It is no secret that my goal in life is peace and tranquility to enjoy my guns knives, motocycles and grandkids. Stupid people, lousy service, and bad products, interupt the flow of my life and make me crazy. like yesterday my bil brought over a small sack of knives to give me to practice my sharpening. 5 no name knives, 2 are just OK the other 3 are JUNK. 2 didnt even have a edge just a flat bottom where an edge should have been. wobbly blades, loose pins, questionable scales.I said thank you. Now tell me about the Junk you have seen!!
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July 17, 2008, 03:44 PM
My nephew bought me a knife for Christmas one year. I'm sure he meant well. It was a Winchester branded Chinese Wal-Mart special. Kind of a tactical-ish black 4" folder with a liner lock.
I played with it for a while and noticed the lock barely engaged with the blade. The lock/liners were very thin to begin with. It took very little presure to disengage the lock. I wanted to see if it would fail so I tested it. Grabbed the knife in a safe manner and pressed on the blade. It stayed locked up. hmmm...
Next, a spine whack. A light smack on the work bench and it seems to have stayed locked.
Inspection shows why it stayed locked. The blade dented the lock to the point that the lock now doesn't touch the blade at all when open. Of course this created a nice verticle blade wobble.
i haven't seen a liner lock buckle like that since Schrade put brass locks in the 197OT. :scrutiny: Maybe there was just too much lead in the chinese alloy :p.
July 17, 2008, 04:18 PM
I took a risk on a batch of knives on ebay that looked like there was a small Sebenza tossed into the TSA confiscated dozen of knives. I knew half of them were junk and that a couple were good slippies and that a couple of good traditional lock blades were in there too. I couldn't see the knife that looked like a Sebe well enough to be sure, but if I won based on the estimated value of the traditional folders I'd be ok.
I did win. I did pay right at my limit for what I'd be willing to pay for the 4 knives I recognized as good. I did get the package. Most of the knives were off-shore junk with wobbly blades and butter soft "steel". I didn't look twice as I scrapped them into the trash can. The 4 traditional knives were nice, 2 Case and 2 older Boker Tree Brand. The knife I hoped was a Sebenza was a very clever knockoff at 80% of the size of the small Sebenza I carry almost every day. Very disappointing, but as well made an your average well made Chinese knife and head and shoulders above the junk in the trash can.
July 17, 2008, 04:24 PM
Never seen anything out of Pakistan worth trying to sharpen.
July 17, 2008, 05:36 PM
From stealitback.com, now propertyroom.com, I bought a batch of knives solely because I wanted a batch of knives. Thing about propertyroom is they're auctioning off stuff that was evidence or confiscated or whatever.
I got a nice double-bladed buck (clip point and gut hook) that does last-ditch duty in my hunting bag. The rest were crap or broken, but thirty seconds and an accusharp made them into pretty decent giveaways....
I have a buddy now who got a knife when he bought the foot locker it had hidden in via yardsale. It's a real piece of junk, and he sharpens it on a bench grinder, but it's all he ever wanted out of a knife. I guess it's what you're looking for versus what you get.
July 17, 2008, 05:49 PM
One of my friends who is into swords (as a fetish, not a serious hobby) bought this weird... thing... out of a catalog.
It was a short sword somewhat like a gladius, only smaller. The odd thing was that it was obviously made from some blade that had been on a machine of some type that was used to cut quantities of material.
It had an odd and steep machined angle on one side.
Recycled blades. Who knew?
July 17, 2008, 06:00 PM
Let's see, several thousand per year, several years as a professional tinker...
The better question would be, "How many decent knives have you seen?"
The sad truth is that unless you start looking at "semi customs," like a Graham or Valkman's, you are probably dealing with Chinese mystery metal on a stamp steel chassis.
I know, I know, people don't always need the top of the line. But if we settle for this junk over and over, pretty soon it will be all we get.
Josh Graham and Valkman should be screaming at the top of their lungs to stop placing orders. We have no one but ourselves to blame.
July 17, 2008, 06:17 PM
No one but ourselves to...huh? Their knives are expensive. Hence, they don't have as many takers as, say, Spyderco. Or Wal-Mart. :scrutiny:
July 17, 2008, 06:25 PM
I don't buy Junk knives.
