Donnie’s been tinkering around putting together an occasional knife and this is his latest. Great looking combination of Damascus and Buffalo Horn.
It’s warmed up to -24F already this morning. That figures out to about $.65 – .70 an hour to heat the house. It had been down to -26 when I put the coffee on around 5AM. I just got back from sending out the mail and it actually felt pretty decent outside compared to yesterday. Yesterday we had 30k+ winds with a wind chill dipping into the -40F range. Pretty sad when -24 doesn’t feel to bad…..
Like most of the rest of the country, it has been miserably cold up here but at least we’ve missed out on the heavy snows and are actually below average for snowfall. As a result, the frost line is going lower and lower. The ice on the lake is still getting thicker. And the temps are supposed to stay below average right through March into April.
I had someone ask this week if there was going to be another ice out contest similar to last year. All I can say is I think so. Right now, I’m getting a bit concerned we may stay iced over through the summer!!!! I went back through the blog and we kicked off the contest on April 12 last year with around 33″ of ice to melt. I haven’t gotten an official ice thickness measurement yet this year, but I know we’re well below that level.
So start doing your research and study up on global warming. We’re still well over a month away from the contest kickoff, but….. gotta have something to look forward to!!
More knives continue to show up from Queen and a recent arrival of note is the new version of the Q-Tac 3L. While I haven’t had a lot of time to use it and really make a serious analysis, a couple of things stood out that are worth mention.
Here’s the specs:
Blade Length: 3 3/4″
Back Spring Material: Stainless Steel
Blade Thickness: .112″
Blade Material: ATS-34
Handle Material: Black G-10
Blade Hardness: 57-59
Blade Style: Clip
Overall Length: 8″
Liner Material: Nickel Silver
Overall Closed Length: 4 1/4″
Pinning Material: Stainless Steel
Weight: 4.8 oz
Out of the box it’s a great looking knife with ambidextrous thumb studs, lanyard tube and Paracord lanyard finished off with some nice looking G-10 handles. The opening is smooth and the lock up is solid. One of the modifications they’ve made from the original is an easy open cutout in the handle to keep the thumbs studs short enough to stay out of the way yet still allow easy access. It works.
I noticed that the thumb studs are just finger tight so removal is accomplished (on the knives I received) without any tools. This is great if you plan on sharpening the knife on a system such as the Edge Pro where they can get in the way. A caution however, check them frequently to make sure they’re tight and consider a drop of finger polish or Loctite to keep them secure.
It’s really comfortable in your hand and the easy open cutout actually serves to function as a finger groove. With the cutouts on the top of the blade for your thumb to ride on, you’ve got a super secure grip. They’re not sharp to the feel, but really keep you’re thumb right where you put it giving you maximum control.
A minor issue that’s easily resolved is the lanyard. On a knife this size, (particulary with a pocket clip) the lanyard is going to spend more time getting in my way then getting used. So I took it off. Not a big deal. Likewise, I removed the pocket clip for a couple of reasons. If you look at the picture below, you’ll notice the pocket clip is very narrow with a gentle upsweep from the point of contact with the handle.
Compared to my old Benchmade (top) it’s doesn’t offer a lot of ‘gripping’ area in contact with your pocket lining. I carried one of the early Q-Tacs with the skinny clip and found it had a tendency to crawl out of your pocket if you were squatting, doing a lot of climbing or bending over. Even a small depression in the handle directly under the bend in the clip would offer a lot more holding ability on your pocket lining. I’d really like to see a wider clip were I to leave it on the knife.
Also relating to the pocket clip are the mounting screws. Most all modern knives in this category use either the Torx or star type screws for mounting hardware. It’s so much easier to tighten or loosen these types of screws without harming the head of the screw. AND, the slotted heads don’t do a thing to the overall look of the knife. Were I to use the pocket clip, I might consider replacing the slotted with Torx.
The worst criticism I have was the knife arrived incredibly dull. Not sure what’s happening in the sharpening rooms but I also received some GEC’s recently that evidently got rushed through the process as well. I’ve never been intimidated by a dull knife and it’s pretty unusual I don’t end up taking most new knives to the sharpener before I really spend any time using them but this one really needed it. It’s just one of those details that seem to get overlooked far to often. On the upside, I spent about 10 minutes on the Edge Pro and that ATS-34 came out absolutely razor sharp.
I’ve got one of the Q-Tac 3L’s in my pocket right now, sans the pocket clip and lanyard. It doesn’t feel excessively heavy or bulky and actually carries quite nicely for a knife this size. I’ve had great luck with the Queen / Schatt & Morgan ATS-34 in the past and have no doubt this blade will perform equally well. While it’s a bigger knife than I typically carry around the office, I’m anxious to see how it works out!
I just finished uploading 40+ knives that came in today from GEC and Queen. The GEC’s included the Cocobolo and Osage Orange Lockbacks and they’re still coming!!! The Elk came and went in the blink of an eye.
The Queens included the new Queen City Easy Open ‘Razor’ Trapper in bone and stag. The Bone is the Whiskey Catalina bone and is a really nice looking traditional color and jigging pattern on an old knife pattern. The pattern and bone just seem to go together really well especially when you consider the price is just $85.95 shipped.
And the stag is excellent +. If you like 1095 steel and Stag, you’ll like these at $109.95 shipped.
I have to say that Queen’s been doing a fantastic job on their stag again this year. Most of it has really nice texture and they do a great job matching front and back for color, texture and thickness.
