I love my Leatherman, and I would carry it in my pocket all the time if it didn't feel like a lead brick was trying to pants me every time I took a step. Given that gravity is, in most situations, unavoidable, I have been searching for a slim, lightweight knife I could keep in my pocket on an everyday basis.
The 22g and 34g (their weight in grams) are minimalist folding knives. Like the previously reviewed lighter but still too-heavy Leatherman Skeletool
, the Baladeos have skeletonized handles that leave just enough material to provide protection when the blade is closed. The blade itself has only a single edge so that it lays flat against the steel to prevent any accidental cuts when grabbing it in your pocket. The handle itself is designed with a surprisingly sturdy lock that I have found safe and easy to use. The only downside to the handle's design is that if you put too much pressure (read: significantly more than is required for most day-to-day activities) the lock can sometimes slip, causing the knife to unlock and shift which can be dangerous. It only happened once during my artificial tests, and when it did the blade stayed far away from my fingers.
Over the past year I picked up a Kershaw Vapor II
that weighed 4.5-oz and a CRKT M16-10KZ
3-inch folding knife that weighed almost the same. Both were too bulky, and even at around 4.5-oz too heavy (not to mention I abhorred both locking mechanisms). After a while I started carrying around a disposable utility knife, but after nearly cutting myself for the third or fourth time I was ready to call it quits. That's why I was thrilled when I discovered the Baladeo 22g and 34g knives on Backpacking Light.
While I wouldn't use this blade for serious carving or any job that required a ton of force, it has found a welcome home in my pocket. The slim design of both knives coupled with their minuscule weights (.77-oz and 1.2-oz respectively) means that I hardly know they're there. With that being said, I know there are those out there who would advocate for a similarly light-weight full-tang knife like the previously reviewed Bird & Trout Knife
, but I find the hassle and extra bulk of a sheath to be less desirable.
In the end, I have found that while both the 22g and 34g perform admirably, the 22g is the better investment. It is lighter, cheaper, and in almost every instance just as functional, all while taking up less space in my pocket.
-- Oliver Hulland
Baladeo 34g Knife
Baladeo 22g Knife
Don't forget to comment over at Cool Tools.
And remember to submit a tool!
Andrew Lekashman offers a brief pictorial a history of mechanical keyboards, from adding machines to dumb terminals to Symbolics monstrosities to modern blank-key hacker totems. There was a lot of ingenious tech left by the wayside on the way to finding the perfect click. Pictured above is one not included in the roundup, a particularly […]
Yesterday, we learned The Wirecutter (with sister site The Sweethome) was headed to New York City. It’s the sort of good ending that’s also a good beginning: they succeeded in their mission and have bright prospects for further growth. But Matt Haughey points out how much of the story everyone’s missing: the entire site is […]
The stainless steel shakers are designed to have a lot of heft (the Enterprise is 7oz empty, the Bird of Prey is 5 oz): they’re $60 from Thinkgeek.
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]