Blogger burnout is a real thing. I have been scribbling reviews and sharing my thoughts with you all for quite a few years now. It seems it all started off as a way for me to talk about my love for Spydercos and evolved into a great community over the years, and for that, I will always be thankful.
The thing is, as I scribble this in sunny Portugal, it has struck me how little I need to survive & be happy. Everywhere I look in the blade aficionado world we seem to have forgotten about performance. Everything is gaudy titanium bullshit with $500+ Spydies. Frankly, I don’t know what demographic they are trying to appeal to, but it’s certainly not me.
Lots of “bloggers”(I use the term loosely, as very few of them are real people, but rather marketing firms) in this world; plenty of folks who get free knives, snap a couple of pics and then sell them a week later just to make money (something I have never done by the way).
I am not burned out on the community or my love of performance tools, but rather the industry as a whole has become out of touch with reality and ultimately, I don’t want to be part of it.
I took a gander at my top EDC knife article last month, then I browsed the current crop of models from industry standards like Spyderco, Benchmade and Kershaw & I realise that my list honestly wouldn’t change much because the target demographic is all about weird shapes, carbon fiber and slabs of titanium.
The girl remarked to me last week that in today’s world, Benchmade is actually good value. Can you believe that? 10 years ago I scorned Benchmade for being overpriced, but now even Chris Reeve folders have gone from being luxury items to mid-range options in light of the shit that is being cranked out, both from traditional U.S. mfg, and the never ending onslaught of ti-framelocks from “Chinese boutique brands”.
What a clusterfuck this industry really has become. The last Spyderco I bought was the Matriarch II (I will review that vicious tyke…eventually), but once again – it’s an old model.
I look at new examples of shiny tools and all I see is jewellery – not hard use gear. There is nothing wrong with spending your hard earned money on shiny man bling, but it’s just not me, and frankly, I don’t want to pretend – hence my lack of updates.
I still have a bunch of steel in the closet that I have used extensively, but yet to review. Fallkniven F1 (sexy sexy knife), Tops Lite Trekker (great blade) amongst many classic models that have fallen out of fashion. I will get round to reviewing those, but insofar as looking at newer models, frankly, I just can’t bring myself to bullshit through a 2000 word review about a 3.5″ ti-framelock knife in a super steel knowing full well that those that would actually take advantage of that performance would never actually buy that knife for that purpose, but rather stick to a tried and tested Delica or Griptilian.
Anyway, as 2019 comes knocking, I felt I needed to write this post- hopefully you understand my perspective and if you are curious about x new model – be assured that statistically, technology has increased to the point that bad heat treat and lock up is a thing of the past, and that yes, it will work fine, and yep, it’s most likely overpriced.
My 2 cents as always.
What future does MTJS have in 2019?
I was musing with what to do about MTJS. Obviously, I haven’t been consistent with posting and I have fallen out of love with the industry’s obsession with buzzwords and stupid materials, but nonetheless, I do think a truly independent blog still needs to exist and as such I will scribble sporadically about knives (don’t expect any “new” models, but rather classics and more quirky options) and about my perspective as usual on the topics you are used to.
I have never reviewed a knife I didn’t own and use, and since I paid for 99% of the knives myself, and no longer accept “free”models for review (I did for a couple of knives in the past – for Case, L.T. Wright, and Helle in specific). I can’t in good conscience delay this reality check and keep promising reviews that just won’t come. I think if I were to go full tilt commercial, I would lose what’s left of my sanity and any pride I have in this blog and the content I have written (which to this day, I stand by 100%).
Let me know if there are any topics you want me to discuss, any questions you want answered and I will take a look at ’em. As always, I answer all comments that I can on principle, so chime in with your thoughts.
Permit me to address a sheath for fixed blade knives. I am addressing only one company’s products. Spec-Ops. I will posit a situation. If you don’t accept the situation, that is ok, come up with your own.
I have a number of fixed blade knives. Some of the factory sheaths are so bad that if I found someone who would come to the house with a six pack of diet soda, I would give them away.
So, I want a sheath that had the ability to hold a number of different fixed blade designs – and i don’t mean weird designs – a little thicker, a little shorter.
I wanted to use a sheath model that would handle many different knives (I do not mean that you simply could use the same model without modifying the insert as described below). So, I would not have to consciously think “oh this sheath is different” when I would go to remove or insert a knife.
