Mike Emler, Crazy Sharp LLC Knife Sharpening Service – The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 324)

Mike Emler of Crazy Sharp LLC Knife Sharpening Service joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco on episode 324 of The Knife Junkie Podcast.

Mike learned to sharpen during his years in Japan while in the navy. While in Japan, he studied martial arts, including Japanese Sword arts. His sharpening is done free-style, on stones. Emler has worked with Ferrum Forge, doing customized sharpening and other modifications to customer knives.

Emler hosts a popular YouTube knife talk show and regularly releases in-depth knife reviews in which his experience and preferences shine through. He also designed the Sea Snake fixed blade knife for Artisan Cutlery and the Stonefish fixed blade for We Knife Co.

You can find Emler and Crazy Sharp on YouTube and on Instagram.

This week I had a great conversation with Mike Emler of Crazy Sharp LLC Knife Sharpening Service. Check it out on The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 324) Click To Tweet
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The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 324)
Mike Emler, Crazy Sharp LLC Knife Sharpening Service -

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.
Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast on Bob DeMarco.
On this edition of the show, I'm speaking with Mike Emler, knife maker, designer and professional sharpener.
Mike first got my attention years back when he posted a video to his fledgling channel, giving his unvarnished opinion of Emerson Knives.
I did not like him much because of that video, but later I realized, unfortunately Mike knows what he's talking about and I was just being a fanboy so much so that.

Is freakish sharpening skills were recruited by the custom division of Ferrum Forge two successful collaborations.
Brought a sample of his custom work to the broader market with the we rockfish and the artisan sea snake and these days he's got a great channel on YouTube with a variety of knife content.
I've been on his talk show which was a total blast but it's his knowing and in-depth knife reviews that I like the best.
He's one of those quote UN quote trusted voices I talk about all the time.
Now we're going to talk about trends, picks and pans.
And the state of the knife world.
But first, like comment, subscribe, hit the notification Bell and you can also download the show to your favorite podcast app and listen while you do the stuff you have to do in your daily life.

And then as always, if you want to help support the show, you can do that by going to Patreon and joining at any level you so choose.
We also have a great annual subscription at Patreon where you save probably more than I should have even set up.
You save quite a bit 12% I think.
So check that out, and that's just the knife junkie.com/patreon again, if you want to help support us, it's the knife junkie.com/patriot ever Strop a knife again, even though it gets no real use face up to what you are.
You're a knife junkie .
I absolutely love that new intro.

Even though you know it's gonna get any use every day?
Yeah, yeah, exactly.
That's the story of my life.
It feels good to Strop.
Man, sometimes you can go too far, especially depending on the Strop.
I do have to admit I got some of that Johnny Juice, the.
Diamond emulsion.

And it as much as I might have disagreed with the whole thing with the KPL and gunny juice that that Strop compound is is pretty good.
It's probably the best diamond emulsion Strop compound I've ever used, so it's colloidal diamond basically suspended in some sort of oil or something.
Yeah, it's I don't know exactly.
It's sets up drives really good.
It cuts really well like it'll, it'll stop a knife back from the verge of I'm going to have to put this on a stone like like that it just.
Not so quick, so I do have to admit it's a good product.
Alright, so obviously you know what you're talking about in terms of sharpening you have Mike Emler crazy, sharp, crazy, sharp as your company.

I have a knife that you made crazy sharp.
This was my I could never get it sharp.
Spidey chef.
You also indulged me and gave me that awesome clip at the tip.
Love that and did that beautiful finish fun and the finish was fun.
I had never done that finish on that steel so I didn't know.
I mean I knew it would.

But I wasn't sure how long is it gonna take and stuff like that.
It came up, it came out really nice.
I really do like doing that finish and it's it's.
It's not a complicated finish, just really time.
Alright, so you sharpened this by hand on a stone.
Tell me all about how tell us all about how you got into sharpening and how you got to be so good at it.
Well, I mean we kind of talked about it when I did the podcast the very first time.

It's the same thing and so I grew up on a farm and butchered, you know we did calf cow.
We did dairy.
We did all kinds of stuff and we basically we were self sustaining so we would butcher and we would hunt and butcher the animals that we haunted.
We butchered animals on the farm and when you were growing up the.
The kids weren't big enough for old enough to cut the the cuts of meat, butterfly steaks and stuff like that.
Especially for anything that was going to get sold per se and so stuff we kept we were able.
I got to cut Stew meat stuff, but the kids would learn how to sharpen, so knives would just rotate over to where the younger ones were and you would sharpen the knife up and wrote back up because cutting meat, cutting flesh, and it's it's it does a lot of damage to the edge, so that's how I started

learning how to sharpen and I always had a small little Arkansas stone in my pocket for on the farm, you know.
400 plus acres?
You're out there.
If you're knife gets dull, you're not going to run all the way back to the house to sharpen your if you're gonna pull that little slip stone out of your pocket, you're going to touch the edge up and then then I went to Japan and I studied martial arts for years and I had gotten it and lives and I
started looking at how Japanese swords were constructed and that that really cool Appleseed grinder axe blade grinds that.
They have that really.
It kind of just it.

It's really robust, and it cuts really well and it pushes material out of the way.
And it's.
It's a lot more frictionless so you can have that thin edge, but still have a lot of material behind it.
I was like there's gotta be a way to duplicate that, and so I just started on cheap knives.
I just took some cheap crappy stones that I had and I would try to duplicate that rocking motion and bring those angles all together like I saw the Japanese sword polishers do.
In videos because at that time you know this was just about the time I had met my wife and everything that I really started getting into it, and then my father in law being a Carpenter in Japan taught me how to eat properly, use Japanese water stones and that really like once I got to a point where
I was using like good stones on good knives, that's when it really.

I was like wow, that's this is like not to toot my own horn but beep beep.
I'm pretty good at this and that's when I started offering it to people that I worked with and I would sharpen her knives guys in the ship.
Always needed sharp knives and then when I came back.
Inside I I was with extra combat for a couple years and then I got medically retired and I kind of turned it into a side business and then I just got fed up with my government job and just basically turned it into my own.
The business and it worked out to be well for a couple of years and.
Things got real tight and then I took another job to a construction and now I got put out of work because I got some medical issues and I turned to YouTube dot the same thing I did with sharpening.
I did with YouTube I just went.

