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With a name like Dean Burns (@dean_edc), you already know you’re talking to somebody lit. A schoolteacher by day and SAK-modder/leatherworker by night, Dean’s aesthetic of choice for his EDC is anything post-apocalyptic or battle-worn. Read on for Dean’s full rig rundown and find out how he configures and deploys his different custom SAKs.
I’m Dean Burns, more commonly known as @dean_edc on Instagram, and I am an EDC enthusiast and sometimes SAK modder/leatherworker from Durham City in the North East of England (United Kingdom).
By day, I am a schoolteacher at a local school teaching 9-10 year-olds, so my EDC gear is left at home during this time as you would imagine.
I first got into EDC about two or so years ago due to my cousin, Catherine Boland (an EDC Co-operator no less) who is also a keen collector of EDC gear and a prominent member of the EDC community.
My collection was started initially with a couple of Victorinox SAKS in silver Alox and a couple of Thrunite flashlights, before venturing in and out of a wider range of EDC gear over the subsequent time.
I have, at various stages, been influenced by the EDCs of @antithetik, James Crichton, James Dietz, Josh Coon, John Smith, and @mostly_sharp_stuff (so a huge thank you to you all), in particular, the many pics of titanium/stonewashed/acid-etched focussed looks on tools, pens and flashlights alike.
My favourite look is certainly anything looking remotely post-apocalyptic or worn. None of this shiny stuff for me, thank you.
I started making leather slips/organisers not long after I joined the community, in part just to offer UK-based EDCers a cheaper alternative to what was out there (cheaper due to not having to pay larger shipping costs to get stuff from the abundant US makers) and kept this up for about eighteen months before my real job and family life became more time consuming (in other words, I had a second child and changed careers to become a school teacher).
I still make some pretty cool leather lanyards, which can be seen throughout the EDC community I am proud to say, but this is all I am doing as far as leatherwork now.
I have also made several modified Victorinox Swiss Army Knives, with a lot of help from John Smith at Brasswerx, Andy Dunn at Beaver Bladeworks, Jay Loden and Ricardo (@imodsak), which has been a fun hobby that has allowed myself and some other EDCers to get their hands on a modded SAK (other than obtaining them from the aforementioned, who do A LOT more modding than I do, and have been fantastic in taking what is on offer to a higher level with various scales, toolsets and finishes).
In my spare time, I still try to play a bit of football when I can (soccer for those in the US, but it is called football as we invented it ha!), and get to the gym a couple of times a week.
I try to get in my makeshift garage-cum-workshop as much as I can and hope to increase my involvement in the SAK modding world just a little bit over the coming months.
Most of my spare time, however, is spent with my wife (Lorna) and two children, Jude (aged 6) and Orlaith (nearly 2, and don’t we know it ha!).
Favorite EDC Tool:
As far as my favourite items in my collection, I can break them down into two categories really - (1) the ones I use the most and (2) the most aesthetically pleasing.
In terms of usage, the 93mm Titanium Victorinox Voyager probably gets the most time, due to the scissors/bottle opening combo tool toolset.
The 84mm Titanium Victorinox Cadet, however, is seeing a bit more time out and about due to its smaller size and ability to fit seamlessly into any given pocket.
The 84mm Copper Victorinox Cadet is probably the prime candidate in terms of the second category – I love the look of copper, especially as it forms a natural patina.
As you might have gathered, the Swiss Army Knife is generally the main part of any carry for me, and my love for all things SAK is pretty much the reason I initially became interested in all of the other gear that I now have and any of the mini-ventures I have been fortunate enough to explore.
My absolute favourite EDC item has to be my Tag Carrera watch, however. I got it from my Dad and he’s been the biggest influence on pretty much everything I’ve ever done (as well as my Mam, I can’t leave her out, of course). My Dad gave me my very first Victorinox Spartan when I was about twelve, so he is to blame for all of this in reality haha!
What's On Your Gear Radar:
As far as the next items I’d like to add to my collection, I have a few on my radar. I’ve got a set of 93mm Beaver Bladeworks copper scales sitting in my workshop currently, which will very soon be added to an as-yet-undecided 93mm Victorinox SAK mod - I envisage stonewashing the scales and possibly using an inline Phillips driver and universal wrench I managed to acquire from an S557 model.
I also have my eye on a Titanium 58mm SAK, possibly a Rambler tool configuration, but I have not yet determined which outstanding modder to approach – there are many I have mentioned plus DE Custom Forge and DavizBlack who have produced some fine 58mm mods.
Finally, I have my eye firmly on a pen from Tactile Turn – I’m not sure which one as yet, but as it stands a copper Slider or Glider model is in the lead.
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