I am addicted to podcasts. I pop them on when I’m cleaning the house, sharpening my knives, and going for walks.
With hundreds of thousands of unique podcasts, there’s no dearth of something to listen, including dozens of pods 100 percent dedicated to sewing. But what about us knife nuts?
It’s true that there are far fewer knife-related podcasts than there should be, but there are at least seven that every knife fan should be subscribed to. Let us know in the comments if we missed any.
This post was originally published in December 2016, but there have been a few new podcasts in the last few months and others that have faded away. I’m hoping these are here to stay.
Gear Geeks Live
This is one of the longest running knife-related podcasts out there. Except when it took a short hiatus, the pod has been publishing at least once a month for around four years. Gear Geeks Live is hosted by Anthony Sculimbrene of Everyday Commentary (a personal favorite). In the past few months, Sculimbrene has been joined by the great Nick Shabazz.
The guys take a thorough look at the goings on in the knife world including new releases, the news, and more. They also do interviews with folks around the knife community and interviewed knifemaker Jesse Jarosz in the past. Sculimbrene and Shabazz have a nice rapport.
Gerber has a long history dating back to 1939. The brand has evolved over the years — undergoing some ups and downs as some of the best designers and knifemakers around left the company to start their own ventures.
It’s been a rocky two decades, but Gerber seems to be on firm footing with some very well-designed models. Here is a look at Gerber’s 10 best knives currently in production.
Note: As always, these best-of lists are highly subjective. However, I do my due diligence through personal experience as well as consensus from around the internet. These lists will always skew toward the tried-and-true models, but new models will always make the jump.
Gerber LMF II Infantry
Gerber has remade itself over the past few years thanks to three very reliable (and pretty similar) fixed blades. The Gerber LMF II has an undisputed spot on this list for good reason. Gerber says the knife was originally designed to free an aircrew from a downed aircraft, and it remains an adaptable fixed blade that can be used in all types of situations.
The blade is 4.84 inches made from 420HC stainless steel. It has partial serrations and glass-filled nylon with TPV overmold handles.
This list is heavily populated with perennial favorites and the Gerber Gator is no exception. It was first introduced in the early ’90s when it was named “Most Innovative Knife of the Year” at the 1991 Blade Show. Despite being so old, the knife remains one of the best Gerber has to offer.
The knife features a 2.75-inch clip point blade with a BlackWash finish that springs open with the help of a manual flipper mechanism. The size and blade profile make the 8Cr13MoV stainless steel blade versatile and easy to carry anywhere.
Aluminum is one of the most commonly used metals. In fact, it is one of the most abundant elements on earth. So why is it that people never mention aluminum when making knife blades?
Well, despite being lightweight and durable, aluminum is extremely soft. That means a knife made from aluminum would dull quicker than you could sharpen it. But that hasn’t stopped some enterprising knifemakers from experimenting with aluminum blades.
In March, one of the most creative knifemakers in Japan made a fantastic kitchen knife out of a roll of aluminum foil.
Aside from that Japanese knifemaker, few are more skilled or creative at the videos turning everyday objects into knives than Steve Miller from Miller Knives. I’ve highlighted his videos in the past — such as the time he turned a rusty wrench into a knife or the time he made a folder out of a bullet — but he too took on the challenge of making a knife from aluminum foil.
To some people, weight is no issue in a knife. They will happily EDC a large half-pound folder made of steel because they love the design or appreciate the heft.
For others, even just a few extra ounces can feel like extra pounds when they’re carrying it around all day every day.
If you’re a weight watcher, then you’re in luck. We’ve been working on posts about knives within certain weight limits. The first post from a few months back dealt with knives that weighed under an ounce. This post focuses on the best knives weighing under 2 ounces (more specifically 1-2 ounces).
See which knives made the cut.
The Eros from CRKT is a thin folder that is easily identifiable as a Ken Onion design. CRKT calls the original the one that pioneered the “gentleman’s tactical” category. While you can find a version closer to the original, this upgraded Eros boasts better material and a lighter weight.
The blade is 3 inches of Acuto 440 steel while the handle is 6AL4V titanium with a frame lock.
Weight: 1.4 oz
Al Mar Hawk Cocobolo
Al Mar was a legend of his time. The knifemaker was a US citizen, the son of Chinese immigrants, who served in Vietnam. After the war, he earned a master’s degree in industrial design and eventually worked for Gerber. He designed some fine knives there but created his own company in 1979 with awesome designs like the Hawk, Eagle, and Osprey series.
Buck is no stranger to creating solid, inexpensive knives made in these great United States of America.
The years of history and manufacturing prowess of Buck are on display in the small but efficient Bantam BBW.
The Bantam BBW series is in that sweet spot right above the Nano Bantam and right below the Bantam BHW. This means the Bantam BBW features a 2.75-inch blade with a large thumb stud for easy opening. The drop point profile will do its job no questions asked while the size is optimal for urban or everyday carry.
This Buck uses 420HC stainless steel with the heat treat process pioneered by Paul Bos. In less capable hands, 420HC could be a subpar steel, but Buck knows how to maximize the steel for edge retention and durability.
Kershaw Knives has a long history that dates back to 1974 when Pete Kershaw left his job at Gerber to form his own company. More than 40 years later, the Oregon-based company continues to flex its muscle and show why it remains one of the best knife companies around.
The company has evolved over the years with popular and revolutionary knife models coming and going, but we wanted to take a look at the best knives currently in production at Kershaw.
Note: Best is obviously a very subjective term. While there will be some bias in which knives to include, I will try to select the knives that receive generally widespread acclaim from professional reviewers and customers. Some knives may also get some bonus points for being important to the company. New knives often need a few years to gain the stature needed to be called the best but there are always some that are obvious additions.
If you feel any knives have been slighted or want to mention a knife you feel is the best, let me know in the comments.
I’m kicking off the list with the most iconic Kershaw knife ever made: the Leek. This Ken Onion design has always been lumped in with the historically important knives (it made our own list of most iconic knives) and for good reason.
The Leek is simple, effective, and is a gold standard for EDC knives. The knife features a 3-inch modified Wharncliffe blade made from quality 142C28N steel, a stainless steel handle with a frame lock, and the SpeedSafe assisted-opening mechanism.
When people think of a Kershaw, they likely think of two knives. The first is the Leek, and the second is the Blur. Also a Ken Onion design, the Blur has been a part of Kershaw for years and acts as a sort of counterforce to the Leek.
The Pocket Kukri is massive. It has a long 4.63-inch blade made of 440 stainless steel. The kukri-inspired blade design features a recurve and swedge for optimal slicing and piercing. A fuller near the spine cuts down on the weight of the knife and doubles as a notch for two-handed opening.
You may not think this makes a good EDC knife because of its size, but the knife is surprisingly versatile. The blade can be used for light chopping or carving, and its reach makes it a fierce self-defense tool.
KA-BAR the company is celebrating its 120th anniversary on April 29th. In honor of its amazing longevity, KA-BAR dove deep into the history of the brand — from inception in the late 1800s all the way to today.
This deep dive culminated in a four-part documentary series released over the past few weeks on the KA-BAR YouTube channel.
These four videos are exceptionally well-made and track the company through the decades as it responds to major events in U.S. history. KA-BAR got some actors to play historical figures in the company that really help you visualize the company.
I wrote my own brief history of the KA-BAR brand and a closer look into what makes the company so great a few years back. But even I learned a few new things about the brand from the video. For example, I’m glad the company didn’t keep the name Tidioute Cutlery.
I would have liked this documentary better had it been released as one video (since you get a minute intro at the beginning and about four minutes of credits at the end of each video).