Jimislash YouTube Knife Reviewer – The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 379)
Jimislash, YouTube knife reviewer, joins Bob “The Knife Junkie” DeMarco on Episode 379 of The Knife Junkie Podcast.
Josh Balay (aka Jimislash) is a knife nut with a YouTube channel and a healthy obsession with large, manly folders and fixed blades. He is especially fond of Cold Steel knives, boasting nearly 400 videos on his enviable collection of folders, fixed blades, swords, axes and other tools of chaos by the storied company.
Jimislash is known on YouTube for his hardcore wood chop tests and his less hardcore, yet gratifying Brisket cut test. For years, the Jimislash channel also funneled Josh’s charitable instincts into an exhausting Pay It Forward EDC program, filling boxes with donated EDC gear and sending them out to the pockets of EDC fans.
In recent years Josh has been competing in arm wrestling and blade sports, having a chopper made to his specs by his favorite knife company.
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.
Support the Knife Junkie channel with your next knife purchase. Find our affiliate links at theknifejunkie.com/knives.Great time and conversation with a great knife guy Jimislash. Check out episode 379 of #theknifejunkie #podcast to hear my chat and hear about the new upcoming Jimislash Cold Steel Chopper. Click To Tweet
YouTube Knife Reviewer Jimislash - The Knife Junkie Podcast (Episode 379)
©2023, Bob Demarco
The Knife Junkie Podcast
[0:00] 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 to the Knife Junkie Podcast.
I'm Bob DeMarco. On this edition of the show, I'm speaking with Josh Balay, also known as the YouTuber Jimmislash.
Josh is a kindred spirit in that his appetite for knives is insatiable, he has a special place in his heart for big knives, and he's a dyed in the wool, cold steel fanboy, like yours truly. But for him it runs a bit deeper.
But aside from his taste in cutlery, it's Josh's warm, generous, funny, and slightly deviant sense of humor that has me coming back to his videos.
At this point he could be reviewing teacups and making videos about unicorns, and I'd tune in.
It's always a pleasure to catch up with Jimmy Slash, but these days are particularly exciting for him and I can't wait to get into it.
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Hey Josh, welcome back. It's good to see you sir. Good to see you glad to be back. Yeah Oh my pleasure. I've been really loving your shorts on YouTube lately your short videos,
you had the Rifle Hawk or not the rifle Hawk the the war club the rifle war club rifle stock war club from Cold Steel recently,
obliterating some fruit you had a.
[2:20] Arkansas toothpick It looks like you're having a blast out there, man.
Oh yeah, totally fun. you know, no reason to do it if it's not fun.
Yeah, the Gunstock War Club is a blast. I love playing with that thing. So I've been on a, I don't want to say a war club phase. It's not quite a phase, but I was,
reunited with a war club that I had as a kid, that the family shared as a kid. And I kind of got it over Thanksgiving. And then I purchased a Wingard wearable war club. I've been in the war club mode. How is it that Cold Steel War Club being out of polypropylene instead of wood?
You know, I beat that thing against that log I have and I've whacked that thing into some hard stuff and it doesn't chip. It stands up to a really good beat. The least thing I can put through it.
[3:12] It's pretty strong. Yeah, man. So I have no doubt, I guess, with the training improvements I've had made out of that stuff that it's uh that it's pretty strong stuff and if i know cold steel,
and my shower knife made out of that same material it can withstand quite a bit. Oh yeah yeah it's good stuff. All right so for people who who don't know you or maybe haven't haven't seen the last one uh last time you joined us it was a town hall i believe but how did you get into knives and making,
knife review videos. I've always you know like knives as a kid my dad gave me a buck,
buck 112 I think it was when I was about seven eight years old that was my first really serious knife and you know it's kind of outdoorsy kid always always had a knife on me and then as I,
got older I'd buy some knives here and there and then about I guess about seven eight years ago.
[4:07] I went looking for a Christmas present for my uncle and I ended up getting him a Benchmade 940 But through the whole process of just looking at reviews and looking at knives, the bug really bit me.
So I guess he had it about seven, seven and a half years ago.
And, I guess seven years ago, December now.
It just bit me. So I got a bad fever and then I started getting more into reviews and I started watching, of course, the grandfather of it all was nothing fancy.
But they got in a bird shot and then he kind of showed me it was kind of fun to do.
[4:42] It just gave me a way to talk to people and talk to people about knives. And I think actually, I know my first full review was a full steel knife. So it just went from there. It was a lot of fun. A lot of interesting people. I didn't know.
[4:57] I found you on a large cold steel folder tear. You know, I go through these little phases where I'm just really into something and I collect it intensely for a short period of time.
And I was I was going all out on the XL Cold Steel's. I have quite a collection. We discussed that before, but I was really looking for one of these, which is my most coveted knife in my collection.
By the way, more people asked for me to sell my XL XHP recon one. But that's what I was looking to try and find. And I was just hungry. You know how when you're looking for something and you're just hungry for videos on it and.
A lot of the kind of knives you and I like, there's more of a limited pool. And you had the stuff I was looking for.
And ever since then I've been a fan.
Oh yeah, you go in there and you're looking for, you're first looking for justification to buy it.
And then you're looking for verification that you did the right thing. So yeah, and on the huge knives, sometimes it's hard to find that.
Yeah. Do you find yourself before it even arrives kinda looking at the next thing?
Oh definitely. Yeah, I got stuff on the way right now and I'm looking for stuff tonight. So yeah, I'm always looking for something to look at or share with you or gifts, giveaways and stuff like that. So yeah, I'm always with him.
[6:25] I got probably $5,000 in cards all around the internet. Oh yeah, just waiting. Just waiting. Pick me.