I have been known to buy inexpensive items that resemble a knife on purpose.
i.e. On purpose I bought 5 knock off SAK classics for 25 cents each .
I gave these to some ladies.
Open both the pen blade and nail file ( these stick out the same end) and one has a portable, disposable wedge for bathroom doors at some gas stations.
Just open blades, drop onto floor, and kick under door.
When finished, kick over in the corner and leave.
i.e. I bought a Dollar Store serrated paring knife for 69 cents, that had a red, rubbery handle.
I was headed to a office party and we used it to cut French Bread and spread mustard and the like.
Now, I left it with one gal I knew, as it works for getting some doors and desk drawers open if need, and she can use it for a wedge when she is working late.
I did get surprised once, as I bought a Colonial trapper for not a lot of money, to scrap gaskets on a engine.
Sucker was sharp, and had 'walk-n-talk' and kept its edge.
It was a carbon steel and took on a nice patina.
Engine finished and this poor, mistreated yellow handled knife was still tight, and no blade wobble.
I cleaned it up, sharpened it real good and even worked on it with Semichrome.
It looked good!
So I stuck the blades in a RC, and them fast track patina, and hit that edge with a Black Arkansas stone.
It looked good with that thin glint of sharp steel
That darn knife did shed duty for a l-o-n-g time and actually was a better knife than a Case Trapper of the time.
I got lucky, as I bought another one about a year later, and it was not the same quailty knife as the one I bought.
I want to say I paid $2.49, maybe $2.99 for the knife.
July 17, 2008, 07:00 PM
Spyderco is a good knife. They provide S30V blades at reasonable prices. They also make a few out of VG-10.
But to be clear, a Pakistani knife is not a Spyderco. And there are many folks who would rather pay six bucks for junk even when Spyderco has some competitive prices.
But to be fair, Spyderco also makes some S90V knives that are over 200 bucks. Like any other commodity, you pick and choose.
July 17, 2008, 07:07 PM
spyderco is not on the junk list by any means. I like them.
but then there is jaguar, tomahawk
and someone tell me about frost
July 17, 2008, 07:40 PM
This is the golden age of knives - never has so much good stuff been available at any price you want to pay. But there is even more absolute garbage out there. I "won" a giveaway of several knives on another forum and I wish I hadn't - now I have no clue what to do with this crap. It's not in me to throw knives away but I'll never use them - and I wouldn't give this stuff to anyone because they'll hate me for it. Maybe I'll bury them!
Companies that put out higher quality/lower priced stuff do so because they could invest heavily in CNC and other automated machinery. They also can buy material for handles and blades much cheaper than I can. In another thread I show some of the work that goes into my knives and no one can put that kind of labor into something and charge $50 for it. Companies that invest in all the machinery but not the quality materials turn out the crap, and some even rip off the designs they they make. I once had a KMart lockback that failed on me - I will never ever use a lousy knife again.
July 17, 2008, 07:49 PM
What's wrong with Frost? I get those nice shiny catalogs every month - and I seen em on TeeVee!
Cold Steel used to sell bare blades made from their super secret steel. I got a couple - great knives for the shop - good high carbon steel.
July 17, 2008, 11:52 PM
You are right about Spyderco, so I'm not sure what to make of your earlier post. You seemed to be saying that anything less than "semi-custom" would be Chinese junk.
But I still don't know what you mean about blaming ourselves. The regulars here seem to be looking for quality, whether it be from Valkman or Sal Glesser or even Opinel. Or maybe you meant folks in general.
I once purchased a custom knife, and may buy another one when I can afford to. But that was before I knew that Bark River made the exact knife I was looking for, for about $25 less. :)
July 17, 2008, 11:58 PM
I buy no-names at gun shows sometimes if they're real cheap (under $20). Every now and then there's a decent knife to be had.
July 18, 2008, 12:15 AM
I use slipjoint knives about 99% of the time, and there are still plenty of options in that without getting junk. I have over a hundred, and almost all are US made and carbon steel. The knife in my pocket right now is an old redbone Case made in the 1960's.
I have no use for the imported junk. Unless it's imported from Solingen, Germany.
