My Top 15 USA Made Knives – The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 392)
On the mid-week supplemental episode of The Knife Junkie podcast (episode 392), Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco looks at his top 15 USA made knives, including the Tactile Knife Co. Rockwall, Hinderer Knives XM-24 Wharnie, and George Knives VECP among others. Bob also shows off the new prototype The Knife Junkie/Hogtooth Knives collaboration knife — the NoVA-1 Custom EDC Bowie! (Preorders for this knife are now open. NOTE: It is anticipated that the first 50 knives will be completed and ready by August.)
Bob starts the show with his favorite comment of the week (and runner-up comment) followed by his “pocket check” of knives — the Arcane Designs Antimatter, Jack Wolf Knives Javelina Jack, The Knife Junkie/Hogtooth Knives NoVA-1, and the Vero Engineering Synapse(Emotional Support Knife).
In Knife Life News, there’s a stylish new Kizer Spot EDC from in house design team, Anton Tkachenko in limited edition collab with We Knife Co., February Jack Wolf Knife is very ergonomic Sowbelly, Kershaw’s answer to the Bar Lock: Exciting Duralock lineup for 2023, and Lon Humphrey combines Nessmuk blade with blacktail handle,
Meanwhile in his “State of the Collection,” Bob shows off the Sencut Watauga, Civivi Mini Praxis, and the U.S.M.C. Corpsman Bolo, WWII era.
Be sure to support The Knife Junkie and get in on the perks of being a Patron — including early access to the podcast and exclusive bonus content. You also can support the Knife Junkie channel with your next knife purchase. Find our affiliate links at theknifejunkie.com/knives.My top 15 USA made knives. That's my topic this week on episode 392 of #theknifejunkie #podcast, PLUS ... I announce details on the NoVA-1 custom EDC Bowie knife preorder! Click To Tweet
My Top 15 Usa Made Knives - The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 392)
©2023, Bob Demarco
The Knife Junkie Podcast
[0:00] Welcome to the Knife Junkie Podcast, the place for blade lovers to learn about knives and hear from the makers, manufacturers, and reviewers that make the knife world go round. I'm Bob DeMarco. On this episode.
[0:11] Information on the Nova 1 pre-order, the new Senkut Wachuga, and my top 15 USA made folders.
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 back to the show.
My favorite comment from this last week was from Thursday Night Knives when we had Ben Belkin on the show. Ben Belkin is of Jack Wolf knives, by the way. Plainscrafter said watching late, but I agree with Bob about the spade blade. I'm sorry if others have mentioned this, but the Benchmade 940 isn't far from a spade blade. Just call it a reverse modified tanto foot and people will buy it.
I thought that was interesting. So the conversation was about when Jack Wolf Knives comes back around in the next year or the next production season and, starts putting different blades on the handles that they have already designed which Ben plans on doing and I asked what about the spade blade and he said I love the spade blade but I just don't think it'll be a big seller. So here Planescrafter is saying the spade blade looks so much like a 940 and this is not a 940. Sorry, I don't have one, but it's a similar shaped blade. So here's the spay.
[1:41] And then and then a 940-esque reverse tanto style blade. And Flainscrafter was saying that you simply change the shape of the spay a little bit, maybe drop that clip down, and.
[1:54] You'll have something approximating a 940, which people will buy. So I think this was, Planescrafter's way of lobbying for the Spade Blade to bend directly, but I'm pretty sure it's not gonna happen, at least not the next time around, Planescrafter. But thanks for the comment and yeah, I too love the Spade Blade and, think that, you know, just in noodling around with Spade Blades in drawings, you can take them to pretty cool, aggressive places. Okay, so that is that for the comment of the week. I think now it's time for a pocket check.
[2:33] Today in my front right pocket riding shotgun or dagger if you will, is the arcane designs anti matter. This is a double edged, dagger. This is a flipping dagger not too many of them out there. And I absolutely love this design. I love this knife.
It's a Riat made. I don't have too many knives made by Riat.
You do have to be careful when closing it. And you probably have to be careful with your local laws on this one, as it's double edged.
A lot of jurisdictions get real uptight about double-edged for some reason.
[3:11] You know, I don't worry about it too much when I'm not out and about.
And when I am out and about, I also don't worry about it too much.
But this thing is not one that I carry often, though I do love it.
The pocket clip is so cool.
If you look at the pocket clip, you can see that it has a motif on it, like one of those electrical sort of Tesla coil things on it.
[3:38] I like it. There's a very futuristic vibe to this and all arcane design.
[3:44] And I just, I don't know. It also has a sort of old school coffin shape.
But really the reason I got this thing is because there are not too many double edged daggers out there that fold.
I can think of three and two of them are out of reach.
The Hinderer Maximus, which you just cannot find and they don't seem to be wanting to make other new batches of them.
And then the Arch Nemesis by Sharp by Design, which is, I have called the perfect folder before. I love that thing.
But this is right up there with those two. As a matter of fact, I like this one better than the Hinderer, though I'm not saying I don't want that.
What did I use this for today? Absolutely everything. It was my appreciation knife, and though I did not cut anything with it.
[4:32] Okay, next up today, I had the Javelina Jack on me from Jack Wolf Knives.
This is the knife that did the food prep today.
The office food prep, that is. In the kitchen, I use kitchen knives, like any normal human being. This is one of the few Micarta versions here.
They have as what I mean is this is, the one my card a version of the five that were released here as they've been going along.
Ben has seen that people are issuing my card in lieu of the like drop dead gorgeous fat carbon and camo carbon. He's been featuring on these and I see why there is there has been a preponderance, of my card in the market and that has made me happy no doubt. But you know, I guess people are getting micarta fatigue and they see this that luscious carbon fiber he puts on his knives and they and they go for that. I am thrilled and honored that he sent me one of the last you know micarta models for a while and this one is really really nice quality micarta. I would say all of, the micarta on the jackwolf knives have been excellent but this seems a step above to me.
