Posts in the how-to category

Crockpot Pot Roast Recipe: Quick and Easy

I like to eat. I like to eat good food. I like to cook. I work a lot. Most days I have little time for cooking, what with filling orders, buying product, adding product to the website and marketing the website. This is where a crockpot comes in handy. With a small amount of prep time you can have a great meal. My crockpot cooks at a low temp and all day cooking makes a great meal at the end of the day. Pot roast is always a good standby. Easy and tasty. This morning I put together the following:

  • Quick and Easy Pot Roast RecipePot Roast-I like chuck roast
  • Sliced Onion
  • Quartered Potatoes
  • Baby Carrots Fresh mushrooms
  • Can of Beef Broth
  • Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup Dry Onion Soup Package
  • Italian Seasoning to taste
  • Garlic Chopped to taste
That's it. Place roast in crockpot. Mix everything together in crockpot. Cook on low for at least 8 hours. 10 hours is no problem. If you are going to be at home while the roast is cooking you may want to add the potatoes and mushrooms after 3 or 4 hours cooking. The will still be done but a little firmer than cooking them all day.


Quick and Easy Pot Roast Recipe  


Everything mixed together in the pot. 
Quick and Easy Pot Roast Recipe
With little effort you have a great meal at the end of the day. A simple Crockpot Pot Roast.
Posted by ES Team on 17 November, 2014 hobbies, how-to, recipes | 0 comments | Read more →

Counterfeit Knives: How to Avoid Losing Your Money

Last weekend I was up in the Bowling Green, Kentucky area visiting my Son for Labor day. Sunday we decided to go to one of the local flea markets. I found myself at a Flea Market, right off Interstate 65. They had both outside and inside booths. I like to browse through flea markets every once in a while to see what the local knife dealers are offering their customers.

While walking around the outside dealers I found one knife dealer. I took a glance at his table and breezed past him. He did not seem to have much, mostly low end china knives. I did not spend anytime at his booth. I knew there were three or four larger dealers inside. I was more interested in what they had to offer.

As I was making my way to the inside market and my son came up to me and asked me if I had noticed the Microtechs and Benchmades at the knife dealers booth I had just passed. He informed me they were selling these high quality USA made knives for $8.00 and he believed they were copies.

Benchmade Counterfeit

Benchmade Counterfeit 

I went back to the booth to have a good look at his knives. And sure enough he had Benchmades, Microtechs, Bokers and Cold Steel knives for sale at $8.00 and $10.00. I had heard of Columbia River Counterfeit knives out of China but I have never seen one except for pictures on the internet. The counterfeit Columbia Rivers looked good and by their pictures are hard to differentiate from the originals.

Benchmade China Counterfeit

Benchmade Conterfeit

I picked up a few of these so called high end knives and wondered how any one could sell them for the crazy price of $8.00. But once I got them in my hand I could tell why they were $8.00 because these knives were low end china knives and they were very easy to spot as counterfeit. The knives were very light and made of cheap materials. They had logos but they were a little off from the authentic logos. They looked like the original logos at a glance but when you looked closely at them it was easy to tell they were not original designs. The logos were crooked and were just a cheap decal. The metal was some low grade of stainless, definitely not 440 or 420 or the more expensive aus-8 that most USA knife manufactures use.

Benchmade Saw Blade Counterfeit

Benchmade Conterfeit

Looking at the boxes, you could see that they were close to the boxes the authentic knives came in but with a little closer examination the flaws could be seen. Very thin cardboard had the markings again, way off from the original boxes.

Boker Counterfeit

Boker Counterfeit

I did not talk with the dealer. But after looking at the counterfeits I decided to take a few pictures with my phone. I wanted my readers and my customers to get a look at what these counterfeit knives look like. The pictures are not very good but you at least get an idea of what to look for.

Coldsteel Counterfeit

Coldsteel Conterfeit

At extremely sharp we do not sell counterfeits. Nor will we. We do have a few, what I call wanna be's, but they are clearly described. You know what you are buying. They resemble the knife they were designed from but have no marking of the original manufacturer. The key is that they resemble the knives they are modeled after. We do not present them as the knives. That would be dishonest. Our knives are exactly as they are described. No more and no less.

Microtech Counterfeit

Microtech Counterfeit

A good example of this would be our K9 spring loaded knives. They resemble an older Smith & Wesson model. Smith and Wesson has not made that model for over 10 years. This is a popular style tactical knife so when I can find them I offer them to my customers. But the difference between us and the counterfeiter is that I let the buyer know what they are. They come in a unmarked box and have no Smith & Wesson markings.

