Friday, January 11, 2013

Site is dead but Cold Steel Smatchet!

While, I have given up on this site and posted my last, it is utterly impossible for me to not post this one...  Despite the ongoing madness in the US political scene for some sick odd reason this seems just more personally important to me and what I enjoyed doing on this site.  IT IS A SICKNESS.

Colt Steel is making a Smatchet machete for 2013. The blade is 14inches long and 2.8mm thick and will have one piece polypropylene guard and grip. It is certainly not a traditional Smatchet in any way.  Too thin, the grips/guard just are not that great. However, the profile of the blade and the shape of the grip and guard are right and it is made from decent SK5 carbon steel. They're saying retail price will be $39 so maybe about $25 real world pricing.

I will be getting this. My expectations are low. The sheath will most likely be garbage, blade dull, and grinds bad. But... I have long wanted a Smatchet. There are not a lot of options for one available. It is one of my biggest grail knives. This will help scratch the itch I hope. However, I really really hope that if this sells decently they will do an beefier and nicer version. They could do a reasonable SK5 with the grip material found on the ever popular SRK. With a proper birds head grip and a passable sheath for around $200 with a 11 inch blade would be reasonable. 

The entire list of 2013 new additions is over at Cold Steel. Not many are really catching my eye.  The Chaos actually looks interesting. A 6 inch double edged trench dagger with polymer knuckle duster and skull-breaker made from SK5. I have a weakness for trench knives you see. Pole Axe is kinda nifty, too.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Final Thoughts on Malodorous Thoughts aka The End

With my posts growing more and more infrequent it is time to give this blog some closure rather than just let rot.  I shall be leaving the blogging to those folks more interested in the world and motivation. Malodorous Thoughts will no longer be updating. Is Game Over. But at least I don't get a xenomorph implanted in me.

I've had some fun here and I hope I've either informed or entertained at least a few visitors. A big thank you very much for your readership and comments. Special thanks go out to Breda for getting me into the blog world through her blog. Alan for letting me be heard several times on Vicious Circle and even the Squirrel Report. Dan for being my top commenter and supporter. FarmDad for putting up with my pestering about knife posts. Gay Cynic for being a supportive and funny rascal in general. And much thanks to the entirety of the GunBlogger Conspiracy IRC channel. There are so many of you that I want to mention, that I can't cause there are too damn many of you!  Also, to the gun and knife blogosphere at large. There are so many good people and great reads out there. Thank you all so very much for your support and be well. Carry your guns and your knives proudly and safely. -Roadkill

Ka-bar/Becker BK-17 Clip Point Review

I've had some time to use the BK-17 some and to gather my thoughts on it. First and foremost, the finish was a terrible idea. It is simply too rough. The powdercoat on my Ontario SP46 is not super slick or anything but it is miles smoother than the skateboard tape finish on the BK. I am very glad I removed the finish.  That concludes the serious cons of this knife. The following is a gushing report of this knife's superiority.

I shall be extra blunt about the BK-17's grip. This is the most ergonomically comfortable knife I've ever handled. Gentlemen, if your penis was as ergonomic as this, your wives and girlfriends would not give you any rest. My hand feels damn near good enough to effect an orgasm. 

The scales are zytel, which is a very common plastic used for knife handles.  In fact, the BK-17 came with both a black pair and a tan pair.  These handles both have an perfect palm swell. The outline of the grip includes a solid choil along with a modest saber curve at the butt.  Despite the zytel being smooth these features give the knife excellent retention even when wet.  The jimping is properly placed, though could stand to be just a tad deeper. This knife is great for use in a saber grip(blade up, thumb on spine).  However, it is also very comfortable in a hammer grip(blade up, fist around the grip) or even a reverse grip(blade down and edge forward). What is more surprising is that it is reasonably comfy for the newfangled pikal grip(blade down, edge rearward) that the cool kids are all talking about!