Just wait for that mood change or whatever I need. Or that late. You know what? This is a good reason, another good reason for my stopping drinking.
You know, the late night, oh, I'll just do this now and, you know.
[6:50] I'll never remember tomorrow and it'll show up as a surprise. and what am I gonna do then return it come on so you sent me this knife a while
back this is I had explained you asked if I had a format scout and I said no and you insisted and you sent this and I made the same sort of fob you put on
yours to commemorate the gift I do appreciate this how is it that you fell into love with Cold Steel. For me it happened way back in high school. How did it happen for you?
For me it was right around that time I started doing reviews probably about three or four months beforehand and I got to looking at knives on Craigslist oddly enough and so this guy was selling
a bunch of knives. I went online and looked and it was a crazy good deal and so it was it was kind of you know, that was crazy, this feeling of kind of a shady deal in a parking lot somewhere under a,
you know, one stoplight or a dimly lit lamp or something. So I went out there and so it was supposed to be just for the American lawman. And so I went out there and I, of course, did my reviews or looked at my reviews on those and looked good. So I got it. And so I got these other knives too.
[8:10] But one of the knives he pulled out was XL Recon that he just showed me. And then he had another XL and I think it may have been two XL Recon.
I think one he'd taken the DLC off of and then one was still black. And so he sold me those. And since I got those things, I was hooked.
It was just like heroin addiction. I knew that was going to be part of my life for a long time.
And then I started doing the research and the next thing I knew I was looking at, because the American format just come out I think that May, May 2016.
[8:48] And so that first run had already sold out. So I was punching, refresh, almost daily trying to see when they'd come out again.
[8:55] And then came out that second run and that was it. I love that knife every cent. Oh yeah. That thing. I mean, this thing here is awesome. And I have it in a Grivery and AUS-10A.
[9:09] And it's funny because this is the walk around version of this. They come in so many different models, I mean not models, but so many different sort of, what do you call it, generations of.
[9:23] Production generations, I guess I should say. And I know you have them all. You have a very extensive collection. I know of knives in general, but Cold Steel seems to be the real body here.
[9:39] Oh, definitely. Yeah. Yeah, I probably have six, 600 knives all together, great, something like that probably more I haven't counted since last year so I've gotten bucks this year at least,
two-thirds as cold steel for sure. So what is it before what is it what is it about cold steel,
is it the fact that they're so strong is it the fact that they're what is it? It's the strength.
[10:06] You know I've you know I've always enjoyed strength working out whatever you know muscle building and stuff like that. And just the idea that you can't kill these things and it's just such a strong knife. I like flippy knives and I like really pretty knives. I like all those too. But just.
[10:24] When it comes down to it, full steel makes such a strong indestructible knife and I like that a lot.
I like the idea that it's never going to break them. That combined with the audacity of making all of these historical designs, you know, for instance, take the Espada series, you,
know, the traditional Spanish Navaja folder and making it, which is my favorite, one of my favorite all time historical weapons and turning it into a modern day, fully more than capable actually usable weapon instead of a reproduction kind of thing, wall hanger,
is to me, that's what I'm what I love them for is just the fact that they're there.
They are the only ones out there making a these big knives, these big folders, but also be just a range of historic, like really well made combat ready historical weapons.
Oh, certainly. Yeah. It's not something you're going to get a flea market that's going to snap when you when you try to use on something.
That was another thing that got me really sold on not just cold steel but the knife bug when I was talking about looking at reviews was getting into the cold steel watching Len Thompson and Demko and all the guys over there close to slicing the thing, chop the thing.
[11:45] Yeah, that was just, to me, it was just fantastic. That was part of the bug, just watching them destroy stuff with their knives.
Is that what got you into bladesports? Anyone who has followed your channel knows that you are involved in plenty of other things outside of the knife world, and that adds to your, the, you know, interesting dimensions to your character.
One of those things is bladesports. So you test knives for your channel in various ways. You've got the hardcore chopping kind of stuff. Then you've got the brisket tests,
which I love. But did doing all of that lead to actually wanting to make this activity more official through competition? Oh, definitely. Yeah. What happened was I bought a chopper first, and,
And I just wanted to be able to use it.
I was, I think it was a big Chris chopper.
And I went to the school to get certified to go through the blade of sports.
Yeah, but being, in fact, one time I was testing a knife and I don't think it was, it was a Topps chopper. One of the Topps knives.
[12:53] And somebody commented, and you know how people are, but they're like, you don't know how to chop or flip.
And so I was like, well, I'm gonna go learn how to chop or flip. So, yeah, I just got the bug and went out there and the people are awesome and competing was fun. So, yeah, I love it.
What was the training like?
They'd have like a all day, like a six, eight hour class where you go through and they show you the features, the implements, they show you the safety rules and they'll give you practice on the different things. And then they do a mock competition at the end. So you kind of get an idea of what you're going to be doing.
So it was really helpful. If you haven't seen one of these competitions, what are the kinds of things you're doing? Is it like that show? Oh, that show.
What was the Fordston Fire spinoff? Knife or death?
Oh yeah, something like that. It was just, they started the competition as to kind of, as a way to show off what their knives could do.
And initially, from what I understand, it started off as like, I made this knife and I bet I can cut through this faster than him.
[14:01] And so they made it kind of a physical competition and they go through two by fours, cut through two by fours cut through the big three different sizes of ropes and then it comes down to.
[14:14] You know like small testing like bendy straws you know they got a bendy straw and then you got to cut cut the straw off before at the top of the bend so you're trying to you know you're looking at
strength you're looking at finesse and you're looking at how sharp your knives are and at the end of the competition if you know your knife is all beat up and chipped and then you're
disqualified for that too so it's just a way to show off what these knives can do not just as weapons but it's tools and that's what they really emphasize is tool issue of what a knife can do.
