Burrfection youtuber

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kartman35

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Have any of you guys seen this youtuber's vids? He has a channel with product comparos and sharpening instructions. The production quality is top notch, the camera angles are super, but the content seems questionable to me.

I've only seen a couple, but in that time for example he demonstrated the proper way to begin sharpening a Yanagiba as about 5 minutes of uraoshi on a chosera 1k. He he never indicates to only apply pressure on the push, and insists on a 90 degree angle of approach for uraoshi. In another video he says "now we'll strop" and proceeds to do gentle alternating edge leading strokes.

He gives all kinds of vague and unintelligible reasons for weird habits that he seems to have developed and generally seems to present or even know very little theory behind what he's doing.

have you guys seen him? Am I being too critical?

:scratchhead:
 

LifeByA1000Cuts

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"He gives all kinds of vague and unintelligible reasons for weird habits that he seems to have developed and generally seems to present or even know very little theory behind what he's doing."

This description would only exclude a minority even on this forum, and certainly not me :)

You notice he is still learning from video to video. Do, don't die attitude that leads to mistakes here and there....

The problem is, somebody sharpening so much and so many knives will hardly ever let the kit breathe and show what the edge retention is at....
 

kartman35

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"He gives all kinds of vague and unintelligible reasons for weird habits that he seems to have developed and generally seems to present or even know very little theory behind what he's doing."

This description would only exclude a minority even on this forum, and certainly not me :)

.
Right..and not for me either. the difference is we're not out there TEACHING as though we were some kind of expert.
 

mikaelsan

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i support what he does, as he keeps pointing out, its a learning experience for him as well, so yes there are points i disagree on, some variables that are not discussed and some times he could change his opinion on things.
But the fact is that his method works, and people learning how to sharpen seems to be his main audience, i know i got a lot more stable results after watching his stuff for a while. So expert or not i think its a nice option to be able to see his full session sharpening s and hear his thoughts along the way.
Also I'm there every once in a while to check out what different stones are like in use.
Every stone/knife in action video i can watch i appreciate, that's also why i like to watch stuff like mr knife fanatic as well =)
 

K813zra

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I don't feel that one has to be a master at something to be a teacher or an instructor. My father taught me how to fish, drive, tie my shoes and what have you and he is a master of none of those. An average guy that knows how to do them fairly well, sure. We as human beings have been handing down what knowledge we have about certain subjects to others for many years and all the while not being experts.

That aside, if you follow him you will clearly hear him state that he is not an expert and he recommends others who are if you are looking to start out in sharpening. What I feel he is doing is sharing the knowledge he gains on his sharpening journey with others. I see nothing wrong with that nor do I see how it differs from what happens on this or other forums on a daily basis.

Like any youtuber, take what you can from his videos and if you see something that you feel is flawed then say so.
 

Badgertooth

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He gives all kinds of vague and unintelligible reasons for weird habits that he seems to have developed and generally seems to present or even know very little theory behind what he's doing.
Hahaha, I pretty much assumed that sharpening was the solidification of a bunch of weird habits. I'd steer well clear of any of my videos then.
 

Jovidah

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I don't think you're being too critical. As I said somewhere else... the production / video quality only thinly veils his lack of mastery of the subject. He's just a guy who looked at all the youtube videos, and repackages them with a lot of hearsay and wild uninformed guesswork thrown in between. The biggest problem is that the format creates an impression of knowledge that just isn't there; there's a lot of half-truths and hearsay in there, and he misses a lot of the basic knowledge. Some it is simply plain wrong. Good luck trying to figure out which parts are correct and which parts aren't.

Admittedly that goes for most of us, but for those very reason most of us shouldn't start a channel trying to 'inform' the world'. Most of us don't go around telling people how to sharpen a yanagiba after we just bought our first one 3 days ago...

Another issue is that at least some of his recent videos (for example on the Dalstrong stuff) give me a strong impression that it's sponsored content.
The goal of the channel is to make money. I'd take whatever he says with a big heap of salt...
 