Some of the Chinese/Pakistan junk is so bad, I don't see how it could improve your sharpening skill.
July 18, 2008, 12:20 AM
Most gun-brand knives are junk. Particularly the Winchester or Smith and Wesson crap. Anything you don't have to go behind the counter for at Wal-Mart, and quite a few that are behind the counter are junk as well.
I bought a couple of the Winchester ones, when I was younger and not as smart. I now use them when i need a knife for something that might damage the knife.
Spyderco are good knives. I EDC a Spyderco Native with an S30V blade. Done everything I could ask of it, and it was made in Colorado.
Price isn't always a good indication of how good a knife is. You just have to know what to look for. For instance, you could get a Frost Mora clipper for $10-15. Cheap knife, roughly finished, made in Sweden, but for the price there probably isn't a better knife to be had. Some people prefer these for their survival knives, because they're tough and can take and hold an edge. Plus if you lose it you're not out of a lot of money.
Victorinox and Wanger Swiss Army knives are another example. You can get a Swiss Army Farmer, one of the more usefull but compact ones in the line, for something like $20-25. I've got a Victorinox Hikker that I have stashed in my PSK that cost me $30. Good knife.
There are plenty of good stout fixed blades in the $30-80 dollar range as well. Ka Bar, Ontario (particularly their RAT models), Marbles and several other makers make decent knives in this range.
Then you get into the semi-customs in the $80-400 or so range. These are really good knives, if you choose the right maker. I like Bark River Knife and Tool, but there are others.
Anyway, what I guess I'm trying to get at is that you don't need a custom Sebenza or Charles May to get the job done. You just need to know what to look for.
July 18, 2008, 12:34 AM
You seemed to be saying that anything less than "semi-custom" would be Chinese junk.
An ever-increasing amount of them are--and you have to be careful in looking for the info.
For example, even names like Smith & Wesson have Chinese roots. There is a stamp on the blades in many cases that reads "ROC." It might not mean anything to a lot of people, but it is a reference to manufacture in China.
I also find it odd that things can read "China-440C." To my knowledge, the Chinese buy steel from Japan.
You might also remember a thread we had here about companies trying to save a few pennies on foreign manufacturing. Remember the discussion of the "SharpFinger"? The Schrades I have are marked 'China.'
I know where Grahams come from, I know where Striders come from. Yes, paying a few hundred bucks for an edged tool might seem like a lot. However, I still have those knives, they last a lifetime. You get into a merry-go-round habit of buying a knife, throwing it away, and then buying a replacement. You get crappy performance and keep buying the very product that let you down.
To me, that's a false economy. I don't think it really saves any money. The Trek bicycles my wife and I bought have required no service and seldom need tune-ups. In like manner, you can pay me to sharpen, or drag your knife through the back of a can-opener. Same idea.
July 18, 2008, 12:41 AM
Swiss Army Farmer
I have one of those. Dollar for dollar, Victorinox swiss army knives are by far the best value on the market. The steel they use won't hold it's edge as long as Spyderco, or even regular carbon steel or Case CV - but they are useful knives that are built to last, and you can get many years of service out of them.
In slipjoint knives, Case is still US made, so is Queen, and Great Eastern Cutlery - they all make great knives in many different models. For fixed blade, you really can't do better than Bark River without going to a custom made knife.
But in knives like the Buck 110 copies, or tactical type folders in major chain stores, like the Tourist said - most are junky imports.
July 18, 2008, 01:12 AM
The Byrd line by Spyderco is an excellent value, even if you don't like thumbholes.
Cases Yellow Handle and other composites are also very good deals, particulary when with CV.
Rough Rider's are of surprisingly good quality, for their price and country of orgin. Sure, they're made out of mystery steel, but they do cut very well.
I've heard similar things about Frost's Steel Warrior line, but considering Frost's record, iw ould be doubtful.
The Chinese made Schrades are about on par with RR, but I'd rather buy from a company that was always Chinese, than for one that was a well-respected American manufacturer.
Colonial Knife Co. has reasonably priced electricians knives.
Vic everything is good. This includes Forshcner for the kitchen.
Old Hickories are a bargain at the price they are.
I have not heard anything bad about Rada Cutlery.
