From full-time car salesman to full-time knife sharpener and YouTube knife reviewer, The Apostle P has grown a loyal following on YouTube. He’s a straight shooter and I think you’ll enjoy hearing his insights into knife sharpening, YouTube knife videos and his regular Thursday night knife sale, as well as his feelings about the “Heat Treat Police.”
It was great to finally catch-up with Rob and chat and I hope you enjoy the conversation!Rob Bixby, aka The Apostle P on YouTube, talks about going from car salesman to full-time knife sharpener on The Knife Junkie Podcast (episode 96). I think you'll enjoy the conversation. Click To Tweet
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* Transcription is generated by artificial intelligence (ai) and is not edited. There may be some errors. Thanks for understanding.
Rob Bixby 0:00
This simple chunk of steel with with a handle on it that may or may not fold isn't really what it's about. It's really about who made it why they made it the way they did what they were trying to achieve by the design and manufacture this tool and they mark moments in time these knives do with people who are important to us in the knife community. And that's that's kind of a neat place to get to and collecting.
Welcome to The Knife Junkie podcast your weekly dose of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your hosts Jim Person and Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco
Jim Person 0:45
Hello and welcome
Jim Person 0:46
to episode number 96 of the Knife Junkie podcast I'm Jim Person
Bob DeMarco 0:51
and I'm Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco Welcome to the show.
Unknown Speaker 0:53
Welcome to the knife junkie podcast that is the place for knife newbies and Knife Junkie is to learn all about knives. And knife collecting here from knife designers, makers, manufacturers reviewers, anyone who loves knives The Knife Junkie podcast has you covered and Bob, we're going to go to knife church today.
Bob DeMarco 1:12
Yeah, that's right. We're talking to the apostle, the apostle p Rob Bixby, one of my favorite YouTubers from I've been watching him for years now. He's famous for his from the sharpening bench videos where he's a sharpener professional sharpener, and he receives knives from clients all over the place and they have a wide variety of knives so it gives him a unique opportunity to check out a lot of things, make video reviews, but he also has an incredible knife sale. So I've been following Rob for a long time and it was a great opportunity to catch up with him and get to know him a little bit. And we'll get to that interview in just a second but remind you as we're going through these trying times with Corona virus kovat 19. You may be doing less in person shopping and more online shopping. So if you need anything could be a knife or it could be just supplies for your household, please use our affiliate link we'll get a very small commission but you won't pay any more for the product that you need to buy. Go to The Knife Junkie comm slash shop Amazon, The Knife Junkie comm slash shop Amazon that'll help support the show and you can get everything you need on Amazon at your normal everyday price without paying any more.
You're listening to The Knife Junkie podcast.
If you've got questions or comments call the 24 seven Knife Junkie listener line at 724-466-4487.
Bob DeMarco 2:40
I'm here with Rob Bixby the apostle p on YouTube. Not only is he a renowned reviewer of knives but he is a luminary in the world of sharpening knives this man quit his day job to sharpen knives. That tells you anything. Rob, thank you so much for coming on The Knife Junkie Potter Cast.
Rob Bixby 3:00
Happy to be here. Bob, thank you for reaching out to me. I'm grateful that you asked and grateful to be here.
Bob DeMarco 3:06
Well, right before we started rolling, I start I was about to tell you about two videos that you made that changed my, my collecting life. And this this happened probably about five years ago. One of them was called the progressive insanity of knife collecting. And the other was knives with soul. Do you do these videos? ring a bell? I mean, you've made a lot
Bob DeMarco 3:29
those two videos are kind of
Unknown Speaker 3:33
they were videos that sort of ruminated and marinated inside of me and, and just sort of had to be made at one point. And they kind of they kind of illustrate the journey of a knife collector in the hobby. And I tried to make them because I was hoping that they would help explain to people who are developing the addiction. Why these things were happening to them.
Bob DeMarco 3:59
Yeah, yeah. They go hand in hand. It's like once a justification for the other. Yeah. So knives with soul especially, uh, you know, progressive insanity of knife collecting you kind of you kind of sort of detail, the journey of going from a Walmart purchased Kershaw leek for instance, I can't remember the exact knives but you, you take it up, you know, a notch or two to Spyderco and then and then to benchmade and then suddenly you're spending, you know, 500 bucks on the Crk
Rob Bixby 4:29
or eight of them,
Bob DeMarco 4:30
or eight of them. And that sort of made it feel okay, I'm not the only one. And then the knives with soul. You know, it's like, I realized I have four Hinderer zTs why not just trade them and get a real Hinderer after your video and, and so, it inspired me to do a little bit of refining in how I look at things.
Unknown Speaker 4:53
Yeah, and I think that concept is kind of, it's something we start to ponder as we mature in Collecting when we sort of graduate from running out to buy whatever we saw three guys have on Instagram this week, because three other guys had it. And we graduate from that sort of that kind of mob collecting mentality to really starting to discern what's important to us and why, in the knives that we that we covet, so to speak, as the knives that we want to own. And I think the longer we go collecting knives and the more people that we start to talk to the connections that we make, especially when we start to meet guys who make knives, we start to realize that that this simple chunk of steel with with a handle on it that may or may not fold isn't really what it's about. It's really about who made it, why they made it the way they did, what they were trying to achieve by the design and manufacture the story. And they mark moments in time these knives do with people who are important to us in the knife community. And that's, that's kind of a neat place to get to and collecting.
Bob DeMarco 6:12
Yeah, at you, you might develop an appetite for innovation, you know, collecting knives by what's unique about them, and maybe holding on to them even though you don't carry them just because it's the Bob DeMarco Museum of knives and you're exaggerating you hold on to it because it's significant, not necessarily because you use it every day. Right? Right. And there's also a problem in that there are no places to buy knives around where I live here. I live near a major metropolitan area and you know, just knives are not tolerated around here. And yeah, so I can't go hurt. I know. I can't just go to my local neighborhood knife store and and just pick something up and try it out. If If a design catches mint My eye and I'm a total estate. I'll admit it right up front. I will buy it and then have it and we went over it and then I should really sell this thing. I just wanted to check it out. Okay, so for those of you who didn't catch that, Bob said, he is an aesthete.
