Customer Reviews

I thought I would share some feedback I get from internet customers.  For a fair and balanced approach, I'm including the bad as well- actually there really isn't any yet, but should there be you can read it here.  It's true, you gotta believe me!

"Thanks for the nice blade. You sure were right when you said that this was a lighter thinner knife. The handle is nicely shaped and fits nicely in hand. Now you won't mind if I use the heck out of it do you?  Thanks again." Martin, Spokane, WA
"Hi Salem, got it tonight. First thoughts:
- razor sharp- great heft, surprisingly light for the size
- I wasn't sure I was going to like the butt end of the handle with the
   flats, but my pinkie just dropped into place perfectly
- beautiful form and fit
- the sheath is very nice too
I really like it. Thanks." Charles G., California
"Hello Sir, (I)got it a couple of weeks ago and forgot to post a reply. Well, I've seen your blades in your site. You have chosen a certain style which can be easily be distinguished from the others and lets everybody else know that this blade is forged by Straub without seeing the stamp on the tang.  Blades with character - that is what you forge and the one I got is no different.
Keep up the art, and your hammer's hot!  Thank you."  Lefteris Petalas, Bathykalymnou, Dodecanese, Greece
"Salem: I got the knife yesterday. Here are my initial thoughts, even though I have yet to cut anything with it. You did a great job staying close to the original design, and I thank you for that. I think it came out extremely well, and it is very well-balanced and comfortable in the hand for extended work, something a lot of makers have a tendency to overlook in their designs. It is comfortable and secure in a multitude of grips, and the handle is all I need and nothing more. Just right.
The overall workmanship is outstanding. I know good cutlery work when I see it, and the key to a simple design is in the execution of the small details. The fit of the guard to tang, the soldering, the handle finishing around the tang pin, and the blade finish are all top-of-the-line. The subtle contouring of the handle, with slight rectangular lines on top for security in the hand and rounded on the bottom for comfortable use are perfectly executed... this is an area many knifemakers do not seem to grasp well in crafting handles (pun intended).
The blade is just right – big enough to do what I need, but overall a trim, compact belt knife. I like my basic design, but you made it come alive in the hand. It balances at the center point, and is very strong, yet only weighs 5 ozs. – a great balance of strength without excess weight.
The blade is forged and ground with just the right combination of "beefiness" and tapered leanness so it is strong but slices well... perfect.
The sheath is similar to my own design ideas in that the belt loop rides the sheath appropriately high on the belt, rather than dangling low. It is the right combination of snug and well-fit design for the blade. The stitching is first rate.
The knife is truly very sharp. Most knives that come my way require addition attention from me to get them as sharp as I prefer. I lightly stropped your edge on a leather strop and that was it--- it was already very sharp in the best way,i.e. no false wire edge, but a very correctly sharpened edge ready for work.
Here are the only very few minor items I can mention that might fit in the "constructive critical thought" category: I will round the spine and the ricasso area at the tang – they are finished with precise, but somewhat sharp corners. I forgot to ask you for a rounded spine, and I know many customers like to see the precise bevels as a sign of workmanship, but I prefer rounded edges for a working knife where my fingers will contact the blade. I will also very lightly round the leading shoulder of the guard, as it is also finished to a very precise angle and I like it a little "softer" at the very edge.
I would go up a couple ounces in leather weight for your sheath, and perhaps go to a thicker piece just for the welt, which will stiffen it somewhat without adding much weight.
And that’s all I could find to nitpick. This is coming from a guy who remakes or changes things on virtually every knife I have ever owned. Pretty slim pickings in the critical category...
I will give you more feedback as soon as I have a chance to really work with it and sharpen it, etc. I suspect extended use will only confirm what I can already see is a "Truly Vorpal Blade"...and I have only used that term to describe a very few knives in my life.
I will report back, and I will also be looking at asking you to make more knives for me this winter….you are a gifted and skilled artisan, and you have crafted a truly superior knife in a timely fashion, as well as being a pleasure to deal with via email. I think I can critically appreciate your effort more than many, and I am deeply appreciative. Good on Ya!"  Andy Mills, Grants Pass, OR.
 "The knife arrived today, and it is a real beauty.  It will be a pleasure having your works again in the future.  Thanks a lot Bro. God bless you."  Frids, Jakarta, Indonesia
"A really outstanding job on this one--simple as simple gets at first glance and yet has so much class. I love how far you tapered the tang--looks like if there weren't scales around it you could sharpen it!
Really incredible work--and the sheath is perfect for me. Thanks very, very much!"  Warren H., Huntsville, AL
"Hi Salem,
 Got the Black Ghost today. Wow. I have been turning it over in my hands for like an hour now, and have to comment on some things:
 The knife is heavier than I expected, and this is a good thing. It is definitely not a dainty knife! I have a hard time with just pics of knives because they only tell about 20% of the story - the other 80% is based on the experience of holding a knife and looking at it in person.
