LuvThemKnives – The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 450)
Lee from LuvThemKnives joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco on Episode 450 of The Knife Junkie Podcast.
When Lee was 7 years old, he discovered an old folder in the basement of the house his family had just moved into and that sparked his interest in knives. He also still has the Buck 110 he watched his father buy at a hometown sporting goods store many years ago, as well as the Slip Joint from his grandfather.
Lee has made a name for himself on YouTube with the LuvThemKnives channel, which features over 2,000 knife reviews under the name LuvThemKnives.
In 2017, Lee started selling knives on his YouTube channel on a monthly basis to recoup funds to buy more knives. People began asking Lee to sell their knives as well. Then in the summer of 2023, Lee launched the LuvThemKnives website, an online marketplace for knife junkies to buy and sell knives from other knife junkies.
LuvThemKnives website features like-new pre-owned knives, ranging from high-value and pedestrian to high-ticket items and connoisseur knives.
Lee recently co-designed the Two Sun Vandal with Max Tkachuk, it’s a titanium button lock folder with a nearly 4-inch drop point M390 blade.
Find LuvThemKnives online at luvthemknives.com, as well as on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/luvthemknives, Facebook at www.facebook.com/luvthemknives, and YouTube at www.youtube.com/@LuvThemKnives.
Be sure to support The Knife Junkie and get in on the perks of being a Patron — including early access to the podcast and exclusive bonus content. You also can support the Knife Junkie channel with your next knife purchase. Find our affiliate links at theknifejunkie.com/knives.Lee from LuvThemKnives joins Bob on Episode 450 of #theknifejunkie #podcast to talk knives and his newish venture, the LuvThemKnives website where he is connecting knife buyers and sellers. Click To Tweet
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Welcome to The Knife Junkie podcast, your weekly dose of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your host, Bob the Knife Junkie. DeMarco.
Bob DeMarco [00:00:17]:
Welcome to the Knife Junkie Podcast. I'm your host, Bob DeMarco. On this edition of the show, I'm speaking with Lee of Love Them Knives. Lee started his super popular YouTube channel in 2016 with an obvious passion that any knife junkie will recognize. His exploration of a broad range of folding knives and the ever growing collection of knives with corresponding videos on his channel necessitated monthly knife sales to keep the new knives coming in and the new content going out. Leeb's lifelong knack for buying and selling knives is now a legit business that many of us are going to want to become familiar with for both buying and selling. We'll talk all about LTK's life in knives and his new website. But first, be sure to like, comment, subscribe, and share this with a friend, a like minded individual. Also, you can download the show to your favorite podcast app. And as always, if you want to help support the show and get exclusive content like extra interview time with someone like Lee, for instance, go to theknifejunkie.com Slash Patreon. Again. That's theknifejunkie.com slash patreon.
If you search Google for the best knife podcast, the answer is the Knife Junkie podcast.
Bob DeMarco [00:01:33]:
Lee, welcome to the show.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:01:35]:
Hey, it's good to be here.
Bob DeMarco [00:01:36]:
Hey, I want to congratulate you on the Love Them Knives website. Before we started rolling, I was telling you how beautiful I think it is.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:01:46]:
Yeah, I think it turned out pretty well. It's been kind of a long track, something that should have happened two or three years ago, but it just came up on July 3, I think was the day I actually went live with it. And it's doing well. It's doing well.
Bob DeMarco [00:02:11]:
I have no doubt it is and will be because of the presentation. I want to get to all of that, but as you mentioned, it was quite an arduous path to get there, and I want to find out about what that was all about and find out about your life in knives. I was on your website and I saw the about section, and you tell a really cool story about how you first got into knives. Tell us about that.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:02:40]:
Well, I mean, back when I was very young, we moved into a house. I mean, I was probably six or seven years old. We moved into a house, and in the basement, I found a little knife with an acrylic handle on it. Scale on one side, no scale on the other. That was the first little knife I found in the basement, which those days, they didn't have a finished basement in the house. So that was for where canned goods you do or root cellar, that kind of thing. But I found that, and that was fascinating. The next thing was just a few years later when my father and I went down to the local sporting goods store and he bought a Buck 110. I still got that knife. I still got the little acrylic knife. And so the Buck 110 was awesome. You know, that counter display with the Buck knife being hammered through a nail because it was whatever it was back then. I'm not sure, it might have been 440 back then or 420 steel back in those days, but they were bragging about how tough that blade is. And it was impressive. And, yeah, that kind of gave me the bug. And really, after that, it wasn't until I was out of college and doing my thing in the corporate insurance thing, and I would go to this little sporting goods store and that was one of my favorite places to go whenever I went over to Oklahoma City to visit clients and stuff. And I'd go in there and they had, you know, that kind of thing, and benchmade those mean I started with like the SOG Tomcat and even the gun and knife shows they had in Tulsa where I was living, the wanna maker. Big, huge gun and knife shows. I bought a civilian. They've got the tip kind of bent a little bit and it had rubber grips on it and the G two steel blade or something like that, that kind of thing. And then they had a lot of handmade knives. And I got to know several guys that were making handmade knives, and Bill Coghill was one, but Newt livesay out of Arkansas and some others. So it reinvigorated my knife, so and then I started getting into Almar Knives and I thought maybe I wanted to sell knives. And that's a really bad idea to try and compete, especially today in retail. Brand new knives. As a knife dealer, I don't even know how the brick and mortar places make it myself. But no, I have no desire to get into brand new knives. I have the website, which is Consignment Knives. And so the good thing about Consignment Knives is there's no other knife exactly like that knife. I mean, that knife has its own individual price. It has its own individual history. A lot of them on my site were taken out of the box, flipped, admired, put back in the box, and there's some that saw use. So I've got the whole spectrum on my website.
