Expert Advice

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

Survival Firestarter and Sharpener

By: admin - May 12, 20140 comments

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

There are a lot of firestarters on the market, so the question is:  Why should you buy this one?  That was what came to mind when we first saw this tool at the 2014 SHOT Show. After we had the opportunity to use it, that question was quickly answered.

After you remove the magnesium stick, it screws into the handle for a solid grip when using the striker.  The magnesium sticks of all firestarters are prone to degradation under humid conditions.   As the oxidation builds up over time, they become less efficient.  This magnesium stick has a protective black coating to prevent oxidation.  To get the best sparks, scrape off a portion of the protective coat with the striker and "spark away" to start your fire.  That being said, remember, this is a survival tool to be used under emergency conditions, so do not "play" with it just to say you started a fire without matches.  Allow the protective coating to remain in place until you truly need the tool.

The second aspect of this tool is the sharpening steel.  We would venture to say that few of us take a decent whet stone or sharpening steel with us into the mountains, and when our knives go dull... oh well.  The sharpening steel also screws into the handle (on top of the magnesium stick) for convenience and ease of use. The taper of the cone allows you to easily re-sharpen serrated edges which can be a real challenge when using conventional sharpeners.  It can be used as an awl if needed.  If all of the above wasn't enough to get your attention, there is a groove in the sharpening steel for fish hooks.  Someone was reading Jim's mind, as quite often his emergency supply of hooks are dull and rusty after being stored in the bottom of his pack.

The handle of the Stone River Firestarter and Sharpener is wrapped with several feet of 550 paracord, just in case, and the paracord lanyard is equipped with a carabiner for your belt or backpack.  With an MSRP of $29.95, it is a real value and cheap insurance for anyone who ventures into the wild. You can order the survival tool directly from Stone River Gear at

Ceramic Knives for Sportsmen

By: admin - June 25, 20120 comments

Like most hunters, we have accumulated quite a collection of knives over the years: Randall, Gerber, Case, Buck, Schrade and Ka-Bar to name just a few. All of them are pretty good blades. However, not one of them allowed us to dress, cape out and cut up a single animal without going to the whet stone or steel. We’ve heard from several veteran hunters over the years that ceramic blade knives hold their edge almost indefinitely, without sharpening, but the price tags always dissuaded us from a purchase.

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