Snob-Proof Knives That Won’t Break the Bank - The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 451)

Snob-Proof Knives That Won’t Break the Bank – The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 451)

On the mid-week supplemental episode of The Knife Junkie podcast (episode 451), Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco looks at snob-proof knives that won’t break the bank, including the Ontario Rat 2, Vosteed Nightshade, and the Artisan Mini Proponent among others. Bob is also proud to announce that the No-VA 1 EDC Bowie knives will be shipping out this week!

Comment of the Week Episode #451 - The Knife Junkie Podcast

Bob starts the show with his favorite comment of the week, followed by his “pocket check” of knives — the Les George VECP, Jack Wolf Knives Pioneer Jack, Auxiliary MFG Pocket Rocket, and the Shieldon Gambit (Emotional Support Knife).

In Knife Life News:

  • Burnley Kihon Gets Drop Point and Crossbar Lock
  • New Benchmade Mini Adamas in Magnacut
  • Ka-Bar Revives Legendary WWII Knife
  • Ka-Bar Banned From Streaming Service for this Ad

Meanwhile, Bob has nothing new in his “State of the Collection,” but instead, tying in with the show’s theme, he looks at some “snob-proof” kings in his collection: the Hinderer XM-18, Demko Knives AD-20 MG, Strider SMF, Spartan Harsey Folder, and the Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 21.

Find the list of all the knives shown in the show and links to the knife life news stories below.

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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.

Snob-proof knives that won’t break the bank is my topic this week on the mid-week supplemental episode of #theknifejunkie #podcast. Among the knives on my list are the Ontario Rat 2, Vosteed Nightshade, and the Artisan Mini… Click To Tweet
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The Knife Junkie Podcast is the place for knife newbies and knife junkies to learn about knives and knife collecting. Twice per week Bob DeMarco talks knives. Call the Listener Line at 724-466-4487; Visit https://theknifejunkie.com.
©2023, Bob DeMarco
The Knife Junkie Podcast
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[0:00] NoVA-1s are ready to ship, K-Bar has an ad band, and I'll show you 10 snob-proof knives that won't break the bank.
I'm Bob DeMarco. This is the Knife Junkie Podcast. 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 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 around.
My favorite comment from this past week was from taylorfishman823, and he was talking about my video on the new Pioneer Jack from Jack Wolf Knives.
He says, As a big fan of sodbusters, I'm glad to see he did one.
Ultim covers is a new look for a traditional knife, though it ain't for me personally.
Will be interesting to see what other flavors it comes in.
Then again, I can't afford it anyway, lol. Reminds me of Ohio.
You have the heart of a poet.
Well, of course I like hearing I have the heart of a poet. I said that the ultim next to the gray looks like the, uh, the fields in Ohio when you drive in.
Whenever I drive home, no matter how beautiful it is elsewhere on the drive, It's always gray when I get to Ohio.

[1:22] Beautiful afterward, but it's always my first impression. So yes, the heart of a poet indeed, but also interesting to see where we're going to go with Ultum. I like the material. Like I said, I do like the color. And it's a very, very high impact plastic. So you can take a lot of heat and a lot of physical. So it's like a tough thing. It's got a high toughness for plastic.
So we'll see where that goes. Do people like the look? I don't know. It depends.
I think it's a taste issue. So we have a lot of very strong plastics that can be used for, knife handles out there. So if Ultima is not your thing, worry not. The trend will continue, but so will all the other handle materials. Okay, that being said, let's get to a pocket check.

[2:11] What's in his pocket? Let's find out. Here's the Knife Junkie with his pocket check of knives.
So in my front right pocket today, I had the venerable V-Sep from Les George Knives.
This was the knife, I've been carrying this a little bit more than usual recently, just because I think it's just great.
And I've had my eye on Les George. He's been working on a Talos, sort of a, what do you want to call it, a mid tech version of the Talos, so something sort of like this, but in the Talos form, and I'm very excited about that.
So I've been carrying this quite a bit. Such a good knife. This is a great all-arounder.
I always talk about how, when it first came out, people were saying, oh, it's the sebenza killer.
And though it didn't kill or displace the sebenza, it just added another really tremendous knife to a group of snob-proof knives out there on the higher end.

[3:10] Now, this is gonna be a recurring theme throughout this podcast, this happens to be a snob proof knife. No one out there even if it's not there. Even if it's not their cup of tea, there's no one out there who can say that that's a bad knife or who can look down their nose at it at a cocktail party. All right, next up is the knife we were just talking about the pioneer jack from jack wolf knives, a, beautiful sodbuster interpretation. Sodbuster is This is actually the Case name, what do you call it?

[3:44] The official name from Case, a trademark name from Case, but you'll see Bullnose or American Farmer Work Knife or lots of different names for this style, but it's a straight back knife with a long straight edge and a belly at the end and a nice curved handle just to give you great grip.
Now here, Ben Belkin, as he does, modernized the design, some facets on the end made it a little more angular, but it's still retaining the overall swoop down here where the fingers go and straight back where the palm goes.

[4:20] Great work knife and for jackwolf knives a more robust grind.
Ben Belkin has been using the full hollow grind on almost all of his knives, a few exceptions like the Lanny's Clip.
But this one here, it does have the full height hollow grind, but it has a long swedge across the top, which also makes just gripping and ripping it a little bit difficult.
I end up using that nail net quite a bit.
But also the grind itself seems a little bit thicker to maybe to accommodate, Harder work, you might be putting this knife through just do do it's, Raise on Dutch, okay Next up is the knife I had on the fixed blade I had on me in index or appendix right here in appendix I've been carrying on the belt and appendix quite a bit but up front, because that's where your hands naturally go and I'm not wearing so much on the three o'clock side anymore.
But anyway, this is the Pocket Rocket, a beautiful three-inch dagger from Michael Jarvis, an auxiliary manufacturing out of Reno, Nevada.
A former chef turned knife maker, he makes some really, really exquisite stuff.
His EDC stuff, I would consider this among his EDC knives.

