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 →

Stickin with the Cold Steel Sure Strike Shuriken

People love throwing stuff.  We at ESKNIVES love to throw knives and throwing stars. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing that "thunk" sound as a blade sticks in the wooden target.

Shurikens are a lot of fun.  I thought I would write in this article about Cold Steel Shurikens. Cold steel Sure Strike Throwing stars are a great way to get started in the throwing game. 

Sure Strikes aren't like the cheap, shoddy throwing stars you see at flea markets, guns shows, and in martial arts magazines. That's because they are laser cut from high carbon steel that's been heat treated to a hard spring temper before sharpening and then given a black, baked-on epoxy finish to protect them from the elements.  Professionally weighted, balanced and  fully sharpened ends.   Remember that these are serious weapons and not toys.  They will hurt people if not handled responsibly.

Cold Steel Shuriken

Cold Steel Sure Strikes

The Cold Steel Sure Strikes are modeled after the Shuriken that has been used for centuries in China and Japan.  Sure Strike throwing stars come in three sizes, light, medium and heavy.  Points are sharp and no need for sharp edges.  You can throw them for a long time without dulling the point.   They fly effortlessly. You can throw the sure strike  overhand like a baseball, side arm, underarm or back hand like a flying saucer.  When thrown straight,  it hits on at least one point every time.   That's why they are called Sure Strikes.

All three share the same sized diameter of 5.75".  Where they very is in thickness which varies the weight.  The light is 2mm thick at 2.8 oz, The medium is 4mm thick at 4.2 oz and the heavy comes in at 6mm and 6.4 oz. 


Sure Strikes-Light, Heavy and Medium

These sure strikes really help to get your ninja on.  I have thrown all three sizes.  I prefer the heavy sure strike.  The heavy sure strike is a heavy thick piece of steel.  They seem to stick better than the light.  The one problem I have encountered is when they stick, sometimes I have to  pull them out of the target with pliers.  After throwing them for awhile, I preferred the overhand method as opposed to the underhand (frisbe like) throw.

I have found that they live up to their name sure strike,

You throw them they stick. Even the light version did well. It still has some weight behind it and easily sinks into what ever you throw it at.

Great for new people. These stars stick each time and help boost your confidence. You don't have to be that good to make one stick. Take it from me, I used to be right handed before I lost my arm and even I can make them stick with a left hand throw. After continued use the paint on the outside will rub off some to reveal the silver metal.

These are the stars that stick every time, the Sure Strikes from Cold Steel. Have fun with them and be safe!

Posted by ES Team on 20 October, 2014 hobbies, how-to, martial arts | 0 comments | Read more →

Switch Blades Knives VS Spring Assist Knives

The switchblade (aka automatic, spring loaded) knife has been around since the mid 18th century.  By 1890 because of new mass production techniques switchblades became readily available at lower costs. After WWII American soldiers returning home from Europe brought home  switchblades that would become known as the Italian stiletto switchblade. These Italian stilettos used a new style blade, a slender bayonet blade with a single ground dagger edge that had an opposing false edge, designed primarily as an offensive weapon which was optimized for thrusting rather than cutting. Many of these blades had no cutting edge, made only for fighting. Switchblades became very popular.


In the early 1950's switchblades became associated with gangs and violence. Jack Pollack wrote a newspaper article calling switchblades a menace with deadly consequences. He wrote the switchblade was Designed for violence, deadly as a revolver - that’s the switchblade, the toy youngsters all over the country are taking up as a fad.  He urged for new laws that would address these Italian Styled knives.  It became a popular belief that carrying a switchblade and gang warfare were one and the same.

It’s only a short step from carrying a switchblade to gang warfare. By 1954,New York passed the first law banning the sale and distribution of switchblade knives. New York hoped this law would reduce gang violence.

Then came the movies.  Hollywood became fixated with  switchblades. Movies like Rebel Without a CauseWest Side Story and High school delinquents lead to the public becoming aware of switchblades. The common belief that switchblades caused gang violence began to sweep the nation. In 1958 Congress passed the Switchblade Knife Act.