I want the sheath to be able to be carried in different places on my person or equipment. I don’t want to be saddled with a strong side, must carry on the belt, sheath.
SpecOPs makes two different length sheaths. The sheath has a plastic insert so that the sheath material is not cut by the knife blade. The plastic insert is securely fastened and if the fastener is released, the insert can be taken out.
My mentor had a standard Glock knife. I sent him a Spec-Ops sheath. He put it aside for two-three years. Finally, he complained that he didn’t use it because the knife rattled. He had never watched a youtube video. I explained that you heated up the sheath in hot water, stick the Glock knife in the sheath, let it cool to form. Dry the sheath and knife. Lube the knife and you are good to go – no rattle.
Ok. Now think. You have a kydex sheath, a plastic sheath, or a cordura sheath specifically designed for your say BK2 knife or whatever. Can you use that sheath for any other knife? Does that sheath have the flexibility in positioning of the sheath that the Spec-Ops sheath may have.
Thomas Xavier says
I find the sheath discussions so interesting, my own biases lean towards discreet kydex/boltron sheaths like the one for the Spyderco Bill Moran series, I like mounting them inside the waistband discreetly and sadly that rules out most tactical sheaths that are too big and bulky. The Fallkniven F1 has a great subtle sheath, as does the WM1 but that seems to be a rarity. I’ve seen Spec-Ops style sheaths before and they look super versatile but never handled one myself. My other concern is the visual style of that sort of sheath but I guess that depends on where you live as we previously talked about.
On that note, the spec-ops insert can be bought separately right? So you could feasibly have 20 inserts but 1 sheath system. Something worth thinking about…
When someone is selecting a knife and has a model in mind, I advise the person to look up the knife model on Amazon and read only the negative reviews. That will eliminate some knives. Then go to youtube and look at videos. Skip the ones that are limited to unboxing and proclamation, “look at what I just bought”. Look for usage videos.
When I sold knives, I would tell people don’t buy the “best” steel/wicked design/expensive knife. Just tell me the following: your age, physical handicaps, right or left handed, application, budget, where you want to carry a sheath, your skill level in using any knife, your ability to sharpen and maintain a knife. Also tell me who the secondary user would be.
My son is 40. He is not trained in knife fighting. He does not camp. He doesn’t carry a knife. What knife did I give him to keep hidden in his car? Well, you ys see a fire alarm with a sign that reads: “in case of emergency, break glass.” The knife he will use is an Ontario TFI in the factory sheath. My experience and my skills are completely irrelevant. Sure, I could have given him a Fallkniven A1 or a number of other knives.
Thomas Xavier says
Thats some solid, wise advice BDC. A lot of people ignore their own requirements and go for the perceived superiority of the “operator” knife. Then again, the marketing is so extreme these days so I sorta get why they get lulled into that mindset. Just look at all the folding prybar knives being marketed towards city dwellers- its crazy!
old guy says
Burnout can impact almost anything you do after awhile but just sit back and have cold one. Knives are becoming more complex with all of the super steels. I personally do not purchase Chinese folders, although I know some are very good. I have a couple Chinese fixed blades that seem ok. My EDC is a Benchmade. I have used knives most of my life and I am in my mid 70’s. I’ve used cheap pocket knives for cleaning and skinning Cottontails to folding and fixed blade knives for big game. I have come to the conclusion that it is hard to beat a quality fixed blade knife of yesteryear from Solingen, Germany. I have an old one from Coast Cutlery given to me by my dad when I was 12 or 13 years old. It has been used to not only gut, skin and quarter deer, elk, antelope and caribou. It has also been used on these animals to split the pelvic bone by hammering the blade through the bone by pounding it with a rock. This blade has no nicks, cracks etc. It sharpens easily and other than scratches is as good as new.
Thomas Xavier says
Damn, thats one hell of a testimonial mate. Never handled a Coast Cutlery knife- I would wager that you have gotten more use out of that old knife than most reviewers get out of their whole collection.
I’m completely new to this interest/hobby (not sure what to call it). Your post is a refreshing one to come across as a reminder that there are people doing this for the love of their gear. I will completely ignore certain blogs and YouTube channels after I see one post/review in which you can see the BS rolling out of their mouths. It seems 2017/2018 were particularly bad years for it.
Rest assured your historic posts are of value – real value – to those of us coming to this new. Even more so after reading this post! Thanks for the honesty and candor. I look forward to seeing your future posts.
