From Commander to Amphibian: 25 Years of Collecting Knives in 12 Folders: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 484)

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From Commander to Amphibian: 25 Years of Collecting Knives in 12 Folders: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 484)

On the mid-week supplemental episode of The Knife Junkie podcast (episode 484), Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco reflects on his more than 25 years of collecting knives, going full circle and summing up his love of folders from the Commander to Amphibian, including the Cold Steel Recon 1, Spyderco Ulize, and the Pro-tech Rockeye, among others. Plus, he shows off his new way to carry Swiss Army knives.

comment of the week - From Commander to Amphibian: 25 Years of Collecting Knives in 12 Folders: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 484)


Comment-of-the-Week - From Commander to Amphibian: 25 Years of Collecting Knives in 12 Folders: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 484)

Bob starts the show with his favorite comments of the week (above), followed by his pocket check of knives: the Emerson TKF-1, JWK Feelgood Jack, Stroup Knives SD1, and the Cold Steel Recon 1 XL (Emotional Support Knife).

In Knife Life News:
• Boker Kalashnikov Line Gains Boxcutter
• Civivi Releases Production Version of Brzeski Custom KwaiQ
• Bark River Knives Comes Out with Hudson Bay Trade Knife
• Arizona Man Arrested Gallivanting Through Neighborhood with Sword

Meanwhile, in his State of the Collection, Bob looks at his new Microtech Amphibian and the Jed Hornbeak Knives Necromance.

Find the list of all the knives shown in the show and links to the Knife Life news stories below.

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On episode 484 of #theknifejunkie #podcast, I reflect on 25+ years of knife collecting and sum up my love of folders, from the Commander to Amphibian, in just 12 knives. Click To Tweet
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The Knife Junkie Podcast is the place for knife newbies and knife junkies to learn about knives and knife collecting. Twice per week Bob DeMarco talks knives. Call the Listener Line at 724-466-4487; Visit
©2024, Bob DeMarco
The Knife Junkie Podcast


[0:00] Coming up, my favorite new way to carry a Swiss Army knife, I get a brand new Microtech, and full circle from commander to amphibian, 25 years of collecting knives in 12 folders.
I'm Bob DeMarco. This is the Knife Junkie Podcast.
Welcome to the Knife Junkie Podcast, your weekly dose of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting.
Here's your host, Bob the Knife Junkie DeMarco.

[0:32] Welcome back to the show i had two favorite comments from this past week per usual first one was from lundy's den 6781 he or she says fyi new york state is a four inch blade length state and now folks in the city can carry switchblades are also legal to own and carry during hunting or fishing pass it around lundy considered it passed uh this is great i'm glad Glad you commented on this.
I frequently over the years have bad mouthed New York State, especially New York City, about their knife laws. But it's good to hear that things are changing.
We talk about knife laws a lot here with knife rights.
And that is something I don't remember. So it's good to hear.
Consider it passed around.
And, man, four inches. That's the perfect blade length. So things are looking up in New York State.
Next up from Fried Pie MC5YT.
He says, I get to carry a Bowie knife every day.
Live in the dream. And I got to say, Fried, I'm living vicariously through you.
I guess legally I could do the same, but I'm in the midst of a pearl-clutching society here, so it would be difficult to get away with it.

[1:49] So, Fried, I admire you. And I admire all of you who watch the show and comment.
Thank you so much for watching and for commenting, paying attention, and liking and all of that.
We just hit 5 million views last week, and that's more than some and fewer than others.
But to me, I think that's an incredible number.
5 million of anything is pretty cool, especially dollars.
But it hasn't translated that way. It will at some point.
But thank you so much for watching. I really, really appreciate it.
Okay, all that yammering over with, let us now get to a pocket check.
What's in his pocket? Let's find out.
Here's the knife junkie with his pocket check of knives.

[2:41] In my pocket front right today was the Emerson Knives TKF1.
I've been carrying this one a lot since I traded my buddy Ian for it, and I'm really, really loving it. This is my first new Emerson in quite some time.

[2:57] Emerson is one of the brands that I have decided I am never selling ever since Joe, remember him?
Joe the Knife Whisperer? He was here for a flash.
Well, Well, he made off with two of my Emersons, and I'm not sure what he fenced them for and bought. I have a pretty good idea.
But anyway, I kind of vowed in that moment never to get rid of any of my Emersons, and I hadn't really acquired any since.
So this was a really nice trade opportunity that came up with my friend, and all he wanted for it was my old Aus-8 fully serrated 6-inch cold steel holdout because a guy that trains him uses those and has used them in the past to great effect.
So he really wanted that back in his lineup. And I said, look, man, you can get one S35VN. You don't need mine. He's like, let's just trade.
I don't feel like, so we traded. And of course, I threw in a Knight horse to make it more worth his while. But still, I made out on the deal.
And I got to say, I love this knife. Four inches.
Tim Kennedy is a renowned Green Beret.
He's been on every podcast you know and love. And he was also an MMA fighter.

[4:13] Saw some nominal success in the UFC. But he's just basically a professional badass.
Seems like a great guy, too. who he approached Ernest Emerson to have a knife design.
He wanted something long, thin, and stabby.
And, of course, Ernest Emerson loves bowie knives and clip points, and so he created this long, slender, kind of reminds me a little bit of a Hell's Bells style bowie.

[4:37] Knife here bowie knife and so there you go long slender v ground and of course chisel edge as usual wickedly sharp chisel edges are and i've actually used this one i've been carrying it a lot i've used it on cardboard and stuff i used to think oh this tracks weird through the material it takes like one micro adjustment the very first time you use it if you're not used to a chisel edge.
What you got to get used to with the chisel edge is extreme sharpness.
Just imagine a V-ground edge and then half of it.
Really sharp. Okay, so next up on me, my slip joint today was the Feel Good Jack from Jack Wolf Knives.
I've been carrying around the new release a lot, at least recently, the Midnight Jack, which is also a sheep's foot.
And so I decided to go back in time a few months and uh you carry this one that uh sheep's foot blade there is nice and acute you know comes to a nice pointy point there and uh this one has that fat carbon and.

