The knife world has lost a kind and giving figure yesterday. Derrick Bohn, owner of Knives Ship Free and the Northwoods knife brand passed away from a sudden brain aneurysm.
The news hit me harder than I would have expected. I can’t claim to know the man on a deep personal level – like many of you out there, I know him best through his videos – but I have had a handful of conversations with Derrick over the years.
The first time we spoke was about the LTWK Rogue River, a KSF exclusive, which I was reviewing at the time. We wound up talking for about 45 minutes about all sorts of things. At the end of that call he offered me a Great Eastern Cutlery slipjoint to review, a #73 single blade trapper that I am carrying today in remembrance.
I know my story is not just an outlier. There are tons of stories out there where Derrick took the time to really engage with and talk to his customers. More than just a knife retailer, Derrick knew what we liked because he was one of us and his Northwoods knives were hot sellers as a result.
Derrick was a giver. By far, one of the coolest things I’ve seen happen in the knife world was because of him. A few years ago he started a Knives For Kids program. As a way to help parents introduce their kids to knives, he gave away hundreds of Buck folders for free, with personalized laser engraving on every one to make them extra special. He knew there would be some people out there that abused the program to get a free knife for themselves, but he did it anyway. Worth it to make an impact.
Although I have never met his family, my heart aches for them. Leaving behind a wife and three daughters, he will be remembered as a kindhearted man with a passion for knives and his friends. I wish I could say more. He deserves it. May he rest in peace