The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Author: Daniel Lawton (page 1 of 4)

Why Does Google Lust for Amazon and Loathe Knife Depot?

Imagine if the most powerful Internet company — one that handles 100 billion searches for information a month — prohibited everyone except for the world’s largest e-commerce store to advertise for a specific product. What would that look like? It would look like this.


Above is a screenshot for the search term “throwing knives,” one of our most popular categories at Knife Depot.

We used to to run Google AdWords for throwing knives, but in May, Google turned off all ads for the search term “throwing knives” after they designated it a weapon. Obviously, we disagreed with such a characterization, but weren’t surprised, as in March Google had prohibited all ads for “Assisted Opening Knives” and canceled our entire AdWords account because we sold completely legal spring-assisted knives.

We were eventually reinstated on AdWords, but now for the second time Google has banned our ads for specific products, while Amazon continues to advertise for those products. And it doesn’t end with throwing knives either. Who’s currently running ads for the term “assisted- opening knives?”


Yeah, you guessed, Amazon is in the house, joined by Walmart and Cabella’s. It’s a mega-brand menage-a-trois, with poor Knife Depot relegated to the sideline.

If you looked a year ago, there would have been probably close to a dozen sites advertising for this term. Now, it seems that Google has managed to successfully eliminate all advertisers except for their big-spending compadres.

Why does Google Apply Its Adwords Policy Unfairly?

That’s a fantastic question and one that your pals at Knife Depot have asked ad nauseum to AdWords support staff over the last year. Over hundreds of emails, Google has rarely countered our claims that they are favoring big brands. In fact, in one email this spring a customer service representative affirmed our point:

“I am still waiting on an answer to my reply where I asked for a universal enforcement of the policy OR we allow knife depot back online. I replied and said, I refuse to tell knife-depot they need to remove a product category that 7 other competitors are advertising & selling the same products. I then named each domain, called out the double standard, and requested that they state the clear differences that allows these competitors to serve & knife depot to be suspended. Still waiting on this reply.“

Google’s AdWords support staff is an intractable bureaucracy that makes decisions based on policy edicts that they seemingly have no power to influence or change. Clearly, one huge element of that policy is to never take down ads or suspend the accounts of big-spending AdWords partners. Continue reading

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Why Do the Internet Gods Hate Knives?

The knife, in case you’re not aware, is the world’s oldest tool.  It’s been around for close to 3 million years and is suffused in cultural and historical significance.  At Knife Depot, we’re proud to be able to offer an inventory of 10,000 knives to customers across the U.S. and abroad.  It’s a product we cherish and believe in.

Our customers use their knives everyday in a wide array of capacities.  Whether they’re hunters or fisherman, outdoorsman or collectors, their relationships with knives are built upon a love for craftsmanship, self-reliance and the outdoors.

It’s for that reason that we’ve become deeply dismayed by recent efforts by companies like Google and Facebook to label completely legal knives as weapons and to restrict their advertisement on the Internet

In March, I wrote about our battles with Google’s AdWords program, in which our entire account had been shut down due to the fact that we sold completely legal assisted-opening knives that were never prohibited in Google’s AdWords policy.

At the time, we didn’t expect to ever be able to advertise with Google again, however, we had our account re-activated in May with the caveat that none of our landing pages could have assisted-opening knives on them.

Then, just this month, our AdWords account was once again shut down without any advanced notice. We were informed that Google considered “throwing knives” to be weapons and we could not run any ads to those pages.

Wait, a throwing knife is a weapon?

The characterization of throwing knives as weapons, was of course, news to us and anyone who has ever used a throwing knife before.  Every throwing knife we sell has been designed for hitting bullseyes, not bodies.

Could you injure someone with a throwing knife?  Sure, in the same way you could injure someone with a baseball, a frying pan, a brick, a bottle, a rabid cat or a slew of other projectiles that can become weapons if paired with malicious intent.

However, a throwing knife is poorly suited for criminal activity.  These knives are generally large, making them hard to conceal; they have blunt edges and they’re damn hard to throw with fatal accuracy.  I mean, let’s be honest, are you really going to be more afraid of a guy like this trying to rob you then someone with a chainsaw they bought at Walmart?

I rest my case. But Google wasn’t swayed, so they banned us and all other advertisers from advertising bodacious, throwing blades, despite the fact that their Adwords policy doesn’t mention any prohibition of “throwing knives.”

Facebook Also Fears the Almighty Power of The Blade

So, we couldn’t run any more ads for throwing knives, but neither could any of our competitors.  And, at least, we still had Facebook, arguably the world’s most robust platform for demographically-targeted advertising, to alert our legions of knife fans to our products.

For three years, Knife Depot has pretty much crushed it on Facebook, amassing 48,000 fans and a whole lot of social media love.  Our success has come the hard way, as we have been banned from boosting posts due to Facebook’s interpretation of a knife as a “weapon.”

Since we couldn’t boost our posts, we recently started running Facebook ads  via a pretty badass company called Ad Roll.   But before we could even get cranking, we received notice from Ad Roll that our ads had slashed by Facebook’s anti-knife policy.

