Current Takes on Historical and Ethnographic Blades: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 505)

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Current Takes on Historical and Ethnographic Blades: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 505)

On the mid-week supplemental episode of The Knife Junkie podcast (episode 505), Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco gives his current takes on historical and ethnographic blades, including the Emerson Super Karambit, Doug Marcaida Kortada, and the Boker Smatchet, among others.

He also shows off the Fisher Blades Beckwith Covert as the May Gentleman Junkie knife giveaway that will be held tomorrow (May 16) on Thursday Night Knives with special guest Chas Fisher of Fisher Blade Co.

Current Takes on Historical and Ethnographic Blades: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 505)

Current Takes on Historical and Ethnographic Blades: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 505)

Bob starts the show with his favorite comment of the week, followed by his pocket check of knives: the Ritter/Hogue RSK Mk1 Auto, C.Reisner Cutlery LCB, Hogtooth/TKJ NoVA-2, and the JWK After Hours Jack (Emotional Support Knife).

In Knife Life News:
• Next in the Ostap Hel Bouquet Line: Ivy
• New Chapter 2 from James Brand for Their 10th Anniversary
• Kombou and Bestech’s New Take on the Navaja
• Alessandra De Santis and Boker Release the Kirke

Meanwhile, in his State of the Collection, Bob looks at the Spooky Pockets LW Knuckle Duster, the Sencut Borzam, and the Civivi Primitrox.

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

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Bob 'The Knife Junkie' DeMarco does a deep dive on the historical and ethnographic blades in his collection on episode 505 of #theknifejunkie #podcast. Share on X
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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
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The Knife Junkie Podcast