There were two problems with this act. The first problem was that the act did not distinguish between different types of switchblades.  There were many switchblades that were designed for utility use and general purpose use.  Ask any electrician or plumber how handy a switchblade can be when one hand is busy. But the new law banned all switchblades even those not used by criminals.  Stilettos without a spring were legal. Nothing stopped the gangs from carrying legal stilettos. With the flick of the wrist the blade of a legal stiletto snaps out as fast as any spring loaded knife and was legal.  The second issue was that gang members had no problems turning to baseball bats and guns to settle their issues over territory. The switchblade knife act failed. The law was ineffective but the public was able to take a small sigh of relief.

There are a few loopholes to the law.  If you are a civil employee, in the military, a police officer, or a fire fighter you can legally own a switchblade. If you are missing an arm, like myself, you can legally own a switchblade.   As with so many laws the loopholes make no sense. There are recent studies that have been unable to make any connections between crime and automatic knives. We can by Guns but not spring loaded knives.The second amendment does not mention knives. Laws are not always logical, but they are still laws.

However there is good news. While switchblades remain illegal in the U.S., in 2009 the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill focused on spring assisted knives and decided that the 1958 act did not apply to spring-assist, assisted-opening knives,  or knives with springs that require physical force applied to the blade that assist in opening the knife.  Spring assist knives are legal in all 50 states.

Spring Assist Knives

Types of Spring Assist Knives 

What is the difference between a switchblade and a spring assist knife? They have a similar function but their slight differences are important. A switchblade, opens its blade from the handle automatically with the press of a button, a lever, or a switch that is mounted in the knife handle. A spring-assist blade uses a lever or switch that is mounted on the blade or connected to the blade with a direct mechanical linkage. Manual pressure has to be put on this lever.  The pressure overcomes spring pressure designed to keep the blade closed, which in turn causes the blade to partially emerge from the handle. Just Push the blade out around 10% and the spring takes over, rapidly forcing the blade into an open and locked position. When observing both a switch blade and a spring assist knife I defy you to be able to tell which one is faster.

When thinking about purchasing a switchblade you may want to consider purchasing a spring assist knife.  They look and feel just like a switchblade, they function as well as a switchblade and there no legal hassles owning a spring assist knife.

Posted by ES Team on 19 October, 2014 history, knife reviews, movies | 0 comments | Read more →

Charming the Fiddle Worms - Fishing Bait

Fiddle worms make excellent bait for catfish, bass, bream, and trout. They are especially valuable because of their length: One worm, broken apart, will easily fill several hooks, and the worms are tough enough to stay securely in place. Charming worms is a southern tradition. Fiddling  is still used in certain parts of the southeastern U.S. today, though it probably reached its peak during the 1960’s. Charmers are hard to find now a days.

In North Alabama this is how many of us catch our own bait.  Where I come from Fiddling worms is considered a art.  First time I saw worm fiddling was when I was around 10 years old.  I was a city boy and we were vising my Uncle and Aunt on top of  Brindlee Mountian in  North Alabama, the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  My Uncle showed my dad and I how it was done.  In minutes we had a bucketful of worms, ready to go fishing.

Fiddling worms 

My Uncle got us a bucket of worms with nothing more than an old  rusty handsaw missing a few teeth and a bucket. He told us that the best time to go worming is in the spring but I have found that you can capture worms any time of the year, unless the ground is frozen.

There have been studies that confirmed worm grunters (another name for fiddling) have actually been tricking these worms into thinking they are being chased by its primary predator; moles. That’s why they appear above the ground almost like magic. They are in fear for their lives and quickly crawl from their burrows to escape.

Here is how we do it:

The success of worm charming can often depend on soil conditions, with charmers choosing damp locations or using water to attract the worms. A crucial factor in finding a good site to "play up" the worms is to have good moisture in the soil. Fiddle worms like the earth damp.  In dry weather they move down into the lower parts in search of water. The first thing is to look for is good soil.

