Stone River Gear Change-Blade Camping Knife by Dr. Jim Clary

By: joe - July 1, 20150 comments

Illustration courtesy of Stone River Gear LLC Illustration courtesy of Stone River Gear LLC





Over the past half century, I have been searching for that one knife for camping that would render all others obsolete.  Well, I haven't found it yet; but, I have found one that comes so close to fulfilling my requirements that I have stopped looking.

That knife is the Stone River Change-Blade knife.  It is everything that a camper needs, whether you are a backpacker or weekend tent camper.  This knife (actually three) is compact, tough and versatile.

The two interchangeable white ceramic zirconium blades, one clip point and one drop point, are ideal for precision cutting.  We use them for just about everything around the campsite from preparing our food to cutting our steaks over dinner.  There is always an argument as to who gets to use it first.   As useful as ceramic blades are, there are always those situations when a steel blade is needed.  The AUS-8 stainless steel blade is tough enough for any job around camp, from cutting kindling to just plain whittling around the campfire. And, if your camping trip includes a bit of fishing, the steel blade is ideal for cleaning your catch.

When it comes to steel blades, you should not consider buying a knife unless the manufacturer is willing to let you know what kind of steel they are using.  AUS-8 steel is used by SOG, CRKT and Cold Steel in their tactical knives and has a Rockwell hardness of Rc 58-59.   It doesn't get any better than that.

The G10 handle is solid and well contoured for a comfortable grip.  G10 material is preferable to aluminum or titanium for camping knives because of its low specific heat.  That means in hot weather there is a cooler grip and in cold weather, you don't feel like you are holding an ice cube.

With the Quick Release locking mechanism on the handle, you don't have to remove a blade from the sheath to put it into the handle.  Push the handle down on the shank of the blade you need and it locks up.  When you are done, push the blade back into it’s scabbard in the sheath, press the unlock mechanism on the handle and withdraw the handle.  This unique feature prevents one from accidentally slicing a finger by trying to remove the blade without the handle.

The nylon sheath has an extra feature found only in this set.  There is a separate blade protector in the sheath for each blade.  These high quality polymer "scabbards" not only protect the blade edges, but they also prevent the blades from cutting into the sheath when stored or being removed.  That is a nice touch.

The Change-Blade set is a little bit heavier and bulkier than your regular sheath knife..... but, given its versatility, it is a small price to pay.  If by some chance, you are one of those folks who don't want to wear it as belt knife, strap it onto your backpack or drop it in your camp box and it will be there when you need it.  You won't need any other knife on your camping trips.  This set has you covered.

If the ceramic blades ever need resharpening, Stone River will resharpen both blades for free, requesting only $10 to cover shipping and handling.

With an MSRP of $149.95, the Change-Blade is not cheap.  However, because it serves as an all-around camping knife, giving you three blades in one package, it is well worth the price.

If the Change-Blade Knife is not available at your local sporting goods store, it can be purchased directly from Stone River Gear at their site:

Illustration courtesy of Stone River Gear LLC Illustration courtesy of Stone River Gear LLC





The two most frequently asked questions about Stone River ceramic knives

By: joe - May 19, 20150 comments

Having just returned from a major tradeshow the 2 most frequently asked questions about Stone River ceramic knives was “what feature most distinguishes Stone River Gear ceramic knives from steel knives and do they break easily”?

First, the overwhelming difference between ceramic knives and steel knives is ceramic knives stay sharp almost indefinitely at a minimum up to 15X longer than conventional steel knives.  For example, I’ve had a set of ceramic knives in my kitchen for 7 years and have never sharpened them.  You might ask how is this possible?  Well, our ceramic knives are manufactured from Zirconium Oxide, one of the hardest materials on the planet and rivaled only by diamonds for hardness.  This “hardness quality” gives a ceramic knife its’ amazing ability to hold a razor sharp edge.

Due to the incredible hardness of the blades, they are more brittle than steel and for that reason you need to take some extra care in not applying torque or undue sideward pressure on the blade.  For example you don’t want to use the knife to pry, cut bone or split joints in poultry or beef.  A good steel chef knife or cleaver is still needed for those cutting tasks.  That said, for the 80-90% of the time you use a knife for straight cuts, slicing or chopping of vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and poultry, you’ll find an “always sharp” Stone River Gear ceramic knife is indispensable.

