Top Designs Bottom Dollar - The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 394)

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Top Designs Bottom Dollar – The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 394)

On the mid-week supplemental episode of The Knife Junkie podcast (episode 394), Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco looks at top knife designs at bottom dollar prices, including the Sencut Bronte, Tempest Pinion, and Orion Scorpio among others. Bob also shows off the new prototype The Knife Junkie/Hogtooth Knives collaboration knife — the NoVA-1 Custom EDC Bowie — and a folding Scythe by Tier 1 Gear Reviews.


“That WWII bolo is too cool. Perfect condition: well used, but well loved. Clearly has a story. So thick at the spine. Must have been no fun to wield one-handed, trying to support a wounded soldier in your off-hand, bushwhacking your way back to safety. That tool must have taken as much of a toll as it imparted.” J. McConnell


Bob starts the show with his favorite comment of the week, which came from last week’s podcast, followed by his “pocket check” of knives — the Sencut Watauga, Jack Wolf Knives Javelina Jack, The Knife Junkie/Hogtooth Knives NoVA-1, and the Finch Knives Drifter (Emotional Support Knife).

In Knife Life News, CRKT and Hogue team up for USA made CRKTs OEM’ed by Hogue, Boker releases a Brad Zinker Urban Barlow flipper, We Knife Co. and Tkachenko team up for an exotic Merata, and the Boker Plus 2023 Collection Knife is a collab with Sal Manaro.

Meanwhile in his “State of the Collection,” Bob shows off the Kizer MAD Tanto, Artisan Mini Proponent, and the Asymmetrical Nighthorse..

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

Become a Knife Junkie Patreon ...

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

Top knife designs at bottom dollar prices. That's my topic this week on episode 394 of #theknifejunkie #podcast, plus Knife Life News, a pocket check, and what's new in my state of the collection. Share on X
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Top Designs, Bottom Dollar - The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 394)
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.
©2023, Bob Demarco
The Knife Junkie Podcast


[0:00] Welcome to the Knife Junkie Podcast, the place for blade lovers to learn about knives and hear from the makers, manufacturers, and reviewers that make the knife world go round.
I'm Bob DeMarco and coming up, some exciting news from CRKT and Hoag, I get the Kaiser Mad Tonto and Top Designs Bottom Dollar.

[0:23] Welcome to the Knife Junkie Podcast, your weekly dose of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting.
Here's your host, Bob the Knife Junkie DeMarco. Welcome back to the show.
My favorite comment from this past week was about the World War II medics bolo, Corpsman's bolo that my brother got me for Christmas and that I just received recently.

[0:48] He's J. McConnell, a gentleman junkie. Thank you, J. says, that World War II bolo is too cool.
Perfect condition, well used, but well loved. clearly has a story. So thick at the spine, must have been no fun to wield one handed, trying to support a wounded soldier in your offhand while bushwhacking your way to safety.
That tool must have taken as much of a toll as it imparted. No doubt, Jay. And that's one of the things about that knife. I have the Collins machete behind me and other big, heavy kit before this era of high tech garbage that I love so much. You know, with all these light materials, light, strong materials, wicking fabrics and all that.
Imagine, you know, it's only two generations ago that the men fighting in the South Pacific, for instance, were laden down with all of this heavy equipment and the equipment was necessary for the corpsman to get through the jungle with his wounded, with his wounded Marine.
So it just makes me proud that those are the people that were descended from.

[1:58] It also is a, you know, you pick up one of these knives and you wonder, could I have hacked it, pun intended, in the South Pacific.
So yeah, the stories abound in these knives and that's part of why I really love this hobby.
So Jay McConnell and everyone else who comments and participates, thank you so much.
And you know, sometimes I will feature negative comments because sometimes the negative comments are actually positive.
They actually make me think about something differently. Other times it's just sniping and that doesn't happen much, which I love.
There's not too much of that stuff in the knife world.
So I guess I picked the right hobby and the right place to do a podcast.

[2:42] All right. So all that being said, I'm going to put this beautiful Cormans machete to the side and, say that now it's time.
For a pocket check. Sort of on theme of today's show, recently I've been carrying, out of guilt, carrying knives that I've bought because I think they're interesting, but don't quite make it into my pocket because I have fancier stuff to put in there because I'm a fancy guy, you know, and I don't want to be caught without a fancy knife. And lately I've been thinking about how, fancy some of these inexpensive knives are and how great they are. And so that I have them, I should either sell them or carry them as my grandparents generation would say.

[3:28] Crap or get off the pot. So it's time to do one of those two. I'm going to leave that right there.
So in my pocket, I had the new Civivi or the Senkut Watauuga. Now, this is not so new. This This was introduced first at Blade Show 2022.
And I remember seeing it featured on Stasa23's channel and saying, I can't wait, I can't wait.
Well, now it's out in general circulation and it comes in a number of different flavors.
This is my favorite, this dark green, my Carta with the black blade.
It's very thin, very slice.
He has a beautiful profile. I love that blade shape with a really effective thumb swell on the spine with very nice jimping. This is a $40 knife, I believe.

[4:18] So inexpensive. I could have that wrong, actually, because I've gotten a few things recently that are all kind of in that price range. So 60 to 40 bucks, we'll say, is this Sen cut.
But I think that's the whole point of Sen cut is to make them somewhat inexpensive, so that if you like we designs, if you like Civivi builds, you'll you'll come for a, Sen cut. And that's where they're willing to take design chances, by the way, in, these inexpensive, more inexpensive knives. That's what I find. And every once in a while, like some of the limited edition we's we've been talking about, and we'll talk about another one today, they're doing some really nice stuff, but not taking design chances as much. So I'm glad that there's Sen cut, and I'm glad there is Civivi to broaden out that range. Plus, Senkut just released their first knife, with a big time designer. It's Ray Laconicco, I think. Or Civivi. Yeah, that Ray Laconicco So, that everyone's.
Raven about so cool things happening there. So I had that my front right pocket. I also had in my front right pocket I've been doing that to carrying a my slip joint in the same pocket as my as my main.