Bob DeMarco [00:06:28]:
Well, I noticed well, you have a custom Bowie that I would love to own. A little bit out of my range on that site. Not too many fixed blades.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:06:39]:
I put some in there just recently, like the Carruthers field Duty FD two or whatever it was. Field grade FG two. God. CPM. Three V. Of course. Made in the USA with the deep red micarta. And then the bussey light brigade. Gemini. That's a beautiful knife. But you know what? It just been sitting on my shelf for a couple of years, and Mama wanted new countertops, so there they go.
Bob DeMarco [00:07:15]:
There they go.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:07:16]:
There they go.
Bob DeMarco [00:07:17]:
The range is wide, is what I'm getting at. You have everything from $30 civivis to expensive fixed blade knives and everything in between, but you also have, like I said, custom, but also modified. I saw a bunch of cold steels on there that have been some really heavily modified, and they're interesting, man.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:07:43]:
If nothing, same guy sent them in. Same guy sent a bunch of cold steels in, and that guy could not leave his knives alone. And I don't know, but maybe he was a former Ranger or Special Forces or something, because holy canolies, he reground blades. He put the apocalyptic finish on them and some kind of friction tape or something on them. Whoa. They're ready to go. They're set up and ready to go. They're not for the showcase, and they.
Bob DeMarco [00:08:22]:
Definitely are not factory, not for the faint of heart. Before we dig too far into the website, I want to back up to this experience you mentioned about being at the sporting goods store with the Buck 110. The buck displays. Back when I was a kid in the Were man, they got me the shape of the 110 blade, the shape of the 119, the hunter that was always at the hardware store, too. They really captured my imagination. That extreme Bowie shape with that deep clip just, I don't know, reminded me of what I was seeing maybe on TV when I was a kid. And they look like pirate knives. They really man, they got to me.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:09:11]:
Yeah. And you know what? I like the Kalinga, too, with that big trailing point, the Persian kind of swept blade look. I thought that was just way cool.
Bob DeMarco [00:09:23]:
Yeah. So I like to see that Buck has begun to, I don't know, spiff things. Know, they have their buck of the month. They have different ways of getting into their designs, if you like higher end materials and stuff like that. But as you moved out of the well, how did you move into your modern era of know, you were talking about the SOGs, and then you got into Almar, which for a time were exclusive, awesome Japanese made knives.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:09:52]:
Yeah, they're crazy expensive now, but back when he was alive, yeah, they were reasonable, I guess, by today's standards, but no longer. And you know what? They're a bit outdated as far as blade steels and that kind of thing, but, yeah, I mean, you had the Hobbit warrior that Bob Taylor did. Yeah, it called RECAT knives, and so is Round Eye Knife and Tool Company, and he named it that because the Japanese were making the stuff for Almar, et cetera, and he wanted to make that warrior buoy, only smaller, easier to carry, lighter, really more practical. And then they say Round Eye can't make that knife because US. Didn't have manufacturing. Sophistication, like, the Japanese at that time. At least that's what they thought. So in jest, I mean, I'm sure tongue in cheek, he named it Round Eye Knife and Tool, which was right, right. I had one that he sold with a limited edition that way he did at the Soldier of Fortune convention.
Bob DeMarco [00:11:09]:
This was a really cool design that actually Spyderco ended up picking up and doing for a while. This is the curve, the upswept.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:11:21]:
I had that one for a while and I'm thinking about going around and going secondary market just to find one and pick one up again. I had one came and went, came and went. But talking about vintage spider co, check that. Takuma Tatonka tatanka, which is Native American, I think is the Lakota word for buffalo. But tatanka, so VG ten, made in Japan and oh, I think we got Lawrence Fishburne here with the this was like a bony buddies one I got from somewhere in Europe. But yeah, I mean the tatanka almost twelve inches long, five inch blade.
Bob DeMarco [00:12:16]:
So there was something special about the lock on the tatanka. What was it?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:12:20]:
No, it's just a backlog, I think. Well, what did they call that? The Voye dent or whatever they call that for the lock.
Bob DeMarco [00:12:30]:
But it had something special in the lockback that.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:12:36]:
Yeah, you might be right, because figured this out. Okay, let me move. Yeah, see how that lock works. And I've forgotten more than I remember.
Bob DeMarco [00:12:49]:
How cool is that though? So how did it come to be that? Well, let's talk about your channel 2016. You start your channel and we also know that by now you've also been buying and selling knives kind of your whole life just for fun as a hobby. But you start this channel. Why did you start the channel and what was your mission when you started?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:13:12]:
Well, I mean, after I had my bout with cancer, and then I was on disability and I didn't have a job, but I had some commercial disability policy that was paying me and I didn't really need to work. But I was getting on my Harley and going bar hopping and drinking too much and hanging out this and that and running with the guys. And my wife says you need a hobby. She says, you like knives, why don't you? She talked to my niece, I think, and my niece at the time, I swear to God, was like ten years old, eleven years old, ten or eleven. And she had already started a YouTube channel teaching women how to do makeup.