[5:44] Blue arctic i can never keep it straight but it's it's it's one of the blue carbon fibers really nice and stupendous action on this of course this is called the feel good jack like like Dr.
Feelgood, like the Motley Crue album and song, and this is a doctor's knife.
So that means the spine and the bottom part of the handle are about parallel.
It comes to a flat bottom where on an old school doctor back in the day using his doctor's knife would crush up pills with that flat bottom, use the blade to cut the pills up, use the bottom to crush them, And then there was usually a secondary tool in here And it was like a bit of a long spatula And you fold that out And you use that to stir up the little tincture The little snake oil you made for the guy I love western medicine Don't get me wrong Nothing better than western medicine Especially for trauma, But it all started somewhere And part of that was Doctors making house calls And carrying doctor's knives So today was the feel good Jack Oh and by the way, Here's to the doctors Here's to the doctors saving our butts They're like cops People like to complain Cops and lawyers People like to complain about them Until they need them You know And then they're grateful So.

[7:07] All right, next up in the waistband was this beauty. This was the knife I was really seeking at Blade Show 2023.
I really wanted a push dagger, custom push dagger, and saw a few, but this one really rang my bell.
This is the Stroop Knives SD1.

[7:28] And one thing I really, well, a couple of things I really love about this knife.
I like i have decided that push daggers for me personally are better when they're asymmetrical.

[7:39] Asymmetrically handled meaning uh the blade is not protruding between the middle finger and the ring finger but between the middle finger and the forefinger um and and because to me it's easier it's just a little bit easier for me to know where that tip is the closer it is to where i'm used to carrying a knife basically it feels like i'm more in control here here this is more caveman i think i might get more power coming straight up the arm this way but this way i don't think i'm really losing any of that rigidity or power and i feel like i have a better way of knowing where the tip is okay now that we've established that this is totally chisel ground meaning totally Totally flat on that side.
And then when you flip it, that's what the grind is. And you can see that that's a pretty steep grind.
And the edge grinds are pretty steep.
So not necessarily for cutting, but you can do some wicked slashing with it.
You're definitely going to cut and split the skin with that.
But where this thing really shines is on the push.
So that flat bit on the bottom and then that peaked bit on the top make for a nasty, almost triangular wound.
And it goes in shockingly easily. Now, what it goes into is cardboard shockingly easily.
It's all I've stabbed with this. But.

[9:06] Every time I pull this out, I kind of have this intuition, this gut feeling like it's not very sharp because it's not slicey, but damn, it is sharp, and this thing will penetrate.

[9:20] All day long.
So this is what I carried in the waistband, and how I do carry it is with this sheath, this monoblock here from Discrete Carry Concepts.
The sheath itself is in the waistband and the clip goes over my pants and then my belt goes over that so it's attached to my my waistband of my pants but not over the belt i don't like that it makes things too rigid because i need to move things around you know as i'm sitting down and stuff uh you need to move that sheath around and if it's locked over the belt it's not going anywhere but on the pants you have some wiggle room uh lastly for emotional support uh uh, was my very coveted, um, XL recon one.
I say very coveted. Every time I show this, uh, someone offers to buy it because they're discontinued and they're much, they're very desirable.
I got this, this is an XHP. Both of my XL recon ones are an XHP.
Uh, they did a very brief stint with, um, S35VN before they discontinued them.

[10:25] Quote me on that uh but anyway this the xhp is even more coveted and uh i managed to snag one of these and also one of the tantos uh different from different people at different times uh but shortly after they were discontinued interesting thing is the the coating on the on the tanto is shiny so you get two different kind of uh finishes on these knives depending on which blade you got I don't know why they discontinued these. It's kind of ridiculous.
I guess they weren't selling, but everyone seems to want them.
And people love the large blades.

[11:04] One of the general rules for emotional support knives is fidgetiness.
People think that these are not fidgety. I beg to differ.
Like every, well, this one is a little tighter, but every Demco-designed cold steel has a ricasso long enough to, if you put your finger forward in that choil and drop it, it's not going to cut you.
You so you can totally fidget with these i'm way better with it when i haven't rolled my wrist i rolled my wrist on my new bob bob dummy punching bag yesterday so tape your wrists uh that's what i had on me today a pretty wicked lineup if i do say so myself uh with the tkf1 from emerson knives dr feel good jack from jack wolf knives the sd1 from stroop knives and the recon 1xl Clip point blade from Cold steel Let me know what you were carrying today Always fun to find out what you, Junkies out there are hefting And carrying about Some of you carry up to 10 knives a day Which I applaud I usually have about 10 knives on me a day But I'm also counting The knives I carry in my EDC Backpack So are you?
Tell me how many knives you carry too Thank you one and all for watching As I said before 5 million views is really Really exciting.

[12:33] Okay, my favorite way to carry a Swiss Army knife these days Is not new, but it's new to me And it's with these danglers here Dangler clips.
Do you guys know about These?
Yeah, like, yeah You're the last to know, Bob, as usual But check these out, man It clips right on The top of your Pants pocket, just like a regular knife Clip, but it's not.