[5:34] But the beautiful javelina jack that's the February 2023 jack wolf knife and it's a sow belly single bladed sow belly and, And that beautiful clip point, the cool thing about the sow belly knives, the cool thing about the single bladed knives that Ben Belkin has been designing is that you really get to, as my daughter would say, vibe with the ergonomics.
You don't have the spine of another blade nestled in that handle to disrupt the ergonomics, to obscure the full ergonomics for your hand.
I love these knives and I've always had a thing for the sow belly, though I only have one and it's a very nice rough rider.
And some people might think that that's a contradiction in terms, but it's not.
And it's a very nice feeling knife, but it's got a big old spade blade tucked in there or or the clip point.
You can never you're never using it without a blade folded in there.
So you don't get the full benefit of the ergos.
So I love this javelina jack.
Thank you Ben Belkin for gracing me and this channel with that gorgeous slip joint knife.
Alright, next up, speaking of gorgeous... oh gorgeous... the Nova One.

[6:52] The Nova One, by the way, pre-order is now open. This is my collaboration knife with Matt Chase of Hog Tooth Knives.
You know Matt Chase of Hog Tooth Knives. He's been on the show a bunch of times. Also, I rave about his tanto and his ruffian and that I carry all the time, carried all the time before, we made this novel one. Now I'm stuck on the novel one for obvious reasons, but I came to him. I said.

[7:19] I said, Matt, maybe I love your tanto. I love the platform. It's great. Let's do lunch. Let's talk about a collaboration. Of course, none of that happened. I just said, Hey, Matt, I'd love to design a Bowie blade to fit on the tanto handle. Can we do that and then make some for other people if they're interested. He said hell yeah. So I think it's a perfect size for EDC fixed blade, and I do love a bowie. I've been going through that bowie phase so I designed this and he executed it, beautifully, perfectly. I also am able to incorporate a little bit of my love for the recurve there, without being obnoxious. I know a lot of people do not like recurves but this is one of those recurves you put on like you might on a slip joint knife where you're expecting to use it, have it in your pocket for years and years and years, sharpen and sharpen. You put a little extra on the belly which gives you a recurved edge so that as you sharpen you sharpen through that belly, because that's where you're going to be cutting the most. So you don't get a deformed blade over time. It just sort of settles into a straight edge instead of a recurve. So that's the whole point.

[8:25] Behind doing this hollow ground 154 cm blade with that with that slight recurve. Very very thin in behind the edge, very sharp and cutty, but also nice and stabby. It has a good tip here.
You can see the swedge. The swedge comes in and at the tip, it's basically a dagger tip minus the sharp edge because that's where it comes in and meets the.

[8:49] The cutting tape. By the way, this is a prototype. How it will change is it will have different colored liners but the same colored maroon handles. That row, one inch row of jimping, will now be forward for the thumb and then my logo will be quite a bit smaller to fit on the flat, of this side of the blade. So that's the Nova 1 in my waistband and then for emotional support today I had another charming little bowie that I haven't carried in a long time which is the finch knife company Drifter. So this is a very small but god is that a handsome knife and it seems like it would make a very cool large fixed blade too. It's got a coffin shaped handle with that beautiful wood and then as always the Finch badge. I guess not as always. I think I've seen one recently but I haven't but they, didn't put that on there. But the really nice luminescent badge with the F and And then the low profile QSP style flipper, or I don't know if it's a finch flipper, that QSP, I think that's how it worked.

[9:55] And then the long, well, it's not long, it's short, but it looks long because of the sinuous nature of this.
It looks like a Musso Bowie, a Musso Bowie folder.
So just a gorgeous little flipper, feels great in the hand, has good jimping, has a nice thickness.
That's something I rave about on small knives.
Has to have a nice thickness to feel like you have a good purchase on it.
Excellent actions. Love the wood handle. This I've seen in the Canvas micarta, Blue Gene micarta, and some other things, things but I think it really expresses itself best in what Alright, that's what I was carrying on me. Four knives as usual, one for emotional support.

[10:41] One fixed blade, one slip joint, and one main front pocket modern folder. What did you have Anya? Let me know. Just drop that in the comment section below. And before I move on to KnifeLife news, I just do want to remind you that the Nova 1, I have it on my list so I have to say it, the The Nova one preorder is live.
Go to the knife junkie dot com slash Nova one.
And you will see the story behind the Nova one, because everything has to have a story today.
You can't even buy a razor blade for your face without seeing some guys say, my face used to get chapped, so I made this razor.
I know I know people don't care, but go check out the story behind this.
You do care about this.
And if you're interested, if you want a really excellent EDC Bowie, 100% handmade by Matt Chase in Massachusetts.
Well, he does have the blanks watered out. And then after that, everything, including the bevel, is hand done and he doesn't even use a jig.

[11:42] Which is impressive. But not necessary, but impressive. Very cool.
So please go check that out if interested.
And you too could walk around with your very own Nova One. Now, just in case you wanted to know, Nova 1 refers to the area in which I hail, from which I hail as well as Jim.
So there's an interesting story behind that. All right, still to come on the Knife Junkie podcast, we're gonna take a look at CRKT and Hoag, an interesting and exciting little tidbit of news there, and some exciting releases from Boker Plus right here on the Nightjumpy podcast.
If you're a knife junkie, you're always in the market for a new knife.
And we've got you covered. For the latest weekly knife deals, be sure to visit, knives. Through our special affiliate relationships, we bring you weekly knife specials on your favorite knives. Help support the show and save money on a new knife. Shop at knives. That's knives. You're listening to the Knife Junkie Podcast, And now here's the knife junkie with the knife life news.
So this first story in knife life news is sort of an add on.
So a couple of weeks back, we talked about the exciting news that CRKT was releasing a pair of knives made in the United States, and both designed by the Lurch's.