Nobody wants to get ripped off. It can be prevented. There are things to look for when shopping for high end knives. Always pick up the knife and examine the knife thoroughly. Look for blemishes or any defects on the knife. Next, look at the weight of the knife and the blade action. When you are holding the knife it should feel like you are holding something. Opening the blade should be quick and smooth. There should be no drag or resistance. A little flick of the wrist and the blade should open with ease. Look at the metal and the material of the handles. They should be top quality. The knife emblems should never be crooked and never a decal. Logos are professionally etched onto blades. Do a little research and you will be able to tell the difference between an authentic emblem and a fake. When you are familiar with them they are easy to spot.

Counterfeit Microtech

Microtech Conterfeit

When walking through the Flea Market, or shopping online, remember the buyer needs to beware. There are some good deals out there but first do your research. Know your product and don’t buy on a whim. Find legitimate dealers and legitimate deals. Ask the dealer about the knife you are interested in. See how much they know about the knife and the manufacturer of the knife.

Remember, you will Never find a $200.00 knife for $8.00. That is just not ever going to happen. You need always have to be careful when purchasing knives and if the deal seems too good to be true it probably is.

Posted by ES Team on 11 November, 2014 how-to, knife reviews | 0 comments | Read more →

Sardine Can: Survival in the Wild

Sadine Can Survival

I am one of those people that believe Survival skills are important. When you are in a survival situation you never know what you may have to work with. I like to look at my environment and play a little game. I will pick something out and figure out ways I could use the item as a survival tool. Today I was in the kitchen and saw some sardines in the can. I wondered what could I do with a Sardine can in a survival situation? This is what I came up with.

Something real easy would be a signal mirror. Polish the bottom of your sardine can and you get a real handy signal mirror. perfect for your survival kit.

If you had an unopened can of sardines you could of course eat them. They are a great snack full of protein. Save some of your sardines, they make make great catfish bait or use them in a crawdad trap or minnow trap. Racoons love sardines. Making a trap and using sardines as bait may bring you some well needed meat in a survival situation.

If you are backpacker a large Sardine can makes a great little frying pan. Could be a great little addition to your cook set. If you have two sardine cans you have a pan and astove. Fill a sardine can with cotton balls and pour alcohol on them, light it and you have a useful stove. Another way to make a stove out of a sardine can is to take cardboard strips and melt hot wax onto them. Light the strips and you have your stove or you have a great emergency fire starter.

Sardine Can Stove

Sardine Can Stove

After eating your sardines, leave the oil in the can. Find some cotton string or better yet some jute cord. Set the cord in the oil and leave around one inch exposed. Now you have a grease lamp. Light the wick and you are ready to go.

Sardine Can Lamp with Sardine Oil

Sardine Can Lamp with Sardine Oil

If you happen to be in Green Bay, Wisconsin you can go to The Sardine Can for a drink and some fun.

Sardine cans are used to make small survival kits. Personally I do not like the the commercially available sardine cans survival kits. Mostly they are cheesy with survival items that are way below standard. But You could fill an empty sardine can with smaller survival gear, wrap the can with a good amount of duct tape and now you have your gear, a water resistant can, and duct tape, which is possibly the greatest of all survival tools.

With a little imagination and know how you can take almost objects and find great survival uses.

Posted by ES Team on 10 November, 2014 how-to, survival | 0 comments | Read more →

Monkey Fist Knot: The New Self Defense

Monkey Fist Knot Self Defense

A Monkey Fist knot is so named because it looks like a small bunched fist or paw. The monkey fist knot originally began as a frequently used Merchant Marine term. Sailors of the 1800's began using monkey fists (a knot tide around a small weight) as a method to grab ropes from boat to boat, person to person. The weight on the line made the passing of lines from a ship to shore or from one ship to another ship easier and faster.

These first knots, also known as sailor knots, began as a bolt, maybe a rock, or something that had weight. It would be placed inside the monkey fist knot. The knot would be tightened and attached to the rope. Then it would be thrown to a sailor on the shore or on another ship. Many times this lighter rope would be replaced with a heaver rope. This process saved time. Throwing a heavy rope was much harder than throwing the lighter weighted line.

The Monkey fist began to be used as a hand-to-hand weapon, when the sailors were on shore. Also called a slungshot they were commonly used as melee weapons by sailors embroiled in street and tavern fights. The use of the monkey's fist as a slungshot became common in the street gang subcultures of the 19th century.

