Michael Janich: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 481)

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Michael Janich: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 481)

Michael Janich, Close Combatives Instructor/Expert and Special Projects Coordinator for Spyderco, joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco on Episode 481 of The Knife Junkie Podcast.

Janich has been studying and teaching self-defense and the martial arts for more than 40 years. He is one of the foremost modern authorities on handgun point shooting and is one of the few contemporary instructors to have been personally trained by close-combat legend Col. Rex Applegate.

Michael Janich, Spyderco Knives: The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 481)Janich personally established Paladin Press’ Video Production Department in 1994, and ran all aspects of Paladin’s video production for 10 years, producing more than 100 instructional videos. He was also personally selected to work with the late Col. Applegate as the producer of Applegate’s landmark instructional videos on handgun point shooting.

Janich is also a prolific knife designer who has designed production knives for Spyderco, Masters of Defense, BlackHawk Blades, Combat Elite, and Max Knives, and custom knives for several world-renowned makers.

Currently, Janich serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Spyderco knife company in Golden, Colorado, and, through his company, Martial Blade Concepts LLC, continues to offer state-of-the-art personal-defense training worldwide.

Find Michael Janich and Martial Blade Concepts online at www.martialbladeconcepts.com and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/martialbladeconcepts.

Find Spyderco online at www.spyderco.com.

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Michael Janich, Special Projects Coordinator for Spyderco Knives, is featured on Episode 481 of #theknifejunkie #podcast. Janich updates listeners on what's new at Spyderco, including announcements for 2024. Click To Tweet

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The Knife Junkie Podcast is the place for knife newbies and knife junkies to learn about knives and knife collecting. Twice per week Bob DeMarco talks knives. Call the Listener Line at 724-466-4487; Visit https://theknifejunkie.com.
©2024, Bob DeMarco
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Announcer [00:00:03]:
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 [00:00:16]:
Welcome to the knife junkie podcast. I'm Bob DeMarco. On this edition of the show, I'm speaking with martial arts luminary, knife designer extraordinaire, and head of Spyderco's special projects division, Michael Janich. Michael has a storied past, which includes military service, working with the DIA and other US intelligence agencies as a language specialist, remote missions for American POWs in Vietnam and Laos, training in a wide variety of martial arts, and the creation of his own martial arts called Martial Blade Concepts. And, of course, he designed the Yojimbo family of knives for Spyderco, a company for which he now works. If that sounds accomplished, you should know that that was just the elevator pitch. We'll find out more about Michael and what's new at Spyderco for 2024, but first, be sure to like, comment, subscribe, and hit the notification bell. And if you'd like to help support the show, you can do so on Patreon.

Bob DeMarco [00:01:14]:
Quickest way to do that is to head on over to the knifejunkie.com/patreon or scan the QR code that you see on the screen. Again, that's the knifejunkie.com/patreon.

Announcer [00:01:25]:
Do you like the sound of the alphanumeric combinations, m 390, 204 p, and 20 c v, with bristle at 8 c r one three m o v and a u west dash 8? You are a knife junkie, probably worse.

Bob DeMarco [00:01:39]:
Michael, welcome back to the show, sir.

Michael Janich [00:01:41]:
Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Good to see you.

Bob DeMarco [00:01:43]:
It's good to see you too. And I wanna congratulate you on the release of the Microjimbo, your latest design with Spyderco. Let's jump right in. Tell us about about the microjimbo. We're all familiar with the Yojimbo, but what was the need for the microjimbo and how'd you go about designing it?

Michael Janich [00:02:04]:
Initially, I didn't see that there was really a need for it. What's actually my approach to it, I do have people who live either in Boston or Chicago, other places where there's a 2 and a half inch blade length limit. And what traditionally I've been doing was taking full size, you know, Jimbo twos and grinding them down to what I call Chicago Jimbo. So Chicago Jimbo, just might happen to have 1 handy here. So that's basically what it looks like. So when you compare that to the Jimbo, the Jimbo 3.2 inch blade and Chicago Jimbo basically taking that down to 2 and a half inches. So what that gives you, I'm from Chicago originally, still have family back there. My daughter was living in Boston for a while, so I found myself traveling to those pretty regularly, over a number of years.

Michael Janich [00:02:50]:
And what I wanted was something that I could carry that was legally compliant, gave me the same grip that I'm used to, same operating mechanics, same opening mechanics and everything else that I'm familiar with, but I wanted to be legally compliant. So that's where the Chicago Jimbo thought process came from. But what ended up happening back in 2021, Sal Glasser from Spyderco, Sal is a legend. One of the unique things about Sal's approach to things is that he is still a very active member of the Spyderco internet forum. So he's on it every day. He's interacting with folks and there were some people who said, Hey, I like the Yojimbo design, but I want something that is truly smaller, smaller in the pocket, not just a shorter blade, but smaller scale overall. So Sal reached out to me and he said, hey, would you be interested in designing something smaller? And I said, well, if if there's a a need for it, if people are expressing an interest in it, then yeah, I certainly would be. So my 1st effort, what I did was I actually took a Rojempo 2 second, so I got one that I got from the 2nd sale and literally didn't even disassemble it.

Michael Janich [00:03:57]:
Fired up the grinder, opened up a beer, took a sip, grind a little bit, took a sip, grind a little bit and basically that was my 1st effort right there, was coming up with something smaller. What I wanted to do was, in creating the design parameters for this, I still wanted to achieve that 2.5 inches blade. I didn't want to just kind of arbitrarily shrink the knife down. I wanted to have a target goal. And also by shortening the handle, what I wanted to do was create something that'd be easy for women to carry. So women's pockets are notoriously shallow, all the women who are trained in martial blood concepts, they're always complaining to me, it's like, Hey, I'd love to carry in the gymbo too, but it's really difficult to carry in a pocket because we have to revert to waistband carry because the pockets are simply too shallow. So in coming up with the microjimbo, what I wanted to do was basically shrink things down. This is the actual production version that came from that, shrink things down to where the handle, size was appropriate for a lady's pocket.

Michael Janich [00:04:57]:
So this is basically what we ended up with. The key things about this, what I really tried to maintain were in the middle of the knife is what Spyderco calls the cockpit. So the cockpit is basically the dimensional relationships between the pivot pin, the trademark round hole, the stop pin, the lock face, all of those dimensions. But what I wanted was for those to remain the same, for those when you go to open the knife, if you already have familiarity with the Yajimbo 2, or even if you don't, the dimensional relationships within the cockpit, I kinda fine tune those in the design of the Edge Inbow 2. There was no sense in reinventing the wheel. So what I wanted was something that maintained all those, dimensional relationships, but then shrunk everything down around it. So it's a little bit shorter from top to bottom, so it fits smaller hands well. Blade is 2 and a half inches.

