Long Lanyards

It only took me half an hour or so, but I finally remembered how to tie a lanyard knot.  Maybe I'll put together a photographic tutorial at some point in the future.

I'm experimenting with longer lanyards, particularly on my Nitecore, which I haven't been clipping onto my pocket as of recent.  Longer lanyards, of course, mean more material on the outside of the pocket; I'm hoping that even if the item finds itself sitting low in the bottom of a pocket the lanyard will remain accessible thereby preventing the frustration of digging deep into a pocket.

We'll see...


Victorinox Pioneer Alox - Swiss Army Knife - Unboxing

Swiss Army Knives are, perhaps, the most iconic of all pocket knives.  Their classic look is well-known and adored.  They're simple, functional, and stylish.

That said, I haven't actually owned a true Victorinox Swiss Army Knife until just recently.

I picked up a Pioneer Alox just this past Friday.  It was 50% off and something I really couldn't pass up.  In retrospect, I probably should have snagged a couple more styles; they'll well worth the money.

The Pioneer has a 2.5 inch blade, an awl, a can opener / small flat-head screwdriver, and a bottle opener / large flat-head screwdriver / wire stripper.  It also has a lanyard ring, a feature in which I was intensely interested.

The alox scales are clean and well-textured.  I imagine I prefer them compared to the traditional red scales of the iconic Swiss Army Knife but can't truly say given my inexperience.  From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I'm a bit conflicted.  The alox is beautiful and the red, well, the red is classic.  Perhaps I'll have to pick up another.

I'll be throwing this in my pocket in addition to my Spyderco.  I'm going to need to figure out a new evaluation template for multi-tools, considering the Pioneer isn't just a knife.

In any event, I really look forward to putting the Victorinox Pioneer through its paces.


Nitecore EX11.2 Flashlight Review

I've been using my Nitecore EX11.2 for some time now.  I carry it daily and have used it extensively.

It was a light that I fawned over for quite a while, as I do with most of the things I buyAfter finally finding an excuse, I picked one up and it's served tirelessly since it was received.

I'm using the template found here to review the Nitecore EX11.2.

Design Concept:  2

In the spirit of full disclosure, I pined over this flashlight for the longest time.  I love its design.  The stainless steel bezel looks great against the anodizing of the body.  It's clean without any superfluous features.  Just the way gear should be put together.

From a functional design perspective it's well-designed.  There aren't any superfluous features on this light.

Materials:  2

The barrel of the light is predominantly aluminum.  The piston mechanism is machined from aluminum, too.  The bezel of the light is manufactured from stainless steel.

These materials are exceptionally common in the mid-range flashlight world.  They're durable, relatively lightweight, and look good.

I can say that the flashlight, as constructed, survives a decent beating.  After a few unintended trips from my pockets to asphalt it still functions flawlessly and only has slight cosmetic damage character.

Fit of Parts:  2

The EX11.2 is well-fitted.  There is no play between any of the constituent parts.  There isn't anything to complain about in terms of how the light goes together.

Output:  2

200 lumen from a single-cell pocket-sized light is exceptional.  Moreover, the "moonlight" setting of 5 lumen is incredibly useful in low-light situations for reading or other such tasks without obliterating night vision.

The infinitely variable output is interesting, but I can't say that it's the greatest system around.  Sometimes having too many choices is detrimental.

Runtime:  2

The light runs at 200 lumen for an hour and at 5 lumen for approximately 80 hours.  In terms of a single-cell light that's not too shabby. 

The CR123a is a great battery for an EDC light, in my opinion; it's relatively compact and is pretty versatile.  The EX11.2 makes good use of the CR123a, offering average runtime for the output levels available.  Given that the low- to mid-range output levels are adequate for most applications, the battery will last for quite some time.

Beam Pattern and Quality:  2

The Nitecore EX11.2 uses a CREE R5 LED with an orange peel reflector.  It has great throw for a single-cell light with a relatively shallow reflector.  It pushes useful light out to an adequate distance for an EDC light (probably somewhere between 50 and 75 meters; I'll work on a more accurate number in the future).  Flood isn't bad, either.  It's a good light for everyday, general purpose use.

Also, the beam has a nice hotspot that transitions cleanly into the corona.  Moreover, the beam is free from artifacts.

User Interface:  1

The Nitecore EX11.2 has an infinitely variable output that's controlled by the piston mechanism.  A single press turns the light on; then, pressing and holding the piston ramps up or down the brightness.  There are shortcuts to the lowest and highest settings once the light is on.  Additionally, when the light is off there are shortcuts to the SOS beacon and strobe settings.

Infinitely variable brightness is neat but not as useful as it might sound.  If anything it complicates access to mid-range brightnesses.

Inconveniently, the piston mechanism can be a bit touchy.  On many occasions I've accidentally accessed modes that weren't intended.  I think it has something to do with the fact that the piston drive is capable of recognizing "pushes" that occur in very quick succession; pushes that are unintended and practically imperceptible by the operator.  This can lead to some frustration on occasion.

Grip: 2

A lot of single-cell lights don't offer enough surface area to facilitate comfortable use.  The EX11.2, however, is large enough to use in a hammer grip without obscuring the bezel or placing the button too far into the hand to easily access.

It is also quite possible to use the EX11.2 in a cigar hold.  I find myself pinching the light closer to the bezel than I might with two-cell lights.  Nonetheless, it's quite possible to use in such a fashion.

It should also be noted that the EX11.2 can tail stand.  It's a very useful feature allowing it to be used as a candle.

Carry Method:  1

There is an optional pocket clip for the EX11.2.  I chose to purchase it but am not using it for purposes of this review.

I've been carrying the EX11.2 vertically in my back pocket with a short lanyard.  It's easy to retrieve either with or without the lanyard.  Of course, anything loose in a pocket will eventually find its way to the bottom.

Carry Comfort: 1

The EX11.2 is pretty comfortable to carry.  In the configuration mentioned above it's no thicker than my wallet so it's practically imperceptible.  It does use CR123a batteries, so it's a bit more bulky than other single-cell options on the market.  Also, without a clip the flashlight can find its way to uncomfortable positions.

Total:  17/20

In sum, the Nitecore EX11.2 is a great little light.  The UI is a bit clunky, but is overall functional.  It can be carried well and works hard; really that's all you can ask from an EDC light.