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Patrick Bonetta’s Tactical Paring Knife

Patrick Bonneta

Usually I use my “tactical” knives in the kitchen but this time it is exactly the other way around… This is a kitchen knife ready for “tactical” situations thanks to its great ergos and its kydex sheath worn as a neck sheath.
It was all made by Patrick Bonetta. Patrick is a old friend from Ed Schempp, Fred Perrin and is living the neighborhood!

Patrick Bonetta

He is first known for his incredible skills at sharpening kitchen knives for famous chefs around the world like Alain Ducasse, Jean Louis Nomicos and Palace like Le Bristol, Le Crillon, le Royal Monceau, le Taillevent

He’s also a designer, a blade smith and legendary epicurian.
His first dream was to be a knifemaker then he has found that there was a real lacking in the way knives’s edges were kept. In fact, not many of so called “grinders” are able to understand how to get all blades really keen but Patrick is one of them. This is a rare talent and this is very very special knack.


There is a timeless aura in his workshop which used to be the one of his grand father.


His paring knife is light and razor sharp. To eat a good meat with a blunt knife is blasphemous and a serrated edge will ruined everything!

Patrick’s Commandements are simple: never lend your knife and you don’t break bones with a paring knife.
Now all cooks want everlasting sharp knives and this is not a reality. So, to get them sharp again is mandatory.

My knife is light, well balanced. Its 4 inches very thin blade is tapered, flat ground and comes with a very nice convex edge made of classic knife steel CroMoVa cryo tempered.

The steel used is gentle under the stone and easy to maintain really sharp.

This is a great combo in a very light package. Perfect to snatch in a voyager bag were every grams count !
It’s also easy to carry around the neck in a camp where it will be really useful for every cooking duty.
The handle is in paper micarta, mince is burgundy. Patrick as drill some hole for a better grip when unsheating the knife with wet hands. They work great holding the blade flat on a board.

What a cheer joy to cut vegetables and meat with such a great little buddy. Its polyvalent blade can be used for a wide range of kitchen duties and there is a guilty pleasure to use it also as a steak knife !

POCKET LEGENDS OF THE FALL FEAT. SPYDERCO SCHEMPP BOWIE ~ C190CF

Today is the day the world mourns David Bowie.
It’s the perfect time to talk about another Bowie and another hommage: Ed Schempp’s Folding Bowie.

ED schempp Bowie

I have met again Ed at the Police National shooting range at avenue Fosh, Paris, in November. It was some kind of a mini knife show hosted by Patrick Bonetta, coutelier and keen master in sharpening. Both old friends were showcasing there their last knives, from kitchen to law enforcement duty. (Patrick will be the subject of my next articles BTW, the man desserve an entiere book !!)

Immediately Ed introduced me proudly to his last Spyderco collaboration: his bowie. What a gem !
The knife is simply oozing quality from all its pores: brass guard integrated bolster, carbon fiber handles…. a smoooooth opening. The beautiful symmetry once open and the gentle angle between the blade and the handle are trademarks of Ed’s designs we enjoyed so much on his Tuff and Persian.

This is not the first folding Bowie in the Spyderco catalog. Remember the Slysz Bowie ?
And I’m really a sucker for bowie shape blades. They got belly and they are pointy.
So deciding to put my Nilaka at rest for a while, immediately Ed’s Bowie got a ride in my front pocket.

“It has been made to be worn as a much smaller knife” Ed told me.

And he was right, the wire clip is so well designed that the knife disappears and ride deep in the pocket. It won’t be as quick draw friendly as the C36 Military, for example, but it is so discreet in this days of low profile mania.
Once open, the beautiful blade is impressive. Narrower than his Navaja but elegantly theatrical !
Again this is a Gentleman folder destin to be used served by an ‘almost” full flat ground thin blade.
At 2.5mm thick, far are the days of the 4mm hollowground Starmate (pictured here in the Gayle Bradley review).
I was not impressed by the initial factory sharpening and since I have thinned its edge to more akeen result. It was done patiently as CPMS30V is not the easiest steel to let its molecules go away…


The bottle bottom tests are now passed with flying colors. Even the mineral water bottle, thinner and easier to collapse).
The natural angle found in the Kukris is again a nice plus even with a short knife. Ed is a farmer and he creates and builds tools for his ranch.
The integrated guard was a technical requirement which is cleverly accomplished. My first knife ever was a small bowie and its guard was a PITA. I was 5 year old and I knew this knife was not well designed…
On Ed’s Bowie, the guard is nicely “anchoring” the hand as a thumb rest for example. All is smooth and gentle under your fingers. Even in hammer’s grip the small guard doesn’t come in the way.

Reverse grip either.