Unknown Speaker 7:17
So he's one who appreciates the aesthetics of a knife. That means Let's face it, people here in the Midwest, where I live by we don't we don't really know where it's like that.
Bob DeMarco 7:26
Unknown Speaker 7:28
You know, there might be some people in the middle of the country listening so
Bob DeMarco 7:33
well, you know, you you watch any or listen to any knife video, and they talk about aesthetics. So I figured this deep
Unknown Speaker 7:40
they did. Yeah, it's like athlete. Yeah. jewels from Pulp Fiction would say check out the big vocab.
Bob DeMarco 7:49
Oh, yeah, man. Hey, there's a word for everything. There is especially in our crazy language.
Unknown Speaker 7:55
Yeah, absolutely. I used to I remember one time given given Jim Skelton a little bit of giving him a little bit of ribbing, because he he had a knife that was a bronzy purple color. And he called it oh bergy oh, oh, that's that's
Bob DeMarco 8:14
that's for lunch for eggplant is exactly,
Rob Bixby 8:17
yeah. Which is now a pornographic fruit.
Bob DeMarco 8:21
That's so weird. I can't I can't get with that. But so you've detailed in your videos, your progress or your how your life has changed from being a car salesman to being a full time sharper. It take us through that a little bit.
Unknown Speaker 8:37
Yeah. And you know, I'd love to tell you, you know, I'd love to write the the retrospective book on how to be successful in knife sharpening and tell you that I plan all that. So here's what happened. And people who have been following me for a long time know that in 2009 i was i was a recording Covered drug addict and alcoholic for about 20 years. And through all that stayin sober and clean, didn't really have a relationship with God. And so at this point I'm, I'm 15 years in the car business, running a dealership, and I'm a new Christian. And for the next six years, I struggled trying to reconcile, although we were a pretty ethical, we're an extremely ethical business for a car dealership. Still, the decisions I was helping people make didn't match what didn't match what scripture said we should do with God's resources. For the last few years, I did that for a living. It was just it got increasingly difficult to go to work every day. And one day I had a long talk with the owner of my store and he knew my heart wasn't in it anymore. And we were having a moment of honesty and I said, you know, Jeff I just don't think I can do this anymore. And we need to make arrangements for me to get out of here and I need to go do something else. And at that time, I was sharpening part time. And I knew I had more work than I could handle. And I was controlling my workflow by not answering emails. Brilliant, right? So I thought maybe maybe this is God telling me it's time. So I made a decision to hand them the keys and walk away and did a video and so I'm going to sharpen full time now and I don't think my backlog has been under three weeks since September of 2015. Yeah, so I've been richly blessed and what has been provided for me to kind of maintain close to the same level of income by sharpening knives in a pretty good way for people and also to augment that kind of put in my path, something I thought I was never going to do again to sell things. So you may know Yeah, I think you do know that. Yeah. Every Thursday night at nine o'clock we have a knife sale on my YouTube channel and I lapse a little bit too. It's kind of cool.
Bob DeMarco 11:16
Since we're there. How did you get involved with that?
Unknown Speaker 11:19
That's a great story. Those of you who have been around the YouTube knife community for a while may know the name Toad sticker to a DST kr, who is a gentleman named Rick who lives in Washington State. And he is an old and deer online friend of mine. And at some point A few years ago, I think this was before I stopped Sankar he called me one day and said, I'm having some medical issues. I got too many knives. Do you think you could do a sale on your YouTube channel and get me some money? And I said, Sure we can try. I think you sent me a dozen knives and like True novice as I was I made a video and turned it on public at like nine in the morning on a Friday while I was at work and so I got no work done for the next four hours. And I went huh I guess people really will buy knives this way. But I knew that I didn't really have a taste for doing that when I when I when I handed the bus the keys to the dealership I never wanted to sell anything again. All right, but I did some favors for people and sold some knives and and then I'm just getting besieged with requests from would be consigners. And I don't know I guess for the last three and a half years we've had a knife sale every Thursday except for weeks I've been on vacation, and they don't stop coming in so I keep keep making videos.
Bob DeMarco 12:52
So where do they come from? Do you have just different sources who have their hands on a lot of knives or who know a lot of people are
Unknown Speaker 13:00
now their individual collectors Bob, there are guys who, whose collections have either gotten out of hand from a volume standpoint or and we understand this. they've they've matured in their taste or they've they've evolved in what they want to collect and in order to fund their next purchases, they need to get rid of stuffs and some people I guess some people kind of get out of the hobby, and they want to they want to cash that stuff. So 95% of what you see on my, on my weekly sale, our knives from individual collector consigners. Occasionally I throw a couple of mine in the because because I need to do that. Right. Sure. And then I've had a couple buddies who are, who are retailers who, you know, have stuff laying around in the back that they just need to cash and they don't want to put on their website.
Bob DeMarco 13:59
So I'd love to just watch the videos because first of all I love how you how you describe them and how you you know i from watching your knife review videos, I have a good idea of what your tastes are. And you don't need to advertise them. I pretty much know how you feel about what's coming out. Yeah. So I just like to watch the knives and and kind of get in that zone. I've never gotten anything never bought anything from a sale though. I came close recently. There was a there was a fixed blade fighter. It was a it was it was a custom I can't remember. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 14:35
that was in that large batch of customs that I had that took me weeks to get rid of.
Bob DeMarco 14:39
Yeah, you read you repost it. I'm gonna get it. I'm gonna get it and then I just didn't
Unknown Speaker 14:44
know I can't remember who made that knife. I was kind of surprised it didn't sell because it really wasn't that expensive for a custom. No, it wasn't and it was very cool. The only thing I imagine is that it was double edged and a lot of people just yeah, you don't want to deal with the headache that bayonet grinding
Bob DeMarco 14:58
Yeah, yeah, exactly. What then nice. chipping, but I want to back up to the sharpening some more. Tell me how did how did sharpening itself become part of your knife hobby? And then where did your addiction come from in the first place?
