On Episode #37 of The Knife Junkie Podcast, Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco talks with YouTube Video Knife Reviewer Nick Shabazz, who Bob freely admits is one of his favorite video knife reviewers on YouTube.

Shabazz has developed a reviewing system for knives that covers the good, the great, the bad and the ugly. Check out the website for links to his Instagram and YouTube channels.

And be sure to call the listener line at 724-466-4487 or email bob@theknifejunkie.com with any questions or comments on today’s show.

To listen to past episodes of the podcast, visit theknifejunkie.com/listen.

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Show Notes

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Announcer 0:03
Welcome to the Knife Junkie podcast your weekly dose of knife news and information about knives and knife collecting. Here's your hosts Jim Person and Bob The Knife Junkie DeMarco.

Jim Person 0:17
Hello and welcome to another episode of The Knife Junkie podcast episode number 37. I'm Jim Person. And I'm Bob DeMarco, thanks for tuning in. Thanks for tuning into The Knife Junkie podcast now the great interview for you coming up but first I want to remind you that if you are a small business owner, you want to listen up to this. manage those small business finances actually take them to the next level so that you can focus on growing your business with QuickBooks Online. They handle everything use this special link we've gotten for you to get 50% off your subscription. That's The Knife Junkie comm slash QuickBooks. You can get either 50% off on QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks self employed for the first session. months of either one. Get started with QuickBooks self employed or quickbooks online today again that 50% special discount link is The Knife junkie.com slash Quick Books. And Bob another great show for us today on the Knife Junkie podcast, who you can talk to.

Bob DeMarco 1:17
Yeah, Jim, this week I'm speaking to one of my favorite YouTubers of all time. nikka Shibazz. Nick has become kind of the last word in knife reviewing, in a lot of ways there. He has a very scientific breakdown to how he judges a knife or any other gear. He also looks at pens and watches which he tells me Do not go down that whole because it's an expensive one. So yeah, Nick, Nick Chavez not only brings a very structured, tried and true structure to his reviews, but he's an entertaining guy. And funny and interesting and obviously really darn smart and it was great talking to him.

Jim Person 1:51
And great to kind of get a peek behind the behind the mind that kind of turns out these videos and what he's thinking and his criteria and a lot of lot of great the knife conversation there.

Bob DeMarco 2:01
Hey exactly Jim you know it's funny talking with all of these people especially the the YouTube critics and kind of sores. I've seen so many of their videos by the time I talked to them I almost feel like I know them. And so it's it's cool to already have a I don't know to feel like I'm already in the conversation when the conversation starts

Jim Person 2:21
right? Well speaking of conversation, that conversation with Nick is coming up next

Announcer 2:25
ever visit the knives on line in the hopes of satisfying your need to possess them in the real world. Then you have a problem. You are at Knife Junkie,

Bob DeMarco 2:34
if I'm remembering correctly, you're an engineer from the videos I've seen I believe or

Nick Shabazz 2:38
so I think better place to put it is I'm a research scientist.

Bob DeMarco 2:43
Just knowing that you're a scientist, I think because your format, the good, the great, the bad and the ugly is very, I think one of the reasons I keep tuning in to you is that it's I know every time when I'm going to get it's the same but different. You know, it's Hollywood

Nick Shabazz 2:58
Yeah, exactly. I try my best Keep it at least relatively often to that format. Its weight served me well.

Bob DeMarco 3:05
So what about knives? Where did that come from for you?

Nick Shabazz 3:08
So okay um it was a long route ahead I for a long time you know basically as long as I was able to do so and gives you know zero tolerance things and you know when I school and things like that, but anytime I wasn't at school I had on me at for a long time like the little Leatherman squirt p for this is the little tiny Leatherman that really does belong well on a key chain, as the pliers has the pocket knife has the you know, little tiny one inch and a quarter blade is something like that as well ground him Yeah, exactly. chisel ground and Oh God, the sharpening jobs that occurred to that core blade that was a shame. But you know, for a long time I had, you know, one of those in my life and I was always a gadget geek as well. Like I was, you know, a 12 year olds who go to the sharper image and just be like, Wow, look at that TJ it's like, I don't have keys but Here I am and so

Bob DeMarco 4:03
and that crossbow

Nick Shabazz 4:04
Exactly, yeah. How can you not? And so you know, for me it was like I had I had these tools in my life you know, I had a machete that I have a jungle though but I had a machete then so there was always there it was always that undercurrent of God get through to me. And so I was happy for a long time just with a little you know, 11 and scored but then I realized that I got to learn that way. Just because you know, I wanted to do a little bit of an upgrade there I had, you know, a crappy hardware store mold idol, at some point back and then realized, holy crap, this knife is super useful, because you know, having a locking blade is you know, differences everything yeah changes and especially one of a reasonable size with one hand open. Oh, yeah. And so then I remember I went on the freakin Reddit and there who screwed me over eventually it started off on you know, the nine subreddit and then eventually once it happened nightclub, and I just started looking and I looked and I looked and I looked he was like, holy crap. I remember thinking to myself look at it like a benchmade 940 and thinking to myself, what the heck kind of idiot pays 125 bucks back in the day for a bench paid by four who would spend that money on a knife? Oh yeah, yeah. unconscionable, unconscionable and in fact, I am so dumb that I even at one point in time spent 125 bucks at the time on a 940 and then upon realizing that it would be illegal in my particular municipality returned it hmm I had a 940 425 later ended up moving and buying a new one that you know full freakin bill map retail, but Oh,

Bob DeMarco 5:49
yeah, if I can't have you, I don't want nobody baby. I'm leaving town. somewhere else.

Nick Shabazz 5:54
Yeah. And so by that point, I realized you know, holy crap handling, you know, benchmade early on the occasional Spyderco was just like, oh my god, this is so much better than everything I've seen before. And by the time as you well know, when you start carrying an edge tool, you just find uses right? Yeah. And it after a while it becomes you there's that feeling of nudity with it without it where it's just like oh god, oh, how am I opening this package right now What's wrong? And you know that by then it was just like I'm on the Geeking trade with it and it's it was over.

Bob DeMarco 6:30
I understand that completely. But But one thing Okay, so I have to admit to you I'm coming at it from a high speed low drag orientation. And and, and I'm not saying that I am that individual. I'm not jumping out of airplanes. I'm not shooting people you know, with silencers. Oh, you're not using the silencer.

Nick Shabazz 6:50
Yeah, yeah, no, no, I'm going all that good to know. At least I'll

Bob DeMarco 6:55
know my point is like, you know, I got my like, most people, I got my Love knife first from my grandpa, but then second from Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know, a predator. And also, you know, to a lesser degree Stallone but it was those movies when I was a kid, you know that that that really hardened that that love for me so I've always always approached I can't help it I've always approached my love for knives, whether it's like a classy gents piece or or a big honkin belt knife from the perspective of how could I How could I survive with this? How can I kill the predator with it? And that's who I am. I can't, you know, sometimes shave it. So was there ever that fascination for you?

Nick Shabazz 7:42
So in many ways, my very first pocket knife was given to me as a part of like Cub Scout training. Right I ended up moving so I didn't complete you know, moving to a school. We didn't have a scout troop or anything, so I didn't go any further with it past then but for me, it was always You know, introduced to me as tools and you know, my folks were very much You know, they were always out in the garden they were always at and so there was never really I know it, like freaking operty already that you know, knives good. They are also weapons if you choose to use them in that way you have the adequate training to use them. Sorry, that's for the rest of people. But, you know, for me, there was not, there's not really that element to it. I mean, sure, if you are in a dark parking lot is something like that, in a relatively sketchy area might, you know, have your hand on a knife and you know, be ready for that. But at the same time for me that tools and I you know, that's cliche, but I very much feel that, you know, for me the biggest threat in my life at the boxes, envelopes and the occasional pencil shopping, you know,

Bob DeMarco 8:50
yeah, it's the Baron thread on your collar. I see. They're not

Nick Shabazz 8:54
exactly exactly No, it's not because I got it rid of it.