[0:00]Coming up, the Fisher Blades Beckwith, you might win, and I get a pair of knuckle dusters that finally fit and work great, and then we talk about current takes on historical ethnographic blades. 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.
[0:31]Welcome back to the show. One of my favorite comments from this past week was from PJD113. And it was on the interview with Chaz Fisher. And he says, great interview, Bob. These are the kinds of people, passion, and product I love to support. So I love hearing that because we have such a wide variety of makers and designers, etc. on this show. It's always great to hear that people like the various people who are coming on and especially the passion and the love behind Knives which you see in every one of the guests we have here so thank you very much PJD that put a little wind in my sails this next one just made me laugh from Anvil.
[1:16]WG2JE rolls off the tongue he says I just puked a little in my mouth but that's just me and what he was talking about was my modified Spyderco Resilience. And I got to tell you, Anvil, I puke in my mouth a little bit pretty much every time I look at it too because I went a little too far. I had a great idea. It would have looked cool, I guarantee it. But I took it too far and really uglied it up. So Anvil, next time, please don't hold back and don't mince words. Tell me how you really feel about the knives we're showing here on the channel. I appreciate you, one and all. Thanks for commenting, watching, liking, subscribing, etc., etc. All right, that said, let's get to a pocket check. What's in his pocket? Let's find out.
[2:03]Here's the knife junkie with his pocket check of knives. Today in the front right, I had the Hogue Ritter RSK Mark I Auto, a great, great knife. If you like the RSK Mark I, you'll love the auto version. It is really awesome. Hogue has the automatic knife thing down. They have for quite some time. They've been around making knives now for about 12 years, and they came out of the gate with automatics, and they're great. A natural fit for the RSK knife, the Ritter Survival Knife. When Benchmade no longer was doing OEMs for anyone, including Doug Ritter, Doug landed at Hogue, and he couldn't have landed anywhere better. They've done such a great job with this classic knife, once called the Ritter Griptilian, due to the different shape of the blade and the different steel on the blade. Here, the steel here is MagnaCut. The action of this is really awesome. Reminds me more of a Pro-Tech than a Micro-Tech. Those are my two real serious automatic out-the-side frame of reference knives. I don't have a Heretic out-the-side or anything like that. So it has the snappiness or the crispiness of a Pro-Tech, not the crunchiness of a Micro-Tech. I know, I know. I'm going to try and make it work, people. This is what I was carrying in the front right pocket. This is a great utility knife. I didn't use it at all today.
[3:29]But it is great for pretty much everything. Now, what I did use today, this was a food knife for me. The...
[3:36]Lake Champlain Barlow from C. Reisner Cutlery. That's If you don't know them, you've got to know them. What a great site, especially for slip joints and traditional-style folding knives.
[3:51]We had a bunch of different people. I'm sorry. I'm just stuttering here. Who were showing these off on the Thursday Night Live's live stream, and I had to jump on. It's a really awesome knife and it's a big'un. It is a big one for sure. But I love the clip point. They also had a sheep's foot version of this and I seriously considered buying another one because that sheep's foot kept really appealing to me in other people's videos. I didn't. I let that subside and I never ended up getting one. But this, by the way, is very deeply hollow ground very thin behind the edge m390 blade steel and so this is a nice blend of that traditional in the slip joint mechanism and design with the modern of course with the materials in the build uh thirdly the nova 2 the hallowed nova 2 sorry that was a chorus of angels i told them to wait outside uh but they just couldn't when this came out especially with that That ivory handle, that ivory G10 handle. 154 CM blade steel, deeply hollow ground, super acute tip.
[5:11]This, as we talked about last week, has a similar blade to both the Wharncliffe Half Track by Hinderer and the Contact, the Asymmetrical Contact by Dirk Pinkerton. Similar spirits, that upward sweeping straight edge on the Nova II It's a Kiridashi. When I originally designed it, I was calling it a Sax. I was calling it a... I wanted it to be more Nordic, but every time I was like, well, this is actually a Kiridashi. This is what I'm going for, that upward edge and that super acute tip for thrusting. It is a Kiridashi. A Kiridashi is the traditional Japanese utility knife.
[5:54]This one has red liners, ivory, black material, or black hardware, and will be available soon. We will be opening up this pre-order shortly. As you can see, it has a, well, you might not be able to see it, a three and three quarters inch blade, and having it next to this very large three and a half inch blade kind of shows that to you. Lastly, speaking of sheep's feet, I had the After Hours Jack in my pocket. This is a front flipper, titanium frame lock front flipper from Jack Wolf Knives. Just a really awesome knife. A larger take on the Midnight Jack and, of course, a locking flipper take on the Midnight Jack. Super popular was this one. And I have a feeling he'll be bringing this one back like he did with the Sharpshooter Jack.
[6:50]So this is what I had on me today. The RSK Mark I Auto, the Lake Champlain Barlow, the Nova II, and the After Hours Jack from Jack Wolf Knives. Let me know what you had in your pocket. This was a super indulgent carry. Sometimes I like to mix the budget with the high end. Today was all high end. For me, that's my high end anyway. Uh some people's high end is much higher uh so that's what i had what did you have drop it down below and do you let me know all right next up i want to show you the knife will be given away tomorrow night if you're watching this the day it drops uh so may 2024 gentlemen junkie knife giveaway is a very special uh event this year or this may and that is because we're going to be giving away one of these fisher blades beckwith covert edc self-defense knives now this one is mine, the one that you stand to win if you're a gentleman junkie, which you can still become between now and Thursday, May 16th, 2024. This one is mine. Yours is already wrapped up. But this is a great in-pocket tanto fixed blade meant for self-defense, excels at EDC, even though that's not the main purpose of this knife, according to the designer, who will be here to give it away, Chaz Fisher. Let's see. There we go.
[8:17]Beckwith covert batch one. These are all batch made knives. So each time they can make improvements, 44 out of each time they can make improvements, they can do special runs with different materials. And, you know, doing that sort of small run doesn't bog you down. Say you make a little design thing that people aren't crazy about. Well, you don't have to move 5,000 of them before you can make that change when you do these smaller batches. It does make it more exclusive, more expensive, a little harder to come by. Something to save up for, let's say. But we do that a lot here, right? I mean, we have a lot of expensive things that we save up for here. So anyway, this is the Thursday Night Knives Gentleman Junkie Giveaway Knife for May 2024. The 16th, I think, is very, very... What do I want to say? Well designed for its purpose. Deep slashes and penetrating for us with that tip. All right. You join us and see who wins this or become a Gentleman Junkie at Patreon. You can do that, actually, by going to slash Patreon. When you go there, you'll see we have three tiers of support.