[12:58] Fixed rigidly to the swiss army knife so that's the thing i don't like i've seen a lot of people a lot of cool aftermarket mods that people do on victorinox knives and uh not poo-pooing anyone's efforts but i've just never resonated with a clip on anything this small i don't like it it's i've had situations where they've kind of popped out when sitting down um so i've always uh sort of of hesitated with that but i also don't like to just drop a swiss army knife in the bottom, of my pocket and have it rattle around also they tend to be too thick to fit into any of my leather slips so it's kind of like uh they've always been relinquished to bag knives or desk knives or just like go and grab it but not carry it this has totally resolved that because now it hangs north to south in my pocket.
It's not making contact with anything else in the pocket. And Swiss Army knives are relatively light, so I almost forget it's there.
So I got a two-pack for $7.50 on Amazon, and I think I'm going to get some more and put them on my knives. I think I'd be more apt to carry them.

[14:11] This one is the other one I'm excited to now be carrying a lot because I love this thing. This is the Pioneer X.
So it's a regular Pioneer with the large blade, the awl, and then the typical opening side, your can opener and bottle opener here.
But in the center, it has the scissors, which makes it the X.

[14:37] Oh man, it's always hard to get these out without nails. All right, now I have to since I started.
All right, you know know what swiss army knife scissors look like okay uh so the pioneer x what a great great knife to have on you because of those scissors and then everything else it has but uh it won't be great if it's not on you what what good is it so there that clip all i'm trying to say is check out those clips they're really cool and it really might transform how you carry or even if you carry a swiss army knife which i gotta say of everything i carry is probably the most useful uh because Because luckily I'm not getting in knife fights.
Alright, still to come on the Knife Junkie Podcast, we're going to take a look at some new knives and a story, a knife story in the news, but first I want to say like, comment, and subscribe.
Hit the notification bell, that lets you know when something new comes up, but don't forget, Just know something pretty much comes up every day in the form of a short, a close-up video, the Wednesday supplemental, the Thursday night knives, the Sunday hour-long interview.
So there's the schedule.

[15:45] But hit the notification bell, and then also share the show.
That really, really helps. Help turn a friend of yours into the good kind of junkie, the knife junkie.
All right, coming up, Life Knife News.
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[16:59] You're listening to the Knife Junkie Podcast, and now here's the Knife Junkie with the Knife Life News.
To quote one of my favorite journalists from today, Ben Schwartz of Knife News, we are in a golden age of box cutters.

[17:16] Ben, I would have to agree with you. We are indeed in a golden age of box cutters. A funny thing.

[17:23] Just like flashlights, though I appreciate the utility and even the artistry in some of the box cutters that are coming out from custom makers and manufacturers alike, they just don't ignite the fire in my belly, but they're cool.
This one, though, just might be an exception.
It's the Boker Kalashnikov box cutter.
So you know the Boker Kalashnikov line that is probably the second most famous line in Boker's lineup or the most reiterated line.
How cool is it that they put a box cutter in there? So that's the reusable, swappable, trapezoidal blades And then right behind the swappable blade Looks like it's three little screws there that hold it in.

[18:13] Then there's a little, one of those curved cord-cutting blades That's kind of cool So I think it's nice It's exciting to me, it's nice You know, box cutters If that's your thing and if you're using them for work Why not dress it up?
Why not impress your friends in the stock room?
That's pretty cool. I'm just surprised that Boker hasn't figured out how to make a Burnley Boker Quaken box cutter because they have figured out how to make that into everything else.
Maybe for that, it could be a swappable scalpel blade because it's nice and slender.
You couldn't fit one of those larger blades in it.

[18:54] So that is available now. You need a box cutter. You want a switchblade.
Go get the boker kalashnikov box cutter okay next up savivi has a new one this is a production version of a custom knife by uh rafal brzeski bbr knives that's how i know him on instagram and this is the kwei q or kwei q kwei q kwei q because it's a quaken you see it's a quaken but but it has an Americanized Tonto blade.
So where we see the upsweep from the belly to the tip, from the ricasso to the tip on a normal Quaken, uninterrupted. This is interrupted by a slight secondary point, making it more of an Americanized Tonto.
Hollow ground Nitro V blade, 3 inches.

[19:47] An inline flipper tab, which is pretty cool. It hides itself once it's open.
And then that incredibly neutral handle with the two-tone black and orange pattern G10.
Remarkably light at 2.11 ounces and reversible deep carry pocket clip.
They say this one will be available in March.
Pretty cool. If you like the design, you know Civivi will make it just right for you. Yeah.

[20:15] Do keep your eye out for that. Another one that's available now that I saw through Knife Magazine, my other favorite knife periodical, is the Bark River Knives Hudson Bay Trade Knife. And this thing is really cool.
So just a quick little update on what a trade knife is.
These are knives that were used commonly by fur traders in the 1800s and 1800s in uh canada north and northern united states in the pioneer mountain year uh mountain man days as it's said uh work knives were ubiquitous uh some people would carry axes too but everyone had a big work knife and uh they tended towards either the 10 inch butcher knife or the five inch upswept blade or something like this, the roach belly.
So this, you've heard the name roach belly before.
Cold Steel has that very inexpensive roach belly knife. I keep one in the car. I love that knife.

[21:22] Sort of a scalper design. This here, this Bark River Knives version of it has a continuous belly from ricasso to tip, is A1 tool steel, and is based on a design from from the 1700s, something very popular in the 1700s.
So this, or starting in the 1700s, used all throughout the 1800s.
But as you can see through that big belly, this would be excellent for that fur trade, the needs of the fur trade.
You're constantly skinning animals. Well, you're going to want a hefty, large-sized, continual belly-style knife.
So at five and a half inches, I don't know if I'd call it large-sized, but I think for skinning, that's a pretty decent size.

[22:10] Leather sheath, and if you read this article at Knife News, you'll see that an experienced woodsman, trapper, and hunter used this to grade a plum, skinning some animals.
So if that's your thing, or if you're a hunter, definitely check that out.
I just like the history of the trade knife, trade knives. I think it's cool.
And, you know, I love my Condor Hudson Bay knife. So this one definitely perked up my ear.
All right, last in Knife Life news, an article that I also got from Knife Magazine.
Knife Magazine on the weekends is great.
There's a lot of, there's an open thread with lots of cool links to great knife articles and reviews and videos.
Uh, he recently linked to our Bob Terzuola interview, uh, but also quirky news stories, uh, that you see here every now and again. Uh, this one is, uh.