So I have some less than pleasant news for you.  It looks like Facebook is following suit with Google and tightening their policies. We are going to have to take down the current facebook ads and (and the news feeds ads which never got started) which is a total bummer.  I have had our ops team trying to push them through anyway, but we’ve hit a brick wall with it.  

A Knife Isn’t a Weapon; It’s a Lifesaving Tool

A knife isn’t a weapon; it’s a tool, and one that saves lives every year.  Just last week, in the tragic plane crash in San Francisco, police officers tossed utility knives to passengers so they could cut themselves out of seat belts.  On this blog alone, we’ve chronicled dozens of incidents in which knives have saved lives.

If Facebook wants to criminalize knives, why stop there?  Why not restrict advertising for golf clubs, one of which was used just last week by a man who bludgeoned a woman to death in Arizona.  How about baseball bats?  Earlier this month, a deranged man killed a homeless man with one in a sporting goods store in California.

The bottom line is that there are hundreds of products that can be used for malicious crimes if the person who owns them is hell-bent on destruction.

What Knife Depot is Doing and How You Can Help

Most of the anti-knife reaction by Internet companies unfortunately mirrors much of the anti-knife hysteria that exists out in public.  At Knife Depot, we’re proud to support organizations like Knife Rights and the American Knife and Tool Association, which lobby on behalf of knife owners.

If you want to cut away at anti-knife sentiment, consider donating to either of these two organizations.  You can also share this blog post to alert others to the anti-knife policies of companies like Facebook and Google.  Thanks for being a Knife Depot fan and rest assured we’ll never back down on our commitment to selling top-quality knives, no matter how much discrimination our product faces.

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Survival Knife Tips: A Crash Course with Survival Expert Creek Stewart

This is the second of a two-part series from survival expert Creek Stewart. In addition to doing a Q and A with Creek on survival knives, we’ll also be giving away a  BlackBird SK5 — Creeks’ survival knife of choice – to one lucky reader and two copies of Creek’s new book.  Scroll to the bottom of the article to learn how to enter.  You can learn more about Creek’s survival school in our post from yesterday.

KD: So, what’s your survival knife of choice?

CS: I carry the Blackbird SK5.  It’s made by Ontario Knife Company and designed by Paul Scheiter.

KD:  Why this knife?

CS:   The core of my courses and what I do, especially with primitive skills, revolves around using a knife.  So there’s a lot of reasons why I use this knife.  First, for my my primary survival I want something simple. I don’t want a movie prop.  I don’t want something that’s off of Alien or Predator with big spikes on the back like you might see in Mad Max.  I just want something that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. That’s what this knife has.

KD:  What characteristics do you look for in a survival knife?

CS:  For a core survival knife, it has to be a fixed blade. Whenever there’s a hinge, there’s a weak spot. I don’t care how you look at it.  Even the best made folding knives aren’t going to compete with a fixed blade knife. And full tang– it’s got to be full tang.  I’ve seen partial tang and rat tail knives break under similar conditions that I use my knife.

KD: How can someone determine if a knife is full tang

CS:  A lot of times you can see the metal sandwiched between the scales, but if you can’t, see if the scales are removable. Lots of times rat tail tangs will have a button at the bottom, where you can see where they’ve pinched the bottom of the rat tail. Worse case scenario, call or email the manufacturer.

KD:  What about the pommel?

CS:   I like a flat, solid pommel. It’s kind of like a little hammer and you can use it to pound in stakes.  I also like a flat grind so I can strike my ferro rod with my knife.  That’s important to me.

KD:  What about size?  What’s the ideal range.

CS:  My sweet spot is about a 10-inch knife with a 5-inch blade.  That’s  small enough to do detailed stuff, like feather sets or carving fishing gorges, but it’s also big enough to baton through a tree with a diameter of 24 inches if I had to.  So size definitely matters — too big is too much and too little isn’t enough.  I’ve spent thousands of hours in the field using a knife the way it’s supposed to be used and I’ve been doing it long enough where I can say that I’ve made all the mistakes. I’ve bought the big boys and I’ve tried to get away with the little knives — the little neck knives — and there’s kind of a middle ground that I think is best.

KD:  What other knives do you carry when you’re in the woods?

CS:  I always carry a back up blade.  So on my EDC kit I carry a leatherman — the MUT — and typically a  little Victorinox or a folder like a little thumb-assisted Spyderco, but I always carry a backup, because you never know.  Even though there’s nothing I could do to break or destroy this knife, I could lose it.

KD:  What about price?  How much does the Blackbird run for and how much should somebody expect to pay for a good survival knife?

CS: This knife goes for about $120, which I think is a pretty fair price for a knife that you would expect to last a lifetime and maybe even pass on one day.  That’s the way I look at knives, I don’t look at them like a disposable tool. When I buy a knife, I expect to keep it.  I’d rather spend $100 on a really good knife, then buy five $20 knives, because you never know when a cheap knife is going to break.

KD:  What are some of pitfalls of buying a cheap knife?

