Condor Tool and Knife, Al Mar Knives, Shirogorov, Cold Steel, Strider SMF and the Bayonet — The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 85)
On the mid-week supplemental episode of The Knife Junkie podcast, Bob talks about a new folder in the Condor Tool and Knife 2020 lineup, Al Mar Knives back with updated versions of their classic models and Shirogorov collaborates with Lee Williams to update the 110 model.
He also recaps his first two weeks with his Strider SMF, his Cold Steel collection and in the “First Tool” segment, Bob covers the Bayonet.
Links to stories, podcast episodes mentioned and the knives covered in the podcast can be found below.On episode 85 of The Knife Junkie Podcast, Bob talks Condor Tool and Knife, Al Mar Knives, Shirogorov, Cold Steel, Strider SMF and features the Bayonet in 'The First Tool' segment Click To Tweet
Knives, News and Other Stuff Mentioned in the Podcast
- New Folder in the Condor Tool and Knife 2020 Lineup
- Al Mar Knives back with updated versions of their classic models
- Shirogorov collaborates with Lee Williams to update 110 model
Please call the listener line at 724-466-4487 or email email@example.com with any comments, feedback or suggestions on the show, and let us know what you’d like to hear covered next week on The Knife Junkie Podcast Supplemental edition.
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Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast your weekly dose of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your hosts Jim Person and Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco.
Jim Person 0:17
Hello Knife Junkie and welcome to the midweek supplemental episode of The Knife Junkie podcast. I'm Jim Person.
Bob DeMarco 0:23
And I'm Bob DeMarco. Welcome to the podcast.
Jim Person 0:26
Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast that is the place for knife newbies and Knife Junkie to learn all about knives and knife collecting and Bob and other jam packed show this week we're going to take a look at some knife life news coming up. We've got an update on the collection, including a couple of weeks now with your Strider SMF. So we want to get an update about that some cold steel news and even a first tool segment that we're going to talk about. So let's let's dive into it. Without any further ado.
Bob DeMarco 0:55
All right, let's do it. Well, one of the first things I wanted to talk about was what's coming out From Condor Tool and knife out of El Salvador in 2020, what a great brand. They've really worked their way up from a few very simple and simple knives and a small catalog to a very expensive catalog with some pretty amazing tools I got involved with them when I first start, started seeing them bring out some Filipino machete style blades. They started as a machete company, which makes sense for El Salvador. But anyway, this year, they are premiering their second folder. It's the Blue River hunter folder. And it's cool, it's it, you know, Condor, if you know them, they're a big outdoor knife company. So to see them kind of venture into the folder line is kind of like seeing tops venture into the folder line and imagine they're maybe you know, five years behind tops or whatever. So now they're coming out with a blooper hunter folder, Blue River hunter folder. It's a 3.02 inch drop point. blade is for 440C we all know and love 440C I know they're a lot more modern and fashionable steals but that's a great steal. It's a thumb stud liner lock. And here's the cool thing. It sort of retains some of the Condor, naturalist outdoor kind of vibe in that it has a walnut walnut handles with reconstituted turquoise inlay in the handle. So, we'll see about that. I haven't seen any, any YouTube videos on that yet. So I look forward to seeing about that. One other thing from Condor that really stuck out to me was they have this this new knife which is very Cornelly if that's a word named bushcraft, bliss. bushcraft, you know, doing you know carving sticks and making bowls and spoons and and traps and all the things you do in the outdoors to survive with your knife with wood. And there's this new knife from them called the bushcraft bliss but really when you look Look at it, it's it looks like a tactical knife it First of all, it comes in a kydex sheath. And second of all it's sort of a clip point drop point. They totally abandon the Scandi grind on this one and it's a full flat ground knife and then it's got a sort of tactical looking handle and that it's contoured and has good retention on both a thrust and slash. But it's got this big jumped thumb ramp and it looks more like a circular saw gym it's got this these three giant check it things that pop out to grip your thumb I'm interested interested to see what people say about that when they get their hands on it. So way more tactical combat looking than bushcraft. And so that just kind of raised my raise my awareness for a second there. They also have the king kukri machete which is a giant 12 and a half inch kukri blade. It's 1075 they seem to do every in 1075 and it's got this these giant fullers carved out of the side so that it's sort of machete weight, but it has the strength and heft of a knife. And it looks pretty big. And then the last one that really got me was the last Roman and it's a knife based on Roman blade found on one of London's last riverbeds, you know, London was a colony of Rome. And so when you dig under London, you find all these Roman artifacts and this was a knife found under London. It's got a beautiful, beautiful shape. And so I just have to get that out of sentimentality. It's that ethnic pride thing. Oh, it's Italian. I'll get that
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Bob DeMarco 4:47
