Reviews

Evercraft 150 lum pen light.

One more new light. This was purchased on a whim, it popped up in the checkout area of napa’s website. For $4.99, I figured why not?

Branded Evercraft. Its one mode, 120 lumens. Runs on 3xaaa, which it came with. Given the cost of alkaline batts these days, I think I paid about $1.50 for the light! Lol.

Its all plastic, verry lightweight.

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One long bar led?

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I expected the butt end of it to be magnetic like I’ve seen on these bar lights before, so I’m a little disappointed. But it does have a magnet on the clip, and the clip rotates/swings on the light for aiming it, which is kinda nice. Will see how it works in use.

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With Jetbeam BC10 for scale.

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It is freaking bright! I’ve no doubt its 150 lum, or at least 100.

Might actually grab a couple more of these things to throw in glove boxes or tool boxes for cheap backup/ emergency work lights. Looks like they’re $10.99 normally, they’re $6 off this month. Even @ $11, I think I’d get at least one, can’t see anything wrong with it.

Categories: Automotive, Automotive Work, EDC, Electronics/Media, Flashlights, Just Plain Fun, New Gear, Reviews, Truck gear | Leave a comment

Plus one nib.

And the pen that holds it!
My first new fountain pen in years, a Platinum Prefounte in “night sea” dark blue.

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Came with a blue cartridge, but I got a piston converter with it (almost cost as much as the pen! Lol)

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0.5mm nib supposedly, which to me would be an ‘Fine’ nib, but it writes like an ‘Medium’. Which is a pleasant surprise for me, I like the broader line. Pen is smooth writting, and comfortable. Nice in the pocket, cap is very secure for just a snap on. Been carying it clipped to the cover on my leather field notes cover that I got recently.

Cap has a rubber boot in it, that seals around the nib and feed, they claim 1 year of laying capped with no ink loss. Hopefully I won’t let it lay thst long although unfortunately I have done so with some of my pens before. But I will leave it a while at some point, look forward to seeing if it doesn’t dry out.

Filled it with a new ink sample, a silver, Diamine Snow Storm. I like it! I see a bottle in my future.

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Ink and pen are a great combo so far for long slow writting, without the nib drying out. Took notes in church this last Sunday, and at times I had it uncapped for id say a good 5 to 7 minutes if not longer, without writting, and it didn’t dry up!

Carrying it with a very fitting notebook, the silver version of Field Notes group 11, with silver dot grid, and gilt edges.

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Categories: EDC, Field Notes, Fountain Pens, Ink, New Gear, Notebooks, Pens, Reviews

New Summer Boots.

My Justin safety toe work boots got to be too hot and heavy for summer, especially with the heavier socks to pad the safety toe(why on earth the safetty toe edge can be felt as a hard 1/8″ step inside the boot is beyond me!! )

So I sprung for a pair of the 5″ Warthogs from Duluth Trading.
I have to be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed at first.

Felt cheap. Like, felt like $10 walmart shoes type cheap. Super light and stiff materials.

But I reminded myself that lighter build, and thinner material’s don’t automatically mean junk. The stitching itself looked good, and the leather does feel good, like real, nice leather.

Remembering that i wanted light and cool, I ignored first impression and wore them.

(Also reminded myself that my $10 Walmart shoes actually hold up really well to hard work wear, regardless of how cheap they feel!)

The insoles sucked. Super hard, less than 1/4″ thick, like stiff styrofoam, no cushion at all… not sure what is up in their thinking there. So I stuck in a set of aftermarket SoftSole(I think) thin memory foam instead.

Anyway, after 2 days in the boots, I loved them! They are light and easy to wear. There was like 1 day of break in on the leather, and 3 days to loosen the outsoles a little..

Super comfortable, they wear like an old favorite sneaker, but are durable like a boot.

Good traction. Only a little mud so far, but they grip it. Its a softer rubber not like concrete so I have high hopes for wet concrete/rocks/light ice this fall.
They are waterproof like advertised. In the rain, wet grass, puddles etc. Haven’t stood in more than 2″ of water for more than a couple minutes yet, but I’m sure they’d take it ok.

Going on about a month and a half now of all day every day wear. I spend a lot of time on my knees sitting on my feet, they’re flexible and don’t gouge me. They haven’t got a frey or tear, no noticeable wear from it.

Underfoot support is good. Could be better but they make up for it in flexibility. Lots of time crouching/squatting is hard on your feet, and these leave me with very little aching. The same as or better than the $250 Justins!

Side to side ankle support is almost nill at 5″ and soft leather… but I prefer the range of motion anyway.

At first I thought $60 was too much. Now I’m sure I’d pay the full $130 regular price for another pair. If they come back in stock, I will!

Like I said, they were on clearance. I took a couple weeks to make sure they’d work out, and missed getting a pair for when these wear out; the way I wear boots into the ground, and as durable as these are so far, a spare pair could mean a decade covered for summer boots…


Thinking about getting a pair of their slip on boots… styled like the popular Aussie boot, with the elastic only at the sides/top.

But I have a hard time laceing and tieing boots comfortably every day… The perfect tension is hard to get, and important to keep my feet from hurting a lot from the start… No control with elastic so I’m not sure about that yet.

Categories: Alaska-Life, Boots, Clothes, Field gear, New Gear, New Work Tools, Outdoors, Reviews, Uncategorized

Magnetic USB Charge Cords.

I first saw these last winter sometime, I think around November.

Took me till January to decide “why not?” and try it.

A little background;

I use my phone as my only internet device at home, and e-book reader too. Holding it is fine, but invariably after a while, you end up resting the end of the phone on a surface. The end with the charge port. That about half the day (or longer on a 5 year old device on its 4th battery) has a cord plugged into it… You bend the cord over. A lot. Too much.

