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February 03, 2021

Welcome to the Urban EDC Showcase! Each week, we feature a member of the EDC community and the gear they rely on every day. Want to be featured? Submit your gear photo.

From Herentals, Belgium, we chat with Michiel (@mvanhoudt) who’s not only a knife nut but also a fountain pen fanatic and avid photographer. Through his love for knives, Michiel has connected with like-minded individuals and even runs his own straight razor sharpening service. Read on to learn all about Michiel’s diverse interests, and what’s next on his gear radar (and what he has on order).

Featured Tools:

  • Fountain Pens: Pelikan and Rotring
    I typically carry and use 2 fountain pens, but they get rotated every other day. In this case a Pelikan M205 Demonstrator with Diamine Ancient Copper ink, and a Rotring 600 with Noodler's Black. The Rotring 600 fountain pen has been long discontinued and very much sought after lately. I managed to buy this one in 2008 without even knowing it was discontinued.

  • Notebook: Midori
    The notebook is a Midori Traveler's Notebook with 3 inserts. One grid lined notebook for doodles and knife designs, one Tomoe River insert for random notes, and one Tomoe river for to-do lists and important things I need to follow up on. The versatility of the notebook is pretty awesome and the inserts are fairly easy to find.

  • Wallet: Kron Leatherworks
    I bought a pen sleeve from him a year ago to use as a slip for my slip joints. His level of craftsmanship is excellent so I ordered a wallet as well. The green leather hides scuffs and the natural Vachetta leather ages well turning a slightly darker shade over time. It's very slim which is the main reason I ordered it.

  • Knife: Josh Dabney
    The knife is a custom from Josh Dabney. This is the first slip joint he sold after making one for himself. His attention to detail and impeccable grinds is the definition of perfection. I met him at a Bark River Knives Grind back in 2014. Since then, I've bought a few fixed blades from him. This one gets a lot of pocket time since it's super light and cuts like a laser.

  • Flashlight: Olight
    The flashlight is an Olight S1RII Baton. This torch doesn't see much use in the summer as I leave and return home when it's still light out. In fall and winter though it does come in handy. It's a convenient size and build quality is good. I'm not a huge flashlight user, so this is plenty for me.

      Background:

      I'm 32 and live in Herentals, Belgium. I work for the largest Internet provider in the country. During my spare time, I love to play video games, hiking, and I'm an avid photographer.

      I feel like photography, pens, and knives are a very common crossover in the EDC community. I guess we all like expensive hobbies. I got into the EDC thing because of knives. I got my first pocket knife when I was seven, and things escalated pretty quickly afterwards.

      I started collecting and using knives a lot more as soon as I had my own income. From there I joined a few forums, Knifeforums, mainly (RIP). This is where I met several knife makers and had daily conversations about knives.

      While social media is more prevalent than ever, I do feel like the connection a forum offers is much better. This is where I first saw Bark River Knives. From here I got sucked into sharpening and knife making to an extent. These casual talks have turned into a group of friends I consider family. I make it a point to fly over to the US at least twice a year for a month to visit them and help out where I can.

      I also run a separate sharpening service, mainly focusing on honing straight razors. It's a very relaxing activity and it's very different from sharpening knives. It's more forgiving and easy for me.

      Favorite EDC Tool:

      Picking a favorite EDC item is easy, it'll always be a knife. What knife, that's an impossible choice to make. Lately, I've been looking into slip joints more. As far as customs go, I have bought several front flippers from Stéphane Espi and Remi Lavialle over the past 2 years. All of these see regular pocket time and use. I don't have safe queens, everything I have gets used. The knife in my pocket changes almost daily depending on what I'm doing that day.

      What's On Your Gear Radar:

      I have one custom coming in soon from Stéphane Espi, but as it's already ordered, that shouldn't count. I guess my next pick would be Vehement Knives Grunt or a Tom Krein Pocket Bowie with jigged amber bone scales.


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