When you've located an area you believe there may be worms, begin to look for worm  casings. Worm casing is another term or worm poop, which are small, round casings that the worms discharge as they munch on the soil.  Casings can be found easily among decaying leaves at the base of a young trees.

Once you have found a small sapling, around three inches in diameter, it is time to start fiddling. Cut your sampling and leave around 18" for a the stump. Before you go out cutting peoples trees down, ask for permission.

Take an old wood saw, that the teeth have been dulled, and start fiddling by simply dragging the cutting edge back and forth across the top of the stump. The vibrations that are created travel down the tree's root system, sending tremors down into the earth that jolt the worms to the surface. In good damp ground you'll start seeing worms in five minutes maybe sooner. Dryer soil will take longer. Give it at least 10 minutes before looking for a new site. Just keep playing and worms should appear, they might be as far as 25-30 feet away. Fiddle worms on an average are between 12 and 15 inches long.

When your worms begin to surface, collect them in a bucket.  Make sure your bucket has some holes.  You don't want your worms to drown.  Fill your bucket with dirt.   You can keep them in the bucket for up to two months.  Keep them watered which means keep them moist.  Throw in a little cornmeal every once in a while.

If you can't find a worn out saw, there are other methods of fiddling for bait.  Instead of  a saw you can use a metal bar and instead of a sapling you can use a wooden stake.  Find a roughly 3-foot long wooden stake and pound it about halfway into the ground.   Take a piece of flat, or round iron, roughly half as long as the stake and run it across the stake.  You'll have to lean into it because you want those vibrations to go deep into the ground.  This method will get good results.

There is a technique that involves a chainsaw. Take the chain off your chainsaw. Start your chainsaw and hold it against the ground. This usually brings up buckets of worms. A friend gave me a long metal pole that you plug in and shove it in the ground. I don't know if it works but I have it. I have known people to take a big rock and hit their sapling stump over and over to get worms. This technique is a little to rough for me.

Whatever technique you use it is best to start around sunrise. After 11:00 it is time to give up. My experience has been that temperature does not matter but the ground can't be frozen.  You can sprinkle  your spot with with water, tea or even beer for a slight edge. Some grunters poke their area with a pitchfork before fiddling. The point is to start fiddling, practice, experiment and create techniques that work for you.

Fiddling worms tool 

Don't worry about having to many worms. Bait shops and fishing camps love to buy fiddle worms. You may be able to sell the leftovers. 25 worms in a large Styrofoam cup, a few contacts and you are on your way to worm profits.  Get the whole family involved. Kids love to fiddle worms.  Bring several buckets.

A pile of worms
Posted by ES Team on 18 October, 2014 ES family, fishing, get outdoors, how-to | 0 comments | Read more →

Life as a Trailblazer

ESKnives Trailblazer
In our line of work, selling survival gear, knives, swords and other awesome things. We have adopted our favorite word that encompasses the many people we come across all the time- TRAILBLAZERS. The thing that our friends have in common (hikers, fishermen, hunters, outdoor enthusiast, explorers, adventure seekers, etc)... is their spirits define this awesome word.

Are you a trailblazer 
Are you a trailblazer?

Trailblazer defined 

Trailblazer: (n.) a person who makes a new track through wild country. Pioneer.

hikers trail sign  

The hiker symbol. Known to many at

ESKnives Mountain View  

There are some views that only Trailblazers can enjoy. This hiker reached the peak and a remarkable view as a reward for their bold and adventurous hike.

ESKnives I'm a trailblazer

I am a trailblazer.  Pin this if you are one too!

Posted by ES Team on 17 October, 2014 camping, get outdoors, hobbies | 0 comments | Read more →

Happy Halloween - Frozen Drinking Game

Halloween Outdoors Drinking Game 

A few fun ideas for you this cool October 31st...

We've got an awesome drinking game idea for you to start with.  Every child in America is obsessed with the Frozen movie. Parents have the lyrics running through their head at every waking moment of the day.  You can bet that this Halloween, there will be a large number of ice cold princesses at your door. Our thought? Make a game of it!

