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

The saga might be ending.

My regular readers, those who have been reading for a while now, will remember my progression of preferences on pocket knives. And my search, in futility, for one with such features.  

Those features being; traditional in look and materials, slip joint in function, 3.5″ to 3.75″ in length closed, two blades opening from opposite ends, one a full frame length clip blade, the other a 1/3 to 1/2 frame length sheepsfoot. USA made preferably.

Unfortunately something that hasn’t ever been made in spades, and not at all,  in approx. the last 40 years, if not longer. Except one special limited factory order, the 2015 Blade forums traditional forum knife of the year… 

Expensive at the time,  and (unfortunately predating my preferences by 3 or 4 months) like getting adamantium hens teeth now.. (Canal Street Cutlery, the maker has since gone out of business,  making a limited rare knife even more collectible).

A long time ago, October-ish in 2015, I decided to just get as close as possible, and re-grind one blade to a sheep’s foot. 

That means picking the right sized knife, with a modifiable blade. Not as easy as it sounds! 

At that time I got a Case humpback half whittler, 3.625″, clip and long spear blade. Perfect. 

Problem is, I really got to like that long spear blade,  and after a few days couldn’t bring myself to grind the end off!

For several months that knife was almost all I used. 

But I still miss the straight edged sheepsfoot at times. 

This set of specs came about a lot from the knife I carried for most of 2015, a 3.25″ Queen stockman, the EDCForums special forum knife. The sheepsfoot and clip blades were great, the spey blade rarely being used. And the handle being just a bit too short at times. Thus the specs.  (Wanting blade pivots at oposite ends is mainly for asthetics, simply how I like a multi blade knife built. Also it seems that of knives with that arrangement, a lot seem to have the blades set lower in the frame-more comfortable to grip in use).

That led me back to carrying and using a few different stockmans for a while in mid to late 2016.  A 47 frame Case at 3.875″, great to grip, a touch big in the pocket. 

Then I found that the Case Muskrat- two identical clip blades at opposite ends- is made on the 47 frame. And the clip blades being arranges perfectly to convert eithet to a sheepsfoot (long straight edge, and the nail notch back far enough to not be removed with the tip). Even better than the humpbacks spear blade was. 

I decided the extra 1/8″ to 1/4″ in the pocket wasn’t that big of a deal, since the 47 stockman all but disappeared in carry.

So, in November of 2016, I got a nice Navy blue bone stainless bladed Muskrat. 

And yet again, like the humpback before it, found I like it in stock form. Heh. 

Although, not as much; This one I only carried about a month. While not what I wanted to carry a lot, I liked it enough to not want to grind into it.

And around we go again. Back to stockmans.

 A Schrade 8OT, 1/8″ shorter than the 47 frame, almost perfect. 

But still, as with the Case before, one more un-needed blade, the spey. 

I did find a production knife that almost fits the bill about a month ago. Some Buck brand improved Muskrats(the model 372) have a half frame length sheep’s foot in them as a second blade. Almost Perfect at 3.875″. 

(Side note; An “Improved”, or sometimes called “Hawbaker” Muskrat is a the same frame, a serpentine rounded bolster stockman frame, with one clip blade and a full length wharncliffe blade instead of a series on clip blade.) 

And not all of the 372s are what I’d want… seems a few snuck through with a mid length sheepsfoot or short wharncliffe blade. Most of them have a full frame wharncliffe in them. 

The catch? (You knew there was one, right?) They’re made in China imports. 

Now, I do have a lot of modern locking knives that are made in China,  and it never bothers me. 

Heck, some of the best built traditional folders I’ve had are Rough Riders, a Chinese import brand. 

I’m far from being a patriot in a lot of ways, and generally don’t give a damn where anything is made… In fact, in a lot of things I refuse to pay for things made in the USA, because all you get is 3 times the cost for 1/2 the quality of the import, and USA stamped on it. No thanks. 

But lately I’ve had a hesitation when it comes to imports in traditional folders. No idea why, just a feeling. I’ve even had a reservation about European imports lately. Again, no idea why. 

Im sure ill end up eith one eventually, but for now, the Buck is out. 

I also re-discovred the Case mini Muskrat, the same as the regular, but on a 3.625″ frame. 

And discontinued,  hard to find, and a bit spendy. 

[(I should add in here what some will mention; the Victorinox Swiss Army knife, the Apprentice model in Alox(aluminum ) scales. It’s a slim sturdy 3.5″ frame, a short sheep’s foot blade pivoted opposite a London spear point blade. The nicest imported knives yoy will ever get, and quite possibly the best production steel in use… I actually have an Apprentice, along with several others from the Alox line. 

Two minus points; the spear blade, although it’s probably close enough, only losing a touch of fine tip from my preferred clip blades. But mainly the Alox scales. They work great, and look great. But they’re still not jigger bone and bolsters, my preference. )]

And around we go again. Back to the stockman. Again. Recently, a Schrade 34OT, a bit short at 3.375″, but serviceable. 