Jovidah

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I don't feel that one has to be a master at something to be a teacher or an instructor. My father taught me how to fish, drive, tie my shoes and what have you and he is a master of none of those. An average guy that knows how to do them fairly well, sure. We as human beings have been handing down what knowledge we have about certain subjects to others for many years and all the while not being experts.
I see your point... but I'm pretty sure your dad never wrote a manual on "How to fish for dummies" after his first fishing trip. Nor did he become a driving instructor a week after getting his driving license... ;)
The issue here is that people will just take him at his word, without looking further for the actual good stuff that is already out there.
 

K813zra

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I see your point... but I'm pretty sure your dad never wrote a manual on "How to fish for dummies" after his first fishing trip. Nor did he become a driving instructor a week after getting his driving license... ;)
The issue here is that people will just take him at his word, without looking further for the actual good stuff that is already out there.
We take people at their word everyday when we are not certain that they know what they are talking about. If one does not do further investigation and just assume that the one person they happened upon is right then the fault is their own. It isn't like he is claiming to be a professional sharpener and charging people to mimic what he does.

Edit: I didn't see the other post.

Most youtube channels out there are about making money even if they didn't start out that way. I am not saying to take the mans word as gospel but people do get to see the stones in action which is more than many can do locally. Even if it only gives a basic idea.

I get what you are saying but at the same time many of us answer questions on this forum on a daily basis without being an expert. If everyone were to keep quite I have a feeling that a lot of questions would go unanswered, maybe most of them.
 

LifeByA1000Cuts

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He might be learning by teaching - and I think he himself more or less admits to it if one listens :) The will to be methodical is certainly there with all these comparison studies....
 

TurboScooter

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Another issue is that at least some of his recent videos (for example on the Dalstrong stuff) give me a strong impression that it's sponsored content.
The goal of the channel is to make money. I'd take whatever he says with a big heap of salt...
The Burrfection channel spun off his original YouTube channel that had all kinds of other unrelated content, and now it has a scummy spammer like feel to it. He had some ads up for "friends" who had a store on Amazon and Etsy, but that seemed like it was about it for the knife products.

Now, every video description is an Amazon Affiliate link list (so he's making money off the links) 10 miles long. You can't even search his channel for something without bringing up every video because every video description has every product on his channel. It's like the idiots on Craigslist that spam words into their ad to bring up their ad in completely unrelated searches. I know I was looking for a Miata but wow this ad for a huge SUV came up because you put the word Miata in your ad along with every other auto related word you can think of. I never would have considered buying your huge SUV if you didn't so very cleverly sneak it into a search for a tiny roadster. I sure would like to make a several thousand dollar purchase from such a fine, honest person of unimpeachable character such as yourself.

I only look at the channel because I'm looking for views of something or just sheer boredom. The opinions and advice contained within the videos, however, I treat as possibly tainted/dishonest and thus essentially worthless.
 

LifeByA1000Cuts

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Sponsored reviews and monetized channels do not IMPLY dishonesty IMHO, but they certainly need scrutiny.

"You can't even search his channel for something without bringing up every video because every video description has every product on his channel"

Looks like somebody who is trying to maximize his youtube presence (not a problem in itself) while being inexperienced and simply following bad advice.

What I do wonder about is the scarcity of food related content ... And that a lot of non-knife content appears to have been deleted.
 

berko

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Every stone/knife in action video i can watch i appreciate
+1

i also love to hear peoples opinions on stones, even if they dont match with my experience.
 

XooMG

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For folks unfamiliar with it, Dunning and Kruger got an Ig Nobel prize. There is no Nobel prize for psychology.
 

valgard

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For folks unfamiliar with it, Dunning and Kruger got an Ig Nobel prize. There is no Nobel prize for psychology.
And Ig Nobel prizes are worth a read if you are in for a nerd laugh, there are some really amusing things people have devoted their time to...
 

