Decent cheap knives, to buy in bulk for tips, gifts, etc?


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MatthewVanitas
September 2, 2007, 08:29 PM
I like giving away knives, within my means, and have given away a couple hundred so far. These were mostly bought in bulk lots of cheap knives, some new, some TSA-confiscated, off of eBay. Once I got going on buying them by the pound, my price-per dropped to about 15c. They were mainly misc cheap little SAK copies, or full-size stainless SAK clones made in China. A few small lockbacks as well.

It's been cool, but I'm thinking that for the next run, I'd rather give away markedly fewer, but improve the quality notably.

Anyone have any ideas about obtaining semi-okay knives for around $3 a pop? If I buy a goodly quantity, say 100ct, of Opinels, Okapis, or similar, do you think I can get the price anywhere near that low?

I emailed Smokey Mountain about their Rough Rider line of offshore-made versions of old designs. Stockman, Muskrat, Toothpick, etc. Like little Cases, just far cheaper. They retail for $5.99, so will see what SMKW can offer on a larger number. Not sure if I'm at a major disadvantage as a non-dealer.

Anyone have any other ideas for brands of knives, online sources, etc? Does it help at all (with a smaller source) if I specify that these are for giveaways, not for me to go retail on eBay or out of my car trunk?

I can give 15c knives away every day, but it'd be a good change to give a $3 knife once a week. Thanks for any suggestions on this little project.

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2RCO
September 2, 2007, 08:38 PM
Matt,

That's a neat idea. I don't know if you have Direct TV but there is this Knife Show thing on all the time on one of the earlier channels. I have never bought anything but they look like they may be decent. It's all frost cutlery stuff. They have a website also www.cutlerycorner.net for what it's worth.

MatthewVanitas
September 2, 2007, 08:50 PM
Huh, I'm generally pretty leery of TV-type sellers, but CutleryCorner.com has some decent prices for cheapies.

BladeForums members suggested that the "Steel Warrior" brand was equivalent to or better than Rough Rider. CC has a few package deals that are approaching what I'm looking for:

http://www.cutlerycorner.net/images/prods/CCN-5028.jpg

11pk of little Peanut-type folders for $69.

It has info on "Become a dealer to get the best price". Do we have an CC dealers who can PM me? Their website has a few flaws in it, so it just brings me back to the homepage when I click "become a dealer".


Before anyone snaps at me, I completely understand that I won't be getting Case quality for this cheap. However, since I can't afford to give away Case knives, I'll stick with spreading knifejoy at the pricepoint I can hit.


EDIT: mix of whittlers, congress, copperheads, etc. 11pk for $49. I'd actually prefer to hand out lots of peanuts or mini-toothpicks, but this price is getting closer and closer...

http://www.cutlerycorner.net/images/prods/CCN-4951.jpg


EDIT2: I'm looking at their Dealer section, and it just shows lot titles, count, and prices. However, I can take a rough guess at what the contents might be, especially when the titles seem to refer to small pocketknives. It appears that a lot of the stuff comes out to $2 or less per item, which is right in my category.

Anyone have dire warnings about dealing with Cutlery Corner? Anything sneaky? Do I have to do some sort of "membership fee" to become a dealer, or just purchase a large enough lot?

EDIT3: From what I'm seeing on BladeForums, folks aren't too fond of these people. I'm not sure if it's for actual sleaziness, or just for selling tons of cheap Chinese knives to a gullible public. If I'm getting a usable Stockman or Muskrat, offshore-made, for $2, I'm okay with that. However, if I'm going to get fleeced while trying to do so, not so much.

sm
September 2, 2007, 09:41 PM
MatthewVanitas,

The Rough Rider Case Peanut, through SMKW, "sounds" like the best way to go at this time.
RR Peanut, not a bad little knife. Works well for ladies and gents.
SMKW, from my experiences and those of others, are good folks.

Also look into the "Flip Knife" , will have to look this up. This is the one similar to AG Russel's "Funny Knife"
SMKW had these Nostalgic knives.


AG Russel is another I would contact, good folks, and they too would respect and appreciate what you are wanting in knife, quality and price point.

A version of their Ultimate Pen Knife might be a consideration.

