People keep asking me advice about knives for daily carry, what I’d recommend, and what’s my favorite.
I’ve been thinking about it.
Spoiler alert: it’s the one in the photo above and the photos below.
I got this knife from Condor Knives when he posted it for sale as the last of its kind. After tastefully commenting “lemme get at her,” I slid into his DMs for details; before I knew it I was meeting him in the parking lot of the local Target — turns out we live in the same town — handing him money and discussing the state of the gun and knife communities in South Florida (we both think they’re wack).
Fast forward through a month of me carrying this little knife, and here I am.
Arm Up Industries posted an Instagram story last night asking what knife his followers were carrying and before I knew it, I had tapped out c-o-n-d-o-r k-n-i-v-e-s t-o-k-o-l-o-s-h-e, as if it were the only natural answer.
It was like when you’re boppin’ around with the boys and you can’t stop talking about some girl, then they make fun of you for it and you register that you actually do like her. You’re telling them “nah, I don’t like her that much” while you internally acknowledge that you do like her that much — like you’re the last one to find out.
In my last post I talked about the search for a “small and mean” fixed-blade knife for a confident everyday carry in skinny jeans.
Well, I found the answer.
WHAT: Condor Knives Tokoloshe. Wharncliffe-shape blade designed by Francois Nell; 6-inches overall and weighs…the right amount — I don’t have the scale handy, but it’s surprisingly robust for a small knife. It comes with stickers, a soft case, and a tight kydex sheath with a button-loop you can adjust, flip, raise, or lower as you please. I paid $275 for this one. The proprietor is a maker exploring his craft, a hobbyist enjoying the pleasure of learning and perfecting a skill. Very Bohemian, when he gets the inclination he’ll make a run of some knives; I just happened to be paying attention when he decided to sell some. You can follow Condor Knives on Instagram — which I recommend — if you like behind-the-scenes views on knife-making.
*prepare to nerd-out*
WHAT ELSE: The knife also comes with an information card that tells all the nitty-gritty details for those that want to know what they own. As a knife-nerd, this made me happy. This knife is made of 3V steel, one of the most durable types of tool steel for knives. 3V will dull fairly quickly; however, and is susceptible to oxidation (rust, dummy), though all surfaces but the cutting edge are treated with a black oxide finish to diminish that risk. This Tokoloshe was heat treated to 62 on the Rockwell Hardness C-scale. For reference: Ontario, TOPS, Mora, Benchmade, Spyderco, Cold Steel knives, and many other big names in the knife industry are only in the 55-60 HRC range. This knife is 2 units of hardness harder, so that’s cool. For more info on different knife steels and their names and properties, check this out. The blade on the Tokoloshe is swedged (the grooves) and features a flat grind at 20 degrees (sharpened on the Wicked Edge system).
WHEN: When you want a small, sharp, and hard knife for self-defense and utility. So…every day if you’re a real boy.
WHERE: On the belt. Just inside or just outside your hip bone so you can bend.
HOW: The sheath has a modular (you can move it where and on which side you want) button-loop so you can stage the knife as tight or loose (for adjustment when sitting or standing) as you want inside-the-waistband or outside-the-waistband. The knife feels great in the hand, but it’s just-so in my hands, which are small, so big-handed users beware.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: I have been known to say “the purpose of a knife is to cut,” which is true. But this little bastard is capable of other things that lie outside its purpose due to the extremely hard nature of its component material. In the month I’ve been rocking this knife, I’ve used it to:
- Pry nails from a deck
- Cut rope to make a belt
- Cut branches off tropical bushes
- Do my nails
- Chop vegetables
- Scare my bosses at work
- Whittle a wooden shiv
- Cut steak
- Slice pizza
- Etch my name in a wall
- Knife-fight someone who DMd me for a knife fight
- Fix a stuck hinge on a broken VW key fob
- Do hoodrat things with my friends
- Impress girls
- Cut box tape
- Do regular knife things
- Be generally handy
So far so good with this knife. Use it to slash or to stab, but the Wharncliffe shape leans toward the stab side and is obviously good for a utility role.
This knife has unexpectedly fulfilled my desire for something small, fixed, robust, and mean.
Yo, I got this for free/I bought it to do what’s called T&E — testing and evaluation. It means I got this thing, am not bound by any agreement to be nice in my review, and I get to beat the piss out of it and treat it rough-like. My opinion is mine and based off of my time with the gear/gun/product/service.