Jim Bruhns of Hogue Knives joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco on Episode 47 of The Knife Junkie Podcast.
Bruhns talks about the beginnings of the knife division of Hogue, which by the way got its start from a conversation at a party, to some of the current Hogue Knife models to the future of the company. It’s a conversation any knife junkie will not want to miss!
To learn more about Hogue Knives, visit www.hogueinc.com/knives.
Be sure to call the listener line at 724-466-4487 or email email@example.com with any questions or comments on today’s show.
To listen to past episodes of the podcast, visit theknifejunkie.com/listen.
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Jim Bruhns of Hogue Knives The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 47)
00:00:00 - 00:05:02
One of the things that we took very seriously on the first day if we were going to step out of our comfort zone and build a product it had to have some synergy at had proximity to our end customer which has its foundations in its beginnings in law enforcement and the opportunity to sort of mess that up up right wouldn't would not have been something we could have recovered from for that reason. We didn't try to build a forty dollar knife. We didn't tried ride US imported components we we took challenge seriously to really protect that whole brand which is our lifeblood welcome to the knife junkie podcast. You're weekly ghosts of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your hosts Jim Bersin and Bob the knife junkie tomorrow night. Junkies welcome to episode number forty seven of the nine junkie podcast asked I'm jumpers and I'm Bob Junkie DEMARCO. Welcome to the podcast another good one coming up for you today. We've got an interview as well as a couple of tidbits of stuff stuff. We want to talk about here. I I guess the the real stuff part of it has to do with a cold seal cold steel sword you talk about. I saw that three times fast I but talk about that first yet so it was my my brother-in-law's fortieth birthday yesterday. He's got a lot of cool knives in the past and you know that's it's kind of what we give each other as gifts and I figured this was a big one and every house needs a sword somewhere right hanging on the wall or just by the bed so I got him a cold steel will seventeen ninety six light cavalry sword and it showed up right before we left for the Party and I pulled it out and took the grease up pacts with in Greece and stuff like that at cleaned ended up and put it in the she than it is so cool. It's it is amazing if anyone's ever wondered about the cold steel swords their historical reproductions. I gotTa say this thing We we played around with it a little bit at his party before the drink really flowed and I gotta say it's very stout and sturdy and light and probably we made better than the originals back in the day so yeah just a very cool little thing to have nice that you tested it out and played with it before the the drink started flowing under lessons. I learned my lesson on my forty second birthday that that's the order thing and I and I I know I have a long way to go. I'm a I'm a knife newbie on my road to becoming a knife junkie because I don't have a sword hanging in my bedroom so I'm well Jim you know you have birthdays and Christmases coming up and who nice to shoot for exactly but also you talk about some what new products from bench made or something Yeah Yeah Yeah I was looking at the knife news and saw that they're coming out with two new knives right now. One of them is a new model altogether. It's it's called the autocrat yet. It's an automatic out the front double edged dagger style but the unique thing about this is that it's it's all g ten construction there's no aluminum in the handle. It's well. It's just a different kind of construction but it's kind of in the along the lines of the of the infidel and their other out the fronts fronts so I thought that was an interesting way to handle the out to handle that was upon interesting way to handle an a new out the front is to make it lighter with composite zip materials and stuff and then the other thing that came out from bench mate is on the opposite side like I totally get why they came out with the autocrat on the other side is that they have this new gold class go. Their gold class of knives are are high and knives. I use different materials new high end materials in such a too fancy up models they already have and so they are now doing the crooked could river gold class and it's got Damascus bolsters and the Unit Directional Nice looking carbon-fiber almost looks like wood and it's got a twenty steel blade which is an upgrade of course so it sounds nice sounds like a nice crooked river and they're selling it for over a thousand dollars twelve hundred bucks ago. He it's insane I I. I don't get how they justify such a gigantic price jump. I mean you WanNa buy you WANNA buy the regular full size crooked river. You can pay two hundred bucks you want to get it with a Damascus bolster twenty. CV Steel Carbon Fibre and it's like twelve hundred bucks that's crazy. I don't know I don't know I'd love to get someone from bench may not and just talk to them anyway just to talk about the history of the company and and all that but I I would have to invite invite what the hell man I I would. I would be interested did to find out how they justify such a huge price jump I mean do they do they resurrected her. Feast is the Great God of the forge and have him make it or or what I don't get it okay. Will you lost me there but that's the Greek God or whatever that I am so in other words you know it might cost fifteen hundred dollars dollars to rouse him and have him make a bench.