Bob DeMarco [00:14:07]:
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:14:08]:
I mean what and she was saying, well, there's people that actually can make some income by doing that as well. But my wife was just looking for me to try and get engaged with something, and I ain't no good at woodworking or whatever, so she wasn't going to buy me a bass boat. So no, I just lined up the camera to the table, maybe some of the guys out there will remember the orange tablecloth on the utility table and some cheap lights that I got, and that was it. And so I started doing videos, and so the rest is history. But you know what? I learned a lot by doing those videos, and I had to go the slow bump my head every inch of the way, kind of. I didn't have a lot of people giving me pointers or instruction. And so I learned that I had the wrong lighting, that my background was a little bit more important than an orange tablecloth, and just kind of how to set things up correctly. And then I learned a lot about knives. I know I wasn't hip to a lot of the stuff, the Walker lock and all that kind of stuff. It was only about two years before I started my channel. I even knew what a Sabenza was. So, yeah, I had a lot of catching up to do.
Bob DeMarco [00:15:39]:
Well, that's a great way to do it, because you take people on the trip with you, because I contest that. People keep tuning into knife channels, and I'm sure all channels, but knife channels, because they like the people behind the camera, and they just want to hear that person what that person's thinking? Maybe about a given knife or just maybe they just want to hear their voice because they like their sense of humor or whatever it is.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:16:07]:
Are you talking about me?
Bob DeMarco [00:16:10]:
Yeah. I think that's cool. And people are forgiving they don't expect you to know everything as long as you don't come off as a know it all. And then they'll come along with you, and they'll learn with you, and they'll help you, too, help you understand that's a great thing about the live shows is having live conversation with viewers.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:16:35]:
Yeah. And I just don't do much live stuff anymore. I've only done, like, a couple of live feeds in forever. And, yeah, I need to do more of that. But, yeah, I just get busy with the website, and then I'm trying to try and somewhat stay up on some of the new knives that are coming out, and it's almost impossible. There is so much out there, especially with so many guys that are now knife designers. And you know what? I don't even have my Devo version two.
Bob DeMarco [00:17:24]:
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:17:24]:
No. Yeah, I don't have my Growler version two. I just put it up on my Instagram the other day. But, yeah, I mean Devo knives and of course, Sharp by design, I mean Brian, I mean custom knife maker, but then doing his production. Mean Arcane designs, damn designs, I mean, on and on and on. A lot of guys in the US. Now oeming knives, and a lot of them had never made a knife, but they designed. And that's okay, because there's people that never made clothing, but they're clothing designers, and they have their designs made. So I mean, that's okay. That's a legitimate thing is to be a designer, not a craftsman necessarily. But just to keep up with that and not mentioning all the knife manufacturers that are now making knives and new ones coming into the market all the time.
Bob DeMarco [00:18:20]:
And such a hard thing is how high the quality is of all of these knives. Almost all of them. Unfortunately, some of the legacy brands have fallen behind. But these knives, it's like a new one pops up every quarter. You'll see a new company out of China that's making exquisite knives. And who knows, maybe all along they were making some of the other knives that we love and we just didn't know it.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:18:47]:
Yeah, and here's an example, is Venom Knives. And I got this one from Weedy Knives, San Francisco. And so he tends to get some of these that you can only find on like the HK AliExpress. I mean, they really aren't available in the US. Necessarily, but venom knives, Kevin. John, venom knives. The new concept was available on Blade HQ at one time. You can go back and look at the what was it? The Venom attacker was renamed the Deborah and sold by CKF. So it was same Kevin John Venom. And these are these are cool. This is the Maverick. And so I'm going to be working on this because I think I just about dislodged the decamp ball. It won't drop past that. And then I have to push it shut. I think I've done it. I think I dropped it almost hit the concrete. But the button may have hit and it may have almost partially I'll get into it. But yeah, it was dropped shutty. It ain't now, so damn it. I was so pissed when that happened. But whatever, I sent it out for testing. Yes, it's real M 390. And the Rockwell was like 60 on it. And that's another thing you learn a lot about blade steels. And one in particular. Where's my chad? Oh, it's over here. Yeah. And so this is a nice one from Kunwu. And Kunwu is really getting a name for themselves, right? And this is the Chad. And this is that steel that's supposed to be 63 to 66 Rockwell. And I keep forgetting the name of the steel on here and I'll have to look on the blade, but it's fascinating because if I can see, it's the PM 60. So PM 60 steel, look that up. This is crazy. And they had been talking to my buddy Roman, who is in Switzerland, who's been doing a lot of custom Rockwell runs and working with bowler on different things. And so they got interested in actually really paying attention to the steel. And they're not the only ones. But it's interesting that some of these companies just make a lot of knives and you don't know how much attention are they paying to doing the correct heat treating. So I think that's going to be another thing that's going to come around. Not just different designs, really flawless manufacturing, but also paying attention to the details.