Unknown Speaker 15:11
Okay, so my addiction was spawn at age nine. My my uncle who married my hat was sort of a he was sort of a redneck from Tennessee. And he was a nice guy and I remember he carried on his hip a buck 110 and every now and then, like, you know, for special occasions, he had this really nicely engraved browning a similar folding hunter that was a little cooler than the buck even. And he knew I ogled those knives and one day when they came to visit He brought me kind of a miniature version of a buck 110 It wasn't a buck, it was a those of you who have been around a long time will know this brand. It was a jet dash air, a Are folding Hunter, a company that's been extinct for a long time? Very well made Japanese knife. And I cherish that knife and I learned to sharpen. He taught me a lot. And you know, back then I sharpened on natural wet stones. This is before we knew about Japanese Waterstones. Yes, back in the late 70s, early 80s. So, you know, I was never a prolific collector throughout, you know, before I was 30 because I didn't have any money. But I always had knives and I always sharpen them myself and sharpen my buddy's knives. About 2009 I discovered YouTube and I stumbled across this little channel you you may have heard of nothing fancy. Oh, yeah, yeah, heard of that one. Yeah, little little tiny YouTube channel. And he was a knife nut. I'm like, what he's like is nuts about this stuff. As I am and I think I might know more than he does, because he did this a long time. And I started, you know, clicking around. I'm like, well, he's not the only one. Yeah, there there are other people doing these videos and people watching them. So I started reviewing knives and after a while you run out of your own stuff. So I thought, you know, I need to figure out a way to get more knives in here without buying them. So maybe I'll sharpen knives and then review the knives that sharpen. I thought, well, some of these are pretty expensive and you can make mistakes freehand. So I went on this quest for a fixtured system that I thought I would do well with and ended up buying an edge pro Apex because it was sort of a neat hybrid between between touch and hand control and guided system. It's it's I still prefer it to anything else out there. So I bought one of those so I could be precise, not make mistakes that damaged people's knives. And I got to really love it. And I didn't know if this was going to work. I'm asking people to send me expensive collectible knives in a box with money and hope they get them back. Hmm. And enough people did and I did a good enough job that more people did and then all of a sudden I'm, you know, working 55 hours a week at my regular job and I've got five weeks of backlog of other people's knives in some had to give. Right, right.
Bob DeMarco 18:40
I remember you used to you showed off edges. You put on your own knives a lot. Yeah. After you got that. And that was really, you know, that was the that was the seller right there. Just to see those mirror polished edges. Yeah. So for a beginner, what would you recommend a beginner pick up
Unknown Speaker 19:00
For a beginner this this will be hard for beginners to hear. I would say it's it's kind of like playing golf. You can't spend $1,000 on a driver and and hit the ball like Brooks koepka doesn't matter. You can buy one at a garage sale for five bucks and hit it badly and you can buy $1,000 driver and hit it badly. So same thing with sharpening. I would say if you're a dead beginner, buy yourself an inexpensive two sided Japanese Waterstone you know, a medium and a fine. either use your own, or go to the garage sale and buy a bunch of hacked up kitchen knives, and learn. You know, watch some videos, understand the concepts, understand what it is you're trying to achieve. And let your brain and your fingers learn to communicate with each other and achieve that desired result. You can't buy you cannot buy a sharpening system to make you to take you from novice to expert just by using that system possible.
Bob DeMarco 20:10
Not even the Spyderco sharp maker
Unknown Speaker 20:13
now that's the Spyderco sharp maker is one of the most misleading tools there as hmm detail please Well, for one thing doesn't really work as as it's described in the literature. Very you know, it's got a 15 degrees per side and, and a 20 degrees per side add the number of production knives that are really sharpened at 15 degrees per side with a 20 degree micro bevel or zero. Even spider COEs aren't sure. So you're and it comes with a set of medium rods and fine rods. So if I take a Hinderer that sharpen at about 25 degrees per side, that yes, really that abuse and I take it to my sharp maker and I follow the institute Roxanne's I'll be there for a month before I ever get an apex at 15 degrees per sign, and my bevel will be a quarter inch wide. So, I think this the the sharp maker is an extremely good touch up tool. Okay, so let's say I have sharpen an iPad, and it's a modern super steel, which that thing has a hard time cutting with the factory rods. I've sharpened it at 17 degrees per side with a 20 degree per side micro bevel. A month later, I got some microchips and I want to go in and kiss that Apex at 20 degrees per side. The fine rods and maybe buy some ultra finds in the sharp maker are great for kissing that that micro bevel. That's what it's best at. Okay, okay as a major sharpening system. Now,
Bob DeMarco 21:48
so what I'm hearing is there's no way to avoid doing what you have to do and starting from starting from the ancient stone, there's no there's no easy, easy way to start. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 22:00
I believe that's true. Because if you don't know what it is you're trying to achieve with that steel getting to an apex. It doesn't matter how good the system is you don't you don't know how to use it. You don't know what what it is you're asking it
Bob DeMarco 22:14
to do. Right? It's like, it's like painter who paints abstraction without being able to paint. Figuratively, it's like they don't even know what they're abstracting.
Unknown Speaker 22:24
There you go. You're exactly right on the line, and make mistakes you got to make. That's why I say use the cheap knives you get at a garage sale. You're gonna mess up some knife blades. You're gonna wipe the whole face of the blade with scratches, you're gonna Yeah, you're gonna sharpen off the apex you just spent half an hour getting to
Bob DeMarco 22:44
so that's funny that you say scratch up the face of the blade with so I recently got a K me and I've been noodling around with, with with some of my less valuable knives knives that mean less to me. With that k me and I don't know how it's happening, but it's scratching up the surface of my blade even though you know when I do it slowly and I look you know from the side, there's no way it's touching. It's just not touching but somehow
Unknown Speaker 23:14
it is touching something is moving. Yeah. How old are your stones are using the diamond?
Bob DeMarco 23:22
They're, they're brand new and one of them is a diamond. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 23:25
so they're flat. It's not like they're all dished out exists some something's moving around on Yeah.