CS: There becomes a point when the price is a reflection on the materials.  You can only make a knife so cheap without cutting corners somewhere, maybe it’s in the metal, maybe it’s going to corrode fast.  Look, you get what you pay for.  I don’t mind spending money on two things:  food and knives.

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Perfecting the Core Four: Survival Instructor Creek Stewart Chats With Knife Depot

This is the first of a two-part series with survival expert Creek Stewart.  Tomorrow, Creek will be sharing his tips on picking out the perfect survival knife.  We’ll also be giving away a BlackBird SK5 — Creek’s primary survival knife — to one lucky reader along with two copies of his book.  Scroll to the bottom of the article to learn how to enter.

“I like to live what I preach,” said 36-year-old survival instructor Creek Stewart across a cafeteria table at the Cobb Galleria during the 2013 Blade Show. “I don’t just put survival instructor on my resume.”

A few minutes of conversation with Stewart, who founded and operates Willow Haven Outdoor survival school in Indiana, quells any doubts about his survival chops.

The former Boy Scout turned survival guru and bestselling author rarely goes anywhere without his “Get Home Bag,” a pack full of items ranging from energy bars to a Leatherman that ensures he’ll get home safely if disaster strikes.

At the Blade Show, he was wearing a BlackBird SK5 in a leather sheath on his hip and also had a Leatherman and a Spyderco knife in tow.

But what makes Stewart stand out from the pack isn’t his gear, but his survival philosophy. It’s a blended approach, which he calls “prima-modern,” that utilizes both modern tools and primal survival skills to meet the four core basic needs: shelter, water, fire and food.

A Passion for the Outdoors

An Eagle Scout at 14, Stewart grew up on a farm and developed a strong appreciation for both nature and self-reliance skills at an early age.  When he was in college, he wrote and self-published a guide on survival that he sold to the Boy Scouts.  He began teaching survival courses at 21, but without a full time facility was limited to mostly one day courses in his area.

Then about 4 years ago, he purchased Willow Haven Outdoor, a 21-acre survival school replete with a 10,000 square foot lodge.  Stewart now hosts 1-day and 3-day courses every year from May until November and said he serves a huge range of attendees, from 10-year-olds to 80-year-olds.  The approach at Willow Haven is somewhere in the middle in terms of intensity and Stewart said he’s developing a niche for instructing families.

“There’s one extreme where people come to a survival course and expect to strip down to a leather thong and only take their knife into the woods with them for seven days and starve, then there’s the classroom survival stuff — we’re perfectly in the middle,” he said.

In a typical class, students will receive hands on instruction to learn between three to five survival skills from each of the core four survival areas.

In addition to teaching, Stewart has also taken his survival skills to the literary world.  He recently published the Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide, which provides step-by-step instructions on how to perform many of the survival skills utilized by characters in the “Hunger Games.”

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Winner of “Badass Dad” Father’s Day Contest is announced

Knife Depot Father's Day Image

Our “Badass Dad” Father’s Day Giveaway wrapped up today and just a few minutes ago we randomly chose a winner from our 108 entries.  Congrats to Kerwin Dyson, who is getting hooked up with a Smith and Wesson assisted opening S.W.A.T blade for himself and a Bear Grylls multi-tool for his Dad.  Kerwin, shoot an email to Dan@knife-depot.com with your mailing address to claim your prize.

Thanks again to all the Knife Depot fans who entered the contest.  May you have a happy Father’s Day and may you NEVER LOSE YOUR EDGE!

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A Father’s Day Knife Story: Knife Depot COO Warren Sager Talks About Passing Down His First Knife to His Son

Knife Depot COO Waren Sager and his son, Ian.

Knife Depot COO Waren Sager and his son, Ian.

At Knife Depot, we know that Father’s Day represents a great opportunity for connection between father and son. Recently, I was able to talk to Warren Sager, Knife Depot’s Chief Operating Officer, about his experience passing down his first knife to his son. 

DL:  Tell me about your first knife.  How did you get it?

WS:  I got it out of “Boy’s Life” when I was 10. This was about 30 years ago when the back of the catalogue was full of ads. I was in Cub Scouts at the time and in the back of the magazine I saw this ad for this really awesome survival knife. In the handle, it had all sorts of additional survival materials as well, so I really wanted it.  I saved up the money and then I waited.

DL:  Then what?

WS:  Well, then I waited some more. Remember, this is pre-Internet, so I had to wait for my money order to get there and then had to wait for weeks for it to arrive. The anticipation drove me crazy. Finally the package came.

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The Knife Depot Badass Dad Father’s Day Giveaway (Ended)

Knife Depot Father's Day Image

What to get dad for Father’s Day?  It’s an age-old question, and the answer is usually totally lame.  A coffee mug or tie rack aren’t exactly earth shattering gifts, especially for a badass dad.  That’s why this year Knife Depot is giving you the chance to hook up your dad with one of our bestselling knives for father’s day.  You can also win a knife for yourself. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your two picks from the selection below (one for you and one for your dad) by 12 pm CST on Friday, June 7.   We’ll pick a winner that day.