The Chinese made Henkcels, avaliable at Target, are also quite good.
Gerbers, also avaliable at Target, are not bad, and are easily replaced.
Bear & Sons has several products, in carbon, that caught my eye.
Buck has both excellent cheap domestics and excellent cheap imports.
Boker has very good knives, both slipjoints and CLB designed knives.
Made in USA Gerbers are very good knives for not much money.
Opinels, Okapis, Douk-Douks and Mercators, all good knives for not much money.
Moras are fantastic.
Cold Steel has 4116 Krupp knives that aren't bad.
EKA has reasonably priced knives that are a bit weird.
Heck, even the Christie knife isn't expensive. Same with several AG Russel models.
Values are out there, if you know where to look
(and they are not made by Maxam or Mtech, but, as Steve pointed out, these make good door stops)
July 18, 2008, 01:43 AM
I have learned this about "junk" anything. Using "quality" is always better.
My first car had no heat and the drivers window never went all of the way up. But with my motorcycle in winter storage, even a bad car was better than waiting for a bus in knee-deep snow.
Then I got a car with heat, and only ten years old, to boot.
My first jackknife was a Cub Scout folder you've all seen or owned. I still have it, and the blade is still soft. But having it was better than not having anything.
My apartment leaked air like a seive. No hot water. My home now is a tad better.:D
So is it worth 450 bucks to cut a hot dog with a Graham Razel?
Yes, yes it is.
July 18, 2008, 02:08 AM
"Junk" to me is anything poorly designed, poorly made or made with low quality materials.
Some feel my knives are expensive. In the high-end knife world MY stuff is junk and not even to be looked at seriously by many. In the arena of $3000 folders and $5000 fixed blades (which sell very well) my stuff would not get a second glance but a look down the nose. :)
So "junkiness" is in the eye of the beholder. Many knives that are not the cheapest are junk to me and other very cheap knives I'd be happy with. Whether I use my Case to cut something or my Strider doesn't matter - both are good knives although very different in cost.
July 18, 2008, 03:03 AM
Just me, still I do not appreciate someone insulting my intelligence.
Oh there is a place for soft steels and certain patterns. Movie props, Photo ops, and even for patterning sheaths, using an inexpensive knife, much as a holster maker uses for making gun holsters.
What I do not appreciate is someone with a computer , CAD/CAM and Marketing insulting my intelligence.
1. Hit the computer , and design a knife that fits the hot trend in knives to gain a part of the market.
2. Send the prototype downstairs for it to be made.
3. Tweak the Results.
4 Find the best market price on a steel that will not cause wear and tear on machinery and equipment.
Also find the best market price for fiberglass reinforced nylon and screws to hold the knife together.
What is minimum for heat treat for steel, and other tech specs on materials?
5. Marketing says to "limit run to 200 knives" .
Simple- Supply and Demand and one can sell these for more money if a limited run of 200, with the first 25 selling for more, as they get a number .
6. Find a LEO, and/or Military persons and ask them to hold that knife.
That way Marketing is legal, when the advertising says something to the effect:
A TEEM SEEL 42 held this knife. or Big City Elite Police handled this knife.
7. Continue making more knives on 'puter, getting bids on steel , handle materials, screws , pocket clips and finding folks to hold knives and take pictures of.
9. Hope teh Intrawebz knife related forums pick you up.
10. Get hooked up with a Doo-Dad sharpener.
Either come up with one, or find a company like yours, doing Doo-Dads and have a business agreement to play off each other.
Ain't Capitalism Great!
Ain't Internet Great!
I mean where else can you sell a product one has $14 bucks in materials, time and labor, and get $150 for it?
Are you nuts!
Folks don't buy knives to actually cut stuff with. This is teh Intrawebz aeg.
One is supposed to post a gun picture with a knife - don't ya know!
You cannot post a picture of a Ultimate Extreme Shotgun, with curb feelers, fuzzy dice, with no wear marks, along with the Exotic ammo in the side saddles, without a knife a TEEM SEEL 42 held in his hands!
What the hell do I need to worry about mutant ninja zombies for?