[5:48] Are really, really well made, really beautifully made, all by hand, in terms of the grinds and such, and these beautifully faceted handles, especially on this dagger, any way you turn it, sometimes people like to use daggers in this sort of shovel grip, other times you have that more standard grip, It doesn't matter which way you turn this knife, you have a lot of great options for where to put your fingers.
So this, this, uh...

[6:19] Octagonal and sort of angular looking handle is actually quite comfortable.
Thanks, B2Gad, I did not have to use that today because that's just a self-defense sort of knife.
Or if you use it as a work knife, it gives you two edges. I mean, I'm not saying a dagger has to be self-defense.
It could be a supremely efficient work knife because you get two edges.
You just have to be careful with your EDC tasks.
Okay, and for emotional support, my ESK today was the really cool, but totally not my thing, but I love it, Shielden Gambit.
This is a Dirk Pinkerton design, and so, yeah, no, I bought this knife because I was buying some other knives from him, and he said, oh, I have this one, too, and I said, you know, throw it in there.
And then when I saw what it was, I was like, oh, you know, I'm not so much into cleavers.
And then I got it, and I was like, oh, this one.
This one has sort of a straight razor, a cartoonish straight razor profile to it.
It's got those five speed holes that you can use for opening.
It's very sharp, 154cm, flat grind that gets super thin behind the edge.
It's a very, very useful knife. You know, book by its cover and all that.
I tend to do that, especially with knives, more so than anything else.
But this, I'm glad I told him to drop it in my cart because it's a...

[7:49] Different, and it's nice to be sort of drawn out of your wheelhouse from time to time.

[7:56] So it's different for me, but also it just happens to be an excellent EDC and fun to play with. I'll be honest.
It's a very sharp toy for me. All right, there you go. This is what I had on me today.
The Les George V-Sep, the, I think this is the second run, people have corrected me.
It came originally with the spoon clip. So that's not the original clip.
So I think this is a very old one. The Grady String, or the GE, oh man.

[8:26] Jack Wolf Knives, Pioneer Jack, the Pocket Rocket from Auxiliary Manufacturing, and the Shield and Knives Gambit.
Sorry for the senior moment there, but this is what I had on me.
You let me know what you had on you.
Always nice to get some ideas that way and find out what you classy folks are carrying.
Okay, speaking of class, I just wanted to let you all know the Nova 1s are shipping this week.
Who knows, by the time you're hearing this, they may have shipped already.
I did a lot this past weekend. It was really great pulling all the Nova 1s out, inspecting each one. Not that I was inspecting it for quality.
They're custom knives. I knew they were gonna come from Matt Chase in ideal form, but it was great to pore over each one, get them ready.
Laid out a tape grid on my bar downstairs got every because some people ordered specific numbers, you'll you will get your specific number if that's what you want. If that's what you ordered and these are going to go out now.

[9:27] Since this pre-order has been done, there's been a lot more interest in the knife, so we're gonna do another run.
We're gonna do the Nova 2 sometime in the future, which will have a wharncliffe blade.
I'm gonna say that now, now that these are done. It's a really cool design, and it will have a different handle material, but it will be the same but different.
So there will be more opportunities to get these. And who knows, these were so popular at Blade Show that because Matt brought a prototype so popular at blade show we might make it part of his we might work something out where it's part of his regular offering but anyway I just wanted to show off a production final production knife versus my prototype here's my prototype this has gotten a lot of carry over the past.

[10:19] Well, almost a year.
And here is the production model.
So where this had the jimping further back and the red liners, this one has the jimping further up, frankly where it's in a much more useful place. And it's one inch of really nice jimping there.
And then you've got green liners, like a British Racing Green, and 154CM deep hollow grind, sharp. My god, he got incredible edges on this. And then of course you can see the logo, the Knife Junkie logo is shrunk down there and there is the serial number. So I'm thrilled as can be with these just incredible knives and the sheaths of course are awesome and they're all shipping with the Discrete Carrie Concepts three-quarter inch clip.
Great for just under the belt on the waistline.
Perfect. And you can wear this in your gym shorts.

[11:22] All right, well, that is very exciting to me, and there is more exciting knife news in terms of my designs happening out there, but I can't really talk about one of them right now, and I love saying it.
Can't really tell you about this one, but there's exciting stuff happening.
I'm happy to be turning some of my taste, some of my artistic talent, and some of my love of knives into actual things.
Now, this actual thing, this Nova 1, It was a true collaboration in that, you know, it was a volley back and forth with a design based on someone else's design.
And it was great to do. It's very rewarding. I can't wait for people to have these in their belts.
Okay, still to come, we're gonna take a look at Knife Life News.
One of the things there I mentioned up front, K-Bar has a banned ad, which is nuts, you'll see.

[12:16] And then we're gonna get to some snob-proof knives that won't break the bank.
And as we get there, I'll show you some classics that, you know, if money's no object.
All right, coming up on the Knife Junkie Podcast. If you're a knife junkie, you're always in the market for a new knife, and we've got you covered.
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You're listening to the Knife Junkie Podcast, and now here's the Knife Junkie with the Knife Life News.
Well, Lucas Burnley and Boker Knives go together like horse and carriage, and here's another one from those two, a new collaboration on an older design. Older meaning it's been around a little while anyway, and that's the Burghley Keyhound.
Keyhound first came out as a, um...
A flipper, not as a flipper, I'm sorry, as an automatic with a very interesting blade.
They've changed it, and well, they're offering a down-market version of it, I should say now, with a less interesting drop point blade and GFN handle scales.