Now, onto the blades.

Smith and Wesson Swat Assisted Opening Knife 

This sleek assisted-opener from S & W has a 2.8 inch blade and is great for everyday carry. Check out the rest of its specs here.

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Winchester Bowie Knife 

14.25 inches of badass Bowie knife steel.  This rocking blade will get you or your pop some instant respect.  Here are the full specifications on this monster.

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Cold Steel Jungle Machete

We’re talking 16 inches of 1055 Carbon Steel ready to bushwhack its way through any situation.  The Cold Steel Jungle Machete is certifiably badass, check out more of its specs here.

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Blade Show Day 1 Roundup: Survival Knives, Kudu Handles and The Burliest Folder I’ve Ever Seen

Day 1 has come to a close at the Blade Show and we’ve checked out a lot of badass knives and met a bunch of awesome people.  Here are a couple of the highlights:

Creek Stewart, Survival Knife Expert

Creek

I started out the day chatting with Creek Stewart, survival instructor and author, about what he looks for in a survival blade.  Creek’s survival knife of choice is the Blackbird SK5 from Ontario Knives, which he was sporting in a sheath from Paul Schaffer of Hedgehog Leatherworks.  In addition, he was carrying a Spyderco folder and a pretty burly leatherman.

Creek had tons of good tips on picking out a good survival knife for every day carry.  A couple of his fundamentals were making sure your knife is a fixed blade, has a full tang and a heavy duty pommel.

We’re going to post a full-length interview with Creek later this week, but you’d be well advised to scope out his survival school in Indiana if you’re looking for an awesome spot to brush up on your survival skills.

Corrie Schoeman, South African Custom Knifemaker

Corey

For over 30 years, Corrie’s been making awesome knives and he showed us some pretty fantastic Damascus steel blades.  Corrie uses a lot of really exotic handle materials. Just from his knives on display, he had handles made of mammoth tooth, cape buffalo and (pictured below) kudu antlers. For those who aren’t in the know, the kudu is an African antelope that, according to Corrie, can jump six feet in the air.

Corrie 2

Red Blade Knives

pig3knives5

I was just kind of stumbling about lost in the frenzy of sheer knife power, when the Red Blade Knives booth caught my eye.  These are some of the burliest folding knives I’ve ever seen.  The pig ( pictured above) is 1/4″inch and made of CPM S30 steel, with titanium liners.

Red Blade Knives is run by Dan Rotbaltt, Robi Mukherjee and Sean “Griz” Coulter.  Rob, a veteran, said that one of the motivations for developing these knives was to create the sort of knife a solider would need, tough enough to take just about any sort of abuse. From a cursory glance, I’d say these blades are at that level.

That’s my quick and dirty rundown from today’s Blade Show.  Tomorrow, we’ll be checking out a bunch of awesome seminars and covering the World Cutting Contest, so stop by for more updates.

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TSA’s Pocket Knife Ban: The Blow-by-Blow

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Members of the Association of Flight Attendants protest TSA’s pocket knife rule change

March 6, 2013, may have been the most newsworthy day for pocket knives in history.

On that date, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it would be allowing small pocket knives (under 2.36 inches) on planes.

The policy change, which brought the U.S. in step with regulations across most of the world, was seen by knife owners as not only a personal victory, but also a step toward a more sensible and effective policy for TSA.

In addition to allowing small knives on a plane, the rule reversal also meant that individuals would be permitted to carry hockey sticks and golf clubs on board.

TSA officials cited the low risk of these items to passenger safety and the time-consuming task of searching for them as the reason for the policy change.

“The focus is on what could present catastrophic damage to the aircraft,” said David Castelveter, a TSA spokesman.

Backlash Erupts Over Pocket Knives On Planes

The rule change, which was result of significant lobbying by knife advocacy groups such as The American Knife and Tool Institute, was quickly the target of harsh criticism from a number of different groups.

The most vehement objection came from the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), who characterized the decision as one that makes both airline employees and passengers less secure.

The organization started an online petition, No Knives On Planes.com,  and recently filed a grievance with the TSA, stating that “permitting knives in the cabin is an unnecessary risk to the traveling public.”

Member of Congress from both parties also vowed opposition to allowing knives on planes.

New York Senator Charles Schumer blasted the decision in a radio interview with a local station.

“You don’t have to have a PhD in physics, you don’t have to be Albert Einstein to know that these items are dangerous.” he said.

Family members of 9/11 victims were also angry

TSA Backs Down in Wake of Boston Marathon Bombings

While the AFA and other organizations decried the decision, a number of transportation safety experts, journalists and policymakers supported the change.

In a article for the libertarian publication Reason, J.D. Tuccille, blasted the AFA for its opposition. Tuccile  noted, as many others had, that there were a number of other equally harmful, if not more dangerous items that would be allowed in board, but weren’t drawing the same criticism.

I hesitate to point this out for fear of sending the flight attendants’ association into an organizational panic, but the same TSA notice allowing for small knives also allows novelty bats, pool cues and golf clubs.