one of the progenitors of the folding tactical knife genre, Al Mar knives kind of slipped a little bit behind the times there And so now they're coming back with some some kind of revamps on their, on their classics. The first they had had this ultra light series that was really cool actually my brother got my dad one the eagle, it's an impressive knife. It's super light, but it's a long four inch blade and it's got a liner list micarta handles, black looks all business superlight Alomar make some cool knives, right? So they're updating this, this line the the ultra light line and making the titanium line titanium frame locks with D two, and which is I would choose something else than the two but that'll work and then they're also coming out with an frn model of it with 8cr13MOV which kind of seems like they're still a little bit behind the times but I'm glad they're trying to update their their stuff here. Ball Bearing pivots, that's good flipper tabs instead of thumb studs. Okay, I don't know about that. But there you go. So The next is the SEER knife, that's a classic of theirs. But this is the updated seer 2020 series stands for survival escape something and evade, as you can tell I didn't go to seer school anyway. So this is the classic seer knife but they updated it with D2 and it's got a G 10 handle and now it's a flipper with a spring assist. Like again just a little bit behind the times people come on spring assist is gone. No one wants that anymore especially on a $200 knife, but they redeem themselves by bringing back the honey Jake bone series. Now this is a series of I always love these they look they're like half tactical half a traditional before traditional knives ever had a resurgence and they come in two and a half 3.15 and four inch blades you know they have three variations. And it's AUS8 steel to drop point But it's it's got this beautiful bolstered handle with a long elegant honey jig bone handle and I love that I love bone handles, the jigging, it looks just like an old case or, or a GEC Great Eastern cutlery. So yeah it's it's that is a cool Knife of all these knives all these new Al Mar knives coming out the ones that are by far the most interesting are the honey jigbone knives in my in my opinion,
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Bob DeMarco 7:30
so Lee Williams custom knife maker created this kick stop flipper mechanism. It's something that's come up. It came up a few weeks ago on Friday, Thursday night knives we talked about the kickstart it's a when the knife when the blade is closed on the flipper with the kickstart mechanism. You see a tab protruding out the out the backside just like you would on a normal flipper, but then when you flip it and the knife is actuated the flipper is hidden on the inside. So it's a pretty cool and, you know, slightly more complex mechanism. And Shirogorov teamed up with Lee Williams to kind of revamp their 110 model 110 standing for the millimeters of the length blade length of it. And yeah, so they made it so it's a 4.33 inch, very slender long drop point blade. And the handle sort of looks the same as the old one except they've they've placed some scallops and some very strategic places for gription but really the the main, you know, main thrust of this revamp is the Lee Williams kick stop opening mechanism. It's still running on their classic single row bearing system which is super smooth according to Alex Tisso I don't have a Shirogorov, though. I need to change that at some point. But this knife looks really cool. I gotta say for me, you know, I love a four inch blades. So make it 4.33. And I'm especially in and I love innovative mechanisms on knives. And so if I ever you know where to have a kickstart knife, it should be this one. Let's see, oh, I wanted to mention two other things. They're only making 300 of them. And it comes in sapphire blue, Amber brown and anchor gray in terms of the in terms of the anodization and the blue ones right now are live. So you can go get on their list right now
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Bob DeMarco 9:33
A few years back, I had a SMF, a Strider SMF. And it was a Lego version. That's the blocky square handled version. And it also had a full flat ground blade. That knife was cool, but it wasn't it. There were things about it that irked me, for that Lego that square handle. It was a little too big for my hand and then the blade I just could never get sharp enough and I think it was because it was very thick behind The Edge and and maybe I wasn't as good at sharpening back then so I got rid of it and then I regretted it immediately and I had for years and then talking with Zelrick a couple weeks ago on the show, he said he had an SMS because I said, if you ever look into sell one, he had one hollow ground, beautiful and concealed carry version that means it's thinner and more contoured better for my smaller hands. You know, and, and this knife showed up, I've had it for two weeks, I've been carrying it almost every day for two weeks. And I absolutely love it the hollow grind, and the seas and the contour into the handle, make all of the difference with the SMF for me, because my hands aren't huge, but they're not small either. They're kind of in that middle point where most big knives feel good but that SMF with the Lego handle was just a little too much for me. So it's been exciting and and this knife is solid as a rock gym. It's making me feel Like I have to double down on my on my reduce and refine I hate I hate to keep bringing up epic snow snuggle bunnies mantra here but I really like I have... I have.... I want another Strider now now I want another one. So I think I need to I need to focus.