[13:40] So it's something that can be a little more readily available to all.
It's the Keon DZ, so it's an auto that goes manual. is budget oriented at 50 bucks. It's drop point D two. That's a GFN handle crossbar lock. That's the main. That's the main G, USP here is that crossbar lock. It says on the German website, Boca Plus German website, it'll be available on October 6. If this is your thing, I gotta say the the original key on by comparison is a is a is a much more unique and handsome knife.
So this is a nice way to go to get it in your pocket and to get your hands on a crossbar lock by Poker.
But if you like this one, check out the original Eon. You might like it even more.
All right, next up is from Benchmade, and we saw this one in that liner from Knives Ship Free.
It's a fancy new mini Adamus.
The Adamus designed by Shane Sibbert, whose work, if you don't follow him on Instagram, do yourself a favor.
Shane Sibbert, S-I-B-E-R-T.
He's a custom knife maker who makes just exquisite fixed and folding knives.
But this Benchmade Mini Adamas, it has been a huge hit in the black class of Benchmade, probably their most selling black class knife.
And here it's getting the fancy pants a treatment.

[15:10] Look at that profile, that is beautiful and definitely very signature Shane Sibbert.
As you can see from this picture, it's got a marbled carbon fiber handle, which on these production runs are much more sumptuous, and interesting to look at, complicated to the eye, than the original carbon fiber that they were talking about when they first released the concept.
So they've upped their game with the carbon fiber. It is contoured, as you can see, and then the hardware, that's the pivot collar, with the thumb studs and the pocket clip are anodized bronze.
And they asked that that was originally going to be a CPM crew wear blade, but they have decided to go with the CPM MagnaCut blade for production, so that's exciting.
And, oh, the liners of this are dark flat earth, and to me that's cool.
Now, I called the hardware bronze. I could be wrong. It could all be flat dark earth, but from this picture, it does look bronze.
This is available now, and it'll cost you a pretty penny, but that's Benchmade.
This one, I would probably say, though, is worth it, because, man, look at that knife. It's beautiful.
And you know, some companies, or most companies, spend more time and attention and resources on certain knives and I would venture to say that this would be that for Benchmade.

[16:32] Okay, next up, K-Bar, appearing twice in Knifelike News today, first with a historic knife project re-release, which these things are so cool when they do that.
They did this with the Red Spacer Ka-Bar a while back. Well, this one is called the E.W. Stone Knife, and this is a reproduction of a very famous theater knife from World War II.
Theater knives were knives that were made in theater, so they would take blades, Ka-Bar blades, or knives that had otherwise broken perhaps, or just knives that they wanted to customize and make new handles for them.
A Navy machinist called E.W. Stone, Eugene.

[17:16] William Stone, was famous for making a bunch of these. He made about 300, I think?
Yeah, he was known for making hundreds of these knives in aluminum and he would cast them and they have, so he would take the cabar blades and cast these handles onto the blades with a cobra sort of pattern in the handle.

[17:42] And then a skull at the bottom.
We made a bunch of different variations you can see online with knuckle dusters and all sorts of different styles of hilts for the Ka-Bar, mostly in Australia, and in Java and the Pacific Theater because those leather stacked handles did not fare well, in that super humid sort of jungle heat.
So you take cast aluminum and make the handle out of that and that blade is not going, that knife isn't going anywhere.
Look at that thing.
That is super cool. I love all the finger grooves.
It looks like it feels really comfortable in the hand. The only thing I say is you're out there in the hot, hot, hot, hot, you know, jungle.

[18:29] Is that aluminum gonna get hot to the touch? I guess if you're concerned about that, everything else is going pretty well.
Anyway, really looking forward to these. They are available now, but you better jump on it pretty quickly because I'm sure they'll go fast, especially with collectors.
Interesting little note about this is these are made, these hilts that are of aluminum with this pattern, that K-Bar's putting on this knife project are made by the son of the original maker, by E.W. Stone, using the original die in which this aluminum was cast.
So very, very cool. I'm sure they're gonna be flying off the shelves.
I'd love to have something like that.
All right, last up, speaking of KBAR.

[19:17] Is this commercial, they were, okay, they were asked by a streaming service, to advertise on the streaming service.
Here, this is directly from KBAR, quote, we were recently contacted by a large streaming service asking us to advertise.
When it came to finalize, we were informed we were not allowed to advertise as we are a quote-unquote weapons company.
This is the add-in question, what do you think? And we're gonna show it here in a second, I just, I think that this is pretty.

[19:50] Pretty remarkable and you'll see why. I think that this couldn't be, there couldn't be a friendlier, more accessible way to reach out to a non-knife crowd to advertise. But for some reason, this was pulled. Now maybe one of the marketing geniuses at the streaming service decided to look up K-Bar and then saw, you know, that K-Bar has a long history of military use, outdoor use, even has been in the news for some grisly crimes.
So they decided, you're our weapons company, and pulled it. So anyway, let's see if we can pull up this ad.
Let me show it here. Got a delivery guy dropping off a package.
Dude comes out, American flag waving on his porch. He cannot get into this box.
He's going mad, even his wife's trying now.
Punching it, throwing it, picking it.