Sharp-Hamono

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I don't think you're being too critical. As I said somewhere else... the production / video quality only thinly veils his lack of mastery of the subject. He's just a guy who looked at all the youtube videos, and repackages them with a lot of hearsay and wild uninformed guesswork thrown in between. The biggest problem is that the format creates an impression of knowledge that just isn't there; there's a lot of half-truths and hearsay in there, and he misses a lot of the basic knowledge. Some it is simply plain wrong. Good luck trying to figure out which parts are correct and which parts aren't.

Admittedly that goes for most of us, but for those very reason most of us shouldn't start a channel trying to 'inform' the world'. Most of us don't go around telling people how to sharpen a yanagiba after we just bought our first one 3 days ago...

Another issue is that at least some of his recent videos (for example on the Dalstrong stuff) give me a strong impression that it's sponsored content.
The goal of the channel is to make money. I'd take whatever he says with a big heap of salt...
OK, guess I'll be the dude who sticks up for him. I see a whole lot of generalizations and buzzwords in your condemnation, but scarce few examples. Let's take your core complaint that his production values are too high for his level of knowledge. If every YouTube channel with high production values and mediocre informational value were shut down, there'd only be a handful of people left on the site. Anyone who has used the site more than once knows that YouTube channels do not equate to authoritative, encyclopedia-like collections of knowledge. I really don't understand what your fundamental complaint is. Would you rather he use less expensive camera equipment until his knowledge is sufficiently deep to gain your approval? It's such a bizarre complaint, IMO, that I have to assume you're hating just for the sake of hating. Maybe out of jealousy.

Let's take the money making complaint. A channel that size probably makes anywhere from a couple hundred to maybe a thousand bucks a month on ad revenue and referral links. That could be enough to pay his rent many months, depending on how much he's getting. He's definitely a businessman, like many youtubers are, and I'm not sure how anyone could miss that. It's one thing to not like him - that's normal and completely your right to do - but honestly, who are you to say that he can't feed his family just because you don't think he's smart enough or he doesn't do things to your approval? How can you spite a businessman for trying to make money? I mean, come on. Let's not play coy, no one is taking advice from any YouTube video completely at face value - and if they are, and it's bad advice, then that's their own fault. There are a lot of different kinds of channels on YouTube, and I for one am glad that at least one of them is making videos about knife sharpening and whetstone use. Don't like it? Let's see you make a better channel then.
 

kartman35

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I started this thread with a few examples.

Perhaps Jon would care to comment on whether or not it's good advice to start sharpening your yanagiba with several minutes of 2 directional sharpening on the ura with a medium grit stone?

****EDIT****

Nevermind I just saw the Korin video which shows exactly this as the way to start sharpening your yanagiba.

More than one way to do things I guess.
 

LifeByA1000Cuts

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@kartman35 I think if someone was to take Mr Lau or Mr Sugai's advice literally while not having their skill, they'd be likely to wreck their knife. Taking diamond plates to an ura anyone? Not wrong, but certainly dangerous.
 

Jovidah

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Sponsored reviews and monetized channels do not IMPLY dishonesty IMHO, but they certainly need scrutiny.

"You can't even search his channel for something without bringing up every video because every video description has every product on his channel"

Looks like somebody who is trying to maximize his youtube presence (not a problem in itself) while being inexperienced and simply following bad advice.

What I do wonder about is the scarcity of food related content ... And that a lot of non-knife content appears to have been deleted.
I don't have a problem with sponsored content per se, but it has to be labeled. And in a channel that portrays to give objective reviews...there is just no place for it IMO. I know this is quite common on youtube, but that's not an excuse. That's just a bigger problem.
I agree on the issue of lack of food-content. He seems to fall in the trap a lot of people tend to fall into of studying knives in a vaccuum, maybe even spending more time sharpening than using them for their intended purposes. Same issue you see with people who use rope cutting tests for knives. Great if you actually want your knives to cut ropes, but not very useful if you only want it to cut carrots and onions.