The whole damn planet is armed with digital pictures taking gadgets and the fear of what a pixel is, and getting shot, keeps the zombies from attacking! - Me
July 18, 2008, 11:32 AM
Valkman and sm have a point. Perhaps we should not tie the benefit of a knife to monetary cost.
After all, a five dollar Opinel is quite a knife, but the ineffective aluminum sword of Conan The Barbarian was probably very expensive for the movie prop masters.
So let's be clear. At any price, my idea of a junk knife is an implement sold to the public to actually complete that user's demands--and it fails.
BTW, in most cases that I have seen, those knives are made in China.
July 18, 2008, 03:54 PM
Thank you Steve, you just laid out my new marketing plan! LOL I'll send some free ones to Vegas PD and Nellis AFB and then I can say " I supply Law Enforcement and Military".
July 18, 2008, 04:54 PM
30 or 40 years ago this discussion was sooooo much easier.
There were simply good knives and JUNK. Typically junk came by boat and the 'good stuff' was made a few states over. Customs, semi-customs, and hand mades were still pretty rare and you could name nationally recognized makers almost on one hand if I'm not mistaken.
Today? Whole 'nother ball game I think.
My grandfathers never lived to see the day when *anything* from Japan would have been acceptable, let alone Taiwan, China or India. Back in the day THEY would come to us (or perhaps the Germans) for anything of quality.
Now? One only need to look at what is produced in Seki City Japan or Taiwan to see that things have changed. And if you don't think the Chinese are catching up (and fast...) in the quality department I don't think you've been watching closely enough. The market has been opnened up and even 'respectable' companies like Benchmade are importing from them. I can't believe a company like Benchmade or Spyderco, or some of the other 'higher end' production companies would be risking thier reputations on 'junk'. Once failures started getting reported it would be all over. And, so far anyway, I haven't heard of that happening.
We all know we are choking on goods from overseas. Most of us don't like it one bit. But the fact is not everything being imported can be classified as junk no matter how much we hate where they are coming from.
Ok...with that out of the way we need to get back to some basic parameters of this discussion:
WHO needs the knife? (LEO, Military, construction worker, office worker?)
WHAT will they be using the knife for? (defense? cutting boxes? cigars? cutting people out of cars or helicopters?)
WHERE do they intend to use, keep, store, or display the knife? (at sea? in the air? at the office? on the street? in the woods?)
WHEN do they intend to carry the knife? (all day? sheath\fixed blade? only while hunting? too impress girls at the mall?)
WHY do they NEED a knife or WANT a knife? (seriously-are you gonna use it or admire it?)
HOW much can they afford? (are you a collector of rare and exotic things who drives a Mercedes or are you a plumber who drives an 18 year old truck?)
I submit that within those parameters you can find a quality blade to meet any need at any price point whether it's a Case, Benchmade, or a Sebenza.
July 19, 2008, 02:56 AM
(1) What is it for?
(2) Will it do that?
If you can answer (1) and (2) clearly for yourself, then:
3) Fine tools are worth paying for.
4) Owning junk brings pain to your soul.
July 19, 2008, 07:14 AM
a knife is supposed to cut by definition if it does not cut, cant cut by sharpening beause of poor material, and is made poorly then it is junk
inexpensive does not mean junk. inexpensive means a knife that works as it should at a good price and there in lies the difference. A knife that does not do its job is junk
July 21, 2008, 12:48 PM
+1 Bikerdoc. I got that lesson drummed into my head early this morning.
My wife is building a Pampered Chef business as a part-time job for when she fully retires. And it's no big secret that while PC has some of the best kitchen appliances, their old knives were pure junk.
That changed about +two years ago. I must warn you, I'm a snob when it comes to kitchen and restaurant knives.
As a side note, you will notice in some old pics of mine, two PC knives have been in cold storage. They are my wife's personal property and they were worn from demos.
Tomorrow she has a show highlighting new knives, and she wants to prepare a meal for her hosts and guests using these newer knives. She told me to repair the knives for her show.
So, reluctantly, I got out the stones and started my repairs. One was very good, the other had a bevel that was a tad crooked. I still have some polishing to complete, but the knives are back in the freezer for this next phase.
But I got my eyes opened. I had made a prejudiced decision. "Once junk, always junk." However, these knives seem to repond to waterstones and will be razor sharp sometime tonight. I did not believe that to be even possible.