I'm like well I don't have a lot of options, I'll just do what I can do.
And so I upped the content 2 videos a day.
It started out it was like 1 video a month and then it was like 1 video a week and then it was like.
4 videos a week.
And now I'm at like.
Four video or three?
Three things that go up a day.

So usually on Monday and Wednesday and Friday, there's two hour live feed at lunchtime.
There's a short.
And in the morning there's a video full length video at 3:00 AM, so at 6:00 AM Eastern when you get up, you can watch that video and then.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays there's two videos and a short if I can get the short bounded.
Don't know if you know this.
Doing that many videos daily really takes a lot of time with the edit, the green screen and audio intro, outro and then.
Figuring out tags and now I have affiliate links.

I actually have a blade HQ affiliate link.
I actually shot a short intro for my videos like hey, let's talk about today's sponsor, me.
I've set up affiliate links and anything you purchase.
It doesn't cost you anything extra and it sponsors the channel supports the channel.
So the affiliate like stuff.
It doesn't pay out a lot right now, but it has talking with Jared like.
I know that Jared needs has had his just monthly increase and so is mine.

People realize that I have affiliate links and that they can use those links to purchasing anywhere on.
8 Q once they log in and and then they start purchasing things and and that that money starts to accumulate.
More videos that have those links.
So it it was 100% like I just.
I really can't do much right now.
Just got out of the hospital.
I had a a life threatening.

Infection in my intestines.
The second round of it.
This time it was a lot worse.
I was in the hospital for.
Up three or four days and so now I'm like I absolutely can't go do construction.
So every time, every time I think things are gonna look better and I can go back to actually doing physical work.
Things change.

I actually resigned from the construction.
I've been on the roster for over a year without working.
I was like I just not fair to them.
So physically I can't do it, so I just resigned as of yesterday.
As I mentioned up front, you not only sharpen you, not only have your YouTube channel, but you've also designed knives and I'm listening to you talk about your YouTube channel and you are incredibly prolific, and I've noticed that a lot of the very prolific.
Online reviewers design knives and have knives made now.
You've done that.

You've done it.
Did it differently.
You did it through Wii and artisan and tell me about that.
And what do you think of this?
Well, this trend of enthusiasts and the knife reviewers, designing knives and having them built in China so.
I love knives.
I don't care where they come from.

We talked about this before everybody talks about the.
Like, oh, don't buy Chinese knives and I'm like OK. Let your posting this from your phone that was made.
So I mean I don't put a lot of stock in that.
I would love to be able to have everything on my channel.
The American made.
I would love that.
I would love to only have American knives come in on the channel.

But the fact is, I relied on American knives, American made knives for content I would do like one video a month and you would see the same video every other month.
It just can't get them in the price up.
Thing is different and I I just wanted to go.
You know, I was working with Elliot Williamson.
He's the one that helped teach me how to make knives taught me like like he likes to say he didn't teach me anything.
Is like there's the grinders piece of metal.
Don't screw it up and he did.

He did provide a lot of guidance and like OK if I wanted to do this how would I do it?
So walk me through it and I would.
Physically do it, but this whole trend.
I don't have a problem with it.
You can get a knife design and you think it's a viable design.
Go ahead and do that.
What I have a problem with is some of these.

The people that review knives that think they're going to make a design, and then they go ahead and they pitch it to a couple of companies and then they go.
I I'm not saying I think it's a bad idea.
Financially, for any one of the companies.
What I have a problem is they're putting themselves at risk of spending a lot of money.
Like would you if you've tried to pitch a design to a couple of knife companies and they come back and they say, you know, that's not what we're looking for and you get enough of those.
I've got several designs that have went nowhere, but I won't do an OEM on it because I know I'm gonna take a bath on it, because if a company knows what will and won't sell, and they're telling you no, that's probably the best advice you've ever going to do.
A knife company knows what they can and can't sell, and if they're telling you no, that would be the best.

Decision to just go, you know.
Hey, maybe I shouldn't do this.
Do you?
Do you mean to say if they won't license your design, you shouldn't have it made?
I'm not saying you shouldn't, but just be advised you might be doing it just because you love that design.
The sea snake, I assume you say, yeah, sea snake, a small little fixed blade.
I never had any illusions.

I was ever going to make very much money and I really haven't.
I mean, I'm they've sold a lot.
I make a I make a paltry amount every quarter, like maybe enough to buy a good budget every quarter, but that wasn't the point I had made the customs and I made those customs were 6 to $800 a piece depending on the steel and handles.
And stuff like that.
And there was a lot of love that went to him and I looked at it.
I was like this is a viable design.
I cannot get it out there.

If I don't make any money on it, I'm really not that hurt about it because I wasn't making that much money on it.
Begin with and I'm not making any money on it by letting it roll.
And I thought it was a viable design.
Now if that's the reason that you're going with an OEM and you're just willing to just like, just sell them at cost because you're passionate about the design of your.
Maybe it'll take off in the future and will be enough people to really enjoy it.
That's fine, but like if you're getting input from people and they're telling you that like this design isn't something that you think will sell, or if you're getting.

Advice or like I've had.
I literally had a guy, Jared Nieves told me about this that wanted to sue me.
Because I did a review of a knife and I said that these are the items that aren't finished.
For me it's not a night.
I know it's a well built knife and it's not.
I said all overall it was a good knife and wanted to sue me because I was disparaging the design because I'm a fellow knife designer nightmare who felt that I was kind of out of like oh, he's putting that.
If you can't take that kind of criticism, like if you're going to put a sign out like, think about guys that come up with this look at this.

I'm sorry I don't want to curse too much of your show, but look at this **** that John Grimsmo took for this design.
I love this now.
If you're not willing to take that kind of, you know, criticism like that looks like crap, or there's this is wrong with this knife.
Or why is the pocketbook like this?
You shouldn't be.
You shouldn't be putting designs out.
I mean am I. Am I critical of advice that I get or somebody disparaging my design?