OK, guess I'll be the dude who sticks up for him. I see a whole lot of generalizations and buzzwords in your condemnation, but scarce few examples. Let's take your core complaint that his production values are too high for his level of knowledge. If every YouTube channel with high production values and mediocre informational value were shut down, there'd only be a handful of people left on the site. Anyone who has used the site more than once knows that YouTube channels do not equate to authoritative, encyclopedia-like collections of knowledge. I really don't understand what your fundamental complaint is. Would you rather he use less expensive camera equipment until his knowledge is sufficiently deep to gain your approval? It's such a bizarre complaint, IMO, that I have to assume you're hating just for the sake of hating. Maybe out of jealousy.
No my issue isn't necessarily that the production values are too high, only that the knowledge base is too low. The fact that more channels suffer from this problem isn't an excuse. The overwhelming amount of cooking or knife 'instructions' that give bad or simply wrong advice are a thorn to my eye as well. And the reality is many people do seem to take it for 'expert advice'.
The main reason I don't have a lot of examples is because I wasn't exactly keeping a list as I went through some of them when they popped into my feed. Sorry, it's been a few weeks and frankly I can't be bothered to go back and watch them again.

I don't know why I'd be jealous. Personally I get the idea that my level of knowledge on the matter is no different or even higher than his... and I don't consider myself expert enough to create such instructional material for a bigger audience. I can share a few tips, experiences or suggestions, but IMO instructional series should be left to the few people who actually have a damn clue and don't mix up good advice with bad advice.


Let's take the money making complaint. A channel that size probably makes anywhere from a couple hundred to maybe a thousand bucks a month on ad revenue and referral links. That could be enough to pay his rent many months, depending on how much he's getting. He's definitely a businessman, like many youtubers are, and I'm not sure how anyone could miss that. It's one thing to not like him - that's normal and completely your right to do - but honestly, who are you to say that he can't feed his family just because you don't think he's smart enough or he doesn't do things to your approval? How can you spite a businessman for trying to make money? I mean, come on. Let's not play coy, no one is taking advice from any YouTube video completely at face value - and if they are, and it's bad advice, then that's their own fault. There are a lot of different kinds of channels on YouTube, and I for one am glad that at least one of them is making videos about knife sharpening and whetstone use. Don't like it? Let's see you make a better channel then.
The whole businessman argument is BS. By your reasoning I could legitimize slave traders and drug smugglers. Most of those have rents to pay and families to feed as well. Yes I most certainly can complain about how people make money if I think their ethics or business practices suck, or the quality of work is lacking. Everyone does. Heck, why is there a CheeseKnightsToGo embargo here? For that very reason.

Take the reviews of the Dalstrong knife for example (happened to pop in my feed a while back). It's a knife that has some pretty obvious issues - especially if you go through their own promotional materials. Yet he only gives glowing reviews. That means he is either too incompetent to notice them, or it is sponsored content which isn't labelled as such (more likely). Take your pick. The latter is extremely dishonest IMO and actually illegal in some places.
 

LifeByA1000Cuts

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He was pretty upfront about the fact that Dalstrong gave him some knives for free.. assuming you're talking the Gladiator, how is that one bad for a softer western-hybrid knife in your opinion (not a rhetorical question!)?

....

Yes, there is something to be jealous about: The "2010's style confidence" of saying "hey, got one eye, and the kingdom's blind, so I do not only get to be king, but it is good for everyone!". I think it really helps :) (Yeah I know, I myself am part guilty, part sorely lacking of it). Maybe.

And hey, who wants to read a one liner saying "I've been through three shopping bags of produce with knife XYZ, need no more than a polishing stone and a newspaper now. Not claiming my work style is representative." when you can get glorious youtube vid with spry, smiling guy? ;)

My impression that he's not beyond salvation was from the Masamoto vs Pumpkin thing: First thought was "You sharpened terrible steering into that, either a) by doing it wrong, or b) by doing it right but making a knife that either c) you can't use or d) that is useless on a pumpkin, thus rendering the test nonsensical". However, further down the line he was indeed *spending some thought into why it happened*.

Problem is, in case d) it is hard to fathom if this would also apply to that knife as-new .... which might reflect unfairly bad on Masamoto.

......


Defending no side at all here, just unfiltered thoughts. Hey, this fence makes for comfortable sitting...


......
 