[20:42] Ah, a K-Bar. a K-Bar. And all it is is a very small K-Bar dozer in cheerful bright orange that zips the bag open and you see the knife for an instant. You see it for about 15 frames, half a second or something like that. And this is what got the streaming service clutching their pearls. Oh my goodness. We cannot be associated with such a stalwart American brand that helps save this nation, can't do that, and so they leave them dangle.
I think it's a disgrace. What do you think? Let me know in the comments. All right, coming up on the Knife Junkie podcast, we're going to take a look at snob proof knives that won't break the bank. And before we get there, we'll show the ones that probably will break the bank but.

[21:31] The foundation upon which all else rests right here on the Knife Junkie podcast.

[21:37] If you search Google for the best knife podcast, the answer is is the Knife Junkie Podcast.
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And now that we're caught up with Knife Life News, let's hear more of the Knife Junkie Podcast.
Coming up in the knife hobby online, we've always often heard about the Royal Triumvirate or the big three. And these are folding knives that everyone must have in their collection before they die.
It's the Hinderer XM18, and there are a couple of others. We'll show those in a second.
I'm holding up five that are really sort of emblematic, and you can carry these into any crowd of knife snobs, and no one can say a damn thing.

[22:26] So the first one is the XM18. Of course, this one here is a special edition DLT trading, no-choil version with the tri-way pivot.
The Triway Pivot. So this has bearings. This is my only of my four XMs. Hinderer XMs is the only one with bearings. It is, nice. It is luxurious. It's great action. But with that painful flipper tab, I don't know the detent and everything.
I'm just happy with my my old one. This is a first sort of one of the first runs of the of the Triway. So who knows maybe, Maybe it's gotten better for me. Okay. So the first one XM 18 totally totally.

[23:08] OG snob proof knife I'm going to pepper in a couple of new kids on the block, and by that, I mean...
Not that new at this point, but it's the Spartan Harzee Folder.
This is another one that you just...

[23:24] No one can say anything if you have this in your pocket, except, hey man, massive respect for your Spartan Harzee Folder.
This is a knife that combines the hydraulic action feel and the stout slabbiness of the Sebenza, with some of the panache and strength, of the Hinderer XM series.

[23:51] I'm looking especially at those giant standoffs, and puts them together into a knife that is a classic American folder.
It seems like it's been around forever, like the Sebenza, but it really hasn't.
And it boasts that Bill Harzey design, and Bill Harzey's designs can be seen across luxury brands like Spartan, Spartan to budget brands like Gerber.
I mean, he's designed for everybody, and they all have an emblematic look.
They all have a style, and you can pick them out, whether it's a dagger or a folder or a fixed blade, you can pick out a Harzee knife a mile away.
So, nothing you can say about a Harzee, whether it's the Spartan Harzee folder, whether the fact that it's made in America. These are all made in America, too.
That is an issue here.

[24:44] It's strength, it's durability, it's looks, and then of course it's pedigree with Spartan blades and Bill Harzey.
Okay, next up is the Strider series. Now, I have the SMF, I've always had the SMF.
SNG is just like this but smaller, so I would easily swap those out if that's more your size.
Size, but this knife has been around long enough. It's like the line from Chinatown.
Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all become respectable if they stick around long enough.
And that's kind of what the Strider is to me. It's kind of an awkward design.
If you're seated back here, you're an inch and a half away from the edge.

[25:33] It has a lot of weirdness to it. It's kind of an odd design.
Feels much better when you're choked up than when you're back here.
This always bites into the palm. It is good in reverse grip, but I don't know.
There's a lot to this knife that doesn't quite make sense to me, but it is still a great knife.
It's super sturdy, and it's got a lot of originality to it with this integral backspacer slash show side piece, and then the titanium loxide slab.
This is a CC version, concealed carry, so it's contoured. contoured. This is the most carriable of the...
Of the Striders. The gunner grip has a lot of texture that's going to tear up your pants and the Lego is like a big block. It's like a Lego handle. So it's about as comfortable as a Lego. You know, we've all stepped on them in the dark. Weird knife, but you can't say anything about it. So next up, similar, and this is again a new school, more new school, kind of like this this Spartan Hersey folder, and that is the Shark Lock Waren AD-20.
This is a machine ground version from Andrew Demko, or Demko Knives, and you've got an amazing robust build.

[26:55] You've got the pedigree of Andrew Demko, let's say that. Andrew Demko and his brother John working in Wampum, PA, in the heart of America, and I don't mean to say it like that sarcastically, but it sounded weird for me to say in the heart of America. But it is true. And they're, they're two American brothers living the dream, making these knives. And you know, they've done all this work with cold steel, and now they're out on their own. And they've been just burning it up.
And when I say now they're out on their own, they've always been out on their own in the custom side. But now they're producing so many knives on the production side to with the 80 and 20.5 and the like.

[27:37] But also, it's the innovativeness. It's the innovation of Andrew Demko.
You know, he's created five different locks and they're all beloved to one extent or another.
But this Shark Lock really takes the cake. And the cool thing about that, about the Shark Lock and about Demko knives, is they have now licensed out the Shark Locks to Flitanium.
So a company way outside of Demco Knives is now using their law, and to great effect from what I hear. So cool people making incredible work and innovating, not just riffing on what's already been done.
So Demco Knives, anything from them, especially, I'd say the 80-20.
Just can't say anything about it. Totally, totally snob-proof.
Now, you're looking at this collection right here and saying, these are all hard-use tactical.
And yes, that is my wheelhouse.
There are plenty that would fit in this classic and new classic that are more gentlemanly.
I'm thinking about maybe the.

[28:46] American Blade Works Model II or the Tactile Knives Bear knives, you know, bare, or something like that.
A modern knife, smaller.
It's just not my wheelhouse. So, I'm not saying these are the only ones.
Okay, next up is, and last in this little list here, is of course, the Sebenza from Chris Reed Knives.
Sebenza, in this case, 21.

