Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BAD Gear: Multi-Tools: Leatherman Wave

So, something every Bad Ass Dad requires in his arsenal is a multi-tool. Why would any dad, lest he be a hipster douchebag, not carry one? The advantages are plenty:

  • Useful for the preservation of life and limb...
  • Useful for breaking the window of your vehicle and saving your baby, if you were texting and drove into the lake...
  • Useful for the disassembly and reassembly of Fisher Price playtime Microwaves that refuse to work as they should...
  • Useful for cutting grapes in half because Bad Ass Mom requires it for Bad Ass Daughter
  • Useful for slicing off apple flesh and inserting into mouth like a Bad Ass MoFo...
  • Useful for untangling balloon tie knots...
  • If you are one of those dads who chooses to formula feed, it is useful for accessing the nutrients inside the can...
  • Useful for mounting / dismounting the infant carseat carrier attachment piece to the BOB Revolution jogging stroller (another piece of kick ass kit)...
  • Useful for making hipster dads look like Bad Ass Dads when they go on their once a year, weekend family camping trip wearing overpriced Aeropostle plaid / flannel shirt.
  • Useful for extending the length of your hands to reach behind the washing machine to pick up that Ultra High Efficient Soap bottle cap...
Enter the Leatherman Wave.
Can be bought here for about $70-80 CDN
I've had this awesome multi-tool since 1998. Although there are better models now, this is the one that has been on my hip, in my body armour pouch, in my pocket, in my daily attache, or in my suitcase every  day (including my wedding day).

I've handled and have used several other pieces including Gerber, Columbia River, Canadian Tire brand, Walmart brand, Costco giftsets, etc...
By far, the best all-in-one tool I have ever used is the Leatherman Wave. Although other tools may contain similar features, it differs in its workmanship, easy of deployment, durability and strength. The action to open is very smooth with a good weight-balance, so as to not slip out of your hand and accidentally shank your kid. The workmanship is very very good. No sharp edges other than the intended ones. One-handed deployment can be achieved with some practice. Especially useful if your kid slams your fingers into the car door, and you need the pliers to cam your fingers out.

Some of its features include:

  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Clip-point knife
  • Serrated knife
  • Diamond-coated file
  • Wood saw
  • Scissors.
  • Phillips head
  • 4 Sizes of flatheads
  • Can/Bottle Opener
  • Lanyard attachment.
So how good is this tool? I've had to saw through Kevlar fibers in body armour (everybody knows how hard it is to cut through body armour right?) with this tool...and it still stayed sharp. I've used this tool to jerry-rig electrical connections overseas so that I could make a US laptop charge in an African country - just so that I could Skype my Bad Ass Kid.

Every Bad Ass Dad needs to have a multi-tool. I would even go further to assert that every Bad Ass Mom needs to have a multi-tool. She may not need the hardware that Bad Ass Dad needs, but at least a multi-tool with Scissors, blade, file, and tweezers. My Bad Ass Daughter's Bad Ass Mom rocks a Leatherman Micra that I got her for Christmas 5 or 6 years ago. It is looped into her keychain, and is possibly her most used go-to gadget other than her BlackBerry 9800.
Courtesy of Globetreckker.com

It doesn't matter what brand of multi-tool you have, as long as you have one that is of good workmanship, features you need, easy to deploy, and safe to use. Multi-tools are one of those items that you don't realize you need until you need it. And...when you need it you wished you had a good one. So, when you do your research, if the tool "feels" cheap, it probably is cheap. If it doesn't come from an industry standard manufacturer like Leatherman or Gerber, be wary of them. You may not receive good warranty support if the blade breaks, or the needle nose snaps in half from metal fatigue (which has happened to my Gerber). That Old addage "Buy Cheap, Buy Twice, Buy Steep, Cry Once"...or something like that...applies here.

BAD Gear: Watches: Casio G-Shock DW-5600 (H)

For my first review, I am going to post about watches, rather, Bad Ass Watches. The reason being, I am still overseas, and this is what I have available to me. When I get back domestic, I will review the more substantial gear...

Every Bad Ass Dad needs a watch. I don't have to espouse the benefits of having a decent and sturdy watch that can take beatings, last a long time on batteries, and just simply easy to use and read.

Enter the Casio G-Shock DW-5600 (H)
Similar Models can be bought here
I've rocked this watch for 20 years already, and other than  one battery change, one bezel change, and one strap change, this watch is my Every Day Carry (EDC) watch. 

Some of the key features that I like about this watch:
  • Easy to Read Display
  • Day of the week / Month / Date
  • Water Resistant to 200m (when Bad Ass Dad goes diving in Bad Ass places, also means spit-up and puke resistant)
  • Daily Alarm and Hourly Chime
  • Dual Time (Different Timezone - for when Bad Ass Dad works in Bad Ass places and wants to know what time is a good time to Skype Bad Ass Mom and Bad Ass Daughter back home)
  • Countdown Timer (for when you have to put your kid in 3 minute timeouts, or make the perfect soft-boiled egg for your preggers wife, or grill the perfect ribeye)
  • Stopwatch with memory (for when Bad Ass Dad needs to time his swim laps)
  • Classic G-Shock Protection
  • Low Profile, Not Bulky (Doesn't scream "look at me I'm a wannabe diver but I stay at home playing COD4"), and you don't look like a hipster douchebag dad
  • Long Lasting Battery
  • Rubberized Strap means no stinky, and no dead skincells stuck between linkages, and no skin allergies to cheap silver and metal
  • Rounded soft edges (unlike metal watches - so when you are monkeying around with your kid you don't lacerate their face)
  • Modest price for its value ($85 cdn)
  • Made in Japan muthaf*ckers!!!!
If there is one thing I am not liking about this watch it is the anemic light source. It has since been fixed with their version of indiGLO in subsequent models

I have other watches that I use for office work, and formal outings, but for daily use, nothing beats a utilitarian watch that has everything you need, and nothing you don't. Why would Bad Ass Dad need a tachometer bezel? or a compass? or an altimeter? He wouldn't. 

I'm not saying that G-Shocks are the best watch out there, it is the best for me. I have been known to use a Timex Ironman

However the nylon strap got stinky real quick, and the watch bezel got smashed up against an AK-47. So I went back to using the G-Shock. The Ironman is also a very nice watch, but I would change the strap to something rubberized. Note that it is not marketed as having shock absorption. 

Whatever you choose, don't buy a flashy watch like most  douchebag dads do, its going to just disappoint you. If you must go analog, Swatches are very utilitarian, and have a bit of style, and you won't cry when you have to buy another one.

Monday, February 27, 2012

First Post: About this blog

Ok, so this is my first post. I intend to weed through all the douchebaggery of infant / kid / family / man products and services to highlight certain pieces of kit (gear for you Americans) that is simply Bad Ass, kit that makes you a Bad Ass Dad. Kit like strollers, man bags, multi-tools, textiles, yes even vehicles...maybe even vacations.

So why Bad Ass Dad? By nature of my background, I'm a hard-use guy, I expect and demand the best out of the equipment I procure:
  • Safety
  • Resistance to harsh and inclement weather
  • Durability and lifecycle
  • Expediency and Efficiency of deployment
  • Value for Product
  • Comfort (perceived or otherwise)
I've handled several pieces of kit that looked good in the glossy Toys-R-Us catalogue, but upon attempting one-handed lift and deployment of said kit, it just fails.

I don't know what direction this blogspot will take, but I also intend to bitch about the numerous pieces of shite products out there as well.


Full Disclosure: Unless noted, Bad Ass Dad has not been compensated in any means to review this gear. It is all his own, procured through pro-channels, retail, or issuance.