[9:38]And any one of them is great. great and we appreciate it and you get something out of it too so go check that out if you're in the highest tier then you get entered into this monthly knife giveaway again that is the knife slash patreon or scan that qr code the knife slash among this week's specials at knives ship free these usa made kershaw lucha balisongs are designed to deliver smooth, balanced flipping action. The all-steel handles rotate on ball bearings and all models are on sale for 15% off. We have a small run of the Bravo Necker 2 back in stock. This compact EDC has a lightweight tang of CPM S45VN stainless steel for good performance and easy maintenance. And the Case Sodbuster Jr. is in stock. It's a classic USA-made work knife that comes with a lot of character in amber peach seed jig bone covers. Get these deals and other great specials from our friends at Knives Ship Free. Just use our affiliate link, slash knives ship free. That's slash knives ship free. Support the show and get a great new knife at the same time.
[10:55] slash knives ship free. You're listening to the knife junkie podcast and now here's the knife junkie with the knife life news ustap hell and famed designer and best tech are back at it with a new knife for their bouquet series and this one is actually a retread of their second ever design in that series and uh and probably it's my favorite of all of them um the beautiful hawk build ivy and here it is uh unlike it's uh.
[11:28]Original big brother it or its ancestor i guess i'll say now this one is not in titanium this is not in the premium materials this is a more affordable version of that famed knife that first came out that everyone loved in titanium okay bouquet series this one here has g10 as you can see and it has a 14 c 28 and three and a half inch cocktail blade and that blade is beautiful, um it is a a relatively mild recurve or a relatively mild hooking curve on that almost almost like a wharncliffe but as you can see there's a little bit of a downward slope and like this picture here on knife news shows sometimes i find that when you hold something upside down you can see its shape better uh your eyes are less um ready to fill things in details in. Your imaginations.
[12:27]So that's a good way to show that. 2.79 ounces. It's a light little knife. Front flipper. Hawkbill 14C28N. We will love this one. This one is available soon. They don't have the exact date yet. But if you were a fan of the Ivy and it was a little bit out of your price range, well, here's a second chance. I like that purple and black item. By the by. Speaking of a retread, the James brand celebrating 10 years in the business has come out with their Chapter 2. The Chapter 1, or just the Chapter, was their first titanium frame lock luxe folding knife. And it had a few issues. People loved it, but it had a few issues that they have changed here.
[13:12]The first version of this had a much larger clip. It was almost reminiscent of a money clip, and it was tipped down only. And so, as you can imagine, that drew the ire of many a knife lover. So they have brought it up to speed a little bit, or up to the times, if you will, with this version of it. Smaller pocket clip, deep carry, and way more discreet. on, I got to say, a very nice looking frame law. A 2.6 inches S35VN thumb stud. And this one was the one that they released on May the 4th. And it is a Stormtrooper edition. So it's the white and the black. May the 4th be with you if you are of that ilk. I am not. But I do appreciate the black and white color. Quite beautiful. So this one is going to no doubt be released in different iterations as well. This was a special kind of re-debut version of the James Brand chapter. This time, it's chapter two. All right, next up, also from Best Tech, this one is from their resident designer, Kambu.
[14:27]Kambu is Gregor Grabowski, a great dude from Poland. I see him every year at Blade Show now, which is awesome, but he's been on this show a number of times. He's just he's just a great guy and he i love his design this one is based on a historical spanish knife that i love and talk about all the time here we're going to talk about a little later and that's the navaja the spanish folding navaja the large flip point folding locking knife that, really came uh came into its own when the common man in spain was no longer allowed to carry a sword and so you had to settle your beefs of honor etc with a large folding knife um there have been a lot of recent modernizations of the type and this is kombu's he is known for his super organic, and what's that word people like to use bio.
[15:26]Biotechnical i don't know what you know he's known for his sort of biologically and machine-based designs. They look like a combination of the both. That was painful. So this does have that with the titanium frame lock and the lightning holes, but it also has an undeniably modern look. The handle is that traditional horn shape that accommodates the large folding blade without being a blocky handle.
[15:55]This one is 3.87 inches of MagnaCut, which is exciting. And those speed holes reduce it to a 4.09 ounce carry weight. So this is one of their full premium releases, and it's due out quote-unquote soon. So we'll be looking for that one. Last up, this one is from Alessandra De Santis, an Italian woman knife designer, Hydra Design. You know her. She's released a lot of stuff through Voker.
[16:26]I love her unabashedly tactical designs. This one is called the Kirka, which is like, well, I'm not sure if it's the Italian pronunciation. I don't think it is. It sounds like a German pronunciation of Circe. And Cersei is one of my least favorite characters in the Odyssey and my wife and daughter's favorite character in the Odyssey, besides Penelope in Odysseus, of course. And she's the witch on the island that holds Odysseus prisoner for quite some time, turns all of his men into pigs because men are pigs, I guess. They even thought that in the Bronze Age, I guess. But anyway, this is named, just like all of her other knives, after a Greek mythological character. And actually, this one is very reminiscent of a fixed blade that she came out with early in her career called the Hekate, which is the mother of Circe. So, I'm convinced this looks kind of like that knife, except pared down. 3.39-inch Nitro-V blade.
[17:37]Pretty stabby, one-clippy, hollow-ground blade. blade G 10 handle, uh, got a flipper, a regular, a four finger flipper and opening hole and a butt. Sub $100. And from Boca, you know, um, When they first came into my consciousness, I don't know, 15 years ago, they were having a lot of difficulty with QC, and that always stuck with me. But every poker I've ever had has been awesome. So I think that was a blip back then. So a sub $100 poker with Alessandra DeSantis design, to me, is a win. So keep your eye out for the Kirke, I think is how it's pronounced, K-I-R-K-E. I'm going to call it the Searcy because that's how I know it. Come into a knife store. Actually, it's out now.