MatthewVanitas
September 2, 2007, 10:09 PM
The Rough Rider Case Peanut, through SMKW, "sounds" like the best way to go at this time.
RR Peanut, not a bad little knife. Works well for ladies and gents.
SMKW, from my experiences and those of others, are good folks.

Good call, I emailed SMKW yesterday and asked for a bulk quote. Or will they not bother writing back to a non-dealer?

For what it's worth, the above Steel Warrior knives (a division of Frost) get pretty solid reviews on BladeForums, for a $5 knife.

The Russel gear Steve linked me to is lovely, but $19/per is more than I can give away on a regular basis. If I had that kind of cash, I'd buy a caseful of Douk-Douk knives and hand those out. I do love me some Douk:

https://edcdepot.com/merchantmanager/images/uploads/KN00050.jpg

sm
September 2, 2007, 10:50 PM
MV,

hso knows about that "flip knife" I am referring to. I just looked for it at SMKW,and did not see it.
I did see these:
Novelty Knives:

http://www.eknifeworks.com/webapp/eCommerce/product.jsp?Mode=Cat&Brand=&CatalogName=&PriceStart=&PriceEnd=&Feature=&Cat=9&SearchText=folding+knife&Submit.x=0&Submit.y=0&list=10&range=1&order=Default&SKU=NV129

This knife used to come with wood handles and was very popular with ladies, gents and kids.
http://www.eknifeworks.com/webapp/eCommerce/product.jsp?PriceEnd=&order=Default&CatalogName=&range=151&list=10&Feature=&Cat=9&SearchText=folding%20knife&Submit.y=0&Submit.x=0&Mode=Cat&Brand=&PriceStart=&SKU=FRC139DE


There used to be a "Magic Knife". It had a ball bearing inside,and it would not open, but when held a certain way.

Sales Reps were always having knives like this for employees to take home to kids...

The Frost knife, the adults liked real well! Ladies and Gents (seriously) wanted one for themselves and not for the kids.
Adults pulled staples from papers, opened mail, slit mail open and I am serious, just too handy of a small locking knife.

AG Russels Ultimate Pen knife is out of your price range I know.
Still I miss mine, and I know how well a "shooting team" appreciates these.
[hint, hint, wink wink]

I gave quite a few to ladies I assisted with, and we had this thing about the word "Ultimate" so our private joke.
Great knife. Perfect for the Ultimate Skeet Shooter *smirk*
Now would I be tacky?


Douk : Now I have not handled these or others discussed in 'group buys', yes, I agree, those knives, and similar ones, would be really nice.

Here is the question: You are wanting to go Quality over Quantity. Whom is the intended "market" of folks you will be giving to?

I and others wrestled with this going back 20, 30 years ago.
Others before me did.

For a bit, "My role" was to spoil the kids, like the Betty Boop knife except I had Raggedy Ann for Girls and Mario Andretti for Boys.

Oh Dear me! I had ladies of all ages wanting a Raggedy Ann!
I had Dads, Husbands and Boy Friends, "say dude, I need that Doll knife, no, dude you don't understand I GOTTA have one! "
35 year old husband and his 32 year old wants a Raggedy Ann knife and he sounds like a dope head needing fix asking me , to bring sure I put one back, when I come to town. :p
Danged Grandma will get ahead of other employees to get the one for her granddaughter.

Boss man in NY picked up my tab.
Orthodox Jew, he always knew someone that had whatever I needed or wanted.

Last knives I passed out, were Pocket Pals made by Victorinix. Special color and a special logo that I passed to special all over - including Jamaica .

By this time, other folks were doing the Novelty knives for kids and I was doing the role like the Mentors before me.

Still spoiling kids mind you, from ages birth to 101.
He was 101, still a kid at heart, he finally quit coming into the office at age 99.

:D

MatthewVanitas
September 2, 2007, 10:55 PM
Hot dang, if I can hit the $1-$2 pricepoint on these puppies, I might need to pick up a few score. I imagine a lot of coffeeshop barristas would fight over one of these from the tipjar:

http://www.eknifeworks.com/large/knife/NV129.jpg



Here is the question: You are wanting to go Quality over Quantity. Whom is the intended "market" of folks you will be giving to?

