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Some Thoughts on Youtuber Nick Shabazz

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by VermontEdge, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    I like him...he's sharp, quick-witted and a bit of fun....great reviews from a guy who's been down the road with LOTS of knives... I have purchased several knives...partially based on his reviews...
    elde66 and NickShabazz like this.
  2. Airedale1


    May 18, 2009
    Someone said that he sounds like Gilbert Godfried. I agree; he reminds me of Gilbert too.
    That being said, I enjoy his reviews very much. They are well produced, have very good content and his presentation is always entertaining. He is definitely one of my favorite reviewers.
  3. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Shabazz is no Gilbert Godfried. That's like comparing Champagne to a wine spritzer :)
    NickShabazz likes this.
  4. rp5


    Sep 10, 2020
    This was nice to see, but Nick seems to be a nicer guy than I would be in his shoes. It's simply not the job of a reviewer, at least one obviously trying to maintain an objective viewpoint, to QC products for a manufacturer. I realize these comments are 3 years old, but it's always on the manufacturer to QC their "duds." That's the entire point of quality control as an industry. The internet has been an explosion in easily accessed criticism, but Consumer Reports were founded in the 1930s to advocate for consumers and give unbiased reviews of products. It was a revolutionary change for the manufacturing industry, and the birth of QC as it exists today. If your company hasn't adjusted since 1930 to the impact that a negative review can have on your business, I have some bad news for your management team. Look at the difference between reviews on BladeHQ (where they're selling 99% of those products and seem to love every knife they see), a reviewer like Nick, and the reviews you see on yelp (which skew negative as often only people with problems are willing to put in the energy to review.) If someone is taking the time to break their experience down into the good, the great, the bad, the ugly - they seem pretty fair and balanced to me.
    bigsurbob, Airedale1 and NickShabazz like this.
  5. RoyalHolic

    RoyalHolic Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2019
    He re-sparked my love of knives! I had been out of the hobby for quite a few years, I was just happy with a few kershaw's that I had and I randomly stumbled upon him and he got me into a lot of the knives I own today.

    Great guy.
    Airedale1 and NickShabazz like this.
  6. NickShabazz


    Aug 10, 2014
    For what it's worth, Whitty and I have talked a good bit since this interaction, and I think we both see each other's perspectives pretty well. More importantly, he's been kind to me as a human, has been supportive of the channel, and he's even sent some gear my way for review himself. So, although I can see you getting that impression from that snapshot, you should have no hesitation about working with him or his company/shop, as he's gotten no shortage of my money since!
  7. rp5


    Sep 10, 2020
    Understood, appreciate the feedback.

    I'll repeat my point that I see your reviews as consumer advocacy, and as a consumer, thank you for your time, effort, and approach. I've bought several knives you've reviewed, not all "gems," and I'll continue using your reviews as one source of input.
    elde66 likes this.
  8. FlomoDude


    Sep 20, 2020
    Nick's great!

    I was sold the first review I saw where he disclosed upfront that he was sent the knife by a manufacturer for review, and still had plenty of bad/ugly comments. Granted, maybe the overall was more favorable than if he'd bought the knife. Too many YT reviews fail to disclose the source of what they're reviewing, and those reviews become infomercials. Of course most YT reviewers love getting gifted free great stuff from the manufacturer, and don't want to risk losing that with a negative review. And that's fine, but please at least be upfront and tell me that the manufacturer sent you their product for free.

    He's got philosophical side as well which I really appreciate.

    I can't help but notice he doesn't review a couple brands; neither Kershaw, Zero Tolerance have had any reviews in a few years. I read somewhere maybe Kershaw has acted with some questionable tactics in copying other knives and maybe that's why he doesn't review them. But ZT? Does anyone (or Nick himself) know?
  9. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Consumer Reports was founded on the concept that if the manufacturer supplies the product, there is an inherent bias. I don't know about now, but when I worked at a nutritional testing lab, Consumer Reports bought all the tomato sauce they sent us for testing.