[5:51] Me. So really like this knife, very ergonomic, very comfortable, and that beautiful California, clip with the high or the full height S 90 V hollow grind is just, you know, wickedly sharp and effective. Speaking of wickedly sharp and effective, the Nova one was on my hip today. This is my collaboration knife with hog tooth, tooth knives. And right up, coming after the pocket check, we're going to talk about the preorder very exciting news about the pre-order for this knife but this has been on my waist non-stop since I got, it a few weeks back this prototype.
I show it in the sheath because the sheath is excellent. Ships with this Discrete Carry Concepts Clip, which I love, these small ones.
Clips onto the pants or over a nylon belt. I wouldn't do it over my leather belts.
But really nice control with the small one because you can angle it and tilt it.
To me, much better than the larger ones which lock further down the seam of your pants or further down over your belt completely.
This one I tend to like to turn as the day goes, depending on where I'm sitting.
Anyway, so great sheath.
Well, push off point. And then there is the knife.
[7:03] A beautiful knife. And I feel like I have license to say this because this is really this is Matt Chase's platform.
I just designed the blade for this.
As you know, for the past couple of years, I've been carrying his EDC Tonto, which has the same handle and the same blade line.
An amazing, amazing knife. And I thought it was so amazing. I wanted to see different blade shapes on it.
So I could always be carrying that a knife on that platform. This is the perfect size, for Carrie. That's a three and a half inch blade and about a three and a half inch handle fits, perfectly in the waistband without stabbing into the ribs and such. So I wanted a Bowie. Naturally, I'm a big Bowie fan and I designed this blade with a slight recurve and.
[7:48] He executed it perfectly and beautifully Couple of things will change from this prototype, The jimping will move towards the swedge so that your thumb lands on it instead of being back here, the red liners are going to be a deep green and, and we're going to keep all of them will be this polished maroon micarta, linen micarta, my favorite, handle material and then the logo, the knife junkie logo will be much smaller, to sort of be in keeping with Hogtooth, the Hogtooth logo on that side.
[8:24] So it will fit on the flat there. This being my prototype, I love having the logo big.
Put it on there five or six times and I'd love it. But this is pretty much how it's going to ship with those couple of tweaks there. That's 154 CM blade steel acid stone wash and just a killer, killer sharp knife. So keep your eyes peeled. In a couple minutes, I'll tell you about the pre-roading.
Okay, lastly on today, for emotional support, one that I haven't carried in a little while, And that's the Synapse by Viro Engineering.
This thing is a beautiful design, beautiful blade. Everything about this is so nice and it's put together and built by Bestech who just, you know how I feel about them. I love Bestech.
This is an example of some kind of janky micarta I gotta say.
It's canvas and it has never even with copious amounts of oil.
It's like it was, I don't know, it's like it was sanded down to a level where it's only glue or it's only epoxy and not much of the fabric and it does not, it will just never darken up.
This side is nice. The clip side is really nice.
Nice cut of my card. I'm wondering if this is the backside or something.
I don't know if that's, if there even is a backside on my card.
In any case, that's not why I love this knife. I love this knife for the design, that really minimal clip.
[9:51] And the just incredible buttery action.
So yeah, Vero Engineering Synapse. This is one of the older ones with the, before he changed the clip, changed the ramp of the clip and made it less extreme so you don't feel it, in the palm of your hand.
A great carry today. I got lots in my card in my life. I guess I can see why people are.
Are gravitating towards a variety of handle materials because there's a lot of my card out there and I'm always seeking it out. But this is what I had on me today. The Arcane Designs Anti-Matter, the Jack Wolf Knives Havalina Jack, the Knife Junkie Hog Tooth Knives Nova 1, and, Naviro Engineering Synapse for emotional support. Let me know what you had on you today. Drop that, down in the comment and just let me know simple simple one knife message could do the trick or, you can write a paragraph you do what you gotta do but let me know what you're carrying it's always good inspiration for me next up a gentleman junkie knife giveaway that's tomorrow night.
[10:55] Is the on february 16 2023 is the qsp penguin plus a beautiful you like the penguin you like the penguin do you? A great work knife that was featured in my list last week for great work knives.
Well this is takes all of that greatness but upgrades it to 20 cv blade steel titanium frame lock flipper on bearings nice and thin no weight relief because it's not needed it's nice and thin.
[11:26] And um 20 cv time oh and it's larger it's the plus so that's a three and a half inch blade, Blade, or actually what is this one?
Two, three, and almost a half. So three point four inch blade or so.
Really nice action on this. So you got the flipper, you got the thumb studs.
[11:48] You got all of that QSP penguin utility, but in a really nice classy package.
[11:56] All you gotta do is become a gentleman junkie on Patreon. Just go to the knightjunkie.com slash Patreon want to support and do it like that. Now I really appreciate it if you do and if you don't, I just really appreciate your being here watching, listening, and being a part of the comments and just being a part of the conversation because if you're not then that means I'm talking to my my wife and daughters about this stuff.
And you know.
[12:24] I just don't need to be doing that to them and I don't need the eye rolls. I don't need any more eye rolls in my life.
[12:31] Okay, I was talking about patrons. I.
[12:35] Want to talk about something else before we move on and that is the Nova one. Yes I was just talking about it, but the pre-order of this, Will be open on this very same day this beautiful knife can be all yours you just go to the knife junkie comm slash Nova one and, there takes you right to a page where you can jump on the pre-order. They are $2.75 per knife and I have it on GoodWord from Matt Chase that we will he, will be able to have 50 made by August. So starting the pre-order now that is what you can expect. I hope you all love this knife as much as I do the looks of, it because if you like the way it looks, you are going to absolutely love how it carries, and how it holds, how it feels in hand and how it cuts.
[13:28] You know, it's wickedly sharp. Yeah, it comes wickedly sharp and that recurve will help in cutting.
It will help in all manner of, you know, cutting chore.
And then as the years go by and you sharpen and you use that belly more and more, you'll.
[13:46] Be able to sharpen that area that you use more and it will maintain its beautiful shape.
Because that little bit of extra belly on that recurve there, as it sharpens away, you'll still maintain that nice bowie shape and you'll still have a great belly.
I'm talking about your grandkids. When your grandkids are using this and they're sharpening it down.
They can say, once this was a recurve, but now it's a perfectly straight bowie.
