What We Do Here
Welcome to the center for reviews, opinions, and news on tactical knives, hunting knives, every day carry, and kitchen cutlery. Nothing But Knives is run by a handful of people who are easily distracted by sharp, shiny things, which is a more honest way of saying knife enthusiasts.
Our reviews are (mostly) unbiased except when they aren’t, and often involve more research into the steel, designer, and story behind a knife than is healthy to know.
We’re always playing with a new knife around here, whether it’s a fixed-blade knife, a folding knife, or a bread knife (because those also count as sharp and shiny). So if you have questions about how knife steels or scales are different, what kitchen knife is the best for your money, or whether CRKT’s new line up is any good this year, Nothing But Knives is here to help you learn and decide.
Why Does Our Opinion Matter
Every knife we review here has been taken to a kitchen, campsite, mountain pass, office party, backyard barbecue, and beyond and thoroughly tested on practical (and not-so practical), real world tasks.
We are first hand campers, hikers, butchers, cooks, and whiskey drinkers. For everything else we are arm chair academics. We write about things as we use them, and when it comes to more specific things like steel composition, history, and manufacturing methods we rely heavily on information we read in various books, forum discussions, videos, and personal conversations with people who are smarter than us including, but not limited to:
- Knife makers
- Our liquor cabinet
About Our Review Process
Kitchen Knife Testing Methods
While not all of us are professional cooks or chefs, we do know a few, and when we’re testing out new kitchen knives we take them down to cooks working in restaurant kitchens and food trucks to let them play with the knives and get their opinion.
The rest of the time, some of us do spend an extraordinary amount of time in the kitchen, and have had to learn how to dice, mince, and butcher over the years. In that process we’ve worked our way through a variety of kitchen cutlery, starting in the humble range of $100 sets and all the way up to the high end kitchen knives getting used by professionals and middle class home cooks who think they have something to prove. That range includes Western and Japanese cutlery with a few other styles from other countries working their way in, and we do our best to explain the differences in these different traditions as they come up.
Ultimately, kitchen knife reviews are written by clumsy people who’ve learned how to work with chef and paring knives through trial and error rather than through culinary school and a ten hour shift six days a week. Hopefully this makes our content more relatable to people who can’t dice an entire onion in five seconds flat.
EDC Knife Testing Methods
Every folding and pocket knife we review here has been carried for at least a couple weeks. The way we test an EDC varies depending on what kind of knife it is. It wouldn’t make sense to test the Civivi Elementum the same way as the Off Grid Rhino because they were built for very different things. And since the phrase “EDC” can mean anything from a neck knife under the shirt to a hard-use knife stuffed into a pair of swimming trunks, we have to take the approach of “anything goes” with some of our testing.
But generally we do a paper test first for factory sharpness, then break down boxes, sharpen sticks, open packages, and live our lives until we have a sense of how well the knife functions and ages.
Outdoor Bushcraft and Survival Knife Testing Methods
Most of us grew up camping, and if we’re honest the majority of the content on this site is an excuse to go camping for work.
Almost all the hunting, bushcraft, and survival knives we review have been taken on one or more trips into the wilderness and used variously to chop, carve, hammer, skin, and spark fires. Sometimes we’ll hike through heavy brush and climb around on rocks to see how well a horizontal carry knife rides on the belt, and other times we’ll swim up a creak and try to build a fire by the water to test the finish and corrosion resistance. Other times we just drive out into the woods to eat and drink and pointlessly chop wood until we decide what we love or hate about a knife
On the few occasions that we just can’t fit a camping trip into the schedule, we go out to the rivers and vast forests around the area we live in and spend a day doing all the same things we would if we were planning on spending a week in the middle of nowhere.
Who We Are
The site was started by a couple of brothers who wanted to write about outdoor adventure stuff and ended up with a blog about knives. Since that start, though, this place has picked up people from varied backgrounds like law enforcement, military, hunting, butchering, martial arts, cooking, marketing, and writing,
Andrew North – writer and Editor
Andrew has been a commercial writer for a variety of online and print publications for about a decade. Most of that work was in really boring industries, and his productivity was mostly fueled by coffee and the memory of college jobs that were much worse. Now he mostly writes whatever the hell he wants to.
During that time of mind numbing copywriting, Andrew found himself in a lot of different hobbies and jobs in order to keep himself fed, in shape, and sane. Aside from constantly trying to run away into the wilderness to camp, fish, or hike, he spent several years gardening and landscaping on the side, and found a mental escape in muddling through cooking and baking experiments with the help of scotch and profanity. He has also been a martial arts practitioner in eskrima for nearly 15 years, which has mostly served to teach him how to get the hell beat out of him and keep his back from going out, but has also left him with a horrified appreciation for anyone dumb enough to get into a knife fight, or lucky enough to survive one. This combination of escapes and interests is ultimately what led to the founding of Nothing But Knives.
