I've carried a knife on my person for over 25 years, before that I didn't see the need for one. I started with traditional knives, and migrated to the one-handed variety, preferably with a pocket clip. I have never carried a fixed blade, I've wanted to, but it was the form factor for me. Fixed blades were usually larger than pocketknives, and they were carried on the belt via a sheath. Over the years I've noticed that fixed blades are just as varied as pocketknives and can EDC friendly.
One fixed blade that caught my attention was the BeltWay by BloodOath Instruments. The BeltWay fits right in with the rest of their lineup and follows a similar design motif. The knife comes with a premium steel blade and a composite handle. It's the perfect size for an everyday carry knife, not too large that carry options are limited, and not too small that it limits functionality. I'm usually handle first when it comes to reviews, so much can be determined of a knife by how it feels in your hand. A good or bad handle can make or break a good knife, but today I'm deviating, and we're checking out the blade first.
I've become quite the fan of Vosteed knives, whether it be the designs, price point, or customer service, they don't disappoint. The last few months things have seemed to really ramp up and, I'm finding it hard to keep track of all they have going on. The number of new knives and prototypes being shown are crazy. On top of those fresh designs, Vosteed does exclusive releases for White Mountain Knives.
White Mountain has been selling since 2005, their focus is to bring you low prices and excellent customer service. Vosteed worked with the retailer to create an exclusive version of their popular model the Racoon. The Racoon is an everyday carry knife that features a drop point style blade, with a button lock. What's changed, or improved with this exclusive model? Let's take a look.
The Thunderbird is a legendary creature in American Indian history and culture. It's considered a supernatural being of power and strength. It's said to create thunder by flapping its wings, and lightning by flashing its eyes. Vosteed does a great job of naming their products, and the Thunderbird is no exception. The company has done a great job of creating a knife worth of such a namesake. The knife has awesome specs to boot; g-mascus handles, M390 blade with a tanto grind, and their Trek Lock. Let's take a walk around this bird and see what she's got.
BloodOath Instruments is a fairly new company run by two friends who are GWOT (Global War on Terror) veterans with a strong interest in knives, and experience in high-stress situations. This experience is the foundation on which their knives are designed.
Knives had been a thing since man fashioned them out of flint, but the history of tactical knife can be traced back to the 20th century when military forces began issuing specialized knives to their soldiers. The term "tactical knife" was coined in the mid-1990s. These invaluable knives were as useful at home as they were in the field, and as time marched so did popularity.
One of BloodOath's contribution to the category is the PocketFiend, a lightweight and compact pocketknife that's their answer to the EDC tactical knife. Coming in with an overall length of 7.25", and a 3.25" blade, the Fiend hits that sweet spot for an everyday carry knife. The textured aluminum handle is something unique in a market full of micarta, G10, and titanium. The aluminum has this texture on it that reminds me of the dimples on a golf ball. That unique texture gives the knife plenty of tactile grip on what would otherwise be another run of the mill handle. The choice in material also helps keep the weight down, as the Fiend comes in at only 3.81oz.
Damned Designs is the brainchild of Adrian Dsouza, he started with fidget spinners, and went on to release over 50 spinner designs. He stepped into EDC in 2019 and subsequently released his first knife, and then maybe another 10-15 shortly after. Adrian feels great products shouldn't only be for those with fat wallets. Everyone has a right to a good design and craftsmanship.
The Oni XL model is a hard use folder with premium materials and looks that can kill. I was curious where the name Oni comes from, and it comes from Japanese folklore. Oni are a type of evil spirit known as youkai. They are often depicted as large, ugly, monstrous creatures with horns, fangs, and sharp claws. Thankfully this knife is none of that, but I can see where Damned Designs goes with their product names.