00:05:02 - 00:10:03
I'm just curious man so anyway yeah well after you buy yours. Oh yeah did I mention it's on the what you can do. A video review it for the knife Junkie Youtube Channel and by the way nice will transition here if you want to subscribe to the knife junk is youtube channel. Let's go to the knife junkie dot com slash whitey subscribe as for Youtube subscribe the name Chunky Dot com slash white t subscribe and that'll get you subscribe to the Knife Junkies Youtube channel so you don't miss any videos and he is still going strong collection selections. you bat around an is yet for the collection no nowhere we're near running out of nights but I did sell two knives today that I like a lot sold them this weekend just in preparation for that that mystery custom knife n- The we'll talk more about later yeah just trying to trying to build up that that pay pal savings account so I can blow it all on this is not a first for you but those are among the first several knives such you sold so you're really getting into the reducing refined part yeah well. I tried to sell these two for a couple of weeks. They didn't go. I put put I realized I had them priced Kinda high and then I put him back out. They were snapped right up. That was the that my my new native chief I sold. I sold the Spider Co native chief before I I was able to put any damage on it. I love it. It's so it's great knife but right now I I just have to figure out knives to cut so I can get a couple of these grails coming Emma well. We've got a good interview coming up for us today. But first I want to remind you that one of our sponsors of Junkie podcast is an APP for for your smartphone and it can save you money. Get your cash back into your county. It's called the upside APP. It's a way to get cashback on gas purchases something that we all all have to do every week every few days bidding on how much we drive get upside. APP is an APP you put on your smartphone. Whenever you need to purchase gas just search your area claimer discount fill up your tank and then all you gotta do is take a picture of the receipt with your own? It's that easy you get cash back so you don't have the APP yet. Get it at the knife. Junkie Honky DOT com slash save on gas again the knife Chunky DOT com slash save on gas Bob. You've talked to a lot of knife makers knife designers designers on that kind of stuff in our podcast so far but today is a kind of a first force will yeah I'm speaking with Jim. bruhns of Hogue Hogue started making can gun grips and and other accessories for firearms and they've been around for fifty years and about ten years ago. Are maybe a little bit more through a chance meeting. Jim Brune speaking with today got the idea through through a chance meeting to start making knives and he he enlisted Alan Dershowitz and man. It's they've been going gangbusters for the last ten years and it was great to talk to to Jim and get his perspective like you said I've spoken to a lot of knife makers and it's really it was is really interesting to speak to someone who is a you know a captain of industry who's gone into a knife the knife production world and just to get his take take on it. You know someone who hasn't been a nice guy from birth getting into it and it was an it's an excellent story. It's kind of an an American dream story well. That's what we try to do here. On the knife junkie podcast bring different perspectives different views kinda different too you know thoughts about the knife industry and if go ahead and mentioned this before we get into that interview with Jim if you would like to be on the knife junkie podcast or you know someone who you think might be a good guest on Chicago Listener Line. Leave us a message at seven seven two four four six six four four eight seven seven two four four six six four four eight seven. Let us know if there's anybody you think we should interview and get some perspective want and we have received some suggestions so far and I have reached out to a few of the people that have been suggested so please do that. It's a it's great for me too because because it gives it opens up my view of people out there that I that I haven't expose myself to so yeah definitely send your suggestions aren't episode episode number forty seven of the night Chunky podcast. Jim bruhns of hogue coming up next ever start looking for your next knife purchase before your last purchase even arrived arrived then. You're probably a knife junkie. I'm here with Jim bruhns of Hogue Inc Jim. Thank you so much for coming on the knife Junkie podcast Bob. Thanks travel me. I enjoy it very much. It's my pleasure in the last several months. I've been exposed to hoge knives. I've always had Ho grip on my glock. I was exposed to hoge knives just kind of a happenstance and I have fallen in love with them. I have an ex zero one I I have a an RS K. Mark and I have the the new Tomahawk which is amazing how did hogue which was started off as a as gun company that makes fixtures for gun.
