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Junk Knives

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by bikerdoc, Jul 17, 2008.

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  1. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    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!!
     
  2. Rupestris

    Rupestris Member

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    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.

    Chris
     
  3. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  4. Carl Levitian

    Carl Levitian member

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    Never seen anything out of Pakistan worth trying to sharpen.
     
  5. Pax Jordana

    Pax Jordana Member

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    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.
     
  6. wheelgunslinger

    wheelgunslinger Member

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    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?
     
  7. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    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.
     
  8. Eleven Mike

    Eleven Mike Member

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    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:
     
  9. sm

    sm member

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    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.
     
  10. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    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.
     
  11. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    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
     
  12. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    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.
     
  13. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    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.
     
  14. Eleven Mike

    Eleven Mike Member

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    Tourist,

    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. :)
     
  15. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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    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.


    -T.
     
  16. Zip7

    Zip7 Member

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    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.
     
  17. Regolith

    Regolith Member

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    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.
     
  18. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    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.
     
  19. Zip7

    Zip7 Member

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    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.
     
  20. jparham

    jparham Member

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    Hmm.

    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.

    http://eknifeworks.com/webapp/eComm...xt=&list=50&range=1&order=Default&SKU=BRCS319

    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)
     
  21. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    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.
     
  22. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    "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.
     
  23. sm

    sm member

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    Define "Junk".

    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.

    8. Repeat.

    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?

    Cut?
    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
     
  24. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    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.
     
  25. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    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".
     
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