Halloween Drinking Game Elsa 

Have each person pick a costume that they will have to take a drink if a kid comes to the house / apartment dressed from that movie.

Make sure that you put a light on and a carved pumpkin on the front porch so that kids know that you welcome kids. And for heavens sake - don't pass out crap candy or apples or any of that insanity. That is a sure way to get your house TRICKED next year.

Have fun with your trick or treaters this year!  Just make sure the little ones are gone before you are too far gone!
Posted by ES Team on 16 October, 2014 holidays, humor | 0 comments | Read more →

Adventure Partner Giveaway - Prizes and Info

Pin some of these great graphics to tell your friends about it!

Trade in normal life for one filled with adventure| Extremely-sharp gear|  Quote | Outdoors

wander without a purpose or reason quote 

An adventure is a great way to learn quote 

adventure of a lifetime quote 

good to be lost quote 

let the adventure last till a new sunrise 


Extremely-Sharp has launched the Adventure giveaway!

Did you know that you can be the first to know about all of our giveaways when you join our email list?  You also get a free entry in the giveaway - that means you're automatically entered 1x in ALL our giveaways. Sign up for our email list at: 


Enter the ADVENTURE GIVEAWAY now at: for a chance at this amazing prize pack filled with items to get you outdoors in your next   wild adventure:
ESKnives adventure prize pack

The grand prize winner will receive: 1 Jungle Knife, 1 Jotsu Jo Black Shuriken set, 1 Seat Belt Cutters, 1 Wire Saws and a "Trailblazer" & "Survival" sticker. Teton Sports is giving the grand prize winner an Oasis1200 hydration backpackavailable for this. Offhand gear is giving the grand prize winner a 42" soft scoped rifle case with 2 large outside pockets for ammo and accessories.

The second place winner will receive: 1 Kubaton Knife, 2 Seat Belt Cutters, 1 Wire Saw and a "Trailblazer" & "Survival" sticker.

The third place winner will receive: 1 Kubaton Knife, 1 Wire Saw, 2 Seatbelt Cutters and a "Trailblazer" & "Survival" sticker.

Retail value of all prizes is $409.38!!!

Posted by ES Team on 15 October, 2014 contest, get outdoors, quotes | 0 comments | Read more →

Secret Thoughts of Dogs

You see your best friends adorable face and that slight head tilt and you wonder, "What in the world is he thinking?"   - What are those secret thoughts of dogs? We've brought in a dear friend who claims to be able to read the inner thoughts of dogs. Mystery solved.

1. Owner: No more treats. {turns back and dog does this}

secret dog thoughts more treats

2. "You are not the boss of me, sign." -dog

you are not the boss of me

3.  "DAD IS HOME!!!"

Dad is home

4. What do you mean I can't go with you?

What do you mean I can't go with you

5. "Cat's yours if you want it." - the dog

dog protecting kitten

6. "Whatever that is - you are eating, I want it."

I don't care what it is. I want it.

7. "Get up?  I'm up."

Get up I'm up dog thoughts

8. "No, I don't know anything about a hole in the yard. Why do you ask?"

what hole dog thoughts

9. "If you were as small as me, would you have the guts to stare down your owner?"

small dog stare down

10. "You saw that?  I love you so much."

I love you so much dog thoughts 

11. "I'm concerned that my adopted parents are the type that play dress up and post pictures online."

super dog

12. Sometimes I'm mean.

rude dog

13. "Don't tell me what to do. You're not the boss of me...Crap. I have made a huge mistake"

don't tell me what to do. you're not the boss of me

Last one is for you. Leave a caption in the comments!

caption dog thoughts

Posted by ES Team on 14 October, 2014 humor, quotes | 0 comments | Read more →

Classic Americana War Posters

I like classic Americana war posters.  It is nice to remember back on America's past and take some time to appreciate the many lives that have been laid down for the freedom of this nation. I hope this Memorial Day, many American's will take time to appreciate the cost of our freedom. Take a moment and think of what you can do to Honor America or a soldier today. Here are a few favorite classic war posters:

War Bonds Classic American War Posters
"You buy 'em - We'll Fly 'em" | War bonds poster

Classic American War Poster Can of Bacon

Meat for war poster. Can of bacon is a small thing in a world at war.