Bob DeMarco 8:58
With my Kirby lamp

Nick Shabazz 9:00
Yeah, exactly, yeah, you bust out your forage damaged steel blade for that Aaron thread. And so, you know, we're breaking down boxes, that kind of thing cutting foam, I got a lot of foam. So, you know all of those things. For me, it's, that's not the way I've approached it, I acknowledge it to be the case and I try to be fair to that in my reviewing, you know, but it's always going to be I'm going to miss the point of every day and never sit on my table. I know that and different grinds for different kinds, right?

Bob DeMarco 9:28
Absolutely. Actually, you you coined a few phrases. I'm not sure if you coined them but but to me, you did fall short. He is one of them. But murdery is one and I use that a lot because Yeah, because I'll bring you know I'm I get new knives frequently and I have people that I can go to and say check out my new knife. And Mercury is the term that comes up. I know it looks a little murdering for the office. So keep it low but that is a word I got from you and and and all that means to me is something that looks A little bit more than just a tool that you would use to cut paper,

Nick Shabazz 10:04
you know? Absolutely. Yeah. And I think there's always there's that tension. You know, I get a lot of flack for that term in two ways. And I understand that to an extent. You know, some people are saying things to me like, Oh, well, you should never use that term, because it's just reinforcing a negative stereotype and it uses and like, okay, like, I'm the person reinforcing that negative stereotype really, really, but I digress. The other issue that I think is maybe a more reasonable one is that, you know, if we don't ever think about it in that way, people won't think about it in that way, basically. And, you know, I, I've always disagreed with that, because I think there's a level to which and there's the third option of you know, and you get this.

Bob DeMarco 10:48
And, you know, let the HR people drug free down. I'd rather be

judged by 12 than carried by six.

Nick Shabazz 10:54
Exactly, yeah. And you get those folks out there who was just so they're their lone wolf, every part of them You know, lone wolf is shooting often. And so you know, those folks, that's a life they welcome to have. But I think for the majority of people, at least in my region of the world, it's kind of important to think that there are knives that you wouldn't take out to cut a thread off your collar, a Starbucks, I mean, so, is that something to consider?

Bob DeMarco 11:22
So that this brings me to something that came out of your recent review of blade show 2019 which was at I don't know if you put it this way, but this is how I wrote it. My notes basically the ethics of being at a at a knife show, talk about the valley boys flipping their razor sharp knives around, like it's a circus, and we'll talk about some other things but but you were we're kind of talking about safety right now. And, and so, I, on one hand, I was like, man, I know I know what it's like to feel. I mean, I have scars all over my body from years of feeling overly confident with theives I I have done a fair bit of martial arts and then a fair bit of drunken showing off in my you have the scars to show it and it's a serious deal because everything comes down to luck and greatly we all do things and get by because we have good luck but you're swinging a knife around you can have very bad luck and Nick, Nick Chavez's wrist or something really dangerous, you know? Yeah, it'd be

Nick Shabazz 12:29
a great great cheer from the manufacturer.

Bob DeMarco 12:34
So I mean, so what what do you feel the ethics of going to like a blade show or a gathering like that?

Nick Shabazz 12:40
Our one thing I want to make very clear is that I don't I do respect the skill involved with acrobatic that listen, flipping. No, I it's absolutely 100% amazing. And I think there's a I don't want to make it sound by saying Valley boys. I'm not talking about everyone who carries a balisong I'm talking about the little jokes who would do it in the crowd and they tend to be live It tends to be you know, and I understand that at another level, like this is the one place on earth, where it is decidedly acceptable to walk through a crowd of adults flipping about a song. Like, I get that completely 100% Um, but at the same time, I think there is an ethical. There's this and I think I said this, but this is the one place on earth we should be most cognizant of nice safety, where we should band together as a hobby and say, You know what, we're going to go through this whole damn show and not get caught. You know, if the paramedics just stay really bored, we have succeeded as a society.

Bob DeMarco 13:38
Yeah, and if knifes don't get knives don't get banned at a knife show. We've also succeeded, you know?

Nick Shabazz 13:44
Yeah, exactly. And, you know, I've been to too many places, you know, like Renaissance festivals where they, you know, make you put, you know, they zip tie the dagger, even if it's a fake bag, you know, into the sheet that it's just like, I worry desperately that somebody is going there's going to end up being some kind of a legal policy that makes that mandated. And that'll just be awful. If that happens.

Bob DeMarco 14:08
Well, we go to an annual Renaissance Festival right outside of DC. And you can't wear anything approximating a weapon now and I'm thinking the Renaissance was all about weapons. Yeah. Maybe I'm just

Nick Shabazz 14:23
no I'm with you. I think there's a little bit of

I understand both perspectives of it but particular leader and I showed you already, if you look at their, their website, on the policy, there's something like, I forget what it says, but it's something like any knives must be brought into the show with dealer or a show a manufacturer and it's like, okay, wink, wink, nudge nudge. But I really, really would hate to see that become, you know, a, a night free zone except for all the ones at the table.

Bob DeMarco 14:53
I mean, that would just be the ultimate absurdity. Yeah, can't let that happen. I want to get back to blade in a minute. But before we do I want to talk a little bit about what is gear geeks and tell me about some of your you were involved with knife news doing knife grapes, which was Yeah. Which was all man that was nourishing. I love that. Tell me about your outside projects a little bit outside of the Mixer BEST. Yeah,

Nick Shabazz 15:16
yeah, of course. So I've got my YouTube channel. I've got Instagram, which is where I do a lot of just random jack guessing. I mean, if you're ever curious about my you know what's coming up on the channel, actually, Instagram is all very often post, you know, this is what's in my pocket today or this particular spring is a jerk or something like that, then you know, so I go there. For a while I was working with like those. I did my knife gripes with extra bad series, and I ended up doing two articles on some things changed there. And I'm not including the organization at all, but I think they decided they wanted to take it a different direction. And so I'm not working with them again, but they are no hard feelings that if they reach out to me, I'd be happy to pick things back up. But yeah, the ninth grade series was so Today we did 50 episodes. And by 50, I kind of decided everything else that was on my waist was kind of like

Bob DeMarco 16:07
I thought, I thought it actually had a nice lifespan. It went on it was almost a year, I guess. It and you know, at a certain point, it's like, how far are you going to reach for? Like, but I really I think that's a good kind of library of of things that if you're getting into this as a hobby and something you're going to spend your money on. I think it's kind of a valuable because you're respected. I don't know what you are. You are a respected authority in this field. It will in terms of the consumer side, no doubt and the user side. And so I think most people are approaching it from that orientation and sort of have 50 videos that kind of catalog the things that more experienced collectors are coming cerned about could really shave off some time and money from you know, the beginning awkward part where you're getting every cheap Kershaw you can afford.

Nick Shabazz 17:10
Absolutely and you know, I look at that series is being partly designed for those people to see, you know, these are things you should look for when you're handling a potential purchase, but also potentially for a young knife maker, you know, somebody who is new to the process, my hope and I've got also a checklist, it's an extra bands.com slash checklist where I've kind of put a bunch of those things together that just you know are a bunch of the things that bothered me you know, a common design issues that I see with pocket knives and so part of my goal there and this is a little cocky, but at a level would just be for somebody who is just getting into knife design the watch that series and fix something that they didn't realize they hadn't thought about. Because the thing with doing as you understand, once you get into this hobby long enough, you pick something up and you're like, Oh, that's not good. Where you might be taking two weeks to figure that out earlier in your time. Now, it's easy to make that call

Bob DeMarco 18:04
right now. All you have to do is set it on the table and you can hear by how it sounds Oh,

Nick Shabazz 18:10
yeah, not like, you know that that that sounds, you know?