My granddad used this. My grandma used this.
You know, all of her days, and now it's come down to me through my father.
[14:21] And three generations later it's a perfectly shaped bowie. Anyway, that's all. I just went down the future memory lane for the Nova 1. I really am excited about this and hopefully there are Nova 2s, 3s, and 4s with different blade shapes and different color micarta handles. Let's see. Let's, see if we can do that. All right. Coming up on the Knife Junkie podcast, we're going to take a look at a bunch of stories in KnifeLife News.
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You're listening to the Knife Junkie podcast and now here's the Knife Junkie with the Knife Life News.
First up from Kaiser. Now Kaiser has something else I'm really excited about, which we talked about last week, but that's the new Damned Designs Tonto button lock. That looks wicked cool.
[15:42] But Kaiser has an in-house design team as well and they do some pretty cool stuff too.
This new one, though, the name, I think they're running out of names, the Kaiser Spot.
I don't know how they arrived at that for this beautiful Sleaf EDC knife.
This thing is designed in-house.
It's got a, I'm going to quote Ben Schwartz from Knife News here, it's got a low slung sweeping modified wharncliffe with a harpoon swedge.
[16:09] To me that just translates into a beautiful blade. Actually that blade reminds me of a slenderized version of the scorpion from off-grid knives.
A similar shape. It's a shape I love. It's sort of a clip point, sort of a drop point, sort of a low slung sweeping modified wharncliffe with a harpoon swedge.
That's a 2.91 inch blade, 154 cm. A blade steel you know that I love.
Bearing flippers, it'll come with black aluminum handles or this, a slightly lighter but luscious black and red lava G10.
It's available now, very cool looking knife. I like the stuff they do in house.
I am not sure if that's a removable flipper because I think it is, because I think I've seen a picture of the black one without the flipper tab.
Jim, would you scroll down, please, sir? We're going to do this live.
[17:04] So also this thing is 4.5 ounces. Yeah, see this? No flipper tab. I think this is one of those Kaiser removable flipper tabs, but it doesn't make mention of it in this article. A beautiful, beautiful knife. I'm looking forward to checking out the spot. All right, next up. This is one I meant to get to on Thursday Night Knives. We ran out of time. This is a new limited edition knife called the Makhani from We Knives. This is coming from a Russian designer Anton Kuchenkov, I'm gonna say. And he is of Steel Will Tasso fame that has that cool rock, the ant.
[17:44] Lock on it. This is a very interesting looking knife. It's sort of a worn cliff with a belly, but limited edition. That's 3.6 inches of 20 cv blade steel. Looks hand rubbed to me. 4.5 ounces, right hand only. And they're going to be five versions all with different inlays.
Some of them, like the one you see there, has that carbon fiber with aluminum foil or copper sort of of warped into it I think is cool but all contoured handles and inlays some of, them out the blade though I got to say that fuller rubs me wrong I said sand rub but that fuller I don't know it looks it looks like a mistake to me and now I don't mean to cast dispersions on mr. Kachenko's design he, actually has some great design chops just to my eye that fuller is wrong but, But on the whole, a beautiful knife.
I love the silhouette of it and look for that to come.
Again, limited edition we knife. Mcconey.
[18:47] Next up, as I mentioned earlier, Jack Wolf Knives is about to release their February twenty twenty three, knife. That'll be in two days on Friday.
We 17 the beautiful Havalina Jack. It is a sowbelly super ergonomic.
That's something we've learned about from Jack Wolf knives and Ben Belkin's designs.
He has stripped all the classical designs down to just one blade.
And doing that allows you to fully appreciate those ergonomics without, without having them obscured by another blade.
Here's a sow belly with a secondary blade.
And you don't get that benefit of the ergonomics because you feel the spine of the blade.
This new one, the javelina jack, comes in four different carbon fibers, two of them from camo carbon and two of them from fat carbon.
[19:39] Just makers of exquisite carbon fibers One of them I think is I think fat carbon is in Lithuania. Is that right and camo carbon is in America.
[19:49] So yeah Friday tomorrow the day after tomorrow Friday the 17th authorized dealers will have this this is s90v that, California clip is a full height hollow grind s90v. That's 2.8 three inches and this is their their second knife with S90V, which is pretty sweet to have in the collection.
Because now I have two knives with S90V.
So, yeah, that's an announcement for that. Look at the look at the authorized dealers for that.
Next, I have the Kershaw, man. Me, Kershaw is re exciting me now.
They haven't done that in a while. I guess the Lucha was the last thing that came out.
I was like very excited about and bought and enjoy.
They have four models out in 2023, featuring their Dura Lock, which is their answer to the Ambidextrous Bar Lock.
Look at these beauties. I'm just gonna real quickly, the Covalent, like the Covalent Bond.
Beautiful, I love the look of this. That's a polymer handle, 3.5 inch D2 on bearings with the lock with the Dura Lock. I gotta get used to that Dura Lock.
And then down below that, this one's in G10, that's the monitor, monitor like the lizard or the thing that you watch.
[21:13] TV on. I really like that blade shape. Sort of a low slung spear point.
[21:20] Almost has a wharncliffe vibe. Nice swale on the back. That's also D2. I'm loving seeing that they're getting rid of the 8 CR13 for their budget models. D2 and G10. Next, the Heist. Love the look of that blade. The Heist is polymer and a 3.1 inch blade with D2. Love that. And then lastly, this one, This one, the Iridium, is very exciting. I've seen a lot of people excited about this one.
This is an aluminum handle, so you know it's going to sound cool when you clickety-clack, that thing open with the Dura Lock. 3.5 inches of D2, beautiful spear point with a swedge, interesting swedge, and 3.8 ounces. Also, if you look at the tail end of it, it's got a really cool little lanyard loop of anodized gold or bronze. Very, very cool looking.
So yeah, I'm pretty excited. I will end up getting one of these.
I'm not sure what I right now I can only afford to buy folders that is that I think I'm going to carry.
[22:22] So I'll have to think about that. But seeing a lot of other people's videos about these, it's exciting because a lot of good news coming from Kershaw these days.
