Kombou, Bestech Knives Designer – The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 314)

Grzegorz Grabarski of Poland, aka Kombou, joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco on episode 314 of The Knife Junkie Podcast.

Kombou is not only a graphic designer and product photographer, but he also designs knives exclusively for Bestech Knives. Kombou will be attending Blade Show 2022 in Atlanta, Ga. (June 3-5) — his first time at the world’s largest knife show — at table 22K showing off his designs and prototypes for Bestech.
Bestech Knives Designer Kombou

Kombou’s knife designs tend toward the fanciful, comprised of sweeping organic lines, intricate milling and high-end materials. Several high-value variations of his knives are coming out this year in budget-minded materials, to include the seminal Ornetta and the Kasta.

You can find Kombou on Instagram and on Facebook.

Grzegorz Grabarski of Poland, aka Kombou, is a knife designer for Bestech Knives. I had the chance to chat with him from Poland on episode 314 of #theknifejunkie #podcast and talk about his knives. Click To Tweet
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Automated Transcript
The Knife Junkie Podcast (#314)
Kombou, Bestech Knife Designer

00:04
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 de Marco.
Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast.
I'm Bob DeMarco.
On this edition of the show, I'm speaking with Gregor Grabowsky, the knife designer.
You know, is kombu.

00:27
Kombu lives and works in Poland and designs knives exclusively for one of my favorite companies best tech knives.
Now Gregor was originally on episode 264, but he has a number of new models coming out, some of which will be debuting at Blade show this year, and he will be there in person to show them off.
So we wanted to bring him back on the show and take a look at these models and talk about his first trip to Blade show.
But first be sure to like comment, subscribe, hit the notification build, make sure that you're subscribed.
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01:25
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01:56
That's the knife.
Junkie.com/save on gas.
Gregor are welcome back to the show.
How you doing, Sir?
Very well thank you.
Hi Bobby.
Hello everybody, thanks for having me here.

02:11
Ohh man it's a pleasure it's a pleasure and what else is a pleasure is that recently Eric from bestech someone that you work with sent me.
A new version of one of your knives.
One of your classic knives with best tech, and that's the orneta we're gonna talk about this.
The Orneta now is being offered in G10 and D2D2 right?
And N 690 so we're going to talk about that in a minute because that's an exciting development.
It's a very complicated and beautiful design, and now it's brought within reach to more people, so we're going to talk about that.
That's very exciting to me.

02:49
We're also going to talk about some new models you have coming out.
And one of which you'll be debuting at Blade show.
But before we get any to any of that stuff, let's find out who you are.
Again, just in case people haven't watched 264, you're a Polish knife designer.
Tell us how you got into knife designing and working exclusively with one of the best manufacturers out there.
That's right, so hello everybody, my name is Jacob Grabowski and I'm from Poland.
I'm knife designer working with bestech knives and now it's been three years that we are developing together.

03:29
Nice products, folding knives and.
I managed to make.
Around 15 designs so far and it's great.
Do you want to know how I started with my hobby?
Or yeah, yeah I do.
It seems like there are a lot of great knife makers and designers coming out of Poland and I'm wondering if it's in the water there or you know how you got started.
I don't know.

03:57
It's just because we we love knives in Poland like in America.
So yeah, so at first I started about.
I don't know eight years ago as a photographer, I was shooting outdoor shots of knives and posting it on Instagram.
My account is.
A OMB OU and I don't know for the.
I was one of the first knife influencers on Instagram.
I was working with brands like Bastinelli Knives, Custom Knife Factory and few more like Fox Knives, Italy and then after a few years I decided to become a knife designer.

04:51
And to be honest, I'm sketching nights and guns since very young age, so it was pretty easy for me.
All I need to do is to find again my greatest hobby, my greatest passion, my greatest love, which is nice.
Yeah, and then you put that, put the artistic love into it and you can really come out with something pretty extraordinary.
What?
What is your overlying design philosophy?
I see when I look at your knives I see a lot of the natural world in them.
They they seem very organic, but what?

05:31
What are you thinking about?
What inspires you when you make these knives when you design them?
Mine eyes are inspired mostly by nature, but also by the pop culture with everything inside like Hollywood movies like video games.
Stuff like that and also.
Car design is something.
I'm passionate about, and yes, I prefer curvy lines more than straight lines, so that's why my knives are so WAVY.
And I. I'm doing the best to keep them as much artistic as possible.

06:21
Which is not easy sometimes, but sometimes have a hard time with me.
Well, I mean, I would imagine your designs, which are which here if you if you don't mind hold up the original orneta so people can see what I'm talking about.
I have it with me, I could see how best tech you might hand them a design and best tech might roll their eyes like man this is going to be a lot of work.
There is, well, there's milling on the surface, a lot of different types of milling on the surface, and then there's contouring of the entire surface.
And there are a lot of dimensions there to get right to make that blade fit in there.
So it is it when you make these designs.
How much of the mechanical aspect of the actual physics and the.

