Gear up with these 5 amazing tools suggested by Tim Setzer and boost your EDC list:
1. CRKT Chogan Hatchet
The Chogan Hatchet is another design by Ryan Johnson of RMJ Tactical. According to CRKT, it’s based on a classic rifleman’s tomahawk hatchet from 1804. I actually thought it looked like a carpenter’s hatchet, which is fine, too, because the company makes great camp tools.
The head is made from forged 1055 carbon steel with a 3.16-inch edge blade on one side and a hammerhead on the other. The head is affixed to a glass-reinforced nylon handle that should resist weather and breakage. It’s the perfect size for hammering tent stakes, splitting kindling, or other camp chores. At under $50, it’s an affordable piece of kit, too.
CRKT Chogan Hatchet
• Blade Length: 3.16 inches
• Blade Edge: Plain
• Steel on Blade: 1055 carbon steel
• Blade Finish: Manganese phosphate coating
• Thickness (Blade): 0.91 inch
• Overall Length: 13.19 inches
• Weight: 1.48 pounds
• Handle: Glass-reinforced nylon
• MSRP: $48
2. Galco Change Carrier
Have you ever wanted a handy way to carry loose change and be able to thump someone who needs it at the same time? Well, if so, Galco has you covered with its new change carrier.
It snaps onto your belt or bag strap and is handy enough to get to when you need to pull out your Aldi quarter, but it also quickly unsnaps into a handy sap weighted down with all of your worldly wealth in coins. It’s a slick, low profile self-defense tool that has a common lawful purpose as well, carrying around all that pesky change.
As always, check your local laws before you start swinging your change carrier around, but if you can carry one, it’s a neat tool to have.
Galco Change Carrier
- Carries coins in a slotted pocket
- Unsnaps to become impact weapon
- Sauvage leather
- Black or tan
- 4.5 x 3 inches folded,
9 x 3 inches unfolded
3. XShear Medic Shears
If you’re a first responder or work in an ER, then trauma shears are part of your go-to kit. Even if you aren’t, they’re extremely useful in your own med kits or even around the shop.
Basic shears are relatively cheap, but that’s because they’re disposable. They aren’t built to last but rather to be thrown out when they get dull or break. XShear founder Wes Brubaker is a flight nurse and paramedic, and he wanted something better, so he set about designing and manufacturing it himself.
XShears are made by one of the makers of high-end scissors out of a stainless-steel blade that’s twice as thick as regular trauma shears. They’re sharpened to a razor edge, and they have a much sturdier center bolt that won’t loosen up over time.
You’ll notice the blade shape has a steady curve rather than the angled blades of conventional trauma shears. The patented curved blade makes it easier to slide under tight clothing and safely cut away from the patient.
I had a chance to work with a pair of XShears and can say they’re definitely well-built and comfortable to use. I didn’t have any medical calls, but I did use them on heavy zip ties and some heavy plastic matting that laughed at my utility knife. The XShears zipped through the material like it was paper. I plan on keeping a pair on my work bench and grabbing another pair for my trauma kit.
XShear Medic Shears
- Hardened stainless steel blades, twice as thick as most trauma shears
- Sharpened to razor edge
- Patented blunt tip and curved design for gentler edge near skin
- Soft touch inner handles for comfort and slip resistance
- Heavy duty center bolt that won’t loosen over time
- Variety of handle colors and blade finishes
- Black titanium coating on blades provides extra durability and sleek matte black appearance
- 90-day guarantee
- Five-year warranty
- Free expedited shipping within the USA
- MSRP: $39.95
4. CJRB Hyperlite
If you’re familiar with Joe Flowers from Global Bushcraft, you know that there’s little that can’t be accomplished by locking him in a room with an energy drink and some sugar. When Joe was tasked to come up with an ultra-light fixed blade for hiking and backpacking, it didn’t take him long to come up with the Hyperlite for CJRB, a subsidiary of Artisan Knives.
The Hyperlite comes in at a ridiculously light 2.47 ounces for the skeletonized version with no scales and a still feathery 3.53 ounces for the model with G10 scales, not too shabby for a full tang, 4-inch fixed blade knife. The knives have a blade of AR-RPM9 powdered steel with a flat grind and either a sand polish or black PVD coating.
The Hyperlite comes with a nice, streamlined Kydex sheath suitable for belt or pack carry. Three versions are available: the skeletonized model, the G10 model, and a model with Micarta scales. These run between $66.66 and $93.33 depending on handles.
CJRB Hyperlite, J1922B G10 handle
- Blade Length: 4.17 inches
- Blade Thickness: 0.11 inch
- Blade Finish: Sand polish/black PVD coating
- Blade Grind: Flat
- Blade Material: AR-RPM9
- Blade Hardness: HRC59-61
- Blade Style: Drop point
- Overall Length: 8.19 inches
- Handle Material: G10
- Weight: 3.53 ounces
- MSRP: $79.99
5. Field Notes National Parks Series
With cell phones these days, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we used to carry notebooks to jot stuff down. Well, not everyone has forgotten, and if you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, you know it’s nice to have something that doesn’t rely on batteries to take and reference notes.
The folks at Field Notes know this and have been providing excellent field notebooks for a long time now. The National Park series gives you all of the quality you’d expect from Field Notes and couples them with some great covers with artwork celebrating our national parks.
The books have 48 pages marked with a 3/16-inch graph that can be used for whatever you need to record. Take notes on hiking and camping locations, draw maps, sketch, or take down range and field of fire notes from your hunting blind or tree stand.
There are currently 18 books, and they come in six different packs of three, so you can pick a pack with your favorite parks or get all 18. Inside, you’ll find a brief history of the park and a spot for the official National Park Passport. Field Notes also donates five percent of retail and wholesale purchases to the National Parks Service.
Field Notes National Parks Series
- Six packs, 18 parks
- Made in USA
- Graph Paper 3½ × 5½ inches
- 48 Pages
A version of this article first appeared in the Sep/Oct 2022 print issue of Knives Illustrated.