Does it hurt?
Yeah, but can I look at it and go OK?
Yeah, that might be something I want to look at if I make another design.
Yeah, that is relatively speaking.
That is nothing.
I mean, people endure so much more in terms of criticism and kind of harsh feedback than someone saying, you know, giving constructive criticism in a way I think you know.
I asked you, what do you think of this trend in that you know the term trends sometimes can sound like have a bad connotation.

I don't mean it that way.
This enthusiasts YouTube reviewer trend making knives I really like because I do too.
It's so much more diversity coming out of the night.
It's gonna be things that you might.
You might have a bunch of stuff that just doesn't work.
They're like why would you do that?
But then there's also that niche community like think about arcane designs.

Like if he if he had listened to a lot of the old, the old guard, those knives would have never existed.
People are like what the **** is?
This is garbage.
This is why would you even think that's a good idea and they resonate with people and guys like Elijah Isham?
You know a good friend of mine just recently passed.
Look at his designs.
Imagine if he had tried to do that like making knives with Chinese companies to circle back around onto that.

Imagine if he had tried to do that with a company like case.
Yeah, right, like if he had tried to come up with that design 30 years ago, people would have laughed him out of the room.
They would be like get get out of here.
There's no way.
But because there were, there are companies that are willing to, you know, hey, if we think there might be some money to be made on it, we'll do it.
And so some of those companies are more willing to take risks because they're not taking as big a risk because it's not as expensive.
If I was trying to get something made by Greg Medford, would I have like tried to take a chance with some of these other designs?

Absolutely not.
Gregg's knives are going to be expensive to make, because as much as I might not agree with Craig on a lot of things, Greg probably makes some of the best made knives in this country.
Like if you get a knife that's made by Medford, even if it's an OEM, for like Strider or some of the other guys that he's done some OEM for, you're probably going to get the best version of that night that has ever existed.
I've had that inkling, especially with Strider.
Yeah, I mean, I don't like Greg's actual knives like I have one here.
I have the the INFJ TI, whatever the infinite one of the old school ones that did.
I hate it.

It's horrible but I can also look at it.
Machining on this is.
It's some of the best I've ever seen.
Yeah, and the action is incredible.
I I love washer action and you get some amazing washer action even though that they are ridiculous designs.
On the whole, I just wanted to finish my thought.
I was saying that I like it because the enthusiast thing it's a mode of self expression.

From all of these different people that you you grow to know and like because you watch their videos all the time.
You know what I'm saying and now you have something you can put in your pocket that.
Came from them, so there's a personal thing there.
You even if it never goes wider than that.
I like it but B. Or two, however, I started.
I like that well.
Not only you have a chance to own something that these people have made, and it's their thing, but these people spend all of this time.

Scrutinizing knives all of the best knives that come through their review tables and they decide you know they take all of those things and put them together.
I mean, I feel like you did that with the sea snake because that's that is a true EDC fixed blade.
I have a bunch of EDC fixed blades that I cannot carry every day.
I can carry the sea snake every day.
I used to have the all black one, gave it to a friend in need.
I had an all black one, gave it away as well because I mean I can get.
Previously I I know I know the company that makes but that thing.

I mean you distilled that down into a very thin blade, stock thin thin, handle.
The whole package is small enough to fit in your pocket.
If you wanted to or around your neck easily, but you get a full grip with the choil and you know, by the way it's a thing I wanted.
I wanted multiple groups.
I wanted you to be able to get back on it for heavy cutting.
I wanted you to get closer up on for a little bit more detailed.
Thing, and I wanted that back.

Nice and round so you clear up on it for very at the front like cut out duty stuff where you might be cutting around something or doing some detail real close.
So I wanted multiple grips on that.
And also it's got great tactical stuff.
Tactical application.
You could use that if you needed to like any knife, but that one kind of seems like it might excel at it, but can you think of any other enthusiast community that is like that where you can?
Just like I love jazz, so I'm just going to.
Commissioned as jazz tune, you know, like you can't just like that it's not no and that's the cool thing about the knife community is there is.

You can have that input and I lot of knife makers.
If you approach it correctly, even with all the criticism that I've given, Emerson, I've.
Bernie Emerson has never treated me badly a show as a matter of fact, I was at the show in the Blade Show West in.
Long Beach Nick Shabazz drove up there together and so I go and I'm walking around and Ernie was looking at me.
He's like waving like hey and I was like no no because everyone of these tables they stink eye and I'm like Nah he's like you like you should stop by and check out the coffee thing I'm doing.
I'm like it's OK I appreciate it.
I'm not stopping by your guys are gonna kick my ***.

Pretty good fighter, but I you know how many guys is it gonna like?
I don't want to find out how many guys you kind of the big crew.
But no, it's it's really cool because you don't see that in the watch industry.
You don't see that in the in the car industry.
Like if you if you go to a car show and you say anything like I've been cool.
If you've done this, they're going to drive you out of that.
They're going to drive you out of the place.

Get out.
We don't want to talk.
So how easy is it to be like?
Oh, I have an idea for a car I'm gonna just design it or draw it and have someone else help me design it and have an OEM in China make.
I mean, I, I just think I just think that that aspect of it is amazing too.
But it's cool because it is.
We have brought with us through history, the most primitive of tools.

The only tool is more primitive than a knife.
Is the hammer that you use to make it?
Whether that's a rock chip plant or a steel hammer.
To or a brass hammer or whatever you used to lay that metal flat to make a blade.
It is the second most primitive tool that mankind has right after the hammer.
Because you have to have a hammer to make.
And it's just cool that we still have that affinity to something that arcane and that old, and that ancient that it ties us back to a more primitive climate.

We still it's I swear, like people ask me, oh, like you say knives, your tools.
What's your most used tool?
And I was like my knife like I will use my knife multiple times throughout the day.
How many times do I use a screwdriver?
The thing with knife makers and knife community.
It's kind of a primal thing that we have a connection to through these tools.
I agree I couldn't agree more.

I feel like it's in our genetics somehow on in our genetic memory just like lakes and other things.
Yeah, or the comfort you get from sitting around a campfire?
That's that genetic memory from the caveman days where the only safety you had at night was having a fire and that that comfort you get.
Sitting around a campfire is something that is just a genetic memory that throws that that affinity to knives is kind of the same thing.
There's a I'm going to quote, Homer.
And I don't remember if it was the Iliad and the Odyssey, but I haven't underlined 1000 times and it was steel has a way of drawing men to it.
I just think that's such a cool line.