Bob DeMarco 23:31
Unknown Speaker 23:32
yeah. I've had I've had a K me in my possession since October. And the reason there's a reason it's been five months and I haven't done a video. I'm having a very hard time. I'm having a very hard time putting it in the best light I can because it has a lot of shortcomings. In many ways, the KV system is extremely well bill, the quality and variety of abrasives they have is really good but it has some serious limitations but so I'm trying to I'm trying to organize my thoughts in a way I can explain what works best at without without blowing, you know, blowing smoke up anybody's dress. But it's a it's a neat product. It's really good at doing what it does.
Bob DeMarco 24:30
Okay, well I look forward to seeing that because I'm wondering you know, I've watched a number of videos and I just think maybe it's because I'm not doing it consistently that I'm not that I'm kind of jacking it up a little bit. That's there's something to that about. Yeah. So the these from the sharpening bench videos to me, it seems like a sweet setup you get you get the knives in you get to check them out. You get to sharpen them, see how see how the steel is, you know on any given knife. You can quite possibly do some recognizance on on your own future purchases. This way, it's kind of a nice position to be in. It is on that.
Unknown Speaker 25:10
From that standpoint, there have been some unintended consequences of that arrangement though. And I'm sure you have noticed the frequency of my knife reviews has dropped markedly in the last couple years. And I haven't done any negative reviews or very negative reviews in a very long time. Here are the unintended consequences. I'm doing a video on somebody else's knife number one, so if I really don't like it, do I want to do a scathing video on some that somebody is really proud of that? I know. You know, he knows it's his knife in my hand. I don't want to wreck his his honeymoon. That's one one aspect back that has compromised my objectivity. The other is, I may have one of these to sell next month. I mean, let's be honest, I can't be. I'm kind of painted into a corner as a reviewer because of how I've chosen to make my living. So I do positive reviews on knives that really impressed me at this point.
Bob DeMarco 26:24
You know, I think on the whole, that's what most of us want to see Anyway, you know, there there, I'm sure there are exceptions, especially if there's a knife that's super hyped and expensive and, and whatever and, and there are some glaring flaws with it. People might want to know that but on the whole, a lot of us want sort of purchase commiseration, you know, Oh, God, I just I just spent $400 on a knife. And I know Rob likes it. Let me go watch the video, again.
Unknown Speaker 26:57
Well, that's absolutely true. And you know, you know You know, the industry I came from automakers, they don't advertise to sell these cars next week. They advertise to keep the customer that bought them last month to make that guy feel good about the 50 grand that he spent on that truck. So yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about. So people get online to watch a lot of times they've already bought an iPhone, they want to watch 10 videos where 10 respected people say it's great.
Bob DeMarco 27:25
I do it. I do it. I admit it.
Unknown Speaker 27:27
Bob DeMarco 27:29
it also helps in the psych up factor because I get I don't buy too many not. Some people would would would say that I'm talking. I'm talking trash, but I feel like I don't buy as many knives as I used to. I just buy fewer more expensive more. You know, in my in my wheelhouse Now, speaking of wheelhouse, I'm sorry, I just have to ask you. How did you your criteria for judging a knife? How did you come up with it? And what are they?
Unknown Speaker 28:01
Wow, that's a great question. First of all, and I think you know, you know, my, my subjective criteria wall up, it's got to be a knife. It can't be a cartoon. It has to be a cutting tool. So, nightmare ground recurve tantos with quarter inch blade stock that way eight ounces and fold up and have a pocket clip. Never gonna give that I'm never gonna give that knife again review got it. It has to reflect that it's maker understood, it's a tool. So that's number one. It has to be an effective cutting tool. That's to have a well designed to handle that presents the bled to the work and efficient manner and has to be handled, it's comfortable. So it's it for me it's definitely a form follows function criteria when it comes to design. I don't necessarily get super excited about exotic Materials especially on modern folders because there again it's got to be a tool. I mean how many guys are breaking down boxes all day with their monkey tight inlaid titanium frame lock right. So you can see why I sort of gravitated to Spyderco and benchmade in my life as far as production is so well he treated steel good blade geometry that achieves the desired application of the knife mechanisms that the hold up you probably you may know this about me I'm never been very enthusiastic about ball bearing flippers. Mm hmm. I think the position your hand has to be on a handle to operate a flipper puts it in a bad position to hold the knife. I don't care if my knife drops shot. I like to be able to flip To pull back the bar on an access lock and fling it shot with my wrist. But if I'm, if I'm holding my knife and vibrating to make the bled shot, that's not a criteria for me. It's just not right. I don't think ball bearing mechanisms are robust over time. Which brings me to my next criterion, which would be Is this a knife that I'm going to be able to use for a lifetime and pass down to my son? Did a company make it who's gonna be there in 20 years, and I'm gonna be able to send this knife then and have regardless of how much much money it costs, if any, is it going to be serviced by the company and made it that's a huge deal. If you're paying more than 30 bucks for a pocketknife you know if it's something that you actually treasure and respect, how long can you treasure it and respect it and is its maker going to be there to repair it or restore it for you and the time comes, that's another big criteria which You can kind of see where I'm going with that. Yeah. nameless, faceless guy in China who's got a CNC machine gun fit that criteria.
Bob DeMarco 31:10
So this this kind of fits in with the knives with soul concept. Exactly. And so I wanted to ask you about react we best tech right? You know, these knives that are, are these companies that are making these? These really exceptionally produced knives? What's your opinion of them? Aye. Aye. Aye. Well, it's a loaded question. I know that you I know that you're not crazy about them. But
Unknown Speaker 31:38
well, let me answer first by saying this. I would love to meet David Dang. I would really love to meet him. Anything I say that's negative about knives produced in China has nothing to do with my personal like or dislike for anything. The people involved because I don't know them. Right? You know I got macro economic issues with with the way the Chinese do business and it's come I'm kind of saddened by the fact that they've decided to target the the western knife industry because it's causing damage to people who have to live in, in level playing field economic environments. It's It's nothing personal and it's certainly nothing ethnic. It's I mean, you're probably aware if you've watched me long enough, I absolutely dig Japanese and Taiwanese craftsmanship and buy products from there all the time.
Bob DeMarco 32:43
Yeah, those are your favorite spider COEs, right?