Thomas Xavier says
Yeah, shilling was a huge problem in 2017 and to this day is still problematic. I always declare when I get something for free and ironically, most of my negative reviews have been from freebies (check out my camillus review haha).
I notice that a lot of reviewers have turned this gear churn into a profession (get knife> “review it”> sell it> rinse and repeat). What a shame.
It feels like I lost an old friend since you’ve been gone……….
Thomas Xavier says
I will be back mate, hopefully without a whole year of quasi hiatus.
Already have recommendations about sheaths, carrying options, maintenance and modification. Given that you are (rightfully) concerned about the lifetime of your possessions, I think maintenance (and, really, proper use to begin with) is an important topic. So, how best to take care of those forever-boots or forever-backpack.
Specialization of tools, as well. Ridiculous stress tests and sawbacks and mega-jimping give people the idea that knives are these magical all-purpose tools, then get discouraged when they find that their uberknife succeeds only at doing all things mediocre-ly, at best.
I think, in the spirit of what you have noticed, that it would be best to focus on what you’re interested in. Not in a sense of a personal blog, but rather where your study, learning, and trial-and-error takes you.
And, take heart: while the shiny neon world of titanium and framelocks may be suffocating, there’s a similar market of 50-75 USD linerlocks out there, in D2 and 14C28N and the like and Chinese 440 equivalents are even less. So while there’s a layer of vanity-knives that is bizarre to the average person, there’s now a bigger variety of starter knives all around when it comes to blade shape, grip shape, and grind. And most have the good sense to keep those handles and grips black, too.
Sam L. says
I’d wondered where you’d been. As to reviews, you are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay outnumbered both by the manufacturers and the numbers of new models they put out every year. I have a bunch of knives, mostly folders, mostly under $50, and usually walk around with 3 of them on me.
Thomas Xavier says
Damn- you EDC 3 knives?! If I may ask, can you give me an example of which 3? I don’t think my pockets would survive if I tried that! And aye, so many new models- all so similar. Its disappointing.
Sam L. says
A 2- or 3-blade slip-joint folder in my pocket, a locking folder clipped to my pocket, and a locking folder in my jacket or vest (except for my K55 German folder). Then there’s the blade in my multitool. Oh, I also have my Boy Scout knife clipped to my uniform belt when I’m in uniform. It’s the oldest knife I’ve bought (new, years ago). Some of my slip-joints were my dad’s.
Julio Guerra says
I 3rd or 4th what others said above. Your reviews of the knives and tools are ‘real world’ uses, not stunts. Which is why I don’t view the YouTube ‘Lets beat the crap out of this and see if it survives’. If you can’t respect your tool, then you deserve to be left knifeless.
Old School cutlery knowledge is passing away because the users of them are aging out and no longer around. If you don’t know the differences between the old vintage tools and new products (looking at you Schrade !), then why would you pay the difference between the two ?
Thomas Xavier says
Its a shame Schrade changed so much, then again some of their new heavy duty blades look damn solid. I do dislike the lil slipjoint classic patterns being made in China though. Just rubs me the wrong way.
Your frustrations with the current state of the knife industry are justified, but I think you may not fully realize that one of the main reasons people like myself read your blog is because it is so well written. I find myself reading reviews on this site for products I have not interest in just because it is fun to read outdoor themed articles that written by someone who is actually an effective communicator.
Your non review type articles like this one and “Extreme Weather Conditions” are some of your best. Your burnout is certainly understandable, but if writing more lifestyle and/or political themed articles is the result that is totally cool too.
As someone who has written a lot of soulless blogs for marketing departments I can say with total confidence that More Than Just Surviving is quite possibly the best outdoor/survival blogs online and a much needed respite from the proliferation of regurgitated promotional speak that plagues the majority of review sites out there.
Thomas Xavier says
Much appreciated Ben, I have definitely given much thought to how I should continue to contribute on MTJS. I love this blog & the community so I need to find a way of marching on without losing my mind. ;) Don’t worry, I am not going anywhere & I am thankful that readers like you appreciate my scribbles.
Perusing these comments, your other blogs and their comments, one way to go could be to include contributors other than yourself. This could include other like-minded knife and tool users as well as interview users in your new locale. I am sure there would be, or maybe not – which would be interesting in itself, a unique Portuguese perspective to certain knives and tools they use. The stories that can be told. I’d certainly be interested in that.