Bob DeMarco [00:21:51]:
Yeah, I feel like the past couple of years were about action and then locks, button lock and access bar lock. Once the crossbar lock was no longer under patent as the access lock, people kind of went crazy with that. But then they really went crazy with the button lock.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:22:14]:
I think the LTK result, I just had to do it in a button lock. The good thing, though, is that we Knives does a really good job with the button lock. And mine was really before they were really doing much button lock stuff with Wii knives, I had this under production and they're the OEM on it. But since then they have come out with that.
Bob DeMarco [00:22:40]:
Let's talk about this because I haven't mentioned this yet. You are also a designer. As you mentioned, a lot of enthusiasts out there are designing knives. You have two in production. And I say no.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:22:53]:
Bob DeMarco [00:22:54]:
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:22:55]:
Yeah. The other one was actually I was a co designer with Max over in Ukraine on the vandal. But the vandal wasn't a it was a Tucson knife. It says Tucson on it and it's a I mean, I started off just asking the owner of Tucson, hey, if I did a design, would you look at maybe making it if it was decent? And he goes, yeah, sure. And so Max and I whipped this one up and we called it the probably. We went back and forth quite a while on the name, but when he came up with vandal, I go, yeah, absolutely. Ruffian no vandal. Okay, so it was yeah. So this is actually under my name, so I am the knife company on this one. So it's gotcha the result, and my wife named it. And I was thinking about names like what? And Max helped me on this one, too. He would do some of the two dimensional and three dimensional drawings on it. And then when I wanted to know, inserts and stuff in the scales, then he came up with several different patterns of how we could do that.
Bob DeMarco [00:24:17]:
So how did this project arise and how did you go about getting it manufactured?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:24:27]:
I just thought it would be interesting to come up with a design. And I already had some ideas in my head of like, blade shape and general form on the knife that I wanted. And maybe it's kind of reflected both in this one and this one. I mean, the blades are not all that different. The handles are. The size definitely is. But this was kind of this all purpose utilitarian knife. I wanted to make it simple and of course you have to make compromises because if I did it just for me, it'd be bigger, but then it would turn a lot of guys off. So three and a half inch blade. That's good. Eight inches overall, that's good. And four and a half ounces, that's fine. And so from there, I wanted multi row bearings. No, there's no way to squeeze them mean. And I keep flicking it, but it's got a flipper, you know, just kind of a general design of a knife that can do piercing, slicing. I didn't want it to be very expensive. Some of these knives now that are OEM from USA guys are hitting 500, $600, especially with the Moku Thai kits and this and that. So I didn't want it to be that.
Bob DeMarco [00:25:58]:
What do you have a price debt?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:26:00]:
It's 245, and then there's a 10% discount by using LTK. So it ends up at $220. And I think White Mountain Knives now has a free Kubi knife. You get if you buy one of these, there's that. So they've got that this is in maroon. And then you can also get it with the green inserts instead of the maroon. So comes either way.
Bob DeMarco [00:26:28]:
I'm a big sucker for maroon handled knives. It's like, my favorite color. Who did you have make that? Is that something you talk about?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:26:37]:
Bob DeMarco [00:26:38]:
Oh, you mentioned that before.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:26:40]:
Bob DeMarco [00:26:40]:
Yeah, that's right. Wii Knives has done some OEM stuff in the past that I have in my collection, but I haven't gotten a new Wii knife in a little while. But I've gotten tons of savivis zonda.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:26:56]:
The zonda is nice. This just came out recently. But I have the ziffiest that I'm going to keep. But this one is really nice. I'd say the Zipheus and the Exciton are some of the best knives they've come out with in several years. And this one ain't far off either. The Zonda is not far off. It's pretty nice, slender. This is a good size knife, though. So this may not be everybody's cup of tea.
Bob DeMarco [00:27:27]:
Well, what's your wheelhouse? What do you consider a great knife and what are your parameters?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:27:36]:
I guess I like G ten knives because the scale material is really durable. I mean, the problem with titanium is you can get snail trails on it real easy, and then it's very obvious. And there's really no good way to fix that. And it depends. I don't mind a small knife. And there's a lot of knives that are laying around my house that I use that are small and lightweight, and they're just laying here and there. So they're within easy grasp. Because I've got packages going out. I got packages coming in. I got cutting chores to do. I got boxes to tear down. And so yeah. And so, no, I'm not going to take holy shit. I'm not going to take oh, God. I didn't cut this loose, the Terminator. I'm not going to take the T 1000 to do that, even though that gets the job done. I'll end up with something more like this. And this is the Good Boy by best techman. So you got a 40 something dollars shooter with this is Arrpm nine, I believe, steel. But no, it's not I can't remember. I think it's nine Cr 18. I can't remember for sure. But best tech man, this is a full size, nice flat grind, easy to use. And you know what, if something happens to it, it's no big deal. So yeah, here's a little SRM knife.
Bob DeMarco [00:29:14]:
San Ren moo Lee this is the thing that grinds in my gut is I have a whole bunch of knives. I love everything from the cheap cheap to the expensive. I have all these super capable expensive knives, but I always reach for the cheap ones for the breaking down cardboard and what have you that grinds in my gut.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:29:35]:
But the good thing is on user steels like D Two or nine Cr 18 or Aust Ten or whatever, they're a lot easier to strap back up as long as you make them butter knife, then you got to get out the sharpener. But I mean, if you just cut a while with them and you can tell you've lost some, you can strap them back. And it's a lot easier than if you've got a knife with a super steel because then you got to get the diamond stones out and then you got a little bit more work to do because it's harder steel. So I tend to just use the less expensive blades with a user steel for round the house stuff. So these are pretty I love to look at them and dream about how wild they are and because they're crazy knives, but what I actually use will probably be more like in tune with this kind of thing around the house and it's a hell of a lot lighter and easier to carry too.