What's the hardest test?
For me, I think the one that people fail the most on is the straws. I mean, it's easy to go crazy on a two by four and that gets tiring especially if you're knife is, you know, that,
second, you start with the two by four and you end with the two by four. By the time you're done,
that last two by four, you know, test your willpower.
But I think the thing that most people fail on is the straws. You see these guys are the world champions swinging and missing at the straws all the time.
[15:21] So yeah, tough as well. I would imagine to get that and to make it cut cleanly through the straw north of the bendy part, you would have to a have a very, very sharp knife still.
Something thin enough behind the edge that you could actually make that cut. You have to be swinging with a lot of precision and speed it seems like to get through something like that.
[15:44] Yes, the precision and that whip you get that whip on that you got a pound and a half of steel You're trying to whip it, you know like a six inch or six ounce knife or something. So you get that,
Like you said if it was just the whole straw yet Everybody get it but to get that what is like an inch inch and a quarter above that bend and just you got to whip it and there's no going up and taking capping it. So it's all that together. I think that's what,
the test people want. So what are the qualities you're looking for in a knife that you're going to take into a competition? I know they all look squared off. They look kind of vaguely like,
elongated cleavers. But what exactly are you looking for in a competition chopper?
Well, first off, you want to steal that's going to hold up through the whole competition.
And you know, you can make a chopper that looks like a chopper, but like I said, if it bangs up and at the end of the competition, it's not working. Or if you get to a two by four and you go through a rope and then go to the, you know, they had the vertical two by four.
And if by the time you're done, you can't cut anything, then you know, your chopper is pretty much worthless for competition.
So you want something that's really hard. I, you know, a lot of the popular skills of 3V, M4, I think there's some, Some of the guys are making them out of Max and Met now.
So you're looking at something that's going to hold up and you want something that's balanced and you want something that the handle is right for your hand, especially the custom chopper.
[17:13] So yeah, just those things right there are going to get you. And of course, you have to make them within the parameters of the competition. It can't be the blade can't be more than 10 inches.
It can't be more than 15 inches overall.
And it can't be the thickness of the width can't be more than two inches. And there's some little bitty things besides that, but those are the main ones.
I've noticed how on some of the competition choppers, there's an angle. uh the handle the handle to the blade is it's raked down a little bit right almost like a straight bladed kukri you know not not that extreme but in order to really maximize the the angles.
[17:53] Well you get the big guys you got guys like donald phillips and you know big chris and these guys are six foot six and six foot seven you know they don't need that angle you got a guy my height you know five foot eight I need as much angle as possible so that you know my blades coming coming down straight instead of you know hitting like this on,
the different implements so yeah a little angle helps you see a lot of the females because this side they have really exaggerated angles on the top of the bone.
So I'm a bit of a well I'm a sharp guy and I follow you on Instagram and I noticed something that seems really exciting, but that there hasn't been any
official word I don't think. What is happening with a collaboration with Cold Steel and Jimmy Slash? Okay this spring is coming out with the Jimmy Slash,
competition chopper and I'm not sure exactly what the date is. It's been pulled this spring and it's something we've been working on for over a year now,
trying to get this thing nailed down. In fact we're still working on it and and getting it to where, you know, because it's not just made for my hand, you know, we're trying to get a broad spectrum of people that are going to enjoy this.
So it's a little bit more difficult than just making one competition chopper.
So yeah, it's pretty exciting. It's going to be fun.
[19:12] Well, so what's it been like? What's the process been like working with them specifically? I know you've been working with them a lot recently, and I want to hear about that.
But I'm also very interested in this design process, it was like working with a company that, you know, I don't know to say you adore them sounds weird,
but you know, a company that you know, yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. No, it all, it all started at Blade Show 2021. And I was, you know, when I worked at Butho within the first time.
[19:43] You know, it's been a pipe dream mind since I started this. It's always, always, every once in a while sneaking a joke or one of the subs will say, when's your knife coming out and you know so it's always been something that never really seemed like it was going to happen you know just something that was fun to talk about and fun to dream about and then,
I mentioned it to them in 2021 about it and actually Donovan Phillips came over and and talk to them about it and kind of...
[20:13] What it would take. And so, you know, it's one of those things where, you know, you get these people like, oh, yeah, that's what we want to do. Yeah, we should do that. And then, you know, it's,
crickets and you never hear from them again. But that's not the way it was. It ended up, they're like, yeah, let's do this. And so I just kind of sent them my ideas on what I wanted. And then they sent me, they sent me a prototype and I said, well, this isn't exactly what I want. Just keep working on it and so they send me another one. I'm like, man, that's great.
This improved this. Can we fix this? It's just been a year of back and forth, back and forth and constant contact and testing. My shoulder, I've tested so many,
different choppers and chopping. My shoulder's about dead for anything right now. But it's been awesome. The whole process has been awesome.
What were some of the things from the first prototypes? Because they've never made a competition chopper. They made a lot of great knives and a lot of them are chopping centric,
but never anything like this. So what were some of the things that you noticed that you thought needed to change? Okay, yeah. The first prototype came and it was a really cool knife.
[21:25] If it had just been like a standalone knife, a cold steel standalone chopper, I'd have bought five or six of them. But it wasn't what I was looking for as far as a competition chopper.
First off, the length was a little bit too long and the real stick was about that. So if it's a quarter inch too long, you're going to drive across country with your quarter inch too long and they're not going to let you chop with it.