07:11
The design of the the mechanics of it.
How much of that do you have under your belt?
Or are you just designing for the eye in the hand?
OK, so I'm mostly designing an overall shape of knife.
With all the needed.
Things around it like the blade lenche to the handle ratio and.
Stuff like that and everything.

07:46
Else is going with help of Bestech engineers, which are very good and what they do and there is very good synergy between us.
They understand my needs and I understand what I have to tell them to make it.
You know, very close to original vision.
So yes, I have engineers on my back.
I am not engineer engineer by myself.
Uh, that's a that seems to be a great situation to be in, especially as an artist because, you know, you can.
You can fully express yourself in the design of the knife, and then they might come to you and say, well, you're going to have to pare back this expression and make it a little more practical.

08:32
It's exactly how it look and.
We have very good team.
The synergy is so good.
They are not trying to, you know, cut something from knife.
They are trying to chase the original vision and I'm very happy that best guys from bestech are, you know.
So patient with the small details.
I'm talking about them change this change that they are doing a really great job to understand what I have to say through my designs.

09:10
And one more thing about ergonomy.
I am pretty obsessed about.
You know connecting ergonomy with with crazy looking.
It means that my designs cannot only look look good or look look special, but it also have to.
We are gnomic, you know, so it's not always work 100% but I'm doing my best to keep my knives you know useful and.
You know what I mean?
Well, this is this is actually something I was gonna ask you about.

09:58
Is the ergonomics I I in my own knife collecting and and using and appreciating.
I vacillate where I guess what I should say is that I have a taste across a full range.
I love a totally rectangular neutral handle and then I also love a handle like this which some people might say forces your hand into certain positions.
I think force is a forceful word, but it it definitely.
That prescribes your grip in a number of different ways.
This Saber grip this Filipino grip.
This close up grip.

10:34
This is actually good in a reverse grip, which is something I mentioned in my video because I like to cap the pommel and you give a good place to wrap the thumb around.
So what I'm getting even in a reverse grip?
If you had to hold it like this to do those those chest, pull things to cut wood which you know in a survival situation, you might.
This is probably not what you're taking camping, but even in that situation it manages to be comfortable.
Oftentimes knives with choices and swoops and curves that force your hand into a certain position aren't comfortable in other positions.
When you're designing a handle like this, what are your considerations?
First of all, I'm very happy to hear that it meets your expectations.

11:20
From the ergonomic point of view and I I'm doing, I always.
It's kind of that I feel what will be comfortable as soon as I designed the first step of of of the knife.
And.
I don't know.
It's very intuitive because before I was designing knife I I was kind of collector and I had many of knives coming through my heads through my hand and not all were ergonomic and I taught myself when I will design lives.
There will be as ergonomic as possible and sometimes people look at the knife and said.
This this can cannot be ergonomic and then they.

12:15
Grip, take it in hand and there is, you know something like.
I didn't expect that it's better than expected.
So I think it's kind of success to surprise somebody with that.
Definitely, and especially when when you when you look at it and you think this is going to fit my hand one way, but then you grip it and you see that it's way more universal in hand and in the different grips.
I'm very happy to hear that.
So, so let's continue with the orneta if you could.
If you could hold that up.

12:54
This was your first.
This was your first high end collaboration with BESTECH.
Or was it your very first collaboration period?
Very first collaboration this.
It was like I sent only sketch to besteck with pencil on white paper and it was arnetta and.
I emailed them ask if they want to make a collaboration and they immediately, you know.
And said give me everything you have, you know we want to make it so.

13:29
I was very lucky you know with.
And then.
And.
It was around three years ago and now we have about 15 models accomplished or almost accomplished, yes, 15 models.
Yes, that's amazing.
That's a that's a lot of knives and and for a company like Best Tech who has been oeming for a while and then a few years back started, you know, really pumping up its own output under its own shingle.
It makes sense to go with a designer like you Gregor, because your designs are challenging and if they could successfully make the orneta, for instance, that's a proof of concept for them that shows the world that they're capable of making.

14:21
These kind of complex designs.
Yes, absolutely.
If they make a difficult design, you know from my head they will better understand how to, for example make more complicated OEM's work for other brands.
And I'm really happy that they are not complaining.
They are maybe sometimes cry, but I'm not there.
I'm here in Poland.
It's like, you know, magic pencil for me.

14:53
I'm drawing a knife, I'm sending to them and then.
I wait around the healthier to get final product in my hand, so that's you know that's kind of living the dream.
Yeah, I'd say so.
So let's take a look at some of the knives you have that have come out this year that you're going to be showcasing at Blade show and then you know, I definitely want to see the one you're going to be debuting at Blade show, but let's take a look at some of the ones you've put out just this year.
OK, great.
So this year is very fruitful.
For me because I have and I will have about twice as many releases as the last year and let me start from the smallest one.