Bob DeMarco [00:30:41]:
So you know what I find really well, it warms my heart a little bit is that you can go to Lowe's or Home Depot now and get a pocket knife. And it's not going to be with great materials and that kind of thing, but it'll be inexpensive, and you will get action that you could only find on a custom knife ten years ago. You'll get ball bearing action on a cheap knife. You'll get some of the hallmarks that knife collectors like in modern folders. I like that it has sort of filtered all the way down through the knife culture to say Home Depot.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:31:18]:
Yeah, it has, you know, like assisted opening knives. I mean, I'm not a big fan of them, but the working Joe, they think that's cool because it's kind of like an know, it just pops open when you start, you know, for a lot of those guys it might be a preferred way to go. And it's wild that ZT even on a couple of their models, they had assisted opening. Even on some of their early models, I think like the 300, no, not the 301 of those models in the 300 series was assisted opening. Yeah, but like, you were talking about the knife companies that everybody would chase like seven or eight years ago, that they've kind of really just stopped. ZT is an example. I mean, what happened to ZT? I loved them. I've got three or four of them from the olden days, but nothing all that new. I mean, the Hinderer Slicer All Tie is the latest one that I've just.
Bob DeMarco [00:32:34]:
It'S a great knife, but that's been around forever. And that's fine, that's fine. But I feel like zero tolerance right now is in a position where if they're still operating, they need to get on it now more than ever and maybe be an example to the rest of the US. Companies. I know that there are OEMs that are coming along in the United States, but we need more of that highly refined folder making in the you know.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:33:08]:
And I talked to I'm not going to mention his name, but he's a custom knife maker, and he's had a couple of his knives collaborated, his designs done by Cancep. And he got a backer to back him to start doing a production line, know, come up with a design and have it produced. And they went looking they went shopping for a USA manufacturer. I could tell you the story, but I don't want to throw names out. But they went to a certain manufacturer and they just go, now it'll be two years, and it'll cost you $110,000 or something like that. And he goes, I got the money, but I don't think that's going to be good because two years from now, god only knows what people will be chasing. I got to have the thing in production quicker than that. And then they turned around, even though he tried to overcome their objections. Then they just said, you're not as known as others. And so, yeah, I don't think we're going to do it anyhow. He just chased some different people and wow, that was sad. And so the problem is who in the US. Is doing the OEM work. And here's the problem. If you got the machinery and the expertise to be able to do that, you're not going to do that because the money you get per machine hour for doing other things like aircraft parts or high tech parts and things like that, it pays better. Knives don't pay that well. And knives are easy to make. Now. I mean, because the machinery is so sophisticated, you can make knives, but do you want no, no, it doesn't pay. So they don't want to do it here. And so China is the place because they've got machinery out the wazoo, and they've got the expertise to be able to do it, unfortunately. So, I mean, as much as people want to and everybody's concerned about China, but they're doing the work and why we can't have some of that back in the. States. I don't know.
Bob DeMarco [00:35:41]:
I mean they do graduate armies of engineers every year, I think more than we have in our entire country. Every have a lot of humanity and a lot of machinery. And I feel like the OEM thing could work here with fixed blades if people care to try. I know fixed blades are well EDC. Fixed blades are coming along and they're slowly gaining popularity. I love I carry fixed blades every day, pretty much that would be easier to OEM because there's way less engineering that goes into it. And once you have things going as far as your fixtures and that kind of thing are concerned, it's less complex that building a modern folder and what we've come to expect even from a $40 flipper that we get off Amazon. Man, that takes some doing.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:36:40]:
Yeah. And it's amazing. There was a guy that made a comment on one of my videos, send cut videos today going, wow, I got that. I think it was a lagagua or something. And he said, I got it. And in ten minutes it was my favorite folder because it was just drop shutdy out of the box. I think that's a button lock model as well. And you know what, you can laugh at me, but I'm going to pass up a bunch of the table selling $300 knives and I go to Send cat and I say when I go to Atlanta or whatever, what do you got? Because you can buy three or four knives for under $200. These are like $44 a knife. And even some of them since have discontinued or something. And some of the Civivi ones, and they're like $39 or something. That's a hell of a good user knife. And another guy was making a comment about the sub budget knives that are like $20 to 25, even below $30. A lot of those are surprisingly good.
Bob DeMarco [00:37:58]:
Too, like the Ch knives. Yeah, that is pretty crazy. Not only that, but send Cuts and Cjrbs and Civivi's and the sort of down budget brands, or high value brands, if you will, are more willing to take chances and trial balloon some designs there that might end up in wii or I know they kind of sometimes do that in reverse, like they did with the Watuga and the one you were just talking about, the ziffyus. Kind of very similar knives. They started with the Ziffius but frequently you'll see them kind of test ideas in the less expensive lines so you get more interesting stuff coming out of there. In a way.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:38:45]:
Yeah. I mean, July was incredible for Civivi. They came out with some really century.