Bob DeMarco 18:12
Yeah. Yeah. Or just like, I think I heard it hit the liner. I know it's close, but I think I heard it. Yeah. So So in terms of feedback, like, what is the makers, slash manufacturers? I know that might be different because a maker you think it was a customer, but what is their responsibility to assimilating feedback? Is that more a self preservation issue? Or is that a is that something they should be doing? Is that a moral issue from an

Nick Shabazz 18:43
issue? I thought, you know what, I hear what you're saying. Yeah, yeah, I'm, at the end of the day, a lot of makers took very good doing that series was actually very interesting because I got a lot of feedback from a bunch of people. There were some makers that actually kind of grew closer to me as a part of that. makers in by that, I mean, they reached out, they would say something like, hey, I've been loving the knife gripe series, etc. And you know, those tended to be the people who didn't have a problem anyways. Which makes sense, right?

Bob DeMarco 19:14
Otherwise you don't know what the hell you're talking about?

Nick Shabazz 19:16
Yeah, exactly. I mean, so those folks were the people who were already kind of on board with it definitely kind of reached out and certainly with some of them there was something that hit pretty much everybody in that I can think of nobody who was left completely on chastised by that series, right. Yeah, I mean, so there's that element, but, um, there were also some makers, who were very unhappy with relatively few. But, you know, a couple of people reached out or, actually, most of them just said publicly, you know, what an idiot this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. One very common thing is Do you have any idea how hard it is to do all of these things, right. Not your problem.

Bob DeMarco 19:59
Not your problem.

Nick Shabazz 20:00
You know, when I kind of I'm very sympathetic. And you know, the couple of people I heard this from were relatively new custom makers. And look, I get it at some level, but I also feel like some of the things, and this particular person, I'm not going to name names because they'd be tacky. But you know, and he's also improved a great deal. But this particular person had a number of the gripes going on. And they were serious problems. And so like, I get at some level that it's got to feel like an attack personally, if I'm saying this shouldn't be the case. Yeah. But you know, that that was very frustrating, and I understand it. But that was tough.

Bob DeMarco 20:34
I have to say, coming up through an art paradigm, I went to art school and receive much criticism, you know, all throughout. That's part of it. I have to say, when you're when you're making something and putting it out into the world, you don't have to listen to and assimilate every bit of criticism that comes but you have to consider it. Because these are the people who are spending money, you know, and if it's something this personal, they're spending a lot of money because it's Somewhat custom, and you need to pay attention to that. It's not just art hanging on the wall, whose only purpose is to be appreciated. It is also a tool. It's something you're holding in your hand and you're using and, and could potentially harm you. So, yeah, so you gotta listen to that stuff. Well, and that's the that's the

Nick Shabazz 21:17
other line I draw is, you know, it's one thing to say I don't like where you put the land you hold that, you know, that blade shape? Is that attractive to me? And, you know, I tried my best to avoid in that series things that were very subjective. Except, you know, get get down, Gary, that's wrong.

Jim Person 21:31
Sorry, I, unless it's

Unknown Speaker 21:33
a microtech. So now,

Nick Shabazz 21:34
it's still wrong. So wrong. Okay. No exceptions. But anyways, you know, I tried to avoid those things, but there is a level at which I'm afraid. And I tried to tune that series very much so that he, those were things I would recommend become universal law. Right. Like all of those things that I read mentioned there. I really genuinely think that if everybody did them that world would be a slightly better place. I tried to make them not so subjective. Or just make like, you know, phrase it in terms of not like make all my small but hey, make some smiling eyes, right. You know those kinds of things. It seems to work out well when they do. Exactly. Yeah. And it gives a great guy. Yeah. So I really tried my best to avoid that. But I'm also very cognizant of the fact that I have one I'm reluctant to be called an expert or you know, a tastemaker, or whatever the heck people have influence over it, but because I am just one person, right? I have a set of feelings about knives and they are not correct. He just mind and being loud. He's not the same thing as being correct. And I'm loud.

Bob DeMarco 22:44
Yeah, yeah, you're loud but but also you approach it from a scientific standpoint. I think that has something to do with your occupation, but you're approaching it from it's not erratic or emotional. Let me let me put it that way. And I am a I can be both. And in my knife selection I'm what looks good to me oftentimes wins out, I feel like with you, you approach it with a level in even keel each time. And I think that's probably why you're respected. I mean, also you're a human being and you're intelligent and all that other stuff. But I think I think the reason people really come to you is that every time you're going to get the good, the great, the bad and the ugly, and you're going to end and each time if there's no ugly, there's no ugly but you still talk about it, you still get there. Yeah. Tell me a little bit about your criteria for evaluating a knife and outside of your personal taste.

Nick Shabazz 23:39
Now that's a really excellent question. So when I sit down with something brand new, my biggest immediately usually I kind of figure out the great and the ugly pretty quick. Because those you know the uglies. And by the way, just to define a lot of folks asked what's the difference between bad and ugly for me That is something that I don't care for, but I can see not being a problem for somebody. And the ugly is the stuff that he's just not okay. And there is no situation that makes it okay. I can sometimes violate that if it's something that I find super distasteful personally, but I try to make that distinction of like, this is really ugly to me. But it may not be for you. But it is just that element of like bad can be like something being very expensive can be bad, or it can be ugly. If it's bad, it's like, I'm not willing to pay this, but I can see somebody who is and if it's ugly, it's just like, this is not okay in any way shape before. What are you trying to get one over on you with this? Exactly. Yeah. And so, especially you mentioned out of my personal kind of something out of my personal rage. And I'm trying to think of a nice example of a knife that I've reviewed that was so far out of my domain that it was difficult.

Bob DeMarco 24:55
I think I have one Yeah. What do you got you mentioned you you reviewed, I think I think the cold steel frenzy and

Nick Shabazz 25:03
the frenzy but I've reviewed a couple of the highlight the spot XL a couple of the the literally large By the way, I have a collection of those I love nice.

Bob DeMarco 25:13
But I remember you saying like for what it is it's outstanding. What it is absurd.

Nick Shabazz 25:19
Yeah, yeah. And I try and put myself as best I can in the mindset of, you know, okay. I don't think that this needs to be a thing, although in that case, I'm not saying that I think it's a beautiful thing that cold steel is making these phottix L's because no one else is gonna. So you know, I but I try to I do my best and I fail at this sometimes. But I do my best or another one would be like the Spyderco Yojimbo, or another knife that is explicitly self defense market. I love that knife. Oh, yeah. But that those kinds of knives so that the PTP or whatever it was, those knives really stress my ability to do this because fundamentally the The use case for them is not the use case I had. And so I try to think about them both in terms of what is, you know, I can still talk about these things as a functional everyday carry, but when sometimes I say I'm going to aggressively miss the point here. I'm going to talk about the boxes in the envelopes and the when in reality, this is meant to end up in some guys sweet, but you know, I will focus that way. But I think that some of the basics, the fundamentals is still reviewable, and all of these things, you know, how is the fit and finish? How is the construction? How is the steel, how are the ergonomics, those are things that I think I can address, no matter what and, you know, I can give an opinion about how something is even if it's not in my domain, or even if I find that I've really, really freaking ugly, you know, I can still talk about it, I can still potentially provide some useful information, but I try to stick to the analytical stuff, the detail oriented stuff that I that seems to be strengthen me,

Bob DeMarco 27:01
and well, and that's also something that anyone no matter what their approaches can come to it. You know, for me the Yojimbo to Yes, it was created by a tactical guy for tactical stuff, but it's also it's an awesome utility knife because it's like carrying around a giant Matt knife you know? Yeah. So I think that giving it that neutral kind of look at its fit and finish and it's and how it functions as what it is, is good for people because they might be coming at it for a totally different reason. You know, you might have someone coming at it because it's got the compression lock and and it's a sweet, you know, good looking thing. Absolutely.

