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Old June 5, 2008, 06:39 PM   #1
jparham
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This is a Sodbuster thread

I won't keep trying to postpone the inevitable- we need a Sodbuster thread.
I'll start.
The Sodbuster, and its cousin the Sodbuster Jr, are some of the best working knives out there. They aren't too long and aren't too small. You can open them one-handed, by pushing on the blade, if you need or want to, but for the most part they were designed to be opened two handed, with the nail nick.
The model I have is the ubiquitous Case Sodbuster Jr, in CV with yellow handles.

(Pic not mine)
My doesn't have a patina yet, I haven't induced one or gotten one from lots of use yet. It will, soon, and it is already getting some discoloring.
There are other Sodbusters out there, as well. Case makes the Soddie Jr and the full-size Sodbuster in stainless, with black plastic handles.

Case also made the full size Sodbuster in yellow and CV. You can find them used, on auction-site-that-shall-not-be-named, among other places. They are sought after, and with good reason- Case knives in CV are easy to sharpen, and when brand new, come razor-sharp.
Of course, Case isn't the only maker of the Sodbuster pattern. Boker makes both a Sodbuster and a Sodbuster Jr, in perfect combo ( That's yellow and CV/Carbon).
Sodbuster Jr.
Sobuster
I've had good experiences with Boker, so I'd imagine these knives are a good value.
Moore Maker, who I posted a recent thread about, also has large and small Sodbusters avaliable. I'm lazy, so if you want to see them, got to that thread or go to mooremaker.com
There is also a German company, Kissing Crane, that makes a Sodbuster. The Sodbusters, called Brown Mules, are made in Italy. Although they don't quite have PC, they do have carbon steel blades. The handles are hardwood, and they come in 3 sizes. They are avaliable from ragweedforge.com
Then there is Eye Brand. They offer a variety of Sodbuster patterns, including a lockback and a PC. I have no experience with them.
Eye Brand Sodbuster
Finally, there is Rough Rider. Ah, Rough Rider. They are not made in the USA, they do not have carbon steel blades, and they do not have yellow handles. However, I have a Rough Rider congress that is an excellent knife for the price point, and I've heard no complaints about the RR Sodbuster. It has a linerlock, too, if that matters to you.
Rough Rider Sodbuster
Also worthy of mention are Opinel. These French made knives are similar to Sodbusters, only they have round wood handles and ring locks (although I think you can get them with backsprings). The blade shape, and the fact that they only have one blade, is very similar to a Sodbuster. They also share the common low price point, although an Opinel will normally run you a little bit less than a Soddie.
So, here's my consensus on Sodbusters. They are very good, very hardworking, folksy knives that are good for about anything. Maybe not batoning or prying or as a combat knife, but for everything a pocket knife should be used for, these can be used for.
And, my favorite- they are cheap.
So, what do you think of Sodbusters?
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Old June 5, 2008, 06:41 PM   #2
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I just started collecting Case knives. First one I got was a SodBuster Jr. with the black handle. Just received my Small Stockman with the blue bone handle and red oval emblem.

I'm doomed!!!
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Old June 5, 2008, 06:55 PM   #3
Todd A
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Quote:
So, what do you think of Sodbusters?


Not bad. Good solid knife I would recomend to anyone.

But to be honest it doesn't get much time in my rotation anymore. If Case would make one in CV that wasn't yellow I'd buy one.
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Old June 5, 2008, 09:35 PM   #4
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I've got the Case Sodbuster Jr. w/black plastic handle, and couldn't be happier with it. It's cut everything I've asked it to, and some I didn't (like my thumb!) Until I got it I was exclusively a Kershaw guy, the Scallion dangling on my keyring. But you can't beat the tried-and-true, old-fashioned work knife. I love the history and simplicity, not to mention the price.

Now I really want a Sodbuster with a brown wood handle! Something that'll change with age, sweat, dirt, and wear.
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Old June 5, 2008, 10:23 PM   #5
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CZ.22,
Thanks for a great thread topic!

The Sodbuster and Sodbuster Jr. are historically proven and will continue to prove.

http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/...ically/p_s.php
http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/...r/31_45.php#38

Case lists the Sodbuster as pattern number 38

Quote:
The oldest version is a 3 5/16" multi-bladed knife known as a congress. They have four blades and were being manufactured by W.R. Case and Sons prior to 1915.
Quote:
The more recent 38 pattern is a 5 5/8" clasp style jack knife that goes by the name sodbuster. It is the same as the 37 pattern Sodbuster Jr. described above, except that it is larger. These were introduced by Case between 1965-1969. Most of them have black composite handles, and some have liner lock mechanisms. When this is the case, the pattern number will be followed by an L.
Sodbuster Jr, is listed as pattern 37 by Case.