And so it was a little bit too long, a little bit too wide, and it was really light compared to what I'm used to. It was almost like a female chopper. I think it was in the 20 ounce range.
So it was a little bit too light.
[22:02] I think the one we're coming out with is almost 27 ounces. And but it was a cool knife. It was a great knife.
But it just wasn't what I was looking for. And the handle wasn't what I was looking for. I wanted more of an angle on the handle. And so,
it was just like a starting place. It's almost like sending a blank in and saying here's this. What can we change? And at that point it just started changing and molding into what it is, what it is right now.
So the handles on the competition chopper, choppers seem to be really ergonomic. They remind me almost of like Becker handles.
[22:41] It seems like in that sport, and in that, with that kind of knife, comfort ergonomics is kind of paramount.
How, how much and how much shock do you feel in the hand? I mean, you're holding a piece of metal, whacking it into wood. How much shock do you feel in the hand? And what kind of things can be done to mitigate that shock in these designs?
Well, yeah, a lot of it's going to be balance. So you got and weight. So if you got not enough weight, it's just going to be bouncing off and of course edge.
But when you're coming down, you want that thing just to come down and sink into that wood or sink into whatever you're chopping into.
And so but if you have to wait, if the balance is off, then you're going to be coming down too hard or you're you're gonna be really feeling it. So you want that that.
[23:34] Balance point but everything is just momentum just coming down and you're not gonna feel a lot in the wrist. Actually I know it sounds crazy but I got into the,
competitive arm wrestling about six months before I got into chopping.
[23:51] And the weird tendons and stuff that the armor has. Chopping doesn't bother me unless I do it excessively like I've been doing trying to test this thing. So the competitions don't really bother me that bad. But if you're trying to, like you said, mitigate it for the average person,
yeah, it's just going to be the balance point. It's going to be the handle.
Like a handle that's straight for me, I'm going to be coming down, trying to come down like that to get that blade straight. So that's gonna put a different impact on me than if it was angled for him.
Right, right, and it's gonna force your wrist into an unnatural position after a while. You'll have all sorts of repetitive stress, injury and stuff like that.
So what kind of edge, I'm imagining the profile of a competition chopper as being somewhat triangular, somewhat wedge-like, you'll be strong enough to take all this impact.
But what is it, an apple seed edge or a convex edge? A lot of them have convex edges. I know that Don was convex edge on his. A couple guys just put the regular edge on there and.
[24:58] They have a good heat treat on their blades. I think we're gonna be going with the convex edge. I think it's a.
[25:05] 23 degree convex edge and so Yeah, it worked the edge worked out well for this last competition. I was able to do the slicing stuff,
pretty easily. I haven't I've only seen Cold Steel do a convex edge once and it was on I think it was an older model San Mai Trailmaster. They did an Apple
Seat edge on their their most expensive steel version of it a few years some years back. I do remember a convex grind but so that's that's exciting to hear because it's not something that they generally do.
No, yeah, they don't do a lot of it.
Yeah, from what I've seen from the testing I've done, this steel is going to be the most durable thing.
[25:55] Banged into this as it's on air and I've had any issues with it. And what steel is it? It's a 3V. 3V steel. Okay so cold steel has been on a 3V
kick lately. It's exciting to see. It's exciting for two reasons. One reason is that 3V is an awesome steel and it's great to see some of their big burly knives in 3V but also in coming out with 3V and there those being pretty,
handsomely priced knives they felt it necessary to come out with the 4034 versions of those which I'm very happy for because it kind of allowed me to get,
a Notch as Bowie which I've wanted for years but I was not gonna buy the 3v version because I don't need 3v for this because this is only for dueling Josh I'm
not gonna be taking this out to the woods so the cable tang will suffice There you go, yeah. I love the 4034 stuff they did. I've beat up that 4034 stuff just as much.
There's nothing more than that beat on my knee. It seems odd because the 4034 shouldn't take as much as the 3D. So I should feel better about taking my 3D out. But like you said, they get,
kind of pricey and so you don't want to go and beat on them too much. So but the 4034, I haven't had any issues with it holding up to chopping and smashing.
It's really good, really good steel, that 4034 concrete.
[27:25] You know, for all the average person's purposes is going to hold up just as good as that 3D one. I'm starting to feel like, yes, blade steels like 3D and Maximet and M4 are outstanding, amazing,
you know, stellar blade steels. But there are some, oh my God, look at that arm, But there are some blade steels also that like 3cr13. I recently needed a fix and I got a cheap,
I got the Mule, the Black Mule Bowie from Rough Rider and I've beaten the Living Daylights out of it and it is still sharp and still super strong. And I know that Cold Steel, the knives that they they have been selling packages, outdoor knives that they've been selling at Walmart are in,
three CR and you did a whole series on those knives.
[28:28] So it just kind of goes to show you that yeah, those amazing super steals are amazing in super, but some of the un super steals are still pretty damn super.
Oh yeah, I think we've as knife fans and you know, knife review addicts or whatever we We get biased, we get brainwashed.
For a while the S35VN was so much awesome, it's amazing. And now everybody's like, why would you make a knife an S35VN?
And so, but yeah, what happened was that another reviewer had posted something about the Walmart knives from Cold Steel and I hadn't seen them yet.
So I was like, oh man, I got to get on top of this. I want to see what's going to happen because they hadn't reviewed it. They just taken a picture and showed that.
[29:18] There was Cold Steel was selling at Walmart. Yeah, that was Matthew Culbertson. He was Matt Culbertson. Yeah. Yeah. He was, he was like shocked and bummed and he's a super,
super Cold Steel fan. Yeah. Oh yeah. He's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. He's a great dude, but he's arm rested too. So that was one of my fears when GSM took over. You know, if you go back and look at one of my videos, I was like, man, I think I started selling blister packs at Walmart. And so sure,
sure enough blister packs at Walmart showed up.