Honestly, in a bar fight, I’m reaching for the pool cue, not my Leatherman micra.

It’s also been pointed out by many that TSA currently allows pointed scissors with blades up to four inches long, knitting needles and screwdrivers as long as seven inches, and glass bottles, all of which can easily be transformed into a deadly weapon.

Lastly, many cited the fact that since all cockpits are now fortified, it would be impossible to hijack a plane using a pocket knife.

It appeared that, despite the opposition, TSA would go ahead and begin allowing pocket knives on planes starting April 25.

Yet, on April 23, two days before the new rule would go into effect, TSA announced that it would delay the change while considering additional input from airline companies, passenger advocates and other stakeholders.

Many suggested that in addition to the backlash, the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon may have also swayed TSA to move more cautiously.

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Meet the New Knife Depot Community Manager and Win Badass Knives!

Knife Depot Community Manager Dan Lawton

Knife Depot Community Manager Dan Lawton

Dear Knife Depot Fans,

I’d like to take a second to reintroduce myself. For the last two years, I’ve been blogging for the Cutting Edge. In fact, I founded this blog in 2010. The initial name was actually the Happy Dagger. That’s a Bill Shakespeare reference, in case you’re not aware.

Anyway, I have a confession to make. The reason I started blogging for Knife Depot wasn’t because of my love for knives. It was because, like most people writing on the Internet, I was a copywriter.

In fact, I wasn’t just writing about knives then, but about all sorts of subjects like: birdfeeders, picnic baskets, temporary tattoos, seafood restaurants, wedding planning and even bankruptcy law in Arizona.

It wasn’t a bad gig — I could do it in my underwear — but some of these subjects just left me feeling a little thin.

I quickly noticed that most of my best writing was about knives, because they truly fascinated me. The guys at Knife Depot started sending me boxes of them, which was pretty badass, and I’d use them when I went camping with my friends.

You see, the thing about working as a writer is that you have to spend lots of time behind a computer typing when all sorts of kickass, beautiful stuff is going on outside in nature. It can be kind of a bummer.

The knife was my only link to the tangible world. It was a rugged product that reconnected me with nature in a way I was missing. Over time, I became intoxicated by the power of the blade.

And why wouldn’t I? It’s the world’s oldest tool, suffused with a deep religious, historical and cultural meaning. It was used by Roman craftsmen, Native-American hunters and frontiersman like Jim Bowie and Daniel Boone.

It turns out that over at they Knife Depot office they noticed my zeal for the knife, which is why a few weeks ago they invited me to central headquarters to discuss working full time for the site.

As you can expect, I was a little bit nervous. These guys don’t just rock one EDC: they are a walking arsenal of stainless steel. Their offices have more Bowie knives then paper clips.

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How Google Sliced Away Our Knife Ads

Update:  A few people have asked if they can see emails between Knife Depot and Google Adwords staff.  The short answer is yes, if it’s something you’re interested in writing about, then just email me at Dan@knife-depot.com.  I also added an excerpt lower in the post, in which a member of the Adwords staff reveals his own disgust at the “double standard” Google is applying to big brands.

For seven years, Knife Depot has been selling top-quality blades over the Internet to the jubilation of knife lovers everywhere.  And for the last two years, we’ve been writing about knives and knife culture on The Cutting Edge.

However, recently, something has threatened our ability to promulgate our large selection of knives to the legions of blade lovers across the world:  Google has shut down our AdWords Account.

AdWords, if you’re not hip to the Internet jive, is a Google advertising program that allows companies to place text-based ads next to specified search queries.  To the user, it looks like this:

Screen shot 2013-03-22 at 12.00.45 PM 1

Up until late February of this year, Knife Depot had generated a good slice of its revenue from Google AdWords.  We’d also been careful to not ever violate Google’s Adwords weapons policy, which prohibits “the promotion of knives, such as butterfly knives, (balisongs) and switchblades.”

For this reason, we were shocked when last month Google told us they would be terminating our AdWords account unless we removed all of our “assisted opening knives,” which are legal, hugely popular across the U.S, and not prohibited in Google’s policy.  Assisted opening knives, if you’re not aware, differ from switchblades by the fact that pressure must be applied for them to be opened.

Here’s a more in-depth explanation.

After some deep thinking, we decided that serving our customer base, who legally buy large amounts of assisted-opening knives, was more important than continuing to advertise with Google. For this reason, we decided to not remove the knives and forgo our Google Adwords account

Of course, we expected that our fellow knife vendors would be subjected to the same anti-knife policies, and be forced to make the same decision of whether or not to advertise with Google or sell assisted-opening knives.

We were wrong.

While Google shut down the AdWords account of a few other Internet knife vendors, it has continued to allow large brands such as Walmart, Amazon and Bass Pro Shops to sell assisted-opening knives and advertise on Google Adwords.

Just check out the images below from Amazon.com and Walmart.