Quote:
The oldest version is a 3 1/2" swell center style Jack knife that is often referred to as a coke bottle. Most have spear and pen, or clip and pen blades.

The more recent version of the 37 pattern is a 3 5/8" clasp style jack knife that is called a Sodbuster Jr. They have single skinner blades, and do not have bolsters. A few have liner lock mechanisms. Case introduced them around 1970 as a smaller version of the sodbuster described below. Most of them have black composite handles, but newer versions can be found with yellow composite handles. Some older commemorative models were manufactured with green delrin, pakkawood, and genuine stag handles
My experiences are mostly with Case and some Boker.

-Case uses a Delrin material for handles, which is impervious to many solutions one is apt to expose a knife to.

-Yellow is that proven in assisting folks in not losing a knife.
Many folks over the years have expressed a dislike of yellow handles, be they bone, or delrin, mfg by many knife mfg over the years.
Fact is, after using one, and especially after seeing the yellow, therefore not forgetting a knife left out, or finding one dropped , the appreciation and respect for yellow handles is earned by the knife.

-Handles are smooth, still being users, they do roughen up.
Many will roughen up with emery paper, or file, even fine saw blades to give a bit more purchase, such as the lines on a Old Timer, or Buck with respective brown and black derlrin handles.

These handles are much tougher than SAK standard red (other colors now) handles, in regard to chemicals and such.

-Safe.
You bet!
The fact is, these have stout backsprings, so in essence "resist" closing, much like a Douk-Douk.
Another fact is, folks raised with slipjoints and fixed knifes learned knife safe use and care.

Like keep body parts away from cutting edge.
Some locking knifes require one to have fingers in front of the edge.

-Sodbuster Jr's fit my hands best, and pocket carry so well.
Not just guys, also lots of ladies use this knife.

-Sodbuster is bigger, and I have used this one a lot as well.

Now a little plankowner license if I may...

Re: Army Rangers and other Military folks.

Yep, Sodbuster was in Vietnam.
I know, as I gave one to a Army Ranger buddy went he went back on another tour.
His bunch traveled l-i-g-h-t.
They carried BHPs, and the issued holster was skeltonized to save weight.
Sodbusters and Slimline Trappers were real popular with him and his bunch.
Less weight, and they had both neck sheaths and easy access body sheaths.

Others used these, such as Military Nurses, such as those in field hospitals and the like.

-Missionaries in remote areas of the world, I know have/do use Sodbusters.

The Sodbuster, and Sodbuster Jr, have earned being a "working knife" , a proven traditional pattern that is still proving today.

These are not flash in the pan, movie hyped "gotta have's", or anything else.

Sod's are highly recommended by me, and countless others.


Steve
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Old June 5, 2008, 10:24 PM   #6
jparham
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Eek, I didn't post the link to the wood handled Sodbusters.
Here they are
Kissing Crane Sodbusters, scroll down
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Old June 5, 2008, 10:51 PM   #7
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They suck.



Because I don't have one! One of these days I'll have to get one.
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:31 PM   #8
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I have a Yellow boker , and have a wood and a black handled one that will be here in a few days....

dam they are cool , and this Boker I got , I put a killer edge on it.
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:48 PM   #9
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JTW Jr.,

Have I got a project consideration for you. *rut-roh*

Preface- yes, I have seen what I am about to share with you, and it does come in real handy.

I know you are going to make one of your sheaths for a Sodbuster.

Now, if one made a sheath for a Sodbuster, to hold the knife in the open position, so it carried like a fixed blade, that is real handy for some settings and applications.

If...If done right, the closed Sodbuster will ride in this same sheath as well- as the handles, will not let the knife close go into the sheath were a blade goes.

*ah-ha*

Now...one old boy had some metal belt clips like Bianchi used on their holsters, that were reversible.

He worked tack, horses, and property stuff. He kept open Sods on his work area, and sometimes just sheathed one, and could clip this on.
Other sheaths had "paddle", so inside the waist to hold secure.

Oh he had sheaths for closed Sods, still sheaths for opened ones, were real handy, and popular with folks.
All sorts of folks, from drywall, to other construction folks, to farmers, ranchers, hunters...

Have fun.

*smile*
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:49 PM   #10
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Would carrying a sheathed open Sodbuster qualify as carrying a fixed blade in NC?
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Old June 5, 2008, 11:54 PM   #11
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And come to think of it, that link I posted to Ragweed forge also has Okapis .Also very hardworking knives, and very cool looking!

