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Pandemic Work EDC
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Benchmade in 2022: The 5370FE Shootout OTF

Benchmade in 2022: The 5370FE Shootout OTF

While automatic out-the-front (OTF) pocketknives tend to be more restricted, they find a critical use for many people’s everyday carry, as well as offer an entire product category of collectability. Add to this the fact that Benchmade seldom releases automatic knives, which adds to their rarity and appeal. With the introduction of the Shootout, Benchmade brings their eye for design and prowess in crafting with premium materials to make a truly top-of-the-line OTF blade ready to snap into the new year.

Specs

3.51" tanto blade
PVD-coated CPM CRU-WEAR blade
Flat ground
Automatic out-the-front (OTF) opening
CF-Elite handle
2.80 oz weight

What we like: Benchmade spent a lot of time making sure that the blade on the Shootout was truly centered in the handle, which is a bit of a rarity in most OTF pocket knives. That’s been something that’s irked many in the community, and that attention to detail is well-appreciated. They’ve also given the Shootout a 3.51" CPM CRU-WEAR premium stainless steel blade, with a superior Rockwell hardness of between 63-65. CRU-WEAR is an innovative tool steel that features more vanadium, tungsten, and molybdenum than the standard D2 tool steel that you might be more familiar with, letting it get to impressive hardness while maintaining great wear resistance in the field, without even factoring in the additional protection from its Flat Earth PVD coating. Additionally, the choice to make the blade a single-edged tanto is a bit more practical (and permissible) than the dual-edged daggers that tend to populate the OTF market.

The out-the-front mechanism allows for lightning-quick deployment, and it’s a great choice for emergency or first responder use in tight situations. This is especially important where only one hand might be free to move, or the space is limited for a blade needing to swing out to deploy. In keeping with the emergency use case, Benchmade thought to include a carbide glass breaker at the pommel, as well.

What we don’t like: Automatic knives tend to be hard to carry in certain jurisdictions, making this exclusive EDC knife too exclusive for some, and that’s before getting into the high-end price this knife commands at retail. And while the blade steel is decidedly premium, the fact that the handle is polymer will likely rub some potential users expecting a more premium option, regardless of the advantages of the custom-molded texture. It's a delicate balance of the novelty and rarity of an OTF from Benchmade with permissible locales and prohibitive price points, so the choice to pick one up may not be so clear for many.

Check It Out at Blade HQ

Check It Out at Benchmade

Trending: Gerber Mullet

Trending: Gerber Mullet

The Gerber Mullet boasts 9 tools throughout its one-piece body, all arranged in an ergonomic way with ease of use in mind. There’s a pry bar/nail puller/wire stripper at one end that has a scraper on its side. The prongs on the pry bar double as small and large flathead drivers in a pinch as well. Moving back towards the other side is a suspension clip that terminates in a 1/4” hex bit driver. Finally, there’s a bottle opener and 3D Phillips head screw driver at the end.

With its slim profile, 3/4” width, and 0.7 oz weight, it's compact but still affords enough room to grip thanks to its 3” total length. You can carry the Mullet by using the included split ring attached to the hole in the center of the body or by using the belt loop portion to suspend the rest of your key setup. Check it out at the link below.

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The Traveller Set
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My most carried in 2021 and most likely also 2022.
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G-SHOCK Virtual World Collection

G-SHOCK watches are popular in the EDC community for being some of the toughest timepieces out there, specifically designed for people who spend most of their time in rugged terrain or brutal environments. Aside from their time-telling functionality, watches are still an important part of many people’s EDC as a way to express personal style. You might think you can't find extreme durability and functionality in a fashionable watch, but G-SHOCK beg to differ.

Their new Virtual World collection is yet another example of strong aesthetics without compromising the functionality the brand is known for. Inspired by virtual reality, the collection brings vibrant violet and bold blue accents to three digital-analog hybrid watches in a retrofuturistic theme.

Like you would expect from any watch in the G-SHOCK line, all items in the Virtual World collection are shock resistant as well as water resistant to 200M. They also come with a durable but comfortable resin band and a scratch-resistant mineral glass. And to go along with their brawn, these G-SHOCKS also come with all sorts of thoughtful time-keeping functions, such as world time, a stopwatch, a timer, 5 daily alarms, a fully automatic calendar and even a Super Illuminator backlight, to help with visibility in low light conditions. You can pick any of them up at the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by G-SHOCK.

Craighill Kepler Pen

Craighill Kepler Pen

"We love the smooth looks of Craighill’s latest writing instrument. Its all-metal body features an undulating ripple pattern with gradually larger waves as you move from its tip to its tail. There’s a reassuring clicker mechanism and it takes off-the-shelf Schmidt 635 refills. Comes in brass, stainless steel, or..." (via The Awesomer)

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The 5 Best Gift Ideas from Gerber

Through the years, Gerber has been a rock-solid source for EDC gear, from simple but efficient keychain tools like the Shard, all the way to modern pocket-friendly companions in the Prybrids, Armbars, and Lockdowns. Not to mention that they’re continuously pushing themselves to make better products, like the American-made Fastball and a full custom shop to let you built the perfect knife for EDC. In this guide we take a look at 5 of their best-selling products to give you even more gift ideas, especially with the holidays fast approaching.