Other features of Stone River Gear ceramic knives that set them apart from conventional steel knives are their anti-bacterial and chemically inert properties.  For example, when you cut lettuce with a steel blade and store it in the fridge it can take on that un-appetizing “rusty look”.  This won’t happen with a Stone River Gear ceramic knife.

Another feature is easy clean up due to the anti-bacterial nature of the ceramic blade material.  A little dish detergent on the blade, a quick wipe and rinse under the faucet and you’re done.

One more thing, all of our Stone River Gear ceramic knives are covered by a 5-YEAR WARRANTY!

Click here to view our ceramic knives

Or visit our Ceramic Knives Store


Jim Clary-Noted Outdoor Writer and Enthusiast

By: joe - May 7, 20150 comments

Just when I thought that it wouldn't be possible to produce a compact, Ultra-High lumen flashlight, Stone River Gear unveiled its’ SRG1000TRF Re-chargeable 1,000 lumen LED powerhouse.  As I was going over its features, my daughter who is a graduate archaeologist, informed me that she would like to take it into the field to some of her “digs” to try it out.  What better way to test a flashlight than send it along with a 23-year-old archaeologist who travels and works at remote sites around the American Southwest?

I got my sample shortly before Susannah was scheduled to leave on an expedition and it was no sooner out of the box than she claimed ownership. Susannah only returns to home base to re-stock her food and wash some clothes now and then. After three weeks in the field, I asked her how the light performed?  All she did was smile and say, "It did okay." Just okay? I told her that if she wasn’t happy with it, I’d trade any one of my other flashlights to get it back. Susannah replied, "Dad, this one is mine! It’s the most powerful and compact light I’ve ever used. You can keep everything else, this one stays with me."

Rechargeable LED FlashlightShe keeps the SRG1000 in her daypack and uses it every night when she and members of her team leave their excavation site and head back to camp. Because of the remote location of their sites, a powerful and reliable flashlight is an essential piece of equipment. She really likes the fact that this light can be conveniently re-charged from their truck, now wall socket necessary!  Bottom line, Susannah loves the light, and although I don’t have it for my personal use, I have a happy daughter.

If you are looking for a reliable quality flashlight with maximum illumination in a compact size, this is the one to buy.  I’ve laid out the specifications for your convenience here:


  • Machined aircraft aluminum head and barrel
  • Two T6 CREE Type LED Bulbs
  • Button Mode Intensity Selection: High 1,000 lumens; Medium 150 lumens; Low 80 lumens
  • Strobe feature for emergencies
  • Rubber Encapsulated Positive On/Off Push Button Switch
  • 50,000 hours average LED Life
  • Operates on two 3.7V Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries included
  • Charging cradle hold two batteries for quick charging
  • USB charging cable for adaptors included
  • 12V automobile and wall charging adaptors included
  • Water resistant O-ring seal construction
  • Length: 7-7/8 inches
  • Bezel diameter: 1-3/4 inches
  • Weight: 8 ounces w/o batteries
  • 10 year limited warranty

Tanto Ceramic Folding Knife

By: admin - August 20, 20140 comments

by Dr. Jim and Mary Clary
Guns and Shooting Online 2014

This is virtually the same Stone River Gear ( ceramic knife that Jim used four years ago to skin and debone his Persian Ibex. (See Stone River Gear Ceramic Knives for that article.)

Jim gave that knife, a model SRG2GLW, to his guide as an extra tip for a great hunt. His guide is still using that blade four years later. After dressing and skinning out countless animals, including Ibex, deer and elk, the knife is still sharp.

The difference is the Tanto style blade, which is ideal for straight cuts (excellent for cutting things like rope, cardboard and paper), versus the drop-point blade of the earlier folder. Mary prefers the Tanto style, while Jim likes the original drop point, which just goes to show we don't always agree on everything. However, we do agree on the quality of this knife.