Okay. Lastly, Lon Humphrey, custom knife maker of outdoor knives, beautiful stuff.
He forges his knives and he's known for a few famous models.
Chief among them is the Blacktail.
So this new one is his Nesmuk Blacktail. He's using the Blacktail Handle that's a handle that has now appeared on three knives and he's giving it this beautiful fat-bellied Nesmuk blade.
I just think this thing is gorgeous.
He's calling this the, I think it's the Nesmuk, yes it's the Nesmuk Blacktail 3.5, 3.75 inch blade, that's 52 100 forged by hand. Nesmuk blade on the black tail handle. That's phenolic.
[23:17] Or here what's featured, you can get phenolic handles or what's featured here is one of the many kinds of woods you can get and this in particular is called, I'm seeing Storm Maple, which is cool because that is wood stabilized and taken from a tree that fell in his in Lon Humphrey's property during a storm. So that comes right from his land, which is pretty cool. Each, one hand fords. Check it out if that's your thing. Lon Humphrey's new Nesma black tail.
All right. Coming up on the Knife Chunky Podcast, we're going to take a look at a couple of new knives in the state of the collection, two of them from overseas and one very much from this, part of the world and then my top 15 USA made folders. If you're a knife junkie you're always in the market for a new knife and we've got you covered. For the latest weekly knife deals be sure to visit theknifejunkie.com slash knives. Through our special affiliate relationships we bring you weekly knife specials on your favorite knives. Help support the show and save money on a new knife.
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[24:31] And now that we're caught up with knife life news, let's hear more of the knife junkie podcast.
I had a late night Amazon just spur of the moment purchase laying in bed right before I turned off the light.
It was a couple of days ago and I was like, I'm going to I'm going to do this and turn off the light and forget about it and then they're going to show up.
I'm going to be excited because it's something It's for the next knife that I did that whole thing, but I tacked this on.
So this is the Senkut Watuaga.
Watuaga? How do you pronounce that?
Watuaga or Watuga. I've heard a lot of people say Watuga.
So it's beautiful. I could not resist this ever since ever since Stasa 23 came back from Blade Show with one of the early, one of the prototypes of this.
I've been excited to get my hands on this.
It is a about 3.6 inch um.
[25:30] Or I'm sorry 3.5 inch yeah um 3.5 inch worn cliff blade with a nice um choil there and a thumb swale and an opening notch or fuller and the really nicely contoured handle with the double finger partitions that are way uncommittal they don't they don't bother me at all or non-committal and then this excellent button lock so the Senkut Civivi has really done a great job with their button locks and this is definitely no exception. Been very excited to get my hands on this. So I threw this on there. This is D2 blade steel. Threw this on the order, and uh and it's kind of curious because I've been actually thinking of getting rid of knives like this out of my collection but then I realized Bob you've been saying that for a long time.
So that's not happening. So keep the ones that are really special and then if you have some, that are not so special, get rid of those. But stop laying down these bold declarations, like I'm getting rid of all of my, you know, you're not doing that.
So I just had to get this one. Who knows what its fate will be, but I think it's gonna get a lot of carry.
[26:42] It's just, it looks good, it feels good in hand. It's a very thin, slicey D2 blade, and it's fidgety.
So I think this one's gonna get a lot of carry.
The whatch, what, what how ga.
[26:56] Oh, I can hear you all yelling at your screen, your preferred pronunciation, but I prefer the what how ga.
All right, next up, this is the reason I was on Amazon.
I had seen this knife in a Neve's knives video and I thought, wow, I love this knife so much in its large form, I need to get the small version.
In the large form, it's this, the Civivi Praxis. Mine is in this beautiful rosewood with the black blade.
[27:24] So when I heard they came out with a mini, I was fascinated.
And here it is, the mini Civivi Praxis in G10 and black wash D2.
This I got for my wife, knowing that, you know, I really wanted to see it and experience it, but this is more of my wife's speed due to the size.
It's a perfect size. It gives you a full finger choil.
Just because it's smaller doesn't mean it's going to give you a smaller choil.
You got a full choil and then that's a three inch blade. It's really kind of cute. I hate to put it that way but, that's the word that comes to mind. It's kind of cute because I find this to be a really nice and beautiful knife. It's a great knife, to carry and use. It's a large but light knife with a lot of different uses.
[28:18] It just seemed like I had to get it. So I got this, gave it to my wife, and then very quickly said, uh, can I borrow it back for the show? She's like, yeah, sure. Uh, but I, uh, the cool thing is, is I gave it to her. She immediately opened it up. Oh, cool. And she loved the sticker.
And then she pulled this out, immediately took out her, her, uh, Sinkovich Kershaw from her waistband, and put this in. I was like, I love that girl. Uh, so that's the Civivi Praxis, Mini Praxis, uh, available now. By the way, it's 30 bucks. 30 bucks. It's an awesome deal. I highly, highly recommend it. I mean, you know, what can I say? It's a Civivi. It's amazingly designed and made and at 30 bucks.
Man, it's a steal. Lastly, this is a Christmas present from my brother. My parents just came into town and they brought this with me. He forgot to give it to me back then. So here it is. And it's another one for the wall of fame. This is a World War Two era Cormans Bolo from for.
[29:25] A World War Two Cormans Bolo used in the South Pacific or created for for that. And now in doing a little bit of research, I found that these knives here, well, I'll get to that in a second, I'll tell you what the knife is for. But I have to show the sheet that is stunning.
Sergeant WH Harding and my wife who does a lot of investigative stuff. I'm going to see if she can find, Sergeant WH Harding in the US Marine Corps.
And this is pretty... First of all, I have a couple of things behind me that has inscriptions in it that people have done.
You know, from World War II or whatever people have personalized their their sheaths but this one is just a step above beautiful.
[30:14] I'm not sure what the person used, but they used a small thing and they just pressed, pressed, pressed, pressed, pressed, pressed, and got that.
Got those beautiful letters. On the backside, we see some much less beautiful kind of scrawl carved in there.
And this to me, I can't tell if that's 1916 CRG or if that's 1976 and it's the grandson of Sergeant Harding who had this and he scrawled his name in. I can't tell.