Jim Person 11:18
Okay, so you need to get rid of some to add another Strider so it's kind of altering changing your collecting philosophy or collecting thinking maybe a little bit
Bob DeMarco 11:28
I think maybe a bit and then just after doing the cold steel folder video I decided I need I need to focus with the cold steel, I need to focus on what their strengths are. And to me, it's those giant blades Nolan also make so I'm thinking I'm going to get rid of my smarts, a few of my smaller blades but
Jim Person 11:46
Okay, interesting. So the reducing and... and well, the refining continues and hopefully they reducing part of it will continue.
Jim Person 11:49
Ooh, call it like you see it.
Jim Person 11:58
All right. We'll keep A an eye on The Knife Junkie is reduced and refined efforts of course here on the Knife Junkie podcast.
And now for a look at historical innovation and knife design. It's time for The Knife Junkie, the first tool
Jim Person 12:12
Back on episode number 85 of the Knife Junkie podcast, you'll find links to everything we've discussed on this episode of the podcast at The Knife junkie.com slash eight five. That's The Knife Junkie dot com slash 85. And Bob, one of my favorite segments we have again this week, the first tool and you're going to have a chance to chat about the bayonet,
Bob DeMarco 12:36
the first tool Yes, indeed, Jim, this is just for you.
Jim Person 12:39
I'm so special.
Bob DeMarco 12:41
Well, this is actually my favorite segment too. Because, you know, all of these knives that we buy today came from somewhere. It's like you me, Jim, we are the latest, you know, installment of generation after generation after generation of people going back way throughout history. So I want to talk about the band that Because it's a universal weapon, east, west, all around the world, this weapon has been used. And really what it is, is a knife afixment to the end of a rifle to turn it into a spear. And it came about during the Age of the musket, when it took a Coon's age to reload a rifle or reload a musket. So in the case that you shoot a volley, you know, in the old days, people lined up the head, very civilized warfare, they'd shoot a volley and maybe they'd reload and shoot again, but if the opposing side rushed them, the idea is you fix a bayonet, and suddenly you have a spear or a pike, and you can go after the opponent in with a melee weapon. So let's start with the history of this thing. And the terminology bayonet. A lot of people think that it comes from Bayonne in France, that they own it that they own, but we do know that bandits predate the French use of bayonets. That's just like most other things. Things like pasta makes me bristle a little bit but the Chinese did it first. They did it with a something they called the son and mother gun which is a big breech loading musket, but they created a 22 inch bayonet to fit it was a plug band at now plug bayonet has a tapered handle that you fit right into the hole right into the breach of your of your barrel. So these, this this Chinese son and mother gun was a giant breech loading musket and you fired it and then if you could not reload it, in the time it took to take three and a half meters. If someone was rushing towards you, you attach the bayonet and you hold it like a spear. So this was a weapon that was developed in the you know it to sort of make up for all the shortcomings of early firearms. The first being the plug so you stuck it into the barrel itself, but that also, you know, doing that preclude The use of the gun itself. So if you have a bayonet stuck in there, you can't fire the rifle. And that could be a that could be a big problem. So the socket band that was created, and it was created by someone named Hugh MacKaye, who, who was on who was fighting up in in the Highlands of Scotland, and they were fighting against the Jacobites, and the Jacobites fired one volley from their rifles, dropped them and then attacked the opposing army Hugh McKay's army with swords and axes and destroy and killed them all. I'm sorry, I don't mean to laugh about that, but they didn't have time to fix bayonets. They thought they were going to be civilized and reload and they would return volley but it turned into a melee quickly, and these people didn't have time to fix bayonets. So they and when they did with the with the plug bayonets, they would fall out