Michael Janich [00:05:50]:
And also had a lot of calls from people who the original Yojimbo 2 design, whether people owned it or not, there were people who were critical of the hollow grind. They were like, well, the the tip is too delicate. I'd rather have a full flat grind, so I decided, okay, I'm gimbal, full flat. Also a lot of people are really enamored with the pocket carry clips. In my opinion, the height of carry is always dependent upon 3 things, it's the size of your hand, the size of the knife itself, and then the position of the clip. Those sort of things have to be balanced for you to be able to deploy the knife well. But in this case, the deep pocket clip makes sense because the handle is shorter. And again, what you end up with is when you compare this to the Jimbo 2.

Michael Janich [00:06:34]:
If I line up the pivot pins, what you'll see is that the height of carry, essentially where the knife would ride in the pocket is just about the same. So it goes up. But the bottom line is once you draw it out of your pocket, your hand should be positioned to where you can open the knife, extend the blade fully and not have to reposition the hand. So I was putting the logic behind where that came from.

Bob DeMarco [00:06:59]:
I know that when you're scaling down a design, oftentimes there are a lot of challenges in, trying to trying to get a especially a very popular design, to translate in a smaller scale, but it seems like if the cockpit is, is squared away, it it it might be just a matter of designing around aesthetics and effectiveness, or aesthetics and ergonomics and effectiveness, and engineering may be secondary almost.

Michael Janich [00:07:29]:
Well, by keeping the engineering the same, again, when we, when I designed the Ajimbo 2, really looked hard at the lock geometry and everything else, when I handed that off to Spyderco's engineers, they were like, Wait a minute, this works. And I'm like, Well, yeah, I kind of focus on that aspect of things to make sure I wasn't gonna handle the design that was unworkable. But when we did the lock testing, so Spyderco does destructive lock testing for all of our designs in house, We have a thing called, it's a hydraulic press called the Bender Buster and, the Yojimbo 2 scored very well. So in, again, designing the microjimbo, there was no sense to reinvent the wheel, although the shorter blade is not gonna be is not gonna need the same lock strength you'd have with a longer blade because the leverages are different. Again, there's no reason to reinvent things If the rock geometry is already sound and from an engineering standpoint, it works, there's absolutely no reason to change things.

Bob DeMarco [00:08:28]:
Okay. So before we move on from the micro Jimbo to the rest of, what's coming up for 2024, I wanna address or ask you just a generalized question, especially given the fact that you are, a founder of a martial art based on knives, based on small knives, self defense, it's not dueling that we're talking about here. This is real effective, you know, self protection kind of stuff. How effective is a small blade? Spyderco has a lot of small blades and, we, a lot of people like to carry them, but in terms of self defense, how valuable are they?

Michael Janich [00:09:08]:
That's a great question and that's one of the things in developing MBC. There's, the first thing that I teach whenever I introduce people to the Marshall Bike concept system is the logic of NVC. And the first thing that I emphasize is, you're gonna fight with a knife you actually carry and that should be something that is legally permissible in the jurisdiction where you live. You don't wanna start your claim to self defense with a felony in your pocket. So having a knife that is legal for you to carry makes perfect sense. Based on that, what you have to then do is quantify the destructive power of your carry knife. And almost 25 years ago, I developed a thing called Porkman. So Porkman, what I wanted to do was initially demonstrate the cutting power of an actual carry knife.

Michael Janich [00:09:53]:
So I put the 5 pound pork tenderloin, butterflied it up the middle, wrapped it around a wooden dowel, tied it on with a bunch of butcher's twine, and then wrapped it about 30 layers of saran wrap. So what you end up with is a piece of meat with wood underneath it that represents bone. You've got a bunch of string that represents 2 degree connective tissue, and then you've got the resistance of the plastic wrap on the outside which kind of replicate human skin. And what you get, in NBC, our primary targeting priorities since we focus on stopping power the forearm, so flexor tendons and flexor muscles in the forearm to avoid the grip, Filipino martial arts defanging this thing. And what we do is we take that defanging concept and we continue to apply that to other body parts. If you're defending yourself with a knife, that means you're facing an attacker with a contact distance weapon. So his ability to wield that weapon which is basically the hinging of the elbow joint to wield that effectively, he has to have the bicep to retract his arm, tricep to extend the elbow. So if you take away bicep and tricep and you take away the adjacent nerves, the median and ulnar nerves, you're affecting the ability of the arm to wield the weapon.

Michael Janich [00:10:59]:
And then finally, the quadricep muscle just above the knee. That's what allows that leg to support weight to extend the knee joint. And by cutting that, you achieve what's basically called a mobility kill. If you can drop into 1 knee, you can create distance, create safety and that is is your biggest guarantee of keeping yourself safe. So based on that targeting system, I then use Porkman to say, Okay, can I cut all of these things reasonably, well enough to be able to achieve the predictable physiological results that I'm looking for? Then the answer is yes. When it comes to blade length, again, worst case scenario is you're in Chicago or you're in Boston or you happen to be a federal employee working in the US Federal Building because all the rules are the same for those 3, 2 and a half inch blade length is what is the max that is legally allowed. So by having a wharncliffe profile with a 2 and a half inch blade, what I've determined through countless test is that I can cut to the bone through all of the primary targets of MDC and do that efficiently and effectively and reliably so I can create stopping power. So I consider 2.5 inches to be at least common denominator when it comes to blade length.

Michael Janich [00:12:10]:
I'd certainly want more if I could have it to a reasonable degree. But if I were stuck with that because of geographic locality, because of working within the parameters of the jurisdictions that I'm in, 2 and a half inches will still get the job done.

Bob DeMarco [00:12:25]:
Yeah. I mean, that's that's a real important point, the legality of what you carry. I'm not always as on top of that as maybe I should be. However, the laws have changed around me in such a great way, thanks to Doug Ritter, that it's hardly a concern, anymore. I don't carry these things behind me anymore. Just decided that's too risky, but luckily, here in Virginia, things have gotten better. But, yeah, for me, preference for folders, 4 inches to 3a half, kind of on the small side, and the Yojimbo has always been one of the few happy exceptions where, at 3 3, 3 and a quarter inches, it's one of the most, effective blades I have, one of the sharpest. I absolutely love the hollow grind.

Bob DeMarco [00:13:16]:
I did once drop it on its tip and that that had, that had a bad effect, but that was my fault, not a fault of the knife, and given the main priority of that knife, hollow grind seems great, but I'm very excited to check out the full flat grind on the, Microjimbo because that's one of the grinds that Spyderco does the best and one of those Spyderco is who I learned to love the full flat grind through, primarily through the military. Let's move on to some of the new releases for 2024 and, well, of course, let's check out the military since I just mentioned it. Okay. Military 2, I'm sorry.