Sounds like it came from the mouth of Conan.
You know what I mean?
I love.
I love.
I love that book that homers filiated the Odyssey.
I have a friend that is a literature professor and he was like he's like I have to force my students to read that once you start, you're like Oh my God, it's all monsters and adventure and murder.
You're the only person he's like.

You are the only person I know that has read that book.
I read that book about once a year.
Yeah, yeah, I was like 20. I read it the first time in my 20s and I have read it almost every year.
For the ink and I'm 47 now, so you figure at least 17 times.
I've read that book 27 times.
I should say.
So we were talking about fixed blades and I do wanna.

I want to absolutely give.
I wanna give Bastion a real big call out because I love my sea snake design and I do like that you have Jimbo fixed blade and I thought that the Yojimbo fixed blade was one of the best self defense fixed blades out there.
Pretty good until I got this fast anelli essential.
This is probably the best small fixed plate self defense knife jumping all the way up nice curve back, just perfect.
You're locked in on it.
This is probably the best small self defense knife I have ever had in my hand.
OK, so you're the second person to say that Dave of this old sort blade reviews loved that night too.

I love anything bastinelli anything bastion.
Puts his hand to his amazing.
I mean, he's he's a he's got a a natural talent, you know, crazy French dude too like I love this story tells about like they called it like that big that big *** folder that he made there was like that's the knife that got me kicked out of France.
I was like maybe because they said it's too big.
You got pick this night.
Got him kicked out.
You should go somewhere else.

It's funny.
I last year at Blade Show.
He has a very.
He's got a big like corner Booth set up very well put together and you know artistic.
Everything he does is kind of artistic.
And it's funny he had like he had like three or four of these guys who look like they just washed out of the French Foreign Legion by by way of Calvin Klein and they're standing there like selling knives and all these like ladies are flocking to.
And I'm like, of course, it's like the smooth Frenchman selling selling like you, really sneaky ****** *******.

You are a clever, clever dude so that what else are you?
Going kind of enthusiastic about lately.
Different knives.
So I've had a bunch of stuff, so Jared Jared has been sending me literally boxes or stuff.
I ran out of room.
I have a 7 foot set of shelves and they are all full right now.
Some of it's sharpening I didn't.

I did the shop for.
I don't know if you saw that video shop for, but I did a couple Sundays ago.
Actually it was the Sunday I was in the hospital but it aired and I was like, oh I watched it.
I watched it from here from the hospital before they put me on narcotics and I was like, oh it's sleepy time.
He has sent me so much stuff and there's a couple things that I have really, really found that I like now.
One of them is a knife specific knife and it's this.
Actually, this didn't come from Jared.

This came from beardo, the weirdo, one of my YouTube subscribers.
This is that hog X. X1, MF and Elizabeth design and it's it is a very very unique feeling.
Knife in the action and it has like a weird detent like you can see it drop down to a point.
It's a button lock and then it you hear it.
Let me give him some microphone.
It clicks in and I don't know.
I don't.

I I hate taking apart button locks because there's always that deal with that little spring and these were not meant for.
Yeah, I'm really curious about what's doing that and it's it's amazing.
I'm very familiar with that knife.
I'm sorry I'm interrupting you here, but I have to jump in a guy who works right next to me at work has that knife and it was on my suggestion.
I think I think I just wanted to check it out when it came out.
He asked me what knife he should get.
He loves it and there is that interesting.

Yes, it has that little clip.
It's a very satisfying field and I don't fidget with knives often because I know that you're detracting from the life of the night you're causing undue stress in that knife.
But this thing, like I have to hide it from myself sometimes because I literally will sit and like that is that is, that's me.
That is really, what else do you like about that knife?
I dig blade.
A lot about it.
The blade shape.

I like the way it feels in hand.
I wish it had a better way to handle this.
Like the handle is, I'm really big about, like 1 to one like something that's closer to 1 to one.
But that, that's like everything.
I like the look of it.
It looks like a shark.
It looks like a predatory fish.

I dig it, it's it's everything about it.
And then other things that I've learned about myself over the course of Jared.
Sending you probably 100 knives for review on the channel because he's got so much stuff and starts.
I was such a big frame lock guy and I still am.
I love frame locks, but I've always been a fixed blade guy and I don't know why I didn't gravitate sooner.
Liner loss you get all the benefits and the same action that you get out of a flipper framelock.
But without losing.

That right there where that knife opens up and then that drops in.
There's a sharp spot.
And on a frame lock you have to deal with that on a liner lock.
You don't.
There is no change in that.
It feels exactly the same.
It should get the same tent.

Modern liner locks are every bit of stronger.
They may have already been a strong, but I think I just had garbage liner locks and like that's not a good luck, you know.
Eat the liner locks that I'm seeing are every bit as strong for what you're going to do on a day to day basis with a frame lock and you don't have that level of discomfort.
And I mean you're not giving up anything and you still are getting it very reliable lock that is the same deployment but without the discomfort or change, and then you have those options where you can pick addition.
Then you have those two color options like you can see the gold red on this one.
The video on this one tomorrow.
This is that Iron Man lot bid mini from.

From Kaiser, yeah.
Kaiser and so.
I mean, it's like a grown up Swiss army knife.
Yeah yeah, I hear you about the liner locks.
I've been kind of.
Gravitating back towards them a lot recently too, and especially in my purchase of.
You know some of the some of the more I don't know Chinese knives.

I don't know how else to put it, yeah?
Here's the Bellamy, you know.
The Bella.
Ohh I'd love that night that that knife is on my short list of knives that were the top knives that come in so far this year.
This this thing is awesome and one thing it has is three ways to deploy.
So now here's something.
Here's something that I only see working super well with a liner lock or a bolster lock.

Otherwise you're dealing with the damn frame lock lock bar.
And I don't mean to damn all of my frame locks because I love them dearly, but.
With the liner locks you can do all of the different.
Different deployments and equally I've said I think you've probably heard it a lot of my videos.
I don't like front flippers in a frame lock configuration because of the size of my hands and then I'm in a position and I don't like.
I don't like front flippers.
That are I don't like front flippers that are single deployment.

