HURT IT AND HEAL IT WITH THESE PRODUCTS
Check out the 5 super products to boost your EDC list:
Continuing last time’s inadvertent theme of pugilistic persuasion, this month we start off looking at the Bawidamann Doughboy, which has its roots in the trenches of World War I. In addition to trench clubs, trench knives were also an essential part of EDC wear on the front lines.
While many types were in use, the brass knuckle hilted MK I models were iconic, even though they arrived too late to really play much of a role in the Great War. Still, when one thinks of a trench knife, the MK I is probably the one that springs to mind for most people.
Andrew Bawidamann’s Doughboy is the first in a series of brass knucks that channels the MK I. MK Is were made by both US and French manufacturers with subtle differences, and the Doughboy leans more to the French made design. A two-knuckle pattern, this EDC gear looks like it was cut from a MK I handle but there’s a lot more at work here.
The Doughboy was over a year in development, and a lot of heart and love went into the design. Andrew has great respect for the history of the MK I and the time period, and he wanted to make sure the Doughboy was true to that. Just lopping off a piece of handle proved bulky and awkward, so Andrew slimmed out the EDC design and streamlined the proportions to make it more comfortable to use as a set of knucks.
He also melted the edges so that this EDC gear rides in the pocket comfortably and doesn’t tear up your clothing. There’s even a bottle opener built in. The double-knuck DB-2 and its single-knuck partner the DB-1 are cast out of bronze, and they’re an all-American made product. He also has an airweight version of each made from cast aluminum with a Cerakote finish.
I probably should mention here to check your local laws about knucks before carrying them. They are legal a lot of places, but not everywhere. Some places you can legally carry a gun, but not knucks or a baton. Governments are weird that way.
- Length: 2.710 inches
- Width: 2.51 inches
- Thickness: 0.584 inch
- Material: C922 Navy M Bronze
- Weight: 9 ounces
- MSRP: $95
KA-BAR ‘Za Saw Pizza Cutter
Much to my wife’s dismay, KA-BAR is slowly taking over our kitchen. I know I’ve covered a number of KA-BAR kitchen gadgets and tools over the past year or so, but that little bit of KA-BAR in my daily life causes me joy, and they keep nailing it with products near and dear to my heart and stomach.
The latest gadget is the KA-BAR ‘Za Saw Pizza Cutter. Pizza is pretty much the perfect food containing everything you need from the food pyramid all in one heavenly slice. If you make it from scratch, though, it needs to be cut, and even takeout pizza isn’t always cut well so having your own cutter at home is a must.
The ‘Za Saw uses the classic KA-BAR style handle made from dishwasher safe Creamid affixed to a 3-inch diameter 440A stainless steel cutting wheel. It isn’t just a novelty with the KA-BAR handle either. This EDC is a solid piece of kitchen kit that will do yeoman service at attacking that extra-large pie at your next family get together.
KA-BAR ‘Za Saw Pizza Cutter
- Overall Length: 7.5 inches
- Overall Width: 3 inches
- Handle Length: 5.375 inches
- Blade Diameter: 3 inches
- Handle: Creamid
- Steel: 440A stainless steel
- Thickness: 0.05 inch
- Grind: Chisel
- HRC: 51-53
- Features: KA-BAR oval-shape handle
- Food, water, dishwasher safe
- Manufactured: USA
- MSRP: $25.38
JRE Industries Strop Bat
I’ll be honest, I hate sharpening knives. I appreciate good stones and tools that help me do it, but I really try not to let my stuff get that dull in the first place. I do that with frequent stropping. Stropping your knife after use can help tune and maintain that edge and keep you from having to go back to the stones as often.
While you can certainly use an old belt as a strop, I prefer a wood-backed one, and my go-to model is the four-sided Strop Bat from JRE Industries. These bats are handmade in the JRE shop of red oak with a lathe-turned handle.
