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Favorite YouTube Reviewers

Discussion in 'The Way Station' started by aedmband21, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. tbzbbt

    tbzbbt Loaded Pockets

    Jun 11, 2016
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    Nut'n'Fancy is remarkably informative though verbose. I really enjoyed his video about his boat. Less enjoyable are his politics.

    Gideon Tactical is great though some videos are too long and labour the simplest points. I like he condemns as often as he applauds, as it adds credibility.

    Urban Prepper is very good:articulate and well informed and offers a less bushcraft view of EDC.
    Sooch is good entertainment. Long live republic etc etc
    Cutlery Lover good for knife stuff.
    Selftest is remarkably prolific on flashlights
    Dr Schmalhaus is good. German professionalism and recognises the importance of the equipment characteristics.

    Generally I like passion and intelligence in my reviewers. Gung-ho gun-touting tossers do. not appeal. Review for pay is ok, though full disclosure please. A good reputation is difficult to earn and easy to lose.

    Last edited by tbzbbt, May 31, 2017
    #101 tbzbbt, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  2. Lellobeetle

    Lellobeetle Loaded Pockets

    Feb 26, 2015
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    I used to grin and bear with it through Nutn's sometimes excruciatingly long videos. I thought he had good information. And then he bought that 350Z and started tracking it and racing other cars. If there's one thing I know, it's tuning cars and when I heard him make several outlandish statements about tuning and racing, I was so shocked I started to wonder if other of his comments were not right too.

    I watch these guys below - but these are not everyone that I watch...
    Everyday Tactical Vids
    Urban Prepper
    Late Boy Scout
    Giddeon's Tactical
    Black Owl Outdoors
    Black Scout Survival
    Blue Mountain Bushcraft and Outdoors
    BirdShot IV
    Budget Bugout
    Bushcraft Bartons
    Feral Woodcraft
    Firebox Stove
    High Carbon Steel Love
    Iraq Veteran 8888
    Joe Robinet
    Kenneth Kramm
    Living Survival
    Nick Shabazz
    Survival On Purpose
    Working Class Woodsman
  3. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

    Mar 8, 2014
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    A "little" late to the party here, but this is still a timely topic...especially now.

    Here's the thing about online review, especially U-toob. Every single one of the reviewers mentioned in this thread follow almost the exact same trajectory...eventually.

    1.) It is almost impossible to find honest and objective reviews anymore from people who have any actual experience with whatever it is they are reviewing. I've read this whole thread, and I've seen most of the reviewers being discussed here for years. Sooner or later all of these guys get biased. Once they get a good count of subscribers, they eventually cave in to sponsorship. After that everything they say is completely suspect (even though they swear up and down their reviews are objective)!

    2.) Reviews shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes. In fact, no video on U-toob should take longer than 10 minutes. Most of these guys spend 10-15 minutes talking about virtually nothing before even getting to the review! It's completely ridiculous to the point I've stopped watching ALL of them! When they all start out their videos are succinct and contain both pros and cons. Over time the videos get longer, and longer, and LONGER, AND L-O-N-G-E-R! I'll cite two perfect examples. People rave about Hickock45. When he started his videos were 5-10 minutes long. Now you won't find a video of his less than 25-30 minutes. Nutnfancy is the exact same, but his videos go even longer! Now these videos are 30 minutes of hot air and windbag-iness and 10 minutes of substance. Why is this? Well, because the YT algorithm drives them to do this so they can cram in more advertisements. Bottom line; the longer their videos are the more money they make. In fact, very few popular YT personalities make videos less than 20 minutes for this exact reason. I'll speak for me when I say, I don't have time to watch that much hot air. (Interestingly, Hickock45 fills his time with shooting, ad nauseum, and no voice.) I'd much rather hear pros and cons about the firearm during this time and FAR less shooting. Some is fine, but 15-20 minutes of reload after reload of firing? WAY too much! C'mon, man!