Yes, the world is unfair.  And yes, we have contacted Google on numerous occasions about this blatant favoritism toward big brands and despite assuring us that they would rectify it, they haven’t. In fact, even their own staff was sickened by the hypocrisy, as you can see from this February 28th email excerpt from a Google employee.

“I am still waiting on an answer to my reply where I asked for a universal enforcement of the policy OR we allow knife depot back online. I replied and saidI refuse to tell knife-depot they need to remove a product category that 7 other competitors are advertising & selling the same products. I then named each domain, called out the double standard, and requested that they state the clear differences that allows these competitors to serve & knife depot to be suspended. Still waiting on this reply.

So for these reasons, we wanted to let you guys, loyal Cutting Edge readers and Knife Depot fans, know that you might not be seeing Knife Depot ads peppered across the Internet.  However, rest assured that it’s not because we’ve softened our commitment to build the world’s most badass knife store, not even one bit.

It’s just because The Man tried to put his foot on our throat and say, “Hey, stop selling those badass assisted-opening blades,” and we refused, so The Man shut down our ads.

However, what the Man didn’t realize is that though he might be able to shut down our ads, he’ll never crush the desire of knife-loving men and women across the country to own perfectly legal and totally badass spring-assisted blades.  And he’ll never stop us from selling them.

We appreciate you being a part of the Knife Depot family and we hope, despite our absence from Google Adwords, you continue to buy knives on our site. Oh, what’s that, you want me to end this blog post with a razor-sharp video of our top-selling assisted-opening knife?

You got it.

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Six Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Dive Knives

A Knife for Scuba Diving

Kenetics Diving Knife

Dive knives are a necessary accessory for scuba divers, but unfortunately many novice divers don’t carry them.  If you’re interested in learning more about these handy diving tools, check out these six things that you need to know about dive knives.

(1) Why You Need a Dive Knife

Every year thousands of divers get caught in monofilament line, which can be extraordinarily difficult to get untangled from when you’re a hundred feet underwater.  Don’t believe me, check out this great article from scuba.com about what to do if you get snagged.   Additionally, thick strands of kelp can also get caught on diving gear. Lastly, though rare, you never know when you may encounter a shark while underwater.

(2)  Start with a small dive knife

Just because James Bond used  a huge knife in his underwater fights, doesn’t mean you need one. Dive knives can range in size from 2 inches to 6 inches, but if you are beginning diver who hasn’t used a knife underwater before,  starting with the smaller knife is always preferable.   Larger knives can be more awkward and difficult to handle underwater, increasing the chance of injury. It’s recommended that you start with a blade under 4 inches, if you’re purchasing your first dive knife.

(3) Choose a dive knife with a serrated edge

While dive knives are available in both serrated and non-serrated models, a serrated knife is usually preferable. Serrated blads are better at slicing through monofilament line, rope, cord or other soft materials your dive knife may get snagged in.

(4) Avoid dive knives with sharp tips

Sure, it might come in handy for the one time in a million when you have to gore a bloodthirsty Great White,  but in general a spear- tip dive knife is less functional and more dangerous then a blunt-tip dive knife.  Blunt knives are also usually more optimal for  prying and wedging, both necessary functions when underwater.

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New Victorinox Swiss Army knife to feature a terabyte of data

The Swiss Army knife has been known for years for its incredible versatility.  Traditionally, it packs a a huge range of accessories, such as: a bottle opener, saw, nail file, flashlight, numerous knives, scissors and more.  However, Victorinox, the company that produces the knife, has recently made a tech-savvy addition that could be a sign of things to come.

In April, Victorinox will release a knife that contains a flash drive with 1 terabyte of memory.  To put this into perspective, in 1993, the entire sum of Internet traffic only accounted for 100 terabytes.

One terabyte is enough memory to hold 220 million pages of text, two years of non-stop music or 330,000 photos at three megabytes each.

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Knives Save Lives: Utah Children Saved From Sinking Car by Gun and Pocket Knife


Imagine this:

You’re driving down a snowy highway on a cold winter night, when the car in front of you careens into an icy river.  A distraught and panicked father climbs out, only to dive back in, desperately trying to pull his three children from the wreckage.

You jump in the water and try to help him unjam the doors, but they’re stuck.  Luckily, you have your revolver on you, so you shoot into the window smashing the glass.  Inside, you find the children on the verge of drowning.  You try to grasp them, but they are trapped by their seat belts.

What do you do?

(a) Watch them die wishing you had a knife on you.

(b) Take out your pocket knife, slice through the seat belts and free the children.

This isn’t a fantasy or a made up story, but an account of a dramatic rescue that happened in Utah just the other day.

After witnessing the aforementioned crash, retired police offer Chris Wilden was able to stage a dramatic rescue.  But according to press reports, if it wasn’t for his pocket knife,  at least one of the kids, all of whom survived, would have lost their life.

One of the girls had found an air pocket and was breathing fine but was trapped in her seat belt. Willden cut it with a pocket knife and pulled her from the rear passenger window.

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What sort of blade should you get the knife lover in your family?