So if you want a small folding bowie with a great attention to details, a nice belly, a slick and smooth action, the C190CF can be your choice.
I enjoy the brass bolsters and its soft texture contrasting with the woven carbon fibers. It’s a very sensual tool with the handle resting securely in my palm avoiding any lose of grip.
Back in the 90’s they were some very long conversations on the forums about how reliable the linerlocks were. In this bowie, the handle is very rigid and the lock very well executed in Taichung. The knife has passed my tests including the carpet test which was not easy with the Spyderco Tuff. I absolutely got zero concern about the lock on this one. I got zero play lateral or vertical even with white knuckles. It is stout.
This is another ‘home run’ from Ed and another very clever hommage to a legendary design. Once in the pocket it is very addictive.
Also used in the plates, the knife is elegant and do not raise any eye’s brows even in the restaurant. A great steak knife !

Some size comparaisons:

Two worlds but equally great usability. Eric Glesser Manix 2 lightweight in CPM110V is a Nasa dream.


Two Bowie brothers as the Slysz’s was invited for the picture.


Another pocket Bowie, this one made by Xavier Conil.


With the Mighty K2.


With Fred Perrin’s Streetbowies father and sonny Streetbeat.


My good old Benchmade BM806S. Another slick design wich has proven to be reliable in all situation.


With my very first knife purchased at Thiers in 1971 ! Yes it was a Bowie too !


With my good old rehandled Carbon V Cold Steel Trailmaster !


Fred Perrin custom Bowie La Griffe from the 90’s !

Couteaux des Sorgues Anniversary By Xavier Conil

I had written an article on the Couteaux des Sorgues back in March 2012.

We all know the film “Legend of the Fall” directed by Edward Zick with Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins and Aidan Quinn.
Or at least, as a knifenut you should know that movie as the character played by Pitt (Tristan) is a carrying and using a Bowie knife through the movie and his Iron Mistress is to him what the vibranium shield is to Capt America…đŸ˜‰
Anyway great movie, big drama, nice music… and adapted from a novel by Jim Harrison. You need to read his books. Especially his early works including the formentionned Legend.
And digging in Jim Harrison work , I have found out that he was (and still is) a huge fan of René Char.
You don’t know RenĂ© Char poet and writer ? You think poetry is for sissies ? TO quote wikipedia: Char joined the French Resistance in 1940, serving under the name of Captain Alexandre, where he commanded the Durance parachute drop zone. He refused to publish anything during the Occupation, but wrote the “Feuillets d’Hypnos” during it (1943–4), prose poems dealing with resistance. The man was legend.
Let me tell you something: I’am a warrior and a poet. A warrior because you have to live and a poet because eventually you have to die.
Poetry is mandatory. Written with ink or blood, it is what makes us human being “specials”.

The great RenĂ© Char was living in Xavier Conil family street. He was also their friend and never the last to share a meal or a story with them. Xavier was born around men of legend. His father was a collector of knives and Xavier got his first folding knife “Canif” when he was 8.
BTW “Ca-nif” the French word for folding knife (used to whittling feathers to write poems) hence… “k-nife”.

Xavier has been a bladesmith since 1995 and really gifted one. The man got a knack for bringing beauty into function.
On that, his “Le Pointu” is a perfect example of friendly EDC Born In Marseille knife.

Now Xavier and his good friend Laurent Monnier are releasing a special 20th Anniversary edition with an ebony handle and a very clever pocket sheath.

The sheath is clipped to the lip of the pocket and a gentle push pops the knife out. Very clever and gives you a “One Hand handling Legal Knife” always on the ready. And this blade is always “incredi-belly” powerful on wood !!

Le COUteaux Des SOrgues

PEKKA TUOMINEN IRON WOOD PUUKKO – A glimpse at the Northern Woodlord.

Pekka Tuominen Spyderco Puukko

Pekka Tuominen Spyderco Puukko

Pekka Tuominen Spyderco Puukko

Pekka Tuominen Spyderco Puukko

As you can notice the blade of the Puukko is not tapered like the Nilakka. It’s a real different animal to work with.
More strength to the tip for example.Even if I had never got any issue with the folding version which is one of my sharpest (if not the sharpest) of all my knives. The Puukko is in the same category in term of push cutting.
Also you can notice how its cousin, the Urban Hunting Knife II looks huge compare to that lil’ Northern Woodlord. Again Pekka’s Puukko is destined to be sheeple friendly. For the Finnish, this blade lenght is more than enough.
It’s a gentleman bushcrafter and it screams to be used ! And Spyderco S30V bring a very stable edge in my own experience.
I’m planning to keep that Puukko in a zero edge (when I had gently convexed my Nilakka…) and I will be confronted at one moment to the water stone. More to come soon !!:-)

SPYDERCO TATANKA C180G – FIRST GLIMPSE AT THE BUFFALO

Tantanka

So here it is that new In House design of a super folder. Sal Glesser’s signature is engraved near the spyderhole. God, this is an heavy contender (A stainless steel backspacer!!) and a huge folding knife but, once open, it’s surprisedly well balanced despite its general weight which is really well distributed. A grin has appeared on my face…
This new Power Lock provides a zero vertical play experience. This knife in its action feels like a Mercedes Truck !!
The look and sound are really really nice. So far so good. What a massive MF !
The unlocking action is smooth and easy. This is a major difference with Cold Steel’s big Triadlock which can be a PITA to unlock…

Tatanka
The blade is much more beautiful in “person” than on any pictures. The false edge is stunning ! Not Spyderco best steel (CPM 3V comes in mind for massive blade), not the best grind (Saber grind is really “weapon oriented” in my book) but the impression of reliability is there. The Tatanka could be used to remove a tire and break a door. The 4mm thick blade is designed for penetration and would easily find its way through kevlar layer. Of course it came razor sharp even if the edge is not as thin as the recent K2 and Slysz Bowie.