[18:26]All right, we're going to get on to the state of the collection. But before we do, I'd like to urge you to subscribe to the show and also share the show if you would. That's one of the best ways you can help is just to spread the word. I know you hear that on a lot of podcasts. People say that, and it is true. You can also download it to those apps Jim had on screen. All right. Coming up in a second, we're going to get to the state of the collection. The Shockwave Tactical Torch is your ultimate self-defense companion. Featuring a powerful LED bulb that lasts 100,000 hours, a super sharp, crenulated bezel, and a built-in stun gun delivering 4.5 million volts. Don't settle for ordinary. Choose the Shockwave Tactical Torch. The slash shockwave. And now that we're caught up with Knife Life news, let's hear more of the Knife Junkie podcast.
[19:42]Nine Austro-Hungarian knuckle dusters, which allow you to fully grip.
[19:50]And make a full fist because of the thin portion of the handle down at the bottom, as opposed to the traditional, and I have to say cooler-looking knuckle dusters that have the little stem and that pad that fits into the hand. But when you have those, you can't fully close your fist, and you have to teach yourself how to punch kind of wonky, and in a way that if you punched that way without those brass knuckles, you'd really mess up your hand. So I'm not a huge fan of that design in hand. I love the way those look. But this, this works great. So these are the lightweight version of these. And if you can see some patterning, you'll see that these are 3D molded. And they are light as a feather. They fit the hand. So this is my left hand and it doesn't fit as well as my right. Put it in the right. And I have used this now extensively. I'll say since I've gotten it. Um on the bob dome that's the the body opponent bag you know the thing that looks like a guy that you punch um and i got one not too long ago i've told you about it and i've been testing out different knuckle dusters i i have uh four including the 1917 or 1918 on the wall um which is amazing by the way that fits anyone uh but most other knuckle dusters are a little big for me and And I feel like they separate my fingers too much. And when I squeeze down, it's uncomfortable.
[21:19]This fits my hand really well. They do make an XL version of these or a large version of these. And they also make a brass version of these, which I definitely am going to get. I'd like to have this with the added weight. But what I'm getting at is in a full fist, like a regular fist.
[21:37]Be careful, but still, it works great against the Bob dummy. Those little spikes sink in and absorb some of the shock. Well, he absorbs some of the shock. And having your fingers wrapped around that base gives you really great stability. Spooky Pockets. These are sold by Copus Designs. You know, the guys who make the Elvia, or one of the versions of the Elvia. And I'm going to visit their table as I always do at Blade Show this year and see if they have the brass versions of these because I think that I have found the knuckle duster for me because all the other or the other two that I've really done a lot of punching with, they hurt my hand and I've been trying to figure out a way to make them work and now that I have this, I don't have to. Really, I don't have to have these at all because they're illegal and I can't really carry them out and about. But they're good to have and I'm happy to have them and they're kind of a fun hobbyist kind of thing. If you do get this and you happen to carry them and you want to use them or any knuckle duster, I have found if they're uncomfortable in hand, especially for a straight punch of any sort, the best thing to do is to hammer fist and to rake. So use this part.
[22:57]The part down by the palm of your fist here to hit instead of going straight on because knuckles unless they fit perfectly have a tendency to roll down or up and that can really mess up your hand so if you have something like that or you have knuckle dusters that you're not so sure about in terms of fit use them in hammer fists and use them in raking motions by raking i mean using the spikes or the bumps or the nubs where the punching surface is to rake across your opponent's body, ribs, face. And by opponent, I mean your bob dummy out back that you like to punch while you're making dinner. So this is a really great purchase. Not very expensive. Spooky pockets. Lightweight knuckle duster. Check them out. You can check them out through Copus Design.
[23:51]Next up i was sent a couple of knives from sen cut civiti and they're really cool uh this first one um the name just rolls off the tongue it's the boar zam i guess that's not so bad not sure what it means but this is the boar zam so the boar zam is a sheep's foot with a center point i mean i'm not even sure what i would call this i guess it's more of a drop point let's call this a drop point and uh it's got a beautiful swedge on the back of the blade and a nice dip here in the front to reach your uh your thumb over and it's got a great thumb ramp it's a 3.8 inch blade so it's a nice big blade um and the steel here is uh 9 cr 18 mov it's got great flipping action.
[24:43]And, uh, is, but vastly better than the eight CR 13 MOV, which is something that we've all come to know as a, you know, as a serviceable budget steel. Well, this is, this is a little more than serviceable. How are the ergonomics?
[24:59]Ergonomics are great. Fits great in hand. It has a nice long handle with a curved backend that really makes it comfortable in this, um most commonly used saber grip um also for that like powering through um cardboard and stuff uh if you grab this handle with a full fist grip like this it is very comfortable all that said i just received these so i have not put any work into them um so i can't say for sure that this is going to be comfortable through a lot of hard use but um i'm looking at the profile of it and feeling it in hand and i'm guessing it will be a nice big choil up here flipper and thumb studs deep carry pocket clip kind of that typical off-the-shelf senkatsu bb pocket clip and then this nice canvas micarta here uh let me see i have the the specs here it's going to come in that micarta and then two flavors of g10 so uh like that i also uh like the the price these are uh going to be about 45 bucks for you to grab at the store at the store at the knife store i wish we had knife stores around here we don't have knife stores around here kind of ridiculous all right well this is cool i got to show you this um when sen cut savivi sends knives they send this awesome stat sheet.
[26:24]So you can see everything about it, including HRC, 58 to 60 HRC, you know, and the caged ceramic ball bearings. Now, ceramic ball bearings in a $45 knife would have been unheard of, you know, five years ago. So pretty amazing how things...
[26:42]How things evolve. Now, next up from them, you've probably seen this one, the Primatrox. Love that name, the Primatrox. To me, it's the Praxis on the South Beach Diet.
[26:56]You're like, what the hell is that? Well, if you're old enough to remember.
[26:59]There was a fad diet in the early 2000s called the South Beach Diet.