  • Model: SRG2GLT
  • Blade material: black zirconium oxide
  • Blade length: 3 in.
  • Blade locking mechanism: Liner lock
  • Handle material: G10
  • Length closed: 4.25 in.
  • Length open: 7.5 in.
  • Includes: Pocket clip, presentation box
  • Country of manufacture: People's Republic of China
  • 2014 MSRP: $89.95

The textured G10 handle is lightweight and guaranteed to last forever. For those not familiar with G10 laminates, they are produced by using glass woven fabric impregnated with epoxy resin binders and compressed under high pressure. They are incredibly durable, being unaffected by temperatures below 180C or moisture. In fact, G10 laminates are strong enough to have found a use in several industries as structural supports, gears and high tolerance machine parts in electromechanical equipment. You will never have a problem with the handle on this knife.

Opening and closing the knife is very smooth, yet the blade is tight. There is no play or wobble. As with most of the Stone River knives, the hinge pin can be tightened with a small Allan wrench, if ever needed. There are thumb studs on both sides of the blade to accommodate opening the blade with either hand.

The black zirconium oxide ceramic blade is razor sharp and will hold its edge about 10 to 12 times longer than equivalent steel blades. It is impervious to salt water and will not rust or pit.

However, it has the same advantages and disadvantages inherent in all ceramic blades: it is designed for cutting flesh, hide and other relatively soft materials. Don't try to split wood, bone or other hard materials with it and don't cut on a hard surface or the edge might chip. Do not torque or pry with the blade or it may snap.

Sharpen the blade with a diamond dust impregnated steel or wheel. Ceramic blades are so hard that conventional hard stone and steel sharpeners will not suffice.

The knife has a positive brass liner lock to firmly hold the blade in the locked position. This design eliminates any stress on the ceramic tang, a common problem in traditional ceramic lock-back knives. The liner lock holds the knife firmly in the open position, yet is easy to release for closing the knife.

The pocket clip holds the knife firmly in your back pocket, yet allows for quick and smooth access. In case you wish to attach a lanyard to the handle, there is a hole for that purpose. (It comes with a short lanyard to remind us that we can attach a longer one.)

New Age Cutlery Set

By: admin - May 12, 20140 comments

by Dr. Jim and Mary Clary
Guns and Shooting Online 2014

To say that this set is superb for any kitchen is an understatement.  The knives are unbelievably sharp, right out of the box. They are made from 440C stainless steel with a design that makes them easy to resharpen with honing steel or an electric sharpener. If you think about all the knives that most of us have purchased and discarded over the years, it makes a lot of sense to get a single set which will last a lifetime that is easy to clean and resharpen.  As great as these are for the home, our primary focus here is the benefit these knives offer to backpackers and RV users.

For those of us who backpack into the mountains, it has always been a problem to properly store kitchen knives so that we don't poke holes in our packs or hands.  Since the New Age knives nest in their box, they can safely be stored in a backpack without worry.  And, once your base camp has been established, you have the same selection of knives that are available at home.  Gone are the days when we have to use our belt knives for kitchen duty or risk ruining a Kelty pack with a loose blade.

Which brings us to those who use camper trailers or RVs.  I can't tell you how many times we have searched through the drawers in our camper, looking for the proper knife and nicked ourselves on one of the others.  And for some unknown reason, most of us don't put our best knives in the camper.  We commonly load the camper up with the orphans and odd balls from the kitchen.  If you think about that, it doesn't make sense.  If we are going to use the camper for an extended hunt or vacation, we really should have proper kitchen utensils, including first-rate knives.  We are as guilty of that as the next person.  However, no more!  The New Age cutlery gift box fits neatly in the top drawer below the counter, keeping the sharp edges away from Jim's hands.  When dinner time rolls around, the box is placed on the counter and everything is within easy reach.

If we had a suggestion for this set, it would be to put a latch on the lid or magnetic strip to secure the top for the outdoor uses we outlined above.  But, that is a minor "issue" compared to the usefulness of this set.  With an MSRP of $89.95, it is more than competitive with any other set of four quality knives. You can order these knives directly from Stone River Gear at

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