But still, as with the Case, the 8OT, and back to the Queen before them, one more un-needed, usually un-used blade, the spey. 

ALL of this brings us to this week, where I was looking at getting a Case medium stockman, or another 34OT, basically a medium stock knife, and taking it apart, rearranging the blades, removing one, and reassembling it.

 A LOT of work, to get what I want. 

Then I realized I’ve not carried the Muskrat for a couple months. 


Less work, and I’d know for sure how I like the blade setup,  even if the frame is longer than I(think I) want. And I don’t have to spend a dang thing (funds being short right now). 

So, it spent about 5 minutes in the shop with me. Notched the edge and spine deep on the sander, scored the faces with a deep line both sides, and snapped it off in the vice. 

Ground spine to profile at the sander, smoothed it at the steel wire wheel, and hit it with the buffer. Simple. 

Now we shall see how much I really do(or don’t) like the arrangement I’ve wanted for so long. 


And after;

How it compares to the 47 stockman blade;

I ended with a finer tip than intended, more a wharncliffe than a sheepsfoot. I’ll see how it works,  might blunted it up later. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Custom, EDC, Fabrication, knives, Modifications, New Gear, Pocket knives, SAKs, Theory/Thoughts, tool mods

EDCForums Secret Santa gifts…

Got a package in the mail today from our secret santa gift exchange.

WOW.  I just made out like the proverbial Bandit!!

A little note from the guy that sent me this stuff, he went and did his research, read through most of my posts(which is 5300 ish, over the last 4 years or so…) and custom picked stuff for me.  He did a great job of it too!




A couple colored army men(I’ve acquired a few of these from packages from the forums, they stand guard on one of my gear shelves 😀 )

Victorinox Ramber keychain SAK(Swiss army knife), My favorite pattern of these, all the handy little tools.

A nice used but well cared for Bark River Bravo Necker knife… I’ve never had a Barkie as they’re called, I’d never been able to afford them, and then had avoided them for a while after some bad business preactices by the company… But I was still always currious to have one. This sucker is Solid built, and pretty clean for the style its finished in, a blacked out ristic finish. I’ll work the snot out of this little knife, I’ve wanted a small pocket style fixed blade to play with for a while.




Came in a KSF(knives ship free) leatherworks pocket sheath with a ferro rod in it too, and also with a kydex sheath.(the original I assume)

 Its even the model in the fancier 3V steal(high alloy “super” stainless), a steel I;ve never used, so this will be fun to try something new in that way too. 

  (for those that don;t know how generous of a gift this is, these knives go for $115 with out handle scales, the micarta scales on this one would have added about $50, the sheath is probably about $30…)

The flashlight is a solid Titanium(!) Eagletac D25A, 126 lumens on high, on one AA. multiple modes, and thanfully with the strobes and SOS etc somewhat hard to access like I like.




Some nice winter gloves, with my favorite insulation.(a little big for me, but its hard to blind buy gloves for me since I have such small hands for a guy of my stature. Not too small to wear and use though.)

Sunglasses, Dragon brand. Great shape, fit pretty good, and look good on me too!




Hand warmers! (guy that sent this stuff is from Ontario Canada, he fully under stands the word Winter just like Alaskans do!)




A small FAK (I’ve never bothered to carry one, but there have been a lot of times I’m sure I’ve mentioned where something simple would have been great to have. I’ll add a couple bigger just in case gauze bandages, and some meds to it and throw it in the cab organizer in my truck)




And this nifty looking thing called a therapik.. Its basically a heat pen… you use it to apply heat dirrectly to bug bites and stings, to relieve pain/swelling/itching etc just after being stung. I’f heard of such things but have never seen or used one. This will get put in the truck this summer, and transfered to hunting gear at times too.






Categories: Flashlights, knives, New Gear, Outdoors, SAKs, Sentimental, Winter

Swiss Buckaroo?

Been trying something different with one of my SAKs, and a gold pen that was my Dads.  Its a dual buckaroo pouch. It was made for me as a gift, by a knife maker and modifier in the middle east, by the name of Karel Koci several years ago. A great fellow, good Christian(and a Pastor/Preacher at a large church there) and Fabulous knife maker.  It was made for my main EDC knife and pen at the time, a Case split back whittler, and a pen I had made. I don’t have the knife anymore, and am unsure where the pen is, but I could never part with the sheath…

A buckaroo sheath is a southwest USA invention from cowboy days. If you google it, you will come up with a couple places selling them, a notable example being Ron Rider at back room leather. Great guy, I had one of his for a sodbuster knife tat I won in a giveaway several years ago, it was the sheath that inspired the making of this one.  

The theory is an old school dangler,  you put your belt through the loop, or tether it to a belt loop, and then put the sheath in your pocket. When you need it, you pull it from your pocket using the strap, and retrieve the knife from the sheath.  Some people leave the knife in the sheath hanging outside the pocket when working for easier access. 