Michael Janich [00:13:56]:
Military 2, exactly. So here's the military 2. And basically what you got is the same basic profile that you'd be used to as far as the military. But the primary changes here, little bit of fine tuning to the ergonomics and literally what it comes down to, if you are a fan of the paramilitary 2 or the para 3, literally the center portion of this is exactly the same. So all the dimensional characteristics of this are literally the same. It's just been stretched out at at each end. So it's kind of a like if you took the paramilitary team and stretched it out. Also this is an example of kind of the reverse engineering.

Michael Janich [00:14:35]:
The military inspired the original paramilitary and then the paramilitary too evolved from that. And now what we've done is kind of taken the, all the features and benefits of the paramilitary too and applied them retroactively to the military too. So what you've got is a 4 position clip, tip up, tip down, left or right side carry, whereas the original military was right side tip down only. This is drilled and tapped for all 4 positions. In order to do that, it also has larger liners. So the stainless steel liners on the military, because it's a liner lock mechanism, those were kind of minimalist, they were maybe about 2 thirds of the handle length. In this case, they extend much farther. They're still nested, so it keeps the knife nice and thin.

Michael Janich [00:15:23]:
It's still an open back construction, so it's lightweight and easy to clean, but those liners do extend farther because they become the anchor point for the four position clip. And then very importantly is the compression lock mechanism. So compression lock compared to a liner lock is not only mechanically much stronger, but it also allows you to close the knife without ever placing your fingers in the way of the edge. So you open and then you place your thumb on the side here, press with your index finger to release, and you never have to place your fingers in the way of the edge. So the military too, again, if you're a fan of the paramilitary, many, many people are, it's one of our most popular designs, literally what you've got is the size of the military, but with all the proven features of the paramilitary too.

Bob DeMarco [00:16:05]:
So I'm a big fan of the military. I still have yet to get the military too. I have a long list and I will get to that at some point, hopefully with the black blade and camo handle. I love that setup. It's beautiful.

Michael Janich [00:16:18]:
With this one?

Bob DeMarco [00:16:20]:
Yeah. Just like that one. Yeah.

Michael Janich [00:16:22]:
Yep. So what we're doing just to be able to show that off, all of the stuff that we do as far as our variations of the original military, so from the black handles, satin finish, CPMS 30 b blade, which you have here is the digital camo handles with the satin finish. Then you have black handles with the black VLC coating, so diamond like carbon coating here. And then the combination of those 2, which is basically the camo handles with the black DLC blade, also all black hardware including black liners. And then just like the military two, we also are supercharging the design with CPMS1NV. So for the people out there who are really into edge retention and corrosion resistance, S110V is one of the premium steels. And this Spyderco likes to pair specific steels with specific handle colors. So the signature color for S110V is what's commonly known as blurple, this kind of bluish purple color, and that's what you see for all of our s one ten v models.

Bob DeMarco [00:17:28]:
Alright, Mike. So I'm gonna ask this question and it's gonna make me sound like an ingrate, but I don't mean to, and I'm sure a lot of people, a lot of military fans have wondered this, but what took so long for Spyderco to kind of, well, make these changes, which were definitely welcome, even even to include, the finger choil, like, instead of the rounded finger choil from the original one having the concave. Everything about the new military two is, an exciting improvement. What what goes on in a knife company like Spyderco where it takes time like that to to develop the military too?

Michael Janich [00:18:09]:
I wish I had all the answers to that. There are a lot of things that are, to use the popular government term that I learned when I worked for government, it's above my pay grade. So there's a lot of things that I really don't understand. I'm not privy to everything that goes on at Spyderco. But one of the things that people don't understand when it comes to knife manufacturing is that everything takes longer than you think. So it's it's like anything else, you bring your new product DeMarco even though this borrows heavily from the paramilitary too. When it comes to the idea of, okay, if we extend the blade, now there's gonna be more leverage working the insulock. We wanna make sure that the lock geometry and everything works well.

Michael Janich [00:18:48]:
So we create a prototype, maybe do some production samples off of prototype cooling, we do lock testing. If there's anything that happens in the midst of that testing process that gives us cause for pause, we stop, we solve the problem and then we move forward. So a lot of people think, well, just do this. There is no just do this, okay? So everything has to be validated. You have to make sure that you're doing things things right. And sometimes they'll hit unforeseen problems. There are supply chain issues that affect the knife industry. So when when you look at availability of particular materials, sometimes that could be an issue.

Michael Janich [00:19:24]:
Sometimes we have issues as far as we do use some outside vendors for some of our processes. And if they experience difficulties, then obviously that snowballs and rolls downhill to us. So it seems it's deceptively simple to just say, well, just do this and and and make it that way, but you can't, you can't be that, it's not that straightforward.

Bob DeMarco [00:19:51]:
Sure, sure, well, yeah, I would imagine it isn't, and also I would imagine you have to gauge DeMarco. You know, do is this something that we wanna continue with, or is the PM 2 just the cat's pajamas and that's, like, no one wants the military anymore, so it it if that were the case, they wouldn't bother, doing all this research and development, but, so that I I bet there's so much that goes into it, especially with a large company that that produces a lot of knives that all have to be at a super high quality control level when they leave. Like, yeah, I would imagine the complexity is beyond

Michael Janich [00:20:30]:
And and one other thing also, so I'm, basically I do all of Spideco's technical learning. So when it comes to writing catalogs, writing all the ad copy, writing all the product information guides, everything like that, that all falls to me. And I also have somewhat of a voice when it comes to our marketing strategies. But again, many of those decisions are above my pay grade. And one of the things that I push for, you may be familiar with Spyderco's reveal system. So the reveals are basically what replaced what used to be our mid year catalog supplements. And what's happened with the world in general is that because of the internet, because of social media, because of the immediacy of everything that we experience, people are spoiled. And what it comes down to is it's like, okay, I saw that thing on the internet yesterday, I wanna buy one today, where's my clickable link? And Amazon should bring that into my front porch within the next 15 minutes.

Michael Janich [00:21:23]:
Okay? That's the expectation we have because we've gotten so used to having such conveniences. Amazon, you order something and it's there the next day, sometimes the same day. So people have that expectation, we've been conditioned to that, but it doesn't apply across the board. So one of the things that I've been pushing for is let's not show things off until we're ready to deliver them because the expectation is there. We don't want it diss disappointment. We don't wanna set up a system that institutionalizes customer disappointment. But at the same time, Spyderco has a really strong tradition. We are like the only company, if you go to SHOT Show or you go to the Blade Show or anything like that, we're the only company there that's showing off prototypes.

Michael Janich [00:22:07]:
So we have prototypes and concept models. You can walk up and it's like, what's that? It's like, well, we're considering making this. You can't take a picture of it, but you can pick it up, you can handle it and we welcome your feedback. That's extraordinary, okay? So when you look at that way of doing things, we like to show things off because we wanna get that customer feedback, but it's a double edged sword. Because you show somebody something and it's like, I like that. When can I have it? So we haven't even decided to make it yet, we're still getting feedback. Well, no, can I buy this one? Can I have another one? We have another one tomorrow if I come back. And they're conditioned to that type of immediate gratification.