And so I ordered, I ordered it right away, got it in and I got it out of the pack and it just, you know, to be honest, it felt kind of flimsy. I was like, man, I'm going to do a review on this.
Cold Steel is going to kick me out of the Cold Steel.
[30:01] And so I took, I took a beat, I beat that thing. Went through two by fours just, and it didn't roll the edge.
It didn't do anything. All that was on one knife and I didn't sharpen it. didn't I don't even think I don't think I strapped it or anything and that thing just kept taking and taking it didn't break it didn't chip it didn't roll and like you said I the 3cr held up,
I think we just everybody wants 3v everybody wants something in max and met everybody wants something that's high end like that in 390 you know 20 cv or whatever and that's cool and I I understand that I have so many knives like that.
Yeah, I understand that.
But for actual use, I would take that thing out in the woods and not be afraid to take that in the woods as my only knife because it took a beating.
[30:50] I think the people that still, you know, poo poo on it are the ones that haven't really tried it and the ones that are just gonna be negative without anything to do with it.
Well, I for one was really happy to see your video because I saw Culbertson's video first and then a few days later or a week or whatever I saw yours. And I totally related to him.
And then when you came on, I was like, okay, all right, let's let's let's cross our fingers because I'm rooting for them.
And you know, that that GSM sale, my my personal thoughts, you know, were like, geez, these guys have been my favorite forever. And, and it's, and a lot of it has to do with Lynn Thompson. Like pretty much all of it has to do with Lynn Thompson and that which doesn't,
has to do with Andrew Demko. So I hope this whole thing works out. And so far, you know, I thought it was a good idea to ask what models would you like us to bring back? They brought
back the Talwar, which I appreciated. Still need to get that. I still need to get the tell where I want to get it serrated. They did not listen to me and bring back the black rhino,
unfortunately. Oh, I told the same thing. Yeah, I want the black rhino back. Oh, God. I love that knife.
[32:07] But so far, I've been pretty psyched. You know, I've gotten a number of cold steels. I got a Tai Pan recently. Finally, that's a knife I've wanted for 25 years. And I don't know why it's It's come in and out of my price range for many times and I finally bought it.
So I think that so far they've handled, it seems to me from the videos that Stickman really likes the whole cold steel thing and really likes knives.
So I think a lot of attention is going to it as a brand.
Oh yeah, Dave, instead of, I think a lot of people were afraid, and I was afraid too, it was going to go the way of kind of like Gerber and the way that they just come up.
More of a budget brand all around.
And like I told everybody, go out and buy your Cold Steel now because you know what's going to happen.
Probably started a panic run, probably was responsible for Cold steel start going through the roof, but.
[33:02] Yeah, Stikman has leaned into the Lynn Thompson spirit. He's really leaned into spending money on the jail dummies and chopping things and smashing things. He's been out there to cut,
with Lynn Thompson. They've kept Lynn Thompson in the mix as far as videos and different things.
And I wish I could tell people, you know, the things I know that are coming up and all the people that are, you know, negative or people that think that it's dead, it's not.
There's so much exciting stuff that Cold Steel is going to do.
[33:40] And the guys that are in charge really want Cold Steel, the Cold Steel brand and spirit to just keep going.
Smart business. I mean, why, why, uh, why mess with something that was so successful for so long, you know, those proof videos that came out every year.
Oh man, that was so exciting. I love getting those DVDs. And, um, I mean that all of those, I believe, uh, kind of gave permission to shows like Forged in Fire to, to, to do those sort of pig tests and the destructive tests and all that.
I mean, a lot of that, I think was, uh, was sort of pioneered by, by Lynn Thompson and Quicksil. So it makes sense for GSM to why change it if it works. But there also seems to be a real love, not just a shrewd business.
Oh yeah, and they're not just resting on the laurels. They're not just going to keep bringing back the Formax, keep bringing back the Recon. They're going forward with new designs and new ideas and stuff that...
[34:43] It's going to be really cool when it comes out. You know, people are just are going to be very excited about. You can tell that you're excited about something besides just your knife, because you're like, oh, I want to say it.
I do. I want to say it bad, but I want to be a cold steel tomorrow, too. So, yeah, well, I was really excited to see.
I was lurking around on that page recently and saw that they have a Chris like the one over my shoulder coming out as both a sword and a dagger.
But in the in the somewhat traditional build, like they did with the with the Danny Nosanto commemorative bolo, which is so cool.
I just kind of want like I want. I want all the cold steels and then to be able to say, well, I don't need this one or this one or this one.
And the rest I'll keep because to say which ones I want is is a ludicrous.
Oh, definitely. So what is your what kind of stuff do you do for them? What is your working relationship with Gold Steel?
Just I just do reviews. I'm supposed to be doing some designs like the chopper. I'm not sure what if I'll be designing anything this year.
And just just mostly videos for them. And my reviews, so they made to where exclusively with with them.
[36:06] For the last year and a half now, And since the GSM bought SOG, I can do SOG stuff too. But yeah, just basically doing the same thing I was doing just exclusively with the cold steel stuff for now.
Oh, that's cool. So what do you what do you think of blister pack knives that you got from Walmart? What if they sucked?
You'd be in a pretty awkward position. What do you do then? Luckily, their knives don't suck. But what if they did?
Oh, I'd be honest about it. I'm not gonna, they don't pay me. I'm not saying there is enough money, but they don't.