Thomas Xavier says
Sorry for taking so long to respond Sindy- MTJS has never had any guest blogging, we have non stop offers every other day but the reality is that its frequently spammy or an excuse to generate backlinks to undesirable websites. I don’t want to take the risk frankly. I like that I can stand behind everything on MTJS without fear of misrepresentation. I won’t let MTJS die though, I promise. ;)
Old outdoors guy seemed to hit my nail almost square on the head. I am interested in similar ideas as I don’t tend to purchase new knives on a regular basis. As a knife USER, I tend to require good maintenance practices and tools. Technique is quite often an issue. I realize that all of this is covered on various sites and youtube channels…a glut, of sorts…but I generally refer to only a few locations like MTJS to get clear-headed and similarly minded thoughts on blades. I’ve always enjoyed reading your ideas and have taken some of your ideas/recommendations to heart. I’m not a fan of faddy, overpriced anything but prefer simple, well made items that I can use or abuse without guilt. Leave the knife shrines to the braggarts. Thanks for all the banter.
Thomas Xavier says
Got it, i’ll focus on the practical stuff and see where it goes. Thanks for dropping by mate, much appreciated.
Hey Thomas, you have an enjoyable writing style no matter what the topic so I’d hate to see you give up. Maybe you could expand the blog into more than just a survival oriented site and write on whatever lifestyle topics you want. You’ve traveled quite a bit, I’m sure you have lots to write about the different countries you’ve lived in, I get the occasional hint you are a food and wine connoisseur, you could write about that, maybe a few articles on fitness routines etc.
Anyway try to keep at it even if the blog becomes more of a lifestyle blog…I’m sure you would do a better job than Gwyneth Paltrow..lol…
Thomas Xavier says
Thanks Mark, I really appreciate the support & don’t worry, I shan’t quit scribbling. I just won’t partake in the never ending pursuit of shiny overpriced EDC blades. I don’t think I would turn it into a lifestyle blog ;) but I may inject more personal stuff here and there. We shall see! Thanks again!
Whatever you write about is always intriguing and leads me down rabbit holes. Except this article. Not really needed as an explanation, but there we have it, and that’s that. It’s your blog.
Things I’d like to read: perhaps more than just knives. I just got myself a dual-sport bike, methinks that’d be pretty big dud were I in a situation to survive, but it’s also great for me because I live in rural Canada where we have lots of dirt roads and I have a large farm. Axes are pretty rad. I dislike the way you seem to buy single use disposable items for your preparedness kit on two fronts: 1, if I’m surviving I want something I can use again and again without it going bad or breaking or becoming insufficient, and 2, you’re promoting this behavior to your many reads, but none-the-less, I am still inspired to think about preparedness stocks when I read these articles. I recently went to Thailand and one of my prep things was a SteriPen. Sad day it was when I realized I had left the zipper on my bag with that in it open… Your article on that pack a while ago, awesome – I just got a SOG Ninja tactical pack that makes me excited just thinking about it.
Whatever you do, make sure you share it with us here so we know how to keep following.
Thomas Xavier says
Aye, I hesitated before hitting publish as I try to avoid turning MTJS into a personal platform but rather a place of knowledge, that said, after over a month of not posting I felt a smidgen guilty and wanted people to understand my position on why I just can’t keep reviewing the latest models for x, y and z.
As for the disposable items, I have long term sustainable supplies that are overbuilt and resilient & temporary, lightweight options for my BoB.
The issue with the reusable gear is that its frequently much larger and heavier which doesn’t work (for us, personally) for our temporary go bags. So, as with everything in life, it’s a compromise.
That said, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the stuff I buy these days and if I could repair it myself- it’s a consideration that really impacts my choices- especially with things like footwear that ends up getting used heavily. Comparing a pair of boots that have stitched/welted soles vs glued is something that I think should drastically impact how we view our purchasing decision and if the ability to keep an item “functional” is worth the initial financial tradeoff.
Will definitely keep posting Ned, thanks for the support.
Bob Ocean says
Hi, all good Common Sense replies. Thanks.
It seems I’m not the only one suffering Burn out. Just over stimulation creating a Low Hum stress, I guess.
I’m not surprised you both have sat back to evaluate you priorities Thomas and Elise, after all the moving around in last couple of years.