[13:11] Matthew Lurch designed one called the LCBK and his wife, MJ, designed one called the definitive.
Well, we just found out that they were made by Hogue Knives.
And what a perfect what a perfect place to have knives.
Now, I didn't really quite think about it this way. But reading the article on on Knife News.

[13:34] You have Jim Brunes, who's the president of Hogue Knives, who, by the way, has been on the show. Very interesting guy. Great conversation.

[13:42] He was on number 47 anyway. He said about this partnership with CRKT.
Today we manufacture knives in collaboration with major firearm brands such as Sig Sauer and Heckler and Koch or is that Coke?
I'm not sure and feature designs with key industry names like Boker Voxnes Kyle Lamb and he says this partnership with CRKT is a natural, extension for our business and and I dare say a a great one and I hope it's something that CRKT.

[14:14] Continues, I know that they plan on continuing this partnership, but maybe in seeing one of their.

[14:20] Fellow American companies actually doing the manufacturing here, how great would it be if they leverage some of their size, power and strength and influence to start doing that themselves in the United States? It almost seems to me like a giant company like CRKT, relatively giant, you know, should have an easier time setting up manufacturing in the United States than a a smaller spot. I don't know. I'm not a I'm not a manufacturer, but it seems like that should be logical. So this whole thing is exciting to me because a it's something I've been talking about forever. CRKT just needs to up their materials and make stuff in the States because they have all these great designers on board always doing these interesting things. So it's, exciting for that reason. But it's also exciting to think that maybe they can be influenced by Hogue and and see that maybe, they don't need to be spending money with Hoag. Maybe they spend money in their own infrastructure and build up a factory and or use the factory they have and start making stuff here. So anyway, I think that that could be a really exciting thing. I got one quote I want to read from.

[15:26] Doug Flagg. He's the VP of marketing and innovation at CRKT. He said, we've known the team at Hoag for quite some time and their sterling reputation in the marketplace, is well deserved. So as we look forward towards partnerships in US manufacturing, they were the obvious fit. So yeah, I think so too. I'd love to see more. I'd love to see Hogue doing more OEM stuff because with the Ritter RSK Mark I and their own tools and knives, they do great stuff. And those Allen Alishawitz designs, they do great stuff. So I'm excited about that. All right, Next up, Boker Knives is releasing a new Brad Zinker. You know, Brad Zinker, the designer of the Urban Trapper, one of the biggies for Boker that they put through a lot of different iterations.

[16:16] Beautiful, slender, little modern flipper gentleman's knife. Well, he's coming out with a modernized version of the Barlow, which I just think this is beautiful. This is available right now by the way I said he's coming out with but Boker has already come out with his design, a beautiful modern front flipper version of of the Barlow M390 blade steel that's a Thai bolster it comes in marbled carbon fiber or coca-bolo god I love coca-bolo and that's a sculpted titanium pocket clip that can go either way which is great because that's a trend we're starting to see, I like that. 2.3 ounces available right now.
A classy bit of gentleman's cutlery. I'm wondering if uh, I'm wondering how it carries in the light pants, like suit pants, like the Brad Zinker.

[17:12] Urban trapper was pretty awesome for that. Anyway, looking forward to that. That's the Boker Flipper urban Barlow. Also from Boker, actually, Salmon Arrow, they have a new one coming out with Salmon Arrow. And that's part of their collection series. Now, Boker every year, has a Boker Plus every year announces in January, the beginning of the year, the collection series knife of the year and it's a fancy version of a designer collaboration knife and this year, it's with Sal Monero and we've seen a bunch of his stuff over the years. I think he's done a number of knives with Boker actually. His custom folders are quite coveted and he's also a really nice guy. I tried to get him on the show before and I think I'm going to try again. We've had some, back and forth and he just seems like a really great guy but anyway his designs are intricate intricately milled and and usually very sturdily built so that they are kind of dazzling work knives, so here you have an italian oem they're not sure who that is but a 3.4 inch magna cut now the big question will be how do they heat treat their magna cut now many companies have been heat treating their Magna Cut way low. I mean you want it around 63 according to my trusted voices.

[18:39] 63 and they've been coming it in lower because it's cheaper to grind it when it's at a lower and less hard Rockwell hardness. But the whole point of the stuff is that you can get it really hard and but it also maintains some of the qualities of a less rigid steel.
And that's where I'm going to stop trying to talk about MagnaCut but that'll be the big question how do they heat treat the MagnaCut. It's got a cool angled thumb stud Salmon Arrow is known for that. Time Asus pivot collar, sculpted reversible pocket clip and it comes in at 5.19 ounces. For a lot of people that'll seem heavy but not to me. A beautiful knife, Salmon Arrow. I want to get, him on the show. Lastly, in knife life news, we have another limited edition collaboration between we and Anton shi chanko, kuchenko, sorry. So last week, we talked about the, what was it the marauder? Or no, this one is the marauder the last week it was the.

[19:47] Hmm, what was it? Well, I can't remember what the last one was called, but it was a very different looking knife.
To me, this looks like kind of like the 460.
No, this looks a bit like the, yeah, the 460 by ZT and Sinkovich.
It's an upswept kind of Persian blade, beautifully swedged.
This to me is way better looking than the other one from last week, which forgive me, I just cannot remember the name of.
Oh, the Makani. That was the one last week. Makani.
Now this one's a little bit bigger than that. The Makani has this kind of awkward, awkwardly fullered, sort of awkwardly shaped, kind of bellied wharncliffe.
That just did not work for my eye, but this one certainly does.
Except for this version that Jim just put up on screen.
I mean, this has major Mr. Furly issues. You've got an inlay of beautiful fat carbon, which would be enough, but it's inlaid into a, uh, a sort of flame pattern anodized titanium, uh, handle, uh, sort of asymmetrically.
And then it's got this crazy what's it's called a heims heims Kringle heims Kringle pattern damasteel just crazy looking, just too many patterns.