Nick Shabazz 27:43
Well and that's the other reason you mentioned my format, you know, the good, the bad, the ugly. That part of the reason I do that is having an intro and the conclusion as well as that is because that allows me to sort of separate out these things. Um, I there is a class of comments that I love that Very much respected people saying you were entirely wrong about your conclusion of this night. But I learned a lot from you review. Thank you. Well, people saying like you said, This is bad. I say that's good. Thanks for pointing it out to me. Where it's like, I know that people are intelligent humans who are watching my reviews and can decide, you know, if I say I don't like the size of this, they might be here at Oh my God, I'm gonna love the size for this.

Bob DeMarco 28:23
Or Yeah, exactly. For me, I know if it's Kevin Cleary, I'm going to agree with him on size. You know, like bigger nose. And, and if it's you if it's too big, I'm probably like, that's probably right. my wheelhouse. Yeah,

Nick Shabazz 28:35
exactly. Yeah. And some people are going to be looking at it. I'm gonna say, Oh, this is really murdery they're gonna be great.

Bob DeMarco 28:42
You know, that's, that's really the image I'm trying to cultivate here you know exactly.

Nick Shabazz 28:46
And so I hope that my reviews are at least detail oriented enough that I'm pointing I'm teaching somebody about the knife, teaching them something about the knife that they didn't know previously from like looking at product photos and Even if they end up deciding their conclusion is entirely different than mine. Even if they decide, you know what, that's the dumbest knife I've ever seen, but he loves it or that's the best knife I've ever seen and he hates it, they still come away from the video having gotten something out of my review that that's why I try to do that is to you know, give both that opinion and some facts or at least some highlights of the piece. Positive and negative. Right.

Bob DeMarco 29:26
So I want to get to blade show I want to touch with this year. I was the first year that I ever considered going. And I couldn't because I don't work obligations and it burned me up.

Nick Shabazz 29:39
Yeah. Oh, God. It's Yeah.

Bob DeMarco 29:41
So so your your video, your recent video and a few others were really valuable to me. Before we go there, I just wanted to ask you about what you feel is kind of the new standard in knives these days. What are people going to a show like blit? Before we get to blade show itself, we're going to blade show for in your opinion, what are they going to blade show for in terms of like what what are the predominant knives people are looking for,

Nick Shabazz 30:12
you know, at some level blade should the blade experience is a very different thing because the cool part about blade show the reason I The thing that I tell people to go to blade show for if they're in the hobby is because you see everything, like people will go there and they might have in mind you know, I want to pick up well I'm at blade show as a souvenir I want to pick up, you know, Spyderco em, or I want to pick up a brand new, but honestly for me, and what I generally recommend is that people go for an excuse to handle everything. Even if you walk it and some people think I'm crazy here but if you walk into blade show, and there's the custom side, I think that's what a lot of people go to blade show for is like they've seen a Gareth Bale shamari that's going to be get laid and they want it. And they're waiting in line and you know, at night, but I think the more valuable part is being able to walk in there will be perfectly reasonable to walk in the blade show completely broke. And you would still take a lot out of the experience. Because you get the handle every damn thing. You get to walk into basically a knife sharp that has every skew of every company's knives, just right there and you get to go through and you'd like, oh, I've always been curious about the, you know, Spyderco Yojimbo, but my local shops never had one. Can I see it? They add it to you? Oh, I've never heard of Ag Russell, what do they do? You walk over there you like, Oh, I liked it. So maybe not, oh, I've never handled a radio before. Holy crap. You know. So you get to see all of this crazy stuff on the high end of the middle end and you get to hold it in the hand you get to because you said already. I mean, once you get to a point in the hobby, it's like you hear it, you're like, Oh, I want that. And I can see it on the table and you're just like, oh, that's not going to get my hand. Or you see things in pictures that are great. And then you'd see him on the table. You just like oh my God, etc.

Bob DeMarco 32:02
Or you feel it in your head, and it's just not for you because Exactly,

Nick Shabazz 32:04
yeah, yeah, I could have saved so much money by going to blade show early in my, in my life, so to speak of just like, oh, wow, no, no, nobody Nope, nope, nope.

Bob DeMarco 32:16
Well, you mentioned something interesting. And this is now more leaning back towards the ethics of blade show. You talked about the early sellout of customer makers and what a buzzkill that is, because you're showing up and you've come all this way and you're like, man, I just want to get my hands on. You fill in the blank, because it's it's a little richer than my blood right now. But I want to see if it's something I want to say about four or whatever, and they're all gone. Speaking is as an artist and speaking as someone who has been a freelancer before, if you will, like the opportunity to sell everything right away is very tempting. So what what's your argument for not doing that?

Nick Shabazz 32:58
So I get that Completely and I, I am sure that in many cases there is somebody standing there with a wad of cash offering you twice table for it right now. And I totally get why as an artist as a maker that would be really hard to say no to. And that's part of the reason why I would argue that at some level is the burden hand is worth doing the bush right. And the guy who doesn't have the money today, but might have the money next year is a burden the bush hundred percent. Yeah. And so I get that and that's kind of why I recommend that make is think about it a little bit differently. Like I encourage makers to do things like I've seen makers who bring have people bring knives to them for spa service and then have them on the table

Bob DeMarco 33:41
so that they other people could check them out. But they're not for sale.

Nick Shabazz 33:44
Exactly. Yeah. Great idea. Yeah. And there is no question as to whether they're for sale, or to do things like is an auction on Sunday. The strength is not for sale. It will the auction you're welcome to do that on Instagram or otherwise. But for the moment, here you go Take it, take a Look, or the old ones you would reserve.

Bob DeMarco 34:02
You also mentioned that as a great tactic to keep people on Sundays, which is again, kind of a ghost town, I guess.

Nick Shabazz 34:09
I mean, it's not a ghost town, if you're on the production side, Sunday is a perfectly reasonable day. But there were definitely a bunch of people who just don't show up for their custom table on Sunday, or who even fly home on Sunday, meaning meaning the production companies have a lot of product and they're there the whole time, but the small, smaller or custom makers when they sell out sure they're done. Okay. Yeah, and even the production companies, I mean, if you wanting something that's, you know, the new hotness, they're going to be gone pretty quick, too, but they'll usually still keep one in the case for you to take a look at and some companies don't even have stock to sell. They'll, you know, bring, you know, four of each knife, have them in the case and ready. But their goal is not to sell directly to clients. Their goal is to let people handle them and sell the dealers, right things like that. So if you're a production person, Sunday is actually good day.

Bob DeMarco 34:56
Because there were fewer people there and you know, partition For the for the flesh here stuff in terms yeah I time and Hannah so and so if money were no issue and you could go and and get one fixed blade and want and one will call it will call it a modern tactical folder not tactical but a modern folder and then one slip giant what would you what would those three be

Unknown Speaker 35:22
okay

Nick Shabazz 35:24
if money were no issue and availability would always be exactly on the table though yeah fixed blades oh god there was some really amazing like I have no use for a gigantic the mask is a knife there is no point in my life that that will ever come up is like wow I could use one of these guys but if somebody handed me their credit card and said Nick have fun. I think it would be very very there was some amazing pieces just laying around blade show and I just walked right by those tables because they I can't buy it I'm not going to review with is really no point to it. But I when I do stop mastery day it was true mastery at a level way beyond the superficial level. And so I'd love to have something there from one of those people who is just like oh my god you are so good at this.