After all, relocating is one of the Top Ten stress inducers.
Keep up the good work.
Thomas Xavier says
Thanks Bob, much appreciated. We will keep scribbling but with a more relaxed outlook on what we write about.
I won’t even try to say that I know…it’s different for everone. My first knife…so young I can’t remember how young I was…a Schrade medium stockman with high carbon steel blades, like magic, they would automatically tarnish. Since then I’ve bought any knife I wanted, when I wanted it. I’ve always been very lucky and managed to buy, sell or trade well enough that my few, deepest obsessions have allways been self supporting. I met Norm Bardsley, when he was just starting out, and he opened the door to me that making knives was so much more than just bending alloys and commerce. Mr. Randall and Mr. Loveless and Mr. Mar. All propped that portal wider and wider still. Still, I’ve done business with some of the most obscure companies you’ve probably (n)ever heard of (Select Line Sales, out of HI.). I’ve led a very active and varied life, not exactly the one I started out to live, but looking back, it’s always been the one I that “needed” to live and it’s always gotten me where I needed to be. I’m not done yet. I haven’t lived through all that I’ve lived through, just to get HERE. And, how the heck did I get HERE, anyway. I’ve always had what I considered to be the best knives either on my person or close at hand. Still do. Saying that, I once, voluntarily, went eight years with no knives in my life at all, but that’s a different story for another time. Except at the very beginning, I don’t think it’s ever really been about the makers or models. For me, it’s that knives have been such a big part of my life, that now, I find it’s kind of turned around and it’s really all about the people. I think it always has been, but lately I seem to be so much more aware of it. I keep a very short civil list. The knives I buy, sell and trade are just markers I use as my own private way of keeping score in a game with only one player. When I get feeling …stuck…for want of a better term, I start a list, to keep myself honest, and go out of my way to do ONE thing differently, every day for thirty consecutive days. At the end of that time I HAVE changed. There is no way to avoid it. Like everything else worthwhile in my life, I’ve never found what I wanted by looking for it. -30-
Thomas Xavier says
Well said mate, I also try to buy what I like on a whim, but admittedly, I do/did feel a certain responsibility to scribble about newer models due to the blog, it genuinely put me off writing so now I am walking away from that nonsense. Just review and write about what I want.
I know how you feel and i guess i could be at least partially responsible by participating in these new trends with some of my purchases. I jumped on the spyderco sprint train over the last few months, new steels released for the pm2 every other week, etc. And it really has become a point of diminishing returns. The rare models and exclusives have increased in value, at least for the time being. But I’m starting to get a bit of burnout too. Seems the newest color scale and slightly better steel at an inflated price is not true innovation but just a way to sell me a knife i already own. Only bought one knife over 200 bucks, a zt 0560 and that was a discontinued model and a blem to boot so it was cheap for that model. Can’t see paying more than 200 in 99.9% of knives so never really seen the appeal in exotic materials, 500 dollar chris reeves, hinderers and the like. Plenty of great stuff out there for anywhere between 20-200 dollars, so I definitely see your point. The trend toward 500 dollar plus, overbuilt pocket jewelry is worrisome for the direction of the industry as a whole.
Thomas Xavier says
Aye, I have so many sprint run Spydies its just crazy. I fell in love with my Super Blue Stretch and now I just don’t care much for anything superficially better. Damn good catch on that zt 0560.
Ditto on the burnout for EDC, folders, fixed blades, and survival knives in general. Every article you see anymore leads with best this, fantastic that, only 10 you need to survive, ultimate BOB until I don’t even bother to read them anymore. Plus prices have gotten ridiculous. It’s like Leatherman multi tools, just how many more models will they produce? For whom?
I love Spyderco knives although I don’t own one yet. Just reading and seeing the knives makes me want one but than I think, why? I have knives on hand I probably will never use unless areal SHTF situation occurs which more and more doesn’t appear to be in the cards the older I get. Basically, I just use my Victornox pocket knife daily.
My prepping interest has dismissed lately as I have about all I can afford just in case and now just concentrate on building extra long term food supplies, maybe a #10 can each month. Thanks for your articles and thoughts. Take a break it’s okay! Happy New Year!