Monkey Fist Knot Most monkey fists double as key chains that serve a twofold purpose. Drop your keys in a purse or backpack and leave the knot dangling over the side making easy access to your keys. Never lose your keys again. Their second purpose, and perhaps most important purpose, is for self defense. Learning to use a monkey fist for protection can be very effective. The Monkey fist has made a comeback in the last few years. It has worked it's way into everyday life. We have easy access to para cord and this has given new life to the monkey fist. Type "Monkey Fist" into a search engine and you get a whole lot of how to make a monkey fist. Monkey fist fans are making them everywhere. Monkey fists are one of the top items to make out of para cord.

Our Monkey Fist features Military grade 550 lb test, 7 strand, Commercial & Mil-Spec. Parachute cord (autumn camo) with a 25 mm (1 in.) steel ball bearing. Our Monkey Fist is strong with a split ring/key chain end and bead. Our Monkey Fist will beautifully compliment the finest gear in your collection! 9-1/2" long.

Posted by ES Team on 09 November, 2014 how-to, self defense | 0 comments | Read more →

Catching Your Own Fish Bait

Catch Your Own Bait Mealworm

You want to fish with live bait you go to the bait shop and buy some bait. What if you want to catch your own bait. After all you are limited on what types of bait you can buy at the local bait shop. If the end of the world, as we know it, happens you'll have to find your own bait. Here are some tips where to where to find commonly used baits.

Crickets are one of the most common baits. Great for pan fish like bluegills and sunfish. Crickets are pretty easy to find. You can find them in your house, or look outside under a few rocks, maybe in a local wood pile. You can find crickets most of the year somewhere.

Grasshoppers are almost as good as crickets. Finding them is more limited. You can find them in the tall grass during summer and early fall.

Mealworms are a great bait that can be bought at the local bait shop. Mealworms are a beetle larvae. These can't be found easily. If you are interested in cutting out the middleman you will have to raise them on your own. Wax worms, a moth larvae, are on the same level as mealworms and make a great bait. 

Catch Your Own Bait Minnow Trap Grubs are found in the ground. Just a little digging in a grassy area will turn them up. Some fish will eat them up.

Night crawlers and earthworms are a staple for catching fish. We all know digging them up is the easiest way to find them. At night we go out with a high powered light and catchthe big crawlers coming out of the ground but you got to be fast. You can always fiddle some worms. I plan to write an article on fiddle worms in the future.

Bass and crappie love minnows. We catch minnows in a seine. Seines are hard in the colder temps because you tend to get wet using a seine. There are many types of nets out there to catch minnows but usually require two arms so I stay away from them. During colder weather is when the old minnow trap comes in out. A minnow trap, some oatmeal, and you can catch all the minnows you need. We use the standard metal mesh trap but I am thinking about getting one of these glass traps.

Catch Your Own Bait WalleyeLarge Bass, Northerns and Muskies love the Frogs. Frogs are easily found in ponds and lakes. Catching them live is another story. But it can be done. With practice you can have enough frogs for fishing and a tasty dinner.

Walleyes regard leeches as soul food and walleye is perhaps the best tasting fish ever. The easiest way to catch leeches is to roll up your pants and walk through a swamp. This is effective but not fun. The next best way is to get yourself a big piece of beef liver. Throw it out into a swamp one evening. Go back the next morning and your liver will be full of leaches.

Minnesota 2013 Walleye Stamp

Fishing with live bait is a great way to catch fish. Catching your own bait is rewarding and fun.

Posted by ES Team on 08 November, 2014 fishing, hobbies, how-to | 0 comments | Read more →

Shurikens: How To Throw a Star like a Ninja

By the end of this short article, we'll get you ready to start throwing a shuriken and give you some tips that it takes the pros years to pick up. Learn how to throw a shuriken horizontally, how to throw ninja star vertically and what do you throw your star into - plus a few pro tips.
Posted by ES Team on 04 November, 2014 hobbies, how-to, knife reviews, martial arts | 0 comments | Read more →

Catch and Release: Let my Granddaughter Catch the Big One

Catch and Release Bass Fishing

Catch and Release began in 1952. The state of Michigan was experiencing high costs stocking hatchery raised trout. Michigan designed catch and release to reduce the cost. Fast track to 2013; Catch and release is largely promoted to avoid over fishing and ensure the sport of fishing for generations to come.

The ESKNIVES compound is on Guntersville lake. Bass fishing is a big deal here on the lake. From early spring to late fall we have a Bass tournament almost every weekend. If we did not practice catch and release Bass fishing would become a very boring sport.

If you plan to catch and release then learning proper techniques to reduce damage to skin, to scales, and slime layers that make fish vulnerable to fish fungus and skin infections, is essential.

Here are some fast simple rules:

1. Before handling your fish make sure your hands are wet. Dry hands remove the protective slime on fishes skin. Never use gloves or a rag. Gloves and rags can be death sentences for fish.