Practically everyone. Any tip jar in bar or coffeeshop, random people that seem decent, etc. I've given away about 600 cheap SAK clones (@15c-20c) each over the last year. 95% of the time it was anonymous, but even in that 5% quite a few folks were very excited, and already telling me "man, this'll be great for opening up CD wrappers!"

The best part was that on at least two occasions I ran across folks who'd received freebie knives from me, who told me about their freebie knife, not knowing that it was from me: "Yeah, I was working the door over at the Red Room, and the bartender found a Swiss Army Knife in the tipjar, and he gave it to me because I liked the pink handle!"


I'm going for maximum distribution here, so either I need to start making a lot more money, or I need to keep the price-point reasonable. I figure 99% of Americans can't tell the difference between a Case Peanut and a Frost Peanut, so I'll save myself $38/per.

BigBlock
September 2, 2007, 11:15 PM
I bought a lot of around 30 "Ridge Runner" knives on ebay a while ago for myself. I think they were close to $3 each, and they're ok quality for the price. I carry one every day, and when it gets dull I just toss it and open another. :D

sm
September 2, 2007, 11:18 PM
Little Tin Trash can about 4" tall and looked like a real metal trash can everyone used with the metal lid.

Little Experiment I did back , I guess 30 years ago.
This trash can was part of deal one set on the counter and with a pad of itty bitty paper no bigger than : [ ] , one was to "Write your gripe".

Just a funny deal for customers to do, retail, wholesale to retail and the like.
Folks got a kick out of this, and of course bigger pcs of paper were used.
Kilroy was here and all sorts of stuff, it was fun to read the slips and empty it.

So I got Two Dozen of these and I had a nice little brass sign engraved :
Need one? Take one : Have an extra? Leave one

And put a Imperial Midget, just small carbon steel knife, yellow handle, that came with a beaded chain.
Real Popular back in the day.

I set this on the counter at one wholesale Mfg place.

Sure enough, that knife was taken, the next day somebody had stuck an Imperial imitation MOP knife in it.

Amazing! Folks were honest!

Social Experiment revealed some neat things about people. It was not long, before there were more knives being left, than taken.

I took this idea that was working for one boss, to the coffee shop down stairs, to a Drug Store , and other places.
One guy came into the coffee shop, put back the knife he took, plus another.
He simply left home one morning, took a knife (did not feel dressed) used it for a day and bought another like it, to "contribute, and pay forward".

Boys Club was not far from one boss I worked for.
Boys and Girls both carried knives, and one of the kids of someone that worked downtown, had lost his knife at the Boys Club, whittling. Hole in his pocket.
This all shared down at the coffee shop.
This young man was just sick, totally upset!

Somebody found his knife on the sidewalk, between where his dad worked and the route to the Boys Club and stuck it in the little trash can at a diner.
Diner, has emptied the can, as they too had more knives brought in , than taken.

Sounds dumb, but everyone checked, and brought what they thought the little boy may have lost.

Man! Was that kid relieved and we all felt pretty good too!

Still...folks were honest, even the vagrants and drifters that came through.
Afraid to come into the Coffee Shop, being smelly and dirty they might find a knife and ask if someone would take it inside so maybe whoever it belonged to , would get it back.

"Do you have a knife?"
Sometimes they did, sometimes not. Human beings are human beings and we made sure they had a knife, maybe a cup of coffee and something to eat.
Some of these "street folks" really were good folks, just hard times, and they kept watch over everything.
Many got a job doing sweeping, and even better jobs.

Still the knife is a powerful , symbolic tool.

To keep it - give it away.

sm
September 2, 2007, 11:21 PM
Heck I want a Betty Boop! :D

SMKW has that same knife with the Lone Ranger, Green Hornet and other Characters.

SMKW, left menu > Novelty> and scroll around.

I just dated myself again - huh? :D

MatthewVanitas
September 2, 2007, 11:36 PM
SMKW has that same knife with the Lone Ranger, Green Hornet and other Characters.

SMKW, left menu > Novelty> and scroll around.

I just dated myself again - huh?

The Lone what now? Green what?