Thomas Xavier says
For whom indeed mate, I can’t imagine keeping up with all the latest models that are only superficially different from the same stuff last year. It’s become completely overwhelming and the prices are borderline perverse. Happy New Year too mate, see you in January. ;)
Old OutdoorsGuy says
Any edged tool, be it a well built knife, a German or Swiss wood chisel, a Japanese made pruning saw, Swedish steel, plain Jane camp knife, or any other knife built to a specific need, is a tool worth taking care of and maintaining for the long haul and extended usage. So, if you don’t feel that the commercial made knives of today’s preferences are worthy of mention, as I have felt for many years now, why not move your focus over a notch and cover things like maintaining the edge on the various grinds of knife blades?
Each grind or “shape” of a knife blade requires different techniques of manufacture [particularly if they are hand forged], and they also require something more than a rub now and then on Grandpa’s old oil stone which he used on his scythe and sickle prior to chopping weeds around the homestead. It is a wise man who spends a little bit of extra cash on a set of good sharpening stones or, if your interests lie in some of the sharpening “kits” or “machines” which have been available for years now, and he learns how to use them to his advantage to hone a blade to cut the way an outdoorsman WANTS his edged tools to cut. It isn’t difficult but it does require a bit of accuracy, constant repetitive actions, and patience when starting out with a new or abused used blade to get them in proper working order.
Many if not most knife sheaths, which accompany newly made folders and fixed blades, leave much to be desired in quality of materials, in the manner in which they are adapted for a particular use, or built to accommodate other associated tools such as ferro rods or small ceramic stones carried in the same sheath build. If you carry such tools as my Schrade SCHF37 fixed blade which I wear frequently when going on a day trek on many of the local trails and always when I head out for a weekend camping in the woods, you will know that the Cordura sheath is a bit different than normal factory sheaths. But I want to build a sheath which does more with the space it occupies on the hip and I want a heavy leather sheath which will last more than a year or two if I accidentally slip one of my super sharp knives back into the sheath. I have already had to make a replacement sheath for a circa 1960’s Puma Skinner because I had the blade so scary sharp that I accidentally put a 3/4″ slice through the opening of the sheath simply by being sloppy when sheathing my knife on a camping trip. Over the years, the point of this same knife had sliced through the front of the bottom from sheathing the knife while it was tied down to my leg. And the twisted leather “safety” loop which slips through a heavy brass grommet in the knife’s antler handle had finally given up its role from simply wearing out over the past 50+ years.
I own a half dozen Morakniv fixed blades, most of which cost less than $50, and the very first thing I did was throw the cheap kydex type sheath away. I do leather work as a hobby anyway so I built a decent leather sheath for each of those knives simply because they will be better used for camping or trekking and I can make them in any shape or cant that I desire for that knife to ride properly on my hip or low back area.
These are simply some ideas that a man like you, who has a passion for knives, could expand on and develop some really useful information to help those who have a need for that type of work. And don’t overlook the folders either, I have built sheaths for vertical and horizontal carry, canted carry, and no belt carry at all but to simply protect the folder in a tackle box or back pack. I own 3 Buck #110 folders from an early 50’s Buck to a couple of newer folders and each is housed in its own sheath built for a specific carry job. I also have a commemorative Kershaw Rosewood scaled folder which is housed in a dark mahogany sheath which is so well matched that I hesitate to carry it for any purpose.
Good luck with whatever path you decide to travel with your site. I am glad to hear that you are still active and are willing to make some adjustments to keep guys like me interested in new ideas which you find here and there.
Thomas Xavier says
Yeah, I have a few articles planned on maintenance and modification. Its definitely a useful direction. Especially with the sheath angle. Thanks for dropping by mate!
