Incorporating the Simple Living Review, the Preparedness & Self-Reliance Review, as well as the Outdoor & Survival Review



Toerags Untility Equipment T.R.U.E.

Toerags LTD
8a Wharfdale Road

Service Rd



Dorset BH4 9BT


Tel: +44 (0)1202 766333

The term "Belt Knife" for this little 2-inch liner-lock folder with one-hand opening stud on the blade and steel clothing clip may be somewhat of a wrong and exaggerated term but, folks, I did not name it thus, the manufacturers did. The name, obviously, stems from the ideas that the knife would be attached by means of the clothing clip to a belt and worn thus via the clip, I find, being rather strong, works best on clothing, like the watch pocket of a pair of jeans, for instance.

First of I should also say that I did not receive this little blade from the manufacturer for review purposes but, actually, purchased it. This is no big deal really at only £6.99 in a store near my home. I had seen the T.R.U.E. range in their window display for some time and had intended for some time to buy one of those little blades just for the heck of it, so to speak. I am glad I did.

I cannot tell the reader where the blade and knife was actually made as no manufacturing country is given. All it says on the blade is "stainless". However, for the price it is a very well-made little piece of kit. The blade is a Bowie-style hollow ground that take a nice keen edge and it appears to sharpen up best on a steel than anything else. The handles appear to be brushed aluminum with rubber inlays. No rivets have been used throughout instead the blade pivots on a screw rivet that also holds the clothing clip, which means that it can be retightened should this be necessary, and the scales are held on also with small Hex screws recessed into the scales. There is no wobble in the blade and the liner lock holds very solid indeed. Seeing that the slots of the main screw rivet had the marks of a screwdriver having been used I would assume that those knives are actually hand-assembled and checked.

The knife comes in a cardboard "presentation" box with a 10-year warranty and I can only say that I am rather impressed, and I do not impress easily, with this little blade. I am currently putting it thru its paces in using it here and there at work and elsewhere. Already out of the box the edge on the knife was not bad at all but with a little help on a smooth carborundum stone and a an old style steel it got even better.

All-in-all, having now had the occasion to wear and use it regularly I can say that it is a useful little blade and comes in handy for many tasks, especially seeing its one-hand opening facility.

© Veshengro, 2007

PRODUCT REVIEW - LED Lenser V2 Triplex

LED Lenser V2 Triplex - A Product Review

With new light chip technology

Cloverleaf reflector system
3 high quality LED’s, in fact a high intensity LED light chip
Solid metal casing
Durable nylon pouch and lanyard included

Burn Time: Up to 10 hours from 1 AA alkaline battery.

Dimensions: 141mm x 37mm
Weight: 160gms
Power Supply: 1 x AA alkaline battery (Two sets of batteries included: 2 x AA)

The patented pure metal housing is ergonomic and extraordinarily smooth to the touch. The patented photon tube reflectors cause the high power diodes to shine with undreamed of brightness. Due to its low power consumption, 1
x AA alkaline battery will provide up to 10 hours of light.

Price: approx. GBP 24.99
Agents in the UK: Ledco Ltd.

Manufacturers: Zweibrüder Optoelectronics GmbH

Well, so much for the information from the manufacturer and UK distributor. However, I must say that I am most impressed, as as I have mentioned before on occasions, I do not impress easily, with the design and especially the light output from this little light. It is about the size of the so-called “Mini Maglite”, the one that uses 2xAA batteries as power source, but that is about where the comparison ends. The power source in this one that I have tested and am using is one single AA alkaline cell and considering that, the light output is awesome and then some more.

The light source is a three LED light chip in a cloverleaf pattern (see picture) and the
diodes produce an extremely bright and intense white light.

As far as I understand this version of the flashlight is also available in Mossy OakTM camouflage.

The only drawback that could be mentioned is that the beam cannot be focused but, then again, there are others of the same manufacturer where this is indeed possible and I do hope to be able to review – should the manufacturer/agents be prepared to furnish me with the samples for review – some of their tactical flashlights, including the new one that is aimed at the law enforcement market. I have seen it and handled it already but have not been able to put it thru its paces properly, not having a review sample to hand.

All I can say is that this surely is a lot of light in a small package and don't let the price deter you. This is a solid little flashlight made of solid stuff and I am sure it will give
many, many years of reliable service.