Victorinox Swiss Tool Burnished Steel Series

Victorinox Swiss Tool Burnished Steel Series

Victorinox is a brand synonymous with practical tools thanks to their legendary Swiss Army Knives. But often overlooked is their line of larger multi-tools in the traditional butterfly-style platform, each with the same attention to detail and utility that made their Swiss Army Knives staples for everyday carry. The new Burnished Steel Series gives a stealthy new colorway to two of their most popular full-sized tools, giving your EDC a total package of functionality and flair.

This collection brings butterfly-style tools to the next level, offering outstanding performance from an understated presentation. Not only do both models have a well-curated tool selection, but they offer an advantage over a lot of other multi-tools by allowing nearly all of their tools to be accessible on the outside of the handles, even while closed. Two key tools—the large blade and the belt cutter—can also be opened one-handed in an emergency, while all the opening tools can be locked open for security while deployed.

The Swiss Tool MXBS is the big brother of the collection, measuring in at 4.5“ when closed and bringing 26 functions to the table, with most of what you might need for DIY jobs and daily tasks. Like you might expect from any butterfly-style multi-tool, you’ll find needle-nosed pliers front and center, with wire-cutters just below. Complimenting the cutters are a wire crimper, wire stripper, wire bender, and wire scraper. The Swiss Tool also comes with 5 different drivers, a blade, and pair of scissors. And for heavy duty work, you have access to a metal saw, a chisel and scraper, a strong crate opener, and a metal file. Last but not least is a can and bottle opener for your favorite brew at the end of a long day.

The Swiss Tool Spirit MXBS is a more compact version of the Swiss Tool that shaves down its footprint while losing almost none of the practicality. It measures in at 4.1“ when closed and weighs in at 7.4 ounces compared to the Swiss Tool’s 10.4. Despite being more portable thanks to a more ergonomic pair of curved handles, the Swiss Tool Spirit retains almost all the functions with at 24 tools, losing just a few drivers. This is the tool if every inch and ounce counts for your work EDC.

If you’re looking for compact multi-tools with thoughtful design choices, Victorinox’s legendary quality, and a handsome aesthetic, the Burnished Steel Series is a solid choice for your next full-sized multi-tool. Pick up each at the links below.

Check Out the Swiss Tool MXBS

Check Out the Swiss Tool Spirit MXBS

Trending: Mechanix Wear FastFit Work Gloves

Trending: Mechanix Wear FastFit Work Gloves

Whether you have a job that requires you to carry them everyday or tend to do a lot of work around the house, having a good pair of work gloves can be life-changing. On top of their game are Mechanix Wear, offering a full catalog of task- and environment-specific gloves. They designed the FastFit gloves with durability in mind, but also added a ton of convenient features fit for modern-day EDCers. They feature 0.6mm synthetic leather on the palm side, providing you with a higher dexterity but also making them compatible with touchscreens. On the rest of the gloves you’ll find Mechanix Wear’s own TekDry material, reducing the amount of sweat generated by your hands and keeping them comfortable and fresh.

While the fingertips come in a pinched construction to maintain their resilience, the index and thumb have been particularly reinforced, since they tend to see the most action. Thanks to a two-piece design, you can say goodbye to annoying material that often gets bunched up. And for an even more comfortable fit, the FastFit gloves feature elastic cuffs, so they can fit most wrists. Best of all, these work gloves can be machine washed, so after a hard day’s work you can toss them in the wash and be ready to go again the next day. Pick up a pair in six colorways at the link below.

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Header: Rich B

At the office
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These Gift Ideas From SOG Are Better in Black

These days, EDC gear comes in nearly every color combination you can imagine. But if there’s one color you can bet on, make it black. All-black gear is having its moment (it goes with everything!), but it’s been the go-to color theme for so many EDCers over the years, whether it’s for a tough tactical look or a low-profile minimalist setup. If you know the person on your list is into EDC gear but aren’t sure what to get them, our friends at SOG have lined up some of their best gift-worthy gear for this guide. One thing they all have in common is that they look better in black, and they’re sure to please anyone on your list looking to perfect their “all black everything” carry.

For Life on the road
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Benchmade in 2022: The 317 Weekender

Benchmade in 2022: The 317 Weekender

The Weekender is Benchmade’s second incursion into the world of slipjoints, with their first foray being the premium and popular Benchmade Proper. The Weekender goes a step further and adds a second blade to the package, taking inspiration from traditional two-knife and multi-tool offerings. Case in point: the addition of what likely inspired its name, a bottle opener beside the smaller blade. The Weekender is a fresh hybrid between old and new, and a unique new style for Benchmade to explore, and we’re excited to see if the end product is worth more than the sum of its parts.