US soldier mocks Hitler for the camera
US soldier mocks Hitler for the camera | World War II

Classic American War Posters Keep 'em smiling
VFW campaigns to write soldiers "Keep 'em Smiling" 

Honoring America by encouraging our troops

Classic American War Poster We'll give 'em hell
"You give us the FIRE - We'll give 'em Hell!" War poster from WWII | bonds poster

WWI soldier flag respect grave classic americana war posters
WWI photo of a soldier burial. This photo always gets me.

British WWII classic americana war posters
British War poster from WWII - such patriotism that it stirs up in people having this kind of ad published.

classic americana war posters liberty
"American's will always fight for Liberty" |With Liberty and Justice for all... right?

classic americana war posters women faithful
The women left behind who loyally awaited their soldier to return home.

Victory classic americana war posters
"Get your Hoe Ready" Daylight savings started - poster

classic americana war posters 01
We beat the Nazi's before | Rally up patriotism with a poster

classic americana war posters July 4
Uncle Sam's Birthday 1776 | USA | Check out Uncle Sam's outfit!

The sailor and nurse from D day kiss picture
The sailor and nurse from D-day kiss - today.

Enjoying these classic posters is my favorite way to celebrate the freedoms of our country and honor all of the amazing veterans who fought to keep these freedoms mine. There are so many other ways to honor the brave soldiers who have fought, are fighting, and will fight for our great nation! This pastime is a tradition I have appreciated for many years.

Do you have favorite traditions for Memorial Day?  Share some traditions in the comments or just a favorite memory from a Memorial Day.
Posted by ES Team on 13 October, 2014 history, holidays | 0 comments | Read more →

6 Awesome Reasons You Should Never Shave Your Beard

...that you don't really need.

Never Shave. Not Ever. Razor Free. No Doubt. Not gonna happen.

I know what you’re thinking… “never say never” right? In this case, WRONG. Usually I take that as my mantra, and of course I don’t mean it when I say it hung-over like, “I am never drinking again…” HA. HA. HA. But really, don’t shave your beard. EVER.

Beards have self-explanatory awesomeness. EPICness is inherent to every fiber of your beard. Occasionally, we need reminding. With that in mind, here are 6 awesome reasons not to shave your beard... in case your girlfriend needs convincing.

1. You’re a man.

Two Kinds of People Without Beards

Or you’re a lumberjack, which is basically the same thing.

Lumberjacks, warriors, and badasses have beards


Or a pirate, which is even cooler than a lumberjack

Shaving Before and After


Shaving Before and After Man


2. Because this happens:

Shaving with an Axe.

Shaving with an Axe. Via

...or this

Man to baby face in one clean shave


3. Your beard can win you an Oscar.

Observe beardless, has-been Ben Affleck:

Ben Affleck's Beard won an Oscar


I mean, it doesn’t really get much cooler. Oh and we can debate the whole Batman thing later.

4. You’re an American. Better yet, you’re ‘MERICAN.

No explanation needed.

5. Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris Beard


6. Beard...just beard

If you're thinking of shaving, don't. Simply, don't.

There you have it, 6 awesome reasons not to shave your beard. Let’s be honest, there are hundreds of more reasons to be bearded, but it impossible for anything to follow Chuck Norris… you get my point. As if you need anymore convincing (you don’t), there are so many more reasons, but most of them just reiterate how awesome beards are and/or the fact that probably look like a 12-year-old boy scout without one; see more awesomeness below:

Beards are Epic


Ramen Beard Bowl


Bears, Beards, Battlestar Galactica

No Beard, No Respect.

Posted by ES Team on 12 October, 2014 get outdoors, humor, quotes | 0 comments | Read more →

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