2. How long can you hold your breath? That is about as long as you should keep a fish out of water. This usually leaves plenty of time to remove your fish from the line, take pictures and return your fish to the water.

3. Be careful removing the hook. Tearing the hook is a sure way to start a fungus. You can purchase a hook remover. I use a pair of thin needle nose. They seem to work better than manufactured hook removers. If the hook is hard to remove the best bet is to push it through and cut off the barb. The hook removes safely and hooks are easily replaced

4.When releasing your fish move your fish backwards and forwards in the water. This moves water through the gills and helps revive your fish. When the fish begins to struggle and starts to swim let the fish go. Most fish are ready to go when placed in the water.

My Granddaughter is not yet old enough to fish. But when she is I want her to have the same thrills I have had landing that big one. It is good to be part of the solution giving us all the chance to enjoy fishing.

That is all I have for now,
One Arm Don

Posted by ES Team on 02 November, 2014 ES family, fishing, how-to | 0 comments | Read more →

Surviving the Wire Ring Saw

There are many types of Wire Ring saws out there. They are included in most survival kits. Wire Saws are light weight and they are supposed to cut through wood, metal, plastic and bone. Wire saws can be handy out in the wilderness. They look cool in the survival kit but many perform poorly out in the field. The first rule of thumb is to buy a good one. That way they won't snap when you need one.

We sell a wire saw at Extremely-Sharp that has over 100 lbs breaking strain with a 24" sawing edge. With that type of strength it may well be the most effective wire saw available. Our saw cuts through wood, plastic, bone, and even soft metals. They are constructed with 8 strands of interwoven stainless steel wire.  We call it the strongest wire saw ever.

Wire Ring SawYou can cut from the front or from back.  The most efficient method is the wrap around pull.   However you decide to use your saw it is much like flossing your teeth, nice long strokes.  The wire ring saw works well using the saw alone.  But a partner, one person on both ends make cutting faster and easier.The rings of the wire saw can hurt your finger.  The rings  get cold in winter.   There are some wire saws that come with nylon handles, but they are heavier in a pack and bulky in a survival kit.   An easy fix for handles is to take some additional para cord with you and make handles for your saw.  Most people in a survival situation have access to para cord.  When camping or backpacking para cord is a vital item to pack. Hand straps can save your fingers.

Start your cut small and slow.  As the cut deepens the surface area will increase.  With a even steady pull your speed can increase.

Remember that you are using energy when using your wire saw. If you are in a survival situation make sure the job is necessary before you expend the energy.

Wire SawYou don't want to let the saw blade get hot.
  The hotter the blade gets the more potential for snapping and breakage.   While cutting with your saw take some breaks and feel the blade.  If it does not burn your fingers it is OK to continue sawing.Wire saws are designed for smaller sticks.  In most survival and camping situations you will not need to cut large trees.  You never know when you might need to cut bone.  These saws cut bone fast and smooth.

You can take your wire ring saw and turn it into a bow saw.  Find a smaller branch that can bend.  Green wood works best and is easier to make a bow with.  Notch both ends of your bow and string the bow with your wire saw.  Now you can saw from the top.   Don't rush it, let the saw do the work.  Using the bow saw means a  lot less effort and less calories.  Using the wire saw as a bow is one and half times faster than using a plain wire saw.   Using your saw in a bow helps prevent breakage of your saw, keeping your wire blade straight.

Wire Saw Diagram

A wire ring saw is a great addition for anyone whether for survival, backpacking or camping.  Wire saws don't weigh much and  well worth packing.Maintenance of the wire saw  is easy.   They store well.  It is important to keep a coat of oil on your saw to prevent rusting.  The oil will ensure years and years of hard use  from your saw.

When you are out practicing your survival skills your wire saw can be used for survival projects.  We have used our wire saw as a snare and have had good results.  With a little imagination the wire saw makes survival fun.

Posted by ES Team on 28 October, 2014 camping, get outdoors, how-to, survival | 0 comments | Read more →

Hobo Backpacking Stove Packs a Whole Lot of Power

Being a backpacker I am always looking for ways to lighten my pack. I thought I would look for a lightweight, easy to use stove that I could use wood as the fuel  That way I would not have to carry fuel and that would lighten my pack. I immediately thought about hobo stoves. Hobo Stoves are traditionally made from old coffee cans and use wood as the fuel source.  Of course a coffee can would be too big for my pack. Maybe I could make a smaller one.

I measured my backpacking pot that my kitchen fits in.  I needed a can that would be slightly larger than my pot.  That way my pot would slip in the stove for storage taking up less room in the pack.  Off to the grocery store I went with my measuring tape.  I started looking at cans and I started measuring.  I am sure I looked a little silly in the isles measuring cans.