But there's more here. Scrawl, you know where someone took a sharp knife and tried to scrawl their name in there. It looks like, Traeger or trailer or something, But it's interesting this she just has so much history in it from its first owner to it looks like it had two other owners, I'm hoping that sets family members who scrawled their names in it.
[31:14] But it has come to me throughout a long, you know circuitous route and thanks to my brother, I love that about I love these historical knives for that reason. This is a very heavy package and this was hanging from the belt of a corpsman.
That's a US Marine Corps medical officer or medical man out there in the field.
This is a damn heavy piece of kit and imagine all the other stuff that that, that person is carrying on a heavy web belt, on heavy canvas uniform, you know.
[31:47] They didn't have the high-tech garbage we have today that's super light and sweat wicking and all that.
They had some pretty rudimentary gear and heavy, heavy, heavy gear, which is just amazing to me.
This hung from the belt here. Here is the knife. That is a Cormans Bolo.
So Bolo, obviously, well maybe not so obviously, but that term was picked up during the occupation of the Philippines, where everyone there carries a bolo.
So the bolo machete, there's a bolo behind me right here. This is the Collins machete bolo.
[32:24] Also for my brother, also a similar use, but this was for Corman to sort of make a path through the jungle, through vegetation.
[32:37] Saplings, vegetation, and it has a sort of a spoon bill with a swedge for digging.
[32:46] So if you're trying to get a stretcher through the jungle with an injured man on it, this is the tool you have on your hip to sort of clear the path.
And everything about that scenario, carrying a stretcher through the jungle with a wounded soldier during war, with all of that heavy gear on.
[33:05] And this is your tool to clear the path, all of that just makes me feel like so incredibly grateful, to those people, to those men who are out there fighting that war and using this tool, using those implements.
So Sergeant WH Harding, wherever you are, thank you, sir. And I will take good care of this, of your Cormans Bolo machete.
This thing is incredible. And I think maybe it was Sergeant Harding who altered the handle a little.
Like seems like right here where you would want more of a pinch point. It's been filed down or worn down. And there's a lot of personalized.
[33:47] Uh you know details to this i who knows how old this leather fob is probably not that old actually, um but anyway a beautiful gift vic thank you so much and uh yeah just these these kind of knives are access a different part of me than then uh than the civivis and the and the chris reeve knives you know this it's a different thing it's our history right here uh so you can you can kind of of get in touch with history through knives. Love that. All right, next up, let's talk about the United States. Some more. Let's talk about some of my absolute favorite USA made folders. Now I have a, I went through my collection and I realized proudly that, I have a good bunch of them. Knives not only designed by Americans, but made in America.
And that's exciting and I like that part of my collection. There's something that the Civivi's access, sort of a prurient aspect, but these USA made knives are soul-sustaining.
Oh God, that sounds so stupid. All right. All right.
First up on this list, the Demko 8020.
All right. Now this was made in Wampum, T.A.
[35:06] By Andrew Demko and his brother John. Forgive me for having that mind locked there.
And so John Demko does play a large role in putting these together.
And Andrew Demko of course designs and makes these beauties.
I just saw, let's see, Knife Center is gonna have a whole bunch of these coming as is Blade HQ.
And they just look beautiful. They got a new blade shape on there, slicer blade shape that looks really cool. This one is in this beautiful maroon G10.
But what I love about this knife is that it is really really stout and very very sturdy, very sharp. It's a great great work knife. I mean it's about as good as it gets. It's very stout behind the edge. It's not going to be the best apple slicer in the world, but it's not going to to be the worst either. It's got a very robust grind but also a very robust blade stock with.
[36:11] The excellent shark lock. Plus it's fidgety all day long and you know this is just one of those knives that if it's in your pocket you're good to go for whatever reason. So I love the looks of this thing too and the whole experience of opening and closing it. So everything about this knife and I guess I can say that straight down the board. Next up is one from a company I don't talk too much about but Benchmade and for me from Benchmade it's the Bugout. I absolutely love this knife. This has been carried way more than I ever talk about on this show. It's done a lot of waistband carry, it's done a lot of pajama carry, it's done a lot of summer carry. The only place I I won't carry it is to the pool.
[37:02] Because I tend to put my knives in my pocket after I get out of the pool and that bleaches my Carta and I earned that patina, on these Allen Putnam aftermarket scales. I got this, right after the, you know, before the Benchmade had its own variety coming from, or before Benchmade, offered variety in this knife and before the aftermarket was there with all the different scales that we get, I got these, Putnam scales and put on the the snaggle tooth MF to auto pocket deploy it because, it's done a lot of back pocket carry as on the left side as well as in my winter jacket. So I just like the option of being able to pull it out and have it immediately deployed. A great pocket clip. I have I bought another one of these pocket clips to put on the next knife to replace a, substandard clip there. Just a great overall knife. I'm so glad they came out with this knife.
I wouldn't mind checking out the bailout and some of their other offerings kind of in this, super thin, super light range. Okay, next up, this is the knife I was just alluding to.
This is the Ritter Hogue Mini RSK Mark I.
[38:21] That's a mouthful. The RSK stands for Ritter Survival Knife. Doug Ritter, we know him for, Knife Rites. He's the head of Knife Rites and also the Ritter Griptilian. His knife, the idea being, a survival folder with a super premium steel on an inexpensive chassis was first OEM'd by Benchmade in the Ritter Griptilian and then when Benchmade stopped doing OEM work altogether five or six years ago, Doug Ritter landed at Hoag and man what a great landing that was because.
[39:03] They have turned this knife up. They're using their own Able Lock that stands for Ambidextrous Bar Lock Enhanced. So basically their version of the Axis Lock and in my opinion an excellent, excellent job. They have fully contoured G10 handles, in this case G-Mascus, so you see different layers there. And that beautiful radial pattern coming out from the pivot there.