[23:10] I title it Arizona Man Arrested Galavanting Through Neighborhood with Sword.
And I'm going to read through the article. It says Glendale, Arizona.
A man was arrested after he was seen carrying a sword in a Glendale neighborhood.
An officer spotted the man at about 11.20 p.m. on February 15th near 51st Street and Ocotillo Road, Osotillo Road.
Police say he matched the description of a person who fled from a traffic stop near Grand and 55th Avenues.
Once the officer came into contact with the man, he saw he was carrying a large sword, which turned out to be real.
Once the subject was identified, he was found to have an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest out of Pinal County, quote-unquote.
Glendale police said, During the records check of said subject, it was learned he was a prohibited possessor, therefore restricted from, quote, possessing a deadly or prohibited weapon, unquote.
And that's just a quirky little news story. But what I like is that in this article, Doug Ritter chimed in, our great knife rights magnate.
He says, as Doug Ritter, a resident of Arizona, made a point of saying, carrying a sword in and of itself is not illegal in Arizona.
Mic drop. However, it has also led to a series of texts Involving a sword-wielding U of A frat boy Dressed as the Bud Knight riding horses through Tucson.

[24:40] So, quirky little news story But I love that it just so happens That Doug Ritter saw the story And was just like, by the way Not illegal to carry a sword in Arizona In and of itself Now, if you're a scumbag And you're wanted, Well, maybe it's not a prudent decision decision.
All right, that's it for Knife Life News this week. I want to say be sure to join us on Patreon if you like the show and you want to help support it and you want to be enrolled.

[25:10] In a monthly knife giveaway that's always fun also if you're interested in getting um extra interview uh content from every interview i do we do an extra uh interview afterward and get some stuff that we didn't get to in the interview itself and we give that out to patrons uh whether you're a gentleman junkie at ten dollars a month or a traditional junkie at three you still get that exclusive.
So check it out. Just go to slash Patreon or scan the QR code on the screen.
Again, that's slash Patreon.
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And now that we're caught up with Knife Life news, let's hear more of the Knife Junkie podcast.

[26:13] So when I told you the title of today's main topic of conversation, which is coming up after the state of the collection, I did a little foreshadowing because I'm a very literary guy.
And you may know what this new Microtech is that I got in my collection, if you were paying attention to the title.
But anyway, I finally got this beautiful, beautiful model of Microtech.
I've been talking about it for a long time, and I've saved up for it, and here it is.
This is the Microtech Amphibian, and I am bonkers about this knife.
Now, recently, I've been carrying the SOCOM Bravo 1 made by Reich Knives a lot.
I've had a sort of reinvigoration of love for this thing.

[26:59] I loved it when it first came out, and then I couldn't get it, and then I sought it out, but sort of lost interest, but still wanted it, got it.
Didn't carry it now i'm so into it and that's what led to this um because i think i need more microtech in my life though i don't really need more out the front in my life i have decided um but i do hear that they're coming out with a no no wiggle out the front uh but anyway i'm i'm just astounded by their designs and their builds their builds are really really exquisite uh whether whether it's the Ultratech that I have or the SOCOM Elite or the SOCOM Bravo made by Rike, or now this. They are just incredibly built. This one is a fluted G10.
They also make this with a fluted aluminum handle.

[27:52] And I believe there's no extra, there's no difference in cost between the aluminum and the G10, but really nicely machined.
And the G10 is nice and light, but the balance is still where you want it, right by the pivot, right at the finger choil.
Whereas the the socom elite a knife that i love so much is a little bit blade heavier right in front of the ricasso which works for a better or works better for a larger fighting knife this one is balanced absolutely perfectly um and and with the uh aluminum handle the handle is going to be it's going to be a little bit handle heavy like the aluminum stitch i showed off not not too long ago, not mine.
So the G10 strikes the perfect balance between the length of it and the weight of the G10, allows it to balance out that big, long 4-inch blade just perfectly.

[28:47] Also, what helps balance it is the RAM lock.
So the RAM lock works a lot like an axis-style bar lock where you pull back a tab, in this case, a tab much like the actuation tabs on there out the front where you pull that back to release this big block instead of a pin instead of a pin attached on both sides to an omega spring which is what we see in a um in a regular axis lock here we get a um coil spring spring on a pin that goes into this big block with a with a tab on the end that locks into a notch on the tab so similar concept just way beefier way beefier and the fact that it's going against one coil spring instead of two springs on either side you know when you have those two springs on either side you do run the risk if you're not if you're not uh the tolerances aren't right, It makes it difficult basically to pull it with one finger, whether it's the thumb or the forefinger.
This one with that big block and the long tab really makes it easy to actuate it with just the thumb.

[30:11] I've never found that easy as easy to do with regular axis style locks.
So instinctively, I go for the two finger thing anyway.
But since I just tweaked my wrist, I've been using just the thumb because it's more comfortable.

[30:28] I just this knife I could go on for days about I won't hear but I'm going to do a close up.
But I'm astounded by how much this is how awesome this is.
So M390MK, which is the proprietary M390 that they make for Microtech.
This one has the serrations, and I'm really happy.
This is one of the few knives where I have a bunch of serrations on my Microtechs.
I like their serrations a lot.
And on the inner side of a recurve, I just love it.
It accentuates the recurve. It really shows off the recurve, but it also just adds such cutting power to an already powerful spot on the blade. So I just love that.
And it looks mean. That huge swedge, this thing reminds me a bit of the Emerson Commander.
That's what inspired the whole main topic of conversation today.

