All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

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MichaelScott
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All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:28 pm

(I can say “oy veh” because my daughter is Jewish and she said it was ok.)

Blogs, web sites and YouTube, the homes of a gazillion knife “reviews”. I generally like knife reviews when they are well done and have substantive things to say beyond the obvious. What are the obvious things? Maker, type, length, weight, lock, scales, steel, you know, the basic knife stuff. I can get all that from the manufacturer’s site and have a high confidence that it is correct. But for a good review I like more. Much more, but it needs to be relevant to the knife, not knife history or the reviewer’s irrelevant opinions. Yes, some opinions can be relevant, like Gringo’s or The Deacon’s, or Ankerson’s but mostly they aren’t. I like for example, the Edge Observer’s videos. Well produced. To the point. Beautifully photographed to give me a real feel and understanding of a knife. No featureless table tops or hands waving a knife about, opening and closing, opening and closing, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I am getting a CRKT Pilar to play with, take apart, modify and generally geek around with. It’s a $25 knife with average materials and an interesting design. I’ve seen a few overly long YT video reviews, which vary wildly in their assessments, a cool Nick Z video on maintenance and finally a long, about 2000 word screed that basically said this:

“CRKT is a knife company. They make a lot of different inexpensive knives designed by different people.
The Pilar was designed by Jesper Voxnaes and is made in China with 8Cr13MoV a decent, inexpensive steel sheepsfoot blade and oval opening hole. The handle is also steel with a bead blast finish and frame lock. The knife has a finger choil and pocket clip. The knife weighs 4.1 oz., is 2.404" closed, 3.53" open, and 0.145" thick blade.

Conclusion: CRKT is a reliable company. They make low-cost high quality knives. Pilar is one of those.”

The other 1725 words were not helpful and many were not actually relevant to the knife.

If anyone has some recommended reviewers to pass along, I’d like to know so I can focus on knowledgeable people who have something to say about knives.

Thanks.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby The Meat man » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:50 pm

I can identify with your feelings.
What I like to see in a knife review is actual use: hard use. I want to see how the knife performs; I don't need to know all the mfg specs. Like you said, I can get those from the manufacturer. Cut cardboard, cut paper, cut plastic straps or zip ties, cut soda cans, carve wood, cut rope, do food prep! I want to see how the knife handles tasks like these.
Test corrosion resistance too. Don't clean it up after every job; don't baby it. Let it get wet and see how it handles it. Use it for food prep and see how it reacts.

To summarize, use it on real-life everyday tasks. That's what I want to see in a knife review.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:04 pm

:) Yep. Roger that.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby AccountDeletedUserRequest » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:22 pm

I've long had plans to start a knife review channel but I figured there was no market for reviews featuring actual use of a knife that's been carried for months if not years. Figured in the age of figdget flippers no one cares, but maybe I was wrong.

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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby The Meat man » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:06 am

Vivi wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:22 pm
I've long had plans to start a knife review channel but I figured there was no market for reviews featuring actual use of a knife that's been carried for months if not years. Figured in the age of figdget flippers no one cares, but maybe I was wrong.
You ought to give it a try! There might be more interest than you think. :)
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby The Deacon » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:51 am

The closest I've come to watching a YouTube knife video are the ones featuring Sal and Eric.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby SpyderNut » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:41 am

The Deacon wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:51 am
The closest I've come to watching a YouTube knife video are the ones featuring Sal and Eric.
Same here.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby jmh58 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:59 am

Don't watch u-tube.. Don't read the story book reviews either.. Get to the point and not a novel.. John
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby Larry_Mott » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:00 am

The ones i watch (without FF-ing) are the short BladeHQ and OsoGrande presentations. I can figure out for myself the intended use and if jimping is useful etc..

EDIT: I too watch clips featuring the Glessers and Spyderco collaborators, but rarely if ever "reviews"
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby The Meat man » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:06 am

IMO, a well made knife review certainly has it's place and can be very informative. I'm glad there are those who take the effort to provide good, relevant, and useful information about the many different knife models out there.

For me, someone relatively new to Spyderco, it's especially helpful since I usually don't know much about the knife in question, or the materials used.

For a lot of you Spyderco veterans, the reviews may seem useless or irrelevant, but for newbies like me, they can provide valuable information that I do not already possess. Actually, the reason I'm a Spyderco fan now is because of reading/watching other people's reviews, which prompted me to try out one of these knives to see what's so great about them. :)
Last edited by The Meat man on Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:14 am

Good comments on knife reviews. I have watched numerous ones, too, and they vary, some reviews are very well-done but others leave alot of blind spots and problems. One thing that does get to me is how some reviewers will take a knife that is very good and over-use or abuse it to the point where, say a blade tip or opening mechanism fails/breaks, and then the reviewer will seem to say "this knife is no good" or something to that effect. Some of them tend to be biased against certain brands or knives, as well. But others are good.