[29:10] A classic design. You could wear this, you could put this in your pocket with a suit, it's so classy, but when you get one in hand, you just really feel how strong it is.
Chris Reeve was a, before he became a knife maker and like a preeminent knife maker and owner of a company, he was a motorcycle racer, a South African dude, motorcycle racing, and just being a general man's man, and he intended his knives to be hard working tools.
And they are, they're expensive, and they're fancy, and they're beautiful, and they're very polished, and you can get them in crazy inlays and stuff, but at the heart and at the base of these are really hardworking, incredibly robust knives.
You get this in hand and you know it is business. Okay, so here are my examples of five kind of cost is no issue snob-proof knives.
You would also see plenty of others on this list, but for what I own, I would say these are five of the premiums.
All right, so now let's get to some that If you don't have the budget at the moment to get a $500 knife.

[30:23] Or if you're just responsible, and you know, some of these, I must be honest, were purchased irresponsibly, actually, not really much on the table at this, point, I think I may have sold all much of that stuff off, but hey, we all have moments of weakness. So, here are some that if you want to not...
Going to hawk in that moment of weakness that you can carry and no one's gonna say a damn thing except, oh nice, I have one of those.
First up is a rat.
This one is the Rat 2, it could be the Rat 1, the Rat 2, the Ontario Rat series of knives is at this point, so classic and so well respected as a great, great, great.

[31:07] Pocket knife with excellent ergonomics, incredibly smooth washer action. This is some of my favorite action in any of my folders right here in the in the rack too. I also own a rat one also in Aus8 like this. It lives in my get home bag which is in my car so a knife I would trust a folder I would trust with my life for sure. This knife is a really excellent utility folder you've got a full height flat ground blade, which is excellent for slicing.
And you have an area up here to move up into to choke up if you need to.
This knife is so small, you wouldn't need to probably, but it's bigger brother, perhaps.
And it's FRN, and it's inexpensive. And these days you get it in D2.
I don't know if they do the Aus8 anymore, but I love this pink color.
This was a gift from my daughter before my other daughter was born.
She wanted to get me a pink knife.

[32:12] I pointed my wife in this direction, and this was a back pocket knife on the daily for a long time.
And with that little noose fob, and the pink and the black, call this knife Pinky Tuscadero.
So you can't go wrong with a Rat 2.
Next up, this is a newish one, and I really like this, and everyone else really likes this, so much so that they have come out multiple versions of this in the short period of time it's been at stand.
And that is the Nightshade by Vosti.

[32:46] It's got this very interesting profile which I immediately likened to a Barong, but I was corrected multiple times, and then also watching other people's videos.
This is based on a shillin cutter, which is no doubt a sort of anglicized or germanicized, word for a Chinese folder of the same shape. A Chinese folder usually has a bolster and buffalo horn handles and isn't a flipper, but has a great downward leaf-shaped blade that is excellent for all sorts of utility because you have, this downward edge here capturing the material in the triangle that's formed.
When you're pole cutting or say you're cutting rope or something pulling this way, all that material gets trapped in there.
So it's a great, great cutting knife, just in its odd shape.
I'm a big fan of knives and swords that have that downward edge.

[33:54] Just because they cut so nicely.
And if, for self-defense, your natural inclination, which it probably is, is to slash, slashing is not as effective as thrusting, but people are more prone to slash, at least with a downward-angled blade like this, or a kukri, or something like that, you get a really, really deep slash out of it.
So, yes, great for utility, also great for self-defense.
I don't hear people talk about this knife much for self-defense, so I'll be the one.
Because it is such a great utility knife, and that is how we use our knives generally, or mostly.
But another benefit to that downward angle, not just on the slash, but on the thrust.
Because you're not really changing the angle of your wrist to get the point where it needs to be.
You don't have to point it down.

[34:44] But why snob proof, Bob? Well, because A, everybody seems to like it.
B, it is an excellent utility tool.
But C, it's made by Vosteed, and Vosteed has great style, great fit and finish, and really excellent action.
So you look at it, it's beautiful.
This G10 is nicely contoured. You can get it in micarta or if that's more your style.
And in style, it is unique, it's different. And people like the same but different.
The same being folding, liner lock, flipper, with awesome materials, this being 14C28N, sorry, 154CM, but also different.
You pull it out, it's a conversation starter. I've never seen a knife like that.
Oh, it's based on the Chinese shilling putter.
There goes the conversation. Okay, next up, this is one of the more expensive ones in this list, but it is still sub $200.
Now, I'm topping this off around there because I wanted to add this to the list.
This is the American Blade Works Model 1.
The Model 1 is a very well researched knife.
It was, I don't want to say.

[36:08] It had a lot of input, that's what I'm trying to say. So Michael Martin of American Blade Works started making knives in his garage, started sending the products of his effort around to reviewers who were looking at them and giving their assessments.
He changed it, kept changing it, kept changing it, until he came up with version six.
This is a version five, incidentally.
And the version six is the absolutely dialed-in version of this design.
And now why do I say it's snob proof? It's snob proof because as a tool, it is excellent.
It's really well designed, it's not flashy, it's very ergonomic, it's good looking.
I should say it's handsome but not flashy.
Fits the hand great, has great flipper action, strong lockup, contoured scales, but it's all made by one guy.

[37:02] One man in his, in North Carolina, in North Carolina, in his shop, on his property, making these, and he really started from nothing.
I mean, what I mean is, he's a machinist in his everyday work job, and started just, decided to make knives, and here he's got a thriving company now, still a one-man band, pumping out these incredible work knives.
So they're American-made, inexpensive, you know, because some of these other American-made knives, I was talking about, these things are expensive.
You wanna get a Strider, get ready to spend 600 bucks.
I didn't spend that on this incidentally.

