September 21, 2022

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.

A manufacturing engineer by day and tinkerer by night, Max (@gondekedc) is so obsessed with EDC that he began designing and making his own tools. Read on to find out how Max juggles being a father to 3 little kids, managing a side hustle, working a full-time job while still finding the time for powerlifting.

What's in your carry?

  • Prybar: GondekEDC The Traveler Pry Bar
    This is what started my journey in making EDC gear. I travel frequently for work and usually, that involves taking a plane. The good old TSA isn’t too fond of my normal carry so I wanted to have something that could help replace my knife.

    I carry a Benchmade Bugout a lot and love the size and shape so I thought to myself that I wanted to have a pry bar that matched. I designed this to feel as much like a knife could without being one. I have carried a pry bar off and on for years and find it a great way to protect my knife in normal day to day activities too.

  • Flashlight: Zebralight SC64C LE
    I would for sure consider myself a flashlight nerd and have purchased many throughout the years. Out of every light I have owned, this is my favorite hands down. It is tiny for a 18650, great UI, and an amazing tint. Zebralight has a special spot in my heart and this is just perfection on perfection. Except for the clip which I relaced with a deep pocket clip I got on Amazon.

  • Knife: Benchmade Bugout
    I have been carrying a knife regularly since I started my first job as an engineer. I have gone through a bunch of different styles and designs but the Bugout is a top three for sure. The size and fit are perfect but I hated the ranger colors. Good old RIT dye to the rescue. I made myself a blacked-out version before it was a thing.

  • Wallet: GondekEDC Minimalist Wallet
    This is the second machined product that I came up with. I had a Ridge wallet for a while but I have a badge that I need to buzz in to work with. It was always a pain to take it out every time due to the design of it.

    There are minimalist wallets with a similar concept (that allow for badging in) but I wanted to add more to it. The hex openings are functional and can be used but the big one for me was adding Benchmade hole spacing. I had the spacing already figured out for my pry bar so an easy copy and paste. What this does though it allows me to clip the wallet to my athletic shorts in the summer. A small change but a big one to me.

  • Hank: GondekEDC Hamilton Hank
    I think EDC hanks are a necessity for everyday life. I have three kids and use mine all the time. My wife has a side business where she does a bunch of sewing so there is always a plethora of sewing machines and fabric at my house.

    I thought it would be a fun item to have in my store and it turned out to be very popular. I call them Hamilton hanks since they are priced at $10. For me, they are a great way to express yourself as well as clean up small messes or your sunglasses.

  • Watch: Suunto Core All Black
    I have two main watches. This one and a Hamilton Khaki Automatic. The Hamilton is my weekday watch and the Suunto my weekend warrior. I have had it for about 5 years and a huge fan. It is built like a tank, looks great, and has cool features (compass, barometer, etc). What makes it even better is the battery is user-replaceable. I replace it about once a year for the low cost of a few bucks.

What's your story?

I currently live in Wisconsin but was in Illinois for most of my life. I am almost a decade into my career as an engineer in manufacturing. My current company makes aluminum castings and assemblies for the automotive industry.

I have always been the kind of person that loves tinkering with things, as well as legos, which let me into engineering. I am also married and have three little kids (4 and twins who are 2). They are really the reason I do what I do and also why I started my side company, GondekEDC. While very optimistic, I hope one day to be able to replace my current income with it and be able to work at home to spend more time with them.

I really didn’t know what EDC was when I started but graduating college I got a job at a die casting manufacturing company. I found myself needed a knife and a flashlight a lot at work. Then I found myself using these items outside of work. Way too much money, and years later I now have an EDC obsession like most of us. :)

With three little kids and a full-time job, I have very little time for hobbies. The few hours a day when the kids are sleeping and I am awake I spend it either on working out or my new business.

I have been an athletic person all my life and recently got into powerlifting. It is great to do in the basement and takes the least amount of time possible. Usually, in the evenings, I am working on GondekEDC. Whether that is making stuff, working on new products, or shipping out orders there is always something to be done.

Favorite EDC Tool?

The pry bar is my favorite for sure just based on what it has done for my life so far and hopefully the changes my company will continue to bring.

Other than the products I have made, the Zebralight for sure. It is rare to find something that checks every box but that flashlight does. I also use my EDC light all the time so having something I enjoy makes all the difference.

What's On Your Gear Radar?

There is always something to want. My grail item is an Oveready BOSS 35 light. I have wanted one for years but have not been able to justify the cost yet. Maybe one day. I also want to pick up a CRK Sebenza 21. I had one a while ago but sold it for some funds. I have been missing it ever since.

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