    3.) "Cons" of any product slowly disappear from everyone's channel, even to the point of going back and editing or even deleting old videos to get rid of the cons / negatives. I don't know about anyone else, but...THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO HEAR THE MOST OF!!! I want to hear the negatives! Anyone can sing the glories of anything for hours on end, but that will never make me buy something. What will make me buy something is being able to evaluate the negatives; I wouldn't even be looking at the product to begin with if I didn't already think it had positives associated with it, so I don't need 25 minutes of singing the product's praises (I already know these things!). Sponsorship strikes again.

    4.) Videos shouldn't be longer than 10 minutes! Did I mention that already?

    5.) In case I didn't mention it already...Videos should not be longer than 10 minutes!

    6.) Experience - Probably 95% of people doing gear reviews have never touched the product until they did the review. This is not a review in my opinion! Worse, probably 70% of those people have never touched the 'type' of the product they are reviewing before they reviewed it. Just because a person stayed at Holiday Inn Express last night doesn't mean they are qualified to review expedition grade or professional gear. Plus, some guy reviewing Arctic grade parkas can't be reviewing them in his back yard in south Florida, or machetes in the basement of his Mom's house in Ohio. I can't count the number of reviews I've seen about tents, sleeping bags, knives, climbing gear, boots, clothing and too many other items to mention by people who clearly have not one iota of experience with that type of gear. It's ridiculous to the point of being laughable! Oh, and how many reviews do we really need on MRE's????? My GAWD! There must be 500,000 MRE reviews on YT! Somebody buys an MRE and suddenly they become a SEAL Team 6 Red-Force Delta "operator"!!! (watch out you don't cut your mouth holding that K-Bar in your teeth, tough guy!)

    7.) Most YT videos are like reality TV; nothing is real, and everything is an illusion. Preparedmind101 comes to mind here. Most of the reviews he does is in a lightly wooded area in his backyard. Even some of the great ones like Demolition Ranch fall into this trap. Many of those videos are carefully edited to make the surroundings look far different than they really are. Same with Nutnfancy and many others.

    8.) These guys make a TON of money! Some of these reviewers make it seem like they're just average guys, but don't let them fool you. They make a TON of money reviewing these products. Just take a minute to do some research on the lifestyles of any of the big YT reviewer names; you'll see.

    9.) Lastly , and most importantly...VIDEOS SHOULD NOT BE LONGER THAN 10 MINUTES!!! (Just in case that wasn't clear).

    If you ever want to see the reality of YT reviewers, just take a look at probably the most prolific gear reviewer on all of YT. He doesn't just review EDC or outdoor gear, but rather he reviews just about anything (and I actually think the guy is a complete hoot to watch too...because at least he's honest about who he is, what he does and how it works). This would be none other than the CrazyRussianHacker. People send this guy so much stuff to review he's got a whole receiving area inside his home, and he's even had to hire people just to open all the packages. It's unbelievable! But, he does about 10 review videos a day (yes, a day!). He doesn't make up a bunch of contrived stuff, he just reviews the items (and even his videos are too long, but I'll give him a pass simply because the guy is so entertaining to watch).

    Anyway, that's my long, and windbag-gy, thoughts on the matter of online gear reviews.

    All in good fun mind you!
  4. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

    Apr 23, 2009
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    Well, to be fair, the topic itself is an oxymoron.
  5. parnass

    parnass Loaded Pockets

    Mar 29, 2006
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    I've been a forum member since 2013, but now spend more time watching YouTube EDC videos than reading EDCF. Most YouTube "review" videos are like junk food. Too many "influencers" trying to make a buck. Unboxing videos aren't particularly useful to me. The videos which demonstrate items in actual use, teach new techniques, and those which present useful modifications are what I'm after.

    I watch EDC videos (and participate in forums) for enjoyment. I'm apt to tune out when the poster goes off on a tangent into politics, religion, drinking habits, his/her favorite cigar, etc.
  6. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

    Oct 7, 2019
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    I tend to put little stock in youtube reviewers and their reviews, for various reasons.

    Many 'reviews' are 'first impressions out of the box'. They were sent an item to review, so they open the box on camera and tell you what they think of it, maybe messing around with the thing for a bit in the process. That doesn't tell me much. Does the knife hold up to use, or does it dull/break easily? Does the tent withstand wind and rain, or does it leak like a sieve? Put it thru some use and show that use on camera before doing the review. After-action reports are far more valuable to me than first impressions.

