Friday, January 13, 2012

What this isn't

This isn't:

1.  A profit making enterprise.

2.  A store (never thought I'd have to say that, but one of the recent comments prompted me).

3.  A place where manufacturers can place products (I'll take submissions, of course, but only if I think you will be interested in them).

4.  A place where you will see analysis of a vast array of products (EDC stuff and other utility tools only).

5.  A professional gear blog.

This is a gear blog, that is definitely the case.  But it is not like the more "professional" gear blogs out there.  I think you know what I mean.  I read three and I like many others.  Personally here are my favorites:

Gear Patrol

There are tons more.  But these are really just a series of ads with a pinch of commentary and analysis, much like a celebrity interview on Jay Leno's show is really a commercial for a new movie.  Additionally, these places more than one person.  I know that Gear Patrol has an editor (which would be really nice) and a photographer (again nice).  Here, I am a one man show.  These sites also cover a very wide range of things, things that I will never, ever cover.  You will not, for example, read anything here about grooming products.  Ever.  I don't comb my hair on a regular basis and sometimes when I am in a rush I use my gel aftershave (that I got a Wal Mart) as hair gel too.  Not on purpose, mind you, but because really I don't care that much.  I don't want to be a slob, not by a long shot, but I leave the Bieber impersonations to someone else.

The final difference in the list above is the most important, I think.  Unlike those sites, I actually use the stuff and provide a systematic way of reviewing things.  A quick read of the "gear blogs" show that they MAY have hands on time with something, maybe, but even those "hands on" articles involve minimal use.  As I have said before, I like to carry a knife until it needs resharpening.  I like to carry lights for two weeks.  Many of things I have reviewed are things I own or have owned.  In those cases the carry time is even longer.  So the difference in perspective is huge, I think.

The vast array of products they cover means that they have only a scant knowledge base for each product.  They may be able to explain an f stop on a camera and that the Benchmade Mini Grip has a blade of 154CM steel, but I am not sure if they can give reasons why 154CM is better or worse than VG-10.  I think I can.  It is not because I am a steel expert, far from it, but because I have had lots of experience with both.  I may not have the machine of people they do, but I do have the experience they are missing.  

All of this adds up to something that is a bit rougher around the edges than the uber-slick pro gear blogs out there.  No matter how hard I try there are typos in the stuf that goes up (that one is on purpose).  I try to fix them as I see them, but I want to put something out two or three times a week and that means that I am under some time pressure and perfect spelling goes out the window.  If this were a full fledged operation with an editor that wouldn't happen.  But I hope that the few typos are made up for by the depth of content and the systematic method of review of products.  Unlike those guys I don't depend on ad revenue or product placement, so I don't have an allegiance to any particular manufacturer.  I can have loyalty to only one group--you the reader.   I don't do this for a job, to supplement my income or for any other financial benefit.  It means that I have no reason to be swayed by a manufacturer.  They can't offer me anything that work as a bribe.  I really don't need another knife or flashlight, so offering me freebies won't change my opinion.  And since I don't keep any of the ad revenue like the pro gear blogs do, I could give a shit if you click on the links or not, other than the fact that it is fun to give stuff away. 

Those gear blogs have their place.  I read them regularly.  But I hope that this is blog is different.  I hope that my opinions, perspectives, and voice are clear.  I hope that the systematic nature of the reviews I do is helpful.  I also hope that I never have to talk about "man makeup." Ever.   


  1. The last thing I need is to follow another blog that churns out reams of uninspired prose.

    You have my readership for exactly the reasons you've outlined. Your content is consistently high quality and you release it at a measured pace.

    I have read everything you have written since I subscribed over a year ago and feel better for it.

  2. I agree with Dan; the content you supply is of high-quality and comes from well-formed opinions. It is because of your post that I bought a Mini-Grip. I love the knife and might not have ever purchased it had I not read your review and price alert.

    Thanks for that and for all the information you impart.

  3. Tony, I have a feeling you're going to get a lot of support from your readers here. I agree with both Dan and nightskyuap, and I LOVE the fact that you take your time getting to know a knife/tool/light with hands-on experience before you post a review. I'm a huge Leatherman fan, so I've been dying to read your review of the Charge TTi, but when I see it sitting in the on deck circle, I know it will be worth the wait. (loved your review of the Skeletool CX...)

  4. Bought a Kershaw OD-2, a Dfly ZDP-189, Mini Grip, and a Lumapower Incendio because of this place. Just wanted to say thanks for the advice - I'd have a hard time buying things you didn't like now, that's for sure.

  5. Amen Tony. You know how much I love your site - it's one of my favorites to see pop up on my reader. I've bought a number of products based on your advice and in many cases they have exceeded my expectations. So keep being you - to be honest I don't subscribe to any of those mass media gear blogs. They got no soul.

  6. Don't stop - GuywithSocks

  7. Enjoying what you do. No need to change. There is room and need for multiple approaches.

  8. I really appreciate your approach and your knowledge. Santa brought me my first Spyderco (the Dragonfly II) on the strength of your review. I certainly wouldn't purchase something on the basis of a "Day in the life with Coach" infomercial brought to me by the Chrysler 300.

    Keep up the good work. I'm glad it's a labor of love -- I love what you're doing here.

    -- Greg