Michael Janich [00:22:43]:
So it really becomes difficult because what we perceive as a long time, these days, it seems a lot longer because everything else is so so much accelerated.

Bob DeMarco [00:22:55]:
I I think the best way to fully appreciate the Spyderco reveal system, I figured it out last year, is you gotta go to Blade Show and check out all the prototypes and check out all the, all, and and then check out also all the announced new models and updates and then you you get excited about them and then you wait to see what's coming out. I saw so many cool prototypes, that may or may not be coming out. I know that every time a new reveal comes out, I'm kind of on tenterhooks. Let's see what it's gonna be. Is it gonna, hopefully, I'm not gonna spend too much money this quarter or whatever, however often it is, but I think it's a very, smart way of doing it. It's also kind of a a sad admission that, it's like no children, you know. You can't you can't know what's coming out from Spyderco yet because you're just gonna keep yammering on about it until I break.

Michael Janich [00:23:46]:
So, yeah. Again, it's a balancing act and what I've been pushing for really hard, but again, I have a limited realm of influence, is that if we don't announce something until we are really close, when we are at that point where it's like, okay, this is past QC, we're putting the final pieces in place, let's announce it digitally now and then put it out there and shorten that time between the announcement and the delivery. I just think that would create such a great customer experience. But again, Spotted has a very strong history of sharing things to get feedback from people and to get people excited. It's hard to move away from that tradition. So I I understand both sides, but I'm I'm much more a proponent of the former.

Bob DeMarco [00:24:31]:
So I understand there are some exciting, additions to the SALT lineup. Tell us what the SALT lineup is and just in case someone doesn't know and show off the one that you were showing me before.

Michael Janich [00:24:45]:
So the Salt series Spyderco really has been an industry leader when it comes to creating knives that are built for extreme corrosion resistance. So essentially using steels and using other hardware in the knives, overall designs that are designed specifically for use in and around the water, especially around salt water. So the series, the salt series has been around more than 20 years. I think last year we celebrated our 20th year as far as the anniversary of our 1st design. But what we have now are 3 different steels that are used in the salt series. So the original one was H1, that has been replaced by H2. So you can see the H2 on there. This one is the stretch 2 XL lightweight salt.

Michael Janich [00:25:32]:
Okay? So what you had, when you look at the history of this, you go back to the C03, which is the 3rd knife that Spyderco ever did, that was the hunter. And the hunter evolved over time, was originally designed as a drop point folding hunting knife, evolved over many, many years to become the stretch. Then it became the Stretch 2, then Sal took that and he said, let me extend that so we got the Stretch 2 XL, extra large version. We did that as a lightweight. And when we did it as a lightweight, we did it without any liners. So I don't even know if you can see in there, but, yep, there you go. You can see that there's no liners in the handle at all. So for its size, this is about a 4 inch blade, this thing is exceptionally lightweight, it's about, I believe, 2.9 ounces.

Michael Janich [00:26:17]:
So you've got a 4 inch bladed knife that is at or just under 3 ounces. And again, the really defining characteristic of this is H2 steel. So the original steel, H1 was a game changer because it was an austenitic steel. It didn't go through the traditional heat treating process because it wasn't a martensitic steel that goes through hardening and tempering the heat based processes. What they would do is they would start off with a steel that had very little carbon in it and they start off with 7 millimeters thick and then roll it out and compress it down to 2 and a half to 3 millimeters thick. So through that compressive process, what happens is the austenite within this deal transforms to martensite. So you end up getting the same martensite formation or the martensite molecular structure that you would have in a martensitic steel, but you get it for a totally different process.

Bob DeMarco [00:27:15]:
It's like work harden, like a train track kind of.

Michael Janich [00:27:18]:
It is. So the term work hardening, one of the things that as Spyderco's word guy, I have to, in a lot of cases, take whatever information I can get from Spyderco, but also do a lot of independent research to make sure that whatever I am conveying as far as our product information is as accurate as possible. And one of the things that has been really a boon to the Leonard Thomas. So his knifesteelnerds.com, his books, brilliant guy, amazingly intelligent and he shared a lot of information about how steals work and how they don't work. He's also dispelled a lot of myths about knife steels. So work hardening, when you look at it specifically, work hardening is like when you take a piece of sheet metal and you bend it back and forth and eventually it kind of breaks in half. What you've done is you've created so many stresses at that bend point that it gets hard and brittle at that point and breaks apart. What's happening with H1 and H2 is a different process.

Michael Janich [00:28:19]:
It's actually a transformation of retained austenite through compressive forces into degree low temperature processes. But the idea of you're gonna grind on this steel or you're gonna do something else that creates additional hardness through abrasion, that is not As we understand more and more of how the steel works, it's kind of clarified how the steel achieves its hardness, that it's not the way that we used to think of it.

Bob DeMarco [00:28:50]:
Yeah. Laren Thomas, I mean, a genius and also, someone who's bringing bringing us great gifts as knife guys, especially in the form of MagnaCut, recently, and I know you got some MagnaCut salts. What is this?

Michael Janich [00:29:06]:
Yes. So the other one, as far as new products, the one I just showed again was the Stretch 2 XL lightweight salt. This is one of our MagnaCut products. So the first one we did was the Native 5 lightweight salt. This one is a Man X2, Man X2 lightweight salt. So fiberglass reinforced copolymer injection molded handle, bidirectional texturing, same ball bearing lock and reversible clip up carry clip, but the defining feature of this is CPM MagnaCut. So MagnaCut, for your viewers, if they're not familiar with it, again, designed by Larry and Thomas and essentially what it was was a steel. When you look at, one of the ones that I always like to mention because people are kind of familiar with D2.

Michael Janich [00:29:48]:
So when you think of D2, it was always kind of on the threshold of being stainless. So it was a tool seal that had desirable qualities of edge holding and and toughness. But when you get to that point of corrosion resistance, it was always right at the threshold where it wasn't quite stainless. Stainless, most people usually say around 12.5% to 13%. It really depends a lot on the carbon content for the steel as well as far as where you hit that threshold. But what Laren did was he was looking at it and saying, Okay, when you add more chromium to the steel, what happens is the carbon in the steel combines with chromium to create chromium carbides. Chromium carbides are big. And because they're big, relatively speaking, they make the steel more brittle because it's easier for them to break apart when the steel is under stress.