00:10:03 - 00:15:08
How did how did you get into knives well? That's a great question and I think you you may have heard a little bit of the story. Uh about ten years ago eleven years ago I was at a birthday party it was actually a fiftieth birthday party of a guy by the name of GMO young who is a competition titian shooter whom we sponsored for probably about twenty years and at that party was Alan Alicia wits and as guys do when they get together and Start Start Spinning Yarns Jim Oh young himself actually popped the question he said well. How `bout you guys get together and make a knife and I thought well stranger? Things have happened happened so Alan. I got talking about it and before the evening concluded we hashed out this idea that to to you know try a flagship product right and just see where it goes. So what was the flagship product. What was the first knife that you made well technically If I were to back up there was he was in the middle of a project where he was trying to build sort of a a midtech version of something he called the tank and later I became the Exo to and as we talked about that project we weren't really quite sure whether we were going to build him a midtech and he was going to sell it as an Alicia midtech more hogue was going to do a whole knife and he at some point through the process of introducing us to to his tank model in which is a custom he just sat down and did what artists do and drew up a whole new knife and that became the x o one which the name for the x one was probably the biggest challenge but when I got the original artwork from Allen I was I was very impressed very excited. I really wanted to build that knife and I think the thing that was the best part of it was that it was a ground up. Start from scratch make every component of the knife capture all of the responsibility for the whole product sometimes when you get into building pieces that go together in in somebody else's assembly you you know the the inevitable finger pointing starts in this part doesn't fit with that part and so on and so forth so the opportunity to build the x one was was exciting for a lot of reasons mostly because we could capture all of the quality aspects and and learn as we went try to understand mechanisms we had a lot lot of background in in steel and a lot of background in machining and tooling and fixtures and all the things associated with production manufacturing but the the idea to build a whole new product that was very exciting so as I said the name was hard and we were at the time we were building ending a product aluminum grips g ten grips for pistols and we up that series unlike wood and rubber which are kind of our flagship products we of that product line extreme series grips so sort of e x You know extreme and then we thought well that would be really cool to incorporate that into the knife naming because as you as you probably are aware naming a product is very difficult so e x solved a lot of the problems the exit one potentially X. Two. Eso three and it's just sorta deferred the whole responsibility for coming up with a cool yes and it has it has the sort of official sort of utilitarian ring of SR seventy one or eight ten or whatever it is and you can always tack onto it. You can continue up. I think that one of the things about the X. Oh three that I noticed right away was how crisp the detained is on this push-button this button lock knife. It's it's kind of a rare thing. What else about Alicia Woods designs a real real do win? Oh Gosh you know I think it was a marriage. you know I could talk for hours about this but I would say you know. Allen is an artist right so he's a student. He's a student of many things martial arts. Obviously I know he has a liberal arts degree. The Guy Draws I'm I'm surprised he doesn't write rock and roll song right so he's he's. He's quite a creative guy and he had that background he had the real understanding of knife making when that guy decides to marry materials to this particular artform the product of what he does as you know is is really a work of art but the background has all of the needs of cutting edge and balance and weight and whether it's in in a typical standard hold or reverse hold fighting hold whatever Alan decides at the beginning of one of his creations that is followed all the way through to the to the completed product so you know the exo three.
00:15:08 - 00:20:01
It's a button lock to your point. The deterrent is is very well done somewhere in the in the marriage of Alicia wits and hogue we took our manufacturing techniques we mastered the interface between the Button detachment and the face of the blade and then we reproduced it and that's really what we bring to the table where master machinists and tool and die makers so while a lot of guys particularly the the custom guys is they'll hand fit everything and when they're finished it's right but now go do that ten more times identically now go do that one hundred more times right undecly so I appreciate you know the praises in the accolades. We actually work pretty hard at this so it just it just precision machining in quality control to you're talking about capturing all the quality in house. Does that mean you make everything from the from the screws lose to the pivots to all the pieces that that everything made in house. Certainly somebody will catch me on this and you know we we buy domestic materials and I will admit we do not make screws now we could make the screws we do have screw machines in our arsenal but we make the pivot pins we make the pins pins screws. We make the buttons we make virtually every other component not including assembly screws right so I have the the exa three and I am. I'm ordinarily a I love aluminum handles but I I went for this first as it was my first hogue knife and I'm really impressed by this composite material it seems different from grivory N. G. R. N. and the other kind of G. F. N. Yeah and the the other end yeah all of those yeah exactly it seems a lot more dense even though it's very light and it seems very strong the material itself to seems more dense is this. Is this a product that you would ordinarily use a rifle stock or something. Oh no no not at all but you're are you are right. It's you know the F. R. N. Material that's fiber reinforced nylon and most most of those you know handle or scale materials. Those are some form of glass reinforced nylon whereas the extra three is made out of something called polyphenyls sulfide. That's much much more rigid material. It's actually a much higher heat material and I I did select it because you know sometimes utility