I don't like front flipper only not because they feel like to do a front door.
Grab some of these.
I figured you just like when I get ahold of this knife, look at how I'm holding it now.
If I'm flipping it.
I've got my hand in a position where I'm really on that.
Well, I think about some, but if I'm going to use the front flipper I have to take my hands in a position where I basically lost control at night and I always feel like I'm just going to flip a front flipper out of my hand.

If you don't do that, but like I can do a front flipper that doesn't have a frame lock, I can do it because I'm not pushing on that to the size of my hands, hands over triple XL gloves.
So, front flippers in a frame lock configuration just don't work for me.
Yeah, I would imagine I would imagine a lot of frame locks with triple with three X gloves don't work, especially the more slender variety flipper like a 450 or something like this.
That's pretty damn cool.
Is that the artisan?
What is that?
Some sort of shark right gap?

That's that's the gap code.
Great white.
This is another knife that you want to talk about.
People like Chinese magic cards.
That the action on this knife is.
$2000 and people are like Oh yeah, then I'm like well no one is saying they carry I day-to-day carry $1000 knife.

So yeah, I'm going to say that the action on this is comparable to this.
No one is saying that Chinese knives are garbage.
I can't believe anyone would be, because that would be disingenuous.
On the other hand, I could see people you know totally disliking, that they come from China.
In general, you and I talked about this in the first popular I. I think that I think that American companies are just unwilling to take a little bit of a cut in pay.
I didn't like my job.
I took a massive cut pay.

I went from 6 figures.
I went from a 6 figure a year job to I barely scrape by now and I'm much happier, and I think that some of these companies that.
Are are driving the manufacturing to China.
You need to take a good hard look at what they're actually doing because now they're closing.
So now there is no production like, oh, we just can't compete.
You didn't want to.
You wanted to to lay out a price instead of trying to be competitive on price.

You thought that everyone would just go well.
It's made in America.
That's the sign of quality.
Well, the whole problem was that.
People were people were trying to get stuff made offshore and they wanted to at the cheapest price.
So that's what you got.
You got garbage stuff coming out of Hong Kong.

Stuff coming out of Taiwan.
All the toys when we were kids and they just broke immediately.
That's because it was made and like oh they only make crap in Hong Kong and Taiwan and China.
That's because that's what you wanted.
You wanted to be able to sell it at a maximum amount and not pay as much for it.
And you drove all those companies.
To put out garbage, once they started putting out stuff on the way they wanted to do.

Then you started seeing the quality that they were capable of.
Do I agree with the Labor Standards?
Any of these things, but I believe that our own manufacturing companies and trying to charge a premium because USA made Nets on that and it still does.
But you can't say that you're definitely got better manufacturing anymore.
So now you've driven these companies away from you and now you're out of business.
We can't figure out why you didn't try to be competitive.

You tried to bank on, people will just buy it because it's American made and we'll pay whatever the price is and to an extent that's true.
But they're also reaches a point like I'm not going to pay $1000 for a knife.
The same knife I can get for $85.
Because you think that you have to have this inflated price because you're banking on the US made.
Well, I think unfortunate.
I think.
I think the US made is a portion of it, or maybe even a large.

Maybe it's the lion's share of it, but I think a lot of it has to do with having to deal with unions.
And you know, just the expenses.
I'm not at all trying to say I'm against unions.
You know.
Probably the best things that ever happened, suggesting that.
But also that people these days it's harder to get paid a living wage here.
And you know, so I think.

There are a lot more struggles look when you're a big company in China or when you are a company in China you are.
Kind of working with the government.
You know you're kind of a government company so you get that.
Backing, whereas you know if you were to start an OEM here, I don't get there.
There's companies, there is have Festus.
Festus Machine works in Anaheim area.
Do OEM stuff.

They are probably going to be working with some you probably hear about them a lot more in the future.
There's some places in Arizona that do machining.
You've got Greg Medford the the problem with it.
A lot of times, like I said, is the cost of doing business.
I would have loved the sea snake to have been an American midnight and I just could not afford.
The prototyping know what wanted to license the design.
Everyone wanted to just like, oh just do the OEM's and I'm like I I can't afford, you know, even at $60.00 a knife if I'm selling it at 100, I'm making $40 per night.

That's a lot.
If I can get a knife maze, I mean even I can't even afford to do like OEM in China and sell it myself, that's still too expensive for me.
So it's just like and I'm like.
OK, well if you're gonna charge me $6 what's the minimum run?
And are like, oh, you gotta do 100 and I'm like I'm looking at at a minimum investment.
You know at least.

6 to $10,000 for what I want to get done.
You know, that's because I wanna have the handles done and I wanna I don't wanna have to do any of the assembly and then I'm still going to get 100 knives at $30.
That I have to sell myself or $60.00 like 6000. You know, however, much it's going to cost then I still have to do the footwork of selling all those knives, and there's no guarantee on it.
Just didn't make any sense.
I mean, I think I think designing and licensing is also a sweet gig.
You know?
Talking to kombu about that he designed exclusively for best tech, and that's a great gig for him.

I was going to, oh, Festus OEM.
I love the name by the way, Festus, the.
Break out of the forge.
The God of steel workers.
So the sea snake was.
The first artisan cutlery knife done in their arc M9 proprietary steel.
No, they didn't do at the same time.

If I recall, there was a there was two.
There was my knife and the ria.
So they.
Too, yeah, they released the Rio, which is like that's.
I think that's why I like this so much.
It's really similar blade shape to this, so they get that and my seasoning.
Those are the first two knives so they came out right at the same time.

So you're a steel expert with all of the with all the knife making I wouldn't say I'm an expert.
If you listen to the people that complain about the things that I say on my YouTube channel like I tried to, I did a video where I compare.
Like I said, how much better damage deal is because it's monolithic.
There are no layers, it's all one.
Solid piece of steel versus forge welded Damascus.
Oh, he doesn't always talk about Japanese swords were made.
That was, like Japanese swords were made that way because they were made in substandard steel and it was a way to purify the steel and equalize the carbon content throughout the billet.

That's why they folded it because it was inconsistent.
It was made from garbage black sand.
It was what they had available and they found a way to purify that steel and come up with a very good design.
It's still a stump.
It's still a substandard way to make steel forge welding is.
Always going to be worse.
Than monolithic steel, which is basically one piece construction.

