Keiron Darby is a United States Marine Veteran from South Carolina. He is a Medford Knife and Tool Technician, outdoor enthusiast, motorcyclist, and all around badass human. We caught up with him for a few minutes to ask him about his beginnings with mechanics and what working at MKT is like.
What is your first memory of being in the outdoors?
I grew up on a farm in Charleston, South Carolina. So I spent a lot of time outdoors growing up. Probably my first memory is pretty early on. I was about 4 or 5 years old and my brother put me on the back of his dirtbike. He was about 15 at the time. We went for a ride.. and I was hooked ever since.
What is the first thing you ever built?
Hmmm, I was about 15, and it was a 1990 Yamaha FZR, an old sport bike. I saved up $200 working as a cook at Hardee’s. It took me a YEAR to build that thing. It broke after a month. But that month was the best month of my life. You couldn’t tell me NOTHIN! Now I own a mobile mechanic shop and I specialize in import bikes. But I’ve done it all. I do that on the side and have been working on motorcycles for about 13 years now.
What is your absolute favorite outdoor activity?
Longboarding and Fishing. I actually longboard to the factory everyday. I really enjoy downhill longboarding. If there’s a hill that looks impossible, you’ll probably see me longboarding down it. I also love to go fishing whenever I can. A bunch of guys from the shop are actually going to Lake Pleasant this weekend.
As a US Marine, what is the best part of this job to you?
You know, it’s just a really gratifying feeling. Especially knowing that we make knives for Veterans. When they come here and meet us and see the shop. It’s just a great feeling. It feels like I am giving back to my country in a way.
What is it like working at Medford Knife and Tool?
Man, It is crazy! It’s really surreal. I get to come to work and be a knifemaker everyday. Who can say that? I feel like working with your hands is a lost craft. Especially in this digital age where most jobs are geared toward intangible items and goals. This is our livelihood. Me and the other guys here get to pay our bills, our mortgage and take care of our families by making knives everyday. When I tell people this is what I do, they always have the same reaction. ‘You do what?!’ In fact, I got pulled over a couple of weeks ago and got to chatting with the police officer, he asked me to show him the knives we make. So I started showing him pictures on my phone of the website! He was impressed.
Did he give you a ticket?