And, of course, the famous Douk Douk reference by SM

And to those who don't know what one looks like, here is an Opinel

I'd say all fairly cheap, working knives look pretty much the same.
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Old June 6, 2008, 12:00 AM   #12
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Give me some time to toy with it Steve and I can give it a shot...

would this be left or right side carry ?
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Old June 6, 2008, 12:27 AM   #13
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CZ.22

Re: knife laws.
I do not know. These laws , no matter where one lives, need to be investigated.
Some interpretations are just really odd.

Re: Okapi
Folks, do not remove the key ring, as it is part of how one uses this knife design.
For Safety Reasons, someone needs to post how to use that knife correctly.
Better yet, would be a new thread, and have the history and correct use shared.



JTW Jr.,

Most were right handed, as one can use a sheath knife cross draw, or with left hand, using the "wrong sheath" ( a right hand one).

Serious, this idea is not a new one, and goes back with other pocket knives.
Folk returned from Wars, and with amputations and injuries, could not open a knife as easily.
One Arm Jacks, and knives similar to Sodbuster, could be opened one handed, as the blade was up above the handles.
Still, some folks did not want to use a sheath knife, even a smaller one.
So a sheath was done to keep pocket knives open and safe.

I mean a fella has a right to use a favorite old bone handled knife, and some had sentimental value.
Add, some needed to feel "whole" or "normal" - whatever, just a positive input in lives.

So folks had sheaths for Sodbusters, and some had a real need after Vietnam, and others ...well...some listened to the old timers, and Vets.

Like I said it might be on a bench with other "sheaths" working leather, where a person just used a tool and put it back open into a sheath.
Wood workers too, and in a truck, or in a back pocket walking the property , or...

Just another tool in the tool box is all.

Sheaths for closed ones, were and still are used, including neck sheaths for folks around water...

Sodbusters are proven in all sorts of settings, by young and old, male and female.
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Old June 6, 2008, 01:31 AM   #14
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Sodbusters

Quote:
Because I don't have one! One of these days I'll have to get one.
Ahem.

Yeah. And one of these days I'll have to get a Wharncliffe whittler.

Let me see . . . I had some sodbuster pictures . . .
Family photo


Yes, Virginia, they did indeed make a large one in CV


See? Little one, big one.


Holding the big one looks like this:


Holding the little one looks like this:

. . . so, yes, I had some pictures.

Since those were taken, I've also added a couple of large ones in stainless.

BTW, the Böker is carbon steel. Well made. Good edge. Does good work.

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Old June 6, 2008, 02:10 AM   #15
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Arf,

What darn fool got you into Sodbusters?

*snicker*


Thanks for the great pics !
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Old June 6, 2008, 12:44 PM   #16
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Arf- do those Bokers take a darker patina?
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Old June 6, 2008, 01:06 PM   #17
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Böker Patina

Yes.

The Case knives (CV) take a "satin grey" patina if you're doing the "patina wash" thing.

I used heated fruit juice.

Doing the same thing to the Bökers resulted in a nearly black patina.

Böker uses a straight carbon steel (uh, 1095, I think), and it colors up a lot darker if you dunk it.

I may get another one and just abuse it for a few months and see what the result is.

Oh, and please be advised, it's Steve's fault.

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Old June 6, 2008, 01:25 PM   #18
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I have a soddie in stainless with the black plastic handles. I'm not gonna say it doesn't rock.


Personally, I find it's a great companion to a multitool. I have a few multitools also, some of great quality and/or expense, and have not yet found a knife blade on any of 'em that's ergonomic in the least.

The relationship is symbiotic though - because you shouldn't use your soddie as a screwdriver. If you do, steve will find you and that poor mistreated knife will be posthumously removed from your posession.
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Old June 7, 2008, 01:40 PM   #19
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Much as I like the "traditional" knives like the Sodbuster, Canoe, or Scout Knife, they really need to produce up-dated versions that lock, and have thumb studs and clips. Not so they'll be tacticool, but for practical reasons.

I often carry a Case Scout Knife, but only as secondary to the fixed-blade knife I keep in my front pocket.
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Old June 7, 2008, 03:10 PM   #20
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Eleven Mike,

I hear what you are saying, I respectfully disagree about the locks.
I am not addressing you in particular, I respect your take on many matters and pay attention to your posts.

Allow me to address locks to folks in general my rebel ways rebuttal if you will. *smile*

If someone wants a locking knife, traditional or modern, there are already too many models on the market.

Put a lock on my Sodbuster and I'll take a torch to it and beat it to death with a hammer.
The whole concept of a useful tool for me, and countless others is negated by adding a lock to a Sodbuster.