With Damasteel you get the best of both worlds.
You get that pattern.
And you get 2 steels that are so similar that they heat treat at exactly the same level level and you get the same hardness.
So it's basically like having patterned RWL 30. And you get you get it consistent throughout that billet.
There are no inclusions.
There are no chances of delamination.
You don't have to worry about difference and hardness between the steel and that steel.

And then you have some companies as gorgeous as it as it is.
There are some companies that are making steel with.
They're making their Damascus with one element that high nickel steel that will not Austin us.
So it's not hard.
It's not a hardened steel, it's not an austenizing steel so you don't get the same hardness.
So you'll have spots where you sharpen it.
And then after you use it a couple times, you run your thumb down it and you can feel areas where that steel has reformed or worn away.

And it's like a sawtooth of Vegas forge.
I love those guys, but they use in some of their steals a non austenizing steel that is a high nickel content that allows to shine through when they fold it.
And if you're just looking at it for aesthetics, that's great.
If you're looking at it, you're going to carry out field views, not so great.
It's kind of like a A. I know some some Smiths will will forge copper in not not near the cutting edge, but just as a on the outer clad is fine.
That's gorgeous, you won't do it.
Sand miles so you have the center core of Sandys that compromise between the two and it's an old Japanese style.

They did it swords where they would separate the low carbon steel and the high carbon steel and they would leave the low carbon steel which was undesirable as the softer back and they would jacket the harder steel in so they had a really hard cutting edge that would harden and then they would
differentially temper it so that you get the softer back so you have a really hard cutting edge.
But there's not a chance the whole sort of shattered and it's something that we turned into.
Somewhere you can have a high end high speed super steel.
And then clad it in something that's cheaper and you get the same effect.
You have a great knife, super edge retention and you don't have to pay as much because you're not using as much of the high end expensive to you is that there's a brilliant ZDP or one of those CDP cold steel used to do it with their with their San Mai.
As a matter of fact they tried to patent the the the word stand by that you couldn't use it.

I'm like that's not going to work.
Japanese been doing this since.
That's just after Christ was born.
You know what about the Super steels?
What do you think of those?
I'm on the fence with super steels.
I actually have gotten to a point where there's times that I really love them.

And then you get into things like OK. Magnet cut everybody's on this magnet cut thing and I've heard so many people say ohh magnet got soft in this.
Now it's a very specific heat treat range that you have to do.
It's not as forgiving S90VS125V I've done knives and S 125 it's a nightmare and you can absolutely screw it up by being 100 degrees off on your temper sites.
So what you get in that is something like as a maker you have to deal like OK what am I going to get out of it?
Well I have a knife that I can score glass with.
6768 Rockwell after heat treatment temper it's never going to get dull.
I've made some of them.

My buddy, Tino, has two knives in South 125 B that I did with the custom in-house heat treat, and I've only ever had to sharpen one of them and he's had him for years and he uses them all the time.
The downside to that is stuff like Maxim that people like.
Oh maximize the greatest thing I'm like.
Yeah, really.
Then how come nobody sharpening themselves?
And how come every time I get a Max met Blade it's chip?
It's great for specific things.

But when you come back to it and you look at 4:40. 440 is good for everything.
Carbon steel, carbon steel works for anything as long as you're not going to get rusted.
As long as like 14 C 28 N one of the original great steals.
That was bushcraft steel.
It takes a great edge and holds it.
It's easy to sharpen.
So we've gone to a point and this happens every couple years in the night comma.

Remember we had the the the whole HRC mafia thing that happened a few years ago and everybody got wrapped around the axle about it and then now.
I transparent knives and and hinderer.
They're a little dust up with it and it just it goes in cycles where people will complain about.
But my take on it is if you give the average knife user a knife in 14 C, 28 or 440. And a knife in ZDP 189 and tell him to carry it for a month.
They're not going to know the difference.
So for most users, why are you paying the premium for something like CDP 189?
At 67 Rockwell or 20 CV or S 125 year S90V just find a knife that's done in in 14 C 28 and it's going to get you what you want and it's not.

It's not got a lot of thrills and bells and whistles, but it's going to do the job and you're going to be able to sharpen it and keep it up and maintain it way easier than something that is up on those upper registers.
A lot of the most desirable knives are made in those steels.
Uh, and you know.
Well, you brought up hinderer.
But those knives are incredibly desirable, and they're all made in 20 CV or whatever the big steel of the day is.
So I think in a in a sense it's it's.
It's in a way, it's up to the makers.

Because if you want a hinderer, you're going to get it in 20 CV.
That's well like people, like boxers, Volvo I talked with Bob all the time.
You know Bob makes every knife at 154 CM.
That's his favorite steel.
He won't take anything else or 150 per CMS, a good steal.
It doesn't.
It's going to drive a premium well if you're getting lobsters, well, you're not paying for this deal, you're paying for craftsmanship and stuff like that.

That's one that was one of my big things when I talked about the Emerson we talked about.
Like you didn't like me because I've disparaged Emerson.
I have no problem if Ernie wants to make those knives and want them before sight, but you shouldn't be charging the premium price that you would get out of a knife that's better constructed, more clean, much better fit, finish in a steel that is a more desirable steel, and you're charging the same
price as, say, a knife that is done carbon fiber, extremely well finished, and it's done in 20 CB or one of the other more desirable steals.
It's you know, banking on that name factor, like the not one to take a cut in pay and things like that.
And I understand they have employees and stuff like that, but.
You also have to look at your employees at a point you have to look at and say OK, yes, we're taking a cut and pay.

But you're still going to be able to come to work on Monday.
You know what I'm saying like?
Yeah, well everybody has to take a little bit of a cut, but at least you still have some place to come where you can make some money and pay your bills.
Well, yeah, I mean, but he's managed to do it without that, but you're saying you're saying to do like to set up an OEM or to set up some sort of environment where manufacturing comes back stronger.
Yes, I would love to see our manufacturing.
Would love to have an American made.
Like design an American made not.