Specs

3“ Clip point blade
2“ Spear point blade
CPM S30V steel
Non-locking slipjoint opening
Nail hole openers
G-10 or Micarta scales

What we like: While some people might prefer to carry even more functions in a full-sized multi-tool, there’s a niche to be filled by the Weekender’s more minimal option. The two-blade design also allows versatility without having to carry two separate knives, letting you tackle multiple tasks from a single everyday carry. The larger clip point blade is a solid general-purpose option, excelling at slicing tasks with its longer belly. The smaller spear point blade—like its predecessors—is your go-to for smaller tasks like paring or whittling. And while the addition of a bottle opener seems like an afterthought, it’s a unique addition that may come in the handiest (or most refreshing) after a long day of work.

What we don’t like: Despite being a modern interpretation of traditional slipjoint knives, what the Weekender is missing is a way to carry it other than just keeping it inside your pocket or bag. It may be a more accurate representation of traditional slipjoints, but the lack of a pocket clip or even a lanyard hole takes away from its carry convenience. If the traditional design is already going to be modified with the (very welcome) addition of a bottle opener, it seems an odd choice not to include at least one of the previous options for the sake of a sleeker profile.

Its price is another serious consideration. The Weekender rides the line between traditional slipjoint and modern-day knife, but sits at a price point where you would expect a more premium set of materials. While made in the USA construction is a fair proposition, its ask may be hard to justify for both collectors and casual EDCers alike considering its competition from both the knife and multi-tool sides.

Check It Out at Blade HQ

Check It Out at Benchmade

Trending: Streamlight MicroStream

Trending: Streamlight MicroStream

The Streamlight Microstream is a classic AAA-sized design that continues to trend on our charts because of its pocketable size and performance for its price. Two versions of the light remain popular and relevant today: the original MicroStream, a compact, 3.6" long penlight that takes AAA alkaline batteries, and the MicroStream USB, a slightly larger upgrade that runs on a rechargeable li-ion cell. Both lights use the same rubberized tail switch that for operation: a half press gives you momentary on, and a full press gives you a constant and useful 45-lumen output on the original AAA model.

The USB version offers a 50-lumen Low that runs for 3.5 hours and a 250-lumen High with a 1.5-hour runtime. Whichever version you choose, you get an IPX4-rated aluminum chassis with abrasion-resistant Type II Military Spec anodizing. The two-way pocket clip also gives you hands-free operation by letting you clip the light onto your hat. With two options for your needs, the Streamlight MicroStream presents a tough and practical choice for an EDC light. Check them out at the link below.

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Header: Victor

Subtle Blue
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Alpaka HUB Pouch

Alpaka HUB Pouch

It’s barely begun, but 2022 is already looking to be the year of the EDC pouch. The utility and customizability of the form factor has led to crazy popularity, with brands like Garage Built Gear, Greenroom136, and RoverEDC pushing out releases to meet the immense demand. Alpaka joins the fray with their own take on the EDC pouch, built with the same technical and minimalist design language they’re known for. It fits their futuristic aesthetic, plays well with their modular ecosystem, and offers another versatile option for you to grab a pouch of your own.

The concept of the EDC pouch goes back to the very beginning of EDC. Specialized pouches present a great way to segregate and organize your gear, ensuring the right combinations of equipment are in the right bags or easily switched and moved between them. The most recent version of this pouch comes with two key features that lend to its popularity: it’s a more minimal and pocketable size akin to a caddy you can zip closed, often barely larger than the standard flashlight, knife, and tool combo carried within, and an external loop field on some of the popular models led to the rise of compact RE (Ranger Eye) patches that offer limitless personalization.

The HUB pouch remains on the smaller size at 4.72“ x 3.54”, only slightly larger than a pocket notebook. This size allows it to slide effortlessly into a front pocket or bag compartment while still being able to store a full complement of tools. It opens up clamshell style via YKK reverse coil zippers, allowing it to completely lay flat for ease of loading and unloading.

The pouch dives into two parts. On the left side you’ll find four pockets in a vertical layout, perfect for medium-sized items like a knife, flashlight, or charging cables. Two of these pockets also feature an elastic strap, allowing you to better secure your gear. On the other side, are two wider pockets, are perfect for flat items like a pocket notebook or card and cash essentials that let the HUB be an all-in-one wallet as well. Mirroring the design from their opposite side, one of these pockets has three elastic bands attached as well, handy for storing larger items like your favorite multi-tools.

Alpaka forgoes the loop field in this version of the HUB pouch to make full use of black X-Pac X50 technical fabric for the exterior. This design choice not only gives it an understated, clean look, but it also provides it with abrasion resistance, water resistance, and a light weight. The outside of the pouch also comes with a zippered pocket, perfect for tiny items like spare change, a spare key or an SD card. Thanks to a well-placed loop on the rear, Alpaka’s HUB ecosystem also lets you utilize the HUB pouch to its full potential. The HUB keychain in particular lets you use its modular and magnetic, quick-release system to easily attach and detach the pouch from modular webbing, bag straps and HUB ModPanels.

And the best part of the HUB pouch: its technical versatility comes at a very affordable price point. Pre-order one from Alpaka at the link below.

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Desk to Adventure
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