    Think about it, if you gave a reviewer your product and they severely critcized it, would you send them more? Inherent bias is why Blade magazine reviews of maker supplied knives are virtually useless.
    Smaug likes this.
  10. NickShabazz


    Aug 10, 2014
    This is something I've thought a lot about, and something that's really tricky with review channels, particularly if you're trying to make the channel your 'full time job'. I've talked about this some in this video:

    For what it's worth, balancing this tension between 'giving honest negative feedback', 'generating friction with makers', and 'doing more good than harm' is harder and harder to balance as the channel grows, even without review samples being on the table. This is a part of the reason that, as the channel has grown and as more and more reviewers have entered the space doing great honest work, I've been slowly shifting my focus towards being a 'gem hunter', highlighting the 'best of the best' products, where I can honestly say there are few faults and describe them clearly, and just selling (or sending back to makers with feedback) pieces which don't measure up.

    It's nice because, as I have less and less time, it allows me to spend more time finding great stuff and less time slogging through 'meh' and objectively flawed gear, and because it allows me to still be completely honest and straightforward with viewers, while having less negative effects, particularly on smaller makers for whom an honest-but-negative review from a major channel would be really rough. Plus, from a purely selfish perspective, I love nothing more than finding something that's gonna bring people joy, and sharing that joy, so if I can spend more of my time doing that, that's a win.

    Anyways, brownshoe, this is a really good point, and it's something to consider any time somebody discloses that they've gotten a review sample (or, concerningly, doesn't). 'Objectivity' isn't a thing, so considering the potential (and guaranteed) sources and natures of bias in any information source is a great idea.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
    MVF, bigsurbob, AFAustin and 4 others like this.
  11. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    The best thing one can learn is reality is subjective.

    It's hard to believe a reviewer if they don't tell how they got the gear. I believe you often do.
    Jefe Q likes this.
  12. FlomoDude


    Sep 20, 2020
    Once again, a very well spoken (typed) reply.

    My point was that I appreciate that Nick does actually disclose when he receives free merchandise for review. Too many product reviewers all over YouTube don't. When motives are disclosed, we can then make our own judgements with that knowledge in mind.

    We're talking about a relatively small YouTube channel that provides fantastic information and great entertainment. He's never tried to masquerade as an unbiased authority like Consumer Reports.
  13. Zetwal

    Zetwal Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 23, 2020
    That's an interesting comparison. And I do miss those guys (Click and Clack).
  14. mwhich50

    mwhich50 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 18, 2011
    I have been a pretty hard core knife enthusiast for the past 10 years. I have seen a lot of knife reviewers come and go. Nick may be the most systematic/thorough reviewer on Youtube at this present time. I trust his reviews.
    Luckily we have very different tastes in knives/gear, or I might be even poorer.
    NickShabazz and elde66 like this.
  15. Billy The Hungry

    Billy The Hungry

    Aug 11, 2020
    Hi Nick, big fan here. I've been watching your reviews for a long time now. I appreciate your honesty and humor. You seem like a good guy!

    Thanks for the entertainment and the laughs, Nick!
    NickShabazz likes this.
  16. barleywino

    barleywino Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jul 11, 2020
    The Good: Although he might initially come across to some as a fast talking used car salesman, i enjoy the sheer enthusiasm he brings to his reviews, and I'm impressed by how skillfully he walks the fine line between candor and tact, and how he pays homage to the fact that different people have different tastes. I also enjoy his reviews of other EDC items like flashlights. I appreciate the window he provides into products that one might otherwise not be aware of.

    The Great: How hard he tries to balance his reviews between good and bad.

    The Bad: He reminds me of my childhood growing up near NYC

    The Ugly: i dread the obligatory size comparison to the spyderco delica ;)
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021 at 8:53 AM
    NickShabazz likes this.
  17. desmobob


    May 5, 2003
    The Good and The Great? everything about the reviews! The Bad? Him making me feel a little self-conscious about "jackassing around" with my XL Cold Steel folders. :) Nothing I notice to put in The Ugly category...
    elde66 and NickShabazz like this.

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