon steel blade. Now we want knives that can go a week of hard use without sharpening, using more and more super steels as well as space age handle materials like g10, carbon fiber and titanium. Many manufacturers have been able to stand up to what the public wants and have flooded the market with tactical knives that are not only combat worthy but work great for those individuals that need a low maintenance EDC.
Since the dawn of the knife man has had to sharpen his knife from time to time as the need arises, sharpening is a skilled labor, you have to learn how to use a stone to hone your edge or take the cheating route and use any one of the numerous gimmicks that they have for sharpening. Well Columbia River has a production knife that sharpens itself, I had to see it to believe but it’s true. And best of all, this puppy’s affordable.
I've been eyeballing these in the catalogs since they first came out a year or two ago. I use scissors almost as much as I use a knife blade, and the Twocan has both. But it was not really clear to me how well the scissor mechanism would work, and I wasn't inclined to spend the money on an experiment. The price on them has been dropping steadily however, to the point where even a cheapskate like me can afford to buy one. At under $20 I figured there wasn't much to lose. The one I bought two weeks ago showed up yesterday.
Leatherman has been in the multitool franchise for so long that their name is synomous with the tool itself. Conquering the multitool market Leatherman wanted to expand their horizons. With the Juice series they had already created something to compete with the Swiss Army knife, Leatherman like everyone else is the business-needed something new.
In an age where there is a fierce competition between the knife and the multitool, many companies are producing hybrids. Tools that are more knife than tool, still offer functionality that we would otherwise not have with a traditional knife. Before this hybrid was becoming the new thing to do, Buck and Peter Whittaker produced a knife that was both a useful camp knife as well as having a few “extras”. Like with most of Whittaker’s designs, you can see his flair for the non-traditional mixed with what Buck knows will work for a real world design. The end result is something that is very useful, both in the woods and in the concrete jungle.
Following the latest trend of “Tool Knives” SOG has released the Kilowatt, which is basically a one handed opening tactical type knife with some wire stripping features. While I was curious, I have to say I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about this one, but then again, electricity has never been my strong suit.
My initial feelings and thoughts on the Delta knife were mixed, the knife as intended works wonderfully but I concluded that the add on features of the knife were more gimmick than something that was planned and well thought out. Some manufacturers make a product and rush it to market without fully testing the product or putting it in a real world situation to see how the tool/knife will hold up. Having carried the Delta now for six months I figure a follow-up should be in order, having since releasing the Delta model EW-O4 Sure Fire has released two new knives.