product product any tool can wind up in the trunk of the car the Dashboard or in any one of a variety of different places and if I really got into what happened when and we built that particular Nice we invested a tremendous amount of engineering in it to make that thing work in a way that that gave rise to a high yield and production we we really can't afford fallout we we don't work on the worst margins in the world but you know our margins are pretty tight and one of the places we can really lose. Control is in production so when we chose that material we knew that it would be very stable in the cooling process. It doesn't tend to warp nylons in glass reinforced nylons are also fairly stable but when you're cooling them in production you really want those bearing surfaces to remain parallels much as possible we we take and machine stainless steel bolster plates and we literally remould then in so we lo- these stainless steel bolster plates into an injection mold that mold then closes and we shoot this Polisena lean sulfide. It's about about a six hundred degree Fahrenheit melt temperature material very very hot and then the mold the mold closes it opens up the part spits out and what we like about it no assembly screws ten screw and we had to get a little resourceful about the Stop Pin how install the stop in and Dan five the way it ought to have a spring in it so we have to figure out how to get a spring in there to make the auto version of it correct okay right so so are you saying the the the manual versions already have accommodations made for springs. You only have to make basically one model and then you can you can fit fit the other with the spring if need be as well you know somebody wants to suggest to me that if we just put pockets in the face of the blade to receive a spring and if we just put pockets in the bolster plate to receive a spring we wouldn't necessarily have to put a spring in it and we could make our bolster plates. It's in our blades universal.
00:20:01 - 00:25:09
So that sounds like a great idea. We do some of that but most often if you take that knife apart the manual annual version will not have a spring pocket and bolster plate will not have a spring in a manual version but we could do that probably sounds like the prudent legal decision you with something like that touche well so hogue is celebrating fifty years. You've been in business for fifty years. It's a family started business snus. tell me a little bit about the background of Hogue right so roughly nineteen sixty eight guy hogue was nearing retirement. He was is actually he ran the property division and one of the precincts and in Los Angeles as a police officer but he also spent time on the range and he contributed as a range officer to training cadets and you know there's there's some stories about you know getting through Guy Hogue at the range in order to earn your your right to become a police officer and one of the things that guy he was a craftsman. The guy made everything he made he made literally that the family camper that the family took on vacations built it all himself so when he noticed on the rains that some of the cadets were struggling qualifying he he went a couple of steps further into seeing exactly what was happening and what what he noticed was that the standard issue revolver in those days had grip panels screwed in from the side of the frame and they would shift under the force of recoil so I I thought well if I make a single piece grip in screw it in from the bottom tension against what is called the the the loop of the frame that grips not GonNa move so that's what he did and that invention was received by cadets and pretty soon by beat cops and pretty soon after that there were precincts all over the country that heard about this and before he knew at a mail order business so he made custom grips and that that that product was called the mono grip and it really did revolutionize the way a grip installs onto a gun frame and in fact the shooting scores immediately immediately improved from all the cadets all the standard duty cops that use that product fast forward guy retires and moves the family to a beautiful place in Cambria Cambria California and and he became you know as I said a mail order business he within hall a trailer around to various gun on shows and shooting competitions and that went on for about a decade and somewhere in the late seventies early eighties his two sons I I first Aaron took over and became vice president of Ho crips and then he carried the company a little bit further forward and got into molded grips he wanted to expand banned the production and that's how I met the family I was a student at cal state trying to become a an engineer and I was actually serving a tool and die apprenticeship ownership and a shop in Huntington Beach California about nineteen eighty two and Guy Hogan Aaron Hogue walked into our little tool and die shop and asked us if we could make a gun on crippled because they wanted to expand from from would grip making to plastics and then ultimately it became over molded crips and once we got into rubberized or over molded crafts the company really started to see exponential growth so to meet that demand all of a sudden we were building molds for I mean literally early a thousand different handguns so the need for a dedicated tool and die business arose and in nineteen ninety three. I moved my S- my family family out of southern California and we came to the central coast of California and a few years later. Hope Toolan machine was born which I'm president of fast forward to about two thousand Oh. I guess it was Oh nine. Maybe when I went to that birthday party with Jim Oh young and Alan Alicia wits us and we decided to get into knives so that's that's kind of a brief history of how that all came together well. I think that was a good decision. Would what are your observations about the difference between operating in the firearms market and operating in the nive in the knife market you know they're thanks very much the same they're they're very similar. There are craftsmen. There are major manufacturers. There are wholesalers and dealers as you know there are Internet retail stores and there are a lot of you know similar characters there are very very passionate people there are there are utility users. I would say in in both industries. Obviously there's some crossover I will say that you know there is an elite. There's a very elite network of of knife guys. This is a a band end of extremely talented craftsmen who who have a passion there is a faction of those guys in the firearm side as well.