I've even heard that canard from clients who own Buck 110s from about +eight years ago. Things change, things evolve. Not always for the better, but commerce is a very fluid media.
Do some research. Get on a hobbyist forum where knives and sharpening are discussed. Set aside preconceived ideas and that smug attitude about edged tools.
Three years ago I would not have known Josh Graham if I ran him down in a crosswalk. Now some of my best personal knives are of his design, built by his hand.
July 21, 2008, 01:52 PM
Young lady cannot have a "knife" in a setting.
So she got herself a new Vic Classic SD, in Tie Dye, it's "pretty cool".
Using a pair of compound side cutters, I cut off the main blade. Filed the remnants of the tang where it fits down inside the handle/liners and hand finished and polished it where it is "pretty" and unless knew there was ever a main blade, one cannot tell by looking.
Now I have been carrying a dull SAK Classic SD. So I gave the young lady my tooth pick , tweezers and key ring, for spare parts.
Real pretty little clear plastic tube with a cork top to keep these in.
Since I had these compound cutters handy, I snipped off the point of my main blade and filed it flat.
I used the file to remove the edge totally from my main blade, hand finished it, and it looks like the nail blade now.
Young ladies mom needed a "office tool" so I gave her "my knife".
I had two small stones, a Norton and Arkansas , and gave them to some Veterans in rehab for injuries sustained in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A Vietnam Veteran is assisting these two and others, including family and kids, in how to whittle .
Just a fun thing, and they use SAK Pocket Pals. Simple stones and strop on leather.
'Nam Vet uses a Pocket Pal, and if everyone is using the same knife, just easier to assist in getting hands to do what they need to do.
If these knives get lost, or stolen being in and around hosptials, and rehab, it is not a big loss, other than sentimental.
I had one Old Hickory paring knife and one of the Vet's wives liked it, so I gave it to her.
One Marine is headed back to Iraq and mentioned how handy his SAK Spartan was, so I had had a new one sent to me, and gave it to him.
His son got the new SAK classic that came in that "combo pack" for $18 at Target.
My gals I run with, said I really needed to shoot my CCW and Youth Single Shot shotgun, in 20 ga, the only two guns I keep handy.
I said for them to take them, shoot the damn things, and assist with some new folks.
"What are you going to do for a CCW or home gun?" they asked.
"I'm not" I replied.
Email rec'd says my prized shotgun and some other items, might be gone.
A bad thing happened over the weekend where I keep some stuff off site.
I'll worry about it later.
I have some business to attend to.
Some nice folks sent me some knife stuff, and I have packages to wrap, so these can get to folks like returning Vets, or those going back, those that lost all during tornadoes, and floods we had.
Some are going to nice folks in the knife business to assist with efforts they are doing.
What few knives I have left, to replace what I lost during tornadoes, fire, flood and the like, are being packed up and set aside.
I think I have a carton cutter that takes single edge razor blades, and a orange disposable "snap off" box cutter.
The Dollar Store has some junk serrated paring knives I have used for office parties and the like before , and I'll snag one of those for $1 or maybe they are $2 *shrug* don't know, don't care, it works for food prep and is close enough for gubmint work.
It ain't no big and I ain't either. None of this stuff was never about me, instead others.
I knew from a young age I was disposable and that helps a lot with keeping life in perspective.
The gals and kids I have passed onto, can pass forward knife and gun stuff.
My role is to grin, mess with the dawg , smoke, and sip coffee and the like for a bit now.
I "might" do some stuff behind the monitor, or on some sites where I use other user names that are invite only , one had to have credentials, and the like.
Not here, not in public , not in non-firearm I won't be , and not sure when or if I will again.
I have never posted in activism, and never will.
Non-firearm, Shotguns, and some other sub forums I will not be active in either.
I earned getting to where I am, and have decided to enjoy the hell out of it.
July 21, 2008, 02:02 PM
A junk knife is one that was designed for a purpose which it cannot fulfill.
July 21, 2008, 02:04 PM
A junk knife is one that was designed for a purpose which it cannot fulfill adequately.
Fixed it for ya. ;)
July 21, 2008, 03:32 PM
Thanks, I was interrupted.