Reader burnout is real too, my friend. This is one of the very few blogs or forums that I still read when there’s anything new. I too have gotten tired of all of the ridiculous reviews and fighting over which knives are superior to others and which ones you absolutely must have in a real survival scenario by people who probably never been in one of their lives. Like you, I have my favorite knives and other equipment that I have tested and used time it again camping and around the house, and feel very little need or desire to keep adding to it with newer models many of which I can’t reasonably afford or justify the price of, since replaceability is an important factor to me as well as performance (you just never know when something could get stolen, lost, burned up in a house fire, or even wear out). Even the great Ray Mears, who sells a couple of really expensive knife designs that I’ll never get close to owning, issues his students Mora knives and tells them that they don’t need to worry about buying those expensive knives he sells because a knife is really just a tool when it comes down to it. It seems that the blade world, has become more of a blade fetish, rather than genuinely looking for what is practical and what works well. People on the various forums start calling each other idiots because of their personal preferences, and everyone seems like they have to chime in on the perceived flaws with any design of knife that’s put up there. I’ve shared before with people that the only two knives I’ve ever seen my father use were his Buck 110 folding knife, and his buck 119 straight blade. He’s used the same two knives since the 1970s, and has only replaced the 110 one time in that period. The 119 is still in excellent condition. My father goes fishing all the time, and used to go camping all the time as well but has slowed down some since he’s reached his 70s (he isn’t as fond of sleeping on the ground as he used to be, and he doesn’t like carting his medicine into the woods). He’s also used the same hatchet (Craftsman), for about thirty years. So, aside from the odd knife review that you still feel compelled to do, I sure hope that you and your wife keep up the prepper side of the blog alive when you think of things that are helpful, or discover new gear that could be of use for us. Perhaps shoot for a quarterly update unless something comes up earlier. In any case, I want to say how much I have enjoyed the two of you and your contributions. I haven’t chimed in on everything, but I always read them and value your posts.
Old OutdoorsGuy says
@Danjo – Hey, age has nothing to do with a man’s love for the outdoors!! I will be 76 in a couple weeks and I still have more fun hiking around the woods and camping on weekends and whenever else the urge hits me to sit at a campfire on a clear night and watch the stars. What MAKES a man slow down is the wear and tear which he places on that most fragile ingredient of enjoying the outdoors for all men and boys, the frail human body in which he is imprisoned!! I still kayak and I still do a bit of fishing but I now pull my kayak from garage to the banks of the bay on a wheeled portage dolly and I confine my paddling to a half day instead of a full day’s adventure into some backwater bayou or stream. I have my lab to keep me company for hiking and camping trips and I have come to realize that getting up slower in the early morning isn’t gonna make that much difference in getting the fire built back up as it will in making the day less painful and a tad bit more enjoyable.
You are probably too young to remember Robert Redford in the “Electric Cowboy”, but he was a has been rodeo cowboy who was doing cereal ads on a great stallion to keep busy. Long story short, he steals the stallion to return him to his herd of wild horses out in the desert. After sleeping on the desert floor with a news reporter covering his personal story, [Jane Fonda], she asks Redford if he is injured as he slowly gets up on hands and knees before standing up. He replies, “Lady, when you get to be my age and have done what I have done, there are certain parts of your body which just don’t straighten out all at the same time!”.
I’ll never forget that line …..
Thomas Xavier says
Yep, exactly. My “go to” hard use knife is the Fallkniven F1 and its positively ancient by todays standard. Lam. VG-10 and all beat up. I wager it can handle more or less anything the world could throw at it but these days its an “average” steel. Crazy.
edit: Wanted to say I have always appreciated your support Danjo, we will definitely keep posting- just without any illusions that we are particularly relevant to the current flavours of the month (at least insofar as steel is concerned).
Reader burnout is real too, my friend. This is one of the very few blogs or forums that I still read when there’s anything new. I too have gotten tired of all of the ridiculous reviews and fighting over which knives are superior to others and which ones you absolutely must have in a real survival scenario by people who probably never been in one of their lives. Like you, I have my favorite knives and other equipment that I have tested and used time it again camping and around the house, and feel very little need or desire they keep adding to it with newer models however many of which I can’t reasonably afford or justify the price, since replaceability is an important factor to me as well as performance (you just never know when something could get stolen, lost, burned up in a house fire, or even wear out). Even the great Ray Mears, who sells a couple of really expensive knife designs that I’ll never get close to owning, issues his students Mora knives and tells them that they don’t need to worry about buying those expensive knives he sells because a knife is really just a tool when it comes down to it. It seems that the blade world, has become more of a blade fetish, rather than genuinely looking for what is practical and what works well. People on the various forms start calling each other idiots because of their personal preferences, and everyone seems like they have to chime in the perceived flaws with any design of knife that’s put up there. I’ve shared before with people that the only two knives I’ve ever seen my father use where is Buck 110 folding knife, and his buck 119 straight blade. He’s the same two knives since the 1970s, and is only replace the 110 one time in that. The 119 is still in very excellent condition. My father goes fishing all the time, and used to go camping all the time as well how about that is slowed down some since he’s reached his 70s (he isn’t as fond of sleeping on the ground as he used to be, and he doesn’t like carting his medicine into the woods). He’s also used the same hatchet (Craftsman), for about thirty years. So, aside from the odd knife review that you still feel compelled to do, I sure hope that you and your wife keep up the prepper side of the blog alive when you think of things that are helpful, or discover new gear that could be of use for us. Perhaps shoot for a quarterly update unless something comes up earlier. In any case, I want to say how much I have enjoyed the two of you and your contributions. I haven’t chimed in on everything, but I always read them and value your posts.