00:25:09 - 00:30:32
You might call him gunsmiths there. There's the these elite gunsmiths that are extremely talented and passionate but the knife community. I can't really it quite put my finger on the difference but it's different. Maybe you could shed some. I mean you you run in those circles too right Yep yeah not so much in the in the gun world but I can't speak my observations of the knife world is that it's very congenial. enthusiastic community. I feel like people are anxious to socialize with one another over this topic. I'm also I've also done martial arts in my life and it's Kinda the same sort of attitude get to martial arts together and talk forever about the intricacies of this and that the same thing with knife enthusiasts busiest I find I don't know how that is in the gun world but I suspect it's the same you know it's it's people who are you know enthused about a certain kind. The thing you know certainly draws more men. I guess men are more interested in things you know. Women are more interested in people on the whole but but there is a crossover to two and so I feel like the knife communities are pretty generous open place. That's been our experience. you know there's there's always a question of his this new product venture and by that I mean knives for hogue is this new product venture compatible hit you know are we are we sticking adding to our knitting are we stepping outside of our wheelhouse and some of those questions of yet to be answered but I will say as a whole the knife community for the most part has accepted us and embraced us and has measured us on our product and really can't ask for anything more than that speaking of your product My impression is of of a of a reasonably priced super high quality American made product to me. That's you know. That's that's not something that's easy to come by. Usually something in there has to give in. It's usually price. If you want the super high quality all made the in house knife. You'RE GONNA pay more than I don't know your your knives seem reasonably priced. They're not they're not stupidly low but they're not stupidly high and and I I wanted to ask you about the the RS K. One mark one the Doug Ritter Knife. I just got it and I am so so oh enthusiastic about it. It is an amazing knife. I never had a bench made Ritter grip trillion but man this thing's amazing will you know the opportunity to work with Doug and certainly his reputation I think is is among the highest not just in the knife industry but but I think as a person you know Doug carries himself with the US utmost integrity. He's very passionate. He he's done everything thing from a new home construction to supporting policy and writes for pilots in the general aviation community he he has contributed to to survival products for I think over twenty years and now he's fighting the good fight under the under the activities of knife rights so you know not only did we already respect what he had done with the CRYPTO billion but we've been supporting him and knife rights for seven or eight years now so came to us and said I. I won't say Duck said Hey we need your help. The Duck said so you know I need somebody to help me and so we said well I I think I think we're up to it so Doug and I sat down then on a handshake we decided to take the opportunity to to pick up where bench made left off and and build the RSK one and Doug's little persnickety so it took us a little time and so's Allen by the way as as they should be as they should be right they really they really hold us to a standard that I think rises to the to the integrity of those designers so we were up to it and we took that on and thank you for your compliments Mike my staff will appreciate that very much Bob. Since I never had the the Mench Lynch made Ritter Grip I can't make a direct comparison but I will tell you what I love about this not only is the twenty CV blade just gorgeous and an and relatively thin and has that high flat grind in his just so incredibly slicing and sharp so I mean the the the blade performs beautifully but this handle is a little longer seems like proportionately slightly longer and it just fills the hand in the contours the outer contours fill fill the hand in a way that feels a little bit more complete to me than than perhaps it was before and then this gorgeous sunburst pattern that milled into the into the contoured already counter or g ten is super happy and looks amazing and the the slabs of g ten are nice thick.