Michael Janich [00:30:39]:
So what he wanted to do was to basically kind of take a counterintuitive approach and actually reduce the amount of chromium in the steel, fine tune that with the amount of carbon and then add niobium to vanadium. So niobium and vanadium, what they do is they combine with carbon to create Niobium and vanadium carbides which are very small, very hard, so what they do is they increase the hardness and the toughness of the steel. And then all the carbon, basically it's looking for chromium, but it can't find it because the Niobium and the vanadium took all the carbon. So the chromium is left what's called in solution, it's left in the steel matrix, but it's not combining the crude carbides. What that does is that promotes chromium oxide, which is the oxidation layer on the outside of the steel that makes it corrosion resistant. So MagnaCut is a really interesting steel that balances those properties of edge retention, corrosion resistance, and toughness really, really well. And it also in our own testing, Spyderco's in house testing, when we got MagnaCut, we started doing our test, doing our GACRA test and everything else, doing our toughness test. And what we realized is when we got around to the corrosion resistant side, it was right up there with LC200N.

Michael Janich [00:31:52]:
So when you have, again, H2 was our, H1 started off, H2 was its successor, then we had LC200N, and then Magnaprep came along, we found its corrosion resistance to be worthy of inclusion in the salt series and that's why we decided to make it the 3rd steel in the salt series and also to to feature that. In our in our MagnaCut releases, we wanted to make sure that we came out out of the gate highlighting that quality of its corrosion resistance.

Bob DeMarco [00:32:21]:
Just in looking through the 2024 Spyderco catalog, it really occurred to me, and I know that the company has been doing this for, a long time, but it seems now like it's more par for the course and that is, offering a wider variety of exotic steels for many of the different, designs. What what is it about this exploration of steel that that Spyderco is so hot on?

Michael Janich [00:32:51]:
Sal has always been fascinated about the properties of steel. Eric has always been fascinated about the properties of of steel. And we're always, we have a saying CQI, constant quality improvement, goes back to the Japanese principle, as in. Sal was always a big fan of the Toyota Way Japanese industrial methodology and he's always looking at how can we make things better, how can we fine tune things to make things a little bit better, a little bit better. And obviously the steel is something when you look at the properties of steel, not just choosing different steels, but also optimizing the heat treat, looking at different coatings and whatever else you can do with the steel to really just ring out the most performance you possibly can out of it. Spyderco has always been very committed to that. And I should know this better, but last time I checked, I wanna say that when you look at just our production knives, I believe we offer in the low 30s as far as numbers of different steels. I need to double check that, but I know that in trying to compare us with other people or other companies in the industry, looking at other companies, very well established folks doing a great job producing their own knives, nobody offers the breadth of steel choices that Spyderco does.

Bob DeMarco [00:34:10]:
Yeah, it's really an aficionados brand, which is interesting because it's also within reach to almost everyone. Some sort product in the Spyderco line or Spyderco Byrd line is within reach and, you know, you could even go to Byrd and get things like the the wave opener, the Emerson wave opener, some features that are that seem rather exclusive, on the more expensive Spydercos. So, it's not only it not only has always embraced innovation, but also it's been there for aficionados, not only of of steels and heat treats, but of grinds and of locks and other sort of, innovations.

Michael Janich [00:34:55]:
Yeah, we really try to offer a broad scope of products and when you look at steels, one of the ones that I I also like to mention, I don't have an example of it in front of me at the moment, but many people love the tenacious. So the tenacious is kind of a gateway drug. If we wanna get into Spyderco stuff, it's one of our value folders. It's actually the flagship of the value folder line. Been around forever and some people just love it. They're like, this gives me everything that I want in the Spyderco knife but at a really affordable price. And the real compromise that we make in the base version of the G10 handle, tenacious is the steel. So it's ATR for PMOV, basically a 440 c ish type of steel.

Michael Janich [00:35:37]:
Nothing that anyone's gonna get really excited about, but when it's rendered well, when it has good edge geometry, it's a great workhorse knife. Well, we decided that we were going to take that and similar to our muleting project, we're gonna basically supercharge a Chinese made knife with a premium American made steel. So the first thing we did was, CPMS 35VN. So a lot of people love S35, they love the toughness of it, compared to S30V, little bit tougher, we give up a little bit of edge retention, but they wanted that toughness, so that was one of the things we did. The most recent thing we did was added CPM M4 for a tenacious. So now what you've got is really an efficient auto tools tool. If you love to do sharpening, if you love those acute edge angles, if you like just really getting into the higher levels of the sharpening experience, if you will, M4 is a great steal for that. But typically you have to really invest in a premium knife to be able to get M4.

Michael Janich [00:36:40]:
To have that available in a much more affordable platform, and especially, let's say, you carry a tenacious and you say, okay, I've got my ATR 13 and o v one here. This is my original. Now I'm ready to start exploring higher quality steels and see if there's a performance difference. Well, like any other good experiment, what you wanna do is change 1 variable. So if you change the blade steel and now you're using the steel, it's like, wait a minute, maybe you're a tradesman or something like that, you're electrician, construction worker, whatever it is, you work on a ranch, you're using your tenacious, and you say, okay, typically I touch up my knife once every couple weeks when it starts to get dull. I upgrade the S35 EN and now it's like, wait a minute, every 3 weeks, I get to the point where I need a little touch up. Okay, now I can start to appreciate the performance differences between something 440 c ish and something like SW5 en. Then you say, okay, let me take that a step further and do that with M4.

Michael Janich [00:37:34]:
And now it's like, wow, maybe once a month, I'm at that point where I need a little bit of a touch up. So it really becomes a great way for people who are exploring the performance of knives. Frankly, most people, they think they know about different steels, but they've never done enough work with them to really experience a difference. But for people who do cut all the time, this is a great opportunity to be able to experience that and really quantify performance differences.

Bob DeMarco [00:38:02]:
This made me wanna ask you a personal question. What do you think about people such as myself? And maybe I shouldn't have, stated it that way, but I I have in my collection different steels and I've never been like a steel collector. I'm more, collect on design and, well, other things, but I'm always kinda proud of, oh, this one has 20 CV, but I am not a, as you were saying, constant cutter. I am not someone who needs to touch up his blades every 3 weeks. I might do it just for fun, but I don't need so collecting steels even though you don't use them, is that like collecting Ferraris that you, just drive 25 miles an hour?

Michael Janich [00:38:47]:
I think for some people it's true. Again, the customer's always right, if you get something and you're pleased with it, then we're happy that we gave you something that meets your needs. But realistically, I'll have some people sometimes where they'll come up and it's like, well, if this knife was made out of x, y, z steel, then I'd buy it. And it's like, okay, that's an easy excuse not to buy something that you weren't gonna buy in the 1st place. But for the average person, if you said, okay, can you actually appreciate if you had a blind test where the knives weren't marked and you handed somebody something that was made out of S35N and something out of CR 13 m o b, would they actually use those knives enough to get to the point where they they realize, wait a minute, this one doesn't hold its edge quite as long, or this one sharpens more easily than this one. Are they really challenging the knives and challenging their skills with the knives enough to make those quantifiable differences. And I think for a lot of people, it's not true. It doesn't diminish the fact that if they're happy with a 20 CV knife and that satisfies their needs, that's awesome, I'm happy for them.