Reviewed by Michael Veshengro Smith ©

BOOK REVIEW - Lighting Grandma’s Fire

“Lighting Grandma’s Fire”
Mountain Skills and Valley Pastimes

By Bill Cunningham

Western Reflections Inc.
P.O. Box 710
OURAY, CO 81427
Tel.: 970/325-4490
Fax: 970/325-0782

ISBN 1-890437-33-6
152 pages paperback, many illustrations.
Price $ 11.95 + s&h
Obtain directly from publishers or at local bookstore.

If you have ever wanted to learn how to make a pair (or more than just one) of Indian moccasins, learn how to cook in a Dutch oven or how to make a pair of snowshoes then this book by Bill Cunningham could be your guide and first stop. These and a number of other skills and crafts are explained and described in the book including of “How To Light Grandma’s Fire” – the old-fashioned way, without matches or lighters. The book indeed has some nice projects in it and gives also food for thought for further ones.

One thing, however, I do have to mention as the reviewer – if I wouldn’t I would do a great disservice to my readers – and that is the unfortunate fact that yet another non-expert gives “advice” on the sharpening of knives as on pages 53-59. This “advice” is bordering on the dangerous. Whetstones should never be used dry. The author, however, recommends, indeed urges, just that. He states that “oil and water both clog the pores of the stones”. I beg to differ and I have been sharpening knives professionally as well as making them since I was six years old.

Oil or water (and I recommend water over oil) on a sharpening stone prevents clogging of the stone’s pores with grit and metal debris and not the opposite. I personally recommend the use of water instead of oil – as some stones don’t like oil – and to regularly flush the stone with water (always have at hand plenty of water while sharpening knives).

Furthermore, the grind angle that the author recommends is far too steep; a flatter one of 10-15º is what is needed; 20º is already far too steep and reaching an angle that is used for sharpening hatchets. I do, in actual fact, sharpen my hawks and hatchets at an angle of 20º. Advice on the use of wet & dry silicon carbide sandpaper (a.k.a. emery cloth/paper) – ouch! Now that hurts. Emery paper of the various grits may glued to individual boards may indeed make great knife hones but do not use like a stone in that you move the blade across the stone as if trying to cut a slice from it. Instead use like leather razor strop with the same movements of the blade across same, e.g. pulling away from you.

I do honestly wish that writers with no or little experience would stop trying to give “advice” on subjects that they are not masters in and leave the giving of advice on knife sharpening to those of us whose trade are knives and the sharpening of same, e.g. to the cutlers amongst us.
This one short chapter of – dare I say it – garbage, spoils the enjoyment of the complete book. Please people write about the things that you really know about and not about things that you know little of. I am sorry that I did have to say this but I do believe that the readers of this newsletter deserve to know the truth.

“LIGHTING GRANDMA’S FIRE” is a nice book with nice projects and it is a shame that this one chapter, for me at least, spoiled it. I would have also appreciated a more extensive bibliography as regards to Mountain Men skills and such.

M V Smith, 2007


By Jim Allen

Trailhead Press
P.O. Box 4717
ELKHART, IN 46514-0717

128 pages softback, $12.95

The Best way to get to know the lay of the land is to climb a high hill and look around. This is known as perspective. Life’s perspectives only come to those with age and experience. In his book “Sleep Close By The Fire”, Jim Allen shares 20 years of experience as a hunter, trapper, fisherman, naturalist & wilderness skill instructor. Thru stories, poems, “How-To” articles, and humor, the author touches something deep within the heart of every outdoorsman: that desire to connect with Nature.

“Sleep Close By The Fire” is indeed a book with lots of common sense advise for backwoodsmen young and old alike; often quite hilariously written – I sure did have a good laugh at a number of places in the book.

The book, as far as I understand it, is an anthology, a collection of stories and articles that have previously appeared in the Backwoodsman Magazine, and other publications.

I especially liked the place where the author talked about how important it is for kids to be “gainfully employed in feeding the family” and how much this will increase their self-esteem. Jim is so very right there. I can vouch for that as I, as a six-year-old boy began earning money sharpening cutting tools such as knives and thereby helping to feed the family by earning money as well as by hunting and foraging to put food on the table. Being able to do that and being expected to do that made us little ones feel so important indeed.

I can recommend this book to anyone looking for a common sense book to read from which also to get some guidance and hints here and there.

© M V Smith, 2007