Unknown Speaker 32:45
Yeah, probably. So, yeah. But the way China does business globally is so unethical. The way that they handle intellectual property is so unethical as I don't feel well. When I buy a Chinese knife, I don't have any pride of ownership, right? And maybe I would if I personally knew some of these guys, but it's just if I'm gonna drop three, four or $500 on a knife, it's just not gonna be one of those. Yeah, gotcha. Having said that, if a friend of mine comes to me and says, Rob, I got 25 bucks to spend and I need a pocket knife. Is there a chance? I'm going to say you need to go buy a rake? Absolutely. Yeah. Because it might be the best 25 or $30 knife you can buy. And he needs a good knife for 25 or 30 bucks. So yeah,
Bob DeMarco 33:37
so part of what really drew me into well reott and we were the collaboration knives Wow. I have an opportunity to own a to own a Kirby Lambert, a personal favorite of mine. I love his designs. Yep. And and, and I ended up buying one on the secondary market, a crossroads. And everything about like, there's I can't point to anything that I don't like about it or anything that except the little blue hardware I don't care for, but that's a matter of taste. There's nothing about the knife that is lacking except I just never reach for it,
Rob Bixby 34:17
you know? And I Herbie Lambert didn't make it.
Bob DeMarco 34:20
Yes, yes, it is. It is his lines, but in a sense, and this is something in my own collecting that I'm getting over. In the sense, I can just appreciate looking at a picture of it until I can have one of the zone with mammoth ivory, like I want, you know, so Yeah, exactly. I should be content with that. We should be
Unknown Speaker 34:41
Yeah, we should be. There's kind of an issue. We're, we're we're, we're tangentially bumping into here. When it comes to I want to talk a little bit about the market and secondary market values and where they're trending. It's not just China. He's pretty much everything that is CNC produced that the, let's say five years ago we called it a custom quote unquote. And three years ago we called it a mid tech quote unquote. It's pretty hard now to sell a CNC produced knife for 800 1000 1200 bucks. People are starting to realize they can make as many of these as they want to. Look what's happened to hinder in the last five years. You buy a new vendor for 400 bucks. Six months later, you'd sell it for seven, they build a new factory. Every website has 300 hinders in stock and the hender that you paid for 25 for last month is now worth 300 bucks. Yeah, right. It's just the natural way of things and collectors are starting to get wise as as to what that $800 CNC made knife can become three years from now. So the, the what I would call the high end CNC folder, the secondary market for that stuff is kind of in freefall. Hmm. And the Chinese brands especially, I would not want to be a retailer with $50,000 of $300 copy Chinese knives in inventory right now. I've actually noticed that in my own reselling of my own knives, you can't believe the counseling sessions I have with consigners really, I got to re out that I paid 394 last year, I think we can get 350 it's like no Well, no, probably 108 and a quarter. Yeah. Yeah. They have these these discussions weekly with people.
Bob DeMarco 36:51
That's got to hurt. That's got to hurt you know.
Unknown Speaker 36:53
Yeah. You know, it was it was a hard discussion to have the first hundred times I add it now. I think Just sort of just come out with it because nine times out of 10 the guy's like, yeah, makes sense. Yeah.
Bob DeMarco 37:07
Traditional knives. That's how I discovered you. I started getting into traditional knives and I don't remember how I discovered GEC. Maybe it was from your videos, but I want to talk about your love of traditional knives. And I also want to talk about your collaborations. You know, you've made knives with bark river knives, you've made knives with Great Eastern cutlery. Yeah. And so tell me, how did your love of traditional knives, blossom in this era of modern tactical folders, so to speak, and
Unknown Speaker 37:43
actually, I found out about Great Eastern cutlery and having discussions about case knives with a friend of mine said, you know, there's this company up in Pennsylvania, they, they make knives in there, they sort of make them the old way. They're a little more active. expensive in case knives. And they come in these cardboard tubes and like What on earth are you talking about? So he, he sort of pointed me to the place to get information and I started looking at their website and reading about him. I'm like, oh my, so I called them. And that was before Christine Tucker retired from GC. And I told her who I was and, and so I'd like to come visit and did a tour on video and that bill Howard and his son, William and went through the plant ads, there are some interesting stories that day. And I was just enthralled with the process. We're used to seeing seeing CNC machinery now. Well, they had these two bevel grinders that were programmable, mechanically with dogs and Acme threaded rods that turned and you Put a knife in a in a clamp in there and it comes out ground a bus. I mean, it was unbelievable. And like two guys in the world knew how to maintain and set up these machines and their names. Were both William our
Bob DeMarco 39:13
Unknown Speaker 39:14
Yeah. And so I'm getting ready to leave the plant that day. And Bill had been pretty tense as I'm walking around his factory with a camera. And when it was all put away, then he was, you know, then he was relaxed. And I said to him, as we laughed, I said, I said, Bill, this is in 20. This was in 2015. I said, answer me honestly. I said 10 years ago, when you mortgaged everything you had, and started this company, left queens started this company on borrowed money. I said, Did you have any idea that 10 years later we'd be in the midst of a traditional pocket knife Renaissance and Great Eastern culture. Lori would be at the at the head of it and he looks at me without hesitation and says that was my plan. That was my plan. So I've been in love with him ever since. And I've got a buddy down in Florida who is a way he is an encyclopedia of traditional pocketknife. Steve Denton. How about the truth?
Unknown Speaker 40:25
Yes, those videos with
Unknown Speaker 40:27
him right now. He just sent me one Bob. I've got a I've got 20 pounds of traditional knives and with, I don't know, 100 pages of notes. So we're gonna get back on the traditional knives anthology. forthwith.
Bob DeMarco 40:42
Oh, nice. That'll be a welcome return. It
Unknown Speaker 40:46
will be I'm really looking forward to opening the treasure chest.
Bob DeMarco 40:49
Tell me about your knives, the knives you've designed and had produced.