[21:08] Too many notes, uh, but a beautiful, uh, profile. I love the look of the knife.
So I'm excited about this. Just before I was sort of calling Wii a little bit boring because it's the higher end version or the higher end company there and they have more to lose.
But I don't know. I think this is beautiful in this version as Jim has it on screen.
So check it out. This is the Murata, no, the Makani. Oh, Manage.
Wait, Wii knife and Tachenko team up. I'm reading the screen for the Murata.

[21:43] The one last week was the Makani. This, by the way, is bigger.
So, clear as mud, 4.6 ounces. Limited to about 300 per version.
Alright, I gotta end LifeKnightNews right here. Let's go on and before we do, let me just say...

[22:00] I don't know if you will, but after that little diatribe... But if you think it's interesting here and you want to help support us, go to slash Patreon and check out the extra things you get.
I just did an interview this past week and had such a great extra bit of conversation after the interview that you get as a patron and it was awesome. So anyway, check it out. It might be interesting to you. So that's the slash Patreon. I'll repeat that complex address.
It's the slash Patreon. Don't take dull for an answer. It's the knife junkies favorite sign off phrase and now you can get that tagline on a variety of merchandise like a t-shirt sweatshirt hoodie long-sleeve tee and more even on coasters tote bags a coffee mug water bottle and stickers let everyone know that you're a knife junkie and that you don't take dull for an answer get yours at the slash dull and shop for all of your knife junkies merchandise at the slash shop and now that we're caught up with with KnifeLife News, let's hear more of the Knife Junkie podcast.
So if you've watched this show for any period of time and are interested in the kind of stuff we have on this show, I'm sure you know Tier one gear reviews. Justin over there, he's an awesome guy.
He's always been very generous with me over the years, loaning me knives and.

[23:24] And exposing me to to many new custom makers and and stuff like that.
And he has been designing his own knives. I showed the scythe fixed blade knives that he had made with old squirrel knives a little while back.
This is the prototype to his shieldenmaid scythe folder.

[23:48] So check this out. This is a folding Picol made by Shield and Knives. This is in the prototype phase.
And I would say they are pretty close.

[23:58] It is here. Let me read you first of all what what he says in a little note he sent to me.
Ultimately, our main goal with this project was to introduce a budget Picol folder to the market, something that doesn't really exist, sadly, without slacking on quality of materials in the process, which Sheldon did a great job considering it was something they had never done before.

[24:23] Hopefully once these make their debut, it will allow more people to experience just how cool and useful the Pakal style really is. Of course, it's not meant to be a warhorse by any means or to replace your favorite banger. Ultimately, it's just something that's meant to be small, lightweight, fast and super concealable that will get you out of a pinch. Make no mistake, though. It's a dangerous little bastard and I definitely wouldn't want to be on the business end of it. No doubt. No doubt. This will be 60 to 70 dollars, 154 cm blade steel stonewashed black, micarta, polished black micarta, nested stainless liners, cage ceramics, ceramics fairings. And then the the final version will have a wire clip. This was sort of an off the shelf clip that they put on for the prototype, which to me is actually not too bad, but I think a wire clip will, feel way better in hand. So yeah, this is very cool. He said that they are planning on doing a an XL version of it. This one, I have medium sized hands. This one is fits just in my hand and gives me a spot to put my thumb so it's not coming out of my hand.
And then good luck disarming this.

[25:37] You know, it's just, there's nothing to grab onto on the non-business end.
So it will be very hard to disarm this.
So very beautiful, very cool knife. I just want to show it real quickly with the only other folding Picals in my collection.
Here it is with the Seminole Elvia by Emerson. And it looks much bigger.
And then here it is with the Pinkerton design inversion.

[26:06] So, yeah, fits really nicely in the hand. It's a small little pinch getter router.
And I love it. Nicely done, Justin. And and yeah, Sheldon knocked it out of the park.
Very nicely done in the construction. And I love the polished micarta.
It's got a nice feel to it.

[26:25] All right. Next up, something I was really excited when I saw.
And I may know we did a story on it two weeks ago, I guess.
But Kaiser has just released their MAD Tonto, the collaboration with Damned Designs.
And it is exquisite. I am really, really happy with this. Last year I had four models by Damned Designs come across my desk.
I was very impressed with the sort of thin but broadly shaped handle.
And the handles were very similar. The blades were different.
And a part of it, you know, really for me was the ergonomics. It was so great.
But also, you know me, shallow fella. They also just look great.
And then how do they work? Oh yeah. A knife is meant to cut, too. Man alive.
This one right here is super thin behind the edge. I don't know how to measure it.

[27:22] Not that I don't know how to measure it. I haven't measured it yet.
But I don't know, it is so sharp. It is so thin, that hollow ground blade there that it's incredibly impressive.
So anyway, I've been carrying this quite a bit over the last three days.
Well, it's been in my pocket full time over the last three days in one way or another.
And I'm digging it. It's got a great button lock. The button sits proud, pretty proud in that handle.

[27:55] Unlike, say, the...

[27:58] What is it? Unlike the raccoon by Vosti where you kind of have to dig your thumb in there.
This one sits proud and is easy to do lefty also, you know, to pinch in there with your forefinger. Beautiful, beautiful knife. That is a one-sided clip, deep carry pocket clip.

[28:19] A little bit off the shelf on that pocket clip, but I don't care. If it keeps the cost within, reason. You've got a sort of ceremonial lanyard accommodation there, but yeah, good luck trying, to fish a piece of paracord in and out of that without taking it apart. But that Tonto blade, just gorgeous drop point Tonto blade, keeping that point right down the center line. So you always kind of know where that point is. It's not a trailing point. It's not a low slung point, But it's got that drop to it that that gives it, you know that overall arc on the spine, puts that tip right where you want it and.