[31:32] So we'll get to that in a minute. But nice big hardware.
In this case since it since it's not deep carry the hardware the big hardware these giant screws don't stick in my craw with the loop over a deep carry pocket clip on the stitch with these giant screws it's like you know they hate your pants jimping here jimping here all of this grip this This is just a great, great note.

[32:00] Saber grip is really comfortable and then there's a swale there with some jimping for the thumb if you're up in filipino grip which is awesome and then even a little bit of blank space here if you have to come up to use the tip for something delicate so lots of different ways to hold this knife and then something that i absolutely love and i wish every knife would do this especially one that is tactical in nature but uh jimping on the butt jimping on the pommel there that really grips the thumb when you're in reverse grip when you're in reverse grip and you're going to pound this into something like a 55 gallon oil drum full of uzis at the at the border that's the border of zangaro by the way you got to have uh jimping there because you don't want your thumb to slip off the back this is so perfect and then the shape of it that peak your thumb really wraps around it it is perfect i i love this knife i'm in love with it it makes me want to buy a whole bunch of microtech what this is one.

[33:01] Of those knives that this hasn't happened in a while um one of those knives i receive and i'm like i'm gonna get rid of everything else and just collect microtechs except for my emerson's and my cold steels and my spider but i'm like i like what are the frivolous knives I can get rid of so I can get more microtechs because they are very impressive they really are built like those proverbial tanks but they're more stylish than tanks it's like Hinderer meeting Bastinelli or something I don't know I just love it and I'm going to stop right there next knife I got I feel the same way about, except this is a custom knife this is a Jed Hornbeak just had him on the show.

[33:44] Jed Hornbeak Necromancer. And this is one of those knives that I like all of his knives, and some of them I love.
But this one is one of those knives I saw, I was like, I swear I designed that in a dream, or I wish I designed it.
This is a fighter. This is an EDC fighter.
And it is EDC-able. It's on the heavy and large side for EDC for me, but I I carried it all yesterday on the right.
This is not an appendix carry for me. This is definitely a three o'clock in the waistband carry.
But what is it? It is a 3V, machined 3V fighter.
And when I say fighter, how I define a fighting knife is a double-edged blade.

[34:34] But asymmetrically double-edged.
Not a dagger, but something like this, for instance, which has a sort of Americanized tanto blade the more I look at it, because even though it is so sharp, I can barely touch it.
So that is a definite change in angle there, but not enough to call it a sub-point, but is reminiscent of a tanto.
And then up here, Scandi Ground Edge.
So this is an incredible knife for fighting.
Four and three-quarters inches. which is, there's his logo, which is a cool sort of bird.
It looks like a plague doctor mask, bird skull.
And then a fuller. This thing is so sharp. And look at the jimping up there.
And this acts as a sub-hilt. This is practically a sub-hilt.

[35:25] Oh, God. And it just fits in the hand so perfectly. Feels really astoundingly good in this saber grip. grip.
Filipino grip is great because he put that jimping up there and that flat spot.
So that's sort of a bayonet grind.
And it's great in reverse grip. Same thing. He's got that peak there.
I wouldn't mind the jimping on the end, but not a deal breaker for sure. Whoops.
Great peak to cap the thumb or cap the pommel with the thumb.
Hollow ground. I'm going to do a close-up of this so I I will not wax too poetic for too long, but I'm just in love with this knife.
Thank you, Jed Hornbeak. He sent this to me and said, pay for it when you can. And, you know.

[36:11] Scratched together the fundage and gave it to him, but he sent it to me like, uh, you know, in good faith. And I thought that was awesome.
So thank you very much. And thank you for making such cool knives.
And thank you, Jim, for making such cool t-shirts.
I got to show you the, the featured t-shirt of the week, uh, leap year, just another day to buy knives.
That's right. This is leap year. So we're going to have a February 29th.
And you know what that means? I know you know what that means.
That means that's the eighth birthday, the eighth anniversary of the birth of my sebenza, which was born on leap year at leap day 2016.

[36:49] So just another day to buy knives February 29, just another day to buy cool merch from the knife slash shop like this t shirt, or like about 50 others.
Jim goes on these creative tears, not just in the look of the show, You see the look of the show change from time to time. It comes up with great visual motifs.
But he's also designing T-shirts all the time, and we've got a bunch of them.
If you like knife-themed T-shirts, go to slash shop and check them out.
All right, let's get to today's main topic.
I'm calling it Full Circle, From Commander to Amphibian, 25 Years of Collecting Knives in 12 Folders.
Oh, my God. 25 years.
Okay, so I've been collecting knives longer than that.
But the paradigm shifted for me about 25 years ago when I bought my Emerson Commander.

[37:48] In 1999 um i bought it then uh but the model year is a 2000 and it showed up much longer after um getting uh putting in that order uh so these 12 knives i'm going to show you are land are are are milestone knives um for one reason or another and stick out um i have a lot of them i have a lot of of knives i'm like oh and this was my first this and that was my but these are the 12 that are the most elemental in my collection of folders modern locking folders almost all locking all right first up as i mentioned is the emerson commander and and this is a um a classic version of it being from 2000 you can see differences all over first of all it's it's thinner it has a backspacer instead of standoffs.
It's got the double detent that went away somewhere around 2016, but that means there's a detent there.
You can see it right there where the tip of my finger is.
And then the other main detent is on the liner lock.
The construction is different in that all of the structural screws are under this piece of G10, which is also kind of old and actually, seems more like micarta to me, but I'm pretty sure it's G10.

[39:18] And then the blade has changed a little bit, but, This is that knife. I saw this. I couldn't believe it. I had just gotten into Filipino martial arts. I'd been collecting knives.
I had Furies and some cheap everyday carry kind of things.
But I had just gotten into Filipino martial arts, fell in love with their swords and the idea of the recurve.
I had had a kukri since I was a kid.
My parents went to India. They got me a kukri in Nepal.