Unknown Speaker 40:53
So one one so far with Great Eastern cutlery. There's I hope I hope we get to do it. Another one this year. That was the the number 74 pattern which is a three and seven eighths inch curved handled Trapper we did in a single blade with a muskrat clip and called it the heartland clip. That was we did two covers, autumn gold jig bone and gab on Ebony. And there's actually one of them popped up on eBay this week and the guy wants $400 for it.
Bob DeMarco 41:27
Yeah, I am not surprised.
Unknown Speaker 41:30
So I'm really I need to I need to really sit down with Bill and try to get another one going and then we've done two versions of the knife with bark river that started with with the bob love us loveless inspired Mike Stewart designed coke bottle trademark bark river handle, the Gunny knife and I like them to blade and broadened by about three sixteenths of an inch top to bottom. made it a clip point because I love clip points. And it's that's the Gunny sidekick we ran it the first time in CPM for which Mike Stewart wanted to kill me for
Bob DeMarco 42:12
that's your favorite steal, right?
Unknown Speaker 42:14
It is but it just it drives them crazy. They have to change the whole order of their process.
Unknown Speaker 42:21
Yeah, because it's so hard right and so hard. Okay, they have to
Unknown Speaker 42:27
normally they have an outsource for bevel grinding so that their convex knives start like a saber flat grind and then they shape them. Their normal process is to have the bevel grinding done post teatri. You can't do that without for yet. There's too much arterial to remove. Right. So yeah, we did one and then four. And then last fall one and CPM three v. And I think a week ago, I did a video announcing that finally we're doing a stainless got a sidekick
Bob DeMarco 42:59
in one 54 one of my favorites
Unknown Speaker 43:01
54 Yeah, and I think and Mike agrees for as far as the the population of modern powdered metallurgy stainless steels. It's the best application for a fixed plant. the right mix of toughness and edge, reattach it, right. Okay.
Bob DeMarco 43:20
So, in the evolution of that design, I'm sorry, what's it called, again?
Rob Bixby 43:25
The Gunny sidekick,
Bob DeMarco 43:26
the Gunny sidekick. So just impressions of my memory of the design. The first one. First one had a big beautiful V shaped or a shaped sharpening oil. The second one got quite small. And then the third version, this 154 Cm version seems to split the difference.
Rob Bixby 43:46
Oh, it'll be it'll be exactly the same as the 3d.
Bob DeMarco 43:49
Exactly this, which was the last one,
Unknown Speaker 43:51
right? Right. Okay, the smaller one, the smaller one. The knife that you might have been looking at the end thought it was in the middle was my product
Bob DeMarco 44:00
Okay, so what was the what was behind the choice of shrinking that?
Rob Bixby 44:06
Bob DeMarco 44:08
Oh, now you're talking my language.
Unknown Speaker 44:10
Yeah. Really the first knife the first the M for knife. I designed that choice to be exaggerated. It was kind of my way of sticking it to the man Bob. Oh, that so many knives are made with misused or poorly executed sharpen. So I was I kind of wonder this is what this is.
Bob DeMarco 44:32
It was it was exaggerated. It was like it was a here's the sharpening choil
Unknown Speaker 44:38
you can actually sharpen all the way to the back without the plunger drying getting in the way ever. Yeah. But it was too big. And I think Mike cringed when I drew it. I said make them that way. Anyway, whatever. You better saw him. But we did and then he was very happy to hear me say Do you think we could make it smaller on the next one? So I was gonna do that anyway. I'm glad you said that.
Bob DeMarco 45:06
Mike Stewart. I love his videos. I love bark river knives. I don't have many. Actually I only have one right now and it's it's a small sacks. It's a push sacks.
Unknown Speaker 45:18
I'll do live. Yeah, I bet you do.
Bob DeMarco 45:21
Yeah, this is my desk knife. This is my little I just love it.
Rob Bixby 45:25
Yeah, that's a cutting machine.
Bob DeMarco 45:27
It is. It's incredible. And it's got this amazing piercing tip. But I also have a bark river made. blackjack blackjack. One, one dash seven. That is so sweet with the with the micarta handle with the cone, cone shape.
Unknown Speaker 45:44
Let me tell you the best review of that knife you're ever going to hear. Okay. If you call Randall made knives and say I want them. I want a model one. seven inches long. They'll say okay. There'll be about six, maybe seven years. And you said really that long? Are there any available use? They'll say, Yeah, they're about 1500 to 2000 hours. Oh, as you pucker, the guy on the other end of the phone will say, actually, for a little less money than you're going to pay us in six years when your knife is done. There's a company who makes the model one in the seven inch length and it might be a better knife than you're going to get from us. Oh, man. And you'll say, Well, what is it? And I'll say, well, it's a black x. I'm gonna name Mike Stewart in escanaba, Michigan Maxim Yeah, they're randleman and have heartily endorses the people that they allowed to use that that pattern about that.
Bob DeMarco 46:48
That is Yeah, that is so cool. The only thing i the only thing I would change the copy I have the version I have is I would make the the back sharp. You The I would sharpen this wedge, but that's just because I get into that kind of thing. And I think all Randalls, like all Randalls. This wedge is sharpened.
Unknown Speaker 47:10
Yeah. Or at least very close to being sharpened.
Bob DeMarco 47:13
Yeah. Beautiful looking knives. I love the I love the history and the mythology behind them, but I've never I've never owned one and Yeah, probably won't.
Unknown Speaker 47:22
Yeah, you know, wild things that people really don't understand unless they've held one and used them as they grind them in. Oh, yeah. Yeah, they, they use a hollow instead of a convex or a flat and they're pretty thin behind the edge. No, their edge is. It's sort of a blank canvas edge and they will tell you that. Okay, we bring it to an apex at a pretty choose angle. Because people who buy and use our knives know how they're going to sharpen them anyway. Right, right. Yeah.