It's it was one of my things.
I tried really hard to have the stonefish that that tactical fixed blade that I designed.
The big ones.
I tried really hard to get that one as an American made knife I wanted to get it on the I wanted to get it on the roster of knives that people could order.
From the military and have it on that list of so it had a stock number so they could order it if they want.
Uh, because that was the knife that I designed that met all the stuff I would have wanted when I was in the military as opposed to the stuff they gave us so.
But you can't do that because that whole bio American act with military has.

You're not going to get a stock number for a Chinese made either.
Here's something interesting.
I recently got a knife that I saw a YouTuber that I really like NAV Sergeant.
He's got great taste in knives and he's he's someone who's constantly got a lot of nice high end things coming through.
And he did this very excited video about a new American knife to give the.
The Royal triumvirate you know talking about Chris Reeve, Knives, Strider and Hinderer give them a run for their money or joins their crew.
And it's the resco instruments.

That's a watched company.
Mekong Delta Combat Folder Goose Works is the name they give their.
I like that.
They're nice, it's beautiful.
It's awesome.
I bought it I like I ran to the website bought it.
Got it, it's solid.

It has a nice sort of heavy feel, but there's a lot of weight relief in there.
Everything about.
It's got that nice hydraulic and then and then.
Come to find out a couple weeks later it's made by best tech and and I I love best tech.
I really do.
I think they're my favorite.
Do all around OEM, but I thought I'd have to say that my favorite all around OEM right now.

And ours and don't get upset right now.
I think that Kaiser has really, really upped their game to a point where they are probably making some of the best knives out there.
Bookmark that, hang on one second because I agree and I'm on a little Kaiser kick myself, but they're not out.
But this thing one, a real big ingredient of this was the mystique of knowing that 2 old frog men you know made this in in their basement in North Carolina.
And I don't know why.
I'm saying I I keep saying North Carolina when I talk about it, but they do.
It is too old frog men or or a company owned by frog men and to me and their first knife they put out was American made so I I made the assumption along with NAV Sergeant and others that this was USA made.

They never said on their website that it's USA made.
I just so part of this purchase that made this so easy for me to purchase for a pretty penny was the mystique of thinking that it was made in America.
Ohh there there is ohh I've got I've got something to say about that one.
OK let me hear it.
There was no actual deception on their part because they never said this is made in America.
I just made all these assumptions and it's got a feel man.
They got the feel down.

This does not feel like a washer.
A smooth washer Chinese knife.
It does not feel like you know what it looks like it.
It reminds me a lot of the old SOG demo.
Not I don't mean the one that SOG knives made now.
I mean, the original like eight were only ever made.
There's only one in existence now.

The big nasty old like goosebumps.
Just thinking about that night.
I would not necessarily give up a testicle, but lets you bruise one real bad borrow it actually like.
OK, that thing is gorgeous, but that is kind of that same blade style in that saw demo with the saw teeth on the back, but it's got that definite.
You know, that's a purpose built knife.
It's it's gorgeous and I do date that I really do like that.
Yeah, this is a cool one that I mean check it out I I think it's great.

I love it.
I haven't let that.
I haven't seen one yet.
Yeah yeah I haven't.
I haven't let that.
I'm still a honeymoon but yeah, I know soon something will come in and eclipse it.
But you were going to say something about.

Misled or yeah I was gonna say something about like OK and this is 1 like I don't usually indulge in the whole.
I'm not TMCC.
I don't indulge with drama, right, but our friend over at.
Crap, this is how much I I don't even register his name.
Help me out here recently jakovac.
Like I never.

I've said it in videos like Jake.
Jake Hoback is never going to be something that I'm considering and I was like his knives the way back.
Is a well built nights not a night for me.
It's very well built.
But Jake went out of his way to make life miserable for Jason browse and everybody found out that Jason Browse was not technically breaking any rules.
He was ordering things milled and machined in China and bringing them stateside for final assembly and adding more than 51%, significantly more than 51% of the overall value of the night, and saying which is legal saying it was an American made product because it was.
More than 51% of the overall value of the item added to it in the United States to assembly, finishing whatever you're doing is considered American made and Jake Hoback led the ******* charge on that.

And almost ran Jason Brown's out of business.
And here we go just a few years later, what happens through a lie of omission?
Jake Hoback did the exact same thing every he knew that those he knew that those retailers were saying there were American made knives.
He knew that he was allowing them to do that, and he continued to just.
Pump up those profits.
And I'm just saying, like I, I don't wish bad on anyone and I hope he can recover from it.
But like if you're going to be the guy that's leading the charge on that, you shouldn't be.

The guy gets caught doing it.
Yeah, that really is it really ****** me off when it happened the first time, because knowing that Jason browse had broken no laws is it?
Is it?
Is it kind of a dirty dealing thing?
Well Boeing does it.
They said the planes are made in America and they order everything from China and they build here.
It's made here.

The parts aren't made here.
But when you come back to it like even American made, that's where you get your steel from.
Where was the titanium sourced from?
We don't have titanium.
You have titanium Sir.
Yeah, that is.
I just think the lady protests too much.

It's always the it's always the loudest voice man, you know who's?
In in my heart because I love Jason and he's a great dude and I've talked to him a lot.
I want to get him on a podcast, but he's he's really shy, especially after that all happened and we've talked about doing it.
But the fact is like to see that and then see it happen.
I don't usually wish ill on people, but it just kind of made I was like.
Karmic retribution universe hasn't tendency to equal things out, so I was just kind of happy to.
See it happen.

I think Jake Hoback's name is mud and and unfortunately and and I don't like to put it that way, but I'm sad because like I think he did make a great yeah way back is a great great night.
And and this summit, I had the summit through the pass around group that big knife.
Oh my God, I loved it.
It is openly made in China.
I mean on the website it talks.
This is one of his newer designs and you know, since the summer was the one that I saw.
So I actually kind of dig that.

That's not too bad the.
Is is in the same spirit of the sumo?
Kind of that modern looks like a shuttle craft from the spaceship and feels great, and having got the handle one man, it's unfortunate because it's like a $620 knife.
Made in China by Jake Hoback.
He kind of kind of wish.
It would be a little bit less, you know than those American made prices we were talking about earlier.
You've been in the knife world for a considerable time, and by that I mean.

You know an active person within that community making channel like 10 years ago.
So yeah, it's been about 10 years since I started my YouTube channel.
What have you?
What have you seen like?
What is the overall movement that you've seen in the knife world?
What changes have you seen?