Bob DeMarco 36:12
Okay, so let me let me let me narrow it down with without any specific would it be more on the art and IP side with like really exotic and fancy materials or would it be more on the Damascus you know kind of roughly hewn you know bowie knife or refined but you know,

Nick Shabazz 36:30
I like at some level visit there's a good intersection I think they were people who are sort of your your good, really well forged the mask is fixed blade, but with every detail perfectly done. Like if they achieve polishing the champions on the back of the big brass but cap of the damn thing. That's where I'm at. Right. So the people were very clearly they're bound. They're, they're focused on tradition, but they are really trying to invest fully and excellently execute that piece. Those are the people who really impressed me most is just like, you have made a buoy knife or whatever it is that he's just perfect.

Bob DeMarco 37:10
It embodies and David respect. I follow him. The French knife maker, he makes fixed plays. I follow him on Instagram, and yet he does. Yeah, it's gorgeous. Oh, yeah. And it looks like it just feel nice to hold and kind of, you know, play with some weight, but you're not doing much work with it.

Nick Shabazz 37:28
Exactly. And that's the thing that would be a collectible. For me, that would just be like, at some level, I'm thinking about my collection more and more in that way. This is a change I've felt recently in my own personal collection is I'm trying to because it's very easy in the position of being somebody in the knife community to end up hoarding, right. And so I'm trying to figure out what my collection should look like. And you know, what should stick around what should not and previously it's been functional categories, but I'm realizing that you know, there's a joy to having more than one you know, Harder, you sort of knife. And so I'm thinking I'm kind of like, I want I want to curate a little bit more. I think you had epic snuggle bunny on the Yes. On the podcast talking about that. And you know, it's it's like, fine. Yeah, exactly. And so I'm just trying to find some of the very best of those things. So if I'm going to have a crazy Damascus buoy, I want one that is just amazing. It's just like, this is a perfect example of these odd.

Bob DeMarco 38:25
Yeah, it's interesting that you use the word curate, because that's a word I meant to bring up with him in our last interview, because it's something I'm trying to avoid. Like, I am not a curator. I'm not here to to preserve knife history in the late early 20th 21st. And, and so I'll find myself like, Oh, well, I need to hold on to this zt 0055 even though it's totally ridiculous, because it's an example of this ridiculous city, and I need this. These are the kind of things that's the Deadwood I have to burn off

Nick Shabazz 38:59
and I'm With you 100% there I think there's a role for instance for emotional curation. Like for instance there are nights that I have that are not ever going to be for sale that it because they mean something to me. And that's a different thing. But I agree you know, I a couple of times now I've found myself trying to do that. of like, Oh, well now I've got one before and after the change the small Yeah. And each time I do it, I just feel like a jerk because it's like, one of these these when I slightly prefer and why do I have these?

Bob DeMarco 39:31
When Ernest Emerson starts paying me to be his. I will collect every Emerson. Absolutely, yeah, a brand that I'm a sucker for. I love that wave. But anyway, that's just the that's the angle. I'm coming at it from so. So what is your folding knife choice? Your modern folder? My lucky Can I get it? Yeah, go for it. Yeah, the shamari

Nick Shabazz 39:57
No, actually, I don't think so. I'm sorry. like very much Gareth work I think he does some amazing stuff and I've actually owned a couple of shame worries already and you know that my lack of ownership is not you know, because they're bad in any way I mean, he is doing great stuff in terms of a high end folder money is no option and money is no issue man a Philly Jewish A is a French dude. He did the ck fifth 23 weird name Yeah, we're very weird name but you know, he did that piece and handling his stuff. He falls again into that category of sort of I he's not trying to do everything but he's doing it amazingly well. My buddy Mike actually ended up with his auction piece at a price that was surprisingly good I want to say was like 28 something which is a surprisingly good Yeah. Anyways, But you know, he did things like that the clip was time ascus but he just advised it blue. So from afar it looks like it's just regular Itanium, but you come up close. It's like, holy crap. This is an intricate time masters.

Bob DeMarco 41:14
It's kind of like the reverse of Impressionism you know, up close. It's like, just a bunch of splotches of color and then you back up and it forms a picture.

Nick Shabazz 41:23
Exactly. Yeah. And all of the details were just there beautifully. And like, you know, he chamfered the inside of the ladies video also be repolished the canvas. Oh, yeah, I know, right? That's classy. That's the thing. It was just so damn classy. And

Bob DeMarco 41:38
not Not only that, but but how can you not and this is going to sound a little flaky but how can you not imbue a thing with your soul if you're spending that much time that you're polishing? You know, chamfers? Absolutely. And it's going to give that knife more value.

Nick Shabazz 41:51
Exactly. And so handling that piece, it was like, looking at this the person thought about every element of it and did his best Make everything and so that particular knife I'll admit that that particular version isn't the my taste is not the design itself isn't the my days but I handled some of this other stuff and it just does this amazing amazing work and I would be very happy and ground doing one of those things but I probably wouldn't pay the you know, three grand that would cost to get some of them I mean yeah so again that's in that state that's in that mastery level like I would buy for mastery of money more than option and availability what a problem I would want a piece that is just like this is about as good as holding night gets yeah you know that's one thing protects investor collective series is that that's their name, not mine. Have you seen these like I haven't, yes, yeah,

Bob DeMarco 42:42
yeah, I'm a big pro tech fan.

Nick Shabazz 42:44
Yeah, pro tech does amazing stuff. And these are weird and that they are fundamentally a pro tech sprint. The repro tech brand is something like brand that is, but then they have gone that extra mile with every element of it with the engraving with the materials. Did you say you have the brand No I have the sprint or the sprint okay i'm

Bob DeMarco 43:03
not renders the next one I want to get

Nick Shabazz 43:05
yeah oh no the brand is an amazing freakin knife and they but they brought one man it was just like I remember looking at it going and talking to somebody from rotech and saying you know okay I'm going to ask this question How much is said oh well this one is configured is about 10 grand

Bob DeMarco 43:24
if you have to ask

Nick Shabazz 43:25
yeah exactly and that you know it was already sold by the time the show started and of course it one best investor collected these because of course it did. You know, people look at these online it just kind of looks a little bit like goudy but then you handle one day I said this it broke that, like they handed me one. It's just like, holy. Yeah, yeah. So you know, that's another example of something I might pick up.

Bob DeMarco 43:49
And that engraving is just, I can't remember who the gentleman is, but it takes him quite a good deal of time to do that. It's not just something popping a laser engraver and it's it. This is handmade stuff.

Nick Shabazz 44:00
his mastery day we're in similarly in some of that CNC stuff, I mean, the hope hope knife works I keep hyping them because I'm really happy with this.

Bob DeMarco 44:09
Yeah, they were either what's their model

Nick Shabazz 44:12
this specter is what they're working on at the moment. They've got another one coming up but you know I, I've ordered my most expensive knife that I've ever ordered single most that I've ordered from them, and it's almost done. It's going to be kind of close to full dresses they come with a Damascus blade the mask is handled in ways of domicile that is in both sides and then blue with air. It's going to be completely freaking rocoto they use the term but at the same time I am such a big fan of their that the level of CMC mastery of design mastery that they show that it's just like, this is a knife that is good enough that merit that

Bob DeMarco 44:52
I had a recent conversation with the guys from Ferrum Forge. Yeah, and something about them that really interesting to me is how they've taken what was once a very solitary activity. And they're not the only ones and turned it into a collaborative process and I'm in the I'm in the video TV production world and I understand collaboration and the value of it and creating something and when I hear you talk about the the Spectre, which is a knife that's made the CNC Yeah, that that is in and of itself is gonna sound creepy, but it's like a collaboration collaborating with that machine to get that thing that you're programming to do to create something so subtle and and, you know, finessed is that's pretty amazing. It's kind of like a collaboration right there.