Both knives come in just under 4 1/2″ OAL close. Blades are 1095 Steel measuring about 3 3/8″. Thickness is 9/16″ and the weight on the bone model is 3 1/2 ounces. The point on the easy open razor type blade is sharp enough to grab most any solid surface to assist opening. The interesting aspect is that the point is curved back just far enough to prevent it from snagging too easily when you don’t want it to. Particularly in your pocket. I carried one around in my pocket for a while, shifting the position it was lying in and just generally trying to get it to snag. No problem. That’s not to say it can’t catch, but I don’t see it being more of an issue then some of the knives I’ve handled with sharp squared off tangs.
Overall, the fit and finish on the last few knives from Queen has been top notch. It’s just really encouraging to see this kind of quality coming from Queen once again.
I’ve been really impressed with the releases from Queen already this year and the response to them at the recent show reflected that as well. Their catalogued knives have looked great with some nice pieces yet to be released. The Baby Sunfish in the Keystone quarterly release series was outstanding. And the short run ‘suprises’ have been every bit as much fun.
Queen just released another limited run of Schatt & Morgans this week based on the 21 frame. A couple of weeks ago we saw a really neat #21 Whittler in Stag and Goldenroot Bone. This week they shipped the #21 Muskrat in Stag and Black Jigged Bone.
The ran a total of 50 Stag and 50 of the Black Jigged Bone Muskrats. This is the perfect size pocket knife if you plan on wearing dress pants or just don’t need a bigger knife. Both the Whittler and Muskrats come in at 3 1/4″ OAL closed, approximately 3/8″ thick, 5/8″ tall and weighing just a shade over an ounce. Like I said, just about the perfect size for a “casual wear” EDC.
In spite of the diminutive size, it’s still big enough to fit your hand comfortably,
without taking up a lot of pocket space.
I like it a lot!
Just came off from one of the slower shows I’ve attended in a while. While I sold a few knives, the shooting sports were the dominant interests of most attendees. Lots of ‘tire kickers’ but not much cash crossing the tables. A common complaint are the heating costs everyone is suffering through this winter and just a general malaise that everyone’s fed up with this damnably cold weather.
In spite of the lack of activity, it’s still just so important to get out to the shows. Up here, Great Eastern is still an unknown quantity to all but the more serious collectors. Queen and Schatt & Morgan have been around long enough that at least most knife folks are familiar with them and stop to take a look at the new releases. So many times someone will tell me how glad they are to see a dealer at the show so they can actually check out the knives and handle them. And that’s every bit as important as actually making a sale. It’s also led to more than a few sales after the show!
More then anything, it’s just fun to get a chance to actually talk to someone face with the knife in hand instead of over the phone Not only do you get to meet some nice people, you really find out what people think of a product when they can handle a knife and ask questions face to face.
The Edge Pro sharpeners take on a whole new light when someone hands you their knife and watches while you work your magic and bring new life to their much abused EDC. I don’t charge for the service, but I had a couple of breakfast burritos, a few cups of coffee and soda’s in lieu of payment. That and a little conversation beats the hell out of a few dollars any day!!
The most enjoyable part of the weekend was spent visiting with a young lady that stopped to admire one of my rifles I had for sale. Foolishly, a lot of guys will ignore a ‘girl’ showing up at their table but I learned many, many years ago that can be a huge mistake. When I asked her if she had any questions the first thing she said was, ….‘nice F Class!’ My knees turned to rubber, my jaw dropped slightly open and I could hardly reply. She knew what an “F” class rifle was!!!! Not only that, she’d driven 80 miles one way to come to the show just to look around. We spent the next 1/2 hour talking shooting. I found out she was a serious competitive shooter with several custom built target rifles and had a wealth of knowledge about shooting and ballistics. Truly every sportsman’s dream date!!! This all came about a few years ago, due to an uncle that took the time and interest to take her to the range shooting one day. She and her husband have a 4 year old that she’s getting involved in the shooting sports and has been teaching him gun safety since he was 3. Sure would like to meet her uncle someday and thank him!!!
So was the show a success? Well, I covered my costs, made a few dollars extra, met some great people, spent a lot of time visiting, gave away a couple of starter EDC knives to a couple kids, so yah, I’d say it was a huge success.
Totally slipped my mind to put up a reminder. There’s a gun and knife show in Fergus Falls, MN at the National Guard Armory this weekend. The show opens at 9:00AM both Friday and Saturday so if you’re in the area, try to swing by. I’ll have a few knives with me and I’ll also be demonstrating the Edge Pro sharpeners. Haven’t touched up that hunting knife since deer season???? Bring it along and I’ll help you bring that edge back to ‘life’!!
If you’ve been watching the news you probably missed it because it seems like this has kind of flown in under the radar. But the Prez is putting together a new ban on Ivory that promises to be much more restrictive than what we’ve seen in the past. This is going to have serious implications for knife collectors that have been interested in Ivory handled knives. The value of your collection is about to go up.
From the White House Press Secretary here’s a brief outline of what’s being proposed:
This hasn’t taken the form of a ‘law’ yet, but if it doesn’t get the endorsement of Congress, I will guarantee you it will be instated under the Presidents executive privilege.
This type of law absolutely drives me insane as the law of unintended consequences is gonna kick in faster than fast! What happens when you ban something? The price goes through the roof for ‘legal’ items, the demand goes up for illegal items and the incentive to poach is even more lucrative. If the government had an ounce of sense the last thing they would have done was to have pulverized 6 tons of Ivory last fall. My understanding is that ivory prices have been climbing ever since. Why on god’s green earth didn’t the government offer limited sales of that 6 ton lot, driving down the price and use the proceeds to really put the screws to the poachers and invest some serious money in the protection of the elephants???? Instead they destroyed literally hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ivory for no good reason and the price continues to rise to the detriment of the elephants. At least the environmentalists once again feel that something was accomplished.