Knives for Christmas

So, you’ve made the decision to buy a knife for Christmas for a friend or loved one.  That’s terrific, but now comes the hard part: what sort of knife should you get them?  To make things easier, we’ve created four archetypes of the modern knife fan along with a few suggested models.  Have some additional ideas?  Then, let us know below.

The Jack of All Trades

Do you have a brother, father, mother or lover who can fix the toilet, gut a deer, whittle a masterpiece and prepare a delicious dinner all without breaking a sweat.  Lots of handymen and craftsmen fall into the jack-of-all-trades category.  These knife lovers are constantly dabbling in different projects and pursuing various hobbies.  They love to learn on the go and aren’t worried about making a mistake or two along the way.

Recommended Knives: For such a diverse set of tasks, you’ll need a knife with a lot of range.  Consider a 3-blade or 4-blade pocket knife, which combines blade types such as pen, sprey, sheepsfoot and others, providing an excellent range of tools perfect for those who like to do everything themselves.  Multi-tools and Swiss Army knives are also great choices.

The Minimalist

He wears the same pair of faded blue jeans every day.  He only owns one pair of shoes.  He eats the same cereal every morning, occasionally drinking his orange juice out of the carton.  When he goes on trips, he never, ever checks a bag. All of us have a minimalist in our life, someone who likes to keep things as simple as possible, including when it comes to knives.

Recommended Knives: Single-blade folding knife is at the top of the list. This kind of fellow is looking for a knife with one good blade that’s functional, strong and versatile, and that fits efficiently in his pocket.  A neck knife, which is conveniently suspended from a lanyard, will also appeal to him, especially if he’s often on the go.

The Show Off

Did he wear a light-blue tuxedo to the prom when everyone else was in black?  Does he always have the biggest truck and the most badass T.V. for watching the game on?  When it comes to blades, the Show Off needs something big and burly that will set himself apart from the pack.

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Four Knives That Make Great Stocking Stuffers

This Christmas, why not give the sharpest gift one can give:  a knife. Whether it’s your mom, your dad, your crazy uncle or your fishing buddy, you’ve undoubtedly got a knife fan in your family.  Here are five knives that make fantastic Christmas gifts.

Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife:  $58

This award-winning knife measures 9.75 inches and has a full-tang high-carbon stainless steel blade that’s coated with black oxide for ultimate corrosion resistance. The handle is soft and ergonomic and the knife comes with a high-quality sheath in addition to a leg strap, ensuring that carrying is always convenient.

Smith and Wesson Extreme Ops Pocket Knife: $22.49

If you’re looking for the ultimate tactical folding knife, check out this Smith & Wesson masterpiece. With its reliable framelock, it can sustain a tremendous amount of pressure in any extreme situation. The sturdy thumb stud on the blade allows you to open it quickly and effortlessly with one hand when you need instant access to your knife. This finely crafted knife is ideal for everyday tasks or intense use in the heart of a jungle.

Carbon Steel Gurkha Service Kukri w/ Sheath & 2 knives: $39.99

This heavy-duty service Kukri is a woodsman’s best friend. Measuring in at a whopping 18-plus inches, with an 11.75-inch blade, this giant carbon-steel beauty slices through small brush with ease.  Not only does this knife come with a classy-looking brass-tipped leather sheath, but it is also accompanied by two extra 3-inch knives, great for stocking stuffers for your family’s knife fans.

Personalized Smith and Wesson  Military Police 2nd Generation M.A.G.I.C. Assisted Opening Pocket Knife : $59.99

If you’re looking to give a truly individual gift this year, consider picking up this Smith and Wesson military knife and having it stamped with a personal message.

This military police pocket knife is off the charts when it comes to its cool factor. Not only is this extremely sharp and practical, but it also comes equipped with a M.A.G.I.C. assisted-opening mechanism that will leave you and your friends in awe. With the release of a safety switch and the flick of a thumb, the partially-serrated blade will literally spring into action.

Got a favorite of these four?  Let us know which knife you’d prefer to find under the tree in the comment section below.

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Wanna Buy Lawrence of Arabia’s Pocket Knife?

If so, you’re in luck.

The trusty pocket knife of T. E. Lawrence, as he was formally known, will be going on auction in England next week and is estimated to be sold for approximately 300 pounds ($467).

According to a piece in the Mail, the knife was constructed by Royal cutlers Underwood and Farrant and pre-dates the long-popular Swiss Army knife.

If you’re not familiar, T.E. Lawrence became famous after he helped wage an insurrection in the Ottoman Empire during World War I. He was later immortalized in the film “Lawrence of Arabia,” staring Peter O’Toole.

The knife, below, was found near his former estate near Dorset, and is thought to have been carried during his Arab campaigns. It’s pretty sweet, but would you pay $450 for it?  Let us know if the comment section below.

Rusty Pocket Knife Held in Palm

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Miss Manners Gives the Low Down on Knife Etiquette During the Holiday Season

This Thanksgiving millions of Americans will sit down at the dinner table with their friends, loved-ones, and on some occasions, people they barely know or only pretend to like.  They will eat, drink and sporadically run to the living room to get updates on the score of the Packers-Lions game.

