A Gear Lover’s Guide to Going Further Down the Rabbit Hole
Tony Sculimbrene 10.08.13
You obviously know that you can get good information on gear here at AllOutdoor. You also probably know that Nutnfancy does a metric ton of gear reviews on YouTube. But if you want to expand your base of knowledge or learn about different kinds of stuff, here are a few sites and reviewers you should look into. There are quite a few good sources out there, but these are some of my favorites.
Flashlight Reviews.ca: Selfbuilt’s site is unquestionably the high water mark for flashlight reviews and gear reviews in general. No one is as thorough or as broad in scope. His videos are excellent too, though not as good as those of someone else on this list (Edge Observer). Beware: this is the deep end, with lots and lots of technical data and runtime graphs. Electrical engineers will feel right at home, but the rest of us just might skip a few charts and get to the good old written word.
Knife Thursday: This isn’t a review site at all, but a virtual hangout for knife knuts. They run a ton of contests and do lots of gear photograph submissions.
LoadedPocketz: There are ton of sites out there on bags and packs, but almost all of them have a bent or are shill sites. This isn’t either and the content is top notch.
BladeReviews: Dan’s site is one of the first written knife review sites and still one of the best. He has excellent photography and a very thorough testing procedure. He also drops some videos as well.
Practically Everyday: Aaron is a friend of mine, and a writer here at AllOutdoor. He does a lot of different things at his site, including some really good looks at uber-high-end customs. The photography is top notch and his videos are also quite good. Bring a drool cup, as Aaron’s taste in gear is completely top shelf.
Edge Observer: Andrew is also one of my friends, so this is a biased assessment, but go look at his site–it is phenomenal. He has a lot of original and interesting content, a slick visual style, and hands down the best videos in the gear world. He also has an eclectic collection of review samples, with lots and lots of stuff off the beaten path of Delicas and Mini Grips.
Custom Tacticals: This is one of the original written review sites and they have a medium-sized archive of reviews, including many customs. There is no single contributor, leading to an uneven voice and editorial style, but the content is good.
Cliff Stamp: If there is a true knife scientist out there, that person is Cliff Stamp. He has a very basic web design, but truly outstanding content.
Carryology: it is hard to ferret out what this site is — is it a gear review site or a shill site (like Uncrate)? Either way the content is good and they get lots of access to good bags. The description of jobs for the site leads me to believe it is a shill site, but if you know that going in and filter all of the content through that lens, you can still glean useful information.
Spydercollector: This is a Spyderco only website, but the photography is great. Wouter’s collection includes a lot of one of a kind and rare Spydercos, and he gets first peeks at almost all of the new Spyderco line each year. This is the place to go for good Spyderco information.
A Blog to Watch: If you are into watches, you know this is the place to go. Lots of folks (like Jikan) specialize in certain types of watches, but only ABTW is big enough and well-connected enough to cover them all and get good access to the highest of high end stuff.
Cutlery Lover: The presentation is not the best in the world, but Jeff has a true and unmistakable love for knives. He also has pretty diverse tastes, so if there is something in the cutlery world you want to see, he’ll probably do a video on it.
Cajun Blaze: Remember in high school English class when the teacher stressed having your own unique voice? No one on YouTube has as unique an approach to gear and gear reviews as Cajun Blaze. Its like you’re hanging out with your best bud who also happens to love knives.
Oromoto: Wanna see the best collection of customs in the world? Stop here.
Justin Laffer: Or here. This video has about $50,000 in Southards.
Self Built: As important and encyclopedic as his site, but with his smooth Canadian accent and funny hand gestures.
Edge Observer: THE BEST VIDEOS ON GEAR ANYWHERE. Watching Andrew’s stuff and then looking at everyone else’s stuff makes me feel like the film teacher that had Francis Ford Coppola in class with 29 other non-Francis Ford Coppolas.
Practically Everyday: A good selection of customs, high end production knives with good quality, and Aaron’s harp-like voice.
TuffThumbz: Geoff’s take on the knife world is great, and his ascent to the top of the custom heap in one year is amazing. Go for the great mods and customs and stay for the opinions.
Jim Skelton’s Knife Channel: Best talker in the gear world with a phenomenal custom collection. There is a reason why Jim is on TV for a living. The man can really talk.
Hour Time: A Blog to Watch’s podcast is uber nerdy and informative with a hint of snootiness, the perfect combination for a watch podcast.
Knife Thursday: Chris and JR do a great job of simulating a meet up with your knife buddies at an awesome bar. The guests are good and the stories are fun, but it is the knife discussion and admiration that works so well here.
Knife Journal: Jim Sowka and Co. bring their distinct fixed blade approach to the gear world and it is great, but it is their Fargo-esque accents that will have you returning for more.
Personal Armament Podcast: Rob Robideau, with his books (here), does a great job. The podcast hasn’t been updated recently, but he did a long run of great shows on flashlights with Marshall from Going Gear and a number of guests. His interview with the only true bespoke light maker in the world, Fred Pilson, Photon Fanatic, is worth tracking down.
Everyday Commentary: I ramble on in writing.
Everyday Commentary YouTube: I ramble on on video.
Gear Geeks Live: I ramble on on audio with Andrew and Aaron.