Gear Review: Mjolnir III by Ostap Hel Knives

When it comes to EDC pocket jewellery, nothing beats a hand-made custom piece, and I’ve had my eye on the Mjolnir from Ostap Hel Knives for some time. Yes, Mjolnir is Thor’s hammer, and being capable of a knockout blow is very appropriate association, but of course the shape of Ostap’s Mjolnir is also like the old Norse symbols.
Join me in this review of the Mjolnir III from Ostap Hel Knives, the featured version is in carbon fibre.

Video Overview

This video is a detailed look at the Mjolnir III, and hopefully you can get a good feel for the quality of finish.

What it is like to use?
Without saying exactly how you might use the Mjolnir III (due to some more negative connotations), it is both EDC pocket jewellery and a self-defence aid.

The intended configuration for carrying the Mjolnir III is on its own with a lanyard, added for ease of getting it into your hand when needed. Shown here, it has the matching lanyard from Ostap Hel Knives which has a CF bead on the cord. With the CF version being so light, it has minimal pocket presence so can also feel a little difficult to home in on. So…

…picking up on the fact it has felt a little ‘detached’ from easily finding the CF Mjolnir III in my pocket, I wanted to try something a bit different and out there, and fit it as a lanyard stopper on another EDC item. In this case a slip-joint knife which already had a longish lanyard on it.
In this way, the knife provides the weight for easily finding it, and the Mjolnir III makes a fantastic ‘puller’ for getting the knife to hand, but also for then ease of getting the Mjolnir III into your hand.
Reversing the sense that the Mjolnir III is the lanyard stopper round to the knife being the lanyard stopper, and you can either allow the knife to hang out to the side, or take it into you palm while gripping the Mjolnir III between your fingers.
You can experiment with the lanyard length to see how it might work for you if you try this approach. Here the loose ends of the paracord are not yet woven into the lanyard to more easily allow adjustments before making the final configuration.
It has worked for me, it might work for you; try it before completely dismissing the idea.

Regardless of how you choose to carry it, the Mjolnir III is a pleasure to handle and carry. Despite there being no moving parts, it can be a worry-stone or fidget toy, as well as having an actual serious purpose – definitely worth the investment in a quality piece.

Review Summary

The views expressed in this summary table are from the point of view of the reviewer’s personal use. I am not a member of the armed forces and cannot comment on its use beyond that covered in the review.

Something that might be a ‘pro’ for one user can be a ‘con’ for another, so the comments are categorised based on my requirements. You should consider all points and if they could be beneficial to you.

I’m trying something slightly different and starting with what doesn’t work so well, so I can finish on a more positive note.

What doesn’t work so well for me

What is not to like?

Things I like

Beautifully crafted.
Choice of materials.
Easy to carry.
Might make all the difference in a tight situation.
Low profile.
Thor’s hammer in your pocket.

Discussing the Review:
The ideal place to discuss this review is on the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page
Please visit there and start/join the conversation.

Gear Review: TCH Handcuffs Twinlock Special – Part 3

This is Part 3 of a TCH (Total Control Handcuffs) Handcuffs Special three part review series featuring the TCH Twinlock cuffs. In Part 3 we will be looking at the 842 Rigid Twinlock cuffs with RCP5 Handcuff Pouch, NCG Neoprene Cuff Guard, plus an overview of handcuffing techniques. As a bonus, Part 3 also includes Tactical Reviews’ interpretation of the TOOOL universal handcuff key and ‘alternative’ prepping uses for handcuffs.
TCH Handcuffs Twinlock Special – Part 1 covered the 932 and 822 Twinlock cuffs, SK5 and SK6 keys, plus the 9201 belt pouch. TCH Handcuffs Twinlock Special – Part 2 included the 852 Folding Rigid Twinlock, 832 Superior Hinge Twinlock, TCH HR Handcuff Reducer plus the 9200 and 9215 Handcuff Pouches.
Join me here for Part 3 of the TCH Handcuffs Special review as we continue our look over these excellent cuffs and the Twinlock dual keyway design.

First look round the model 842 Rigid Twinlock cuffs:
These 842 cuffs are currently the go-to standard issue for the UK Police force, although not all issue cuffs will be the Twinlock option, but more likely the single lock version.
Rigid cuffs and their handling makes speedcuffing the norm, at least for the first wrist. From the first photo in this gallery the rotating arm of the cuffs are ‘back loaded’ ready for rapid cuffing.

The RCP5 Handcuff Pouch:
Being fully rigid, the 842s need a different approach for belt carry to all other folding cuffs. The RCP5 pouch has to hold these cuffs differently to any of the folding versions, and because of this the retaining strap has to use the military style press stud with a ‘dot’ that only opens from one side. The RCP5 comes with a warning label to inform you how to use this type of press-stud if you haven’t come across them before. The press-stud directly next to the cuffs is fitted so that the side against the cuffs cannot be pulled open from the cuff side, instead it can only be lifted open from the side away from the cuffs. Like this any pressure on the cuffs while carrying them can’t cause the retaining strap to open unintentionally.