[39:44] So I was always aware of that shape. But to see it come together in something a little uh less extreme than a kukri in these filipino blades with their recurves and their downward when i saw this oh i was gobsmacked and then later found out that ernest emerson had a rich history of knife combatives training including a lot of filipino collie um this this knife just uh became something i had to have and it was way out of my price range i mean as a a as a as a freelance producer living in new york city uh you know with three roommates and like just trying to scrape by uh buying a 200 night that's how much this was even back then i was way out of the question but i still went for it because i had a credit card and hey what is credit for i i don't know um i thought it was for buying emerson's so i bought this and uh when i bought it i didn't realize it was basically like a pre-order and um i got it from they uh they sent it to me a year later it popped up on my desk at work i was like what is this i had forgotten about it i thought i'd get it immediately um and it didn't and then here it arrived and i carried this for this was my main carry for years uh this probably about about three years until the next one popped up but um i love the recurve and i love the wave and uh.

[41:11] I was really really intense in the sort of early part of my filipino martial.

[41:16] Arts training carrying this i thought i was in destroy i was lapu lapu walking.

[41:20] Around with this thing i was indestructible and check this out this is the emerson logo as it was then i have that logo On a sticker on my car, Because I just think it's cool.

[41:36] All right, so this started everything. I'm going to put this over here.

[41:41] Mind you, I still had knives. I was still carrying knives, but that is when I turned the corner.
And then, you know, as Cold Steel, I was always into Cold Steel fixed blades, but the folders were lagging behind until they started coming out with knives like this.
And this was the next big, big game changer for me, the El Hombre.
As you can see, again, I went for the deep recurve, the dramatic recurve.
But this knife, which was designed after the Yatagan, the Turkish bladed, the Turkish knife, but it was called the El Hombre.
And to me, it reminded me of, and so this is the Yatagan, but also some Spanish and Mexican knives.
Obviously, the Navaja influence was there.
And to me, I was like, it's not an exact Navaja, but I had no idea what a Yadagan was at the time and didn't put that together.
But the dramatic recurve with the point right in the middle so you still you can still stab with it it's not like the point is facing down you can still thrust with it accurately and yet you have this incredible amount of belly and incredibly deep recurve um and and at the time you could only get this one in serrations and i wasn't crazy about the serrations at the time actually I'm way more into them now.

[43:10] But old school jimping on the spine You saw this on a couple of other knives Like the Culloden, the Fritz Blade Culloden This was pre-jimping craze in knives But you see that cool file work on the back Acted as jimping This one is permanently stained What kind of steel is this?
I don't even know Permanently stained right up here It's kind of hard to see.

[43:35] But I went on a camping trip with a girl once, and we got some tofu lin, baked tofu, which I was a vegetarian at the time, and cut it with that.
I was a vegan at the time, actually.
Cut it with this, and it stained the knife. So tofu, bad. Stains knives.
I still like tofu. uh and i was hopefully probably or uh hopefully not the only vegan with a wicked and growing knife collection at the time the only vegan who is edc-ing this knife for self-defense hopefully.

[44:13] Uh okay next up now this one is it was quite a time between that cold steel and this cold steel but there was uh kind of like the dark ages where no one was learning anything new for a thousand years uh this was kind of uh there was a period of time where i wasn't wasn't able to afford knives and if i could i was getting fixed blade knives like the the sog um the sog super buoy uh or the, laredo buoy from cold steel uh that's those were the kind of knives i was getting at that time not too many folders and then this this came along um of course i got other things in the meantime time but but as far as game changers this came along to me g10 was somewhat new and to have a full g10 slab handle um full g10 on both sides but also without an internal um frame that you couldn't squeeze without internal liners that you couldn't squeeze it was a miracle to me and i was like i i was you know i had this frn here a lot of frn in my life and this was a nice change because because it was G10 that was now coming into reach for me.
This knife at the time, the Recon 1, with the Aus-8 blade steel, yes, I stripped off the paint-like coating they had on it to reveal this beautiful stone wash, and I added my own sharpening choil.

[45:37] This was new because the material aspect of it, like that handle and that blade shape and the robustness of it, but also the thinness of it because i was getting the um boy i had the voyagers and stuff and everything was thick and this was starting to thin things out um hollow ground a blade and also a blade that i did my own tweaking to you know i this was the first knife i did put cut my own um, sharpening choil into and i stripped that coating with something called aircraft stripper and uh.

[46:14] And carried this nonstop for a good long while.
So this was a game changer for me because it was a four-inch robust cold steel cool knife with awesome G10 handle scales, but did not absolutely break the bank.
Though at the time I got this, $60, $75 knives was not nothing.
You know, we had a brand new child and we had a lot of stuff to pay for.
Not that we don't have a lot of stuff to pay for, but you will know this as you reach your older years.
You know, I'm in my 50s now, and you accumulate.
Over time, you accumulate. And no, I'm not a boomer, and I didn't buy my house for $30,000, but you do accumulate.

[47:01] So trust me, I know if you're younger, it seems impossible, but it's not.
It's not. It's just time and tide, and also good partnerships in life help.
Like my partnership with my wife my partnership with jim and uh having some good friends around always helps okay sorry for the philosophy let's get to the next one now this next one i saw and i was like oh i swear i designed that knife i know i designed that knife uh i didn't but it it i swear it appears in my sketchbook numerous places based on filipino swords perfect for fighting Perfect for Filipino martial arts And that's what I thought when I saw this $174 Oh my gosh So this knife The Spyderco Uliza Was a big game changer for me Because not only is it, Astoundingly beautiful To me Some people might not like the way it looks But to me it was beautiful And it has a blade and an overall arc That really really fit my aesthetic at the time and still does because of that recurve, because of that Filipino blade style to me.
But then knowing the lineage of it, it's one of the Spyderco Taiwanese-made knives, which are...