Michael Janich [00:39:58]:
But at the same time to pretend that, well, I could tell a difference, smells like 20 cc, but no, I'm sorry, you gotta be better than that.

Bob DeMarco [00:40:09]:
Well, that's how I felt when I got my 1st MagnaCut knife in June. I was like, so I have MagnaCut now and I was like, cool. What am I gonna do with this? Well, you know, I have MagnaCut now and for a collector, you know, that's good enough. I mean, and and hopefully, if I ever, you know, need advanced cutting, capabilities, I'll have that and I'll take it out.

Michael Janich [00:40:33]:
As a collector, what's great about it is you can look at it when you look at all the different flavors of paramilitary tube, for example. If you're a paramilitary 2 enthusiast and you say, okay, I've gotta have the MagnaCut version when it comes out because I've got the original S30 v and I've got S45 v and I got S110 v and they're coming out with a spy 27 version of it and they're coming out with this. If that again is something that gives you pride, gives you pride of ownership because you've got every variation, awesome, we're doing our job well. But when people come up to me and it's like, well, this deal is not as good as this deal. And it's like, how do you know? I'm always curious about that. I feel it's a fair question because if you're not using the knife in such a way where you can appreciate those differences, then you can't appreciate those differences. You can't quantify

Bob DeMarco [00:41:22]:
it. Yeah, something just sprang to mind. I wasn't gonna bring this up, but I embarrassed myself this week and destroyed one of my absolute, I didn't destroy it, changed its course in history. My my beloved street buoy, I have this on me a lot. I had it I had it in my belt. I was on the backyard messing around. I find that it's very good to throw if I'm close and it's a no spin throw and, I like doing that and I was doing something else, cleaning up in the backyard, and I thought I would kinda surprise my target and, and draw really quickly threw it, and I was at a weird angle and it hit and it snapped and I heard the sound and it it it broke my heart for a second, but then what I found so beautiful is I looked at the grain structure in the sun and, man, it is a flawless, I don't know. It's just kinda cool to see.

Bob DeMarco [00:42:20]:
I never really wanna see the inside, the cross section of my, Spyderco knife, but it looked it looks really like it's a perfect piece of steel. So I'm gonna grind that down, make a little, broke back sacks out of it, make a different sheath, and keep running with this thing.

Michael Janich [00:42:39]:
And what that comes out to for your followers who may not know, they may look at that and say, Well, that shouldn't happen. There's a difference in heat treatment between knives that are designed for throwing and knives that are designed for cutting. And Spyderco, in most cases, we're gonna toward the idea of edge retention versus toughness. But when you look at a true purpose designed throwing knife, you're looking at something Rockwell low 50s, 52, something like that. For a cutting knife, you're gonna be at least a 58, 59, ideally more like a 60, 61. And with that hardness comes brittleness, and that's just it's a trade trade offs that you make. It's just the Yeah. Yeah.

Bob DeMarco [00:43:21]:
Yeah. To to be clear, I was not properly I was not using the knife for its proper purposes. I was being, I was being, you know, Jason Bourne when no one was looking and and, just embarrassed myself, but yeah. I love this thing. Anything else from Spyderco that we should know about that's coming out that you're excited about?

Michael Janich [00:43:43]:
Well, we had talked a little bit about the idea of, again, comparative steels and all that type of stuff, so one of the things that's really unique about Spyderco is our Mule Team project. So Mule Team, it's an idea that Sal came up with a number of years ago. So a mule is basically a test point. So when you're looking at testing a particular steel or what'll happen is they'll get different blades in this airplane, we wanna find the sweet spot for performance of this particular steel, so let's make identical test blades. What we'll do is we'll work on the heat treating process and we'll say, okay, how does it perform at a 59 versus a 60 60 versus a 61? Whatever that range might be and try to find that sweet spot. So that's what mules are about. Well, Sal wanted our customers to be able to share in their process. So a number of years ago, we started creating basically they're just blades.

Michael Janich [00:44:34]:
So this is the one that I'm gonna be sharing with you, but it'll be a good representative example. But it's just a blade, comes unfinished like this. There's no handles on it, doesn't come with a sheath or anything like that. And what it's designed is you can either buy aftermarket scales and just kind of bolt them on as a turnkey solution, or what you can also do is, actually use it as a kit knife if you wanna get into knife making and just start off by crafting your own knife. I wanna design scales for this and put them on myself, gives you that capability. So the mule team, we're up to, this is MT40, so this is the 40th mule team that we've done. So when you think of all the different steels and you think of everything from HCR 13 MOV all the way up through exotic steels, CPM 15V, just all kinds of stuff. What it gives the consumer the ability to do is to buy a blade that is the exact same shape, exact same edge geometry and everything else as the last one we got, so the platform again remains consistent.

Michael Janich [00:45:38]:
And what you've got is the difference is the steel itself. In this case, this is high impact ceramic. So this is an NT40, in this case, it is a ceramic material that is actually injection molded, so it's molded into this shape and it is extremely hard. So when you look at ceramic knives, ceramic knives like Kyocera knives and everything for the kitchen, super, super hard. When you think of Spyderco sharpening tools, our sharpening stones are typically made out of ceramic. So you're talking well over Rockwell 70 for those things because they have to be harder than the underlying steel. So this is extremely hard stuff. Here's an example of 1, that I've taken some of our aftermarket scales and just bolted those on.

Michael Janich [00:46:29]:
So this is the turnkey solution to be able to put, a handle on the knife. And this is gonna be, again, our first ceramic mule. So ceramic, even though this is called high impact ceramic, it is still a ceramic material. So compared to steel, it is significantly more brittle. So this is something that, again, you treat it as a cutting tool. You certainly don't wanna throw this, you don't wanna abuse this in any way where you cause any kind of lateral flexor because even though it's called high impact ceramic, it's still a ceramic.

Bob DeMarco [00:47:02]:
So, that's exactly what I was gonna ask. It seems like thin ceramic like you would have, especially towards the edge and Spyderco has such thin behind the edge measurements. I was gonna ask if that's brittle. Is that like like drop on the table brittle or is that more like the kind of impact you you would be used to avoiding with a regular knife?

Michael Janich [00:47:29]:
I know that we did do in house testing as far as some limited impact testing to make sure that we were producing something that was so brittle, they would be, you know, it wouldn't be workable as a knife blade. And I know that we did some of that. I wasn't privy to all the testing that went on with that, but we did discuss that somewhat. And it does have enough impact resistance to where we consider it to be a usable cutting tool. But again, when you compare it to any type of steel, it's not gonna be able to withstand the same lateral forces and everything else. So it is a very different animal. And it's one of those things where, again, a lot of people will say, well, it behave when it does this? What about this? What about this? Part of the magic of the mule team thing and one of the things that Sal wanted from the very start was for our customers to share in that experience. So rather than saying, we're going to tell you exactly how this thing performs and exactly what it's capable of, We want that feedback.

