Thursday, July 12, 2012

What We Owe Nutnfancy

Nutnfancy has done a lot to make many of us better consumers.  The things he preaches in his videos on gear have helped me make decisions about how and why I spend my hard earned money, not just when I am buying gear, but when I am buying lots of other things.  Additionally, I have taken a lot of his gear lessons to heart.  You don't need big stuff for EDC.  You just don't.  You don't need the weight or the extra cost 99% of the time.  You don't need complicated stuff.  A simple SAK will do quite often.  You don't need an auto (though my time with the ProTech Sprint has proven that it is NICE to have).  You don't need expensive stuff.  Often times you are paying for things you will never use.

Nutnfancy gets maligned, like most "internet celebrities" do, because the internet is an interactive medium, but for all the criticism about how gabby he is, he really does us all a great service.  He has more videos than just about anyone and he does an excellent job testing gear.  A recent check shows that he has over 100 million video views on his YouTube channel.  That is an awful lot of eyeballs.  And with those eyeballs comes influence.

Under the Nutnfancy Agenda we have seen companies take heed of his ideas.  Jimping is probably a word none of us knew before Nutnfancy and now it is almost ubiquitous on most knives.  He has also done quite of bit of conversation shaping around the deep carry pocket clip.  We again have benefited.  Many makers are including these clips as standard features on their blades.  Look at the Dragonfly II, an update to a venerable little knife.  All of the major upgrades, the jimping and the deep carry pocket clip, are Nutnfancy hot button issues.  I liked the knife before, but with the Nutnfancy-driven improvements it is my favorite knife.  

His emphasis on value is also something I really appreciate.  I am at the point with my gear that I am no longer chasing every penny improvement, but when I was, I really valued his insights.  I still want my money to go as far as it can and having his opinion on a product is very helpful when doing research.

I also like his outdoors adventures.  Not so much because I like hearing him talk to Ali the Mountain Dog, who patiently listens to her master, but mainly because they inspire me to leave screens behind and go outside.  With a two year old son around getting away from the city is a truly rewarding experience.  Finding a frog or chasing a chipmunk with a two year old makes for an amazing morning.  Anything that prompts you to go do something and more specifically for us, go USE your gear, is a good thing.  We buy tools to use, not to serve as trophies.  I love seeing the battle scars on his stuff because it reminds me to go put some on mine.

For all of the complaining people do about the guy, really does put out a ton of useful and free information.  He did something that maybe someone somewhere had done before, but he is the foundation, the touchstone for gear information in new media.  We should all be grateful he does what he does for us.

There are things that he does that ARE problems.  Some of the older videos contained some insensitive homophobic remarks and he spends WAY TOO MUCH time on political issues (like Aneglia Jolie talking about politics--I tune in to both of them for reasons other than their political views).  Some folks might like the political stuff and I am glad I live in a country where people can express their views so freely, even if I disagree.  But in terms of his information on gear, there is no one that is more thoughtful or influential, and there is no one I tend agree with more on features and designs.  His relentless emphasis on small, useful, high value gear is really a boon to us all.   

Thanks Nutnfancy.   

13 comments:

  1. I agree wholeheartedly.

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  2. I agree Nutnfancy has contributed to the EDC, knife, gear world, but to me you have been a greater influence then Nutnfancy has. I greatly enjoy your blog and find your reviews extremely helpful and interesting. Keep up the great work!

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    1. No false modesty, that dude is just better than me. He has some much more experience and has seen more gear.

      Thanks though.

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  3. Tony totally agree that he has considerable influence and I enjoy a lot of his videos. I find his self-aggrandizing style to be a little grating at times, but then again I'm sure some people find me grating too. Needless to say it's not easy to put together a comprehensive and entertaining video gear review and I tip my hat to his practical perspective, enthusiastic style, and real world testing.

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  4. I am sorry I cannot agree too much with this post. I find NutnFancy to be all over the place. His reviews are informative from a single review at a time perspective but I have a difficult time seeing him as anything more than a lugubrious enthusiast. Yes, he is influential because he is watched, but he has had very little impact on my purchasing habits. Tony, you are much more of a thought provoking consultative educator on EDC gear who has definitely made an impact on my choices. You aren't perfect but your work is much more additive and consistent so I am more likely to trust in your advice. Perhaps NutnFancy is much more influential on the knife manufacturers and the collectors versus the practical buyer who want the best within a category. One more thing, I see NutnFancy as more of a self defense-off the grid preparedness-oriented enthusiast. He probably has drums of drinking water in his basement and a grain mill kit in a bag ready for Red Dawn-like invasion. These are not disparaging remarks but because of these characteristics, I take his pov to be less focused on my every day concerns. I will come here first if I know you and NutnFancy have reviewed the same gear.

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    1. I agree with David 100%.

      Additionally, IMO, his reviews weren't really "reviews." Unlike you, many of his "reviews" don't show any wear on the knife and thus I am very hesitant that he has actually used the knife and can warrant reviewing it.

      Compared to many of the big Bushcrafters on Youtube, his knowledge in wilderness use is also quite limited (I remember that he did an Axe video in which he clearly didn't know how to handle an axe, there are hundreds of videos showing people being much more competent with even larger axes, and these aren't Stihl competition videos, these are normal people who rely on axes in their daily lives).

      Also, a larger following doesn't mean he is better than you.

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  6. He helped me get my foot in the door with the whole aspect of edc when I didn't know any better. I bought my first edc/work knife after his stellar recommendation of the spyderco stretch. And it was perfect for what it was. He is useful if your on a budget and fairy new to the concept as I was couple years back. His advice is fairly sound to a certain degree, but he often gets off track. Like with everything else, take it with a grain of salt.

    If I devoutly followed him, I never would have bought my sebenza, which is leagues beyond any folder I've ever come in contact with...

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  7. He's an excellent gear reviewer and one heck of a good shot. But his politics are whack. When I disagreed with him and painted him into a corner either he or his sister banned me...LOL. No Worries..I might have gone a little over the top by saying I was looking forward to the 60 minutes spot when the Feds drag him out of his cabin like the UnaBomber in 20 years. Guess that hit a little close to home. I was half kidding but if you can't take a little dissenting opinion don't post YouTube political vids. Interesting guy though.

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  8. I watched his videos in the beginning when starting dowm my edc value path, I soon moved on to other review sites like yours for more concise, clear and in my opinion better reviews. I have read almost all of your posts in the past 2 years and only have just begun commenting to help the site grow and hoping more people will come visit, read and discuss. Great site! Thank you

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  9. My look on Nutnfancy comes from my understanding of truly successful leaders. Leaders lead because they can't help themselves, when confronted with a void where immediate action is required, they start acting and soon people start noticing and then some start helping. In my opinion, that is his greatest talent, he lets his nature lead him to where it wants to go, and then wonders where all the praise/attention came from.

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  10. Excessively long reviews (with lots of filler) aside. His pistol reviews, politics and ounce fetish I don't care for. No matter the pistol, it will ultimately be inferior to Glock for some inexplicable reason whether it be a tenth of a ounce or a $20 cost of the pistol, the Glock will hands down beat it.

    Politics, I'd call him part of the problem as far as the two party dickwaving problemfest we have.


    That said, I really enjoy his knife reviews. They tend to be very informative in their structure. He's overly autistic on gimping, but he fairly down to earth on the rediculousness of the high end knife market has become

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