15:41
Then nuke.
This is the smallest knife from my lineup.
It fits in hands.
It has a. Blade under 3 inches, so it's pretty small life but I would say that it's ergonomic and very good for light EDC.
This is bitty line with M390 steel with hand wrapped satin blade.
Let me clean it.
Beautiful handwraps starting blade with gentle anodization on the scales and the inline is made from marble carbon fiber.

16:26
And they are also prepared.
The school basstech pivot, which I designed for them.
I don't know if you can see clear that yeah, but yes this is nuke and UE like the bomb.
I have also the other version.
This one is full black, full black wash on the both on the blade and handle, and the inlay is from orange coral G10 which reminds a little bit of, you know, Rusty postapocalyptic feeling to this.
The knife, so these are nuke 2 nukes and they are available and all better dealers.
Alright, so uh with this nuke it is notably smaller than your other designs.

17:20
What?
What was the design need here?
What did you?
What were you going for here besides just a smaller knife?
It was the the challenge was to make blade length under 3 inches and I'm not good at designing, you know small knives because my brain always want to design long and.
Big knife, so this one was pretty challenging, but I'm happy about it.
It has.

17:49
It has multiple opening methods.
**** friendly and and.
Very nice, yeah.
The the blade shape of that strikes me as a very utilitarian.
That would be a great work knife for draw, cutting.
And yeah, because it puts the point slightly below center.
But it still has a belly.

18:14
You know it has a lot of the different useful aspects of a work knife, but in a small little luxury item.
Yes, I like a nice belly on my nice on my design so.
The moral belly, the better.
So this this was a 2022 release, right?
Yes, these are all what I want to see.
These are mostly releases from this year.
OK, so the nuke and the second one.

18:44
I want to show you is the vigil.
You're myself this knife on my Instagram last time because I love to take pictures of it and this is the most complicated, you know milling bestech ever made on handles and it took a lot of crazy work from them.
The backspacer the pocket clip everything is pretty crazy on this knife.
Yeah, let me ask you when you drew this out.
Did you have all of the milling drawn out?
Did you know exactly how you wanted that to be?
Or did the milling dictate during the process?

19:26
Everything and afford to do that can you everything, was you know?
Precisely planned by me, but the engineer who prepares the final three drawing because they have to prepare their own final drawing for straight from the machine.
He understand me so well.
I've never seen this guy.
I don't know who it is, but.
We kind, you know, have the same flow and he did his best and I'm very happy, you know with the details on this on this slide.
So this is best tech digital.

20:03
Also premium release.
With if somebody like, you know, to stare at the knife or to taking pictures, this one is a photobomb and.
This is the steel on the on.
This vigil is also M 390 and we have you know titanium handle with different finishes.
So I have this one.
If you prefer you know something different in colors.
It's something like that with blue accents.

20:41
So everybody can find something which fits better.
So that's the vigil.
What's the blade length on the vigil?
I don't know, but it's it's like what?
3 1/2 something like that?
Something like that.
Yeah yes, so this knife to me is a striking combination of kind of art knife.

21:02
You look at the handle and it looks like a you know looks like it's a very complex design and build.
But it also looks pretty.
Aggressive, it looks like this thing could be sort of a. Sort of a fancy tactical knife.
What do you?
What do you think of in terms of purpose of this knife in particular?
It.
I have a little tactical guy inside me.

21:34
I love to flipping Balisong and karambits and stuff like that.
So yes.
We can say that the goal is to.
Kind of connect.
Tactical and collectors and EDC purpose.
And you can you know use it.
You can call it tactical knife.

21:57
You can call it EDC knife.
It's OK for me because I love tactical stuff by myself.
I have few really aggressive tactical blades in preparation.
They are so crazy but we will see them next year.
I thought your, uh, long stretched out clip Point whose name I can't remember now.
Couple years ago I thought that was a pretty aggressive knife.
It was like over 4 inches.

22:27
Fungus, the fungus.
Yeah yes, I will show you.
OK yeah I. Do you love that knife?
It's not often that you see.
As such, a good riff on the Bowie style knife I. I really liked this one.
Yeah, look at that thing.
So that's got kombu written all over it, and yet it looks very different.

22:55
What do you think are your?
Design signatures.
You mean about inspirations?
I mean more about style when someone looks at a knife and says that's a combo knife, what are they seeing that's helping them identify it?
I don't know, maybe a few lines with which always.
Oh man, I really don't know how to answer these questions because the my design process is kind of channeling.
It's very intuitive.

23:29
I'm not forcing for anything and this comes out and all the knives are.
You know, kind of materialization of dreams or something like that.
So right?
I really don't know why I. Why?
Doing like this but.
But it is something common in all my designs and some guys are telling that they can.
Find find out that this is combo design and it's huge compliment for me because it's not easy to keep them.

24:07
You know in one stylistic but different.
It's not easy to develop a genuine style.
A lot of people try for style or might adopt certain design flourishes to try and differentiate themselves.
But really, when you see across a whole bunch of designs you have 15 with best tech and probably a million others we haven't seen.
You start to see similarities.
For me it's the overall organic profile of the thing.
You can have a lot of the words I missed.