[27:04]I actually used it and lost a nice amount of weight. Uh probably all i had to do was stop drinking back then but uh anyway this one is nice and slender it's got that beautiful neutral handle that fits great in hands a little bit smaller than the borsam is the primatrox but not by not by too much um we've got nitro v blade steel beautiful swedge on that drop point blade this is probably the favorite my favorite part of this knife is that swedge the blade is pretty pretty nice um and somewhat aggressive for a drop point you've got the full finger choil there on that nitro v that's 59 to 61 hrc if you care and that's a 3.48 so right there in my at the low end of my wheelhouse you know three and a half this is more my my size this one here uh so sen cut savivi thank you so much for sending me these knives um i'm gonna do close-up videos on both of them and compare them to some of the other sen cuts and savivis i have uh sen cut and savivi and well well we are awesome but i don't have much in the way of you uh but savivi and sen cut are two of the budget.
[28:29]-style knives that I have actually created a collection for. Something about them just really, I don't know, they get me going. So very happy to see that. All right, next up, lastly here, we have the new Jack Wolf Knives. This release is going to be out on Friday, May 17, 2024. 24, so if you're watching this the day it drops, get ready. It's after tomorrow.
[29:05]So this is the Cyborg Jack, a smaller version of the Cyborg Jack, which was an original, which is an original pattern design by Ben Belkin. That cool juxtaposition of this beautiful, classic, traditional clip point looks kind of like a Lanny's clip.
[29:25]I mean, that's a pretty unique clip point, actually. Maybe not so traditional. Just like that handle, not so traditional. The whole thing is traditional because it's a traditional style slip joint, meaning it doesn't use a stop pin. It uses the kick on the tang of the blade and a back spring that doesn't lock. And unlike, say, the Lake Champlain Barlow, which is a slip joint but uses a stop pin. So I consider that not, that's a modern slip joint to me. Uh this one paired down fits in hand perfectly uh it it feels great it's the size of the little bro jack so it's it's basically the size of a boy's knife and to me that's the perfect perfect size for a slip joint um of course comes in this in a sumptuous leather case that uh man i love these things and this one has sort of a a lighter suede on the inside which i which i like You can kind of look in there. It reflects light a little more. You can see your knife all cradled in its leather. These leather pouches take on the shape of the knife and wear in the patina nicely.
[30:37]This comes in five different versions. Two are a synthetic. One's a curonite, and one is a different kind of resin. Very, very colorful and beautiful. beautiful, and two other flavors. And this one is the titanium. I love it. It's blasted titanium, very much like a sebenza, has that feel of a sebenza. So if you like that chalky sort of feel, this is going to be up your alley. Now, if that sort of feeling does not appeal to you tactilely, it does wear down. It does kind of tame itself eventually. This, however, I'm going to be leaving in its case. I mentioned when I first got it how excited I was to have snail trails on it because it's the perfect medium for snail trails. But I think I want to keep this pristine as long as I can. The hardware here, purple anodized, a nice little touch of color. And I'm going to hold this up to the mic so you can hear the walking talk, which, of course, is jack-of-all-knives all day. Squizzer.
[31:48]Exquisite walk and talk. You rip it open, it has that nice sound, that nice sort of echoing titanium sound. A very large sharpening choil on this one. So this was sent to me by Ben Belkin. Oh, by the way, this is S90V blade steel, and it is hand sanded. So that's a hand satin finish there, rubbed horizontally, which is very, very beautiful. Thank you, Ben. I appreciate this. And I can't wait to do a close-up video. Well, I can't wait too long. Actually, I'll be doing that close-up video probably on the evening I'm recording this. But I have to compare this to the original Cyborg Jack, which is also great, a little bit bigger. And my version of it was back when he was using Micarta. So it's always was nice to see uh an older micarta uh jack wolf knives night all right that does it for the state of the collection uh other things will be coming in but you know what i am really trying to be disciplined because blade show a month away blade show oh my god every time i go there i'm like i need at least 10 000 more dollars than i've brought and i've never brought anything remotely close to that, not even remotely, obviously.
[33:09]Um, yeah. Okay. So let us get to the main topic here. I'm talking about, um, modern takes on historical and ethnographic weapons. Uh, I have, I have really delved deeply into cold steel. I mean, I say delve deeply on all my cold steel videos in my collection videos on Thursday night knives. We talk about this. I love how cold Old steel in particular does that, modernizes historical designs. You can see it throughout their folding knife, their fixed blade knife line, and their sword line and, you know, ancient weapons line. That's their stock and trade. And I love that. But they're not the only ones. They will be in this list, but they are not the only ones. And pretty much every knife you look at has some basis in history, but some more than others. Some knives are more equal than others. All right, first up is the Prather Warbouie by Topps.
[34:08]To me, this is a really great redesign of a classic design. And not for nothing, it throws in some French. And I don't know if Jeff Prather, who has... I guess there's some shade over Jeff Prather. I'm not exactly sure what it is. I've heard rumors. But you know what? Separating the art from the artist, I don't care about that in this moment. But you have a lot of interesting elements here. And the reason I say you have the French is because you have a very traditional coffin-style handle, traditionally American coffin-style handle, but it's butted up against an extra-wide blade that uses the blade as the guard, like many French knives. Knives and french fighting knives and french chef's knives this is just a very um sort of a french detail when i look at it looks uh like every fred perrin bowie knife uh has that sort of.
[35:08]Guard so you're not you don't have something that is extra that could get hung up on this knife if the guard is hung up the whole blade is hung up because the blade is that width so So it clears the path for the rest of the blade. Unlike a regular guard, which I also love, that can get caught on stuff. That can be a complication. This keeps it simple, but also keeps that blade extra broad and that grind extra high, which means its shearing capabilities are pretty incredible, and its thrusting capabilities with this giant, long, almost Spanish, This is like American Spanish and French. It has a very, very long clip point. Great for thrusting. So I love the Prather War Buoy. And also there's an interesting video with Jeff Prather showing how he carries it and how he deploys it. And Paracord plays in heavily. He carries it a lot like a samurai, I think, putting it in his belt and then using a wrap to keep it in there. But what I found most interesting about how he manipulated this knife was how he used a lanyard or a long thong that he put around his wrist or around the back of his hand and then use it to flip and to reorient the knife.