Example and a question for my fellow Spyderco users here: If a knife reviewer took say one of the standard Spyderco models, like a Delica, Endura, or Military, and subjected the Opening Hole to an intense level of stress that it would almost never face in real-life daily use, and a section of the Opening Hole broke or cracked, and the reviewer then concludes that "This knife is no good", would you agree with me that that is an unfair and ridiculous conclusion for the reviewer to make? I have seen things along those lines in some knife reviews.

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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby The Meat man » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:46 am

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:14 am
Good comments on knife reviews. I have watched numerous ones, too, and they vary, some reviews are very well-done but others leave alot of blind spots and problems. One thing that does get to me is how some reviewers will take a knife that is very good and over-use or abuse it to the point where, say a blade tip or opening mechanism fails/breaks, and then the reviewer will seem to say "this knife is no good" or something to that effect. Some of them tend to be biased against certain brands or knives, as well. But others are good.

Example and a question for my fellow Spyderco users here: If a knife reviewer took say one of the standard Spyderco models, like a Delica, Endura, or Military, and subjected the Opening Hole to an intense level of stress that it would almost never face in real-life daily use, and a section of the Opening Hole broke or cracked, and the reviewer then concludes that "This knife is no good", would you agree with me that that is an unfair and ridiculous conclusion for the reviewer to make? I have seen things along those lines in some knife reviews.
Absolutely.

As with many things in life, I take reviews with a grain of salt. Also, common sense. :)
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby MichaelScott » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:09 am

I think a good, informative and well done knife review should be somewhere between one and four minutes long. Focus on the knife, its operation and use. Compare it with similar knives. Put the specs on screen to read as the review unwinds. If you want to make a knife opinion, an op-ed piece, say so up front so we can see it or skip it.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby ThePeacent » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:24 am

First of all, the CRKT Pillar. One of my Brit friends has had one for 2 years and has been satisfied so far, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it at that price if you like the features or design :)

what brings me to the point of the thread. I generally prefer reading reviews from members and places I know have a certain reputation, fame or are just classic and well regarded reviewers. I also try to find people with similar tastes and preferences to the ones I have, and generally get the same impressions that they get from blades, so I know what we both like :cool:

that being said whenever I search for YT reviews I limit myself to

a. Youtubers that I know make honest, unbiased (as possible) and straight to the point reviews, showing use, feel in hand and in pocket, steel performance, grind and edge cutting ability and pros and cons in handling, using and carrying. ;) One of them is "Gideonstactical" but there are a few others who put them through their paces and don't hesitate when speaking their minds and criticising or comparing the knives :o

b. If it's not a knife that any of these reviewers has used or tested, and I'm searching "blind", I usually put the word "Long term" or "years" with the word "review" :p to find reviews based on long term ownership and use, or things like "---- knife 5 years review" or "---- knife after 4 years" to have better idea and opinion on how the knife behaves, stands to use and carrying, and what problems might appear with it over time, hotspots, quality, etc... :spyder:

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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby JT » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:34 pm

I do watch reviews just for fun, but skip many of them too after a minute or two, if the reviewer is not up to the task.

When a new Spydie comes available, I like to see a vid with size comparison against a well known knife, pref a Spydie. Everyone should use a Delica or Dragonfly to show the relative size of the other knife, if you ask me. Why, because everyone should have at least a Delica or a D-fly if they are into Spydies :D
Sure I can take a ruler and imagine the size of any knife, but when seeing it next to a familiar Spydie, I get much more info. This applies to pictures too.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby demoncase » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:41 am

I watch knife reviews with the sound off.

And I fast forward past the 3-4 minutes of the tedious unboxing (Because I could care less how many silica gel bags come with the knife)

I know, I'm awful :D
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby MichaelScott » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:32 am

demoncase wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:41 am
I watch knife reviews with the sound off.

And I fast forward past the 3-4 minutes of the tedious unboxing (Because I could care less how many silica gel bags come with the knife)

I know, I'm awful :D
No, I’d say you know something about knives and don’t need to sit through the amateur hour review segments. I think my complaint is that although there is a place for the basic even opinionated knife review, there are way too many of them. I think the fundamental reviews produced by knife retailers like Blade HQ, etc. are great introductions to a knife. You get very good views of all aspects of the knife, a comparison with a human hand (thankfully, not minutes of hand waving), the specifications and a view of how the knife operates if a folding knife. And you get this in about two minutes. Nice.

Longer reviews, unless they are focused on more than the basics and not a platform for the reviewer’s YT performance skills or lack thereof, can be helpful but usually are not that much more informative. Some reviewers spend far too much time with extraneous topics like how to cut pine boughs to make a shelter in the woods. I’m more interested in how a knife cuts, does it have an appropriately sized and shaped handle, does it produce hot spots during extended and difficult cutting tasks, things like that. This should take about fifteen seconds to discuss and demonstrate, not five minutes.

I enjoyed The Edge Observer’s video productions which were a very informative and beautiful type of reviews. For some reason his YouTube channel has no content and his website only says, “Done Like Dinner. It was fun until it wasn’t”. Bummer. Sorry to see him go.