24:36
Overall organic profile, so that's the answer.
They frequently have a fuller in the blade which I love.
I mean, a lot of people put fillers in, but you're nice.
Pocket clips are always unique and organic and interesting.
Yeah maruka with Fuller Parisian style.
Now, which one is this?
This is vestec maruka MARUKKA.

25:06
I don't even know.
No, this is really from 2020 OK. Oh, that's cool.
I have Persian really a lot of the yeah man, that's a that's a great great problem to have.
I I want you to show off the knife you showed me before we started rolling here.
You showed me something really special, something really interesting that you're gonna be debuting in a month.
Let's see what that is.
This knife might be no, but.

25:38
I few guys from community this is besteck bouvia and why I'm so smiling right now because in just one month I'm hitting my first.
Blade show in Atlanta, which I was.
I couldn't wait for that and this year I have a table 22K.
I would love to.
Invite you there to chat about knives about design and this is bouya and Bestech promised me that this knife will be live at first day of show.
They are doing their best to finish it because the meaning on the blade is really painless to finish.
You know all around the knife is pretty complicated and.

26:31
I guess they are not have easy time preparing this model.
So, so there are a lot of different things happening here, but I would imagine and you mentioned milling the blade as being the issue.
I mean, what's the blade steel first of all?
It will be M 390 if I'm not sure if I'm not wrong, it's it's a pretty hard steel, so doing all that milling in M 390 is so that's not just grinding, we're seeing that plunge line and that grind line that looks like it's cut into the blade milled in.
It's not ground out.
Is that right?
Yes, that's right.

27:09
But as I said, for me it's a magic pencil.
I design and.
They are doing all the hard work which I really appreciate so.
So what was the what was the meaning behind this design?
This looks more robust than a lot of your designs that looks more hard.
Use what were you thinking of going into this design?
The actually bouvia is the old design, and it's one of the first knife I've ever designed.

27:45
It was in 2016, I think, and bouvia means crocodile in Filipino language.
Which I found out is a cool name.
And yes, that's how Boombayah came to life.
I was thinking about something cosmic futuristic crocodile or other, you know, crazy reptile.
It's funny the name Beauvau.
I was like I know that word.
How do I know that word and in the Filipino collie martial art that that I've been doing for a long time?

28:20
We use a Bavarian hand and it's like a crocodile instead.
Instead of grabbing someone's arm you just block it like this so you can move to a different position without over engaging with a grip.
So that's cool.
I was like I knew, I know I know that word but I look at this thing and to me it looks very different from your other work it's.
Obviously yours from the from that sort of wave pattern you have milled in.
There you see that also in the in the orneta here.
So there are some of those signature signature moves there, so to speak.

28:54
Design moves, but the overall thing looks very different to me.
It it really does look like a combat knife.
It looks like a hard use tactical knife.
So it's kind of an exciting departure for you.
Design, yes.
Actually this knife was.
Made in few custom pieces in 2016 and 17 by my good friend BR Knives from Poland.

29:23
And he might around maybe 5-7 or 10 pieces of this knife and discontinue.
And there was a lot of collectors who wanted to own this knife but never had a chance to do that.
And after all these years I have, you know, requests to make.
Many requests to make this knife as a full production knife with bestech.
And here we are.
It's almost ready and I will have my piece one piece on the blade show and I'd love to show you guys you know how it looks, how it works and it will be pleasure to talk about it on the show.
So when a design is finished and say for this one they they.

30:15
Finish the prototyping in there and they're doing production.
Now.
Do you have anything to do with the.
With the after marketing of it with the with the quality control is what I'm interested in.
Did they send them to you to look over or is that just done in the prototyping phase and then and then they handle it from there?
So.
We usually making one prototype before final product.

30:42
I think it's.
It's very precise work because before getting before prototyping I will making sure that everything is as it needs to be, and after prototyping there is always one chance to make some corrections and final product you know.
Should be great and and bastek always send me prototypes to check and and after they finish they sending me.
Final pieces of let's say each one finish.
Of final product and and I have it in my hand and if something is you know could be better could be done better.
I always taking my notes for.
Upcoming designs to level up the game right now, that's interesting.

31:40
I mean, you're in a great position.
You're like a Hollywood director who has final cut in a way because.
Because this is not a an OEM situation where you're a an independent designer and they're making it for you and they send it to you and you do all the quality control and send it out.
You are a designer working for them and and and you are doing your.
You're giving them a signature look for sure and they are giving you a an Ave to distribute your work.
So I'm just kind of wrapping my mind around this because I talked to a lot of people who use best tech as their OEM and it's a different process.
Obviously.