[36:30]From reverse grip to saber grip while he's doing manipulations and draws and stuff like that. And it looked pretty cool. I attempted a little bit of that, and then I was like, well, I don't have a trainer for this, and I do have a very sharp knife now swinging around on my arm. So best to be careful if you attempt... That but if you're interested look it up on youtube jeff frather uh buoy it's like a four minute video all right next up uh you saw this in the liner for knives ship free it's the lucha from kershaw yeah i know there are a lot of modern interpretations of the ballet song this is the best one in my collection uh with the with the uh very very um modern build modern modern materials, but you still have the same size, that long 4 1⁄2-inch blade and the 5 1⁄2-inch handles, which is traditional Filipino scale for a valley song. Let's see.
[37:37]Five and a half and four. Well, this is actually four and three quarters if you go all the way down to the handle. That's one thing that I really like about this and that I think I would like about a lot of the very high-end flippers, the kind that you see the guys flipping around acrobatically and aerobatically and doing all that crazy stuff. Those all happen to be these longer size traditional knives. I think that that is not only a tip of the hat to the Filipino tradition, but I also think it's easier to flip around and manipulate and do all that stuff with. I'm going to attempt this under the camera, left hand. Oh, there you go. You got to witness it yourself. I love this Lucha series. They have it in black. They have a different blade now. and what I especially like about this, I always used to think that if I got into ballet songs, I would like the spring clip here. Some ballet songs.
[38:40]When the lock is open, a spring keeps it right there so it doesn't get jammed up in flipping around and you don't have it hit there. But here, the Kershaw stops there so it's not going to hit the blade and it's not going to stop you from doing what you need to do. I think barring that right there. So if coming all the way closed is part of your manipulation, I guess you could run into an issue there. But I just like the way that clip just is free-flowing and long enough but also doesn't really stop me from doing anything. Now that being said, this is all I really know how to do with a.
[39:24]It's some basic kind of silly openings quick to the point opening so if i i've carried this a few times and i've carried it as a self-defense knife or with that in mind and then halfway through the day realizing hey you never practice like pulling out a bally song deploying it and then like you know pretending to use it so uh maybe this should be an emotional support knife and maybe you should you move something else into the primary position. But this is the Kershaw Lucha, a modern representation of the traditional Filipino ballet song, a knife developed by sailors who were up in the riggings, needed a knife that you could open with a single hand to cut stuff and put away. It wasn't initially intended to be an intimidating martial arts thing or a fidget thing. It was intended for a purpose, a single opening folding knife so you don't have to have a big thing strapped to your waist. But while you're up in the riggings, you can cut and use a knife without one hand. All right, next up, this one is by Dirk Pinkerton. This is a custom razorback. And this is an interesting blend of historical and ethnographic weaponry here. This is a combination in inspiration of two different, very different knives. The.
[40:54]Fighting buoy called the Hell's Bells by Bill Bagwell, who was really well known for his long, slender fighting style buoys. And then the Kanjar or other similar double-edged curved Middle Eastern blades. And I see that influence here especially. A double-edged curved, I love I love a double-edged knife, as you know, but something about the asymmetry of a fighter or a curved knife like this, where you have two sharpened edges, but they're not the same. They're not mirror images of one another like a dagger. That really turns my eye on, design-wise. This is in Dirk's very awesome personal design canon. As you know, he designs a lot of knives for companies. Especially, we see a lot of folders from him. And some of our favorite manufacturers produce them. But he also has a knife shop and makes knives himself. And he's an incredible grinder of knives. Very highly respected by his peers.
[42:08]And just takes really cool design chances and makes very interesting knives. He, just through conversations with Dirk, he is very interested and inspired by the world's historical weapons, and this is a really cool blend, creating a totally new thing, but definitely inspired by two classics from different parts of the world. So, The Razorback, a modern classic based on two classic classics. All right, next up, The Karambit, the Indonesian...
[42:49]Farming tool, rice harvesting tool, that was turned into a weapon by the Silat practitioners over there. Silat is the very cool, effective, brutal, nasty, subtle, and not-so-subtle martial art from Indonesia. I highly recommend you check out some videos on YouTube. That's the kind of stuff I'm doing recently, sort of a modernized Silat, and I really like it. Though we do not use karambits but in in what i'm studying we haven't yet but this is a really really great representation of a karambit because you've got some serious size here that is a three and a half inch curved blade i love that it doesn't come to an acute tip but a chisel tip that does nothing to stop it from being a great penetrator or from especially being a great slasher. And that's obviously what that recurve is for. Now, I have my reservations about carrying a karambit for self-defense. When I was studying Kali, hot and heavy, we did not a lot of karambit, but we did some karambit. You can see this is a super karambit, how big it is in my hand. We did some karambit. It requires a lot of practice.
[44:08]It's got a lot of subtlety to it. It doesn't necessarily have to, but when you see someone like Tomas Alas, who very impressively whips these things around, you know, it's showy. He shows off with them, which I love, but he also knows how to actually use it. You can tell when he attacks his Bob dummy with it. It is a serious skill that takes some serious time. I wouldn't just grab a karambit just because people say it's nasty and it would be a great self-defense weapon. It would, but I think probably in standard grip, we're the people best. Most people who are more apt to slash...
[44:48]That way, then they do this kind of motion. It is a strange motion. People like to compare the karambit to a tiger's claw, but I only compare it to a tiger's claw when it's held in this standard grip because that is similar to a pakal, which is more like a tiger's claw.
[45:06]Stabbing and pulling as opposed to reaching out, stabbing and slashing in that sort of fashion. But all that said in the hands of a skilled practitioner no doubt an absolutely devastating weapon and it didn't just pop up in history because it looks cool uh it popped up because it was an available tool for rice harvesting and imagine this is in your hand all day long some version of this with a ring so you can do other stuff and then and then you can harvest your sugar cane or whatever, or rice, and then you can do other stuff. So imagine you've got this tool in your hand, a traditional style karambit, and you're out in the field for all of daylight cutting stuff. Think of how facile, think of how amazing you're going to be at manipulating the karambit. To me, that's how the karambit kind of came into use. Like we hear about in Okinawa, all the farm tools being used. Because there were people who used these all day, every day, for something else. And they're like, oh, I bet I could cut Achilles tendons with this, just like I cut this rice with it. Um.