Many of the reasons mirror the same as the Douk-Douk.


-Sodbuster is a safer knife than many knives with a lock.
It has a stout back spring, which "resists" being closed.

When in closing, one can do so more safely, and do so one-handed , whereas many locking knives require one to have fingers in front of the edge.

I was taught correct basic fundamentals in regard to life skills and one was not putting anything in front of a knife edge I did want to cut.
Much like never pointing a firearm muzzle at something I don't want to destroy.


Moderation in everything, and there is a give and take in everything too.

Sodbusters allow safer control in both opening and closing.

How many times has a person with a Speed Holster had a race gun fall out walking around?
Lots.
Oh the gun comes out fast!
Just the gun does not re-holster very fast, or very secure.

One handed opening knives that designed for speed, often times do not close fast very well , or safe.

Sodbuster, like a Douk-Douk, or Shing, or Ken Erickson or other quality pocket knives / slip joints allow safe control in opening and closing due to that back spring.


Legal.

Many settings do not allow locking knives, and more such restrictions are in works.
The wording of legislation is "open" to all sorts of interpretations, not only in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, even right here in the good old USA.

How a knife opens, stays open, and how it closes has been the subject of legislations all over the world, for a long time, and still is.

Douk-Douk, is a proven knife and was/is legal in regard to not being a locking knife, in many settings around the world.
Yes, it was banned in some areas, not because of the knife itself, instead "the intent of the user" as some evil folks used that knife.

Sodbuster is akin the Douk-Douk.
It is legal in many jurisdictions, and is politically correct being a "dumb old traditional knife like used down on the farm...grandpa still uses one...".


Now I and mine, tested some new offerings down in the areas where Sodbusters, Slimline Trappers, Stockmans , Mini Trappers, Full size Trappers have a long history of being used.

Not picking on mfgs, still I ad mine busted 5 Kershaw Leeks, doing farm/ranch work.
Damn stainless they use, would not keep a working edge for spit!
Locks busted, and if it had not been for having "correct basic fundamentals" of knife use instilled in me, I could have been cut bad!
Closing that damn thing...heck I cheated and used gloves.
What is it with all these damn proprietary screws !
Down on the back Forty, a Sodbuster does not need spare parts and stupid tools to keep it together!
[Are folks buying knives to use or play with?]

Now some other "known" knives costing more money failed too!

John Shirley I respect, and he and I can agree to disagree, still he said the Spyderco he feels is a good one, and was carrying on in Afghanistan.

So we tested these.
Sodbuster's blade sticks up above the handle allowing one purchase to open.
One can open this knife numerous ways, including one handed, numerous ways.
This same design allow one safe closing too, with that back spring.

John said "Delica", so we did Delica with plain edge.

"Damn thing got a hole in that funky blade don't it? You sure your buddy is okay and not nuts?" - friends asked.
I assured them John was good folks, then again like me, the jury is still out on how sane we are.
*smile*

Delica did pretty good.
Truth is, 'we' like carbon steel or chrome vanadium, stubborn and hard headed we are.
These steels are proven, and easy to touch up in the field with a stone.

Delica does allow one handed opening and one can close safe, with some re-education on how to do so.

Understand, some of these folks have been doing hard use work with Sods and the like for decades!
So muscle memory is instilled in safe use.

Spyderco worked - pretty good, for these folks.
The blade shape took some getting used to, and most had the clips removed because the knife is more comfy to use, and that knife being down in pocket means, it cannot hang up on something, or scratch a car, or hurt a animal.
Clear nail polish (poor man's Loctite) kept screws secure.


Sods are like this, in the pocket they are "there" in pocket, cannot hang up, or scratch vehicles, or critters.
Sheath, is proven too.
This is not marketing, this is real folks that work for a living sharing about tools.

Now one person almost messed up, going "into town" and that setting say's no assist opening, or locking knives.
They went back to vehicle and left the knife.
Sodbusters never gave them this concern...the tactical knives do attract attention.


Poor Man's Sodbuster : SAK Sentry
Pocket Pal adds a pen blade.

Boker, Case, Kissing Crane and others need to do a smaller Sodbuster than the Sodbuster Jr.

About the size of the SAK Sentry, because of closed length, and blade length restrictions.
No locks , no assist opening.


There is only so much pie, and instead of everyone wanting a slice of everyone else's pie, mfg should instead focus on their slice of the pie being the best.
Line Extension kills companies [Trout & Reys].