32:19
I know and and and as I sit here I I think I see the benefits of both of both ways of doing it, but right now I'm definitely seeing the benefit on your end of things here.
Yes, the the most benefit of having owned company and Oeming own designs is that you probably earn more money.
You know because you are the entrepreneur who.
You know, have to worry about all the aspects and I am in the situation where I can 100% focus on creative work on designing on designing process during prototyping.
And also I'm doing taking a lot of pictures of these knives and trying to promote.
Products through my pictures, so I'm mostly doing creative work and all the marketing process.
All the pricing, all the quality control is on best excite and they are the guys who has a lot of things to worry about.

33:33
But it's not that I'm not worried because you know, I'm kind of obsessed to chasing perfection and I'm.
I don't know how to say it.
I'm not.
I know when I get the final product it's not like wow.
We got it, we can.
The.
You know, move forward with another one.

34:04
I'm often very ****** ***.
I can't even, you know, enjoy this process because there is a one small detail that I forgot or something like this.
It's not, you know, noticeable for you, but my obsessive mind is chasing perfection so it's always.
Pretty stressful for me, you know, to to to get the.
Final vision in the product.
Sure, I am doing my best as well as the best thing.
So I yes.

34:42
Well, that's that's how an artist does it.
That's how an artist thinks.
They paint a painting, hang it on the wall, live with it for a while, look at it every day and all the little mistakes pop up.
Other people walk by that painting or look glance at the painting.
They don't see them.
They see the painting for what it is.
It's something hanging on the wall that looks good, but the artist is looking at man.

35:02
That green.
I knew that Green was off, but I didn't know how to resolve it at the time.
Now, if I were to go back into that painting, which I'm not going to, I would add this and that you know?
Yeah, absolutely it's even worse or more profound when you're creating designing a product and then that product is solidified in the real world through machinery and a whole bunch of money and a whole bunch of other people.
You can't just tweak.
You can't just say ohh to, you know I should have done this with that design.
You you do have to save up that lesson learned for the next.

35:34
For the next design, absolutely me the same as you.
I am keeping my knives on the wall and every every day you know chasing.
Today, you know, watching them taking, staring at them and you know I didn't.
I do not hide it to my drawer, but all my mistakes are visible every day.
I can't even show you a really quick how it looks so.
Yeah, a bunch of nights on the wall and and yeah we are doing.
I'm very dedicated to what I do and this is very important for me because I have great blessing and opportunity to.

36:24
Though my passion for living.
It was almost impossible for my parents in Poland the few decades ago, and now we have beautiful times when the creator can.
Threat his vision to the world and.
That's great for me.
I'm living the dream.
I am doing my passion for for living and I'm adding something for this great community.
That's the win.

36:56
Absolutely, yes, you're a man in the arena.
And when you're done, you're leaving behind knives.
And that's what's like.
That's what's exciting to me.
It's a real actual thing.
This is coming from someone who.
Has always prized individual creation like the making of paintings or like the making of 1 individual thing.

37:17
But the idea of having a design and then having it manufactured and spread worldwide is very exciting to me because it's kind of outside of my of my original way of thinking something.
But when I think about someone in your position and it's an it's a, it's a great position from my perspective.
As a designer and we're talking about the pros and cons of owning a company and then having an OEM make your work or being a designer for a company like yourself and and I think if you're an an owner of a knife company and you're having someone OEM your work, it's the stress of are people going to
buy this?
Am I in over my head?
You know when?
When do I make the next move?

38:03
When do I reinvest the money I've made and all that kind of stuff, whereas Someone Like You as a designer?
You don't have to worry about that stuff.
What you have to worry about is the public and tastes you know are people sick of my designs.
Do they want to see something else from me?
Do they like?
You know, just.
Having some understanding of the concepts in art you got you your your style.

38:27
You wanna maintain a style so people know that's a kombu knife but you don't want to stagnate and stay in the same place, absolutely.
So everything, what do you do to?
What do you do to sort of keep things fresh for yourself in that design process?
I'm trying to design new knife every day and I have a let's say I have sketchbook with 100 designs, 200 designs.
I don't even know how many.
Of knives I've drawn in my life and I'm trying to, you know.
Take something best and send to bestech.

39:06
And always trying to.
Mike, another one different than the one before, but at the same time.
Speaking the same, the same language of design, and it's not that easy, but I think so far it's so good.
But I'm humble and I don't know if I. If.
Oh, I don't know how to say it.
The point is that.
Oh man, oh man, that's OK, just you can just switch your sorry I'm I'm going to the plane mode.

39:50
I forgot about it.
Seems we're having a little bit of technical difficulty between the DC area and Poland.
I'm sure Greggors will be back with us in a quick minute, but that's that's a big.
A small technical problem.
I'm back everything alright.
So yeah, we were just talking about design and keeping design fresh while still maintaining your style so that your work is recognizable, but that it doesn't get stagnant or stale and so I'm not limited to.
Exact shape of blade to exact shape of handle.