I stopped in the Juice isle.  The large juice cans looked like they might be what I was looking for.  I measured and they were just the right size.  My pot would fit nicely inside the juice can.  I settled on the V-8 can.  Not because I like V-8 but because it seemed to be the strongest can.  I needed a can that would take a beating.

I got home and I started designing my stove. I think my design came out pretty well.

Here is our video explaining how we made the stove.

My son an I have taken this stove out on the trail several times. It performs well. Collecting a few sticks, using some tinder and a fire starter you are on your way to a hot meal. I have been able to boil water in around 8 minutes after lighting the tinder.

Here is our video using the stove and boiling water.

The pot will get black from soot with regular use. You can wash some of it off but everything fits into a sack so there is no dirt or soot in the pack.I did learn to use hardwoods when cooking. Pine tends to burn hot and leaves a resin on the pot.

My whole kitchen fits in the stove and then in a stuff sack. Takes up little room and weighs around 14 oz. The best part is that I don't have to carry fuel. I don't even have to carry tinder if I don't want too. I can find tinder on the trail. But a few cotton balls weigh almost nothing and are easy to light.

ESknives Hobo StoveYou can pack this stove and your alcohol stove. This stove makes a nice windbreak for the alcohol burner.

The Good – it’s very easy to make and there is plenty of fuel for it here in the Maine woods. A few handfuls of twigs and you’ll be able to boil a couple of cups of water in no time.

I like the way the stove focused the heat, which meant no wasted energy.

It’s lightweight and if you were so inclined carrying it around wouldn’t be a big deal.

I used hardwood twigs (oak) and there were very few sparks from this fire meaning that I’d feel comfortable using this stove in an area where there was a high fire hazard. By being extremely careful or through sheer dumb luck I’ve never lost control of a fire yet!

The Bad – it needs a lot of attention once you light it to keep it going. The wood used is fairly small and you need to feed it every five minutes or so or else the fire will go out.

If it’s raining starting this stove and keeping it going will be a bear. I haven’t tried it in the rain yet, but past experience with wood stoves tells me this will be tough to keep going unless you have a dry supply of wood on hand.

I’m going to replace the coat hanger with a couple of aluminum stakes the next time I use it.

Posted by ES Team on 26 October, 2014 camping, get outdoors, how-to | 0 comments | Read more →

How to Use the Butt of a Knife

When looking at knives most people concentrate on the blade.  There are many blades, many jobs.  Picking the right blade can take some time and research. 

When buying a knife you might want to look at the other end.  In a survival situation the handle and the butt can be as important as the blade. Having a solid metal butt or a full tang extension is the way to go. The primary reason you want a solid metal butt or a tang extension beyond the end of the handle material is so you can hammer on the end of the knife.   A metal butt gives you the ability to drive your knife into something without damaging the handle.  This works great when working with larger pieces of wood and turning them into smaller pieces of wood, know as batoning. You can use your knife to split wood.  Stick your knife in your log and hit the end with something like another log or a rock and now you have split the wood.

A hammer is a vital survival tool.  A solid flat or extended pommel  can also be used as an improvised hammer. When you are in a survival situation or in the woods a hammer comes in handy. The pommel is easier to use than a rock or a piece of wood.   If you are camping and setting up a tent the pommel works great pounding in those stakes.

How to Uzse the Butt of a Knife

When looking at handles you want to have a  full or half cross hilt.   A good hilt will prevent accidental cuts if your hand slips.  You don't want a serious cut when medical attention is unavailable. A  half guard gives better control of the blade when precision is called for.  Some knives have a small portion of the top back end of the blade notched with grooves or ridges that creates a non-slip spot to put your thumb or a finger on when needed for those types of jobs.

Looking at a handle with a lanyard hole is  important.  A lanyard prevents the loss of your knife. You don't want to accidentally lose the most valuable survival tool you have.   When using your knife always use a wrist lanyard especially, when working over water or long drops. You'll want a  cinch on your strap to tighten it to the wrist.  A simple loop can simply slip off your wrist.

If you can try out the handle before you buy. You want the handle to be comfortable in any position.  The best handles provide a firm grip.  When the handle is wet you want it to be slip-resistant.   Be wary of handles that are too grippy or made from aggressive materials because they can cause hot spots and blisters when heavily used.  This is why skeletonized handles are usually wrapped with parachute cord.

When buying a knife the blade is not the only thing to consider. Spend some time on the handle. You will be happy you did.

Posted by ES Team on 21 October, 2014 how-to, self defense, survival | 0 comments | Read more →

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