I'm not gonna, I've spent the last six years building a trust in the community and being honest and you go back, you know, in the past, I've caused some stink or cold steel about different things that I've brought up and they weren't happy with me. But,
my main goal is to entertain and have fun, but also to, there's guys out there that,
They work hard, they got 50 bucks.
They're gonna save the money, they're gonna build up 400 bucks. And I want them to buy something that's worthwhile.
It ain't worth it.
[37:19] My name and it worked my reputation. And she would sit there and just sell something so that, you know, full fuel payment money.
I'm like, yeah, so yeah, if it if it had broken, if it had messed up, I would have said something I would look for a $12 knife, took a hundred wax and snapped into it.
I mean, actually, you you really add a lot of value for them because a you love your product and you love their product and your rooting for them.
But at the same time you beat the crap out of your knives if you don't mind me saying so like your old tray table and all the different things that you have have destroyed with your knives you put them through the paces and,
It's if something is bad. It's gonna be evident in the work you do you won't be able to cover it So I mean you're a real asset to them in terms of you know that kind of transparency.
[38:10] Yeah Maybe that's why they got me I mean, there's a lot of bigger channels and prettier people that could have got.
And I think maybe they knew I was going to be honest or they knew that, yeah, I've been following Cold Steel for a long, long time.
And they knew, you know, they had to have known what I talked about that was negative in the past about the different things I've run into and the changes that I wanted to make.
And like I said, I don't want somebody going out on my review, buying a $200 knife and finding out that I lied. I was totally dishonest. I thought I wasn't here for it. I'm here to.
[38:50] Deny communities. Well and you just wouldn't last. I mean no one does when their reputation is solid because that's all you have.
[38:59] I'm sure you're allowed to discuss this, but what are some of the other knives, other companies, what's exciting to you right now in the greater knife world?
[39:10] I'm probably not allowed to discuss too much, but I've seen some stuff from some of the Chinese companies, like there's some prizes that I've been looking at. I know it sounds funny,
and just because Colt feels not doing anything with it, but I like the idea that the access lock is going everywhere. I'm a big fan of the Axis lock and I'd love to see Colt Steele do
something with the Axis lock again. I think they used to have a Recon with the Axis lock or something similar. Yeah the first Recon ones. Yeah I love that the Axis lock is everywhere. You're seeing it.
[39:47] With the Kaiser, even the Walmart, the Osart trail. I think they came out with the Axis lock.
Yeah, this must be pretty decent.
That's what I heard. Yeah. So that kind of stuff is kind of cool. I like seeing that stuff. I haven't really been, you know, kept my finger on pulse of anything super exciting or stuff.
Because Rosecraft, they're having some cool stuff, some cool designs.
And you know, I like that kind of stuff. You know, being with Polstee exclusively, you know, it kind of handcuffs me as far as what, you know, I can review and stuff.
[40:22] There's a trade off. The trade off is like getting to date the prettiest girl at the high school, but then you don't get to look at the other girls anymore. So I'm excited about this dating the prom queen for me.
Well, let me tell you about this other chick called Work Tough Dear. Oh my God, man.
[40:42] Okay, I saw that. What was it, the Amish John or something like that? Yeah, there are a lot of them. I can't, I'm trying to keep track of them.
Fellow YouTuber Scab sent me a couple to check out And there.
They're gorgeous. They're just gorgeous. And he's beaten them up in his testing. So I don't have to be gentle or worry about them. And that's nice too. But these knives, they're just big, robust,
very small batch production knives, I guess made in Taiwan, in a smallish factory by an individual and his team. And yeah, they're drool worthy. But what I like about them is that,
They're kind of, they remind me a little bit of us, of a micro brew version of Cold Steel in that they have a lot of different designs. Some of them somewhat exotic in looks, but super robust. And.
[41:42] They have that spirit of fun and exploration. Let's see what this giant reed curve looks like.
And Cold Steel is never afraid. I mean, the fact that they just came out with, with that they're coming out with a Chris with, well, I was just carrying my, uh, this week I was carrying my tie light XL Chris and my Voyager XL Chris.
I've been in the Chris frame of mind the past couple of days and, uh, the fact that they're doing, and that is not an easy blade to make or grind and edge on.
I mean, so the fact that they nailed it for big, big time production and, you I have three of them. They're all perfect and I've examined them and the fact that they're doing at large scale with swords and that's.
[42:28] That that shows a spirit of adventure and excitement and just love of the thing Because why go through all that if not? Oh, yeah, exactly. Yeah, they're not afraid. Yeah, I've seen that those W was WTG blades.
[42:44] Like you said they have that just monstrous feel look to them. What can I do with this? What can I destroy this?
And not just exotic looking, but as far as just usable too. That's kind of what I like a lot about Cold Steel.
Yes. Yes. It's like that crisp Voyager.
[43:07] It's bizarre looking and you know it's gonna slice something, but then I used it to cut up some meat and it was perfect. It just worked. It was perfect as a slicing knife. Of course it's going to mingle somebody,
that messes with you. But yeah, it just works on so many different levels.
Now what have you been carrying? What do you EDC these days? I know. Well, what have you been carrying these days?
Oh, I've been carrying this a lot. This is the, from SAWG, this little slip joint. What is that the stout, yeah the stout, they make a flipper and they make the slip joint.
I love this. It's been perfect and also been carrying this job right here.
[43:54] This is an 8010 Tanto and I don't know if you knew Nathan's knives. He made up some pink liners for me if you can see that. Oh yes, yes. I've seen this on Instagram.