Just beautiful execution and a little slightly bit longer handle than a Griptilian. So you get a full, full grip on this thing and then that beautiful broad high flat ground drop point blade. Just a beautiful, beautiful knife. And I had the large one. I ended up giving that to my brother or I gave that to someone and I don't think I gave it to my brother though. I've got to remember where that thing is. I love this small version. This was sent to me by Doug Ritter himself so it means a lot, as well as I love the way it looks and to be perfectly frank this is a model I only will, probably ever carry in the small version. It's just how I appreciate that design best.
[40:19] Next up from a great American maker and a great guy who makes these in his Garage, I mean, I'm sure he's upgraded a little bit, but this is a guy who does amazing stuff, all by himself and.
[40:34] The feedback of his fans. This is American Blade Works and the man I'm talking about Michael Martin is The proprietor and maker and designer. This is the American Blade Works model one version 5 he landed on the version 6 and that's where all improvements were complete basically.
So he came out with the version 1 of this in aluminum and sent it around, got a lot of feedback, and made changes and then did that with every iteration of this knife.
Getting the feedback from knife users and just kind of dialing in the design.
This one is so nice. I really, this one is a really comfortable user. This to me.
[41:23] It reminds me a little bit of a of a Benchmade, or not a Benchmade, in the, handle of a Southerned. It has that sort of just neutral comfort and then it's got a full height S35VN flat ground blade and then it has a titanium clip here. Mine has the blasting on the blade so that has always... like this is not a drop shutter. The version 6s are definitely drop shutters and the version 5s that I've held that don't have the blasting drop shut. I don't know, could it be that I haven't carried this enough? I've had this for a few years now so I just think it is what it is and what it is is an awesome EDC knife. These come in micarta liner lock or titanium frame locks. I think they also come in G10.
[42:18] All right, so that's the American Blade Works Model 1. I would love to have.
[42:23] Michael back on the show. Great guy. I had him on the coverage of Blade Show 2021 for this family.
He was all charming and very, very nice too. Next up, another great group of people putting out a great knife and some others but this is the only one I have from them and that's Three Rivers Manufacturing TRM. This is the atom.
[42:47] This is a blackwashed atom and this is a factory reject, not reject, factory second.
I had one that was not a factory second and but I sold that one because this one is way more special to me and because this one was it wasn't given to me but it was sold to me at a great price, with a lot of extras including these G-Carta scales from GL Hansen & Son by TRM by Marianne at TRM just a wonderful lady and a great businesswoman and.
[43:25] Running a great great knife company with her husband Les. TRM see those two dots next to USA those two dots mean second factory second and that's because of of this right there. See that little tiny blemish in the coating of the blade? That's why this is a factory second. They could have easily sold this thing at a premium price and not called a factory second on this, but they did. And that's what I love about companies like this. They have to maintain their reputation. Something like that could tank their reputation, you know, with how knife people, are. You know, I shouldn't put it that way, but how, you know, you spend money on a knife and these are not inexpensive. You want to know that you're getting the best product you can from them. So in any case, that does not bother me. This is a cool DLC. It's, it's almost hard to see.
It's like the predator. You look at it and it's like, is it shiny? Is it DLC? Is it black? Is it silver? I just can't tell. And then these beautiful green GL Hanson and sun scales. She also gave me some purple and green ones where the dominant color is purple and the stripes are green, and we gave those away during our birthday bash when Jim and I, we have our August birthdays That was two years ago now, Jim.
[44:45] We haven't aged a day since, actually. Next up from, you know what, hang on, before I move on, I just have to say, almost everyone I've talked about so far has been on the podcast.
Andrew Demko was on episode 20 and episode 118. Doug Ritter, 338 and others, he's been on a bunch of times.
American Blade Works, Michael Martin's been on the show. All you gotta do is go to theknifejunkie.com slash 148, and you can hear that episode.
Same thing with TRM. They were on episode 62 or on theknifejunkie.com slash 240.
So that's really a quick way to go and check out all these podcasts.
So I will mention it from here on out as I mentioned the knife. Like this one, from Tactile Knives. We had Matthew Miller, or Michael Miller from Tactile Knife Company come on the show episode 62, or no I'm sorry, episode 216 and episode 360.
So you can hear all about the process of going from a pen company making tactile turn pens, those beautiful things, to making these beautiful things, the tactile knife company, and knives like this, the rock wall, or their slip joint, the bear.
[45:58] And now they have two other gorgeous ones out. They're doing their version of the access lock, and they have a fixed blade out from Matthew Christensen. So just doing incredible things down there in Texas. So this knife is 100% made in the United States and actually 100% made by, Tactile Knife Company except when this was made. Now I'm not sure if this has changed since then.
Actually, no it has not changed. Actually I asked recently. The stop pin is made by a different company and something else. But the screws, the clip, and everything else is made in their shop.
They turn their own screws on their Swiss lathes and they do all this beautiful micro-milling on their handles on their mills.
Just great. Man, they are expert craftsmen with mills and lathes.
And they have designed beautiful works of cutlery and then have done these great collaborations now with Richard Rogers and Matthew Christensen most recently.
So this, the rock wall is a three inch blade, beautiful. This is, what is this?
This one is 20 CV and I'm not sure what they, oh no, this is XHP and then they moved to 20 CV.
This is a prototype, a production prototype.
[47:23] Let's see, and you can tell as they put it somewhere in here.
[47:27] Says it somewhere. Anyway, just a great, great blade meant designed to fit in a, Wrigley's chewing gum case. So very small carry package, but a very capable, a full grip three inch bladed knife. Beautiful thing. And I think it's a gorgeous blade too. All right, next up from a company from Shreve, Ohio, from Ohio, my home state, or at least where I, where I came from, I'm not there anymore.
But my heart is still in Ohio is the Chris Reeve knives XM 24 Warncliff.
Now I have the 18 Warncliff and I have a couple of other.
[48:06] Hinderer knives but to me the XM 24 just takes the cake.
The thing I like about the XM 24 is that it's a full four inch blade.
[48:17] It's got this super sturdy frame lock, titanium frame lock construction. You can get it in a slimmed down version, but I do like the big, the full thickness. They also come in a fat version, which is weird to me. But, so I love this full thickness, full size. Plus, the reason I like the four-inch blade, not only am I a four inch blade, you know, that's what I prefer. But the length of the blade allows his designs, his wharncliffe that we're looking at and his bowie to fully to fully express themselves.