So, lately I’ve been trying it again with one of my Dads old pens, and my Vic Electrician(I think thats the model on this one… I have a hard time anymore with Sak names…)




Here is the History that Mr. Ryder has for them on his site;

“””The word “Buckaroo” comes from the Spanish “Vaquero”, or more commonly thought of as a Cowboy. Since much of the west was part of Mexico at one time, and we had many early settlers of Spanish descent, the dress and methods were a bit unique from the cowmen of Texas, and our midwestern “cow” states.

Buckaroos may have a flat brimmed hat, they ride a different style saddle, they use different ropes, and use different methods than what may be seen by men that call themselves cowboys. Buckaroos are most often observed in California, Nevada, Oregon, and perhaps Idaho and Utah. Of course, those states are some of the few, that a man working cattle, still does a great deal of it on horseback, instead of a vehicle of some type.

They calls themselves Buckaroos with pride. One of their seemingly unique items, are these pocket knife pouches. I have talked to the older men, and they say that these pouches have been around as long as they can recall. The pouch of course, has the knife, and the lanyard hangs out.

Though none really have the same notion, the most logical one too me, is that this allowed them to pull their pocket knives out, while wearing chaps, which can prevent easy access to a pocket. Knives of course are a constant tool to a traditional cowman, used from ear notching, to producing steers, to what ever else a knife is handy for. “””


Categories: Custom, knives, Leather, SAKs

Today. 11-23-13 EDC, and a custom SAK I made a few years ago.

Carried Dads Ruger Security Six today(.357 Mag)




First excursion out today I forgot to grab a main knife, and a multi.




Second excursion I remedied it with the CRKT Nirk Novo, and LM Skeletool.




The Tigre SAK; Custom Victorinox I built a few years ago, basically a Hiker with pliers added. Scales inletted for tweezers, toothpick, and pen. Orange Corian jigged in tiger stripes.








Categories: Daily-cary-log, Guns, knives, SAKs

Long ago EDC

What my carry was circa fall 2006 to spring 2007;

(The SAK is a Hiker in buffalo horn and Corian scales, fixed blade is a Nessmuk style in 1095 and tulipwood, by me, Maglite is nite ized to LED.. )



And Jan 2008;


I went through phones fast in those days… Had that Motorola in the top pic for about 6 months, till it just died, wouldn’t turn on one morning.  The Samsung followed it, and worked great for about a year till I got peeved at someone I was talking to one day and snapped the phone in half at the hinge…(peeved is an understatement…)  4.5 months without a phone, then got the Pantech I carry now…. That was April of 2009. 😀 


In between those pics; After the Maglite, but before the Fenix L2D light that I got in Sept 2007, I carried this little Husky light for several months… Not verry bright(50 lum, ish..) but it was great clipped to a belt loop, grab it a, pull it out on the 2.5 ft. retractable cable, turn it on, use it, and be able to let go of it and the spring return pulled it back to its place… Rarely ever actually had to take it off my belt loop!  I should still have it… somewhere… Hmmm.






Categories: EDC, SAKs

Leatherman Bit Holder on Victorinox Spirit

Was done Circa Jan. 2013

Here is the other mod I did recently,

Had a bit driver from a Surge left over from the one I scrapped for parts, and with the phillips on my Spirit rounded off and useless… I thought why not fit it to the Vic. I cut the tip off, notched both and welded together, then spring tempered the shaft/weld.

I never really use the Spirit anymore, but had to do it just to see if I could make it work.

Looks terrible I know. I wasn’t carring about looks when I ground back the welds, was only looking at strength/depth of them. I’ll fine sand polish it later if I have time to do it. 😉

Unfortunatelly, my welder is a little big for this kind of work, and with too much heat I melted more than I intended… and ended up shifting the pieces and it gave a slight twist to the holder on the shaft. Looks terribly wonky, but it works perfectly fine.




Now that I figured out how to notch the bit holder on the Wave to take full 1/4″ hex bits, I may notch this one, cut and re-weld it shorter for clearance, and a bit straighter in turn.

Categories: Modifications, Multitools, SAKs, tool mods

Blue Alox Victoriox Farmer

Been living in the glove box of my truck for a couple years. Was on the keychain for it for a couple before that, never really used much. The blue ones were a limited run, kinda rare these days(I think I paid $30 for it in like 2006, I was a mint one in a online Vic dealer for about $120 a few months ago…). Anyway, with my Surge multi now serving as backup in the truck, I decided to carry this one more. 

Got it setup with the leather lanyard/fob I made, that’s been on it since it was in the truck(fob was the truck keychain from before I had the knife), put on with a quick release fishing swivel, a couple paper clips and a small safety pin… A MacGyver kit; SAK and some improvising items.




Categories: MacGyver, Multitools, SAKs

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