[44:06] So I've been carrying that. I have been carrying a black talon a lot and the serrated black talon. I love that knife. But the thing is I get in these moods and I'm getting these moods like,
oh man this guy needs a knife. What do I got? And I've probably given three or four of those away this year just out of my pocket so I haven't had one I got gave me another one but yeah I look if I have a black talent I'll probably be carrying that most of them.
That's my favorite. Man I love the black talent but this week I carried one that you panned actually I remember when it came out I was like oh what does Jimmy think of this?
The Immortal? Yes. Yeah all right. I've kind of changed my mind I need to do a different review on that. Yeah, I got one last year and I'm into trying to update what my review was. I was a,
little bit harsh on it. Some of the things still stood, but yeah, I like that. I remember what really stuck in your craw were the ergonomics, the grooves that they didn't, weren't aligning
with your fingers. And I was like, Oh, that, that makes sense. I think I have smaller hands, you know, and it fits, it fits me perfectly in the hammer. And, and so just this week it was one that I dusted off and just because I haven't carried it in a long time. I was like, man,
this is so cool. It's like a dagger meets a tanto meets a, um, a Gladius, you know, such a cool knife.
[45:29] But I've made me think of you. I'm like, why? And then I remember. Yeah. I wasn't talking with the hammer grip as much as I was just trying with a regular grip and the way my hand was reaching was turning my finger sideways.
And if I remember right, the grooves on that immortal are straight up and down. But yeah, I know I got one last year and I meant to update it and I think I just forgot you. Yeah, I really liked that.
I've changed my mind a lot, especially on the cutting edge. And it's just usable too. It's just really easy. Yeah. Yeah.
[46:07] I'm glad I got that. That's discontinued. There's there's what there's that big leaf shape bladed one. The Colossus.
The Colossus that that was discontinued and I I'm a fool.
I know like so many times I was like, I should get that today.
And, uh, you know, They showed up on, what was it, Woot? I don't know if you know about Woot.com, they had a night on there.
There was like crazy deals on different stuff. But one month, Woot had the Colossus on there and they were like 89 bucks. I think I bought four of them.
[46:43] Ended up giving them away. I just wish I, I think I have one left. I just wish I'd kept three or so.
Josh, you're a very generous guy. I mean, you talked about giving those, giving the black talent away and that, those way you gave me this just because I said I didn't have one.
And you had the PIF program for a long time, which I know, man, that touched a lot of people and it got huge and probably exhausting and cumbersome.
[47:16] But tell everyone a little bit about the PIF, your PIF program.
Until early summer this year, I kind of put it on hiatus.
I still ended up giving up a lot of stuff since then, just not officially under the pit.
But it started February 2017 with a really, really good friend. Now I did trade with him and he sent me a bunch of extra goodies with this knife that we traded for.
It wasn't anything huge. It was just stickers and little coins. I just remember having a really crappy day at that point.
And it just felt so good that this guy sent me all this extra stuff. It was just weird. I was like, man, I need to pay it forward. I need to pay this feeling forward to somebody.
And so I got with him and got with the channel. and then it just started from there. It started I think that first year with, I think we averaged
about five or six hundred boxes a year for five years. So it's like between 2,500 and 3,000 boxes I've sent out. And it was just all the charity of the people, of people sending in the money.
I mean, that's, you know, three grand and...
[48:36] $30,000 in shipping. If you think about $3,000 boxes, that's $25,000, $30,000 of shipping. And most of this came from people just giving in to Patreon or sending me cash or sending me money.
And then of course everybody was donating stuff and 550 cord and knives and first aid kits and different things. So yeah, it was pretty awesome. It may or may not be coming back this year. So I I got to talk to people.
[49:07] So was it going out to people in need or just, just enthusiasts? Just what I would do is I say, Hey, we're having a PIF sign up.
And what would happen is the course at the beginning, I was able to just give out to people that signed up so they didn't have that many subs.
And if my channel got bigger, I kinda had to do a raffle during the year for sign up because so many people would sign up. And then for Christmas, we call it Epiphany, everybody that signed up got a box.
And so that sometimes was, I think one year was 400 people that we sent out 400 boxes, 300 years. It was always in that range. So.
[49:52] Yeah, it was fun. It was fun and I got a lot of people like, you know, having the worst day of my life. My sink broke, you know, it was flooding or my car broke down and you know this box is in my mailbox and that's what it was all about.
That's pretty awesome. I think, well I think that's very generous and I've met a lot of people in this knife community who have the same spirit. You know there's a lot of generosity going around and it's cool to hear how you translated the feeling someone gave you and,
broadcast it you know to a bunch of others over five years. I forgot to ask when we were talking about your chopper before do you have it around to show?
This is a visual medium after all. I brought it out. All right all right let's go wide. Look first of all I'm looking at a beautiful leather sheath and Cold Steel needs to do more of this.
Yeah I think so. I think on some of their higher stuff some leathers you know. Yeah, like the leather sheet and just a kind of a classic chopper look.
[51:04] And go. You see, right here is the Jimmy slash signature on there. Yes!
And then on the other side is the...
[51:14] Cold Steel and the CPM3V. I think it was Taiwan. And oh my god, this is that is okay. That's beautiful. I love the very, very, very, very subtle.
There's like a slight curve to it, right? It's not. Yeah. No. Yeah. I had to put, well, they couldn't make it as exaggerated as I need it to be, but they had to, I wanted it to exaggerate a little bit. So yeah, it's got a curve on it.
[51:41] You know, for the average guy, you know, they say you five, 10. Yeah.
Yeah. That's a good enough curve for you. So, Oh, I was referring to the cutting edge. Cutting edge isn't exactly straight either, is it? It's slightly curved. Yeah.
It's a little bit. Yeah. So what, what HRC do they run the three V?