[37:42] But you gotta spend a lot of money. You wanna get an American-made, handmade knife that is an amazing tool, arguably better than some of the other ones I was showing you, for $200 or less, American Blade Works. So there's a lot of brag here.
There's a lot of bragging here in these micro brands, I'll say it, I'll say it like that.
Here's another one, and maybe not micro, but it's a small knife company compared to some of the big guys, but it's American and it's family and...
It's TRM, Three Rivers Manufacturing. Again, now this one is.

[38:21] The problem with this one is that it's difficult to get. But when they're available, they won't break the bank.
These are also sub $200, or maybe they're hovering right at about $200 at this point.
But they are inexpensive, made in the United States, superior design, superior design, an incredible 20CV blade with a low slung tip below centerline so you get a lot of utility out of it. A very nice straight with a gentle belly there. Just utility all day long in this very thin knife. It's very thin, very stylish though. So thin with the titanium liners and the USP of this, the unique selling proposition, of this knife and many of the, I would say the thing.

[39:15] That put TRM on the map, Three Rivers Manufacturing out of Massachusetts on the map, is the fact that, to change the scales, which you can get many of them readily from them, all you have to do is pop out these two screws, boop, boop.
You don't have to disassemble the whole knife. You don't have to take off the pivot.
You just take those two screws out, the scale pops off, same thing over here, you have to take out three screws because of that pocket clip.
And you can change the scales in under five minutes on these things.
So incidentally, or coincidentally, I'm using that word too much.
So I happen to have a whole bunch of scales now from TRM. I can change them out with my mood.
These happen to be my favorites, well, currently anyway.
It's that milled wing design that they do in there with.

[40:07] What is that micarta called? I'm having brain farts all day, guys.
Yeah, with that micarta, burlap micarta.
So, no one is ever gonna say anything to you about this. American made, small brand, easy on the pocketbook if you can get it.
Many ways to customize it to your own taste.
You can even get titanium scales for this from time to time.
I don't think those are on current, or on indefinite offer. I think they bring them out and then let you know.
So I love this TRM Adam, and it is a 100% snob-proof knife.
Now, coming back down to earth in terms of price, if that's on the high end, 200, This is kind of down on the low, lower end of things.
I got this for 60 bucks on Amazon and it's the Large Pyrite by CJRB.
You could go with any pyrite, large or small. They even have some prestige models right now with contoured titanium and gorgeous inlays and all sorts of micro milling.
You can get the small versions in both wharncliffe blade or this beautiful drop point.
Both of the blades on these, you don't hear me say beautiful drop point often, but this one is.

[41:28] The Pyrite was sent to me originally by CJRB to check out. I loved it so much and I ended up giving it away to a friend, knowing that I wanted this large one and wouldn't need the small one.
She carries it in her purse, likes the knife a lot, and I ended up getting this one with the beautiful green-blue micarta.
I love that color of micarta, and they use very nice quality material there.
AR RPM-9, proprietary powdered steel, very high flat grind, super slicey.
So this is a great tool knife, but also a great fidget knife.
It has, I think, what I consider the best button lock I've experienced, whether it's Kaiser, Sabivi, Sencut, or anyone else I've experienced a button lock from.
And I'll tell you why. I think it has to do with how they mill out the pocket.
On the tang of the blade, there is a cutout that is very precise.

[42:34] It has 90-degree walls and is totally flat. You see that right there?
That is where the plunger, plunge lock, pops in when this opens up.
And so that plunge lock there is fitting perfectly into that milled-out slot, that cylindrical milled-out slot.
And that's why this gives you such great action and such a great pop.

[42:59] The way most companies do it is instead of a socket that's cut out precisely with 90 degree walls.

[43:07] They cut out a cone-shaped void. And that plunger, the idea being that plunge lock will fit ever more tightly into it as everything wears down.
It will push further into that cone shape.
But I think that's where people are getting lock failures. If that cone shape is too extreme.

[43:30] It might pop the sharp edges of that plunge lock that's moving in and out with the spring, push it out if there's any force exerted on it.
So I think getting it right, getting it perfect like this and cutting out a 90 degree walled socket just makes all the difference.
Why is this thing snob proof?
Well, because it's got classic design lines. There's nothing you can say about this knife in terms of its classic lines.
I mean, kind of look at it next to a Sebenza, nowhere near the same, I mean it is the same, you know, just very gentle, ergonomic lines and an excellent action. And there's something about the dignity of having an excellent, excellent knife. That is not a very expensive knife.
But does the tool job right and has style and panache and then that that third, gymnastic Wow, that that Oh, I don't know. It's, just something about it I love.
For me, it is fidgety. I love the way it feels in my hand, and it carries nicely, and it's just something I keep going to.
4-inch blade too, you can't go wrong.

[44:45] So CJRB Pyrite, I would say in any one of its forms, are snob proof.
Probably the most snob proof are those ones they're making with the contoured titanium handles.
Okay, next up, the 8020.5. So this is the more readily available version of the 8020 I was was shown before. Much thinner, made in Taiwan, made with more budget materials, in this case Aus-10. And I'm sure this was made in one of the Taiwan factories that cold steels are made in. I'm sure the Aus-10 is beautifully heat treated. You can see the liners in there.