00:30:32 - 00:35:23
There's no there's no question that it's sturdy so nicely done well. Thank you very much at all. The praises to tug as well well he actually camped out here in our engineering offices and Pasa Robles California for several days and and work directly with some of our cad modelling guys and we we got every last detail worked out and we're very happy very happy with the outcome the able able lock. What is the What are the enhancements enhancements that you bring forth with able lock so William McHenry invented the Axis Lock some twenty two years ago and bench made had the very hey good luck to? I don't know if if bill McHenry was on their payroll at the time however that came to be but let's just pay homage to to bill McHenry Henry and and the whole engineering staff at bench may they really knocked out of the park with that thing so over time that thing became synonymous Thomas with an ambidextrous lock and and I don't really think I've ever seen anything that will match it so their patents did expire due you in part to to Doug and asking us to take this project on it had to have this particular lock so doug actually came up with the name able both stands for ambidextrous bar lock enhanced I would say that we did nothing special over what Benjamin did other than trying to be loyal to fits and tolerances in such a way that they pass our final. QC inspection with some exception in every once in a while something gets out its customer service issue. We take that back we immediately replace it but I want every R. S. IS K. One that leaves our facility to feel like what you are describing so it's about fit and finish tolerances and an accept what what I'm saying is any other access lock could be made to do that. Well there is a a real solidity but when this blade is locked open it feels solid in a different way. I just say I'M NOT GONNA draw comparisons but it feels really solid and there's no blade play at all side to side and sometimes you experienced is that if you want a the access locked to be nice and loose so that it flips open easy and and and kind of fall shut sometimes you sacrifice a little blade play. haven't experienced that with this well thank you again. You'RE GONNA pull on my sensibilities in a moment because as a tool and die maker I hi can get pretty persnickety myself because they're walking through the factory chicken each one river. It's you know I have a a lot of friends in in the manufacturing industry both in the firearm side of things as well as in the knife side of things and there is a certain oh a a prima donna aspect behind the guys that really care so thank you for noticing. We'll try to keep up the good work you call me Premadonna Ana the craftsman yeah the builders. Oh I gotcha right right you cannot yet don't let it out the door or if it's not perfect and and you know if you're name's going on it I can understand that so you've got a a new knife I've seen a couple of sort of first first impression videos on Youtube from some of my favorite reviewers the DECA and it's a really cool looking design. I love it's a the point for those of you haven't seen it yet. It's a clip point. I think it's what like three three and a quarter inch blade and it's got a really cool g ten handle. It's Kinda like Kinda like a A water stained green handle. It's really neat looking with the with able lock and I heard someone refer to it as the bug killer question mark so one of the things we do as a manufacturer as we listen to the customer so anybody can speculate as to what drives our design in ten Alan actually delivered us the first design for what is now the Decca and he called it his m two and the M two is identical to this knife but a little larger so once again we had Alan Alan come all the way here to our engineering offices and Pasa Robles and sat down with us for a couple of days at my pc particularly and and we went through through what we really liked about the two and we had to marry that to what the customers were asking for and what the customers are currently asking for is smaller so are we scale this thing down the blade length is surprising.
00:35:23 - 00:40:14
It's I WANNA say it's three point four but it's very narrow it's it's very light late steals only three thirty seconds of an inch thick wow did CPM twenty right on and right eight now with the high grind on that blade when we sharpen this thing. It's basically a scalpel so I have one in my pocket. How last last week I decided to skin some some romance I had some twelve to Rome and I needed to skin about three feet of of the sheath off of it and I stuck the tip of APP blade underneath that sheathing and it it peeled off like butter so they're not just box openers? These are utility knives that can be used in a variety variety of different situations and a very excited about the DECA. Are you expecting that to be your is that your flagship knife of the upcoming upcoming year is that is that when you're pushing hard will this is the ten year anniversary knife for up for Alanon wish and hope so deca is a Greek derivative for ten eh right for and that's why we need Teke. You're saying it's not just a box opener. These are these are real hard working knives and the day I got my R. S. K. One I live in Virginia and we have vines. I mean you cannot turn your back without vines. Creeping up on you and I went out to the backyard to a tree that has just been it's been overtaken and I divided it with. This knife is so sharp and so- Sturdy. I did it really quickly in in no time at all and I felt proud walk in and you know all admitted I have a pretty suburban dad life. I don't do much with the knives I collect other than kind of look for things to do with them and and this was a perfect kind of a harder task for my lifestyle and the knife was awesome and so I sent you know Doug Ritter's been on this podcast a couple of times so I texted him congratulating him on an awesome creation and how happy I was to finally finally have it in hand. Yeah we want you to use that knife and and honestly we want you to use all of our lives. The Real Credo that we've had hoped for as long as I can remember. It's a I'm embarrassed to say it's thirty five years that I've been associated with the family the simple edict for every new product is we only make things that we would use ourselves Dell's so we watch it use that night so what about this Tomahawk I have the I have the e x t o one Tomahawk and and and it's it's a pretty tremendous