Friday, October 7, 2011

McGizmo Interview

So the Branespload interview was really interesting.  Just on a lark I sent an email to Don McLeish, McGizmo (here is his clearinghouse of info thread on CPF).  I had no real expectation that I would receive a response given how busy he is, but...why not try?  It would be like emailing Picasso and asking him about where he buys his paints (yes, I know Picasso is dead and died before email was invented, but get the point).  But Don is a super nice guy, and so within 24 hours I had a response.  There were a few questions that Don didn't answer, but that is totally cool.  The ones he did were the important ones.  He is also quite witty.  Here is the interview:

Q: Current EDC Knife/Light Combo?

A: Sapphire:

Haiku High CRI:

(Mission Ti Folder in beach bag):

Editor's Note: the Mission Ti Folder is a folding knife produced specifically for diving use.  Here is the product page.  The blade is Titanium, making it light and impervious to rust.  A special forging process exclusive to Mission makes it hard enough to use as a knife, getting the Ti's Rockwell Hardness up to around 47. 

Q: What is your one grail item?

A: Sapphire

Editor's Note: Wonder if he meant MAKING the Sapphire, having one of his Sapphire's, or a REAL Sapphire.  It has to be either the first or the last explanation because if you are the guy that makes everyone's grail lights how can any light really be a grail item?  Right?  Still, the Sapphire is really an awesome little light, so maybe it is the second explanation.

Q: Thumbhole, flipper, or thumbstud? 

A: Thumbstud

Editor's Note: I wonder if thumbstuds work better under water?  It seems, from the pictures, that McGizmo does a lot of diving, so maybe they just work better there.  I still stand by the thumbhole, but different strokes for different folks. 

Q: Infinite Variable Brightness: great feature or gilding the lilly? 

A: Unnecessary

Editor's Note: I tend to agree.  I like the Infinite Variable Brightness on the Surefire Titan T1A, but I am not sure how useful it is.  A lot of lights, however, have tacky implementations of the feature.  I guess the selector ring is okay, but really how many settings do you need?  Moonlight, task, and blast are plenty.  A well selected set of levels and a good UI eliminates most of the need for Infinite Variable Brightness.   

Q: How do you care data with you?  USB drive, cloud, some other method?

A: Don't.

Editor's Note: I am not sure how useful this is, unless you work in an office.  If you don't I can't really see the need to carry data.  If you are a scuba diver and flashlight craftsman, why bother right? 

Q: What item do you carry/wear that has the most sentimental value? 

A: Wedding ring.

Editor's Note: Me too.  I got my wedding ring from my grandparents, who gave it to me on their 50th wedding anniversary, which was the same year I got married.  It is really, really important to me.  

Hope you enjoyed this one.  It was really awesome of Don to return my email.  Man's a genius when it comes to making lights.  I couldn't be happier with my Haiku and I am even more pleased knowing it came from such a stand up guy.  

Thanks Don.


  1. Wow those were .... technically responses to your questions! Bet you hoped for more ... verbage...

    Anyway, I like those lights.

    Just an FYI though it's a little misleading with the _picture_ of the Titan.... I scan (a lot) and had I not really read the article I would think McGizmo was promoting the Titan (LOL RIGHT?).

  2. Very cool Tony. A man of few words - I can appreciate that! Interesting that he carries a Ti knife.