frequently. So this gentleman created the socket bayonet that it fits over the barrel and you can still fire while shooting and it has this outward canting blade that curves forward. So that was adopted by most European armies and this is in the 1700s they started to adopt these triangular blades that created wounds that were very difficult to heal and actually incidentally later on with the Geneva Convention a triangular blades were outlawed because the the wound is so grievous Yeah, yeah, and it's it's hard to stitch and then it tears easily because it's a weird shaped wound. They're not outlawed by American law. But yeah, if you want to fight a war with it, it's it's against the rules. So later came the sword ban that now this is when the bayonet was starting to well, the use of them was starting to edge a little bit and they wanted to make a weapon make a bayonet that that could be used as both A short sword and as a bayonet if needed, and right around this time people were carrying these. They could be used for both thrusting and slashing more like a glave. glave is is like a spear with a blade. Okay. Yeah, it's not just for thrusting but you can with it. So that that was a that was a main benefit of these short sword bayonets. And then, you know, the bayonet is is a constantly evolving thing because it's kind of a stopgap measure. You know, and and as the challenges the battlespace change, the stopgap measure has to change. So they they after after the sword, the short sword ban it, they sort of moved along to these Multi Purpose bayonets. Oftentimes they had saw teeth on the back and they would they would give these two engineers I mean regular field soldiers would have these two but they were for constructing you know, barbed wire posts and me even butchering livestock, but but you know, other other defensive needs. encampment needs
Jim Person 18:02
I was gonna say more more than a fighting weapon right an overall around tool.
Bob DeMarco 18:07
Yeah, yeah that you could make camp with and then if you needed it in the in the thick of things you could use it but interestingly enough the German army and this is kind of ironic to me but the German army towards the 19th towards the 20th century discontinue to the use of sought back band that's because it created it created like an unnecessarily severe wound upon pulling it out, you know you've imagined you've got a sharp blade on one side of puncturing tip on the front, and then a saw back it was just created a gnarly wound and out of some sort of sense of civility in battle, which is probably all but gone. They outlawed that. Another interesting multipurpose ban that was the travel ban that this is something I'm sure many people have seen. It looks like a travel literally a large long trial attached to the end of a rifle. This thing was created by the American army by a lieutenant colonel Edmund rice. And it was created by Springfield Armory, incidentally, the very famous Springfield Armory. But this trial shaped bayonet was a giant sort of triangular band that that was flat on the side that face the barrel and then fluted on the backside also created grievous horrible nasty wounds, but was used more for for as a trial, you know, in in spreading, you know, in creating forts, you know, to spread concrete and all these other things to dig. It was an entrenchment tool that sort of ended up being you know, falling by the wayside eventually, because of its It was kind of a, an awkward and large bulky kind of item, but it had its dual uses. So, as time moves on, really what we've learned about the band net is that in most band that charges that's when a whole, you know, group of soldiers bandits in charge, most of the time in Napoleonic wars and the American Civil War and and in other accounts, the opposing enemy just turned and ran. Really? Yeah, yeah, we're finding that in the Napoleonic Wars, fewer than 2% of the victory of the casualties were the result of bayonets in a bayonet charge. And in the Civil War, the American Civil War, less than 1%. So really, this thing was a deterrent. It was like, it was better at gaining ground than it wasn't killing, because people saw this, you know, saw groups of people running at them with sharp sharpened spikes in the age of the firearm, and they're like, holy crap, and they turned and ran and ground was gained. So it's kind of a psychological weapon.