NCG Neoprene Cuff Guard:
Provided for comfort during training only, this is not for use when restraining a suspect. During training all personnel will be cuffed and un-cuffed repeatedly, not always gently, and the NCG means the trainees need not suffer too much with speedcuffing and reverse stack practice.

Standard cuffing techniques:
Here we have a demonstration of the main cuffing methods using traditional chain cuffs and rigid cuffs with two TCH models. All methods are shown full body and zoomed in on the hands.
With chain models like the 822 you can only use ‘palm to palm’ (to the front), or ‘back to back’ (behind the back).
A fixed or hinge model now allows for the ‘stack’ where the hands face different directions through the cuffs.
So with the folding fixed 852 model here, we have ‘palm to palm’ (to the front), then ‘front stack’. Now moving to ‘back to back’ (behind the back), and then the ‘rear stack’. Rear stack is the most uncomfortable for the restrained person and should only be used if absolutely necessary.

Tactical Reviews’ interpretation of the TOOOL universal handcuff key:
Taking a slight aside during this review I came across the TOOOL (The Open Organisation Of Lockpickers) Universal handcuff key with information posted by ‘Deviant Ollam’. Taking this as inspiration I brought together ideas from other universal handcuff keys, and produced a few Tactical Reviews Universal handcuff keys. The TOOOL version was based on the Smith & Wesson Handcuff key, but as I was not able to source one at a sensible price, I decided to use the TCH key. In fact the key flag on the Smith & Wesson key is too long to fit into TCH cuffs, so for that key you have to file the key flag down. By starting with the TCH key, it already fits TCH cuffs perfectly. The width of the key flag slot is governed by the width of the junior hacksaw blade used to cut it.
Building on the TOOOL key, I also added a back-cut at 22 degrees. This allows for the key to be rocked back and forward in case the key flag is too long or short. It also gives more allowance for the key post size otherwise being too large. In short to give wiggle room to help open different cuffs.
In this gallery, the first image is of the first version I made. Next up is a second key but this time with the back-cut added, with the last image just showing the dimensions that were altered to make the key. there is no height shown for the key flag, as this was not modified from the original TCH key.

‘Alternative’ uses for handcuffs:
In terms of ‘Prepping’, handcuffs can actually be a very useful bit of kit to carry for several reasons. Here I am showing just three uses, as a bike lock, to secure a bag or other item you might want to leave for a few moments (in which time someone might take it). With the bag, clearly it doesn’t stop someone going through it, but is stops a quick snatch and run. And in the last photo, when you are resting, again to protect some possessions by preventing an easy theft.
Beyond these starter ideas, it can be used to hang items up, if required to secure someone that may be acting against you, as a rope weight if trying to throw a line to someone, to ‘hold’ a button down with the ratchet allowing adjustment as required. The list goes on for when you might need a second pair of hands.

TCH and the Twinlock:
A lot has been covered in this three part review, and hopefully you can see the quality, strength and reliability of TCH (chosen by the UK Police as the standard handcuff). The Twinlock concept makes for easier unlocking especially if the person is not cooperative so is well worth considering as when you want it, it will make a big difference.

Going back to Parts 1 and 2:

TCH Handcuffs Twinlock Special – Part 1 covered the 932 and 822 Twinlock cuffs, SK5 and SK6 keys, plus the 9201 belt pouch. TCH Handcuffs Twinlock Special – Part 2 included the 852 Folding Rigid Twinlock, 832 Superior Hinge Twinlock, TCH HR Handcuff Reducer plus the 9200 and 9215 Handcuff Pouches.

Video Review

This video covers all the TCH models that appear in the special three part review series, and will be included in all three parts of the review for ease of access. It might be worth taking a look over the image galleries before diving into the video.

Full list of TCH products featured in the three part special series:

832 Superior Hinge Twinlock
932 Lightweight Superior Hinge Twinlock
852 Folding Rigid Twinlock – Red grip
842 Rigid Twinlock
822 Superior Chain Twinlock – Black finish

Accessories –
SK5 Flat Swivel key
SK6 Tubular Swivel key
NCG Neoprene Cuff Guard
TCH HR Handcuff Reducer
TCH 9200 Handcuff Pouch (for 822)
TCH 9201 Handcuff Pouch (for 832/932)
TCH 9215 Handcuff Pouch (for 852)
TCH RCP5 Handcuff Pouch (for 842)

Discussing the Review:
The ideal place to discuss this review is on the Tactical Reviews Facebook Page
Please visit there and start/join the conversation.