XooMG

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Is he hostile to constructive criticism? Has anyone recommended he add secondary sources or references when dealing with methods or concepts in which he is not especially competent?

Online authority is an easy trap to fall into when you're a motivated amateur. Belligerence is an easy trap as well.
 

brooksie967

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I actually have Ryky on facebook and he's a pleasant guy who seems to want to learn lots. Yeah he's getting free samples and probably making money but I have never gotten the impression that he's doing this without the best intentions.
 

Sharp-Hamono

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I don't have a problem with sponsored content per se, but it has to be labeled. And in a channel that portrays to give objective reviews...there is just no place for it IMO. I know this is quite common on youtube, but that's not an excuse. That's just a bigger problem.

Take the reviews of the Dalstrong knife for example (happened to pop in my feed a while back). It's a knife that has some pretty obvious issues - especially if you go through their own promotional materials. Yet he only gives glowing reviews. That means he is either too incompetent to notice them, or it is sponsored content which isn't labelled as such (more likely). Take your pick. The latter is extremely dishonest IMO and actually illegal in some places.
He's pretty upfront about where he gets his knives, actually. He certainly never denies that he got certain knives for free, and in many videos, he specifically says that he was sent the knife for free, for example the video he did recently on the Kuma knife. He also made a whole Q&A video recently where he explained how he gets a lot of knives sent to him for free.

No my issue isn't necessarily that the production values are too high, only that the knowledge base is too low. The fact that more channels suffer from this problem isn't an excuse. The overwhelming amount of cooking or knife 'instructions' that give bad or simply wrong advice are a thorn to my eye as well. And the reality is many people do seem to take it for 'expert advice'.
The main reason I don't have a lot of examples is because I wasn't exactly keeping a list as I went through some of them when they popped into my feed. Sorry, it's been a few weeks and frankly I can't be bothered to go back and watch them again.
I only wrote a short essay explaining my position. But you didn't take notes, so you "can't be bothered to" distill your high level thesis into a mere one or two paragraphs of reasoning with examples to convey your opinion without all the generalization or conjecture. Why would anyone ever expect reciprocity in a conversation, of all things?

I don't know why I'd be jealous. Personally I get the idea that my level of knowledge on the matter is no different or even higher than his... and I don't consider myself expert enough to create such instructional material for a bigger audience. I can share a few tips, experiences or suggestions, but IMO instructional series should be left to the few people who actually have a damn clue and don't mix up good advice with bad advice.
I don't know why you'd be jealous either. But like I said, despite there being other channels giving incomplete or inadequate advice for sharpening knives, you seem to have singled out only this one to crucify. I'm just trying to understand, and since you haven't offered evidence to support your position, I don't have much to work with.

Yes I most certainly can complain about how people make money if I think their ethics or business practices suck, or the quality of work is lacking. Everyone does. Heck, why is there a CheeseKnightsToGo embargo here? For that very reason.
So don't watch his videos then. Why is this such a difficult concept for you? Nobody's forcing you to watch them or agonize about all the things he's doing wrong.

The whole businessman argument is BS. By your reasoning I could legitimize slave traders and drug smugglers. Most of those have rents to pay and families to feed as well.
Point to where, in the post you're replying to or anywhere else, I said that it's OK to make money by hurting other people or doing anything else that's illegal.

I'll wait.
 

malexthekid

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Umm he singled out this one because it is a thread about this channel. I thought that was obvious.
 

Sharp-Hamono

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He's criticized burrfection in at least one other thread in the same superficial, generic way. I'm still waiting for him to give any specifics whatsoever. The fact that he's more willing to insinuate that I can rationalize slavery than give examples backing up what he says tells me that he's probably unable to defend his position.
 

malexthekid

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Mate sorry but I am on his side of this. Obviously sponsored (not just free) content. Pretty rubbish tutorials. But looks pro because of the quality.

Look if you like the guy fine. But you will get better tutorials from Jon or Rick (ThEory).

And I still can't figure out what position you want him to defend... let alone not being able to defend it.

Take a chill pill and go buy a dalstrong.
 
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