Michael Janich [00:48:28]:
We want that to be part of the process where we all kind of discover that together. We do the initial testing and make sure it's a viable product, make sure it's a viable material, but then from there, it becomes kind of a communal experience.

Bob DeMarco [00:48:40]:
Yet another thing that I find very appealing about Spyderco are the collaborations. I mean, you're, what, you're chief among them in my book, but, Fred Perrin, we mentioned him before. I mean, so many, collaborations with designers. Do you have anything happening right now, collaboratively with designers out of house that are of note?

Michael Janich [00:49:08]:
We we always have stuff that that is going on with collaborators. At any one time, Spyderco has at least a 100 projects that are in development. So when you look at the number of different designs and everything, and this also when you look at, for people who are not thoroughly familiar with Spyderco or who don't understand the nuances of how we make things, When you look at stuff like this made in Japan, the very first Spyderco knives were made in Japan, before we even had our US factory. Currently, about 30% of our product line is made in our US factory. We also have our Taiwanese made products, and our Taiwan maker is incredible. If you've never been to Taiwan, if you've never looked into, a lot of people lump Taiwan and China together, it couldn't be more different, not only politically, but also as far as their capabilities and everything else. The Taiwanese industry infrastructure is amazing. And they do something from an engineering standpoint better than anyone else in the world, in my opinion.

Michael Janich [00:50:07]:
We also work with Italy. So when you look at not only collaborators, when we're looking at different designs and saying, okay, we like this design that's coming from Shawn Houston or something like that. That's great. But then what we also wanna look at is, Okay, what performance characteristics do we want for this design? What engineering challenges might it pose? And which one of our makers would be best qualified to produce that knife. So it really becomes, again, when you look at it, and this is one of the other things that people would be like, why don't you just take some some H2 steel and shove that into a pair of 3 and call it good? Because h two steel is made in Japan. You know, to get that all the way from Japan to the US is a challenge all by itself, just like when we ship US made steels to Taiwan or to Japan for use there, the shipping of steel back and forth, and we have to make sure that wherever it goes, they have the proper heat treating facilities and protocols to be able to handle that. So one of the ways that we enjoy such a broad scope of products is also by leveraging all of our different makers around the world, all of our different manufacturing partners and really just taking the best advantage of their qualities and their capabilities. So again, when we talk about collaborators, if we have like the high end custom of something that is really sophisticated, like I'm trying to think of a good example, like when we did the the Kapara knife.

Michael Janich [00:51:39]:
That is just such a beautiful pocket knife, radius carbon fiber handles and just look at the sophistication of that design. It's like okay, how do we render that and do it as close as possible to the custom version of it? A lot of Taiwanese maker does an extraordinary job of that, so he was the best person to be qualified to do that. So that's where that particular one went. And that also, once you do that, then you say, okay, well what steels can we work with? What other materials can we bring into play? So all of these things, when you look at the way Spyderco does its business, we're 1 company, but within the 1 company, there are subsets of products where you want something that is ultra corrosion resistant and designed for hard use, okay, great, here's our salt suits. You want a pride of ownership piece, okay, here's this knife, it's made in Taiwan. You wanna buy USA made and show your patriotism by buying a high quality US made product? Okay, great, we've got that as well. So we really offer, it's not just how many steels do we have, how many designs do we have, we really, I think cover such a broad spectrum, that the deeper you look, I think the more you appreciate how much Spyderco does.

Bob DeMarco [00:52:58]:
And Spyderco is set up to be, I'm gonna compare you to Case knives, but only in this way. Case knives are imminently collectible and it's the same thing, with Spyderco. You were talking about the PM twos. I know, I know people who collect PM two. That's their collection and they have every handle material, every steel, every combination, or if you're a collector of certain types of designs or certain designers, I think that Spyderco is one of those places because you can get these ultimate, you can get these, endless variations like you can with the with the Mule Team. Let me ask you this. Besides your own knives, which I would assume are way up there, what are what are your favorites? Spyderco saying so, but do you have any pets?

Michael Janich [00:53:52]:
Obviously anything from Brett Perron. Brett has been a dear friend of mine for a long time. I love his designs. I love the impact that he's had on the industry as far as his design features, the index finger hole, the deep index finger choil, that type of stuff, he really had a profound impact from a design standpoint on the industry. And, I've taught for Fred, I've trained with Fred, have huge respect for him and just love his designs. Kelly McCann's Canis, I was also very much involved in back in the day when I worked for Paladin Press, I worked with Kelly, we talked about knives. There's actually, I did a video for Spider Crow that traces the history of the canis and how I gave Kelly a 1st generation Yojimbo and that kind of was a paradigm shift as far as his thought process with regard to blade shape. And that kinda led to the development of the Canis.

Michael Janich [00:54:53]:
So Kelly is one of my favorites, I wish we would do more stuff with Kelly. Anything from Ed Shemp, Ed is brilliant, not only as a knife maker, but also his understanding of ethnic knife designs. He's Spyderco's go to guide for our ethnic series. And that's one of the other things, again, when you look at ways that Spyderco has kind of distinguished themselves. There are a lot of companies out there where it's like, Hey, we're doing a kukuru or something like that, that's great. But Spyderco has really, over the years paid tribute to a lot of really cool ethnic design from various cultures around the world. And, those were some of the early ones. We had Bob Lums designs that were included in there.

Michael Janich [00:55:38]:
Edward Bratichanski, he had a number of different designers in the early days and then Ed Shemp kinda took over that process. So things like the the edge, the crease, the barong, the coupe

Bob DeMarco [00:55:50]:
barong was so sweet. He did that buoy.

Michael Janich [00:55:54]:
Yep. He did yeah. The shampoo. He also has the Shamrock. The Persian, yep. So when you look at Ed's designs, his ability to take a traditional ethnic design and then kind of massage that into something that is a a modern folding knife, is just extraordinary. And he's just such an awesome guy. So he's one of my favorites as well.

Bob DeMarco [00:56:17]:
I remember when his naveaha, that was his, right?

Michael Janich [00:56:20]:
Yes. I remember

Bob DeMarco [00:56:22]:
when that came out. I had just about lost it because I'm a, that's one of my favorite knives of all time, the Navaja, and to see how he modernized it, kept the Spanish, spirit to the blade, kept that ratchet, lock, in that modernized sense. Man, what a cool knife that was.

Michael Janich [00:56:43]:
Yeah, absolutely. And also if you ever get a chance to go to Spain, my wife and I celebrated our 40th anniversary a few months ago, went to Spain. Thank you. But there's a museum in Spain, in Albacete, and they trace the history of the Navajo. It's actually, see if I can grab it here without, this is actually notebook of a knife maker. This has a lot of the, essentially from their exhibits. It traces European knife designs from various countries all around the world. One of the most amazing museums I've ever seen, but if you're into Navajas, if you ever have a chance to go to Alba's Echo, it's just awesome.