Bob DeMarco [00:38:53]:
Or whatever that oh yes, sentinel Strike. It's like in my pocket all the time. All the time.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:39:01]:
And you know what, it was kind of a zippy. You know, that's what I thought of when I saw it. And then of course, the.
Bob DeMarco [00:39:12]:
Yeah, taking that next design. So now that Jim has your website up. I want to jump back to this because I want to get to the genesis of this. At some point you're doing your channel. You have a lot of knives coming in for all the content that's going out there's that that busy there. You got all this content going out, all these knives coming in. How did it begin that you started doing a monthly knife sale and how did that grow?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:39:45]:
I think my monthly knife sales must have started. I thought about that too. When did I start that? And I think it might have been within six months of starting my channel because I was buying knives. And then at some point in time, you've got a lot of money tied up in knives and I was selling them on ebay. I mean, I've got an ebay seller name and everything and I've got, I don't know, hundreds of transactions on that because, you know, years ago too. But I go, Why don't I think I saw somebody else, like Apostle P or whoever, doing a weekly knife sale on his? And I thought, that way I can bypass all the fees, like on ebay. And it's even worse now. So I go, I can sell my own knives that I want to turn over on my own channel and not have to pay all those fees. So I started doing that. And then my buddy Larry over in Arkansas, he was a regular viewer on my channel. He goes, I got some knives I'd like to sell too. And then that started. And then there were other guys that wanted to and I started doing like two knife sales, one for the early birds, and they could sign up on the list for free. And if I had their name, then I would just send out this mass email and I can't remember even how I did that, but I would do one for them early and then I'd do the regular public. And then it was years later before I even started my Patreon channel. So now I actually do an early bird for my patreons on the website even. Okay, so I've got a special access that's hidden from the normal viewer, but I do the drop to the Patreon channel for that 48 hours before I make it visible for the public. But back when I was doing the YouTube sales, I also made that a benefit of my patreons to be able to get in on the early bird sales. And they loved it. I mean, they weren't on my Patreon channel because they just love those videos so much. They wanted to get on there because they were interested in what the hell is hitting and that I want to get in on because there were some pretty classic stuff and discontinued hard to find and or just priced really well. And so they loved it. And so I continued that for my Patreon channel today, I've got maybe 120 guys on the Patreon and they're happy. And now I'm doing a weekly forum because I'm not going to get boxes of knives in from people that want to go on my website and sit there and hold them for very long. So I just take what I got for the week, put them on the website under a hidden thing, and then I release that to the Patreon group so they can check it out and then know a day and a half later or whatever, I pop it public and let it go. So, yeah, that's what we're doing.
Bob DeMarco [00:43:29]:
How long were you doing the YouTube sales before you decided, let's just make this a business, like make a website?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:43:36]:
Six years. Six years, yeah. I've done my channel for a little over seven, right? Yeah. That makes right, 16 yeah, four and three, right? Yeah, seven years. And so, yeah, I was starting to do the YouTube sales six months in, so probably six and a half months or six and a half years or maybe now coming up close on seven years that I've been doing the knife sales. And it just was a lot of manual tracking everything because I would just do it on my iPad pro or something. I'd have in my notes section, I'd have a separate sheet for every person that sent knives in with their list of knives and their pricing, and I'd know who was who. But doing the reconciliations and all that without any software help and stuff was crazy. So now I got it set up to where it's a lot easier.
Bob DeMarco [00:44:34]:
Yeah, you're all squared away with that. What are you seeing is, and not necessarily just from your website, but just in your experience, what are people buying right now and what are the trends that are hot right now that you think will have legs?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:44:52]:
Tell you the truth, I think the market is kind of soft and sales, I think, are down a bit. It was really strong during the COVID stuff. People were at home, they were checking the government. This and this and this. And now I've heard this from guys who have websites and from retailers. Yeah, it's not as active now and I don't know, hot summer, people on vacation now that kids are getting back in school, maybe we'll see picks up a bit. But what has legs? Good designs. I think right now, a lot of the manufacturers have honed in on the fact that you don't want to make them too big. You want to man. So it's getting a little monotonous with some of the makers. You can guarantee it's like 3.48 inch blade with like eight inches, 8.18.2 overall length and under because a lot of three inch at 3.2 inch blades. And I understand lighter weight, smaller knives are easy to carry. I think there's a bigger audience for that. So I think that's got legs. I don't know how long the button lock trend will be out there. Some people are already getting a little button lock burnout. I've got a little bit of a frame lock burnout myself. I kind of am more likely to want bolster locks as opposed to a full frame lock. I mean, where they got an inlay on the back that hides that lock bar. And so you can just see about that much of it as it comes up on the pivot. And so that's okay. I mean, that's kind of like this, right? The mystic from Kaiser Paul Munko design. This is nice. I don't want to see it. I don't want to see it run all the way back.
Bob DeMarco [00:47:03]:
I'm with you because the ease of.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:47:06]:
Opening Maverick the same way bolster lock up know, like the Maverick. So that's why I like inlay on both sides. If you're going to do it, do it on both sides. Don't do a half and half and half. Leave that in the refrigerator. Put it in your coffee.