Nick Shabazz 45:42
And Bo and Joe and Angie are those are the holes are both involved in it at different levels. I mean, Angie does a lot of the titanium and ization stuff a lot of the finishing polishing and Joe is doing Yeah, you know, so yeah, I think collaboration and the pharaoh which stuff by the way, have you handled Linear they're in grade stuff negative. So I'm pretty lucky fair and forges like 20 minutes that way. Oh for me. Yeah. So I, you know, I'll go down and visit them periodically just because I find the meditating folks. But the stuff that they've got there I mean, when when Elliot sits down with his Dremel, and does he's got this guy good style biomechanical thing that Yeah, like Yeah. And I understand completely that it is not necessarily to my taste, but I can appreciate that it is amazing. Yes. And so I love love love that kind of high end stuff that they're doing. And you know the fact that they do we get on these production versions. It just good.

Bob DeMarco 46:44
Alright, alright so slip joint. I know you know your slip joint guy I love I go in and out I have seasons with slipknot and I am a big fan of GC. And I also I like to slum it with case sorry case. I don't mean it like that. In terms of you know, it Alright, well, I mean, if you want to cut, then

Nick Shabazz 47:04
yeah, exactly. Anyway, what's the joke cases, case knives for people who like collecting more than they like knives?

Bob DeMarco 47:12
I get it. Yeah. So if you had, I have a feeling I know what your answer for this is also. But if you had to pick a slip joint, what would it be? Oh, I'm This is my last show, you know?

Nick Shabazz 47:25
Yeah, yeah. My incident is probably Kenya, which is probably what you were expecting. Yeah. I like in reggae a lot as a human. You know, he and I. So speaking of bakers, who actually don't think he have a problem with my saying this, he's a maker who is actually reached out to me, you know, independently before and, you know, I looked at a couple of his things. And he, he's had a very easy expressed very positive sentiments about some of the things I've said and said, you know, although he definitely disagrees with me on some things and isn't afraid to say No, I'm not going to do that. Because, you know, I don't like it. That's great. But you know, he's been a person who's been very, very, very interested in feedback, not just open to it, but like Nick pteropod. I want to hear what you're going to complain about. Because even if I don't fix it, I'll know. And so I like him just as a human. He's a really nice guy independently of all of this. But I've also come to really appreciate him as a craftsman. You know, he's another person that puts down the little custom menu front flipper Trapper, I've got, like, he sent that to me and I, he sent it to me, it's just a Nick, I want you to check this out. You know, I've never you've never had one of my customers that was, you know, in that more traditional vein, I want to see what you think about it. And my feeling was basically like, Whoa, like, I think I had it for like 30 minutes before I miss it. I paid out it was just like this. I look at it. It's just like, yeah, you You nailed it. They were things that I don't want. as much about the design but they're in consequential and so he and I are working on something that might in the charitable vein, where he's going to provide something that I can then do a charitable sale for. And it's going to be one of his custom slip joints and I'm really scared I'm going to like it. I think one of his customers before

Bob DeMarco 49:21
diving kids can wait just for him to make another one.

Nick Shabazz 49:24
Exactly Yeah. But now I'm so if I even if it couldn't be a reggae bill, ruble would be the other person. Okay. Because

Bob DeMarco 49:34
I say okay, but I'm totally unfamiliar with his work. I believe

Nick Shabazz 49:37
he's the guy who thought that yeah. Oh, yeah. You handle his stuff is just like oh, well, yes. Yes, indeed. So, very, very impressive work. Very impressive. So I but I would say those two are the the people I would be most interested in the slip joint from at this point. And I do appreciate the Maurice, I come to use them, because they are the perfect Starbucks night that comes back today. Right? or indeed, they're the perfect cut your cut your sandwich and half at work night. Yeah, exactly. Oh, my grandpa used to have something like that. Oh, yeah, you know, it was great when you put it away. The traditional side of things, I think is another thing. I've grown a lot of the as a reviewer of like, going through appreciate those things a lot more. You know, the history, again, not at the curation level. But just like, there were a lot of things that we knew in traditional lives that have been forgotten and modernize. And I think there's a is a synthesis here that's happening that I'm seeing happening in the industry. And I'm loving so. Yeah.

Bob DeMarco 50:38
So do you think there's a future for these modern slip joints made by you know, benchmade or lion steel?

Nick Shabazz 50:44
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think that not only will those sell better, because right now, one of the biggest issues I see facing the night market is saturation. I mean, it's hard to sell, you know, well, okay, I'm an easy mark, but it may be hard to sell enthusiast somebody who follows benchmade on Instagram, it's hard to sell them another knife. Yeah, because they've already got one they love and we're reaching the point where you have all the functional utility you need in a, you know, $120 piece or something like that. I mean for many people in a $20 piece, so I think getting more people interested in pocket knife world is a something that is going to be a good thing. And I think things like the benchmade proper things like you know, really nice modern slip joints are a way to do that. Because that's going to get somebody who is a you know, the skinny jeans and suspenders crowd. Okay, all right.

Bob DeMarco 51:35
You brought it up. So to me the hipster knife. Yeah, the James brand. I don't know anything about them. But to me, that seems like a hipster brand. Just from the name and all that and and Shinola

Nick Shabazz 51:47
Shinola. shinny benchmade wedding with Shinola which was really a move. They selling some benchmade we'd get a wooden handles action Ola, one of the smartest damn things benchmade is done in a long time. Yes. You know, those kinds of brands are although we might make fun of them and certainly, you know, they were part of a hipster all admit this at some level but you know, the there will be elements of the knife community who are perhaps less than happy with that truce. I think that's a really good place for us to grow. Because if we can get people who are already sitting in the coffee shop, very happy with you know, nice pocket knives that makes the pocket shot or the coffee shop acceptability of that given knife much higher. Thank you

Bob DeMarco 52:30
it that's exactly that's exactly it. Like, I have a resistance only because I'm not particularly fond of the knife designs, but that's they're just not in my particular lot. You know, taste. Yeah, but the fact that it's, I don't know, it's kind of like bringing them out in the open. Absolutely. We're going to have a little speed round where I'm just going to ask you to answer you know, one or the other. But before we get there, I want to I want to broach the topic of materialism. I I never I bristled at at the concept of being a collector for a long time. Yeah. And then you know once I got my giant Craftsman tool drawer

Unknown Speaker 53:12
chattable I had

Bob DeMarco 53:15
seems to look like a collection and now I'm like Geez, I don't need all these and they're hard to part with. It's weird. So where's the where's the line between being a collector slash curator doing important work Oh, and, and someone who's just being a materialistic kind of scumbag

Nick Shabazz 53:37
actually have a video on this it's called Nick's take on materialism the gear world that you know some people might find interesting, but my my basic feeling on it is that and I feel this even more strongly in the watch world where it's like the the amount of money is an order of magnitude higher in the Watch Game and I've managed to stay very low in our price range which feels very high to the rest of the world. But still

Unknown Speaker 54:01
I think that there's,

Nick Shabazz 54:04
it's really hard to say, I mean, for me the difference between materialism and what I'm trying to do as a gear reviewer, I'm I'm materialism, I'm promoting that I can't deny this, I'm probably not healthy for us, for the world in, you know, I'm exposing people to things that they might not have known they wanted to buy. I mean, there's a joy in that. And for some people, it will bring them joy to have a better tool, and I'm helping people with that level, but I can't pretend I have anything other than a tool of the, you know, the knife industrial complex. I can't, I'm not capable of be asking myself that effectively. But for me, I think the difference becomes the odd element of it, the mastery element of it, you know, if you buy and I don't want to, you know, impugn people who only put you know, just to buy every production night from a given company. You know, for them, that may be a collecting thing. It may just be our Want to have every benchmate I want to have every Spyderco goal that brings you joy, then great. If it's bringing you more joy than it is financial harm. Or then that's amazing. Have fun, you found that you found the joy. But for me the real change occurred when I realized that Pete there was a quality difference, right? That there were amazing pieces. And they were really an interesting pieces. And so when I'm trying to find this stuff, that's great. And I'm trying to appreciate the work of the artist, whether that's the person making it by hand, in the case of a handmade custom version programming, the CNC or the designer of the piece, the producer of the factory, that makes it the me, there's a level of appreciation, I look at something in my collection, and it brings me a joy because I know not only that this is an excellent tool for actually accomplishing things. But also because I respect what has been done and I want to support the people who are doing it. That's the closest I can come to making this feel okay.

