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Monday, 1 June 2015

Lansky Blade Medic Review


Overview
- Includes tungsten and ceramic “V” sharpeners, tapered diamond sharpener and ceramic sharpener. 
- Solid metal design. 
- Replaceable “V” sharpener. 
- Can sharpen plain edge or serrated blades. 
- Lanyard hole. 

The Lansky Blade Medic is a really handy pocket knife sharpener. It combines the typical tungsten and ceramic “V” sharpeners with a tapered diamond file and a small ceramic “stone”. It is a well made, compact package, which allows you to keep your plain and serrated blades in good order whist in the field. 

Design
Firstly, I will say that I am not a big fan of “V” style sharpeners because I usually use a Lansky Sharpening System to set my sharpening angles and the “V” sharpeners interfere with this. However, while they aren’t particularly good for your knife’s edge long-term, they have their uses in emergencies, as they sharpen very quickly and give reasonable results, even in unskilled hands. The Blade Medic’s combination of this style of sharpener with a tapered diamond rod for sharpening plain or serrated edges and ceramic “stone” for serrations (and potentially plain edges too if used carefully) really increases it’s versatility, making it not only great for emergency field sharpening but useful to maintain your edge (with the diamond rod) between “proper” sharpenings on a more comprehensive sharpening system. 

The Blade Medic is constructed from what appears to be some kind of aluminium alloy, and has good weight to it (I was pleasantly surprised when I first received mine, as I thought it would be plastic!). The tungsten “V” sharpener is reversible and easily replaceable with a couple of hex bolts, and the sharpener has a lanyard hole. There is one weakness that I see in the design, but it hasn’t proved to be a problem for me yet: the hinge on the tapered diamond sharpener, which is retained by a magnet, is made from plastic. This seems to be a strange decision by Lansky; to make the only moving part from plastic, but hopefully it won’t be an issue. 

Conclusion
The Blade Medic is a great little sharpener. It won’t replace a more comprehensive sharpening system, however, for quick touch-ups while out and about it is perfect. It is also reasonably priced, and can be had as part of a great value set with the Lansky World Legal Knife.  (available at Amazon.com)

Koh I Noor 5347 Versatile 5.6mm Lead Holder Clutch Pencil Review


Overview
- Readily available 5.6mm leads. 
- Simple clutch design. 
- Brass internals. 
- Can be sharpened in a normal pencil sharpener. 

The Koh I Noor 5347 “Versatile” is a 5.6mm mechanical leadholder clutch pencil. It is primarily designed as an art pencil, but makes a great every day pencil due to its simple, reliable mechanism and its thick, strong lead. 

Design
The pencil is made primarily from plastic, but the internals, which can be accessed by unscrewing the collar at the bottom of the pencil, are brass, and the pencil has a nice weight to it as a result. There is no built in sharpener, but sharpening is easy in a normal pencil sharpener. The mechanism is the clutch type (also found in the Staedtler Mars Technico). To operate the pencil you depress the “button” with your thumb, with the other thumb under the tip of the pencil, and gravity allows the lead to drop out. When you release the button it is locked in place. I have found this mechanism to be more reliable than the more complicated “click” type found on many pencils these days. 

Conclusion
I like clutch pencils for every day use due to their simplicity and reliability, and this one is one of my favourites. It is really well made and great value. If you’re looking for a nice clutch pencil that doesn’t cost the earth, you can’t go wrong with one of these!!! (available at Amazon.co.uk)

Schrade Push Button Pen Review



Overview
- Accepts Fisher Space Pen Refills (parker-style). 
- Very smooth “click” mechanism. 
- Sturdy machined anodised aluminium design. 
- Strong pocket clip. 

The Schrade Push Button Pen is a “clicky” style “tactical” pen. It is superb quality and is, in my opinion, just as good as many far more expensive “tactical” pens. 

Design
The Push Button Pen has a “click” mechanism to deploy the nib. However, it is so smooth that it doesn’t actually click! It appears to be (though I can’t be 100% sure) the same German bearing-cam mechanism used in the Tuff Writer “Precision Press” pen. The pen is quite short - perfect for a pocket - but not so short that it becomes difficult to control when writing, and is machined from aluminium and anodised (I believe it is Type III anodising but cannot be sure). It is very strong and there is not the slightest chance that you could break this pen by sitting on it! The pocket clip is also very strong and won’t bend like pen clips typically do, and the pen has a stainless steel tip for added durability. The refills used are parker-style. It comes with a Schmidt Easy-Flow 9000 refill, which is nice, but I prefer to replace it with a Fisher SPR4 space pen refill, for writing in adverse conditions (i.e. rain!). 

Conclusion

The Schrade Push Button Pen is one of my favourite “tactical” pens. It is just as strong as any other “tactical” pen, but has the convenience of the click mechanism for one-handed operation. It is also great that it accepts parker-style refills, allowing for use of a Fisher cartridge. The pen is very well made and I believe it to be excellent value for money. 

You can get the Push Button Pen from Amazon.com