Bob DeMarco 47:55
And then and then those who are just collecting them don't necessarily need them with a with a way At sharper edge anyway. Yeah. So I wanted to get to you did a video on the what are being called the HRC police. And I wanted to I wanted to get your take here about that about the the idea of, you know, people testing for themselves. And and and what that information you know might Garner how you feel about
Unknown Speaker 48:24
that. That whole situation has taken so many twists and turns since I tried unsuccessfully to help. It's a complex subject and the question really is, is it better to have objective scientific data or is it better to have anecdotal
Unknown Speaker 48:53
at home testing
Unknown Speaker 48:57
you can make the case either way The problem becomes, when we when we're when we think we're going to do what, quote unquote, objective scientific testing, and use sample sizes that are statistically insignificant. And we're using methods, methods and equipment that aren't correct. We're not producing any data that tells us anything. But because we we have what we present as objective numbers. And we we say the word scientific people start to put more credence in some of that testing then that deserves to have and that continues to go on in that community. I really don't want to get too deep into that. But I did that stuff for a living I was. I was the guy who made 1000 hardness test today and sign certifications that went to government agencies. And so it was easy. It was pretty easy for me to identify and shake my head when I saw what they were done. And
Rob Bixby 50:08
anyway, here's the deal.
Unknown Speaker 50:11
We boil this down to its essence. Why do we have Why do we have super steals in the market?
Bob DeMarco 50:19
so people don't have to sharpen? No
Unknown Speaker 50:21
so people will buy them and pay too much money. That's why we have what? Here's why I say that you use your knives, right? What what causes you to have to sharpen them? Is it gradual erosion of the apex of the edge? Or is it because you ran it into something twisted it chopped it, chipped it tipped it? Which one of those is really what causes you to sharpen your knives, sport and fun because it's relaxing to me. But outside of that, it's usually because I've been stupid outside in the
Bob DeMarco 50:58
backyard and maybe imaged it
Unknown Speaker 51:00
right it's not edge retention is almost a ridiculous measuring standard because we run it into a staple. We go to cut a nylon zip tie and torque the blade and it chips. We drop it tip on concrete. We're cutting cardboard full of sand and dirt and we run our fingers across the edge are like Oh, I didn't even remember doing that. It's not because it's not because perfectly he treated em 390 will make 25 passes through cardboard more than S 35 Viet that's not a why of our knives need sharpen is because the real world damages the edge. So a lot of the stuff is completely meaningless. And the best knife to me is one that's the best balance between edge retention and ease to sharpen and the keenness of the edge it will take. Everybody who makes a knife is gonna make that judgment for himself when he treats that steel to his spec. So trying to retro actively apply what the datasheet for the steel said to the spec for the knife maker is ridiculous presumptuous and shouldn't happen. You know, there's there's a reason there's a reason Chris Reeve wants his f 35, Viana 58 to 59 or 59 to 60. People didn't agree with that when it was 58 to 59. But he did it for a reason. But a lot of it is, is marketing. It's how am I going to sell $128 paramilitary to 460 bucks, huh? Well, I'm going to add $1 50 to the steel cost that's how I'm going to convince everybody they need to have the sprint run an M 390. Is it going to perform any better No, it's gonna sell more knives.
Bob DeMarco 52:52
And and and there we see the the collectors mind,
Unknown Speaker 52:56
you know? So just let's admit who we are. let's not kid our into thinking we really care. Yeah, yeah, it performs marginally better and no real world way.
Bob DeMarco 53:06
So it's something you were just talking about, reminded me I wanted to ask you about. To me, the best way to maintain is just kind of very frequent stropping Not only do I find it soothing as as an activity, but I, conceptually I like it. It's just kind of straightening it out after each time you kind of take it in after a day's worth of work. If you if you're if you use it, bring it home and drop it. Well, yeah, exactly dropping.
Unknown Speaker 53:39
I think it depends on how good a striper you are. Number one, it's great. It's a great thing to do in between major sharpening as long as you're not rounding the Yeah, right. If you're, if you're like a compulsive stopper, you're gonna have a round knife.
Bob DeMarco 54:00
I swear on that
Unknown Speaker 54:01
word. You'll go Boyd
Bob DeMarco 54:05
Okay, okay. All right. Before we wrap up I wanted to ask you what you what your 2020 Pixar. Do you have anything coming up that you've seen that you're excited about? Yeah, of course the CPM 150 for Gunny sidekick by bark River. Oh yes,
Unknown Speaker 54:21
yeah, as a monk. There's really one knife that there are two there are two knives this year I'm pretty excited about and one of them is really not 2020 I think came out 2019 the mini super freak. Oh, yeah. You know, the small freak em for because I've been I haven't been able to get my my full size super freak out of my pocket for about three weeks. But every time I use it, I think man if it were just a little smaller. So that one and then I take no credit for this even though it's exactly what I suggested. They do. When the when The sebenza 25 came out. I reviewed it, I said it's not a sebenza. It's a different knife. A sebenza has a bushing pivot. This knife does not. If they want to come out with a new sebenza whatever number it becomes when they do it. It needs to have a bushing pivot, but the ceramic ball bearing detent slash lock interface is a great improvement. So what do we have? We have a sebenza 31 which is exactly that the Bixby model that I did I take no credit I've never spoken to them about that. So, but it's exactly if I got to get one because it's the sebenza I would have done next, right? Yeah. But it's kind of a mythical character, isn't it? Do we have any yet? Is it here yet?
Bob DeMarco 55:54
I've been seeing Instagram pictures of of the scales. The inlays being put in and, you know, the new inlay pattern reminds me, you know, on the show side reminds me of like a car from the 30s. You know those big sweeping lines? Yeah. Yeah, I think it's real pretty. I would love to get. Yeah, a sebenza 31 maybe a small one because I have a 21 you know, a large one. Maybe just to check out it just to have that natural. I'm a micarta freak. And just to have that natural micarta on there would be nice. Yes, it would. And
Unknown Speaker 56:30
I remember one inkosi came out, which was the improved sebenza 25. I thought that inlay shapes were just horrendous to look at. And now what four years later, I look at them like, actually they kind of work. Yeah. The 31 I think we'll look at in five years ago. Of course they made it that shape. Right.
Bob DeMarco 56:53
Yeah, it feels so natural now. Yeah. Just like these two kind of just strangely placed bars are so perfect.
Unknown Speaker 57:00
Yeah, what's with the whole to nowhere?