How do you think things have evolved and where do you think we're going?
I've seen the I've seen the change from the big beefy overbuilt.
You know 1.8, you know .187. Blade stock thickness.
At this point, four behind the edge because you think that's gonna hold up better down to the thin blade stock and behind the edge thickness like .012 stuff like that where it's a really slicing knife and then people have realized that like you know it doesn't have to be so thick to hold up.
Like if I'm going out in the woods I'm gonna chop down a tree.
Yeah I want that big beefy thick behind the edge but for my day to day I don't want something like that so that's been a big thing.
But I would say one of the ones that I think that I've seen a trend going to, and it's in the budget lifestyle.

That I don't like is, and we'll use this knife.
This knife is so good and it's great that that pocket clip is almost as thick as the knife itself.
And anybody that's ever taken Japanese blade edged weapons, swords.
You know that these two fingers, those are the ones that hold you grip.
Like if you're doing it right, you can hold a sword with these two fingers.
If you're holding it properly.
These are there for guidance.

These are there for power if you try to hold a knife with these two figures you can have cramps all day.
Why would you put that pocket clip right in the area where the two fingers that are going to do the most to grip on that knife are pinching it into your?
The thing that I wish would change the thing that's gotten better is we've moved away from that.
These crazy thick behind the edge thicknesses, which I still like some of my old beefy, overbuilt stuff.
But the thing I want to get away from is let the knife designer design the clip.
Great clip, all of my farm forge knives.
Great clips, knives that people are designing the entire thing.

The clips are amazing.
OK, where to go?
This one I guarantee.
I guarantee you that Mike had input on how that clip was made.
Anything that Bob Trewella has done productions that has his typical like milled almost like a like a like a combination built bent clip.
A lot like this.
Where you haven't filled out and then it comes down.

By by using the off the shelf pocket clips that these companies are using your detracting from it, and I like, I will say that a pocket clip can be a nonstarter for me.
Like, oh, that pocket clip sucks.
I don't want to have to go to the trouble to find a pocket book that fits it.
It's not going to hurt my hands.
I just won't buy that, no.
So I mean, we've gone some directions, we've gone great, and then other things that we've done is like the over the top finishes that you're getting on knives that are in a in a range where we can afford them.
That's great custom knife makers.

Designing knives that now can be produced, and the Jim Skelton fixed blades that reacted.
I can't afford one of Jims knives.
I love Jim.
His knives are great.
I can't afford one of his knives, but you know what I can do?
I looks almost identical to it from react for a fraction of the price.
That the adopting of production versions of a knife that you couldn't get your hands on like the cheapest I've ever seen.

A tarsul of $1700 and that was at a show and Nico bought my little buddy Nico bought it and it was a 75 or 75 tears goal of 75 knives for 75th birthday.
Oh yeah, that is amazing.
That's still a good price for that night, but that's the cheapest you're going to find it.
Bob has now produced his designs through several productions, and I'm.
That's amazing because it takes a knife that most people would never get to have.
And provides you with an opportunity to carry a knife that's designed by that person that follows the same lines, has the same, almost the same scrutiny because you know Bob's not going to put his name on something that he doesn't stand behind and you're getting something that typically you would
never see in your life and you get to carry it and it's yours.

So it's a lot like offering multiple price points on the knife, like Ferrum Forge does that now with some of their their their knives the production of you have an $89.00 version of the Stinger.
Now you have a $210 version if you want to get a titanium.
Frame lock version with this carbon fiber inlays you have that choice.
Yeah, and that's a big thing that you have more options than you can buy what you wanted to always have in some form.
That is exactly I love Boker.
For that I love a lot of companies.
For that I will never I say this, never I shouldn't say this.

It will be years before I own a Charles Marlow custom knife, but I can own the squirrel.
I mean, that's my, that's my dream.
And never own a permanent.
I'll never own a Burnley they're so insanely expensive, but the one that Boker makes.
Yeah, it's a pretty good.
It's a pretty good representation of his designs, and I love that little Fokker Fernley.
What is what is that one, the?

Create it the Burnley quake it I love that dude I joke about that knife a lot because because that knife has about 20 to 25 different versions.
Oh yeah light light small automatic short what have you anyway Mike?
I could go on and on and on.
We could.
We would if Jim would let us.
But yeah, we'll do a couple of minutes extra if you don't mind.
On the other side for our patrons and I'll ask you some scandalous questions, but for now, thank you so much for coming on the show.

I, as we record this questions.
No, I do not have birds hiding under my.
I know you do.
We all know we.
We've all been seeing the crumbs falling out MM emler crazy sharp let everyone know how they can find you on social media really easy it's see where it says Mike Emler crazy sharp.
Basically if you search that on YouTube you can find me I stopped putting much anything much of anything up on Instagram that was of any knife content because it just doesn't do anything.
I did some little test runs and nothing I put up was knife related goes anywhere but it is.

It is a crazy sharp LC on Instagram.
I think I changed it too because it was just too much and I was shadow band for a while so you had to type the entire thing in so it was Michael under score, emler under score, crazy under score, Sharp under score LLC no no under where I was at so but I am on Twitter and Getter and true social a
couple places I think that's the ones you can access.
I have a gilded server for my paying YouTube members have set up.
So like discord I don't like discord, political biases so.
I vote with my cash, so I set up a guilden server as opposed to a discord.
Well done Mike Emler well also I have a channel on Rumble as well.

Everything you see on my user channel comes up automatically so if I post a video on YouTube if you don't support YouTube you can go right to grumble and I have the same thing that goes up.
I think the day after yeah Jim has suggested that we might do that all right?
Well Mike, thanks for coming on the show.
As always it's a pleasure talking with you.
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You heard him.
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His channel is awesome and like I said his his close-up reviews are really.
Excellent demand of who's talking about, so check it out and then check us out here next week for another great interview show and Wednesdays for the midweek supplemental and of course, Thursday nights for Thursday night lives are live stream on YouTube, Facebook and Twitch.
Also you can download all the podcasts right to your favorite podcast app listed to the left of my face, all right for Jim working his magic behind the Switcher on Bob DeMarco, saying until next time don't take doll for an answer.
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