Well said and fully supported Thomas.
I’ll always be a follower as I truly value your opinion.
Any MTJS content is worth the wait and always quality over quantity.
Go work on your tan, listen to Jimmy Buffet, get drunk and chase Elise around the house
We’re here and have your back.
Thomas Xavier says
Haha, its definitely been a pretty boozy past few days! Thanks for the support Gus.
I’ve found your post to be very informative, and not just about knives. The last knife I bought was about a year or so ago, not counting the Milwaukee Utility set of folders I recently bought, it was a Kershaw- Emerson, replacing my lost Emerson CQC7 Mini. Cost being the decision maker, as I have a family to take care of. Recently I started carrying that small Milwaukee folding utility knife on weekends, I’m not so interested in the most exotic materials, more in how an average person that uses knives as tools might find a different/better tool to do what needs to be done.
I probably own over two dozen plus knives, some going back to the early ’60s, of both fixed and folding variety, but I carry the same two when I’m working five days a week in a suit, and then have two different when I’m in jeans on the weekend or after work. The weekenders change depending on what I’m involved in. But I’m finding I’m using that utility knife a lot – yeah I bought the set, large and small model, for less than $20.00 at a big box store.
The two pairs most carried are the Mini Grip & Micra Leatherman and the Kershaw-Emerson with a SAK. However, the Milwaukee is taking the place of the Kershaw- Emerson around the homestead and a Leatherman Wave takes the place of the SAK quite often as well, depending on what I’m working on.
This is just a long way of explaining how one of your readers uses their knives, and while certainly not a collector or frequent buyer, I appreciate your reviews and points of view.
Look forward to reading your next post.
Have a Good New Year!
Robert Fay says
I am curious what you would have to say about this (Sharp Knives) i got for $10.95 just to keep in my vehicle as a safety item to cut seat belts and/or break out a window if need be:
Tac-force Extra Large Grey 10.5″ Folding Blade Spring Assisted Open Pocket Knife
[e.g., can you break it (per the History Channel show “Forged In Fire” which you may find via https://www.google.com/search?q=HISTORY+CHANNEL+FORGED+IN+FIRE); how much abuse can it take; how cheap and useless is it; how stupid was the purchase, etc. OR, conversely, to what degree was it an intelligent purchase for a “one-time” emergency/safety use event?]
Thomas Xavier says
Thanks Joe, definitely appreciate your feedback. I usually EDC a basic Alox SAK or my Benchmade 940 these days. Nothing shiny and new but dependable as hell.
Jean Devenish says
I think you are on the right track, bright color’s and weird materials knives are not my thing… In fact, I only buy handmade knives for camping and self-defense (and survival)…
Take your time and relax, then you can come back full energy.
Thomas Xavier says
Thanks Jean! Will do.
You wanted suggestions on future articles. Ok.
1. position carries, pro and con;
2. sheathing materials;
3. sources for innovative sheath designs.
Most commercial sheaths, even with traditional decent knives, are cr-p. Most people don’t give a thought to position carry, buy the knife with the right hand sheath and go oops! when they find that it interferes with the right hand pistol sheath carry.
I am old enough to remember the first computerized wind tunnels and CNC machines. All that has happened is that people waste their time doing hyper-expensive knife construction and reviews and don’t address fundamental problems.
A new spyderco endura retails for over $70. I got one in from eBay last week that cost me $21 plus three que tips soaked in alcohol and a couple of gusts of tuf-glide spray. Sharp enough that I didn’t have to do that, which would have taken less than 5 minutes. That is your audience.
Thomas Xavier says
Sheathing materials and general discussion around sheaths is an excellent recommendations and the second one on that topic today. It’s interesting isn’t it? You spend so much money on the blade but how much thought does the average consumer spend on the sheath? Definitely something I will take a look at. Thanks as always BDC. Always happy to see you drop by (Happy New Year mate).