40:39
I have a encyclopedia of historical knives I'm studying searching for new blade shapes, handle shapes, and.
Let's say.
I have a a variety of sizes.
I have small knife I have, you know, middle size but I have also prototype with me of something very big and this is something I can juggle.
The sizes the blight shapes and stuff like that.
I have tanto blade in preparation so.
And when I have a shape I'm trying, you know to get this.

41:33
The the common flow of of.
That the designer language, yeah, right.
Excuse me for my English.
Ohh your English is awesome by the way.
But I like hearing that that you refer to an encyclopedia of historical blades.
As you can see from behind me.
I love historical ethnographic weapons and and and I have a bunch of those books too.

41:59
And that's one thing I could see.
Like when you when you came out with the with the fanga that was one thing that I could see immediately.
Like, OK, he's looking at bowies at bowies, my favorite type of knife, man, you know every time.
They say that I'm like, yeah, but I also love and then I could list all the others.
But I love a Bowie and and to me this was an exciting design because you could see that I had known you up until this point as a very modern designer.
And then I saw that and I was like, OK. Here's a modern interpretation of a classic historical blade.
What what?

42:39
What historical blades do you love the most?
If you could have anything hanging on the wall behind you from history, what would it be?
And for example, the Tyra is my interpretation of.
Original pucca blade Scandinavian blade and is you know I took the original shape and started to.
Making something around it and I finished with something like this.
So I. That that design in particular is cool because it does look like a PUCO, especially with that bevel and the overall profile of the blade.
But it also is a little bit sleeker, a little bit more futuristic, and I look at that thing and I want to stab with it.

43:29
It just looks like you know a thrust.
Please don't do it.
No, no, no, no stab into a tree or something, but it's aggressive.
Like vigil, they are aggressive.
You know why?
Because they they have V shaped blades.
They are looking like car like sport car, something that's want to drive very fast.

43:51
You know that's why they are so aggressive.
But for example, you know having knife like nuke is not as tactical and.
Don't bring you the primal instinct to stabbing and cutting any any living creature.
You know, right, right, but so historically speaking though.
What are your favorite historical knives or swords?
What are the you would love to have a version of a historical?
I live in Poland and recently I was.

44:31
You know studying Polish.
Blades history and there is something.
Like Polish Saber.
Shabla Sable Saber right excuse me yeah yeah and I would like to make a variation of you know of Polish cyber as a folding knife.
We will see in future if.
Ohh also I can recommend you a scene from classic Polish movie.
For the Oski it's hard to say, but they have a seen of cyber fighters, which was called one of the best.

45:18
Fights in the cinema.
Cyber fights in the history of cinema all around the world.
I think I've seen it it's it's in the woods in front of some big rocks right?
And not no it's the people around and the rain is there is a heavy rain and two guys small one and big one are fighting sabers and they are doing this.
Very well like.
Like they did those days, you know, yeah.
If actually if you look you know how YouTube just kind of sends you stuff you're interested in from stuff that you've looked at before.

45:58
I've gotten a lot of for a while I was getting a lot of Polish Saber fighting videos in my feed, and one of them was from a movie and they did say it was one of the best Saber fights ever.
But this is one I'm remembering.
It took place in the woods, but then also there are these great videos with two guys.
They're on a hilltop and they show a bunch of different.
They do a bunch of different kind of sparring things, but they're in the traditional.
I believe they're shirtless, but they're in traditional Polish garb and they have these long curved sabers.
And they're their style of fighting is so cool because it looks like a combination of European, Filipino and Sikh Saber fighting.

46:35
You know where they whip it from behind their back, and it's very interesting.
I I did not know until these videos started flooding my feed that Poland had such a rich Saber fighting and sword fighting history.
Poland is a very old country, it's like.
1000 years or something like that when Poland was.
When Poland was started and then yes, we have very big traditions.
People nowadays people you know wearing the old school.
Tradition clouds and they are meeting together making tournaments of nights and they're, you know it's very common in Poland.

47:23
So that must explain.
Like I said, the the O stop Hells and the and the kombu and and who's the gentleman?
We were just talking about with the with the chili pepper, petrosky and and and and also brrr.
Lots of action happening in Poland now.
Do you know if if it's mostly designers?
I know Trotsky is a himself.
He forges an ice maker.

47:51
Yes, yes, he's forging his knifemaking.
BR is also a knife maker.
Ostap is a maker of Kanaks the Monir.
I will show you.
This is his main product.
Ohh yeah and then and then he has designs through.
That's pretty cool.

48:14
And then it's a if you're not.
If you're not watching, it's a little punch.
A little punch knock it looks like it and it fits in your in your hand and O stop hell he's got a bunch of knives that through who is it not best tech but someone else?
Yes, we've best tech with we knife and also with concept I believe is a freelancer and he's working as a designer with a few brands.
OK so yeah.
It is interesting how different cultures.
Little knife communities.