[28:59] This flat portion here is so sharp too. Man. I'm very impressed with this knife. That's 154 cm, Adrian de Souza the designer of this was on episode 268 go to the knife junkie comm slash, 268 if you want to hear well his whole philosophy about designing knives and how he how he, he produced and released them. So very, very cool. So that's the Kaiser Mad Tonto.
Next up, I got two of these from Dirk Pinkerton himself. He was getting rid of a couple of, not a couple, a number of prototypes from designs he'd created over the past number of years and that he had laying around, I guess had no, Use for so I picked up a couple and those are two of them here are the we are the mini proponent, So this is the first one I saw oh, I love the.

[29:55] What do you call that burlap micarta?
So I got this and then and then after a while I saw that there was also a Maroon micarta version so I grabbed that I mean he was giving me a screaming deal on these, So it was no big deal to just pick up another one But I'm glad I did get this one because look at the action on this one.
You know, not what we know from Artisan, not what we know from Pinkerton, you know, not what we know from caged bearings and all that.
So just a weak D10 on this one and a lockstick and just not a great example, but a prototype. So, you know, it's cool to have A and B when it's open.
It works great.
You know, knives are not just about opening and closing them.
Right? They're not just about action. But that said, I'm glad I did get this one because A maroon linen micarta and B great action So you get great snapping action on this artisan. You got the beautiful Pinkerton design, that awesome Warncliffe blade is really sharp, even though it comes to a bit of a wedgie.

[31:06] I said wedgie, even though it comes to a wedge-like behind the edge geometry.
It's very sharp and works great. And then lastly, in this bit of Pinkerton pickup here, Pick up here. I got this. Oh, not this one. Wrong one. Sorry. This one. The titanium, the asymmetrical version of the Nighthorse.
You know, I've been talking about the Nighthorse by Beyond EDC quite a bit because it is a beautiful modern Navaja.
My favorite. One of my favorite all time knives of history.

[31:43] The big Spanish folder with that Spanish clip point blade, that exotic edge shape and the horn shaped handle, just beautiful.
And man, I got a great deal on this. This is one that I've been sort of vacillating on.
150 bucks is already an outstanding deal for this.
S35VN, amazing grind, very nice milled titanium handle. 150 bucks is a screaming deal anyway.
I had dropped my $30 version and broken the tip, which I later repaired and I thought, well, why should I do that with the titanium version? But really, it is worth it. I got it. And I was like, I'm just glad I was offered a deal on it and picked it up because it would be worth getting it for 150 bucks. I kind of wish I already had because it also comes, in anodized blue and anodized bronze.
Besides this, this very nice, sort of just raw titanium look.

[32:43] Awesome knife, so excited about this. And there you have it.
That is the new stuff coming across my desk recently.
I do wanna make Justin's tier one scythe my own one of these days.
I will be getting on the pre-order for that for sure.
All right, top designs, bottom dollar.
Remember, bet your bottom dollar. you'll lose the blues in Chicago.
Well, your bottom dollar is your last dollar. And this lineup here represents to me some of the best design you can get for the smallest amount.

[33:19] Whether it's from designers, allowing their designs to come within reach by doing production runs.

[33:26] Companies making affordable knives or companies making affordable knives that just have some, on-point in-house design and that's that this is the the first one is an example of that and it is the Senkut Bronte this knife looks like a Dao a sort of a Chinese sword it's a worn cliff with that with a nice downward raked belly very very gradual belly that tip is right below the knuckle Well, right below the bottom of the handle, so you get serious utility there.
It's very nice and thin. And then it's just a good looker.
Good looker with a fuller, meaning you can get fidgety with it.
Do you like fidgety knives? A lot of us do.
So this does have great action. It is a front flipper and a really good one at that.
I am left, you know, doing it with my left hand right now, which is not as good, but, It has outstanding axe. Let me see if I can do it like this.
My forefinger, I can't do that with any knife with my forefinger.

[34:31] But extremely neutral ergonomics. As you can see, the handle ergonomics are basically two parallel lines.
And it feels comfortable, obviously, in any grip.
A deep carry pocket clip.
This is nine CR, 18 MOV, and a very good blade steel for the money. This is a $40 knife.
Comes in a number of different color flavors. I love this blasted gray and green micarta.
And that micarta has recently been somewhat clean, though it doesn't look like it.

[35:05] Okay, next up, this is, talk about top design, bottom dollar.
This is the $80 Tempest Knives Pinyon.
And I just fell for this knife upon receiving the prototype, and I just fell in love with it.
And the design and the action and the cutting is just outstanding with this knife.
This was designed by Casey Spireon of the Knives Fast channel.
Great guy, we all know and love Casey. And we've also been watching him design knives.
And his first one, the Mach 51 was really nice, extravagant frame lock folder in titanium and S.

[35:48] I can't remember what the steel was, beautiful.
And then his first production knife that went into production was this pinion.
And then he's got the microburst on the way. You've seen me talk about the microburst recently.
I will be getting that one as well because that that blade cuts amazingly.
This one reminds me a bit of a good looking 940. You know, people, I don't I'm not a big fan of the 940, but this has that, the blade shape that evokes the 940. but really, to me...

[36:17] Does it right. Now I am not in any way trying to diss the late and the great who designed it, but.