[48:20] The best, in my opinion, or at least for the back locks, they are the best, for sure.
And some of the frame locks. I love their Taiwanese-made knives.
But also, it was the first knife that was, I mean, this was expensive, $174. I remember the number.
And the problem was, is I bought this on a credit card.
Because I had to have it, and I had seen some things that I had to have get discontinued.
And I panicked, and I bought it. And then I hid that from my wife.
And then, as all things, she found out.
And it really turned into a thing.
And then we made some rules in the house from this. And it's not like I pulled it from the family kitty.
I just pulled it from nothing. I pulled it from credit. So that meant I spent a lot more than $174 on this knife.
So, yeah, try and avoid bad financial decisions Even though they're great knives and stuff, Remember, there's a secondary market And that's something I learned from this I also learned that I can't really hide stuff And shouldn't hide stuff from my wife, So, sorry, dear All right, next up is this one.

[49:43] The ProTech RockEye. This was a great pressure release knife.
Now, this came a few years later. As I said, you accumulate more, you start earning more, you start saving more.
And this was about a $190 knife when I got it originally.
But the reason this was important is I was absolutely head over heels for the VSEP, the Les George VSEP.
Which was his mid-tech version of his custom Rock-Eye. And all of them look like this. They all have this profile.
And I just fell in love with it. For years, I was in love with this knife.
When it first came out, people were calling it the Sebenza killer.
And it didn't kill the Sebenza, but it really, really launched Les George to the fore and gave him some serious street cred as a designer.
And then being picked up by ProTech and bringing that VSEP, that $500 knife, or if you wanted the custom RockEye, I'm sure $1,000 knife, into reach, that was ProTech doing this.

[50:57] So even though at the time I couldn't buy this and send it to my state, the knife companies didn't really know.
And so I bought this, and it was my first real automatic, or I should say non-tourist piece from Europe. style automatic.
And my first D2 blade steel, I think CPM D2.

[51:20] And gave me a lot here. It gave me that custom Les George design that I loved.
And it also showed me that automatic knives are cool.
And you can get them, you can get them sent to you.
So and now they're fully legal in every way, even to carry concealed in my state, thanks to Doug Ritter of Knife Rights. So the ProTech RockEye Automatic Big, big game changer for me.

[51:47] Next up, this was, I remember very, very specifically saying, this is the best knife in my collection.
And that is the Zero Tolerance 0452 CF.

[52:03] The beautiful design by Dmitry Sinkovich, the Bella Russian designer.
I'm going to move these knives because my camera keeps trying to focus on them.
Um and i know they're a beautiful camera but we're not talking about them now they had their time in the sun they had their close-up okay let's do this all right that's better so this is the zero tolerance 0452 cf designed by dimitri sinkovich who is one of my favorite folder designers i pay attention to his instagram feed and it is always beautiful it's always is graceful and sometimes it's long thin svelte grace like this one and sometimes it's this weird chubby bulbous grace which is also beautiful he's got a great uh design eye or hand or whatever you want to say and he also custom builds them and then has them uh made and licensed by others these are out of print with zero tolerance but to me this represents the golden age of zero tolerance um to me this is the lightest duty i want to go with a zero tolerance and this ain't light duty but the other sink of it's the 460 i had the upswept persian blade that one felt a little too light to me um but this one has that great uh titanium uh frame lock it's just.

[53:29] Stonewashed and gorgeous to look at it came with a really cheesy off the shelf zt it's actually a a kershaw clip that they just painted zt on so i got this aftermarket uh um i think this is an mxg gear clip the one thing i'm not crazy about the the carbon fiber it's okay uh i would rather micarta but never have gotten around to doing that um and then just a gorgeous bayonet ground drop drop point blade with that uh with that forward jimping there up on the handle um yep Yep.
So for quite a while, this was my classiest, most expensive, most like incredible action knife in my collection and the pride of my folders.

[54:19] Next up, the SoCalm Elite. This one you always see every time I go on road trips.
I bring this out and talk about it. I carry it other times. It's great for khaki carry, khaki pants carry because of that clip.
It really allows you to carry this in angled pockets very easily.
But this was my first S35VN knife. This was my first Microtech knife.
And this is the Tonto model year. I love the best.
I don't know how many years they were doing that particular grind, but this is a 2013, did I say?
2012, made in March 2012. So this is 11 years old now.

[55:01] And that is my favorite iteration of the SOCOM Tonto in that great aluminum with the carbon fiber inlays.
This was was also my first knife with a glass breaker and my first knife unbeknownst to me with bearings i didn't know why this was so smooth when i got it i just thought it was ridiculously smooth but bearings weren't really being talked about um so i didn't really know but uh yep so this is a big milestone knife too this is this next one is the only one that's not a modern locking folder I have to represent my slip joint folding obsession, and that can all be encapsulated in this exact knife.
This is my number 15, Great Eastern Cutlery number 15 boy's knife.
And this was the farmer's knife because it has a spay blade as a secondary.
Legendary full spade blade and of course that gorgeous clip point blade um this knife was the first not the first great eastern cutlery but the first one that really.

[56:13] Got me to fall in love with slip joints in general for a new reason not just the old reason like i've had them for a long time and those were the first knives i ever had but the beauty that you can get out of them first of all these are made on the old machines old patterns uh in old ways with old materials uh but this one in particular the dye job on this these handles these handle covers really i i can't really explain in words what they do to me but they they're beautiful they're absolutely stunning and so i went about trying to collect as many of these this autumn jig bone as i could from them but and and i have a number of them but none of them reach that and that might not mean much to you but looking at this dye job just especially right here on that side the pulse what do they call this the whatever this other side of the off side near the bolster it's just gorgeous but also the action and the patina and the sharpness these things achieve um this knife in particular uh if i got had to get rid of all of my other slip joints not including the sentimental ones like my grandpa gave me this would be the one that i would say this one right here Yeah.

