CheaP & handy the riGht tools For the tAsK. O John Connor I break stuff, simple as that. Helena for finer work and finishing an edge. A says it’s burned into my caveman genes. simple dished oval with rubber inserts Got some bowling balls you want guards your fingers and provides a busted? I’ll try to handle ’em gently, good grip. As long as you keep the blade and you’ll get ’em back in pieces. Scope oriented straight and draw it smoothly bases and rings strip their threads through the Vs, and fail when I look at about the only thing them, and they’ve cost you can do wrong is me way too much money, to apply too much grief and time. Step one force and slip. It’s is to have precisely the easy to feel progress right bits, and have ’em as you sharpen and handy. Brownells’ Tactislick up the edge. I cal/LE Field Torx Kit own those two pro includes five commonlysharpening systems used optics Magna-Tip and a half-dozen bits stowed in the driver’s good portable and hollow handle. If they pocket sharpendon’t include one you ers, but the $5.99 need, just get that MagnaLansky is by far the An AccuScope Scope Chart can save Tip bit. best bargain for the time and money zeroing scopes. The toughest part for bucks. me is not to use too much For some time after I got a GTUL force on ring screws. They’re inherently Glock Magazine Cleaning Kit, I used evil. Most optics manufacturers recomit for its stated purpose: easy disassem- mend no more than 25 inch-pounds of bly and thorough cleaning of my Glock torque. My hands are programmed for mags, and it did a heck of a job. The about a ton, so I now use Brownells’ basic kit includes a pliable “grabber” to pre-set 25 inch-pound Magna-Tip safely and securely hold the magazine, Torque Driver on those evil, self-stripplus an 11-inch tool with a 6.5-inch ping screws. These two tools list for tapered-end stiff brush, a 3-inch handle $17.99 and $29.99 respectively. If they and a 1.5-inch hardened steel punch set save you four screws and a set of rings, into the handle end. much less a cracked scope, they’ll pay I used the brush on for themselves. many other magazines, I should have purchased a digiincluding AR mags, tal caliper/micrometer years before I then on rifle receivers did, but I made the mistake of asking and mag wells, sights, a precision machinist gadget-freak for fore-ends and rails, you a recommendation. He named somename it. Soon it resided thing like a “Hachimoto X5” or a on my workbench, Swiss-made “Zooper-Zwingel,” each and I found myself costing more than my first truck. using the brush on Finally, I bought a $27.99 Frankstuff like cleaning my ford Arsenal Digital model. It’s precise, shop vacuum attach- easy to use and read, and includes a ments and heater flues depth gauge. Aside from its dozens of and grids. The punch, uses in reloading and miscellaneous intended to depress the gun chores, just last week I avoided Lansky’s Quick Fix sharpener, and GTUL’s Glock multipurpose kit retaining pin on Glock a costly mistake by double-checking fill a lot of needs quickly, easily and inexpensively. mags, is an all-around the inner and outer diameters of two Two short paring knives and a 9-inch chef’s knife awaited my attention. I added my pocket folder and a field knife to the lineup. As I whetted their edges, a couple of questions occurred to me. The first question was, “How long has it been since I’ve used either of my two big, expensive professional knife sharpening systems?” and the second was, “Hmm… My least expensive sharpener is a terrific performer— would GUNS readers be interested?” I freely admit I’m sorta fanatical about keeping my blades clean and appropriately sharp. By “appropriately,” I mean the edges of some should be finer and thinner, some more “toothy” and gross, depending on their uses. I know how to dress an edge, have all the required knife-knut maintenance skills, and the right equipment. In fact, I’m sure most people would say I’m over-equipped to the point of obsession. But a 0.8-ounce, 2x2.5-inch device that costs a piddling $5.99 neatly handles 90 percent of my blade-sharpening needs: the Lansky Quick Fix Pocket Sharpener. On one side is a carbide V for more aggressive material removal, and on the other, a V of ceramic “crock sticks” 78 W W W . G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • M AY 2 0 1 3 ne of my household “call names” is Sharpener!— usually sung out like, “Sharrr-penn-errr! Sharpener to the galley, chop-chop!” I jump, because it usually means the Memsaab Helena is hackin’ and slashing at cUriNG cavemaN crUNcHeS something savory I will shortly be feasting on. great pin-pusher, probe and teensyrecess cleaner. It’s one of those tools that if you just keep it available, you find lots of uses for it. All I’ve had to do to maintain it is plunge it into hot soapy water, gnarfle it around, rinse it and airdry. I like that. The 2-piece kits including the brush tool and your choice of “mag-grabber” sizes run $21.95 and the brush tool alone is $14.95. Mine has earned its keep many times over.