[36:25] I am... the 940 that is... it's just not my favorite of his designs. This however is of Casey's. So this can be had on his website, I believe Tempest knives for about 80 bucks, and it comes in the different handles. He recently released it in neutral, you know, G10, what do you call that? JG10. So you can dye that any color and make it your own. Say maroon would be nice. Okay, next up, this is actually, also from a friend of the knife world, a stalwart of the knife world. This is from from Orion Knives. This is the Scorpio. And Orion Knives is David Kam's company. David Kam, you know him as Blade Banter and also the organizer of the Apex Passaround Group.
He has his finger on the pulse of the knife world for real. I mean, he has all of the new knives come through his hands and he distributes them as well as representing a company as, as well as his own company and his own designs.
This one is exciting to me because yes, it's a clip point, it's a bowie, but it's got some really great features. First of all, for a small knife, where you pretty much rely on the choil for a full grip.

[37:51] It's got the thickness I've been talking about and I am down with the thickness. It's it is, keeps that blade from twisting in your hand when doing hard work but it allows you if the knife is robust and build to do hard work with a small knife. This one has a really nice crowned spine, on the blade feels very comfortable without jimping there but the jimping is on the clip.

[38:13] For this kind of utility and I love it. I love it. And also something David Kam mentioned that when you use the jimping up here on the clip you can also gauge, your depth of cut if you're cutting through boxes and you don't want to damage what's in there you can kind of lock into a depth with that jimping and and keep it there. And also it looks cool. Canvas micarta, nice anodized aluminum backspacer and pivot collar. And I suspect much like oh and great flipping button lock action.
And by the way, David Tam was one of the first that I ever noticed doing the button lock, flipper. I do know that the Mordax at the point that he designed the Solaris, his first knife. The only one I remember doing this was the was the Mordax. The the Ferrum Forge designed drop knife made by ProTech. This was even before the Malibu I think, I think, but, David Cam was one of the very early adopters of of the flipper button lock and he really nailed it with the geometry, putting, that flipper where it is compared to that we talk about that a lot on our podcast.

[39:33] Okay, so very, very great and comfortable knife. I do recommend this, the Scorpio. What I was trying to say and I lost track of my thoughts was he will go the Solaris route and offer all of these extras that you can customize your Scorpio with like different handle scales, different clips and pivot collars and backspaces.
Sorry for the senior moment there.
Okay, next up, this one is a $60 version. You can also get a $100 version of this beautiful knife, from Ray Laconicco and ArtisanCutlery. This is the Sirius, and yes, I am.
I love the neutral ergonomics on this and the absolutely classic, beautiful look to that drop point blade.
This is one that I might give to my brother, only because he wears a suit.
He's got a job, fancy pants job where he's got to wear his fancy pants.
And this would be perfect. I know he carries his dem coat 80 20.5 and that's awesome.
Great for suit carry because it's nice and light and thin.
But this also looks the part, right?
It kind of looks dressy.
You know, you can't quite do all the work you could probably do with the 80 20.5.
But this is no slouch.
This is ARRPM9, that's the proprietary powder metallurgy steel from Artisan Cutlery.

[40:57] You can get it with S35VN and Maroon Micarta, which I should have gotten, but I sort of knew I wasn't going to carry it much, but I wanted this design because I just love it.
And I don't have any Ray Lekonikos, and this, like I said, was very within reach at $60.
Also, you see that fuller in the handle?
It might not look it, but it feels so good when you wrap your hand around and your fingers just nestle in there.
So that's just a slight detail, but I really like fullering in blade handles.
And you're going to see that in this next one, which is made by Concept.
Concept a knife company that was started by some washouts from Kaiser.
No, I'm just kidding. I don't know if there are washouts, but guys who were at Kaiser and they left to start This is awesome company. I love concept and this has the fullering handles here.
And one thing that I love about concept that I also appreciate about Artisan and all these other companies is that they work with custom knife makers and designers.
And this is from this is a collaboration with French knife maker Jonathan Renaudin, who goes as K Max Rom.
And now I was following Kmax from Instagram for about...

[42:13] Eight or nine years before he started collaborating with Kaiser and then with Concept on his beautiful knives. Most of them have that double peak, whether they're Bowie or Tonto, and that thumb, swill. And I got hooked on his designs, his fixed blade designs. They're just beautiful.
And then you'd have these crazy sheaves made by this company in France called Pyrenees Kydex, I think.
And the whole package was beautiful and dazzling and also kind of tactical, but also just, you know, eye candy and and, you know, jewelry, if you will, cutlery, cutlery jewelry.
So anyway, he started designing knives for for the production folder companies.
And this to me, the preta to, which means ready for anything in French, is the pinnacle so far of his designs.
Now, he did the Pelican, which is his his signature knife for years, the Pelican.
He did two versions of that one, one wharncliffe or sheep's foot and one Tonto. Also with concept.
I have that it's a frame lock. Great little knife. But this one is bigger and and ergo better.
And they also make a titanium version of this.
That's the first one that came out. Really nice.
I sold it to my buddy Will B and he's been reporting back that it's doing beautifully and and I I.

[43:41] Love it. I love that. I kind of wish I didn't get rid of it But don't I always say that but so concept is really really really capable of making knives on all levels And they do some really dressed up stuff some dressed down stuff and that's what I love, I ended up keeping the inexpensive version the $60 version of the preta to something about, the execution of this really does it for me. But if you love titanium frame locks and love this design definitely check out the full-size titanium version.
Okay, next up, this is a case of in-house design, but this is a one-man shop and that is.

[44:22] Off-grid knives. I mean one one-man shop in terms of design team. Of course, he has these knives manufactured by Bestech and by a manufacturer in Taiwan, but this is the Raptor and the off-grid Raptor and when I first saw this knife I I did think like oh that is a design that he's making, just to be audacious just to look different you know and um and then when I got it in hand, because honestly this is not a knife I would have bought but he sent me one and well he sent me two he sent me a black one and then later this one and uh but after getting that that initial black one, I was I was kind of looking to disprove its usefulness and in doing so discovered how incredibly useful this weird looking blade is. It looks like a recurve tanto but the recurve is at the front where we don't usually see it or it looks like a a wharncliffe in the demarco household that has been dropped on concrete and the front has been chipped off but that little recurve up front gives such amazing offers such amazing utility because it's giving you.