If a knife fulfills its function then it is not junk. If the knife is intended to hang on the wall and look good and it does this well, then that is not a junk knife.
A rubber knife that was designed not to cut is only junk if it cuts.
July 21, 2008, 10:00 PM
I bought 4 of the junk Winchester knives already mentioned here. The reasoning was they were $10 and I was going to be traveling a fair amount overseas. Knives were available there, but expensive, some places there were no laws against them but the local police might not like them. Always stood the Navy's rules which read about like TSA, as if we were going to take over some foreign country with a SAK. :rolleyes: These days you can expect the military to metal detect its own people, how far we've come. I never lost any but the idea was a knife to put in a trashcan I wouldn't cry over. Now I leave them in various bags a toolboxes that I may use when away from home on the theory that a crappy knife is better than no knife.
The lock is junk as already discussed. A field expedient fix for any junk liner lock when you anticipate hard use is to open the knife and jam a penny or dime sized object down behind it. Pound in good with a stick or gun butt if so desired.
July 22, 2008, 10:50 AM
I have an old Remington slip joint.. from the late 50's , early 60's , came from a deceased older gents estate who apparently never used it. Some will look at it as junk , however to me it is not. Walk & Talk is darn near purfect , blades are sharp as heck.
Is it the same quality as my Erickson custom slip joint ? ( I call it custom as he made it to my exact specs , including blade shape , swedge , bolsters , scale material , etc ) It's not in the same league as the Erickson , but it dont have to be , it's probably $250 cheaper.
To me , junk knives are fury , frost , etc.
Junk knives won't hold an edge or flex so much when you use them.
Like Don said , those who are into the high dollar collector knives , by some top forged makers will consider the knives I make scrap. It is all in the eye of the beholder , or as I say , beerholder.
Different views for diff people. Give you an example , some folks are diehard Hartsfield fans , now to me , those knives just dont look finished ! But they are sharp as heck , and cut extremely well , yet I have yet to see many that are finished beyond what appears to be 120 grit. However , they sell for $1,000 and up.
What is it worth to you ? Does it make you happy ? After all , it is your money you are spending , not mine.
What I do find hilarious , is the guy with the Les Baer custom ( semi-custom ? they dont make the frames afterall ) and yet has a $5 Fury knife to back it up...yet he bags on others for carrying a $300-$500 knife.
We have a guy like that at the range , decked out 1911 , decked out AR15 , Panerai Watch , new Vette.... $5 knife. Same guy always harps on me for spending $300+ on a knife.
I look at stuff on what I call SPD ratio. Smiles per Dollar.
How often do I use it ? How long will it last ? How durable is it ?
Knives I use daily :)
July 22, 2008, 12:43 PM
Last year I bought a "junk" knife.
Knew it when I bought it. I was sitting in a display case at the local Army Surplus place. Orange & black plastic handle. Made by Fury or Frost.
Had a set of change-out blades, a cheesy mini-fork & mini-can-opener.
It was maybe $18, and I bought it knowing that it was junk. Still, I wanted to try it out and see how the concept worked.
Imagine my surprise when I got it home and discovered it was sharp -- all the blades were -- balanced well in the hand, and did a quite passable job of hacking up dinner. The blades held edges better than I expected and took better edges than I expected.
I added it to my traveling kitchen. All I had wanted to something to test the blade changer concept and I wound up with a usable tool.
Sometime later, I picked up the Case XX Changer. I wasn't worried about whether the concept worked -- I'd already tried that -- I was only concerned about the implementation. I needn't have worried.
I have plenty of junkers that I'll never use and never sell (why do that to someone?), but I have a number of them that turned out better than I had imagined.
I'm not sure there's a lesson here, but I did find that not all junk is created equal.
July 23, 2008, 12:07 AM
You will see more high dollar knives sitting in a safe or a padded case than being used. I happen to enjoy using all that I buy , be it $10 or $500.
I have plenty of customs in my collection , but the one knife I would give them all up for , is to have that old patina'd scout knife that gramma bought for me when I was around 10. That knife isnt a high dollar knife , it was maybe $20 back then (cant recall) but to me that knife is worth more than anything and it was lost (long story).