And, if the world’s most eminent scholar of dining decorum, Miss Manners, gets her way, they will conform to the basic rules of table etiquette and remember to always set the table with the knife facing in.  Rather than poorly paraphrase her witty comment, which provides information on everything from eating etiquette to historical stabbings, I’ve included it with the question below.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In setting the table for the Thanksgiving repast, there is some debate about which way the knife should face. One of the family recalled that in time of war, the blade faces outward; in time of peace, it faces inward. Another opinion suggested that it always is toward the plate. Your guidance please, sage lady?

GENTLE READER: It is always good to be prepared, and in case of attack you wouldn’t want to have to take the time to turn your knife around.

However, at the Thanksgiving table, any attack is likely to come from one of your relatives. And we want to discourage patricide (even of fathers whose carving destroys the turkey and who keep the drumsticks for themselves), infanticide (even of babies who have been crying steadily for half an hour), and aunticide (even for those whose idea of conversation is, “Isn’t it about time you got married?” and, “I see you’ve put on some weight”).Mealtime stabbings are considered bad form, even at Thanksgiving. In 1669, Louis XIV of France decreed that knives must be rounded at top, not threateningly pointed. (Oh, wait, that was to stop people from using their knives to pick their teeth.)

The rule is that regardless of what else is going on in the world, the table is set with knife blades facing in.

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Rambo knife contest winners announced!

Our Rambo knife contest was only scheduled to go on for a week, but at some point I got locked in my room with nothing but a 10-pack of bandannas and four walls of Sly Stallone posters and lost track of time.

Nevertheless, the moment has come to announce the winners. As you may remember, entrants were initially required to submit a photo of themselves dressed as Rambo to win, but due to a lack of macho submissions, we changed the contest to advising Rambo on how to get out of the following situation.

Rambo is hanging from his feet while being lashed with a razor-sharp switch by a chain-smoking soldier.  In addition to disposing of the soldier who is torturing him, Rambo must paddle across a moat full of crocodiles, scale a 16-foot electric fence, kill ten guards, release POWs, perform minor surgery upon the wounded, subdue a wild boar and flag down a helicopter for his escape.

In his possession is his trusty survival knife, a scorpion pocket knife with real scorpions encased in the blade, a lighter, some rope, bubble gum, an 8-ounce Budweiser can, a pair of brass knuckles, a Taser, a Glock, a dart gun and a grenade.  If he can only bring three of these items with him, which ones should he bring and how should he use them to finish his mission.  

Yes, it was the sort of situation only a man like John Rambo could escape from.  We had a number of worthy submissions and props to everyone who gave it a shot.  Without further delay, the winners are as follows:

In second place, picking up a tricked-out pocket knife with real scorpions encased in the blade, in exchange for his fierce survival advice is Dartus Hopper, who advised Rambo to:

Pour gun powder on the POW’s wound and use the flint and steel in his SURVIVAL KNIFE to ignite the powder in order to cauterize the wound. Then, use the glock to kill the boar for food along the way to the landing zone, where he again uses his knife’s flint-n-steel to start a pig fat smoke fire/signal for the chopper. When the helicopter lands, they all jump in and enjoy some great wild boar ribs durning the ride home!!

In first place, winning the world’s most badass 9.5-inch signature-edition Rambo survival knife is Matthew Rygus, whose 1,112 word manifesto was unmatched in its ingenuity, style, and creative use of wanton bloodshed. Here’s a highlight

He paddles across the moat, just as he approaches the other side, he takes another sip of beer. Right as he’s drinking the king of beers, another crocodiles jumps out at him. He delivers a deadly uppercut on the croc’s jaw and sends it flying back into the water. He finishes his sip and smiles because he know he didn’t spill a single drop.

Thanks to everyone who entered  and check back soon for more great contests from The Cutting Edge!

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Help Rambo escape a sketchy situation and win a signature-edition Rambo knife!

Rambo, as many of you are already aware, never fails at anything, especially when it involves combat. Throughout the First Blood series, Sly Stallone’s character, John Rambo, shoots, stabs, punches, kicks, head-butts, incinerates and terrorizes his foes, always with his trusty survival knife in tow.

How many bad guys does Sly slay?  Only God knows, but as pointed out in our earlier post on The evolution of the Rambo knife, he wipes out a total of 236 evildoers in the fourth and final installment of Rambo.

Last week, we announced a Rambo-look alike contest to win a signature edition Rambo knife with second place pulling in a sweet-looking scorpion knife.  Participation has been, frankly, a bit lame, with only  a few worthy Rambos entering.


We figure maybe many of our fans don’t have their Rambo gear handy, so we’re offering another way to win.

Give Rambo a Hand, Win His Survival Knife

Rambo is always getting in sketchy situations, that’s just kind of the way he rolls, but he’s always getting out of them as well, due to his huge selection of badass weapons. Tell us how Rambo should dominate the following scenario by writing in the comment section below and you could win either a signature edition Rambo knife or a scorpion pocket blade (pictured on left).

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