Bear with me, I was born in 1980 here. If it makes you feel any better, there are decorated Iraq vets born in 1989.


In any case. Any idea how those products from Novelty Knife Co. hold up? They have carbon blades even. If the scales don't go to heck in a week, and the spring has any tension at all, those might be okay. They retail for less than the Rough Rider, so maybe they wholesale lower too.

Different brand, but even cheaper retail. This is kinda cute.

http://www.eknifeworks.com/large/knife/NVSL1.jpg

The upside of girly knives is that girls probably lack knives more than guys do, and most guys at the bar are probably happy to let the female staff keep the pink Peanut.

sm
September 3, 2007, 02:36 AM
1980?
I got socks older than you.

I am a '55 model ...danged whippersnapper you ! :p

These Novelty knives I have seen, have a blade akin to the carbon steel the Imperial brand, when part of Shrade, were made in Ireland.
The scales were imitation wood, or MOP and would wear off, showing whatever the plastic , material was.

Now I have not handled the Novelty you and I are discussing from SMKW, these I am referring to were about 10 years ago, and I forget where these were obtained.

If one used one, the handles would wear, still the blades and all held up.
Took a edge and kept it.
One might have to bend the tab to tighten handles, or push the rivet in with a touch of epoxy (no Super Glue, it would "burn" the scales).

Folks collected these. If they had a extra one, they used it. Nothing heavy duty like making log cabins *grin* still cutting apples, whittling, opening mail, loose threads , opening boxes.

I had a extra RoadRunner *Beep-Beep* and kept it on my desk for general use.
One Clip point blade, about 2 1/2 - maybe 2 3/4" " long. This is a nice size, easy to carry , light, and not bulky .

While the ones with a Clip blade bottle opener were neat, [akin to a SAK Bantam] most found this a bit bulky, and heavy.
Remember, some ladies will have on in a skirt pocket, or linen jacket, and bulk is not wanted.


Lone Ranger : Black and White TV Cowboy and his Indian sidekick Tonto
Green Hornet: Black and white TV and later color (boy was that a big deal) and his theme song would get into your head and not leave, really neat.
Super Hero, like Batman, BatGirl, , The Shadow (oh oh I want a Shadow knife too) , Lassie (yes a dog,) the classic TV show.

Yesteryear and Nostalgia. Don't ask me about cartoons with "Transformers".
Now Johnny Quest , RoadRunner, Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Same and all I can understand.
RoadRunner is the neatest! *grin*

Girls went nuts over Donny Osmand, and boys over Marie Osmond.
Ladies swooned over Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Anthony Newly.
Some fella named Elvis, never cared for him, still his Novelty knives were popular.

There was a singing group also called "The Jacksons" and the little brother was name Michael, you may have heard of Micheal Jackson, and his Sister Janet.

Still Folk like getting Hank Williams Sr Novelty knives, then later Hank Jr or Bosephus

Radio Show personalties, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Milton Berle, Amos&Andy, George Burns and Gracie Allen...

Later on George Carlin, Richard Pryor, were on Novelty knives...
I had Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Steppenwolf, ZZtop Novelty knives.

I assure you giving a older fella a John Wayne "Duke" Novelty knife will bring a huge smile. and a lady will get all goofey with a Tom Jones one.

I don't recommend the hearts and kisses stuff. Bad sentiment always attaches to those sooner or later.
Girls tend to throw stuff when they get pissed at guys.

Foxy Lady now, is okay, all the gals liked that song by Jimi Hendrix :)

LAK
September 3, 2007, 06:09 AM
I would go with genuine Victorinox SAKs. The most basic are not that expensive, some around $10.00 at chain stores. Right now the Soldier can be found on places like evilBay for as little as about $20.00. The larger bladed Hunter lockback for about $30.00.

A steal IMO are the Frosts swedish Mora series which can be had for about $12.00. Like the Victorinox SAKs, these are truly practical knives of excellent quality.

-----------------------------------------

http://searchronpaul.com
http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

MatthewVanitas
September 3, 2007, 09:48 AM
I would go with genuine Victorinox SAKs. The most basic are not that expensive, some around $10.00 at chain stores. Right now the Soldier can be found on places like evilBay for as little as about $20.00. The larger bladed Hunter lockback for about $30.00.