The sheath is a jump rated nylon military style job that is simple and works. It has two snaps to hold the grip, a plastic insert to protect the edge and the sheath from the edge, MOLLE mountings, belt loop, and even an extra pocket that fits a Leatherman Fuse rather nicely.  It is fine for field carry and some belt carry. However, it is not suitable for concealed carry or for a quick draw.

The steel is a good quality tool steel.  1095 Cro-Van is a high carbon steel, with a tiny bit of chromium and vanadium.  It is very strong and is well known for holding a good edge, but of course it is not terribly corrosion resistant. All carbon steel blades should be kept oiled and cleaned often.  I could get a serviceable edge on it, but not a great one. I am starting to think that my crock sticks simply do not like carbon steel blades. I shall see about getting a new system to try soon.

This knife is not intended for offensive use. It just isn't long enough.  However, the excellent retention, mid-size, reasonable weight, and clip point design make it very functional as a defensive blade with a proper carry sheath. 

For outdoor use, the clip point will make short work of game and take care of most cooking and other small camp tasks.  However, batoning is not going to be as easy as with the drop point version.  Just over 4 inches is a bit short for batoning and the false edge will cause damage to your baton.

The BK-17 and its brothers the drop point 16 and the trailing point 15 are certainly winner for Becker and Kabar. They are the right size for a lot of work and carry. They need to dump the finish or offer versions without. Kabar/Becker should also offer a kydex belt sheath as well. As just an extra to buy or as a replacement for the cordura MOLLE one. Either way, I think they'll pick up some sales on it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Becker BK-17 Modification

A few days ago, I decided I didn't like the finish on the BK-17. It is much similar to skateboard tape in its appearance and texture. I find that somewhat strange for a knife to be so rough. Therefore, I decided I wanted to strip the finish off and go with a classic stainless look.

Hitting the forums I found several other folks that shared my opinion and whom had stripped their Beckers. One agent often used is Citrusstrip.  This paint and finish remover is none fuming and biodegradable.  I dunked my BK-17 in this gloop and threw it into a disposable cake pan and waited for 20 hours.

I rinsed the agent off with hot water and tried removing the finish with a wire brush. I had expected the finish to come right off but had no results.  I was stumped for a while until I remembered I had a dental pick.  I was able to put a scratch into the finish and amazingly the pick slid under the coating. The coating had become like a latex. By sticking the pick under this skin I was able to raise it up enough to pull large bits off.  Together with the pick and a razor blade, I managed to scrape off of the old coating off within an hour.

It will nose need lots of sanding to give it a a bright finish and remove the scratches that the coating removal left behind. I look forward to a finish product in a few days!

UPDATE: After discussing my finishing options with some of the guys in #sharpthings, I decided to clean up the blade really good before I choose my route.  Under the extremely rough traction coating is a stonewash finish.  All it took was a good scrub with hot water and dish soap to make this knife look pretty darn good.  I'll leave it like this for a while.

Friday, May 11, 2012

First Look at the Becker BK-17 Clip Point


Finally, the main production version of the carbon steel Becker Knife & Tool/Ka-Bar BK-17 clip point is out! The grip is comfy and has a very solid feel and heft. Balance is very nice. Jimping has a good depth. Sharpness is passable, but I think a few minutes on my croc sticks should get it going a bit better.


This one just came in a few hours ago from BladeHQ. I used the free shipping option and surprisingly USPS got this to me from Utah within 3 days. I am not so pleased with the fact that it was ordered Friday night and didn't ship until Wednesday.  There are both bigger knife shops and smaller ones that could have worst had it gone on Tuesday. Many could have had it out by Monday night.



Shortly, I'll be hitting the yard for some much needed mowing and this fellow will be on my hip. Perhaps, there will be something to test it on out there.  I'll have more on this knife in the following weeks.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

WTF Becker & Kabar?!

I've been going on about the new Kabar/Becker Tweener series of mid-sized carbon steel knives since the ShotShow in January. Since they were supposed to be shipping this month I started digging around and found that the initial shipments have gone out and slowly folks are getting knives of the first production run. I was naturally very excited until I found this photo of a BK17, the bowie/clip point.