[52:02] No, I want to say it's 59, but I have to really verify that. I think it's 59 on this.
[52:09] That is beautiful. I love the, I don't know if it's called a fuller on this kind of nut, or not the fuller, but the swedge on top. Yeah, that swedge, yeah.
So I assume that's cut out to aid in balance, right? You're not...
Yeah, I think it's your balance. It's not necessarily a weight thing as much as it is, like you don't want to take too much weight away from it. In fact, I have an earlier version of of the chopper here.
And this one is a little bit lighter than this one is. So this one is actually, I think it was 24 ounces, the 23 and a half, something like that.
[52:49] So, and then the newer one is 26.7 or something like that. Nice. So this gave it a little more weight. God, those are beautiful 10 inch blades, you said?
Yeah, 10 inch blades, 15 overall.
Oh, man. I think I think I have my eye on my first competition chopper.
Oh, yeah. It's really I mean, my like just with like everything else. I didn't just want something that was thrown out there and I didn't want something to just have my name on it.
That's not what I wanted. I didn't want to just go like, oh, yeah, this Jimmy slash the steak knives or something. I want something that people are going to be happy that they bought. Otherwise, it's just going to be a meaningless thing.
Well, not only that, but people can buy it knowing that whether or not they use it in competition that it's passed your muster and it's been designed by you in collaboration with Cold Steel.
So it's not a set of steak knives. It's a real...
It's something that you basically, in a sense, built for yourself so that everyone else can experience what you would you find ideal in a knife like that.
Yeah, that was the whole purpose behind this was...
[54:07] It's like, and obviously it's not going to be super cheap. I think they're going to try to get in the like 450 range, something like that. But you know, if you get a custom chopper, it's going to cost you between 800 and 1,200 dollars. And I really wanted people to be able to experience play sports,
if they wanted to. To have something out there that was fairly affordable compared to what's out that. Now what I'm you know and this might just be a gateway drug for some
people into getting their own custom chopper. It might be like oh yeah I love this one but you know something that helped help fit my hand better would be
better or something that you know chopped a little bit different angle would be better and that's great but you know it's first for the average person just to get into it I'd love for this to be it and also like you said it's such a usable knife on every other different level too as far as something you can take out and not worry about.
Yeah take out back and chop wood for the family, campfire.
[55:10] Yeah you know or there's also another kind of buyer the knucklehead who can't stop who likes collecting knives designed by his buddies.
[55:19] Like that is something I don't have a competition chopper and have no need for one but would love to have one or that one in particular. So yeah, I think that I think there will be an audience and,
and you know people bark at the price. It is a giant slab of 3v and 3v is not only you know a,
high end and great steel but it takes a lot to work it because it is a hard steel. So and go through a lot of time and expendable materials to work at. So all that stuff adds up.
Certainly, yeah. Yeah, a pound, basically a pound and a half or three v's, you know.
So I don't know if there's a cold steel knife that weighs that much in three v's. It's pretty awesome. Well, there is now. Josh, what do you see on the horizon for the Jimmy Slash channel,
and for your knife designs and what would you like to see happen over time?
I think this year, I know it sounds weird, but I haven't really, I've been outside doing stuff. I really want to do a lot of outdoor stuff. I've got some different trips planned, some hunting
stuff to do, some outdoorsy stuff that I haven't really gotten into so far on my channel. I'm I'm going to do that this year.
[56:43] And as far as design and stuff, just kind of what the public clamors for. I'm trying to push them into, I don't know how much is going to happen, but a lot of people want like a XL.
[56:55] Black talent, stuff like that. I'm trying to talk to people about, you know, getting stuff like that.
XL black talent, I would like to see like a 3v4 max. You know, stuff that people have asked for, stuff that people are looking for. Or bring like bring back the recon. I'd love to bring back the,
The recon XL. Oh, if they did that, they would have a million buyers immediately.
Yeah. That you're right. Yeah. I think it's five out of me for sure. Yeah, exactly. Maybe not a million, but they would sell several between the two of us. Yeah.
Yeah, I like that.
[57:32] I I like that you're thinking of bringing for your channel, bringing us along on some of your adventures. I have found that I love those kind of videos.
[57:43] With other channels, you're one of my trusted voices, people I go to time and time again to hear about certain kinds of knives.
And I love it when it's changed up every once in a while, we get a chance to see a different aspect of someone's life or someone's knife usage.
So yeah, take us camping, we'll come with you. Oh yeah, well yeah, it's gonna be an interesting, I haven't been camping in so long, so it'll be a learning experience for me and hopefully enjoyable for the viewers.
[58:11] I'm excited about doing that. Well, we know what you'll use to make your kinlin. Oh, yeah. It's the Jimmislash Chopper. Congratulations on that.
And thanks so much for coming on the show, Josh. It's always a pleasure catching up with you, sir.
Oh, thank you for having me. It was a blast. All right, take care.
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.
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Dull for an answer. Get yours at theknifejunkie.com slash Dull and shop for all of your Knife Junkies merchandise at theknifejunkie.com slash shop. There he goes, ladies and gentlemen, Josh Belay,
Jimmislash, one of my favorite people in YouTube knifedom.
And so exciting to hear his collaboration with Cold Steel. They don't do a lot of collaborating. So it's, you know, every once in a while.
[59:14] So it's really cool to see that.
[59:17] I can't think of anyone better suited for such a thing. So great to talk with Josh. Be sure to join us next week for another great conversation.
And of course, Wednesday for the midweek supplemental. And who could forget Thursday night, 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time right here on YouTube for Thursday Night Knives.
You can also catch it on Facebook and Twitch and uh,
And we'll see you here then. 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.
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