Things like the Mora, Opinel, etc. are good gifts to people I actually know (and I've given away a few), but still too pricey to give as tips.

It's already a sizable jump from 15c/per to $1.50/per, but I'm willing to try a small run to see if the delight factor is notably improved.

A 15c used SAK from the confiscation bin is a believable gift. A bone-handled Stockman (though made offshore) might really surprise a lot of folks when given away by a total stranger. This toothpick _retails_ for $3.99 from SMKW, so the wholesale might actually be within my range:

http://www.eknifeworks.com/large/knife/NV169.jpg

Soap
September 3, 2007, 03:20 PM
SMKW has these Ontario "Legacy" blades for $3 each:

http://www.eknifeworks.com/webapp/eCommerce/product.jsp?PriceEnd=&order=PriceAsc&CatalogName=&range=31&list=10&Feature=&Cat=85&SearchText=&Mode=Cat&Brand=&PriceStart=&SKU=ON8857
http://www.eknifeworks.com/webapp/eCommerce/product.jsp?PriceEnd=&order=PriceAsc&CatalogName=&range=31&list=10&Feature=&Cat=85&SearchText=&Mode=Cat&Brand=&PriceStart=&SKU=ON8858

CZ.22
September 3, 2007, 04:26 PM
http://www.selfdefenseproducts.com/new_knives/images/eagle5.jpg
avaliable from selfdefenseproducts.com (selfdefenseproducts.com)
these are actually great knives

hopkin
September 5, 2007, 09:50 AM
I'll second the praise for 'Frosts of Mora, Sweden' knives. Not to be confused with Frost Cutlery or the other knifemakers from Mora, the steel capital of Sweden.

The clipper series is fantastic and the swedish army knife is a very well-respected bushcraft knife. One of these, either the green (carbon) clipper or the Army knife, is being issued to UK special forces as a training knife for survival techniques.

MatthewVanitas
September 5, 2007, 10:20 AM
I'll second the praise for 'Frosts of Mora, Sweden' knives. Not to be confused with Frost Cutlery or the other knifemakers from Mora, the steel capital of Sweden.

The Mora is great, but still retails around $10, and isn't quite suited to this kind of giveaway.

If I leave a small classic penknife with my tip, the waiter might think "wow, that's cool, I'll keep it in my purse and use it to open packages"

If I leave a 4" Mora on the table, they'll think I'm disposing of evidence from a murder. A medium-sized fixed blade is not the kind of tool normally carried by folks in an urban setting.


IRT Frost Cutlery: I realize that they're an offshore company that produces a lot of dreck. However, almost every review I've read on BladeForums of their "classic folders" says that they're pretty decent. They're not a Case, but are decently made of an okay stainless, springs strong, good fit, and basically equivalent to the mid-price slippies that many American factories used to make as a bargain competitor to Case and Schrade, etc.


SMKW sent me their Dealer info, and I'd need to send in a business license and place a $500 order to become a dealer. I might be able to convince them that I'm not re-selling these, and not send a license, but a $500 order is pretty big. I'll contact Cutlery Corner (Frost importer) and see if their min order is more approachable.

Cannonball888
September 5, 2007, 11:28 AM
How about $1 a peice?

Clicky (http://www.heartlandamerica.com/browse/item.asp?product=101-piece-knife-set&PIN=24789&GUID=B56E5562-CD35-43E3-B1DA-EBAEFD5EFAE5&BC=S&DL=SEH1)

http://www.hlaimages2.com/prod_images/500/64956.jpg

feedthehogs
September 5, 2007, 03:17 PM
From the ad on the above knife set.

If you or someone you know appreciates quality knives, this set is a must !

Did some one change the definition of "QUALITY" when I wasn't looking or is it the people of the last decade have lowered their standards so much?

I have salesman all the time leaving me trinkits that go to the trash can. One was a novelty knife like the above that an employee wanted. I gave it to him to open parts boxes.

Second time he used it it broke and he ripped open his hand on a box staple that cost me 1500.00 in doctors bills and lost production.

