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The continuing adventures of Secare and SecareX...

Stuart Mitchell May 31, 2015

  1. Stuart Mitchell

    Stuart Mitchell knifemaker Knife Maker or Craftsman

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    Soooo, who remembers the Secare and SecareX that ventured into the jungle of Guyana a few weeks ago? Well their adventures continue, again copied and pasted as it was sent to me, here you go...

    This is not really a review of sorts but more of photo essay to show these knives out of the house, doing what they should be doing. I hope I stuck this in the right forum, otherwise I am sure the mods will move it to where it belongs...

    My last couple of weeks with the Secare and SecareX duo has come to an end and I will be sending these knives back to Stuart next week. They've become trusty companions so I will regret to see them go home. In their last journey with me they have passed from Costa Rica into Mexico and on to Arizona. This time for a job that’s become popular on Discovery, about a car named Ruby and two characters driving her where no car should be driven. I am sure some of you four-wheelers are familiar with it..?

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    The vehicles used, mainly Jeep and Land Rover Defender, got a good deal dirtier than the set of knives did, but they both were put to the test...

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    The winch of the Land Rover became a handy elevator and making sure the parking brake was set became quite an obsession...

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    ​This time round, the knives were used in more traditional ways and both Secare and SecareX chewed their way through an impressive number of shrubs and logs...

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    SecareX was the clear winner. All it needed was one good whack on the spine and the kindling splitting was done. On an earlier occasion I had let the edge deteriorate beyond the point of touch-up, which is always a bad idea. SF100 isn't nearly as challenging to sharpen as some of the other harder stainless steels I've tried, but it is tough enough to make this into a bit of an exercise, even with a DMT hone. I am by no means a sharpening guru and I need all the help I can get to get consistent results...

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    The handles of these knives provide a secure and very comfortable grip. I have always preferred a swell in the middle, a bit like a coke bottle, so it surprised me that I found this handle profile that much to my liking. I like to use the smaller of the two in reverse grip and that works very well with this shape and the knobby end. Both knives are relatively heavy in the handle, but in a good solid feeling kind of way...

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    To touch up SecareX I simply stuck the blade tip first into a tree stump, as level as I could, (giving it a few whacks with a baton) and then used the Diafold DMT hone to run along the edge. The blade remains steady at a fixed angle, which I find easier than freehand sharpening. I have put a 15 degree angle marker on the back of the sheath which I can then use, similar to a level, to judge the angle I need to get a fairly consistent 30 degree inclusive angle, or slightly adjusted up to get to 40, depending on what worked for me. The original edge was convex (and very sharp), so it took a bit of work to bring back the shoulders a bit. Not that I have anything against a convex edge, but I do not carry anything to strop with when out and about and so the courser v shape just works better for me. Once done with the main cutting edge, I take the knife out of the trunk and touch up the point. I’ll attempt to strop them back to convex when I get back home, but otherwise I am sure Stu will tend to it on one of those nice machines I have seen on pictures of his workshop. I usually spray paint the angle guide onto the Kydex, but as this isn't my property (sadly) I had to make do with tape, which predictably came off after just a few days of roughing it...

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    Secare did duty as a dive knife, just to see how the steel, tubes and handle would fare in a salt water environment. Most so-called stain resistant steel will suffer some from the ravages of seawater and so did Secare, but unexpectedly the damage occurred to the Kydex sheath rather than the knife itself, which came out without a mark (except for a few scratches from prying stuff off the rocks). The Chicago screws, which I think are aluminium ones on this sheath, suffered from corrosion. A couple of days later when I took the screws out to swap the MaxP pouch holder, the thread on the screws was all but gone. No problem under any other circumstances but if salt water is in its future, stainless Chicago screws will make the difference. I believe Rapidboy makes these sheaths and my hat’s off to him. They are exceptionally well constructed. If I were to commission one of these, I’d request an adjustable friction screw near the throat of the sheath, to set the ‘bite’ to one’s personal liking. These adjusters do not look very nice, but to me they make sense in a custom knife package...

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    No pitting or dulling of the blade finish at all, and it went for days between a clean water rinse off...

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    I thought the tubes might suffer the same fate, but they did not. I guess they are not aluminium tubes. Maybe Stu can tell me what they are made of...

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    The under water scene in Costa Rica is breathtaking (in more ways than one) and it wasn't hard to find dinner...

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    I am leaving the spear pole lashing holes for those who travel without spear guns...

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    I won’t bore you (or rather amuse you probably) with the purpose of these, but without proper tools, the knives were very helpful in constructing bellows and pumps...

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    Harvested amadou, like soap on a rope, drying in the sun, for sale by local native Indian shops. More useful than the turquoise I also felt the need to purchase...

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    I could not conclude this without the requisite feather stick. SecareX could make these really long feathers with its ample blade, but I could not get them to come out very thin. Worked well as tinder though...

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    Once in Arizona, we had to be careful not to accidentally start a fire, as everything is dry and hot over there. Saguaro cactus grew in abundance here but it was too early in the season to harvest the fruit, which is quite tasty...

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    I think that I don’t have to tell you that Stuart’s knives are up to most jobs you can throw at them, and I have tried out a few in the last couple of years. I like this set very much, one complements the other very well if you have the luxury of being able to carry a bit of extra weight. If I had to choose just one, I would have to give that some thought, but I would be very tempted to take SecareX. It offers a lot of knife but is also happy to perform jobs more suited to a smaller blade. Thanks again Stu for letting me borrow them and I hope this was a useful read for those of you having a craving for one or both of these. I highly recommend them..!

    Update... for info, the tubes are 316 seamless stainless ones... :)
     
    Rio likes this.
  2. ratstuph

    ratstuph Hoodoo Operator Super Moderator

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    Nice read...:thumbsup:
     
  3. Rio

    Rio Como un angel JDBA Official Member Knife Maker or Craftsman Brigade Member

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    Very nice, thank you for sharing:thumbsup:
     
  4. Berkley

    Berkley Ancient Life Form Brigade Member

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    A really well-written and useful review. Thank you for posting.:thumbsup:
     
  5. jimmyjo

    jimmyjo Brigade Member Brigade Member

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    Loved those pics. You should be on Spike's Adventure channel (if they make one).
     

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