I feel like the wharncliffe on the XM18 looks a little short, whereas on the three inch XM18, it actually looks as good as it does on the 24.
And I feel the same way about the Bowie, even though they don't have a three inch Bowie yet.
[49:12] But I feel like the three and a half inch Bowie just isn't enough.
Anyway, so I guess you could say any Chris, any Hinderer knife would fall in this category for me because I love the company and I love that they're American made.
I love that they're from Ohio, you know, and they just build these rock solid, super sturdy knives.
Knives. Love it and I love all of it. But my favorite is this one. Just look at it.
I mean, and if you're only listening, it just does have the most dramatic wharncliffe shape, out there, especially with the choil. I do find the choil is necessary to fully express this shape. I have the no choil three and a half inch version and it's not quite the, same. All right, next up is the Les George VSEP. This is the, oh, the mid tech version of his Rockeye, the full custom version. Now the Rockeye has, has been, is, now done by ProTech in the automatic versions and they are beautiful. Large The SBR is also his but...
[50:18] I always, since the moment I saw this knife, I was in love with its design and was kind of on the hunt for one of these for a long time. Finally found one from a guy in Singapore. Took six.
[50:29] Weeks to get here. I thought it was lost in the mail. I was convinced I had. But just beautiful action. Just slow rolling this out. I know he does flippers now on bearings, but I love this silky, smooth washer action. Plus, it's beautiful to look at, beautiful in hand with that perfect, neutral grip and then a drop point blade and thumb ramp to beat the band. Love this knife.
In all of its incarnations. All right, next up is an American classic at this point and one against which so many are judged and that is the Sabenza 21 in this case.
[51:11] And I don't have the 31 but if I did I would still probably say the 21 because the 31 incorporates some great innovations that appear in other knives from Chris Reeve knives. So to me this, 21 is the quintessential Chris Reeve knife. Again super smooth washer action. I won't be able to do that with my left hand though because this one is only a right-handed knife. This is, there is something about this knife that no other knife feels like with the, with these micarta inlays.
[51:47] When it's open, when it's in hand, it just, it's, it feels like a solid, it almost feels like a fixed, blade. It has that solidity to it and, and that je ne sais quoi and I don't mean, I'm not even saying that to sound ironic really that I don't know what je ne sais quoi I just don't know what it's like, it is more than the sum of its parts and and its parts are exquisite now it's put together so this is this knife is worthy of all of its hype and all of its cost and more. Next up is the Spyderco military and man I've been carrying this one a bit lately because I'm so excited for the military two which I have already put my five dollars down on blade HQ for their pre-order. Oh I'm so excited for this. We've been waiting for this or I have for ages. You know they came out with the with the, Para military too a long time ago and and so many versions and it's so popular. They came out with the three the Para three which is smaller but they left they left the military to languish, in tip-down world, tip-down liner lock world. So I'm so glad that they're updating this to the compression lock and compression lock and a four-way positionable clip. It's about damn time and I don't mean to sound.
[53:12] Ungrateful but it is about time. The weird thing is is that they've gone to all this trouble to redesign and come out with the paramilitary 2 as they should have years ago but they're still...
It's still going to be with S30 V steel which to me is a little bizarre. Why not just throw us a a bone and put 15 more V's in there and give us S45VN. It would feel like an upgrade like the rest of the design. Is it an upgrade? I don't know, but that's optics and I think that would probably not cost them that much more and would be cool. Next up is the Pro-Tek.
[53:48] TR3. I love Pro-Tek. I was talking about them before with the Rockeye. That was the first protac I ever got the first upscale automatic was the Rock Eye years ago at this point every protac I've ever held I've loved and I have a TR2 a TR3 and, and the Rock Eye but this to me is the is the cream this is the cream of the crop it is the perfect size it is the perfect weight it is the perfect, ergonomics everything about this knife the TR3 is perfect this one is in 154 cm, with the standard grooves which feel really good in hand there over your fingers wrap around and dig into those grooves to great effect awesome jimping I love the way milled aluminum feels the way Pro-Tech and Micro-Tech do it, so great texture jimping here you got a standard Emerson slash benchmade three, screw clip and this is the SWAT version. TR3 SWAT. This is before the operators came out with the operator versions are all black with the little tritium insert. So in the dark when When you have your knife, you can look at it and say, Oh there it is.
[55:03] Of course, that's not why it's just to look cool, but great kick.
These things kick. They don't slap out like Benchmade autos do.
In my experience, they they snap out really crisply.
The one that I wanted when I bought this is the one with the fish scales, which is really cool to fish scale milling.
But now that I have this, I think this is a pattern I can live with.
I think the fish scale milling was cool when I saw it. But I'm like, I'm not a Navy SEAL.
You know what I mean?
Like that's what you'd get if you're like a Navy dude or have a special aquatic attachment or maritime attachment.
I do not. So this one works for me.
[55:44] Next up, this was my favorite and bestest knife for a good while.
And that is the ZT0452CF.
A silhouette, a profile that is very emblematic, very recognizable from from Dmitri Sinkovic, a Belorussian designer and one of my absolute favorite knife designers out there of folders. This is such an elegant beauty and it's a 4.25 inch blade so it's a nice big knife but nice and slender. You got the titanium frame lock on one side. You've got the, you know, the sort of basket weave carbon fiber on this side that I tolerate, but that's not, that's my least favorite kind of carbon fiber. But nice and light, feels so good in hand. And.
[56:35] You've got this forward jimping that I love. It's sort of the kind that you grip and pull back on, on that downward slope. Just stunningly beautiful, great action.
This was one of my first S35 VN blades I remember.
Just great action but not as drop-shuddy as some of the later knives.
[56:57] I have heard it said that zero tolerance peaked with this knife.
Now, I wouldn't say they did, but I would say this is definitely one of their highest points.
Because it is tough, tough, tough, like they're bigger, thicker, more imposing designs.
But it's got this slender, elegant assassin's look to it that I just love.
I, you know, a sink of each custom folder would be something that I would love or, or, you know, sink of each with sure gore off. Some of those designs are just out of this world.