Sorry but stuff like this belongs in the recycle bin.

Giving away good stuff is nice.
Giving away garbage in the name of a good deed is not.

Not trying to be a wet blanket, but trying to hold the standards just that much higher for that much longer.

MatthewVanitas
September 5, 2007, 06:57 PM
Did some one change the definition of "QUALITY" when I wasn't looking or is it the people of the last decade have lowered their standards so much?

...

Sorry but stuff like this belongs in the recycle bin.

The "101 Knives" in the above post do look pretty suspicious, I'll agree on that. However, if a given make of knife gets a good rep as an "affordable beater" here or on BladeForums, I'm willing to trust that.

Both the Rough Rider and Frost line of classic knives (Schrade and Case inspired) are getting good press both here and there, including from people that I know personally to be knowledgeable knifefolk. Frost makes some pretty craptastic tactical blades, and "katanas" that are more dangerous to the user than an assailant would be. However, if their stockman/muskrat/canoe knives are judged and found worthy, why not eschew the crap models and reward the good models?


If someone can say "I owned a Rough Rider Copperhead and it was junk", I'm interested in hearing that. However, all I'm hearing from both boards is "Frost/RR makes a decent little slippie at an outstanding price", and then folks saying "any knife made in China is junk, even if I've never seen that brand before". Not a dig at the above poster, just stating that only a by-name, personal experience review of Frost/RR can sway me either way.


That said, I talked to both SMKW and Frost today.

SMKW: to get dealer pricing, submit Business License and place a $500 order.

Frost: submit Business License OR Tax I.D. number, no minimum purchase required.


Is a "Tax I.D. number" just a SSN, or is it something different? If it's something I don't have, I'll need to figure out a workaround.

earthworm
September 6, 2007, 03:32 AM
... the Opinel brand from France that go for +/- $10 @ knifecenter.com
Stainless steel single-blade lockbacks (be sure & check out their neat locking system!) that look like a paring knife & will take & hold a good edge.
Donno about the 'Frosts of Mora,Sweden' knives but I'll second LAK on the SAKs.

earthworm
September 6, 2007, 03:35 AM
The keyring 'pinchlights' (Inovia,etc) make great gifts too.
I'm a night-shift RN & pass these around at Christmas time.The usual reaction is a quizzical look & a "Gee,thanks" followed in a couple of weeks by a big hug & "Oh Thank You that's the handiest thing I ever got!".

Sistema1927
September 6, 2007, 08:53 AM
That Mini Eagle Keychain knife looks life a pretty good buy at .50 each.

John C
September 9, 2007, 03:08 AM
I agree that the eagle work knives are worth what you're paying for them. I got one for free and leave it in my glove compartment. The most I can say about them is that they are usable, but that's a lot better than most of the knives we're talking about here.

My tastes run more toward benchmade, spyderco, etc; but that's out of the scope of conversation here.

The mini eagles are 50 cents each, in quanity of 12 or more. That's the way I'd go.

-John

Soap
September 10, 2007, 06:13 PM
Is a "Tax I.D. number" just a SSN, or is it something different? If it's something I don't have, I'll need to figure out a workaround.

I'm guessing that they're looking for an incorporated EIN (Employer Identification Number), which would show them that you're a business. It is basically an SSN for a business. The format is slightly different from a regular SSN since it is written XX-XXXXXXX, so it still has nine digits, just separated differently. But their definition of "Tax I.D. Number" could be just referring to SSN, so I'd give them a call.

MatthewVanitas
September 10, 2007, 07:43 PM
The format is slightly different from a regular SSN since it is written XX-XXXXXXX, so it still has nine digits, just separated differently. But their definition of "Tax I.D. Number" could be just referring to SSN, so I'd give them a call.

That's the odd thing. When I first called them and asked, and they told me what info to fax, I asked "is a Tax ID# like an Social Security Number?"

The guy on the phone said "Um, I guess so".

This might be one of those cases where just brassing it out may work. I can just fax them the info and say "dealer me up" and perhaps they won't care about much except making a sale.

I'm not selling these or profiting, so I figure I have no legal obligation in this matter. Will wait until a few checks drop to my account, and then look into this project.

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