Question of the Day: What would you ask an Industry Legend?

As I begin to pull my things together for the Blade Show this weekend, I am simultaneously trying to organize my thoughts for how I want to approach my interviews with various makers, dealers, and other personalities. As I have mentioned, the two biggest interviews I have tentatively lined-up are Sal Glesser and Doug Ritter. Jonathan Marshall has through a fluke of timing crossed paths with Ethan Becker, famed designer for KaBar, and I am in the process of reaching out to him as well.

There are also many industry folks whom I would call “friends of TTAK”. These include designers such as Chris Williams, LT Wright, Shrek McPhee, and others. We will bring you the latest from these folks as well, though these pieces will obviously have a much more personal character to them.

Obviously, my interview with Sal Glesser will contain a number of background questions on the history of Spyderco and what led him to found the company. I have questions about the evolution of the industry and how this has impacted Spyderco and set its course going forward. What questions would you like Mr. Glesser to answer? 

I have corresponded with Doug Ritter on a regular basis, though we have not previously met. Doug covers a number of different areas in the knife world. Most notably, he is founder and President of, and his work speaks for itself. Doug also is a maker, David has reviewed his MK 6, and I have questions from this arena as well. Lastly, Doug is an avid prepper, and I look forward to discussing this facet of his work.

As for the big production houses, I intend to do a series of “Blade Show Booth Visits” where I detail the year’s new offerings from the likes of Case, Benchmade, CRKT, Boeker and more. I would like to do a similar thing with the mid-sized production companies such as Medford, Strider, and similar sized makers.

As for the custom makers, I admit to being a bit out of my depth. What custom makers would you like me to cover in particular? Otherwise I will just follow my nose and see what catches my eye.

Anything else you would like to see? Any makers (any size) or particular knives you would like to see featured? Any specific assignments that you would like to see David cover in particular?

Let us know. We want to be your eyes and ears on the show floor. We are at your command.


  1. sagebrushracer says:

    Ahem, Mr. Glesser, what is your favorite knife to EDC and what makes it your favorite?

    speaking for my self, the spyderco endura 4 with FFG is my favorite, very versatile. The VG 10 steel is plenty good and easy to sharpen.

    As for Mr. Doug Ritter, what knife does he pack in his BOB/72 hour Bag?

    1. Jonathan Marshall says:

      Hear, hear on the Endura 4, my personal favorite as well!
      3 Custom makers I’d love to see you cover if you have time:

      Lucas Burnley (table 19-F), young dude who makes striking, cool designs blending traditional and modern with a flair, very popular. I’m EDC’ing his Achi for a review right now and I’m really fond of it, would love to see more.

      American Kami ( Table 18-E, DJ Urbanovsky real name), stand up guy who makes very cool hard-use military/tactical mid-tech knives with a remarkable personal flair.

      Chuck Gedraitis (table 5-E) makes super clean, elegant knives that combine materials beautifully, should have some real show stoppers there if going by his previous work.

      For Mr. Glesser, a couple of questions:

      Where does he see the Mule Team going next for steel, will the focus be on domestic steels or will the program continue to reach out to manufacturers in Austria, Japan, etc?

      Is there going to a Sage 5 soon?

      And if he can divulge this info, what are his plans for the newly opened Golden Manufacturing facility expansion be? Will the focus be on higher end collaborations like we’re seeing in the market right now? Either way, good on them for expanding American manufacturing.

      While you and David are roaming the floor see if you agree with me on this: I’ve noticed a trend of mid-range knives disappearing in favor of either lower end knives or ultra premium knives, there’s not much of a middle ground for knife nuts to transition anymore. I’m really curious if there will be another Endura or Griptillian-type knife.

      Also, see if traditionals are making a comeback, GEC and and Canal Street Cutlery have really upticked in popularity recently, and even Cold Steel is making a premium slipjoint.

      I know that’s a ton of stuff, just wanted to throw some ideas out to you guys as you canvass the floor. Can you tell I had my homework ready for BLADE before my work schedule went to shite hah.

      And just for me personally….please get some gratuitous knife porn of some Carter Cutlery kitchen knives. /sigh

      Most importantly, have fun, be safe, and enjoy rubbing elbows with so many knife luminaries!

      1. I’ve got a GEC in my pocket that just arrived for testing a few days ago, courtesy of Derrick Bohn/KnivesShipFree. I’ll just say now that there is a reason everyone is saying great things about these knives!

        1. Jonathan Marshall says:

          That is really cool, I’m looking forward to that!

          I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nearly bought a Bull Buster from them, that may have to change…

      2. asked and answered, stay tuned

  2. dph says:

    I want to know why after almost 300 years no one has been able to duplicate true Damascus steel rather than pattern welding?

    1. sagebrushracer says:

      true Damascus or wootz steel now exists. and you can even by swords and stuff made from it.

      its also very expensive.

  3. Roger says:

    For Sal, I’d love to hear his thoughts on the “large tactical” folding knife market that Cold Steel has held for so long and that Spyderco is making attempts to compete in. A lot of what Spyderco produces comes from a philosophical stance and I think it would be fascinating to hear about that stance some more.

    For Doug Ritter, I’d like specifics on just how knife rights has been helping to defend our rights. Specific laws in the cross hairs.

    1. I know Knife Rights has been targeting a lot of state-level knife bans (switchblades, balisongs, length restrictions, etc) and working to repeal them and pair it with preemption, preventing local municipalities from enacting laws more strict than the state level.

      You can click “Knife Rights” in the categories on the right side of the page to see all of our posts relating to Knife Rights. Here is the direct link also:

      1. Roger says:

        Oh I’m well aware. I’d like the question to be asked either way as I live in a state that gets habitually ignored by the “second amendment protection organizations” despite donating to those very organizations. It feels sort of shitty when the people you donate to don’t bother to make the most cursory of outreach efforts.

        Maryland HAD a chance at a knife law preemption bill. But now that’s gone and off the table because the few state senators that supported it don’t want to look like they’re trying to Rahm Emmanuel a law after Freddie Gray.

        1. I asked this question to Doug point-blank.

          I think you will be happy with Doug’s answers to this question. There is a master plan in play. They don’t forget about you, rather are fighting the fights they think they can win. They want to reach a critical mass of states where the holdouts will end up being dragged along kicking and screaming when it is more obvious statistically that their arguments are completely lacking in merit.

        2. Hey Roger. Check out the interview that I just posted. I ask Doug this question directly, and he answered it head on.

          I hope you are satisfied with his answer.

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Question of the Day: What would you ask an Industry Legend?

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