48:45
Knife worlds pop up and then they have an emblematic look.
I feel like Polish knives definitely are Russian knives.
Have a have a certain look South African knives and it's just exciting to see different cultures differentiate themselves but come together and American knives.
I don't know, I don't.
I don't actually know if I can put my finger on American knives right now.
It's a very mixed bag because we have.
OK, it's a place that's difficult and expensive to actually manufacture the knives, but we have so many knife people and knife designers and enthusiasts here, so half of them or some percentage of them are making knives here themselves by hand.

49:30
And then others are are are oeming the work out in in other countries, and so when I have and I have plenty of knives by friends and colleagues who have designed their knives here and have had them made over there.
And when I'm holding.
A we made knife, say for instance by someone who lives in the states.
I can't help but think this is an international knife, you know.
Obviously it's a it's an American design created in China like So what is an American knife?
It it it it?
It makes an interesting question, it's.

50:05
Welcome to globalism.
Everything is connected so much these days that.
You know, I'm a globalist.
I can say because I love people from all around the world if they are good people.
I don't care if they are from China from Poland from USA, they can be my brothers and sisters and I'm very happy.
I'm a child of globalism, designer from Poland working with Chinese knives with German and American materials.
You know then selling it worldwide.

50:44
In the USA, Canada, Russia and everywhere, so all world is invited in this process and I love that absolutely amazing.
It wasn't possible a few decades ago, so.
I feel lucky.
I feel blessed, that's true.
I mean, you're a world citizen.
You know, working in on the world stage and I love that.
And there's something romantic about that.

51:11
But there is also something to be said for national identity, so you managed to do both, and I think, and I think you know, I said, what's an American knife?
I think what what it really is just that since we're sitting here, talking is the innovation that goes into the design.
You know, I I when I think of manufacturing capacity, I think of China.
When I think of innovation and design, you know I might think the United States so, so that's I. Guess that's where I would.
That's where I would differentiate.
But that's not to say that that the innovation is only coming from here.
It's not.

51:46
It's coming from everywhere.
But you know yourself, included.
Here's that innovative.
I'm just taking the oldest tool you know and making it's.
OK, aggressive and maybe you know pretty cool, yeah, but I'm not engineer I. Don't see myself in innovating, you know a new lock mechanism or something like that.
Maybe new shape which is extremely hard to find.
New shape right now.

52:17
Everything has been.
Made so far, yeah, but remember they said that after the Telegraph came out they're like everything's been invented.
Now boys, we can we can talk to someone far away and look at how far we right.
You're right so this is where we are.
Yeah if you're looking at the screen right now you'll see a little tease of the video we'll be posting of my close up of the of the kambu designed orneta in G10 Now this is a cool trend this and the.
The calsa right.
The salsa is that what it's Costa Costa Costa OK, OK AST a now they're those.

53:00
Those are two knives.
This one here is a similar to the orneta we were just showing off.
It's it is a more budget friendly version of a model.
So tell me a little bit about this move to take some of your designs and manufacture them less expensively.
It was made by request of customers, fans, collectors.
A lot of them cannot afford two $5300 knife but they like to have one of.
My designs in their collection and now they can have, you know, one of them like casta or or NETA for kind of half price or even less because the orneta.

53:56
I'd like to tell you that orneta which you handle is the one with N690 still and it has also titanium.
Accents like sculptured Pockle pocket clip is titanium.
And there will be other one with D2 steel with steel pocket clip and I believe it will be half price of this one and it will cost around $7080.00.
So it's really affordable for for everybody who wants to have combo design in their collection.
So I'm very happy about it.
Well that's a great I am too.
That's a it's great that they have the.

54:43
Ability to scale down and to still be giving some of these high end flourishes like the milling like the design.
Basically it's the high.
The whole thing's a high end flourish so it's nice that they can put it in something.
Less, you know more.
For example, this knife vigil.
I I can see it, you know in.
More affordable version because it's too much, too many details and it can only be made in titanium in my opinion.

55:17
So there are some designs which are possible to convert into more affordable versions and some are not working this way but orneta.
The one you hold and and the casta was, you know well known knives.
They were filled, tested, let's say field tested, maybe in drawers or of collectors.
That was their field but now they can buy more affordable version and put it into real work.
You know, because these knives are workers, they're not only you know for cleaning.
And then for flipping they can do really things that well, that's that's another thing I was gonna mention is that now now that one can get the orneta for a third of the price of the original, they actually might take it out of their pocket and use it, because I mean in.
In a sense, it's a. It's a precious.

56:16
It's a luxury item.
We know that and it's a precious.
It's a precious thing and you might, you might.
I don't know some some people are different about this, but I'm I'm a little bit.
A precious with some of my more expensive knives, you know, so I'd be much more apt to bust out the N 690 version of the orneta and go to town and actually see what a useful tool it is as opposed to just being a cool looking and fun to flip.
Well made and awesomely designed knife.
It's a it's really a less struggle to, you know, destroy a cutting edge on.