Like my old Remington that I use daily , worth much ?To many I doubt it , but it was a gift from a very good friend , and that knife , while getting used , still means more to me than many in my collection.
I have a knife in my toolbox , worth maybe $1 to most , too me , priceless. Why ? It was one my middle son , who was 6 at the time , bought for me with money he made from his Kool-Aid stand sales , he bought it at the dollar store , and presented it to me with total pride.
What someone may feel is junk is another man's treasure. That man just might be me :)
Sometimes I can be a bit knife snobbish and favor some pricier hand mades , but that don't mean I dont have a bunch of others.
I can never pass up a good deal on a SAK or small slip. You may be saying , don't you have enuff knives ? Well , I dont buy em for me all the time , they make great gifts.
Try this some time , pick up a couple of them $10-$20 SAK's, find a scout leader and see if there aren't a few scouts in need of camping knives. It does the body & soul some good to make a kid smile.
August 11, 2008, 10:24 PM
i was looking through some old threads and foud this one. i noticed a little bit of smith and wesson knife bashing in it and had to throw in my 2 cents.
about a year and a half ago i bought a smith and wesson border guard for 20 bucks. its made in china and very bulky and heavy, a bit too large for carrying in my pocket i thought at the time. i bought it mostly to have a cheap knife in my truck in case i hit a deer.
after taking it home and testing it out a bit i found i really liked it so i started carrying it (pocket clip is a lifesaver). its been used for just about everything a knife can be used for including many things its not designed for, a lot of the black is chipped off the blade and its worn shiny in a few places, however it still takes and holds an edge, there is still no blade wobble and the lock has never failed me.
it has proven to be the best all around utility knife that ive ever bought.
having said that i bought one of the smith and wesson bullseyes with the gut hook and was unimpressed with it, it will never replace my marbles knife for hunting but instead resides in my truck. so maybe i got lucky or maybe they do make a couple decent knives the point im trying to make is that you cant always go by the name or country of manufacture.
August 12, 2008, 09:08 PM
I've got cheap knives that are junk and some that are not junk. I have a Buck style knife from Pakistan that is so tough it takes a lot of work to get an edge, but it hold it's sharpness a long time.
I think you can find a pretty good knife for under $75. If you want to spend more, you can, but I wont.
August 12, 2008, 09:22 PM
I'm not sure there's a lesson here, but I did find that not all junk is created equal.
I have a knife I bought from walmart about 4 years ago. Actually it was a 2 knife set for 13 bucks or so. One fixed blade one folder in matching realtree camo patterns. I bought it mostly for the fixed blade. I liked the blade pattern. I expected it to be crap soft stainless. I planned to use it as a pattern to build one in a good carbon steel. I fart around a bit with fire, steel and a hammer.
I was pleasantly surprised by this knife. Try as I might I have a hard time not taking it hunting. It is surprisingly sharp and holds an edge well. I've gutted, skinned and quartered quite a few deer with it the past several seasons.
I have "better" knives, or at least knives of better pedigree. This one just works.
The folder on the other hand, from the same package.......is pretty bad.
August 14, 2008, 06:40 PM
Current Frost Cutlery products from China are good letter openers. But that's about all they're useful for since they become dull so quickly.
In contrast, Frost Cutlery from the 1980's (made in Japan) was pretty good. Jim Parker left the company and things went to China after that.
August 17, 2008, 12:38 AM
I've bought, owned and still buy "Junk" knives. As a proper knife yes they are junk, but they can be very handy prying things around when you have to. I've had my fair share snap, break, chip in all sorts of ways but it was really no loss and the job at hand got done. I generally carry a good knife and
a junker all the time. Just my penny's worth
August 21, 2008, 02:24 AM
I picked up a couple of tiny, fully serrated knives that are $2 or are free if you get a fishing permit. One resides in my truck counsel, and has seen it's fair share of use by passengers that don't have their own. The other I have used for some minor self-surgeries, removing splinters, popping some nastiness of the skin, or relieving pressure with a small cut. The blade is kinda crappy, it doesn't have a strong lock, but the tip is extremely sharp, and that's what is usually used.
It opens up CD cases real well in the parking lot of the store I just bought it from too.
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