[57:34] Great Eastern Cutlery, number 15. Okay, next up is arguably still my favorite folder in my collection, though that's quite a lofty title to try and imbue.
But this one here is the XM24 by Rick Hinderer Knives.
The 24 is the larger version of the XM, and as I am fond of saying because I think it makes me sound profound, found but i i believe that the xm24 and that four inch blade length really allows the full expression of the lines for whatever the blade shape is in other words i think that this wharncliffe looks better than the three and a half inch wharncliffe i think my four inch buoy on the xm24 looks better than the three and a half inch um the 20 on the 18 so i just it's the same with cars you see that that with cars like the longer the car the better the lines um the better they have more sort of room to express themselves without having to jam all the ideas all the graceful ideas in a smaller spot i don't know but this one is before the triway pivot so it's on the nilotron washers but it it it acts like it's on bearings when you open it it acts like it's on bearings because it It flips without hesitation.

[58:55] But then when you close it, you get that nice hydraulic feel of washers.
And then I'm going to come to the mic for this because it's a great sounding knife.
When you close it, listen to this.

[59:12] And it's just that m390 and that titanium and and everything interacting in there it's just an incredible incredible knife so um to me this one was very hard to find and very this this was one of those ones i had to jump on in the moment but it's also one that i saved up for because this is a 500 knife or at the time it was a 575 knife now who knows what they cost.

[59:40] Um, but yeah, this one was big and is, and remains.

[59:46] So, all right, almost done here, but this one is the Riat, uh, K2 and the Riat K2 did a couple of things for me.
This is a landmark knife because it really got me to love and appreciate a hollow grind in a different way for its thin, thin, thin sliciness.

[1:00:05] I used to like hollow grinds just for how they look. this one really uh got me to understand that you hollow grind for a reason not just because it looks like a razor blade but because you get wicked thinness behind the edge and that makes the knife a great great slicer this one is also my first uh chinese made uh premium chinese made knife and uh also my first fall shut knife so this was my first exquisite action knife besides the socom elite but when i got the socom elite the action was disconcerting to me because it closed too too easily and it was not uh you know once you i was not used to the bearings at the time but this i was looking for them and uh yeah so this is a great great knife and really signifies a turn towards some of the real high-end chinese manufacturing knives to include knives from designers that i could never afford to buy their custom knives and so they were put in put within reach by riyadh and other companies okay this second to last one is.

[1:01:18] The Spartan Harzy folder. Spartan Harzy folder, symbolic of, well, this one has the Knife Junkie logo on it.
And this one, to me, symbolizes the project, the Knife Junkie project, which is to really talk to all of these makers, manufacturers, and reviewers that I admire. Meyer.
And this was symbolic of, well, this was symbolic of that.
But this came from talking with Curtis Iovito of Spartan Blades.
I already had the knife and it took me a long time to get it.

[1:01:55] And then I finally got it. And then after speaking with him, he was such a gracious, awesome guy.
He told me to send it to him and he would have it engraved with my logo.
He did that and the uh and the little cover here for the for the clip so this knife means a lot to me sentimentally but also um encapsulates my love of the uh tank like tactical knives because to me this is a hinderer xm uh and a sebenza kind of blended together in terms of build and feel feel um so this knife had a huge impact on my collection and also is one of those that i will never ever get rid of i mean i don't plan to get rid of any of these but that would be one of the very last and then we're bringing it around full circle now to the amphibian which i showed off before so i won't wax too poetic about but it just it just shows you that my aesthetic doesn't really change too much.
You know, my taste doesn't change too much.
Everything that I, everything with enduring, anything that endures in my collection is going to be based around something tactical, something like a fighting knife.

[1:03:17] All throughout, sprinkled throughout, you'll see Emerson knives, and I mean across time, but you will also see recurves across time.
And to me, these two are so similar that it's just kind of funny that after 25 years, I'm kind of coming back to the same thing, albeit by a different maker and a different designer.
So it just goes to show the more things change, the more they stay the same.

[1:03:43] All right, thank you for joining me in this full circle from Commander to Amphibian, 25 years of collecting knives in 12 folders journey.
It has been a pleasure. Actually, it really has. It was fun to go through my collection, and I had to say no to a lot of knives that meant a lot at the time, but these ones are true milestone folders in my collection.
All right, be sure to join us tomorrow night for Thursday Night Knives, 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, right here on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.
And then join us on Sunday for a great interview.
You will be glad you did.
All right, for Jim working his magic behind the switcher, I'm Bob DeMarco saying, until next time, don't take dull for an answer.
Thanks for listening to the Knife Junkie Podcast.
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[1:05:10] Music.



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Knives, News and Other Stuff Mentioned in the Podcast


Pocket Check

  • Emerson TKF-1
  • JWK Feelgood Jack
  • Stroup Knives SD1
  • Cold Steel Recon 1 XL (ESK)


State of the Collection

  • Microtech Amphibian
  • Jed Hornbeak Knives Necromance


FULL CIRCLE: From Commander to Amphibian: 25 Years of Collecting Knives in 12 Folders

  • Emerson Commander
  • Cold Steel El Hombre
  • Cold Steel Recon 1
  • Spyderco Ulize
  • Pro-tech Rockeye
  • Zero Tolerance 0452CF
  • Microtech SOCOM Elite
  • Great Eastern Cutlery #15
  • Hinderer XM-24 Wharncliffe
  • Reate K2
  • Spartan Harsey Folder
  • Microtech Amphibian

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