[45:28] And this is one of the first ones that came out with that sort of gray, that sort of kind of boring putty gray but also kind of neat in a way because it's sort of tool like it doesn't not too flashy I guess what what this really has that that makes it snob proof is the the pedigree the Demko knives pedigree and that amazing shark locks which is easier for me to do with my right hand but this amazing shark lock this brought this lock into reach for people who don't I don't have 500 bucks to spend on one of these.
So now, suddenly, this was available. And now, he's licensing it out to the likes of Flytanium, which I think is so cool.
Another thing that makes this knife snob-proof is its ugly blade.
I'll say it, I've said it before, I'll say it again. I think the shark's foot is an ugly blade.
It is very useful, it is a very good blade.
But not very eye-friendly to me.
Why did you get that one, Bob? Well, I don't know, because I guess I felt like I should, because I already have the clip point in the large version.
But in retrospect, I think that was a silly choice. So one of these days, I might haul off and get a more premium version of the 20.5.

[46:52] Maybe in one of the titanium versions, or this has been upgraded in many different ways, since it first came out.
But snob-proof in its utility, and then in its innovation, for sure.
And then let's face it, popularity. That has a huge thing, huge part to do with it.
Is it popular? Are the cool kids liking it? Are the popular knife guys liking this knife?
And I'll be honest, if Stassa or Jared likes something.

[47:22] I definitely, definitely pay attention because they actually use these things and really test them out, whereas I might not as much.
That's why I call them our trusted voices. All right, next up is the Ritter Hoag RSK Mark I.
In this case, a mini RSK Mark I.

[47:44] So this is snob-proof for many reasons. Let's start with pedigree.
This is the new version, or the updated version, of the Benchmade Ritter Griptilian.
So Doug Ritter, the guy who started Knife Rights, Before he started Knife Rights, was a survival specialist, and an aviation crash survival specialist.
He used to make, or still does actually, makes survival packs for aviators, especially helicopter pilots, if they go down in the bush.
Different ways, different materials in the survival kit to help fliers in particular, pilots in particular.
And when he was doing that, When he first started that effort, he came upon the need for an inexpensive folding knife with an excellent steel.
So he went to Benchmade, Benchmade OEMed his version of the Griptilian.
They were already making the Griptilian, they sort of took the handle from the Griptilian, which followed his main stipulation of an inexpensive knife, inexpensive handle.

[48:55] But they upped the blade steel, I believe it was to S30V at that time, and put a different blade on it. This, and this is the shape, a broader drop point blade with a higher flat grind.
So those Ritter Griptilians were always very coveted and hard to come by.
Then eventually Benchmade stopped doing OEM work altogether, and Doug Ritter had to look for a new company to OEM his design, and boy did he land on his feet with Hogue, because Hogue has just taken it to the next level.
They lengthened the handle ever so slightly, have made it way more comfortable, and contoured it, put that sunburst pattern of grooves in there so it's really grippy.

[49:42] And their ABLE lock, which stands for Ambidextrous Bar Lock Enhanced, is their version of the AXIS lock, and arguably a better lock, but at this point, I don't know if I can actually say that, but an awesome version of the Axis Lock.
Only thing I don't like about this is the clip that comes with it.
I put my, I put a bug-out clip on it.
I like the small clip better. That's the one thing I don't like about Hogue knives are their clips, but that's neither here nor there.
That's a taste issue. But this knife is also brag-worthy and snob-proof because every time you buy this exclusive from KnifeWorks, The money goes to support Doug Ritter, who spends all of his time and money fighting for our knife rights with knife rights.
So this knife helps support the man that has enhanced our knife rights in this country.
As a matter of fact, in the last two years in my state of Virginia, Doug Ritter's efforts have helped A, make automatic knives not illegal in any capacity, and then this year B, we We can even now carry them concealed, thanks to Doug Ritter.
So I mean, he does amazing work for us, and he also happened to have designed this extremely awesome folder.
So snob-proof to the max is the RSK in any of its forms.

[51:06] I have the mini, this one was a gift from Doug Ritter himself, which was so cool, and so I will never ever get rid of this one, but I would love to get the big one again.
I did have the full-size one and gave that away.
I would like to get another one. But they come in a lot of cool colors now.
I think you can get it in orange and black, like a Halloween one, and you can get it in flat dark earth with black, different versions.
But you do have to go to knifeworks.com to get it. So a great way to help support the cause and to support a great guy and to have probably one of the best folders ever have in your pocket.

[51:43] All right, next up, this is an odd one. This one always surprised me that it kind of took the knife world by storm. People that I didn't expect would love this knife.
And this is the mini version again. This is the Proponent from Artisan Cutlery and Dirk Pinkerton.
Dirk Pinkerton, you know me, he's one of my absolute favorite designers and makers.
I have a bunch of his, or I have like four of his customs and a bunch of his production designs.
He loves the wharncliffe and is a designer of many a beautiful wharncliffe.
So it's interesting to me that this is probably his most famous one.
And it must be the audacity of the design.
It might not come through in this mini version, but in the large four-inch bladed version, it would definitely come through.
I mean, look at how chunky this is at three and a quarter inches blade length.
Here, I'll put it next to the Mini RSK. Look at that.
I mean, it is a chunk. So, that's what surprised me. People, especially in a time where people are kind of going back to more svelte knives, it was amazing to me that this really caught on as it did.
They're still coming out with different exclusives of this. As a matter of fact, KnifeCenter just came out with a titanium frame lock version of this.
It just has long, long legs.

[53:10] And that's another part, like I mentioned before, with that Chinatown quote, that's another thing that can make a knife like this popular.