Jim Person 20:47
Yeah, absolutely. Especially if they were screaming when they were running.
Jim Person 20:52
You know, that's interesting, because that's not what I saw in the movies.
Bob DeMarco 20:55
Yeah, no, no, never happens. Like that. Doesn't
Jim Person 20:57
right. That's cool. Not cool, but that's interesting fact.
Bob DeMarco 21:02
Well, so now years later, it's still awake. There was there was one bayonet charge by the American US Marine or a US Army in, in Korea, where were a bunch of soldiers led by Lewis l millet attacked a bunch of positions, artillery positions with bayonets. And and they killed a bunch of guys and a 20 out of 50 of them were killed by a bayonet. So that was kind of the last big use of the bayonet, but I must say, let's flash forward to 2004 or five. My brother in law, James was in Iraq, and he was in the he was in the CAG group, and they were kind of civilian affairs, and they would kind of they would move into a town before the occupying force and kind of get hearts and minds aligned. And he was in the situation one day where he forgot his bayonet and he's like, when do you ever use a bayonet. it's a pain in the butt getting in and out of the Humvee with a band that he left it back at base. And this was the one day that his group was surrounded by an angry crowd of Iraqis, for whatever reason, and the order was given to fix bayonets as a psychological to turn it was like a
Jim Person 22:20
I brought my unvisible one today
Bob DeMarco 22:22
exactly, he didn't have it with him. And actually it ended up getting stolen. He said, apparently, things always get stolen. In the military, especially when, when the Marines and the army are grouped together and like things go missing strangely so his went missing, but he ended up giving me his sheath and bought a new bayonet for it. So the bayonet is not a completely outdated thing. It is still a good psychological deterrent, but it has had an interesting and storied history.
And that's this week's look at knife history with the first tool. And now back to The Knife Junkie podcast
Jim Person 22:57
again, Bob, I gotta say, you know History was one of my, you know, more favorite sport, not sports subjects in school, not saying I was very good at it, but it was one that I enjoyed more than math, or others or science. But I again, I just I really liked the first tools just as you know, hearing some of the history and little stories behind it. So a great, great segment there the first tool?
Bob DeMarco 23:21
Well, Jim, I'm ashamed to say, I wasn't interested in history, stupidly until I was in college, and I was studying art history and then learned about history through looking at the art that was created at that time. And now it'd be cool to go to a course that taught history through weaponry. Wouldn't that be cool? You can learn about the world's events through the lens of cool knives and swords. But hey, dare we dream?
Unknown Speaker 23:45
Sounds like a course you'll have to create a local community college.
Bob DeMarco 23:49
Oh wait, I think that's Harvard on the line. I have to take this
Jim Person 23:50
Okay. I'll let you go. Hey, we always try to do look at some of the live shows but quite honestly, we're running a little bit long on time. And we kind of hit them all pretty much last week. So nothing new I think has been added Plus, you can easily go online to knife magazine.com slash events, if you want to get the update on the live show there. So we'll we'll get back to it next week and look at some of the dates and places of the live shows only one in February. So we're really going to be looking at March shows anyway. So a lot of stuff we've covered here on this episode of the Knife Junkie bond cast, Bob, final thoughts as we wrap up this episode.
Bob DeMarco 24:31
Well, Jim, all I can really think about is this incoming Kris Tilite from cold steel. So that's my final word. I'll let you know what happens when it comes in. I'm going to have a clenched between my teeth.
Unknown Speaker 24:42
Of course it's a new knife, why should I think anything other than your thoughts would be there?
Bob DeMarco 24:47
Also my beautiful wife, my children, of course.
Jim Person 24:49
Oh, absolutely. It goes without saying.
Jim Person 24:52
All right, that's gonna do it. Let's get out of here Episode Number 85 of the Knife Junkie podcast again, The Knife junkie.com slash 85 you'll find links and show notes and everything right there on that page so for Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco I'm Jim Person saying thanks for joining us.
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