Bob DeMarco 55:59
I think That I think that is the like, though you put that,

Nick Shabazz 56:02
but I think that is the way everyone has to kind of you mentioned epic snuggle Bunny, that's kind of the same message. At first you go through the, the first blush, and you get your hands on as much as you can. And then eventually those go away and and you keep moving up tear wise and eventually you're just like, what, really the essence of this is the quality of the thing and the capability of the thing. And then and then there's that intangible third part. It just resonates with me, you know? Well, and that's the other thing is, you know, if it's a collection that look Marie Kondo the whole, I forget the name of this whole thing. It's basically it's a book on minimalism, but the idea is, you know, does it spark joy, right? Yep. Yeah, I think there's some joy in that. I think that idea sparks joy of just like if I look at every night in my collection, and my collection is actually relatively small relative to many people's In terms of permanent things that I read my little toolbox, so to speak, but if every one of those things brings me joy when I look at it, whether it reminds me of a, you know, whether I just like it as an object, whether reminds me of something beautiful, whether I'd like the maker that made it and therefore it also is nice, you know, if all of those things that they are then looking picking out the night that I carry that day, the watch that I wear that they dependent on using is itself a joyful act. It's a meditative thing, and it makes me feel a little bit more ready. Not necessarily in the sense of I really expect I'm going to need that kind of knife today. But just ready in the the emotional sense for the rest of my day. Is something therapeutic about that independently, but that's because I'm in shape.

Bob DeMarco 57:45
Yeah, well, you want to feel fully dressed and sweet and nice in your front, right. And then probably one in your left and then maybe one in the waistband in case you get knocked over in Baltimore or something like that.

Nick Shabazz 57:58
So I want to manage the city. The one generally but it is the temptation many days,

Bob DeMarco 58:04
because it's like so many to play with so few days,

Nick Shabazz 58:07
and I have to I have so many things I have to review. It's just like carrying something for my collection has become a rare treat at this point. So

Bob DeMarco 58:15
yeah, yeah, you must have a table full of knives that you need to get your

Nick Shabazz 58:19
hand of them sitting over there right now with three more sit with my p. o box. So it's a process

Bob DeMarco 58:26
kinda cool. But I would imagine also kind of pressure, you know,

Nick Shabazz 58:29
anything else. I'm a very lucky man, I as much as there could occasionally be frustrations, where it's like, I get something amazing in the mail. And I really, really, really need to get to this thing. That's just going to be okay. But at the end of the day, I wouldn't trade it. You know, I'm a very, very lucky man. And I'm very grateful to the people in the community who've helped that be a thing for me.

Bob DeMarco 58:51
So do you get stuff? Do you get products from makers? And they say Check this out, but don't say anything about it?

Nick Shabazz 58:58
Yeah, I do a lot of stuff with you. God, that's

Bob DeMarco 59:00
good. That's got to be not not hard because you don't want to betray anyone's trust. But I mean, that's gotta. And that was something I know something you don't know,

Nick Shabazz 59:09
there's a level of that, you know, I joke that I've gotten very good at forgetting things. But I do have a prototype shelf in my in my office where it's just like, and it's well far away from anything on the camera. So that way I know that anything up there I can't like I can't accidentally bring it on during the earthquake and it falls onto the table or falls it's not gonna fall on. Exactly, yeah, if I got falling knives, I got bigger problems. Yeah, but so there's definitely there's that factor of it. And you know, there are a lot of people who talk with me about things that are up and coming and so I tried to be careful about those kinds of questions. But and you know, it's, it's nice because very often I know something is excellent before it comes down the pipe. So I can jump right on it and have a production version, you know, go and buy a one for review, or, in some cases, ask them to send a production version. So Ready. But, you know, yeah, there's definitely that element of it too.

Bob DeMarco 1:00:04
You know, I keep saying we're going to get to the speed round. But there's there's a couple other things I'm adding something is something I, you know, you and a lot of other YouTubers are very clear about if you don't mind me calling you that is when a sample is sent to you from the company and I love the way you say we must assume that this is the best version of this knife that's ever been made. Yeah. And that I will not to the best of my abilities allow this fact that it was sent to me by the manufacturer to color my, my review how, obviously you find that important? Why?

Nick Shabazz 1:00:40
Well, I mean, partly because I feel like it's really it's ugly if I don't do that, right. Because if I don't tell people where and I just make a habit. Now we're thanking somebody for every night. Like at the start of every recent review, you will see, you know, thanks to my buddy x, who loaned it my way thanks to my Patreon Patrons for making buying this possible Or thanks to this company for sending it along with that disclaimer. But you know, to me it feels like if I'm getting something from a company and I'm not disclosing that there were so many factors involved in that, that it just feels like it feels corrupted in some level. I feel confident that I could do a review of a knife that accompany sent me not tell anybody that that was what went on. And it would still be a fair review. I feel like I would be able to do that. But I also very much don't want people because for some people, they're going to say, I don't trust any review that's provided on a review, not a review sample. And you know, what they welcome not the trust me, that's their prerogative, but I want them to know that I want people to be able to make the assumption because maybe I am nicer to review samples. I don't think I am, but you know, maybe I am. And so I want that to be a factor that goes into people's calculus as they're hearing me. And, you know, so I just I need that information to be out there because otherwise it's just corruption. At least in my mind. The one time I don't do that and that's for legal reasons so to speak not legal but if somebody has sent me a self review version of something beforehand so if somebody has sent me for instance a prototype of a knife six months ago and then I get the full version on my on my channel later on, I do not say thank you the you know, so and so for sending me this nice six months ago for a self review and then giving it you know, in a couple of

Bob DeMarco 1:02:27
days and making it much better,

Nick Shabazz 1:02:29
you know, a that yeah, that's that's kind of cocky as heck anyways, but, um, be there been a couple of occasions with a maker I've asked the maker and they've cleared it. They said they've allowed me to say that and you know, in a couple of cases even to talk about what was different which was fun like the booze played smoke. I did that. So yeah, yeah. But you know, I don't disclose that because a I mean, if he plays a role, but also I am not, I don't want to muddy the waters there. Sure. I don't want makers to I don't want the nice to take on any kind of machine for me in either direction. Yeah, you don't want people to sit with what didn't have to do with this knife again, exactly. People will be asking what do you what do you tell them to FIX? Yeah. And then that gets into questions like, you know, oh, well, you know, they, their factory had trouble with x. And that's just ugly. So that's the one thing I don't disclose. And partly it's because makers don't want me to disclose that I'm looking at these products at a time. And I respect that I understand that. And that's, that's something I'm more than happy to do with those situations. I mean, you're you you are approving quantities quantity, and you're and you're giving them a valuable service. So I could, you know,

Bob DeMarco 1:03:41
yeah, why would you disclose?

Nick Shabazz 1:03:43
Exactly. So and it also gives information about like the shipping timetables and things like that, right like if I see a prototype eight months ago and now landed, yeah, that tells that's that's it. Yeah. So in that case, I will still always disclose it was sent to me by the baker, etc. But I won't necessarily mentioned that there was a self review done. Right. You know, I don't think there's a way around that. But again, I try my best not to let that affect things in my in my review, and I always try to review the knife that's on my table right now, not the one that was on my table previously, or, you know, and not let that make me bitter about well, they didn't fix x.