What do I want in a good knife review?
  • Good photos of all aspects of the knife
    A human hand for comparison
    A similar knife for comparison
    Show the operations: open, close
    Discuss any special features such as the lock or clip with a visual focus on them
    Specification list as text on the screen, not a long spoken description
    Ten to fifteen seconds of the reviewer’s opinion about the knife
    A decent background - no bedsheets, greasy table tops, cutting mats, garage workbench, etc.
And, lastly, put some decent production values into the video. Anyone with a smart phone can make a video and upload it to YouTube, but please don’t. Making a decent video doesn’t take much. A monotone background which can be easily done with poster paper, a couple of good lights, a tripod for the camera, a decent microphone, a camera angle that doesn’t attempt to replicate the reviewer’s head angle, minimal use of the hands and, for god’s sake, don’t start out with things like, “Hey, what’s up, YouTubers, Dingbat comin’ at ya with a new knife review.” Or anything in that general ball park. Be semipro, or at least basically respectful of the viewer. Maybe something simple, like, “The new Spyderco Fortitude in S30V plain edge.”

Yeah, I know I am old and can be cranky, but there it is. Knife reviews could be so much better.

Rant over.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby The Meat man » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:22 pm

MichaelScott wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:32 am

No, I’d say you know something about knives and don’t need to sit through the amateur hour review segments. I think my complaint is that although there is a place for the basic even opinionated knife review, there are way too many of them. I think the fundamental reviews produced by knife retailers like Blade HQ, etc. are great introductions to a knife. You get very good views of all aspects of the knife, a comparison with a human hand (thankfully, not minutes of hand waving), the specifications and a view of how the knife operates if a folding knife. And you get this in about two minutes. Nice.

Longer reviews, unless they are focused on more than the basics and not a platform for the reviewer’s YT performance skills or lack thereof, can be helpful but usually are not that much more informative. Some reviewers spend far too much time with extraneous topics like how to cut pine boughs to make a shelter in the woods. I’m more interested in how a knife cuts, does it have an appropriately sized and shaped handle, does it produce hot spots during extended and difficult cutting tasks, things like that. This should take about fifteen seconds to discuss and demonstrate, not five minutes.

I enjoyed The Edge Observer’s video productions which were a very informative and beautiful type of reviews. For some reason his YouTube channel has no content and his website only says, “Done Like Dinner. It was fun until it wasn’t”. Bummer. Sorry to see him go.

What do I want in a good knife review?
  • Good photos of all aspects of the knife
    A human hand for comparison
    A similar knife for comparison
    Show the operations: open, close
    Discuss any special features such as the lock or clip with a visual focus on them
    Specification list as text on the screen, not a long spoken description
    Ten to fifteen seconds of the reviewer’s opinion about the knife
    A decent background - no bedsheets, greasy table tops, cutting mats, garage workbench, etc.
And, lastly, put some decent production values into the video. Anyone with a smart phone can make a video and upload it to YouTube, but please don’t. Making a decent video doesn’t take much. A monotone background which can be easily done with poster paper, a couple of good lights, a tripod for the camera, a decent microphone, a camera angle that doesn’t attempt to replicate the reviewer’s head angle, minimal use of the hands and, for god’s sake, don’t start out with things like, “Hey, what’s up, YouTubers, Dingbat comin’ at ya with a new knife review.” Or anything in that general ball park. Be semipro, or at least basically respectful of the viewer. Maybe something simple, like, “The new Spyderco Fortitude in S30V plain edge.”

Yeah, I know I am old and can be cranky, but there it is. Knife reviews could be so much better.

Rant over.


That part made me laugh. :D

You're absolutely right though. Putting a little effort into making a video more professional makes a huge difference.

To your list I would add the hard use testing I wrote about in an earlier post. When I'm thinking about getting a new knife, the most important question I have is, how does this knife/blade steel react to hard usage? To me, this is by far the most crucial consideration. Size comparison, specs, lock type and action, all these are important but I can usually get this information elsewhere. How the knife holds up to real-life use is what I really want to know.
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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:32 am

demoncase wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:41 am
I watch knife reviews with the sound off.

And I fast forward past the 3-4 minutes of the tedious unboxing (Because I could care less how many silica gel bags come with the knife)

I know, I'm awful :D
Agree 100 percent DC! With all due respect to those who show the box and the wrapping, I like to go right to the "meat" of the examination of each knife. I also enjoy reviews that show various angles under the light, because I notice some angles of display give a more accurate picture of what the knife looks like, and I like to see if there are any cosmetic flaws that may get in the way of my appreciation of it.

By the way, regarding the silica gel packs that come with some knives, do you think they technically make a real difference in preventing corrosion and other problems, or, is it just a cheap way for them to make sure the knife doesn't rust in the transit?

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Re: All those knife reviews, “oy veh!”

Postby The Meat man » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:45 am

I've always been under the impression that they're there to help prevent excessive moisture buildup during transit. Which amounts to the same thing as preventing corrosion.
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