Aftera while it breaks the thin wires in the cord.

I was going through about 1 good flexy braided cord every 2 months.

So, I figured a 90deg ended cord was a good idea. But most had the 90deg end aiming the cord left… which meant for the 3 places where I sit(or lay) the most, the cord would still make a bend or loop, 180 deg, to get to where it needs to goe. Not only does that eat up cord length, but its another place that can wear out.

Then I saw these. 90deg. End. 360deg rotation. Fast “plug in” (get the phone within 6″ of the cord end and it jumps to the phone! Great for one handed while driving!!), braided cord cover. LED that shows it has power.

I got a 3 pack. 3 cords, 3 micro usb ends.

And there is the other great feature; You can get Micro usb, Lightning, Usb C tips that go into the phone– and they snap in, staying put.

And use just 1 cord for any and all devices!

Recently with my new phone, I needed a USB C end. Ordered 1 more cord and that tip, which are whats shown here. My other 3 cords are bright red.

Now, I did end up damaging the end on the one cord I use the most, to charge you now have to press the cord into its magnetic tip slightly. Loosened a wire. But it took 3 months to do it!

The set of 3cords (3ft. Each) w/ tips was $16. The single set was $8.

$5 to $8 every 3 months IF I ruin them is plenty cheap enough. Much better than monthly as before!

My only real gripe, and its a minor one, is the LED indicator end. In a dark room, you can read by it! Hell, it does a passable job as a night light in a dark (15’x15′) room! Its just a little annoying as a bed side charge/reading cord.

I’m keeping one cord in the truck, one in the den, and one at the bedside. And currently I use them for 4 devices! An old phone thats media and gps in the truck, another old phone that’s media and internet at home, a tablet, and my EDC phone.

I’m intending to get more of the inserts/tips to do 3 or 4 other items, like Bluetooth speakers, and headphones, etc.

Categories: Cellular Accessories, Damages, EDC, Electronics/Media, New Gear, Preparedness, Reviews

Well, hello little moose!

New knife came Monday!

Been wanting a Case Mini Muskrat, to do my prefered blades mod to, for a while.

But the things are discontinued, and Spendy when they pop up. Or cheap at auction and I miss them/get snipped… lol I never was a good bidder. On top of which, no other manufacturer makes one in that size right now. Those other discontinued models from the rest being older and harder to find than the Case too.

Enter Cases’ Mini Moose. Something I’ve been trying to buy for several months, always coming up with something else to do instead… (most recently the LCP2 shown a few days ago.)

So, I’d put off buying a mini moose for a fancy damascus stockman… which I put off to get the gun. But I still had a “I want a knife” itch… Just no knife budget.

Enter my old favorites in low cost high quality: Rough Rider. Imported, but Nice.

So, I was browsing RRs, and suddenly hit on a moose, that looks ldentical to all the ones they have out now that are regular sized (4.5″), but the nail nicks were much bigger on the blades! Look at the details, and Hey! A mini moose @ 3.5″!

They call it a small moose.
A little digging found them in 3 different, recent handle materials/runs.

None of the materials really looked good to me, I went with the least unattractive one.

Turned out to be great, its kinda a amber carved apaloosa stag…

Appaloosa is a bone look that Case and a few others have done, mottled and spotted like horses of the same name. Its always seemed that I’m unique among most trad knife lovers, I prefer dye jobs that are faded, mottled or un even, even where theyre supposedly supposed to be a solid color. Its more natural and has character. Thus, I really love the look on this knife!

But yeah… shut up and show pics. Right.

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For scale, a Victorianox apprentice, and a Case peanut.

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Great clip blade, and a really sexy curvy spey.

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And how deep that spey sits closed is great!

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Since I’ll most likely be using the other blade the most. 🙂

Categories: EDC, Field gear, knives, New Gear, Pocket knives, Reviews

Multiple tools use?

A friend on an EDC forum asked me an interesting question today;

Hey AK-A, You’ve had that Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit for quite some time.
Which three of its tools have you used the most? TIA

It’s funny that he should ask me that; A couple nights before when putting things up for the night, I was looking at it and thinking about what I use and don’t use.

My answer is as follows;
Top 2 are easy, pliers, phillips driver, in that order.

But I had to add a footnote, that I’m not sure that #2 counts as Vic specific since I hated the Vic driver. I cut it off and welded a Leatherman flat style 1/4″ bit holder onto it several years ago. 🙂
#3 is hard to tell what I use more, but I *think* its the large flat head driver/bottle opener as leverage/a pry bar.

Honorable mention/#4, #5 goes to the other two that tied with that big driver, the awl and the wire cutters.


Use the awl as a pick, scraper, small pry tool a lot. And the wire cutters get alot of use when I’m running the wire feed welder.
Honestly, out of those last three its really, really, really hard to tell what I use more.
I can tell you what I Never use; the knife blade.

I started out hating the style(which is ironically now my favorite to use on any other knife, a sheepsfoot), and now I just prefer the ergonomics of a dedicated pocket knife.
Rarely, almost never used, is the chisel/scraper. Like maybe 15 times in the ~12 years I’ve had the tool.

That thing I’d probably use more if I remembered it was there… for some reason, maybe because I carried a Leatherman for so long and they don’t have one, I never think of it being there.

I tend to see it when opening another tool and think “dang that woulda been handy 10 minutes ago…”

Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Field gear, Improviser, Journal, MacGyver, Modifications, Multitools, Preparedness, Reviews, SAKs, Theory/Thoughts, Usage Reviews

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