Bob DeMarco 1:04:19
And you're kind of at this point, a self policing entity, because you've already released to the world what your criteria are. And you've already let let the world know what you think is a value. So yeah, if you start Bs, and people will catch on pretty quick,

Nick Shabazz 1:04:34
and people call me out on that on a regular basis. Like Nick, I'm sorry, if this came from any other company, you would be and in some cases, there were been places where it's a little bit accurate. Like, you know, I've not commented on the color of something, and it was very like, okay, jg 10. I there was one point where I didn't care for jG I love jg 10. Yeah, I I understand that you may feel that way.

Bob DeMarco 1:05:00
And you die yours I understand Yes, I love or steal so much.

Nick Shabazz 1:05:04
I either died or I die inside. It's a question of which one. But you know, people will call me out on that at some level they providing a service. I think in some cases it's fair in some in a few cases, it's been fair. But in other cases, it's just like, okay, yeah, sure, whatever, you can say that. But it would be very hard for me to just start, you know, giving a pass. And I've had companies quite work with who, you know, send me review samples have said to me, and I agree with them that if I were to just throw the review, and just talk about the good and the gray, and let something clear, go, then I would lose all credibility and every review of that knife and those forward would be meaningless, and it wouldn't help them either.

Unknown Speaker 1:05:42
Yeah. And they were making money.

Nick Shabazz 1:05:44
Yeah, they want the brute. You know, they, in some cases, I've had companies say, yeah, we are that one. Yeah. And you know, we'll fix that in the future, but that's fair. So I think it is win win if I am honest, all around, no matter if it's sent to me by the company or otherwise, and Nobody's trying to exert any force in the process. I don't accept samples from I'll download this rewrite off I have a disclaimer that states very explicitly and very often I just never feature those companies right? Because I don't even want to company with freakin Nero if they have that. I can recommend them.

Bob DeMarco 1:06:17
Well yeah, I mean it starts to sound like payola and all that kind of

Nick Shabazz 1:06:20
Yeah, I don't camp already in that and I get a lot of offers for like, Oh, you know, and usually, you know, $20 Amazon knives, but just like, nope.

Bob DeMarco 1:06:29
All right, Nick. Well, I've, I've monopolize your time for Oh, you're fine. About an hour. I have some burning speed round questions, please. And these are kind of standard and I think I know the answer to most of them. Yeah, but I want to hear your immediate answer right on. Alright, fixed or folder.

Nick Shabazz 1:06:48
folder,

Bob DeMarco 1:06:49
flipper or thumb stud.

Nick Shabazz 1:06:52
flipper. Probably.

Bob DeMarco 1:06:53
washers or bearings.

Nick Shabazz 1:06:55
I want to see more knives on washers.

Bob DeMarco 1:06:58
Okay, tip up or tip down.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:02
It's not a question. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have been. Yeah, I did that. Kip up or wrong is the correct way to phrase it. Yes. Go ahead.

Bob DeMarco 1:07:11
tanto or Bowie?

Nick Shabazz 1:07:13
Oh, it's a weird dichotomy, though, I guess.

Bob DeMarco 1:07:18
All right. Yeah. Hello ground or flat ground? stipulations Yeah, I want

Unknown Speaker 1:07:28
to simulate like crazy but generally a full flat grind will be a little bit better than a bad hollow grind in production. Okay,

Bob DeMarco 1:07:36
a little more than then a one word answer, but

Nick Shabazz 1:07:38
yeah,

Bob DeMarco 1:07:41
full size or small, small gentleman's knife or tactical knife.

Nick Shabazz 1:07:45
gentleman's

Bob DeMarco 1:07:46
automatic or Bally song.

Nick Shabazz 1:07:49
Automatic. I'm less likely to hurt myself that way.

Bob DeMarco 1:07:54
All right. Here's one gamco are tough knives.

Nick Shabazz 1:08:00
Yeah I have

Bob DeMarco 1:08:04
z or we we benchmade or Spyderco Spyderco mil the titanium or spring

Nick Shabazz 1:08:14
titanium or what?

Bob DeMarco 1:08:15
I'm sorry mill titanium or spring clip and

Nick Shabazz 1:08:18
oh, probably sypderco

Bob DeMarco 1:08:22
alright carbon fiber or micarta

Nick Shabazz 1:08:25
carbon fiber

Bob DeMarco 1:08:27
finger choil or none

Unknown Speaker 1:08:30
in good shape,

Bob DeMarco 1:08:32
form or function

Nick Shabazz 1:08:34
function

Bob DeMarco 1:08:35
and finally your desert knife that one for the rest of your life

Unknown Speaker 1:08:41
I

Nick Shabazz 1:08:43
fight and co sleep buoy Yeah, I

Jim Person 1:08:48
Yeah, that's a good answer. Okay. Why? Tell me why.

Nick Shabazz 1:08:51
I have a whole video where I agonize on this I

because I it's the night that stopped my collecting for like two years. That that is finishing graduate school that helped Stop it.

Bob DeMarco 1:09:04
Now well yeah, I could see that but but when you got the sleeper you're like, Okay, knives are done. They did it they won.

Nick Shabazz 1:09:11
It was just like, this way it was in Nathan ease it remains so damn good in so many ways that all the other knives in my collection are there were many knives that are equivalently excellent the way and there was a nice that technically speaking a little bit better. But it is just such a good option for me that I really really struggle to say, you know that there's something better out there I mean is an all around the it's really hard to do a lot better than that, in my estimation. And to me, personally to my eye is beautiful.

Bob DeMarco 1:09:47
Yes, that little looking knife and over, you know, just like Yeah, when that thing walks up, you just look. I have to have only ever heard it on video. I have the Spidey chef which I Love and effect any indication this loose buoy someday

Nick Shabazz 1:10:04
if despite look if the chef if the buoy was off the table the chef would be a really good contender as well. It's an awesome knife It is so damn good. So I'll put a little leather five on mine which is like

Bob DeMarco 1:10:15
your mind you're not going anywhere there you go. All right, Nick Shibez it's been a real pleasure speaking with you yeah, absolutely so much for coming on the junkie podcast yeah wonderful.

Jim Person 1:10:30
Visit The Knife Junkie at The Knife Junkie dot com to catch all of our podcast episodes videos, photos and more. Wow Bob a lot to really take in there that conversation with Nick man just a lot of as we said on the intro, a lot of great conversation lot of great, great knife talking there.

Bob DeMarco 1:10:47
Yeah, I could have I could have kept going I gotta say. But it's funny thing. You get two knife nerds together and the conversation just rolls Right. Right. So what? boil it down for me? What What would you take away from that initial Well, you know, there's there was a lot in that interview and it was really cool to get his his perspective on things for sure. But to me, like, the overarching idea that came out of this is that you can't account for taste, Nick and I have different tastes and knives, and there's no accounting for taste, but you can you can set objective criteria that you can judge a knife on and then and then that's how two parties with differing opinions can actually have a conversation about something that they don't agree on. So not only is this a knife issue, but it's a it's a wider issue, you know, agree on on a couple of positive criteria, it's good for a blade to be centered, it's good for a knife to to have good action, etc, etc. That can be objective criteria. From there your opinions can can rule and so that's how two people with different opinions can talk about something they disagree on.

Jim Person 1:11:47
Yeah, well, and everybody has different taste, you know, so, yeah, there's that that's what makes collecting of any kind of thing. Collecting because if everybody like the same thing, you only have one of everything. Yes, exactly. Yeah. Alright, that's going to wrap it up for this episode of The Knife Junkie podcast and another great one coming up next week do you want to stick around and listen for that but we've had a couple of new subscribers to the newsletter the past couple of weeks I just don't want to forget to mention that again if you're not on the Knife Junkie newsletter list go to The Knife Junkie dot com slash subscribe and you can get Bob's weekly musings about the knife world and what's going on and especially with his reduce and refine quest and and get an idea of what's going on with their so Knife Junkie dot com slash subscribe. Bob another great show and again as I say so thanks for thanks for doing it. Oh, it's been my pleasure Believe me. Knife Junkie podcast. Thanks for listening.

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