Bob DeMarco [00:47:25]:
What about slip joints? There's been a resurgence in slip joints for at least the past ten years, kind of with GEC, but in the last couple of years, with higher manufacturing, not higher end than GEC, but a different sort of modernized manufacturing. What do you think about those?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:47:47]:
I like them. And Jack Wolf is huge. Right? Jack Wolf just exploded, I mean, what, two, three years ago? Didn't know anything about them. Now they got like 1213 models out. And was it the gunslinger? Was that the one? Was a flipper.
Bob DeMarco [00:48:02]:
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:48:04]:
I love it. See, I like the gunslinger. So I like a knife that looks traditional but can be like real super fidget friendly. But no, I do like traditional slip joints. And, you know, probably about traditional knives.com. And then they told the story of Cooper Cutlery, and Cooper was doing knives. I bought a weed knife. It's got the marijuana on the scales, but it was a big ass folder. One of my buddies up near Jacksonville, he got one, and it was big blade. And I go, dude. Tony, where'd you get that? And he goes, I got it over at Traditional Knives. But they only have a few because they were just tuning up the machinery they got that they bought from what the old Queen Cutlery stuff over in Pennsylvania. But the guy wanted to start up right there where it was, and they wouldn't let him GECs over in that area and some other and they go, I think we got enough. I don't know what was going on in the background where they know, but they said, you can buy the equipment and stuff, but God be with you and go somewhere else. He took it back to Ohio, and he's doing knives there, although I'm not seeing a lot of stuff coming out from him, so I hope he does, because I think those are classic.
Bob DeMarco [00:49:38]:
Yeah, I love that. I love seeing not only the real modern materials and manufacturing of, like, the Jack Wolf knives, which are outstanding, but I like it when companies do it the old fashioned way, too. Case, to some extent. GEC, definitely. Yeah, that's probably, I think, Bradford, PA. That's where or that's where Case is. And I think GEC is close.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:50:05]:
Yeah. And so I like those, and I don't mind 1095 steel, that kind of thing. I don't mind. It's a high carbon steel. You can sharpen it up. Okay. It's definitely not stainless, but they make some stainless stuff as well. But it doesn't have to be like, M 390 or S 90 V or something like that on a slick joint for me.
Bob DeMarco [00:50:35]:
What's the process if I want to, A, buy a knife from you or B, sell knives with you? I know a lot of collectors who listen to this show. We talk about where should I sell, where should I sell? So if someone wants to engage one way or the other with Luvthemknives.com, how do they do that?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:50:55]:
They usually go to the top of the page, and it says, Sell your knife, and you can click on there, and it basically just gives you my contact information. You can email me either through the site or you can just email me at email@example.com. But, yeah, I want to sell a knife. They do. And so then I have a pre printed thing that tells them the whole thing. Basically, I want to end up with 10%. Okay, that's it. But the other fees are out there, too. I mean, obviously, Visa and Mastercard and everybody else gets their fee. The website charges me, like, 2%, I think 3% credit card, 1% for the website. So it's like 4%. Somebody got to eat that. And then the shipping to the guy that buys it, because I provide free shipping, so it's free shipping because I didn't want to have to match up all the shipping services and calculate weights of everything and charge them shipping. And a lot of sites offer free shipping, like White Mountain knives and stuff. So I decided now USA only. Yeah. So if you sell a knife and you want to sell a knife for, like, $300, I get 10%. And then you got to pay the $6 it costs to ship it, plus, whatever, 4% of 300. What's that $12 for credit card fees and ship, and that's it. Then you get the rest of the money. So it's not 25%. It's not whatever, all that. I mean, you sell on Ebay, it's 10%. Plus they take taxes out, so that's almost another 10%. Plus then you got to pay the shipping if you offer free shipping or you got to charge the buyer, and you got to consider that in the price of the night and that kind of thing. And then you don't get paid directly, right, because ebay collects the money, and you've got to have a Linked account, and then they transfer it to you. It's not the old days with PayPal kind of stuff. So the secondary market, though, there's other sites where you can buy a knife and you can go to the Facebook Groups trade, you can go to Reddit, you can go to all these different places and do that. So God be with you if you can do that. I probably cater to the older guys that are less techie and the lazy guys, which there's a lot of them like me. So they put a shitload of knives in a box and ship it to me with a list, and they go.
Bob DeMarco [00:53:48]:
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:53:49]:
I don't want to take all the pictures and put them on the sites and respond to buyers and pack it up and do all that shit.
Bob DeMarco [00:53:57]:
You're doing a great service, seriously, because I don't want to do all that stuff either. So how do you assure buyers on the site of the quality of the knife they're going to get?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:54:11]:
First of all, the person that sends the knives in to sell, I ask them to tell me of any known defects or issues or scratches or whatever. Maybe it's got a left hand pocket clip, but that's missing, or it doesn't have a box or whatever. I want to know that because I want to disclose that in the description. I try and take really good pictures that they can click on and blow up and look very carefully at because I do have a disclaimer on there saying, look at the pictures. The pictures will show you pretty much the condition, and the description should disclose that as well. Other than that, I do not do a ten x inspection of every knife that comes through. I generally look at them like I look at most knives that I get, and I go I mean, I don't see anything that jumps out at me. It locks up good. No blade plate centered, blah, blah, blah. I don't see any scratches or whatever. But yeah, I mean, they're pre owned, right?
