I attempted a relatively leather dominated theme, starting with my leather cardholder. It’s from the Buffalo Billfold company. I love the look and patina this will age with, and it holds all the cards I need for work, my IDs and of course, the cash. It is brand new to me, so I will need to see how it works for me over the next few weeks, but so far I am really enjoying it.
The big, heavy-duty tool of this compact setup is my Leatherman Rebar. I suppose to some this is extreme, but compared to my gun this is lightweight, especially when I’m not carrying the gun. At under 10oz, it’s slim and very capable in my hands.
The upgrades on the Wave Plus are huge. Really, it’s probably the favorite of my must-have EDC tools, but there is something nostalgic and beautiful about the Rebar. My father-in-law and I both carry Leatherman so it is really a family bonding point for us, just like when my dad gave me my Leatherman PST in the mid-90s. We use these tools to get through our days as engineers, truck drivers, and first responders.
My hard use, keeps-on-tick’n watch of choice has been the Timex Expedition Scout for several weeks now. It’s simple, easy to read, and gives me a no-nonsense dial with 24-hour markings, and the date. Ultimately, I don’t need more than that. It looks good on a variety of straps, from leather or canvas to the nylon and leather combo I have on it now. It’s been in my collection for several years and has taken a beating, complete with a bent crown. I’ve taken it swimming, skydiving, and hiking with zero issues.
MY Budget knife of choice is the Ontario RAT-1, which is relatively new to my rather extensive knife collection. The blade is excellent for sandwiches and other food prep where spreading condiments or slicing comes in. I’ve also put it to good use cutting through boxes, trimming window tint, cutting open milk jugs and even opening mail. It’s an extremely underrated knife that has a fair bit of hype going as of late, but it is well worth the $27 price tag. I’ll by this again in a heartbeat, unlike my Benchmade 940 Osborne that has a $200+ price tag. With the right training, this is also an excellent backup or alternative self-defense tool where it may be legal to have a knife, but not the gun. I don’t feel like I’m losing out if I have to ditch the gun and carry this.
Multi-tools are a must for me, and while I have the Leatherman Rebar, I have always gravitated towards the Victorinox Tinker or Explorer options. This is my superb Deluxe Tinker, and while its pliers aren’t quite as tough and heavy use as the Leatherman, they do get the job done. I use the scissors most, whether it’s trimming my nails or clipping tags from new clothes.
The small knife blade is great for cleaning under nails and also very useful when the larger RAT-1 may not be “acceptable” for opening boxes or I just want to avoid attention. I absolutely love the can opener and cap lifter tools; they certainly get used for WAY more than ever intended or designed for. Prying open lids, scraping stickers off equipment, mixing glue, they get a lot of use and need a good cleaning most days. The large blade really is great, but doesn’t get a ton of use, and stays pretty sharp. It works well in the food prep department and sees the common use for slicing up peaches and apples because I cannot stand biting into the fresh fruit. It’s just not comfortable…
The only tool that really doesn’t see much use at all is the “parcel hook” which… yeah I just don’t get it. On some rare occasion, I have used it to weigh down a string or pull some paracord, but that’s about it.
Since I use it the most, I wanted fast access and attached a Snake Knot pull cord that I made myself with 9 knots.
If you don’t have a classic red handle Victorinox, then you have to get one, they are just so useful!.
Now that I praised my Leatherman and Victorinox of choice… it’s kinda hard to justify the Punisher tool. Really, I guess it comes down to my enjoyment of the Punisher. Just like its namesake the tool takes a punishment and still keeps going strong. I use it for tasks where I need a little more than a flat tool on one of my other options, and don’t want to damage a $50 multitool when I can replace this for $16! It’s made out of titanium and looks cool, that’s good enough reason to carry it.
The light is an essential part of my work, but also great for leisure time. I have been carrying the Olight i3T EOS for several days now and really like it a lot. Running on 1 AAA battery, it is sufficiently bright at a very solid 180 lumens. While it is very slim, and easily tucks in my front pocket next to the wallet, it fits great in my hands. The low mode has come in really handy when I don’t want to blind myself checking under the hood or reading my maps for navigation.
I love pens, but also need something that is just tough and tiny sometimes. The Fisher Space Pen Bullet is all that, even if it is terrible in the hand sometimes. It gets the job done and is always with me. I use it daily for work, and a fair bit on my personal time for notes at church or writing little cards for my wife.
I don’t smoke, but enjoy the utility of lighters and carry what I see as the American classic, a Zippo!
This is my Street Chrome out of the collection. It is a great fidget toy and gets a lot fewer glares than flicking the RAT-1 in public. On a utility point, it works great for working with paracord or getting rid of little fuzzies on clothes with caution.
My daily phone is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. In my own words, I am a bit of a Samsung fanboy and have been using their phones since I had my S4 many years ago after switching from the Motorola Photon 4G.
The Note 8 is functional, fast, and has the features I expect and use. The S-Pen was a definitive factor in my purchase. While I don’t use it every single day, it has saved my butt many times and makes signing PDF documents a breeze!
I have professional photo gear that I love to use, but sometimes I don’t feel like carrying it. The cameras on the Note 8 are great and work well within what I expect them to do. Also, the screen is superb for viewing photos and my insane media consumption. I probably spend way too much time reading reviews and watching YouTube. The battery life is great even after 11 months of very hard use, and it’s nice that my wife and I use the same phones so we can easily sync, or use each other’s phone if need be.
I put a red dBrand Carbon Fiber skin on the back of the phone and then trimmed it with the blue carbon fiber around the camera module. Most of the time it’s in a case, so the Carbon Fiber isn’t seen much, but sometimes I like to ditch the case while I’m indoors and live life on the edge!
I am currently running my UAG Monarch case, which shows off my dBrand skin a bit more, and easily slips in my jean pockets while being great in the hands.
Ultimately the firearm is for legal self-defense. What you see here is my Glock 26 9mm which I carry easily in this Blackhawk Leather holster. With the cooler weather, it is much easier to use leather and not have it get sogged in humidity or… sweat.
The magazine is fitted with a Pierce +2 grip extension; I like it for the compact addition of extra rounds, but I can’t say it’s great for grip. Everyone has their opinions on these things, I like it and use it because I have it. I train with it often and go to competitions all over the U.S. where I have done really well in the various matches using it.
- Timex Expedition Scout T49962
- Handmade Brown Leather Strap
- Victorinox Deluxe Tinker
- 550 ParaCord SnakeKnot Pull
- Victorinox Zermatt Brown Leather Pouch
- Leatherman Rebar
- Olight i3T EOS
- Buffalo Billfold Company Card Holder
- Zippo Street Chrome
- Titanium Punisher Tool
- Fisher Space Pen Bullet
- Ontario Knife Co. RAT-1
- Glock 26
- Talon Ruber Grips
- Fiocchi 115gr +P 9mm
- Blackhawk CQC IWB Tanned Leather Holster
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- dBrand Carbon Fiber Skin
- UAG Monarch Case