[45:36] Uh the the the utility of a recurve and a hawk bill but also the point placement of a hawk bill, or a worn clip so you get great you get great use out of that um curved tip front portion and then And this 2.5 inch or so run of straight here, this is D2, of straight D2 is really thin behind the edge and really sharp.
So that's one of the things that I always note about off-grid knives is how very thin, they are behind the edge and how very well they cut.
The Stinger XL is the one knife that's a saber ground that does not get extremely thin like this behind the edge but it still cuts amazingly. It's just these are my go-to cardboard. If I have to go through a lot of cardboard like around Christmas time or like around IKEA time or something like that these off-grid knives are the ones I pull out but this one it's just the design is just so bizarre and so interesting.
That it had to make this list of high design bottom dollar, because these are.

[46:49] Depending on the, I believe depending on the finish, but these are all under 100 bucks, like well behind, like around the 60 to 75 dollar mark. And to me that is endless utility for, a really cool looking design. And by the way, they changed the pocket clip on this version of it. I, I like it better. A little nicer looking.
And deep, you know, put it in a little socket with flat screws.
All right. Next up, this is a Dylan Mallory design.
And I love Dylan Mallory's designs. This is the Hadros, a an absolutely gorgeous wharncliffe, thinly ground and very like fifty dollars.
When I got this, this was fifty dollars. No, this one was, yeah, this was $50 when I got it.

[47:39] That Sen Cut was 40.

[47:41] Just a beautiful knife. You've got some of the signature features of a Dylan Mallory design, that thin handle, which has changed actually over time, but this was kind of an early signature, at that thin sort of arched handle.
You have a really nice, long, slender wharncliffe with a deep, deep hollow grind.
So it's very, very thin, but it's got a decent stock to it.

[48:09] And the tip is, you might think from the side, it's gonna be a pretty weak tip, but if you look at it from the top.

[48:17] It maintains a bit of its thickness pretty much to the tip and I think that that has something to do with it being hollow ground. I don't know. Yeah. I mean it does thin out at the very tip but, you get a nice uh a nice point there you get a nice thin edge and you get a handle that just, melts into the hand. The jimping is very nice and I've always contested well it's not a conflict, I've always contended. Is that the right word? I've always said that this knife would be great, in reverse pick-hall style. If you needed to turn this into a self-defense implement, this would be a great one because that thin handle allows you to wrap your fingers around.

[49:02] It's not that neutral, but it's thin enough that if you can make it so, and that blade is just great for that sort of gross motor motion and you'd be going against the stop bar so you don't have to be worrying much. So a great great knife that comes in this nice olive drab. I like the color of this olive micarta but it comes in g10s and I believe they have this in wood. The hadros.

[49:29] Designed by Dylan Mallory. This next one is designed by Matt Degnan and he's got some cool designs out there but this this is the roach and this is the early version of the roach they've come out with the roach in micarta and different blade steels at this point this is in 154 cm and this is from the Kaiser Vanguard series. I'm not sure if they do that anymore. But.

[49:58] This was from when they did do the Vanguard series. You've got this really nice, very high height flat grind on a relatively thin blade.
So this is wickedly sharp. I mean, this has received a lot of this has done a lot of work.
Here you can see it kind of marring the finish of the blade. That gray wash.

[50:19] Very ergonomically... Dictative, authoritative, your hands are forced into a couple of positions with this.
This part is always stuck in my craw a little bit. I wish they kind of didn't have this little pinky partition.
It really does force your pinky. And then it kind of forces my hand a little bit further away from the flipper.
I'd rather be a little bit further up, but anyway, it does that.
But this in when you use the choil, this thing is just amazing.

[50:55] It's a great cutter. It is a great it's got point down the center line. This would make a great.

[51:01] Sort of tactical last ditch tactical knife. People never talk about this knife that way, but it reminds me a lot of the barang over my shoulder that leaf shaped blade with a center line point. Yeah, so great, great knife. And then you can get this now in the mini version, in a couple of flavors of micarta and a removable thumb stud and a hole. So very cool. They're just doing cool stuff with this design. Also deep carry pocket clip. This is the old pocket clip.
It's got the cucaracha on there. I love that. I love it. That's the only way I... Let's see.
Alright, can you see it? It's the only way I prefer to see a cockroach.

[51:44] Cockroaches are powerful creatures. They actually disavowed me of my arachnophobia when I moved to Philadelphia back in my 20s.
And started experiencing cockroaches. I was like, I'll bring the wolf spiders, man. Bring those wolf spiders.
All right. Next up, a similar blade reminds me of a barang as well.
And that is the Nightshade from Vasteed. Vasteed, a company that just kind of came out of nowhere.
With their first for me with their kitchen knives, the Morgan eight inch chef's knife is a knife they sent me. That is incredible. It was our favorite knife until I got the Steve Kalari custom knife in the house.
But just a great, great knife. And and they were making folders and I asked him to send me a folder and they sent me. They've sent me a few of them, which I'm grateful for.
But this one is the knockout of the bunch to me in terms of design Now the Bellamy you get better materials for a relatively amazing cost.

[52:47] This one look at that design and and I would imagine that it's a polarizing design. I haven't heard anyone.

[52:54] Give this the stink eye, but but I could tell you know I Can imagine some people would not like the look of this it reminds me of the Bob Lumb Chinese knife I think it's called that he made a folder that he did with Spyderco years ago but it's got that sort of not quite open yet look with it with the downward raking blade but I love that so if you look at the blade itself it's pretty much a spear point it's pretty much a symmetrical leaf shaped spear point but, they put it on a sort of pistol grip axis so you get you get a number of of benefits out of this. First of all, when you're doing this kind of cutting, like, like.