    Nutnfancy has some good reviews of various gear because he often does this kind of after-action report. That said, he also does 'table-top' reviews which don't give me much information, and he spends a lot of time on things that ultimately don't matter much. He's very proud of his "no industry freebies" approach, which is understandable, but he also acts as though it makes his reviews superior to others. Further, he often speaks of things he seems to know little about but passes it off as though he's an expert. That said, no one is perfect and you have to take the good with the bad, and I appreciate his willingness to review products others typically ignore as subpar quality.

    There are a couple of guys I watch now and then that do gear reviews, but honestly their opinions mean little to me because I follow them for other things that they do, not for their gear opinions. One guy does a lot of paid advertisements which makes me question his objectivity on the non-paid reviews, and another has explicitly stated that the reason all his reviews are "two thumbs way up" is because he simply does not post reviews of things he doesn't like. If he only talk about things he likes, how can I trust he's not omitting the bad aspect of the things he posted about? Say he posts a video of a bag; that's great. He talks it up like it's a great bag, but the video has no negatives in it. Nothing about what is done poorly or could have been done better. There could be a flaw in that bag that would keep me from buying it, if I knew about it, but I don't know because he didn't talk about it. It's an incomplete review. Proper reviews talk about the good and the bad.

    Which segues into another reviewer I respect quite a bit: Nick Shabazz, whom I think is (or was) a member here. Nick has a formula for his reviews (the good, the great, the bad and the ugly, might be a gem, might be junk) which I find useful because he always touches on each point. Even on items he cant find anything "ugly" about, he still tries. I watched some of his back-catalog a few years ago and it was interesting to note his gradual transition from 'everyman' gear to the expensive stuff. Still, while he might have champagne tastes these days he still relates to beer-budget viewers.

    One guy who built most of his channel on reviews, that I used to watch a lot but no longer do, is PreparedMind101. Chris started out as a beer-budget reviewer because he didn't have a lot of money. He had to buy or borrow what he reviewed, and in many cases copied what other reviewers did. As time moved forward he started getting sponsorships, then he started getting review freebies, then he started designing his own knives, then he started buying expensive stuff. He seemed to have lost his objectivity on budget gear once he got used to the gucci stuff. Nothing wrong with gucci, but when you let that color your opinion of budget gear instead of evaluating the budget gear on its own merits, your opinion lose stock with me. That said, he's the guy who turned me on to Thrunite/Wowtac lights and I've been nothing but pleased with them, especially for the price. :)

    These days I've mostly quit watching review videos because I've not been buying things. No need for opinions on gear if you're not going to buy anything. Instead the few reviewers I still follow, I follow for other things that they do and usually skip over their review videos entirely. At best, I let their review videos serve as an announcement to me that the product exists, and I go get information (if I care to) elsewhere.
  7. tbzbbt

    tbzbbt Loaded Pockets

    Jun 11, 2016
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    Yeah, discovery is a key part of these review videos. If you like to acquire ‘stuff’ then you may not be aware of what is out there. For example I am looking for a Camping cleaver knife. I didn’t even know how to find the kind of rugged canteen field butcher tool until I had overdosed on YouTube reviewers. If you are looking for something specific (long-tail esoteric items) then such reviews provide insight and often guidance.

    I’ve recently discovered the 2x audio speed option on YouTube AppleTV and use the FF more regularly. What I find really annoying are those selling their ‘lifestyle’ then selling a product as a ‘must have ‘. You just know that these are not genuine appraisals. Watch a few ‘van life’ videos and you’ll get the picture: “I’ve been using this every day for several months now ...” when the tags are still visible....

    A bit of self indulgence is tolerable if the intent is good; though I find some try too hard with gimmicks and shouty-man hype.

  8. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

    Mar 8, 2014
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    They're not trying to sell you a product.

    They're trying to get YOU to pay for their hippy lifestyle so they don't have to work and can have YOU pay them to travel around and make YT videos!