[46:25]So all of that to say, like, really, really, if you plan on carrying one of these for self-defense, really work at it. Go out and harvest rice all day, every day for years and get great at it. Because unless it's a very familiar thing to you, I think it could be a detriment. Not to mention there's the degloving issue. Will it tear all the skin off of your forefinger?
[46:50]That's always something to think about, too. All right. right next up also a filipino well also from that part of the world this one is uh a modern take on the filipino gununting this by the great and powerful doug marcaida and uh this one here is a has some modernized tweaks to the design um this is produced by fox knives and it was uh, distributed and funded by Russian Blades. So this is a one and done. They made a batch of these and that's it. They made a batch of 500 of these and 500 of a smaller, what they call dagger version. I have 391. I got this in an auction to benefit United States veterans at the Texas Custom Knife Show. And it was cool because Doug was there, which was really cool. But how is this a modernized version well uh the gununting is you might say this is like a hagi which is a smaller sort of gununting like knife so this is like that but it's making the tip way more daggery okay so uh this is all from um doug himself he told me about uh going about designing this he wanted it to to have a much more acute point more like a dagger and uh less like a a reverse tanto, which is kind of what most.
[48:16]Gunung things are like at the tip. So way easier to thrust and to penetrate with. He designed in this long spine and made it nice and thin so that it could be sharpened if having a double-edged knife is your thing. And of course it's my thing, but I have not sharpened that and I won't. I would have a professional do it, but there's no need. And then back here He's got this row of really aggressive Jimping It's pretty aggressive, that jimping, But it's also used To trap To trap your opponent's arm So if you have this Here, I'll go to the main camera to show you what I'm talking about If you have this, It's in hand like the reverse grip. This is what I've done more in my training. You can pinch your opponent's arm between your arm and the spine of the blade. Well, if you have a swale there like this and it's a jimp, you have much better purchase. I mean, you can grab and actually when you pull away, those jimps will just, you know, mangle the arm on the way out. So he designed it for gription, but also for traction and trapping.
[49:31]In advanced knife fighting. If you happen to be in a duel, and this is the knife, which this would be a great knife to be in a duel with, no doubt, but if it gets real, you have a way to trap that person for a moment. Trapping is not something, it's like a half beat. It's not something that you hold on to. It's something that you grab the arm to trap and isolate the arm with a weapon or the other arm, and you can use it to break, you can use it to slash, You can use it as a landing point to disarm. However you use your trapping, you better practice it. And hey, you better have a Doug Marcaida Cortado with that jimped swale. It will help. I just love the way this is stacked. I could look at this thing all day. I love this. Great handle on this, by the way. And these are waves representing the Philippines, where Doug Marcaida is from. These are arrowheads representing the warrior class that he represents. And then these triangles here represent his shoulder. So not only traditional and modernized, but personal to Doug Marquardt. So really cool blade. Great leather sheath made by Fox Knives in Italy.
[50:43]Next up, one from Boker. We talked about Boker before. This is their Folding Smatchet. A really beautiful knife, four inches. which is, that's a VG-10 blade, dagger-like. It's really bayonet-like, but dagger-like in its symmetry, bayonet-like in its asymmetrical bevels here. Speaking of bevels, if you wanted to sharpen this, you could. It comes to such a fine swedge, but you'd be in trouble if you ever wanted to fold it and put it in your pocket. But, um, so this is based on the Smatchet, uh, designed by Colonel Fairbairn, the guy who, who, uh, co-designed the Fairbairn Sykes legendary, uh, fighting British commando dagger. Uh, this was a large fixed blade knife, had about a, um.
[51:36]11-inch, yeah, had about an 11-inch blade, leaf-shaped, double-edged, and was used for combat. It was not meant to be a tool first and weapon second. It was definitely meant to be a weapon first, a tool second. It didn't see too much action, and not too many of them were made due to material restrictions and just sort of a realization that carrying an extra very large fighting knife wasn't practical for everybody. This is a design by Chuck Kedritus, who makes just some absolutely amazing knives, and it has some pretty cheeky designs, if I do say so myself.
[52:17]He's been doing some switchblades over the past few years that are really cool. Not only one-off versions that are very exotic in shape, but he's doing ones that also look like Swiss Army knives.
[52:31]So Chuck Adritis is a very interesting talent from New England. You should definitely check out. And his folding interpretation of the smatches is just beautifully designed. And I got to say, Boker just did an outstanding job in the build of this. Dave gave me this, OG Blades. Dave gave me this. And I know he had, I think he had all three of them and very kindly gave me this beautiful Cocobolo woodwork. So that is the Smatchet, modern representation. Next up, this beauty, by one of my favorite designers of all time, Bill Harsey Jr., is the Spartan Harsey Kukru.
[53:15]And this knife is, okay, on the platform, we'll call the handle the platform, because there is the Spartan Harsey Fighter with the same handle. There is the spartan harzi nesmuk with the same handle tactical nesmuk uh just different blades and the handle well since we've been talking about it oh so comfortable it fits so nicely in hand it's got these big five gyms here that are not too sharp great place for your fat of your thumb to sink into or if you have gloves you'll get great purchase there as well on that thumb ring um this handle is very harcy it reminds me of the old gerber rock which he designed which you used to be able to get at like walmart or whatever uh had a very similar shape handle with the guard and the choil and um so i i like that we can see that here if you turn it on its side like most uh harcy fixed blades or all harcy fixed blades that i have there is a three-dimensional component this way, so it swells out three-dimensionally in the hand. Beautiful flare out here at the pommel to really keep this in hand. If you look at the profile normally, or on its side aspect here.