56:53
Then life, which is more affordable than in, you know, $300 knife.
The I believe most of my premium releases from Bestech are, you know, safe Queens and they're going from hands to hands.
They're been flipping and keeping in dry and warm drawer so.
This is true collectors.
But there is.
There is some people who really use it.
Yes and.

57:30
So the way I see it is if I were in your position, it would.
It would be a mixed emotion.
Part of me would say I love that people think my stuff is so precious that it's like artwork and they want to keep it safely away.
But at the same time it's a knife.
It's a toolman, use it.
Yeah, so before we wrap up here, I want you to show off that big giant prototype you had in your hands a few minutes ago.
And are we?

57:56
Is this one that people are going to see at table 22 K at the show?
Yes, this one also should be available.
I think if not at the Blashill time.
But maybe a little bit later, but really soon, so month or two.
And it's a very big knife.
12.6 inches overall length.
I have fairly big hands and this knife.

58:29
You know you can grab it like this and you have long range no, maybe I'm not doing good things like stabbing it, but it's kind of tactical knife for me and I also just found out a name for this knife and the name will be Fairchild Fairchild.
Like this plane.
Then Big American plane from World War Two, which is kinda remind me of.
I was a little bit in inspired, but by old school big planes you know and this is best like Fairchild.
It will be a little bit different, but it will be only cosmetic changes and overall shape is like that.
A very big big guy, you know.
I don't know what more to say.

59:28
It's a very fruitful year for me and a lot of new designs will.
Will come soon.
OK, so so you were saying it reminded it.
You were inspired by the Fairchild.
Yes, and I was and I was going off thinking didn't.
Didn't Fairchild make the A10 Warthog originally?
But then I could be wrong about that.

59:52
That's that's another cool American airplane, but I not follow American Post War history, but I was kind of scrolling Internet and found original.
Pictures of this plane and that make me draw, you know, the knife like this.
That thing is cool.
So now what I really like about this.
I love the overall shape.
I'm a big fan of the worn Cliff like blade, but what I really love is that it's a big knife.
I love big knives and your choices are very limited.

01:00:28
When you love big knives so to see some high design, high quality, best tech large knife designed by you.
Was exciting because like I said, I've got a. I've got a huge collection of huge cold steel knives and then a very small collection of other large knives and I would like that to grow.
So that is an exciting thing to see.
I like big knives too, but I was also always worried if they will sell good, because if there were a market for such a big knife which are not EDC friendly, they are pretty heavy.
They are too big for your pocket.
That's why we made only 200 pieces of this life.
To see if they are, you know, big enough to find.

01:01:19
Yeah, a group of fans but this.
Comparison with my smallest.
Knife, the nuke and the Fairchild the largest.
Well, Gregory, thank you so much for coming on.
The Knife Junkie podcast and showing off your latest creations 15 designs with best tech so far and exclusively through best tech.
I think like you said you are living the dream.
It sounds awesome and it's great that you work with a company that is so good at what they do and can take your very complicated organic designs and make them real.

01:01:56
So remind people of how they can get in touch with you, how they can view your work and then where they can meet you.
I played show absolutely.
So guys if you want to follow my designer's work you can follow me on Instagram.
It's kmu.
Then you can find.
The newest things going on and are absolutely it will be pleasure for me to meet you on Blade show.
I will be on the table.

01:02:28
22 Ki will be by myself with full table of bestech knives.
I will have each one of my design made by bestech so you can come chat with me and examine each product from my lineup so it will.
The really that's why I'm smiling because I'm finally want to feel the magic of the biggest night show in the world.
And I have already ticket plane ticket and my suitcase is already packed and ready.
Yes, it's waiting by the door.
Absolutely, I'm ready to go.
I can flip my.

01:03:16
Head back and go to America.
We don't all wear our hats like that.
Gregor thanks so much for coming on the show.
Man, I really appreciate it and I can't wait to shake your hand in a little over a month and see all your knives in person.
Thank you.
Pleasure my pleasure, thank you.
See you on Blade show show.

01:03:37
You like the sound of the alpha numeric combinations M392O4P and 20 CV, but bristle at 8 CR 1, three MOV and AUS-8.
You are a knife junkie, probably worse.
That's right, probably worse.
So there he goes, ladies and gentlemen, Gregor garbage Grabowski.
Kombu.
That's a little easier for me to say.
By the way, the Polish language is absolutely beautiful.

01:04:01
I used to watch a lot of Christoph Kieslowski movies and at one point I thought I wanted to learn Polish.
Uh.
Pipe dreams, I suppose.
In any case join us here next Sunday for another great interview with a luminary of the knife world and also check us out on Wednesday for the midweek supplemental where I go over new knives in the knife world.
New knives in my collection and highlight some other great stuff.
Thursday night of course.
10:00 PM is owned by Thursday Night Knives right here on YouTube or it's also live on Twitch and Facebook, so check us out on all of those spots.

01:04:37
So for Jim working his magic behind the Switcher Bob DeMarco, saying until next time I implore you do not take dull for an answer.
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