Bob DeMarco [00:55:23]:
I was just going to assume because of your connoisseurship and your love of knives, you have to open everyone, handle everyone, and take pictures of everyone. So that in a way, is an inspection right there.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:55:37]:
It's a learning experience, too. There's a lot of knives coming through here. It's like, I didn't even know this knife existed, and I wish it never did. I don't understand the mind of the person that bought this, and I guess maybe I do now because they want to sell it, right? Exactly.
Bob DeMarco [00:56:00]:
Born to see.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:56:01]:
There's some cherries and then there's some others in there that I'm going, god, who the hell designed that thing and who the hell was crazy enough to buy it?
Bob DeMarco [00:56:11]:
All right, Lee, as we wrap up here, I like to do a speed round with everyone who, like yourself, has a million knives coming across their desk. They evaluate knives. They review knives. And it's just a one or the other sort of speed round. So I have some questions here. I don't want you to think too hard about them. Just answer what comes to mind. Okay. Speed round engaged. Okay. Fixture folder?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:56:41]:
Bob DeMarco [00:56:42]:
Flipper or thumb stud?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:56:49]:
I'm good with thumb studs, to tell you truth.
Bob DeMarco [00:56:52]:
Washers or bearings?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:56:54]:
Bob DeMarco [00:56:56]:
Tip up or tip down?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:56:58]:
Bob DeMarco [00:56:59]:
Tonto or bowie?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:02]:
Bob DeMarco [00:57:03]:
Hollow ground or flat ground?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:08]:
I'd say flat ground is the most yeah, for me. But that hollow is good.
Bob DeMarco [00:57:15]:
Full size or small?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:17]:
I'm kind of a full size. Yeah, me too. Knife guy.
Bob DeMarco [00:57:24]:
Gentlemen'S. Knife or tactical?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:26]:
Bob DeMarco [00:57:28]:
Automatic or bally song?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:31]:
Bob DeMarco [00:57:32]:
Got to pick one.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:34]:
Bob DeMarco [00:57:35]:
Okay. Button lock or Barlock?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:43]:
I like the button locks so far.
Bob DeMarco [00:57:47]:
Benchmade or spiderco?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:50]:
Bob DeMarco [00:57:51]:
M 390 or 20 CV?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:57:55]:
It's the same thing.
Bob DeMarco [00:57:57]:
Okay, 20 CV or Kubi? I'm sorry? Tucson or Kubi?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:58:07]:
Wow, they both make I guess I default to Tucson. Interesting design. It's really interesting.
Bob DeMarco [00:58:15]:
Carbon fiber or micarta?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:58:17]:
Carbon fiber. Definitely.
Bob DeMarco [00:58:19]:
Finger choil or no choil?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:58:22]:
Bob DeMarco [00:58:23]:
Form or function?
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:58:27]:
Bob DeMarco [00:58:29]:
Me too. Few of us will admit it, but me, too. And finally, your desert island knife. One knife that you get to keep from your collection for the rest of your life.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:58:44]:
Wow. That's a good question. That'd be forever. I'll tell you what I'm awful fond of my Manix two XL natural G ten with the M Four blade. It was a Blade HQ exclusive. It's just I've never been able to walk away from that. It's definitely a full size knife, but if I'm on an ocean desert island, it's definitely going to be the salt.
Bob DeMarco [00:59:15]:
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:59:15]:
LC 200 n baby. This will never rust.
Bob DeMarco [00:59:19]:
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:59:20]:
Nitrogen? Nitrogen. No carbon for me.
Bob DeMarco [00:59:23]:
Lee, I was going to say you have an easy out for that question. You could say, well, clearly it's the result.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [00:59:28]:
Yeah. And that was going to be my natural response, but then I go that's, too.
Bob DeMarco [00:59:34]:
Yeah, I love your response. The M Four is an amazing steel. The Manics two XL, great knife, and I love the way those Blade HQ exclusives look. Hey, Lee, thank you so much for coming on the Knife Junkie podcast. I appreciate you joining us, and I really look forward to taking advantage of the services you provide to those of us who are lazy about selling knives.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [01:00:04]:
Bring it on.
Bob DeMarco [01:00:05]:
Remind everyone where to go to check you out and to check out the website.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [01:00:09]:
Yes. Love Luvthemknives.com. You don't have to go to Dutch Spotify, blah blah blah. Although you can put that actual link down. But I mean, you just luvthemknives.com will redirect you right to that website.
Bob DeMarco [01:00:26]:
All right, thanks very much, Lee. We'll talk to you soon.
Lee, LuvThemKnives [01:00:29]:
Thank you so much, Bob.
Bob DeMarco [01:00:31]:
It's my pleasure, man. Take care.
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There he goes, ladies and gentlemen. LTK still making videos as he does this website. So make sure you check out his YouTube channel, his Instagram, as well as Love Luvthemknives.com again. I know you'll be seeing some knife junkie knives eventually on that website. All right, be sure to join us here next Sunday for another conversation with a great knife person. Wednesday for the midweek supplemental. And don't forget thursday Night Knives, 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Right here on YouTube. Facebook and twitch. For Jim, working his magic behind the switcher, I'm Bob DeMarco saying until next time, don't take dull for an answer.
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