They’re 16 inches long overall, and each side has a 1.5 x 9-inch long leather strop affixed to it. Three are pre-impregnated with sharpening compound when you get the strop.
You start with the 3,000-grit Black Magic compound, then flip to the 5,000-grit Green Chromium compound, then move to the 7,000-grit Blue Scratchless compound before finishing up with a final strop on the bare leather fourth side of that bat. Extra compound is easy to apply and available from JRE. They work just as well in the kitchen as the garage or workshop too.
JRE Strop Bat
- Strop Dimensions: 9 x 1.5 inches
- Overall Length: 16 inches
- Materials: Red oak and leather
- Weight: 23 ounces
- Made in USA
- MSRP: $35
TOPS Mini Sling
Slingshots have been popular in the bushcraft community for a number of years now, and they’ve evolved a good bit beyond their Y-shaped stick and rubber inner tube band origins.
They’re fun recreation toys in the backyard or on the trail, but they also have potential for gathering small game as well in a compact package. The ammunition they use is also compact and easy to carry, and you can always resupply with rocks on the trail.
As compact as many slingshots are, TOPS realized it could shrink things down and make its Mini Sling even easier to carry. The company released its full-sized slingshot in 2017 and it met with great success, so it followed it up with the Mini Sling. Think of it as the ankle gun of slingshots. Its size and weight make it so that you can always carry it, even on a casual day hike, and forget it’s there until you want it.
Like its bigger brother, the Mini is made with a steel frame with a black powdercoating and uses natural Micarta grips. It uses black surgical tubing for its bands and has a leather pouch. It comes with a high-quality leather belt pouch, although it’s also small enough to just drop in your pocket.
At only 1.3 ounces, this palm-sized slingshot is one that you never need to leave behind. It’s the perfect thing for impromptu marksmanship competitions in the woods or shoeing pests away from your camp.
TOPS Mini Sling
- Overall Length: 3.5 inches
- Width: 1.75 inches
- Fork Length: 1.25 inches
- Fork Gap: 1.0 inch
- Thickness: 0.13 inch
- Steel: Structural steel
- Finish: Black traction coating
- Handle: Tan canvas Micarta
- Weight: 1.3 ounces
- Weight w/ Sheath: 3.2 ounces
- Sheath: Brown leather
- Designer: Leo Espinoza
- MSRP: $100
Welly First-Aid Kits
If you play with knives long enough, you’re going to get bit, so it makes sense to have a first-aid kit handy. I ran across the Welly kits at a local retail store recently and was impressed with them. First off, they come in cool tins and I’m a sucker for tins.
They keep your EDC gear safe, are reusable, and can even be repurposed into things such as a survival kit with the addition of some other EDC gear.
As it is, Welly gives you a good base for your first aid needs. The company makes a number of kits, but the two that caught my eye were the Human Repair Kit and the Excursion Kit.
The Human Repair Kit is a handy travel kit that has 30 flex fabric bandages, three single use triple antibiotic ointment packets, three 1% hydrocortisone anti-itch ointment packets, and six hand sanitizer packets. The retail price is only $9.99.
The bigger 8 x 8-inch Excursion tin has a whopping 200 items, including 72 standard fabric bandages, 54 small fabric bandages, 18 waterproof bandages, six rectangle fabric bandages, one roll of tape, eight nonstick pads, 10 wound prep pads, 10 butterfly strips, 10 triple antibiotic packets, 10 hydrocortisone packets, and one vial (16 tablets) ibuprofen. The Expedition Kit goes for $39.99.
I’m not adverse to making my own first-aid kit, but it’s nice to be able to just get a grab-and-go one too, especially one as well thought out and packaged as the Welly.
Welly Human Repair Kit
- 30 brightly colored flex fabric bandages
- Three triple antibiotic ointment
- Three hydrocortisone anti-itch ointments
- Six hand sanitizers
- Tin container, reusable, recyclable
- Latex free
- MSRP: $9.99
Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the May/June 2021 print issue of Knives Illustrated.