Ben North – Editor, Photographer & Writer
After a fun few years in the Navy, Ben found himself in a college photo class in a vain attempt to salvage his plunging GPA. This ultimately led to a twenty year career as a commercial and stock photographer.
If you happen to be reading an article on this site, and notice that many of the photos look like soulless stock images, that is because that is how Ben eked out a meager existence for a number of years. Over the course of those years Ben shot photo and video for a variety of outdoor lifestyle companies in some pretty remote locations. During those excursions Ben used, damaged, and lost a lot of knives, pens, watches, sunglasses, cameras, flasks, and anything else that can fit in your pocket or backpack. As a result he has developed a strong, if sometimes very specific, interest and proficiency with outdoor EDC gear. So much so that he decided to start this site so he could spend more time in the mountains playing with knives and drinking whiskey by a campfire.
Daniel Bond – Web Developer And SEO Wizard
A more recent convert to the world of being too involved in knives, Daniel is a web developer with a long, varied history in education, linguistics, sailing, and generally being the person who knows how things function. He is the reason anything on this website works right.
He grew up around the wilds of Kashyyk, rapidly oscillating between chasing after rabbits with old folding knives and flirting with pinball machines. As an adult he spent a lot of years living on a sailboat, happily carrying an Opinel wherever the winds took him and thinking he would never need another knife. Then he moved back inland and started a little farm near the founders of Nothing but Knives. One day we gave him a Guardian 3 he could scout carry around his property, and now he’s one of us.
These days Daniel spends most of his time being a wizard who lives in the forest. When there’s a problem around here, we have to summon him by hitting a tin cup against a whiskey bottle three times.
David Higginbotham – Writer & Photographer
David is a writer and editor with a uniquely mixed background as an English professor and a backcountry guide. Somewhere back there he got a PhD in Creative Writing and an MFA in Poetry either before or during his time professionally showing people around the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and if we’re being totally honest, we’re still trying to figure out why he’s willing to write for us.
He’s been around the EDC gear world a while. After twenty years of teaching, he decided to switch careers and, among other things, became the Editor in Chief for GunsAmerica Digest, and established The Mag Life, which is GunMag Warehouse’s official blog. Gun stuff aside, he’s written plenty about knives ranging from tactical to bushcraft, and God knows he’s put in the time to write from first-hand knowledge. We’re both confused and happy to have his expertise on board.
Jocelyn Frasier – Writer & Photographer
Jocelyn is a photo editing ninja with a lot of experience in the custom knife maker world. As the daughter of a custom knife maker, Jocelyn has been around the knife community since she was young. But she carved out her own space soon after graduating from college, and besides having photos featured in Blade and Knife Magazine, she has clients across the world including South America and New Zealand.
She graduated from Montana Western University with a Bachelors in Business Admin (making her something like the fourth or fifth contributor here with a better education than the idiots who started this site), and had to finish her senior year at home during Covid lockdown. She spent her spare time teaching herself photo editing through YouTube videos, trial and error, and by reaching out to other photo editors, then got her first clients by editing custom knife photos she found on Instagram, and mailing the results to the makers to show them the difference.
Péter Neményi – Writer & Photographer
Neményi Péter is a lawyer by trade, but his feet are always taking him around the woods of Hungary at every spare minute. He learned a deep appreciation for both the outdoors and the English language from his grandfather (a journalist and agricultural engineer) who would often converse with him in English while hiking together, or on long fishing trips. His love of knives came through his godfather, who would often give him a knife and a book for birthdays and Christmas. Unfortunately that well-loved collection of old school knives was stolen, so he started rebuilding in 2007, beginning with the Spyderco Harpy.
At some point Péter stumbled on the whiskey-soaked ramblings of the brothers at NBK. We assume he started talking to us for the same reason people throw peanuts at monkeys: just to see how they dance. Regardless, long conversations about knives, camping, and whiskey in various combinations and quantities eventually turned into fully written articles. It turns out that a Hungarian lawyer who just wants to live in the woods was the perspective we didn’t know we needed.
Tom Scalisi – Writer and Photographer
We spend a lot of time here at Nothing But Knives reading articles and reviews on variety of our favorite sites which are listed at the bottom of this page. One of the newer sites we found ourselves reading regularly was The Graying Area. We liked the articles and photos enough that we decided to ask the man responsible if he would be interested in lending his talents and experience to Nothing But Knives when he had time. To our pleasant surprise, he said yes.
Besides being a freelance writer, Tom is an excellent photographer with a background in law enforcement. His own blog covers a wide range of topics from fitness to cooking to watch reviews, and generally discusses “how to be a better man”. But his experience and mentality bring a unique and practical perspective on a lot of different EDC gear. He’s a great addition to are our small writing staff.
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