Next up a knife that has gotten some really, really serious action and gets a lot of carry, especially whenever I go on a road trip is the microtech.
So calm elite.
I absolutely adore this knife and would love to get more of them in my collection.
I only have this one and then I have the Socom Bravo from Reich Knives, which I love, but not nearly as much as this. I love the aluminum.
Like I said, the milling in the aluminum feels great on the texture.
It has a slight taper when you look at it in this dorsal aspect from here to...
From the thumb ramp to the pommel sort of tapers.
[58:18] And you've got, and it also tapers when you turn it this way on its flat side.
You got a glass breaker. That was the first glass breaker I ever had.
That's why this became my car knife, my road trip knife. And actually an awesome clip for tip down.
This is one of the two knives I excuse it.
You saw the military, this is the other one. But the way they do this clip is great because it accommodates slanted pockets. That little cutout for tightening and loosening the pivot it also allows you to.
[58:54] Snuggly nestle that down over the slanted seam of like a khaki or military pocket.
[59:02] Great knife. First knife I ever had on bearings and I didn't even know it. I was like, how can this knife be so impossibly smooth? That was before kind of the bearing craze.
They were kind of ahead of the game. This is 2013 produced. So they were around but not, as common as they are today. Bearing pivots that is. Such a great knife. I want more.
Want want want want want want want. Next up and penultimate in this list is my probably my favorite Emerson. I mean I bounce around but just judging by this is the one I put in my pocket the most, and that's the Sachs. I love that that classic Viking Sachs profile on the blade. It is extremely sharp. I did break the tip on this one and send it to Jared Neve for repair. He repaired the tip and put a screaming sharp edge on this already sharp chisel chisel ground blade, well it's a chisel edge blade it's a v ground blade chisel edge v blade There we go.
Nice big wave for a pocket deployment and a ergonomics that I would say are.
[1:00:12] Among the least comfortable for Emerson but that's saying a lot because the Emerson, ergos are so comfortable and the reason I say that it's a double finger partition that I don't, usually go for but this this one isn't so bad it's not like the the Contigo really, really pushed it, I feel.
This one, not so bad.
But yeah, I do carry this one quite a bit and that blade is a great utility blade.
I know a lot of people do not like chisel edges, but they cut amazingly.
They do track a little differently through material, especially if the whole blade is chiseled around, but it takes about a microsecond to readjust and get the hang.
So a great tactical knife and a great utility knife made in the United States in California.
[1:01:01] And I don't know, I know he's moved to Colorado, but I don't think he moved the company.
I'm not sure about that actually.
But I know that this one was made in California.
All right, last on this list and holds a very special place in my heart.
And you'll see why. It has my logo emblazoned on the handle.
But also just an incredible knife from one of my favorite knife designers, Bill Harsey, and one of my favorite knife companies, Spartan Blades.
This is the Spartan Harsey folder, just a super, super stout titanium frame lock, with this has an S35VN blade. I know now they're onto S45VN.
And after my interview with Curtis Ayovito, which was episode 152, he said, send me your knife, I will put your logo on it.
And so I did and made me so happy. It was such a nice thing to do.
And it really, you know, I will obviously never get rid of this.
Probably wouldn't anyway, because it's a Spartan Hersey Folder.
[1:02:04] A great, great, super smooth bearing, not bearing, super smooth washer action.
This knife distills out basically everything from every other knife I've shown, especially the Sebenza and the VSEP, and also the Hinderer and just, it has the feel of all of those knives in one.
Just outstanding, no weight reduction on those handles. Just a solid, gorgeous, four inch bladed knife, designed by Bill Harsey and produced in North Carolina by Spartan Blades.
[1:02:40] Love these USA made folders. All right, thank you one and all ladies and gentlemen for watching this top 15 USA made folders list.
I love them. I would love to add to them, but these could hold me the rest of my life, obviously.
And then the lives of my progeny, no doubt.
[1:03:00] All right, be sure to join us on tomorrow night for Thursday night knives at 10 p.m. Eastern standard time right here on YouTube, Facebook or Twitch. and of course join us on Sunday for the Sunday Interview Show.
You can also download us to your favorite podcast app. And now also keep your eyes peeled for the Nova 1 pre-order.
All you do is go to theknifejunkie.com slash Nova 1 and that'll take you right to the pre-order page.
Appreciate it if you do. I'd love to hear what you think about the knife and I've been loving carrying it and well, I hope you do too.
All right, for Jim working his magic behind the switcher, I'm Bob DeMarco saying, until next time, don't take dull for an answer.
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[1:04:10] And if you have a question or comment, email them to Bob at theknifejunkie.com or call, our 24-7 listener line at 724-466-4487 and you may hear your comment or question answered, on an upcoming episode of the Knife Junkie Podcast.
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Knives, News and Other Stuff Mentioned in the Podcast
- Stylish New Kizer Spot — EDC from Inhouse Design Team
- Anton Tkachenko in Limited Edition Collab with We Knife Co.
- February Jack Wolf Knife is Very Ergonomic Sowbelly
- Kershaw’s Answer to the Bar Lock: Exciting Duralock Lineup for 2023
- Lon Humphrey Combines Nessmuk Blade with Blacktail Handle
- The Knife Junkie’s Patreon Group
- Arcane Designs Antimatter
- Jack Wolf Knives Javelina Jack
- TKJ/Hogtooth NoVA-1
- Vero Engineering Synapse (ESK)
State of the Collection
- Sencut Watauga
- Civivi Mini Praxis
- S.M.C. Corpsman Bolo, WWII Era
My Top 15 USA Made Folders
- Demko AD-20
- Benchmade Bugout
- Ritter/Hogue Mini RSK Mk 1
- American Blade Works Model 1 V5
- Three Rivers Mfg. Atom
- Tactile Knife Co. Rockwall
- Hinderer Knives XM-24 Wharnie
- George Knives VECP
- Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza
- Pro-Tech TR-3
- Spyderco Military
- Zero Tolerance 0452CF
- Microtech SOCOM Elite
- Emerson Seax
- Spartan Harsey Folder
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