Michael Janich [00:57:30]:
This is an amazing, amazing museum. And if you're a Navajo fan, can't do much better than that. Just incredible stuff.

Bob DeMarco [00:57:38]:
Okay. Let me ask you this as we wrap here. So much stuff that I didn't get to, but we can we can I can ask you some of this in our in our, after interview that, patrons can listen to? But, in terms of you, in terms of a knife designer, I know you just, just released the Micro Jimbo and you have a lot of designs in your past for other companies which we haven't even talked about, but what do you have in mind for your next knife design, if you have anything? Cooking.

Michael Janich [00:58:12]:
So one of the things that I would like to do is to revisit the idea of a a neck knife. So when you go back, the history of the Yojimbo started with the Ronin with the design that I did with Mike Snowdy way back in the day. And the original impetus for that design, in fact, might even have 1 handy because I knew you were coming. So this was the original concept model for the Ronin. So that's the Mike Snowdy one. And then a even prettier version of that, if I have it here. So this is Damascus. Wow.

Michael Janich [00:58:50]:
The latter DeMarco, Mike's loaded custom version. But the idea of a small fixed blade, so I'm getting ready to go to the EWA show at the end of the month. And in Germany, you can't carry a 1 hand opening lock blade, not if it's illegal, but you can carry a small fixed blade as long as it's not purpose designed as a weapon. And I'm not getting any younger. A number of my students are also getting to that point where they're just having dexterity issues with their hands. So as far as one hand deployment of knives as we train NBC, and some of them are just getting to that point where we call it earning your draw, getting your knife into fights and transition from empty hand skills to the weapon out. They just find that more challenging as time goes on because of dexterity issues and just lack of hand strength, maybe arthritis. Some folks are experiencing that.

Michael Janich [00:59:40]:
So we're exploring more and more the idea here in Colorado, you can also carry up to a 3 and a half inch blade as a fixed blade. So some of my guys are actually transitioning more to the fixed blade side. So designing something that would kind of fit that neck knife realm or inside the waistband carry with the static cord carry, kinda going back to the original theme of the the one cliff fixed blade that kinda started my whole tactical wharncliffe journey almost 25 years ago, kinda going back to revisit that. So I think that'll probably be the next thing I design.

Bob DeMarco [01:00:16]:
I hope this question, I wanna ask you just 1 more question. You said tactical wharncliffe journey. That's a long journey. We've talked an awful lot about it, but just before we get out of here, just in case anyone's wondering, why is it that the Warren Cliff is, in your opinion, superior in a slash?

Michael Janich [01:00:37]:
Okay, so this again is the original Mike Snowdy concept model. There is no sharp edge on this, so as I'm running this across my finger, I'm not doing anything irresponsible. Okay, so when you look at a knife that has belly to the edge, so if I turn this over and we imagine that this is about an inch here, your body is always gonna move in an arc. So your arm, any type of motion you make is gonna basically be an arc when you're cutting. Well, if you're moving in an arc and you get to a point to where the arc of motion of your arm and the curve of the cutting edge run parallel, you're no longer pressing, you're no longer applying pressure into the part, you're not cutting any deeper. When you look at a worn curve, again, no sharp edge here, but this as I'm applying pressure, it never gives up, it's cutting with increasing pressure all the way to the tip. It never gives up. And unlike a hawk bill or a karambit where it's hooked, this also won't snag on bone.

Michael Janich [01:01:30]:
So if you're cutting a limb or something like that, you can cut down to the bone and you're never gonna hit that point to where you snag, you get hungled up or anything of that nature, you're always cutting with maximum power all the way to the point. And again, we go back to that idea of, you don't wanna start your claim of self defense with a felony in your pocket, so you wanna start with whatever knife you can legally carry. Well, if I'm limited to say a blade of whatever length it might be, let's say 3 inches if you were in Los Angeles, for example, then I wanna make sure that whatever I'm doing with this blade, it's gonna cut with maximum power. I wanna create the maximum destructive capability within that knife. And anything that I do that diminishes that by having the blade curve upward, it sacrifices cutting power. And if you don't believe that, go down to Home Depot and you say, okay, I need to get a utility knife. What are you gonna find? You're gonna find a razor knife with a 1 cliff blade. It's actually closer to a sheep for a foot.

Michael Janich [01:02:26]:
It's gonna have a perfectly straight cutting edge. If you pick up an Exacto knife, same thing, it's gonna have a straight cutting edge. You're always gonna cut with full power all the way to the point. So from an industrial standpoint, this is something that tradesmen have understood forever. It's just the idea of taking that and applying it to tactical knives was something that wasn't a thing going back when I first started pushing that, actually give you one more show and tell if you're up for it. So when I discovered the cutting power of the Wharncliffe, actually I lied, I'll give you 2 more show and tells. Doing Porkman testing, the knife that cut the best was a classic Senafonte from Spyderco. So this is a Frank Sennofanti design.

Michael Janich [01:03:12]:
And I was just blown away when I was doing pork bone with this thing because it was like, why does this cut better than everything else in my collection? So what I did from there was this is my very first handmade prototype that I made. This was kind of the beginning of what became the Ojimbo design way back when. So I wanted something with perfectly straight cutting edge. I wanted something that had a tapered handle, kind of like a traditional Japanese Aikuchi so you didn't have to have a guard. Added for insurance, Fred Perron's deep index finger choil here, but something that had a nice taper to the handle so it fits your hand really well. But this is a liner lock that I made back in around 2000 or so. So this was the 1st concept that kinda started that whole journey, and everything kinda went from there.

Bob DeMarco [01:04:05]:
Wow, what a great place to bring it back on home to. That is so cool. I'm glad I got to see that, 1st homemade or handmade, Yojimbo prototype. That is very cool. Michael Janich, thank you so much for coming back on the KnifeJunkie podcast and, talking with us about Spyderco and your own career, fascinating as it is. It's been great talking to you once again.

Michael Janich [01:04:30]:
Great talking to you as well. I really appreciate the opportunity. Thank you for the time, and I'm happy to come back anytime you want me. Awesome. Take care. Thank you. You too.

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Bob DeMarco [01:04:54]:
There he goes, ladies and gentlemen. Michael Janich of Spyderco and Marshall Blade Concepts. Lots to talk about. If you are a Patreon, Patreon member, go check out the interview extras we're gonna do on, this. I'll be asking them some interesting questions and, and, be sure to join us there. Also, be sure to join us, for Thursday Night Knives This Week, and don't forget, next Wednesday's, supplemental as always. For Jim working his magic behind the switcher, I'm Bob DeMarco saying until next time, don't take dough for an answer.

Announcer [01:05:29]:
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Spyderco: Tenacious - Brown G-10 - CPM-M4 - C122GBNM4P

Spyderco: Tenacious Lightweight - Blue FRN - CPM-S35VN - C122PBL


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