Friday, February 24, 2017

EDC Gear: Flashlights

A good, small flashlight is a great addition to any EDC. I've gathered a small selection of examples that have been in and out of my EDC over the past 2 years. Hare are my thoughts on each.

This was the most expensive flashlight, and one of the least suited for EDC duty, due to it's size. This is the Streamlight ProTac HL3. With a C4 LED putting out up to 1100 lumens and up to 36,000 candela, this light is quite bright. Using Streamlight's 10-tap programmable tail-switch, you can use Full power, low power and strobe modes. The other issue with this light is that it uses 3 CR123A lithium-Ion batteries.

The next light is the Coast HP7. At up to 360 lumens in High mode and 50 in low mode, this light is fairly bright. It's sliding "Pure-Beam Focusing" head changes it from spot to flood light mode. It does use 4 AAA batteries, so it is rather hungry, but it's a nice light to keep in the car.  Again, the tail-cap switch is nice. And it takes a bit of effort to click it, so it won't turn on in your pocket.

This Coast PX25, at 275 Lumens, is a nice EDC pocket-sized light. Using 3 AAA's, it's not too expensive to keep going, either. You can see a trend here. The Tail-cap switch makes this a nice pocket light.

This Streamlight ProTac HL USB is my favorite light I own, even if it is a tad bulky to carry in my pocket. At up to 850 lumens, it's pretty bright. It uses Streamlight's Strion Lithium-Ion battery, or alternatively, an 18650. Recharged by a Micro-USB cable. It uses the same 10-tap programmable tailcap switch that the ProTac HL3 above takes.

The small 200 lumen MagLite XL50 is a nice little compact lite. It's got a 3-mode tailcap switch, which takes a light touch to operate. This did prove to be a problem, as it turned itself on in my pocket often, draining it's 3 AAA's frequently. Other than that, it's a great light.

This 83-lumen Coast G25 light, recently replaced by the G26, is a decent light, though it doesn't have the longest throw. And the tailcap switch does tend to get bumped and turn the light on on it's own, draining the 2 AA's.

This Coast PX20 Dual-Color light is the perfect size for an EDC light, but it's side-mounted switches for both white and red light make it less-than-ideal for battery life, as it turns itself on often.
This Coast HX5 is my current EDC light. It's a simple, 130 lumen, slide-focus light. Using a single AA battery and a nice tailcap switch, it's perhaps the perfect EDC light. It's clip lets it become a hat-light, as well. 
Check back for more EDC posts, and gear reviews!

-Phil

Thursday, February 23, 2017

EDC Gear: Pens

As a parts guy, I use pens for a good portion of the day, so it makes sense for me to include my pens in my EDC.
Due to the nature of my job, my pens tend to walk away, so I really try not to use my expensive pens, though today, I've got them here with me to show what I like to carry.

From the top, there's the Zebra G-301 Gel Retractable Ballpoint pen. The retractable ballpoint pen is perhaps one of the most common pen types, as well as the most versatile. The G-301 is a Gell-ink version of Zebras more popular F-301.

Next, we have the Zebra Stylus retractable ballpoint. I like this one because it has a stylus for use with touchscreen devices on the top. It uses the Zebra C15 refill.

Next is the Zebra F-701, which is functionally identical to the F-301, but with a Stainless Steel body. It uses the 301a refill.

The Zebra F-402 is, again, another variant of the F-301, just with a more ergonomic body. I would say this is my favorite pen I own.

This Pilot Precise V5 RT, while an inexpensive pen, writes vary nicely, with a fine .5mm line. This is a retractable rollerball pen.

The Sharpie Pen Stainless felt-tip fine-tip marker is nice for marking shelf tags, warranty cards and other things that require a permenant, fine-line marking.

The Zebra V-301 Fountain Pen, while not a normal fountain pen, writes smoothly, and doesn't make a mess like other fountain pens. It's a bit awkward for leftys, though, ans I found out.

Finally, the Pilot MR Animal series fountain pen lays down thick lines or thin, depending on how you hold the pen. It does make a bit of a mess, though, And it goes through ink faster than any pen I've ever had. But, it does write nicely.

Keep checking back for more EDC stuff.

-Phil


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

EDC Gear: Knives

Every EDC is different. Some use a minimalist approach, containing only a phone, wallet and keys. Others are far more elaborate, uncluding handguns, tools, unique little items and such. Some even gollow a common design theme, be it color, material or brand.

My EDC, as you'll see in a future post, includes a wide variety of items. Over the past few years, I've had several knives in my EDC. Here are my favorites:

At the top is one of my newest knives, the Gerber Ripstop 1. It's a small frame-lock knife with a very sharp little blade. It's fairly lightweight, due to its small size.

Next is my Gerber Remix Tactical folding Tanto blade. This knife, like the rest in this post, uses a frame-lock. The large hole in the center of the hinge makes for a but more control when your finger goes through it. It's also very convenient to hang on a backpack or a peg on the wall.

Next is the oldest and most well-used knife in this post, my Gerber Air Ranger. This knife is surprisingly lightweight. My only complaint is that the serration on the blade is too long. Not enough sharp surface.

The next one, and the only spring-assist knife I have ever had, is the Kershaw Manifold. It is quite a heavy knife, but it has held it's edge and finish well. The finish resembles the blueing finish you see on rifles.

Finally, my other new addition, the Schrade Tough Tool. 10 folding tools plus pliers and wire cutters make this a handy tool to have on you. Might be a little heavy and bulky to go in your pocket, though.

Keep checking back for more Gear and EDC posts!

-Phil