tool. Where does that come in? How did that come about well once again? That was the brainchild of Alan Alicia wits. He said it's time for you guys to have a hawk and then I had understand what that really was you know. Is this a battle axes this. What is this thing so no? This is a fighting tool. It's it's in the in the spirit of actually a fighting knife and Allen could elaborate on the on the many different handholds holds one of the handholds puts to middle fingers right through the the opening of the head of the blade and it can be used in in both fighting stance and the reverse grip and and when used in typical handhold that Little Hawk bill at the bottom of the of the handle so the thing doesn't fly out of your hand. Can't it really keeps it really keeps it firmly nestled in your hand and actually it has the feel at what is it about thirteen inches long too so people know maybe a little less. It's got got about a three and a half inch bearded axe blade that is sharp like a acutely sharp a regular knife blade basically with little little starter behind the edge obviously and then it's got a sort of a hammer Paul on the back and it really feels like when you when you manipulate it and swing it around it. It feels like you've got a fighting knife in your hand like a Bowie it's it. It doesn't have that head heavy feel of normal Tomahawk. Yes that's correct. It's actually leave very light and I. I don't know whether you know Tomahawk. Axe throwing is popular in Virginia but it's it's. It's kind of becoming becoming a thing in California. There's clubs now. Do Yes yes yes it's kind of the new hipsters sport which is way better than quidditch. Oh I think so and if if you've ever thrown a Tomahawk I would ask you to go ahead and throw our Tomahawk because you know something I took up late in life and everything mansard myself a knife thrower right right but I can stick that Hawk about four out of five times right so actually a quite quite a fun sport so another unique thing about about this Tomahawk is the way it the way fixes itself to your belt.
00:40:14 - 00:45:08
There's a there's a sort of paddle that fits under your belt kind of in your waistband like a like firearm holster but then the Hawk itself locks onto the locks onto the belt holder magnetically and then has a another positive mechanical grip that holds it's a really unique way of St of stowing and carrying this thing around we really love the sheath and and you know when you think sheet in the traditional sense you're you're you're expecting to see some sort of a leather pouch. Maybe with a strap and snap right and that just wouldn't do you so again. You know congratulations. Allen were were honored to execute his vision in in some of these designs the paddle. That's that's that goes with the she is is made of high trowel so that is a mix of nitrile rubber and polymer which gives it sort of a soft field. Oh that will over time we'll form to the body so very comfortable in the waistband when I got this I got this my brother-in-law was over and he's a a former marine and he he fell in love with it. He's I coulda used this. We were breaking windows all the time. You know I guess what whatever he was doing and the back of this he said would come in so uh handy and I believe it also the way this thing locks on the mechanical lock. Allen suggested was based on the the AK safety is that right yes and you know leave it to Allen to. I would never say steal anything from Mr Kalashnikov but leaves to have that sort of depth and see an application right so it's it's just it was a brilliant idea the minute I saw it I thought oh I we have to make that so not cheap. This is not not something that you're GonNa you know pull up to five and spend forty or fifty bucks on but for for the utility user this this is a really compact package a great product so speaking of users. Who are your customers who do you who buys your knives boy? Isn't that a great question. you know as a pretty big challenge you you did touch on it. we both did touch on it we sell through distribution and and what that really means is that I sell most of our sales are to wholesalers so then the wholesalers they support the brick and mortar dealers and some Internet dealers and what that that really means is. There's there's margin steps so there's wholesale price. There's a dealer price retail price. The traditional wholesaler has his list of dealers and maybe he shares those with the manufacturer and maybe he doesn't so Mayenne customer is everyone it's everyone from the custom knife builder or or fire all the way down to the the guy that walks into big five and he's looking for something a little bit more than maybe brand X. import nice and everybody in between well I know a lot of law enforcement officers and they all seem to swear by bench made. I don't know how that happened and I think not for nothing but it seems like hogue is sort of uniquely poised to maybe pilfer some of that from that crowd because they know you through your through your gun products and your firearm products and and you're making a superior knife in my opinion so there you have it what you see for the future for for who knives in particular well we are doing our very best to live up to the brand one of the things that we took very seriously on the first day if we were going to step out of our comfort zone and build a product it had to have some synergy at had proximity to our in customer which which has its foundations in its beginnings in law enforcement and the opportunity to sort of messed that up right would would not what have been something we could have recovered from for that reason. We didn't try to build a forty dollar knife. We didn't try to use imported components. We we took challenge seriously not only to honor Alan and eventually guys like Doug Ritter and anybody else that we might ever work with but but to really protect that I hope brand which is our lifeblood. It's a it's a third generation family business and related. Were were really happy see that we worked as hard as we did. We took it as seriously as we did. We looked at every new knife design that Allen handed us and we put the timetable timetable on it of a wait and see. We never promised we didn't do any releases that we weren't ready for sometimes marketing got out ahead of us a few times and and we weren't ready and for that we apologize for our customers are waiting but to answer your question directly the sky's the limit.