Case I grew up with, and I understand staying in business, in today's market, and I don't want to see them go the way of Shrade or Camillus, or Buck.
Still that damn collecting bit, tee-totally ticks me off at times.
I know it makes them money...

Sodbusters are wanted in CV, with other handle options too.
Yellow is proven is keeping up with a knife.
White is wanted, so is Orange, and Safety Green.
Nice options such as wood and bone are wanted.


Sodbusters and some other traditional knives are proven users.
WE have enough dumbing down of society and eroding of rights without ruining this knife by sticking a lock on it.

*smile*

Steve
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Old June 7, 2008, 05:08 PM   #21
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I've had a love affair w/ sodbusters for many years. My first was a Case carbon steel model given to me by my grandfather, since then I've owned (and lost) several and I still consider it to be a great working man's knife much like the older Camilus, Remington and Winchester(bullet) full-size 2- blade trapper..just a real American classic..! Being "old school" I much prefer CV and/or carbon steel to stainless offerings though I own several of each both. I recently bought a Carl Schlieper Eye Brand EB99DSL locking stag Sodbuster (carbon steel). At 4 11/16" its large for a EDC but Eye Brand uses a very high-grade CS in their blades that take and hold an incredible edge that is easily maintained. After using both Case and Eye brand thru the years I feel that you can't go wrong with either yet my preference leans toward the German offering.

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Old June 7, 2008, 05:14 PM   #22
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I love this thread! Thanks!

..........as i reach in my pocket and pull out my JR. and think of my Grandpa....He walked on Water....and carried a sodbuster!


Thanks!
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Old June 7, 2008, 11:38 PM   #23
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sm,

Thanks for the kind words. I wasn't saying that knife companies should stop making the original-recipe pocket knives. I just think the old-timey knife makers would reach a lot more market, if they incorporated some of the very practical features of the "tactical folder."

I'm actually with you on the clips, I keep my folding knives in my pocket. But to me, the lock is a significant safety feature. And using two hands to open the knife is just not practical in a lot of cases. Crazy me, I also like most of my folders to have 4-4.5 inch blades, just like my fixed blades.
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Old June 8, 2008, 12:12 AM   #24
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Eleven Mike,

Buck makes a "sodbuster" with a lock if you will in their 500 series, and in more than one size, with nickel bolsters and wood handles. *smile*

My serious concerns are:
-Knife companies going out of business.
-Line extension causing them to die off
-Manufacturers losing the market share they do have.
-Patterns becoming lost, or extinct.
etc.

In my opinion, the Sodbuster should remain as is.
Other knife patterns, with locks can fill the role of the Sodbuster ; i.e. 500 series Buck offerings.

Follow me here, as I know I am not doing a very good job of trying to express my position.

Buck is having some difficulties in this knife market these days.
They have laid off some employees, and some have been there a really long time.
Folks became upset, and still are, as some of the Buck line is made in China.
Some of the patterns are the same, such as the USA made Lancer, and the China made Deuce.

Buck, is Buck, and they got where they are by the knives they did for years.
Some now suggest Buck is hurting as they fell for the Line Extension Trap as it is referred to by Trout & Reyes.

Buck was built on 110s, 300 , 500 series , etc., knives.
They owned their slice of the pie against / along with Case, Shrade and others,... healthy competition if you will.

Buck started doing tactical, swiss army, and for lack of a better word "modern" such as the Metro.

Why? My guess is marketing got them into the Line Extension Trap, and I will go so far to say new folks with MBAs did this.
Folks that were not raised "old school" nor were educated in college in "old school" marketing.
Greed is taught a lot.

Buck does not need tactical knives, let the other companies that are into that do those patterns.
Let the tack-tickle fight for a slice of the tack-tickle pie.
Those companies cannot do a 110, or a 300, 500 series either.

My take is, healthy competition is good for all parties.

Sodbuster is a Sodbuster!
Case, Boker, Eye Brand, Kissing Crane...and others can offer the Sodbuster buyer varies options.
Let these folks have healthy competition in the "slice of the pie" for Sodbusters.

You want a wood handled one?
Case or Boker does not have one, Kissing Crane does.
You want a Carbon blade/ CV blade, Case is just one offering, but the handle is yellow.
Another company can do a different handle with a Carbon blade.

And if you want a locking one...Buck 500 series is real darn close!

By not getting greedy and falling into the Line Extension Trap, perhaps some of my concerns, and concerns we all have about knife companies, can be remedied, and the important contributions made by various companies will be preserved.


Steve
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Old June 8, 2008, 12:25 AM   #25
Eleven Mike
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Hmm. To my eyes, the Buck 500 is a totally different knife. But thanks.
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