[53:21] It comes out, people are interested in the novelty of such a big, chunky wharncliffe, they buy it and discover what an amazing tool it is, and then it goes from there.
It becomes respectable, not just for being something interesting, like a giant Midgard's Messer, but it's actually a great tool, and not difficult to carry.
Now this one, oof, this one is 154cm, and I almost cut myself on it, 154cm, and I thought, when I got this, this is a prototype, I got two of these from Dirk when he was kind of clearing out his collection of prototypes and stuff, got this from him.
I thought, looking at it, that it was gonna be more wedge-like.
But man, does this thing slice like a dream. And that tip is incredible.
So this knife definitely has it on the tool side of the house too.
It's not just an interesting, audacious sort of conversation starter of a knife.
It's also an outrageously excellent cutting tool.
Next up, this list would be incomplete with you. I'm sure you've been spying it on the top of the screen, but yes, it is the Paramilitary II.

[54:36] I really labored over this choice. I was gonna get an Endura because it's less expensive, and I was looking at other Spydercos, but I just kept coming back to this, and it's because it has the magic combination.
First of all, it's got the pedigree. It is the PM-2. It is the knife against which all other knives have been compared for years in YouTube videos, my own included.
And I'm not sure how that started. Whoops, not so good with the left hand reverse flick.
But not sure how that started, but the PM2 became the standard.
And it is a great knife. I have my little problems with it.
There are reasons why I like the military better.
My main problem with this knife is visual.
It's probably my own problem, my only problem with this knife.
It's that handle to blade ratio just has always irked me just a little bit.
But now let's get over that sort of superficial thing and talk about the knife itself.
It is an amazing, amazing tool. This one is in S30V.
You can get it in pretty much any steel at this point and any sort of handle material you want, or aftermarket, or from them, or an exclusive.
But the handle itself is just amazing in this standard grip, standard sort of saber grip.
Just feels incredible. And then for utility and enhanced capability.

[56:05] You can come up here into that 50-50 choil and really go to town.
You got a full flat ground, leaf-shaped blade with the point center line or below.
So utility all day long.
If you hold the spine straight, it does have a sort of downward angle blade.
So just an amazing knife. And then it's got the, like I said, the history, the pedigree.
It's been the most iterated, I think, of the Spydercos, and then it's got this.
It's got the compression lock. This was the first knife featuring the compression lock, which is a, you know, a Spyderco original.

[56:47] And I believe the patent on this is running out, so we'll probably see more of them popping up here and there, but, you can't say anything bad about the paramilitary, too. Even though I do, just for fun, it's almost like making fun of the super alpha jock dude about his skinny calves, you know.
And last up here, this is another Demko design. Originally, it was a Demko custom, but Cold Steel has been making such an exquisite version of this knife, which is extremely hard to get in the custom version, and that is the AD-15.
People love this AD-15. Cold Steel, people who are snobbish towards Cold Steel, were won over when this came out. really nice interpretation of the custom 8015.
As a matter of fact, when I had Andrew Demko on the show, episode 118 or 20, I think it was 118.
No, no, it was episode 20 when the shark lock, when this scorpion lock was new.
He was talking about how Cold Steel did such a great job copying his custom that it was almost, It almost put the custom out of business for him.
He doesn't make it anymore anyway, because it's, you can't, but...

[58:15] Selling this design to Cold Steel and having Cold Steel make it really was humbling for him because of what a great job they did.
Humbling, but he was happy and everything, that they did justice to this great design.
So, design-wise, a snob can't say a thing because it's interesting. It's innovative. This is another one of Demco's innovations, that Scorpion lock.
It doesn't look like it should be comfortable, but it is.
You can use the lock itself to open the knife. You just stick your finger in there and widen it.
You can flick it open. There's all sorts of ways to use this lock.
I've seen people do stuff.

[59:00] Yeah, do it in reverse. I almost was worried about doing that because I haven't practiced it.
And then you have this great flat ground blade. This is S35VN.
I never did this in the XHP. This is from the very first run of them.
Now you can get aftermarket scales. I've seen my car to aftermarket scales.
I really like these G10 scales though.
I like that sort of diamond pattern. Looks sort of industrial to me.
And it's also a snob-proof cold steel. And that is hard to come by.
Snobs love to hate on cold steel.
Knife snobs hate to love on cold steel.
Well, my knives are just tools and, you know, and no Mokutai in cold steel.
But this is a design right here that you will be able to walk into any room and fully emasculate any knife snob that happens to reside there.

[59:54] The 1815 Cold Steel. Thanks for coming on this journey with me into snob-proof knives.
Those snob-proof kings and then the ones that won't break the bank.
Let me know what your suggestions are for snob-proof knives.
The Civivi Elementum at this point could be one. The Burnley Quaken could be one, even though I like to rag on how many versions there are. Let me know, leave it in the comments below.

[1:00:19] All right, be sure to join us on Sunday for a great interview.
We have a great conversation. Also, make sure you join us on Thursday for Thursday Night Knives, 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, right here on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitch.
And if you'd like to become a patron, you can do so by going to theknifejunkie.com slash Patreon.
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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[1:01:26] Music.

 

 

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Knives, News and Other Stuff Mentioned in the Podcast

 

Pocket Check

  • Les George VECP
  • Jack Wolf Knives Pioneer Jack
  • Auxiliary MFG Pocket Rocket
  • Shieldon Gambit (ESK)

 

State of the Collection: Snob-Proof Kings

  • Hinderer XM-18
  • Demko Knives AD-20 MG
  • Strider SMF
  • Spartan Harsey Folder
  • Chris Reeve Knives Sebenza 21

 

Snob-Proof Knives That Won’t Break the Bank

  • Ontario Rat 2
  • Vosteed Nightshade
  • American Blade Works Model 1
  • TRM Atom
  • CJRB Pyrite
  • Demko Knives AD-20.5
  • Ritter Hogue Mini RSK Mk1
  • Artisan Mini Proponent
  • Spyderco Paramilitary 2
  • Cold Steel AD-15

 

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