00:45:09 - 00:50:17
We're certainly I'm not here to knock anybody off. not not bench made not not anyone but we're going to make the best product we can for our customer at a price price that we think is fair and we're going to service our dealers. We protect our dealers. Ahead of everyone. Love are all sailors but our dealers mean everything to us. There's a couple of reasons you know. A dealer is has historically been a gun store for us well. You can't buy a gun through the Internet. We need that dealer to stay in business. We need that F. F. L. to be able to do legal transfers so we want that dealer to be in business tomorrow so I support him. I care about him. The second reason we feel so strongly about our dealers is that you know if the end user the retail customer the guy that it really loves that product in this case a knife he has a problem. Where does he go? We go to the dealer that he bought it. From or eventually he comes back to me so our customer service is committed to excellence and we want every customer happy we want every customer to walk away feeling like they got their money's worth worth and if something goes wrong by God we're gonNA stand behind it or do the right thing. So that's our charter it's been working and our knife sales over the past. Two years have tripled. We don't know how long that's going to keep up but we hope for a long time. It's certainly giving us. The enthusiasm asked to go forward. We actually have a lot in the tank. There's there we ought some new ideas. We got some new products and new models coming and we're we're the sky is the limit where we're at. Just go and go and go until someone tells us to stop well. I can't wait to see the new models and anyone's GonNa tell you to stop Jim. Jim Bruins. Thank you you so much for coming on the knife junkie podcast and talking about hogue knives. I really appreciate it and to listeners if you haven't gotten your first taste of a hogue ignite you know if this conversation hasn't convinced you well. You're nuts JIM bruins. Thanks so much and take care Bob. Thank you very much have a great evening. You're you're listening to the knife Junkie podcast back on episode number forty seven of the knife junkie podcast Jump Person Bob Demarco here with you on that. I'm Junkie podcast another good interview and like we said in the intro Baba a differing angle interview there with Jim Bruins of Hoke yeah. It's great to speak to someone with that sort of measure temperament of someone who's had to deal with the manufacturing side in the business side of company speaking as an artist myself. It's it's easy when you're making something to go down that rabbit hole lock yourself up in your studio or your shop and and work on that thing but when you're out there in in the business world and and you're managing a whole bunch of people like that it's a it's a different kind of perspective as well as regular listeners of the podcast. No we we kind of end up our show with the knife junkies big takeaway or key thought or whatever so put put you on the spot again here. Jim bruhns knives hoge kind of what was the main thing that that stuck with me on this interview well. I really really liked their product. I really like the company and and the way it's all built in house. That's how it should be to me and then speaking with someone as even keeled as Jim Bruhns who knows what's up and where they're headed. It just makes me confident that hogue is going to be making knives for a longtime ad and that's awesome. It's a great way. It's also a great way to get in. Get into an issue. It's for for less than Alicia. It's money to rights. It can't hurt Oh that is going to wrap it up for episode number forty seven of the nine Jackie podcasts do WanNa thank you for listening and remember we told you how to subscribe to the Youtube Channel. If you WANNA get bombs almost weekly newsletter be sure to go to the nine Jackie Dot com slash subscribe and get his musings and his thoughts what's on almost weekly basis for the knife junkie dot com or the Knife Junkie newsletter so jim you can come out and say I haven't written it in several weeks. I I didn't WANNA come right out with hey. I plan on getting back on it yeah so why not subscribe for the videos subscribe for the newsletter and all that can be found at the knife junkie dot com website for Bob Than I've Junkie Marco. I'm Jim person thanks so much for joining us on this edition of the knife Chunky podcast thanks for listening to the Ninth Junkie podcast. If you enjoyed the show please rate and review it review the PODCASTS DOT com for show notes for today's episode additional resources and to listen to past episodes soad's visit our website the night junkie dot com you can also watch our latest videos on Youtube at the ninth jokey dot com slash youtube check out some great night photos on the knife junkie dot com slash instagram and join our facebook group the knife junkie dot com slash facebook and if you have a question or comment emailed them to Bob at the knife jokey dot dot com or call our twenty four seven listener line at seven two four four six six four seven and you may hear your comment or question answered on an
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