[54:34]The handle does not look like it has too much in the way of retention on the pommel, especially for an obvious chopper with a blade shape like that. But that is remedied through the flare this way when you turn it sideways. So it really stays in hand nicely because it flares out and widens at the pommel. Not a bird's beak, but a flare. And then we move up to this blade, which is 1095 Crow Van. This is made by K-Bar And that is one of the knives they've always Blade steels they've always used That 1095 Provan This is made through their partnership with K-Bar But it's not made in New York This is made in Taiwan, I believe So there you have the Spartan Hoplite helmet With the crossed arrows There you have the giant redwood tree Or the giant pine tree Which is Bill Harsey Jr.'s make his mark and he had this signature there.
[55:37]Bill Harsey was a logger and grew up in a logging family in the northwest which is an interesting detail. You don't do that and not end up tough and learning the value of good tools. Next, from Jack Wolf Knives. Now you know Jack Wolf Knives, their whole stock and trade is updating traditional designs. This one is the doctor's knife. The Feel Good Jack.
[56:04]Is a really nice one-to-one with the doctor's knife.
[56:09]A doctor's knife has a long, slender handle with nearly parallel lines, if not totally parallel, and it has a flat pommel here, a flat butt here. And that is so that this was for doctors in the 19th century making house calls in America, making house calls. And this here you'd show up you'd have a sick sick patient and you'd say okay i'm going to make you a little tincture and so you take out a pill cut it up with the blade and then you crush it up with that flat butt and then you put that in in liquid and then uh other uh knives would have an extra spatula and you stir it up so i am so i was so happy to see that ben belkin of jack Jack Wolf Knives, did a doctor's knife because it's always been one of my favorite patterns. Growing up, my father was a physician and I've always had a lot of pride in him. I know he's helped a lot of people, not just in his professional career, but donating his time abroad, helping people.
[57:16]So I've always had an affinity for doctors. What can I say? And I always loved the design and the concept behind the doctor's knife. So I was thrilled when the feel-good Jack came out. So this is the Jack Wolf Knives Feel Good Jack, and pretty much any other Jack Wolf Knife, except for the Cyborg Jack, could fit in this category, because you know, Cyborg Jack.
[57:39]All right, second to last knife here is a French fighting knife. This is the Station 9 Partisan.
[57:48]And this, yeah, it looks just like a chef's knife, and that's for a reason. This is based on the World War I trench knives that a lot of French men used. They didn't have budgets. They weren't all being equipped with the same stuff. Here's your trench fighting knife, and here's your jacket, and here's your gun. A lot of it was catch-as-catch-can, especially at the opening of the war. So people were repurposing tools, much like the karambit, for combat. And in this case, the tools were butcher knives. They might have thrown a swedge on there to make it a better thruster or changed the handle grip a little bit or whatever it was. But here we see, again, that sort of French rickvasso area where the guard is the blade. The blade is broader than the pinch point of the handle. And so will stop your hand from sliding up on there if you're thrusting into an enemy soldier and hit something hard, like their Bible or their cigarette case. Your hand's not going to slip up on there. It's going to stop there.
[58:58]So I really like Station 9 for this. As I was talking about Cold Steel, looking at all of historical weapons, Well, I like that Station 9 focuses on 20th century warfare, early 20th century warfare, World War I, World War II, the spy services, and that kind of thing. To me, it's a real special niche they fill. And in my collection, this fills that very special niche. A historical, interesting, historical, ethnographic weapon with a cool past. And I guess I'm seeing that I really do like The repurposed tools As weapons Kind of like my.
[59:41]My uh my plumbing nut flail and if you're only listening to this you gotta you gotta tune in all right last up we talked about the navaja before we were talking about the best tech raison this is my favorite version of a modernized navaja yes of course it is the espada xl by cold Cold Steel. And it is a fingerprint magnet, because this one is the, what do you call it, satin version.
[1:00:13]Deeply hollow ground here, back in the day when Cold Steel was doing that. This is Aus-8 blade steel, and then you've got the polished aluminum holsters and the polished G10 handle. But what you really have here, the reason I'm showing it off here is, is it's navajanes. So you've got a very large clip point blade with a long clip. Now that to me does not look too much like a Spanish clip point blade, but the long clip does. Now to me, Spanish comes flat and then has a nice, long, subtle descending clip. But here we have a 7 1⁄2 inch blade, 8 1⁄2 inch handle, and that traditional horn shape. So if you're making a big, big folding knife and you're looking at natural materials, what could I house this in? A steer's horn or a bull's horn is a natural place to look. So we get that horn-shaped handle, and cold steel does it best. I like the new Best Tech design. I like the Kershaw design and some of the other Navajas we've seen out there. But this one, by far, takes it.
[1:01:26]If you are interested in the Navaja as a knife, I will just say as a side note, check out Miguel Barbudo on Instagram. He makes them. He lives in Spain and makes traditionally incredible Navajas. All right. Well, thank you for coming on this journey, this walk down that road of modern interpretations of historical ethnographic knives. One of my favorite things about collecting knives and something that keeps bringing me back. Be sure to join us on Sunday this week for episode 506 with Matt of Mattisfaction. What a great guy. We had a great time talking and looking at his Phoenix design from Kaiser and the designs he has in the offhand. Very exciting to see. 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. If you enjoyed the show, please rate and review at For show notes for today's episode, additional resources, and to listen to past episodes, visit our website, You can also watch our latest videos on YouTube at Check out some great knife photos on and join our Facebook group at
[1:02:45]And if you have a question or comment, email them to Bob at or call our 24-7 listener line at 724-466-4487. And you may hear your comment or question answered on an upcoming episode of The Knife Junkie Podcast.



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Knives, News and Other Stuff Mentioned in the Podcast


Pocket Check

  • Ritter/Hogue RSK Mk1 Auto
  • Reisner Cutlery LCB
  • Hogtooth/TKJ NoVA-2
  • JWK After Hours Jack (ESK)


State of the Collection

  • Spooky Pockets LW Knuckle Duster
  • Jack Wolf Knives Mini Cyborg Jack
  • Sencut Borzam
  • Civivi Primitrox


Current Takes on Historical and Ethnographic Blades

  • TOPS Prather War Bowie
  • Kershaw Lucha
  • Pinkerton Custom Razorback
  • Emerson Super Karambit
  • Doug Marcaida Kortada
  • Boker Smatchet (designed by Chuck Gedraitis)
  • Spartan Harsey Kukri
  • Jack Wolf Knives Feelgood Jack
  • Station IX Partisan
  • Cold Steel XL Espada

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