Really guys? Really? That is one shit-tastic fucking huge 'first production run' label on that knife. I've been slobbering for this damn knife and pimping it out for 3 months now, only to be blind sided by some tasteless tacky labeling. Could it be worse if you just had the word "PENIS" emblazoned in rhinestones?

I certainly will not be ordering one of these knives until they reach their 2nd production run. If I choose to buy it then anyway. The prices on these knives are a little high for the size and steel type, too. Maybe they will go down in cost by then. Or just perhaps, I will find something better by then. We shall have to see. Way to go Kabar & Becker.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Update: Meyerco Wharning in the Kitchen

Since my first night used review, I've gotten to use the Wharning a good bit more and also managed to get it into the kitchen a few times. Naturally, I cleaned it well before using it. For cutting up sirloin for stir-fry, the two day old resharpened edge it didn't seem to cut the meat so much as slide through it. This leaves me with no doubt about it's ability to deal with flesh. However, there were some scallions and potatoes that needed work too. The scallion chopped up easily no problem. Working on a large idaho potato and a large sweet potato for a pot of Japanese Curry was a bit more of a story. The high belly makes it even a good cutter for dense tubers. It pure cutting, it out preformed my Benchmade fixed Griptilian, which I tested out with much the same chores once upon a time. Unfortunately, he shortness of the blade was the limitation for dealing with such large tubers. When using this for kitchen work you might want to use mostly small vegetables. It is trickier with big ones, but it will do it if you are careful.

It also has prerformed well at work. However, I am asking my wife to make a paracord harness so this will work with my favored carbiner carry system.

Judging so far by its use and abilities, it would certainly do well as a companion knife to much larger stronger blades in the woods. I can see this little guy gutting a lot of fish and game, and as a cooking tool or just a inexpensive blade for the small tasks.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Lansky Crock Sticks

In a recent post on, Dan posts his top 5 must have items for maintaining knives. First on the list is a sharpening system. I could not agree more. As I've tried to maintain knives over the years, I've been frustrated by my lack of skill with most flat stones. I've often gotten people to sharpening my knives for me or even just bought a new knife when the edge of the old becomes totally useless.

Sharpening systems with guides to help you maintain or resharpen edges at consistent angles are a huge help to those of us who don't have the experience. I had seen them and even used to cheap Smith Sharpener some time ago, but one day I saw a set of Lansky Crock Sticks at a local sporting goods store, and I decided to give it a try. Now my knives stay sharp.

The Lansky Turn Box Crock Sticks is a surprisingly simple yet effective design without bells or whistles. It is effectively a wooden block, with two left and right facing 20 degree and 25 degree holes cut into the top. There two medium grit and two fine grit 5" long alumina ceramic rods will rest. The four rods are stored horizontally from the end where a turning door keeps them inside when not in use.

Setup consists of placing the rods of the desired grit into the holes of the desired edge angle. I prefer the 20 degree edge using medium grit if the knife has gotten pretty dull or the fine grit when touching up or finishing. Then, starting from the top, the edge is kept point downward as you run the knife down the rod while drawing it towards you. You then do the same action for the other side of the blade with the parallel rod. Simple, keep this up in even strokes until the edge smooths out. Easy!

For maintenance, I run the rods under warm water and then scrub them with a rag or paper towels after a few uses. Mind the guide holes and check for debris, blow them out if necessary. Remember those guide holes need to stay uniform so your edges do likewise.

I've had great luck with bringing VG10, AUS-8, 7CR17, and 154cm blade to shaving sharpness. I have had less luck with the 5CR15MoV. I'm unsure about carbon steel. Both my carbon steel knives I've tried to use with this, I found a bit too long to use properly. The 5inch sticks are just too short. However, Lansky makes a kitchen version of this with 9inch sticks. I feel that I really need to pick one up soon.