[53:36] Pull cutting you have the tip down down low below the center line so it's easy to get to the tip for pull cuts.
And then you have that wide belly.
So you get the benefit of the recurve portion of the belly, not the recurve, but the triangle, where you're pulling material in.
And then you get the outward sort of slashing upswept benefit of the belly on the other side.
So a very efficient blade is what I'm getting at.
But also you can use it in reverse grip. You imagine cutting straps or rope this way.
You can see with it in my fist in a hammer grip that blade is reaching backward and giving you an area here to trap rope or trap you know strong straps or whatever you got to cut through.

[54:29] So just a really great design for utility but also to me just looks very cool.
And that's a part of it. It's a part of it. And then, and then if I'm holding it like this, you also on a thrust with this have it on a more more aligned without having to tweak the wrist, because that sort of pistol grip orientation.
So if you were if you needed to thrust this into something, you wouldn't have to can't your wrist too much. Whoops, I just jacked up my head.
Okay, next penultimate design here is the Ornetta from Bestech and my good buddy Kombu.
He's a Polish designer and man, Gregor Grabarski is his name and he goes by Kombu and he does these exotic sculpted knives, usually sculpted in titanium and now they're doing a lot of them in G10, this is one of the G10 versions.

[55:33] Your neto was the first design he did with best tech he designs exclusively for best tech which i think is pretty cool that's a nice day and they allow him creative freedom to make.
Knives like this and way more exotic looking but they are useful and comfortable this one my dad that ergonomics on this are just.

[55:56] Dreaming they really melts in the hand and. You've got sort of a thick handle here with the ergonomic scoops and valleys and swales.
And then when you feel this in the titanium version, whoa! So that's the premium version.
It's even more contoured in the side to side and it just really feels like a part of your hand. It's pretty incredible.

[56:24] This version of it is $60. You can have the $280 titanium version, which is I swear, man, it is so lux.
It is so nice.
When best tech sent me this, thank you best tech. They also sent me the titanium version to check out.
And man, it was so nice. I did I did do a video of that. You can check that out.
But so for 60 bucks, you can get this incredible high design.
I mean, this is high concept design.
You got a fuller there by the way.
And wonderful to use. It's not just a cool looker, but it's great to use.
And you can get it for under $100. And that's what all of these knives can get you.
And that's what you can get them for.
This last one, I've been talking about quite a bit recently, and I showed you the titanium version.
But this one shocks at $30. 30 bucks, this is shocking to me.

[57:18] I'm not even going to speculate how they do that. I think it's obvious but this is made in China. That's how it's obvious. But this is a $30 knife. 14C28N Sandvik Steel.
This is a Dirk Pinkerton design so you have a premium maker designer designing stuff that you can get for either $150 with the premium materials here in titanium and S35VN or right here for 30 bucks. Now this is a I forgot to mention earlier the Nighthorse overall is a, Smoky Mountain Knifeworks Exclusive so if you want this knife you got to go to Smoky Mountain Knifeworks, for the G10 beautifully sculpted G10 and very nice quality G10 it is.

[58:07] It comes in this sand, you know desert desert tan olive drab or black and And then in the titanium versions comes in bronze, the regular raw titanium look or a, thunderhead blue kind of thing.
As you can see here, this tip is not as pointy as the other one. I did drop this.
This comes with an extremely acute tip. I was fussing around with it.
It dropped and it went through two layers of, it went through one layer of thick carpet and a thick carpet mat and just stabbed right through all that and hit the concrete floor.

[58:43] In my basement and bent over like that. So I just snipped it off and didn't slip it off. I just broke it off and resharpened it.
It's getting there.
I'll keep getting at it, but I don't I don't need it too sharp anyway very you like a large knife This is a this is a four and a quarter inch blade for 30 bucks I mean, it's it's it's even less expensive than then.

[59:07] Say the the Luzon the inexpensive cold steel XL this is but it's on buttery buttery buttery action and, And man, it's awesome.
Deep carry pocket clip and all the rest.
So I do highly, highly recommend it if you haven't guessed yet.
Be a part of folding knife history and get your modern Navaja.
Alright. That was corny. Top design bottom dollar. Thank you, for joining me. Let me know what you think are some of the best designs, most sophisticated designs, for the lowest cost. Let people know in the comments below because people do read the comments and they get tips and clues from all I use so please do that. Thank you so much for joining me again on this Wednesday supplemental edition of the Knife Junkie podcast. Do check in with us tomorrow night Thursday night knives 10 pm eastern standard time right here on YouTube, Facebook and Twitch and then join us on Sunday, for an awesome knife conversation. All right for Jim working his magic behind the switcher, I'm Bob DeMarco saying, until next time, don't take dull for an answer.
Thanks for listening to the Knife Junkie Podcast. If you enjoyed the show, please rate and review, at For show notes for today's episode, additional resources, and to listen to past episodes, visit our website, You can also.

[1:00:30] Watch our latest videos on YouTube at slash YouTube. Check out some great knife photos on on slash Instagram and join our Facebook group at, slash Facebook. And if you have a question or comment, email them to Bob at, 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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Knives, News and Other Stuff Mentioned in the Podcast


Pocket Check

  • Sencut Watauga
  • JWK Javelina Jack
  • TKJ/Hogtooth NoVA-1
  • Finch Drifter (ESK)


State of the Collection

  • Folding Scythe by Tier 1 Gear Reviews
  • Kizer MAD Tanto
  • Artisan Mini Proponent
  • Asymmetrical Nighthorse


Top Designs, Bottom Dollar

  • Sencut Bronte
  • Tempest Pinion
  • Orion Scorpio
  • Artisan Sirius
  • Kansept Pretatout
  • Off-Grid Raptor
  • Civivi Hadros
  • Kizer Roach
  • Vosteed Nightshade
  • Bestech Ornetta
  • Kizer MAD Tanto
  • B’Yond EDC Nighthorse


NoVA-1 Custom EDC Fixed Blade

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