Friday, August 3, 2012

Guns and Gear Review # 13: Leatherman Blast multi-tool and Cold Steel Vaquero Grande folding knife.

Hey folks, it's your old pal 12-Gauge Chimp bringing you a very special review. It's the very first Two for One Review. I'll be reviewing two different things, in this case, two knives.

Now before I go any further, y'all are probably wondering just where I've been since April when I last made an entry to the site. Well, a lot happened between my review of my Rock Island Armory 1911 and now, but that's in the past and I finally have something to review.

First up, my Leatherman Blast multi-tool.

I was given this as a gift by a friend of mine and it's been on my belt ever since. Leatherman brand multi-tools have around since 1983. Leatherman also offers folding knives in addition to it's line of multi-tools. I don't yet own one of the folding knives, but as soon as I can, I will get one. The Leatherman tool I own is the Blast, which has been discontinued from Leatherman's lineup for some reason. I guess it's so Leatherman can focus on bringing newer tools and knives onto the market. Which is fine with me since I'm planning on getting a Leatherman Wave multi-tool sometime in the near future.

Anyway, the Blast features 16 tools and it's made from stainless steel with Zytel inserts for comfort when using the tool for whatever you may need it for. It comes with a leather belt pouch, although I have seen some that come with a nylon pouch instead of the leather one. In the years since I've had it, I have used just about every tool on the thing and it's still going strong and is as sharp as the day it left the factory. One really cool thing about the tool is that it has a 25 year warranty. All you have to do is register whatever Leatherman multi-tool or knife you buy on the Leatherman website and if the tool should somehow break or otherwise be damaged, Leatherman will fix it. Whether this is a free service or not is unknown to me since I haven't yet had to use the warranty service, so it might be a good idea to do a little research. Either way, it's still pretty cool.

Now, the 16 tools on the Blast are as follows.

1. Needle nose pliers
2. 420HC clip point knife blade
3. Regular pliers
4. Wire cutters
5. Hard-wire cutters
6. Wire strippers
7. Small screwdriver
8. Large screwdriver
9. Phillips screwdriver
10. Scissors
11. File (wood and metal)
12. Small bit driver
13. Bottle opener (this tool probably gets the most use for me.)
14. Can opener
15. Saw
16. and finally, a Phillips and flat tip eyeglasses screwdriver bit.

After all the years I've used the Leatherman Blast multi-tool and the fact it has not once let me down, makes me give it the 12-Gauge Chimp Seal of Approval.

Now, onto the second part of this review, the Cold Steel Vaquero Grande.

I purchased this knife from an antique store last month and it is by far the largest folding knife I have ever owned. Seriously, the knife measures out to 12 1/4 inches in overall length with the blade open and around 5 and a half inches or 6 inches when closed.

Now, Cold Steel has been around for a long time and the videos of Lynn Thompson, the president of Cold Steel, using the various products his company makes to hack through car doors, thick free hanging rope, whole sides of beef and other stuff, have been seen by practically everybody. Cold Steel stands behind their product and is not afraid to show how much abuse one of their products can take.

The Vaquero Grande is a lockback style knife, kind of like the old folding knives our fathers and grandfathers carried. Is it my preferred lock style ? Nope, but I'm not carrying this massive sucker around everyday or even using it as my primary knife. That job falls to my CRKT Hammond Cruiser knife.

The handle of the Vaquero Grande is made of glass reinforced plastic called "Grivory" in the Cold Steel site description. Now I don't know if my knife, since it's an older model, has that type of handle or if they simply made the handle out of glass reinforced plastic, like the kind used in making synthetic stocks or grips for firearms. The steel used is Japanese AUS8 stainless steel and it holds a pretty good edge. I bought my knife second hand and I have no idea how much use it saw with the previous owner(s), but it's still pretty dang sharp. I got the serrated edged model, but the newer Vaqueros are available with either a serrated edge or a plain edge. They retail for about 56 dollars US, but I was able to snag mine for a little less than 20 dollars US. If you look hard enough, you might even be able to find them for less than what I paid, but probably not.

Now, I haven't done much cutting with the Cold Steel Vaquero Grande, mostly because it's such a large knife and it's a serrated edged blade. All in all, it's not a knife for everyone, but it's still a good knife. I've heard of folks carrying this type of knife as part of their EDC, but I prefer a smaller knife. That's not to say I wouldn't use it as a camp knife, though. If one wants to carry a knife as big as the Vaquero Grande around, I say more power to you. That is if you have pockets big enough to fit the knife. When they mean 'Grande', man do they mean it.

In the end, I still give the Cold Steel Vaquero Grande knife the 12-Gauge Chimp Seal of Approval.

Thanks for visiting my site and I hope to bring you all more reviews, Random Thoughts and Range Reports in the near future.

As always, this is 12-Gauge Chimp signing off.

No comments:

Post a Comment