Bob DeMarco 57:03
here with the whole to nowhere? Sorry, sorry, people I'm holding up my sebenza 21 for Rob to see. So before we close, I want to do I have this speed round, where where I just asked, you know, it's just a one word answer. And I think I have Well, it's it's 16 questions that I asked and I think I have it. Pretty much. I changed them every once in a while, but wow. 16
Unknown Speaker 57:25
Yeah. All right. Yeah. All right.
Bob DeMarco 57:27
So fixed or folder.
Rob Bixby 57:30
Bob DeMarco 57:31
It's got to be one of the other. I know I know all knives all the time.
Rob Bixby 57:35
Bob DeMarco 57:37
flipper or thumb stud,
Rob Bixby 57:39
Bob DeMarco 57:40
washers or bearings.
Rob Bixby 57:41
Bob DeMarco 57:42
tip up or tip down.
Bob DeMarco 57:45
tanto or bowie
Rob Bixby 57:49
Bob DeMarco 57:51
hollow ground or flat ground.
Rob Bixby 57:54
Bob DeMarco 57:56
full size or small.
Rob Bixby 58:01
After a freak discussion small
Bob DeMarco 58:04
okay yeah I have to be consistent gentleman's knife or tactical knife
Rob Bixby 58:08
Bob DeMarco 58:10
automatic or badly song
Rob Bixby 58:12
Bob DeMarco 58:14
z t or we
Rob Bixby 58:18
Bob DeMarco 58:19
benchmade or Spyderco
Rob Bixby 58:22
Rob Bixby 58:24
Rob Bixby 58:27
Bob DeMarco 58:29
okay real steel or steel well two companies I always get those two confused real steel
Bob DeMarco 58:34
Bob DeMarco 58:36
milled titanium or spring clip
Rob Bixby 58:40
Bob DeMarco 58:42
carbon fiber or mycarta.
Rob Bixby 58:45
Well then you gotta ask what is it need to do but aesthetically Carretera micarta
Bob DeMarco 58:51
Okay, finger choil or no finger choil
Rob Bixby 58:54
Bob DeMarco 58:56
form or function
Rob Bixby 58:58
Bob DeMarco 59:01
Okay so and your desert island knife and that's just one knife for the rest of your life
Rob Bixby 59:07
Rob Bixby 59:09
Rob Bixby 59:11
one knife the rest of my life desert island
Unknown Speaker 59:19
I don't own this knife, but this is via bark river Bravo 1.25 and CPM three v. Nice.
Bob DeMarco 59:28
Okay, okay, so that's the Bravo that's a little longer than the than the regular one. Yeah, that's like the five and a half inch blade. Perfect team do I think he can do everything? Perfect all arounder well, so Rob, tell everyone where they can find your work find how to send you knives for sharpening, how can they find out more about you? And also how can they find out about the pre order for the BRK for the for the Gunny sidekick you have coming out?
Unknown Speaker 59:59
Okay, so In almost every one of my YouTube videos in the description is a link to my rates and services video for the apostle p&i service. There's also a Facebook page for the apostle p&i service that you can reach me at. email addresses and phone numbers to text are in those in those two sources. Then there's a video I did, I guess a week or two ago about the pre order for the Gunny sidekick and CPM 154 you can either click through the link in that video description or it's pretty simple you go to knives ship free is the exclusive retailer for that night. Go to the bark river page, click on the Gunny models and then you know find the pre order for CPM 154 which is I can find it so all you guys can definitely find it. And you just go from there and as usual when those knives come in, if you Want to have me sharpen it before it comes to you? There'll be a way to do that. Oh, that's sweet.
Bob DeMarco 1:01:05
Yeah, yeah that's definitely something you want to take advantage of. Rob thanks so much for coming on The Knife Junkie podcast been a pleasure talking to you at long last after watching so many absolutely it's been great talking with you too. Bob. I've enjoyed it a lot already. Sir. You take care
Rob Bixby 1:01:20
Rob Bixby 1:01:20
Subscribe to The Knife Junkie, his YouTube channel at The Knife Junkie. COMM slash YouTube.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:26
All right back on The Knife Junkie podcast episode number 96. Bob, what do you think of that interview? You had finally had a chance to talk to the apostle P.
Bob DeMarco 1:01:34
Oh, it was it was great. And you know at the outset, he busted me for my use of 444 dollar words there and
Jim Person 1:01:43
it like that.
Bob DeMarco 1:01:44
Yeah, I know you did. And it was funny to me it. It I was already comfortable talking with him beforehand. I already felt like I knew him before because I've watched so many videos. But that ribbon I was like alright, let's have a conversation and it was was really great to talk to him. He's a warm guy and his knowledge is wide and deep on knives and steels and it was a great perspective, right one one thing one key message one key point key takeaway from the interview. Well I'm going to use my Spyderco sharp maker in a different way after the interview I'm going to start focusing a little bit more on my on my fixed angle sharpening system and not be so afraid of that and get that get that optimized for me and then use the sharp maker more as a maintenance tool rather than a from scratch sharpening tool, which is what I'm used it for. Alright, so
Jim Person 1:02:38
an educational podcast as well.
Bob DeMarco 1:02:40
Oh, that was good.
Bob DeMarco 1:02:43
Unknown Speaker 1:02:44
a the weekend episode of The Knife Junkie podcast is our interview show. Bob's got several more interviews already in the can several great interviews scheduled, but if you have a suggestion that you would like to hear somebody on and The Knife Junkie podcast shoot Bob an email at bob at The Knife Junkie dot com or call the listener line 724-466-4487 and let us know we'd love to talk to you or who you would like to hear on The Knife Junkie podcast so for Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco I'm Jim the knife newbie person thanks for joining us on the knife junkie podcast
thanks for listening to the Knife Junkie podcast If you enjoyed the show please rate and review it review the podcast comm for show notes for today's episode additional resources and to listen to past episodes visit our website The Knife Junkie comm You can also watch our latest videos on YouTube at The Knife Junkie comm slash YouTube check out some great night photos on The Knife Junkie calm slash Instagram and join our Facebook group but The Knife junkie.com slash Facebook and if you have a question or comment, email them to Bob at The Knife Junkie calm or call our 24 seven 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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