The Spyderco Sharpmaker that Dan recommends is effectively a much nicer and more elaborate setup than the Lansky. However, the simple Lansky is a third of the price and certainly has less to lose. Having had solid luck with the Lansky, I'll admit that I might want something similar with more features. The Sharpmaker is certainly that.

The Lansky Crock Sticks are simple, inexpensive, and effective. They are by no means perfect. However, they are an excellent starting point for the beginning knife sharpener. This system will pay for itself quickly and tell you if you want or need something more advanced. Even after going with something nicer like the Sharpmaker, you might find the Lanskey going into your kitchen knife drawer or put into your trunk or truck box to serve as a backup.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Night Review: Meyerco/Pinkerton Wharning

Recently, I've been visiting's IRC channel and talking knives with the folks there. One of the regulars, Dr. Snubnose, a professional martial arts teacher, NFA qualified firearms instructor, and knife guru, has a lot of interesting things to say about cutting power in knives. Doc is well known on various knife forums for his meat tests for cutting ability. He wraps a large slab of meat in several layers of plastic wrap and then denim to see what knives work the best. Among his top performers included three Wharncliffe style blades. Two of which, the Ronin and Yojimbo, are out of production Spydercos that retailed in the $100 range. However, the third was the Dirk Pinkerton designed Meyerco Wharning. According to the good Doc, this extremely humble $17 knife matched the folding Yojimbo in making 3"- 3 ½” on cuts and slashes with it's 2.75 inch blade. When my wife bade me to order her some paracord to craft with, I also slipped this little guy into the order from BladeHQ for $16.95.

The Wharning is a wharncliffe style blade made from 7CR17 steel. This is not a premium steel in any way. Its roughly equal to 440A. While, this steel will not hold an edge too long, I can safely say that it is simple to resharpen to an effective shaving edge. After cutting open about fifteen thick dense cardboard cases of Tide, it went from a barely shaving factory edge to just sharp. However, less than ten minutes sharpening had it to shaving sharp. Easy!

The blade itself is huge for its stubby length. The stock is pretty thick and stays that way for about half the blade before hitting a slight swedge and sharp straight decline to tip. It is an extremely broad blade with a massive belly. It is a good cutter and the tip control is excellent.

The grips are a cheap micarta canvas. They are semi-smooth. They worked well enough for my dry hands, but I dunno about how well they will hold up against blood or grease. There is a good finger choil that naturally improves grip and retention. While, the grip is rather thin, the belly on the grip is pretty generous. This fills the hand better and makes the short grip work well. On the big negative, there is no jimping past the grips. Control with a thumb well forward on the spine is pretty damn good but it would be perfect with jimping.

The sheath is a pretty basic molded Kydex affair with a metal reversible belt clip. There is enough of a rim where the thumb naturally rests to help push the sheath off when drawing the blade. The choil is exposed and makes drawing much easier. Unfortunately, this taco fold sheath doesn't have any rivet holes that I can use for carbiner carry without using a long tether to the bottom of the sheath.

Overall the Wharning performed well. Cutting boxes, tape, and wrap well. The tip control was great. Ease of resharpening is excellent. Edge retention isn't great, the grips need to be bit rougher, and jimping for the thumb will have to to be added yourself. For $17, the Wharning is a bargain even with its deficiencies. It is replacing my cold steel tanto for now.

On Warriortalk, Dirk Pinkerton himself posted some interesting news for the Wharning. Meyerco has taken the old version off production and is working with Pinkerton to bring an enhanced version with full jimping, textured G10 grips, and even a changed sheath that will be compatible with tec-loks for around the same price as the original. No idea when that will be released, but be assured, I will be picking one up.

UPDATE: The Wharning in the kitchen.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On Hiatus

Lately nothing really interesting is coming my way for blogging. So, I'm closing up shop for now. I dunno when I'll be back. Whether it become permanent or not, I want to thank you all for reading and for your comments.