 I'm not sure what this area of the knife is called - the part above the bolsters where you stamped your name. I really love this - it's large enough to allow me to choke up on the knife, or to get a good pinch grip.
 The balance is amazing. I can hold the knife on the micarta and it's blade-heavy. I can put my first finger on the bolsters and the balance is neutral. I can choke up on the blade and it becomes handle-heavy. I have never believed that one is better than the other, because each one is purposeful.
 The tapers are perfect. The full tapered tang allows for the perfection in balance, and the tapered blade makes the knife useful for intricate work and getting into tight spots without sacrificing tip strength.
 Your choice of steel, combined with the full height blade grind, allows me full confidence to use this knife extensively and for serious chores without fear of breakage.
 I'm glad you chose to go with black micarta. The handles are very beautiful yet utilitarian looking, which is right up my alley. And I like how you shaped the handles - with the height at the second pins and a gentle sloping towards the butt and the bolsters. Perfect work on the ergonomics! And I love your choice of five handle pins - very cool looking and secure as well.
 The lanyard hole is exactly the right size and in the perfect spot. Most knives I own have lanyard holes that are too small or just large enough, but this one allows for a wide range of lanyards to be used without trying to fit it through a tiny hole.
 Of course, the bolsters are incredible as well. I love the dovetailed shape and how I can see the four tiny pins that go through it but are perfectly level with the bolsters' surfaces. This is impeccable workmanship.
 Finally, the sheath. This is very, very nice. I don't own any leather sheath that is this nice. I love the unadorned look with smooth, clean lines and perfect stitching.
 You know your stuff. You made a custom knife that spanks the hell out of most others I have seen and owned. And you did this at a very reasonable price considering the level of workmanship you put into forging the blade, crafting the fittings, and putting it all together to create a compact, versatile, and sturdy knife.
 Feel free to steal, tweak, or edit the above and make a review for your site, if you wish.
 Thanks for your hard work and attention to detail. I'm off the market for now but know where to come next time I want a real knife.
 Take care and have a great weekend!" Dan B., Layton, UT.
 "Salem, the jade ghost ghost came today and it's gorgeous! I'm especially impressed with the taper toward the rear. I hadn't noticed that in the photos and it really makes the knife distinctive and helps with the balance. Thanks for the good work!" Bill Farrell, Sacramento, CA.
"Hey Salem, I got the knife today. Thank you for the note and the beautiful knife. Better than the pictures. That new sheath is awesome too.
I will be getting more of your knives, for sure." Sam Cotton, San Luis Obispo, CA
"I got my 1st Salem Straub today! (Promethean Knives) This thing is Whoa! Good. The curly koa handes have so much chatoyance in them they look a mile deep. The blue liners are cool and the hand forged 5160 blade is razored. I have the naked hand to prove it! This thing is rock solid and ready to go! The sheath is Amazing, Salem's Leatherwork is top notch. and even cooler, it's made out of horse hide! Outstanding work Salem, I'll cherish it and use the heck out of it!"  Jason S. Carter, Sharpsville, IN
"Dude; you need to make more knives. Arrived today. Balance, forging, edge, contour, fit and finish are all top notch. Packing and communication excellent as well. One of my new favorite knives (and god help me I have a bunch)! Well done and thanks!"  B. Bloom, Yorktown, VA
"Salem, wanted to let you know I got the knife quickly and I absolutely LOVE it!"  B. Cooney, Richmond, CA
 "It's here, and an extremely cool piece of work.  Truly beautiful lines and as good as the pictures look the contrast of the wood in the handle is amazing in person. This knife reminds me very much of Dan Grave's work--in that it gives the impression of being both delicate and robust at the same time; trim lines but very solid. Very pleased.  The workmanship is really excellent, and the whole package really sort of reminds me of the old "Gaucho" knives from Solingen."  Warren H., Huntsville, AL
"Just received the knife.  It's very impressive, to say the least. My knife collection currently exceeds 300 blades, many of them custom.  I'll have to say that the fit and finish of your knife is right around the top of those I own. Nice and sharp, too. Your sheath is simple but well made and fits the knife like a glove.  Needless to say, I'm very happy with my purchase.  I'll be on the lookout for more impressive work coming out of your shop. Thanks!"  Jeff MacDougall, Henderson, NV
"Hi Salem, the knife arrived. Thanks a lot! I'm impressed-very well done.  I'll look for your future knives." 
 Oliver R., Leipzig, Germany
 "Hi Salem, received the knife - it's just awesome!!!  I'm so glad to get it - I have a camping trip this weekend so I'll give it an immediate workout.  I'm a lucky guy to get such a nice knife at such a bargain price.  Thank you sooo much!!!  This thing is beautiful and maaddd sharp!!!"  Barry H,  Cheshire, CT. 
"Received (the) knife today, you did an excellent job on it. I will be getting back with you for another one soon when I get the money for it saved up, thanks."  Cesar H,  N.M.
"Your build quality is great! the lines and grinds are extremly clean.  Oh ya, not to mention this thing is a freaking razor blade!!!"  Ben B., Wasau, WI