Tatanka vs K2

Could it be some kind Super Police folder ? Indeed, compared to the Spyderco Police, the Tatanka got a lot in common. The saber ground (OK, the classic Police got an hollow ground though) the mass…the false edge… Is it a LEO wet dream coming true ? Could be.

My first glance feeling is that the Tatanka is more Police and Military oriented than a K2 for example. Farid huge folder is lighter, thinner with almost the same edge length in a shorter handle, thinner edge and better steel… But again perhaps experience will change my POV.
So yes, the Tatanka looks IMHO like a tool for the SWATs: a massive, pointy reliable, well balanced folding tool. Now in the right hands it certainly could be a great SERE folder. The kind of knife used by Helicopter pilots for survival. (I’m thinking at the ESEE 5’s design, for example or the AlMar Sere folders…). This new Power Lock seems beefy enough for light chopping (despite the disclaimer in the box…) but this is something I’m going to test soon.
Anyway after the K2 and the Tuff, it’s always good to see Spyderco producing strong reliable locking Ăœber folders. They are so useful in the woods, the camps and the action fields.

Also beware of the big spyderhole, mine was so sharp than I cut my thumb on its edge. I have used sandpaper to remove it. Ouch !:-)

FARID K2 – No Rest For The Wick2d

Spyderco Farid K2

This is a big knife but it has found its place in my pocket. The flat design makes it easy to carry and forget in your pocket. Also the single screw clip makes a beautiful print like a much smaller knife. this is deceptive and it works great.

Now the thin edge has proven its power in push cutting. The handle is not the most confortable but this is the price for a flat design. On that matter the Pekka Tuominen Nilakka is the king: thick and confortable handle with a thin edge. Anyway the K2 is a very powerful knife. The curves of the very thin edge help a lot. Also the weight behind the edge helps a lot. My K2 has been used for light chopping chores and it works great. This is another dimension of use which is going to be explore with the coming Tatanka. The wide blade of the K2 got enough momentum to cut deep. Really wide like a folding little machette.

Another great asset is how the knife is easy to clean and rinse under the tap. This is a great plus for hunters and cooks.
Mine has even fall on concrete and got no marks.

The edge is resistant to plate also. Mine has not rolled after some strong cuts on harder materials. The blade is also enough pointy to be used like a fork… Mine has stained but they have been removed with some compound. I haven’t kept the blade clean at all for a month now. So stains can happen. no big deal.

The K2 has proven also to be female friendly. It has been used around the table for cheese, bread and various desserts. The shape of the blade makes it easy to use with efficiency.
Also the smoothness of the action has been noticed by many handlers in my family. They feel immediately at ease with this massive blade. And they notice how thin the blade is.
Well I’m lucky to have it still !:-)

SPyderco Farid K2

The butt of the bottle is parted in two.

Delicate chorizo. The long blade and the thin edge give an efficient sawing motion which only needs the weight of the knife to cut through.

Huge mortadella !!


This is the kind of cheese which needs a longer blade.

Frosen forest white chocolate ice cream has been a match as some biscuits are hidden inside.

It looked easy but eventually it was a mess.

I was able to cut through it with my Ikea VG10 Chef Knife by pushing with handle and the blade with all my weight…
Ice is a tough material, even with a hot knife.:-)

Slysz Bowie versus Nilakka – Push Cutting Contest

Slysz versure Nilakka

One my favorite test for my blades is cutting through a plastic bottle bottom. It’s not as easy at it seems as the thicker part (at its center) is surrounded by a ring of softer plastic which can collaps and get crushed before the edge bites and cut through the center.
So of course the sexy Slysz was put into that testing and was able to cross the bottom but it was not better than the Nilakka which was able to do with more ease.
Why ?

After one year of constant use, I have slightly convexed my zero ground Nilakka and for ten months this folder has never warped or chipped its edge. It’s my sharpest knife with my BRKT Canadian Special in CPM3V. Also the thick spin and thick handle help for transmitting strength into push cuts.
So the gorgeous and thin Slysz is not as confortable for push cuts even with its rounded blade spin and concave titanium handle. Also its excellent factory thin edge is no match for the Nilakka’s.
I will do the test again after some gentle convexing of the Slysz Bowie and then we will see if the Nilakka loses his throne.

Slysz and Nilakka

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