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Discussion in 'Darrel Ralph (DDR) Custom Knives & DRT Tactical' started by neuron, Jul 11, 2012.
Not quite sure this is apropos considering the thread...
Look at it another way. It's entirely possible that a big factor in the mistakes made may have been the concern about how long it was taking. If we'd waited another couple months, perhaps they all would have been perfect. Certainly the ones coming out later seem to be better quality than the earlier ones. While it took a long time, at that point it was long enough that a few more months for a better product might not have been a bad choice.
Not that I feel it was handled well at all. In fact, this might be the worst forum knife project I've ever seen, from the lack of communication, to the apparent priority given to other orders. Couple that with the QC issues from last year that still seem to be unresolved and it's apparent that HTM has some work to do. But it IS apropos if you think about it in the right way.
Sad thing is, my favorite pistol company moved locations too, and CS has been suffering for them as well. I'll be interested to see how Magpul handles their move, since they tend to do things very well.
I agree with the general sentiment of this post, and at least when it comes to the part in bold, think that Darrel would agree too. Darrel himself has been making custom knives for decades, but HTM is still a relatively young company. And Darrel and the rest of the people involved in shaping what HTM is -- not just the folks making your knives and responding to your calls/emails, but also those "behind the scenes" on the business/managing side of things -- are still working to find the right niche for HTM in terms of number of knives made, models, degree of customization offered, and so forth. Moreover, Darrel is aware of the issues that come when outside factors -- such as pressure to produce greater quantities because dealers want to sell more of the knives at a lower margin -- conflict with the core goal of making the best possible knife that HTM can at a given price point. Some of the changes that have been made over the past year (again not just in the physical location of the company, but also on the business side of things) have been made with an eye to allowing greater control over precisely those sorts of matters. (Sorry if that's a bit vague, but I'm not sure I'm at liberty to share the details.)
Also, just to add my own perspective on a different aspect of what Darrel does, things on the custom side (DDR) are really superb. Darrel recently finished some custom Gunhammers that I had had on order for a while, and the quality and attention to detail on them is somehow a step above even the very high standard of my earlier DDR customs. They also have various relatively subtle changes from earlier versions -- incremental improvements to things like the handle texturing, thickness, and lockbar cutout, as well as a new pocket clip (this is the one aspect of them that I'm on the fence about this part of it, since while the new clip is noticeably more secure than the old low-ride clip, I don't find it as elegant).
Finally got my knife. Probably one of the last.
Have to say, pretty shitty knife for the price.
I have a chip right in the center of the blade
The bolts running from one side of the handle to the other don't sit flush, a machining issue with the bolt, hell I could slip a piece of paper between them. Nope can't tighten it down cause the bolt wasn't machined to have a flush rest.
Wouldn't be that big of a mess, but the thumb bolt doesn't go on. The screw is soooo short, coupled with the machining issue again (not flush) it just falls of. No wait, correction, it's just stripped.
Made in the USA? Fuck that shit. I'm certain the parts were machined in China, and the knife assembled without further fitment modifications in the US.
What a piece of shit.
I could not have said it better. My Tim Gaylean mid tech blows the HTM away, in fact my HEST Military blows it away. In fact every knife in my current collection blows it away and most are just benchmades and Spyderco's.
Mr. Ralph can i have my money back?
I won't hold my breath for a reply.
Definitely a PIECE of SHIT
I have some corrections to make
1.) yes, the thumb-bolt was stripped. But I backed out the screw on the other side of thumb-bolt with great difficultly. And fed more threads onto the otherside. Seems they lock-tite one side, but not the stripped side. Works now, but I'm worried about the softness of the bolt's threads. Problem is the screw is not long enough, or the thumb-bolt's metal isn't hard enough or the tech should've equalized the distance on the screw between the two bolts before over torquing.
2.) the chip is caused by one of the handle connectors.... a design flaw or something. OR more likely, a mistake in early fitment where the blade wasn't arrested from hitting the connecting bolt.
3.) There are chips in the clip's recess border. (I noticed this when reversing the clip)
4.) Case it came in had lose nylon threads. Minor issue, not that a cut and and a dab of super glue can't fix.
5.) I will correct the connecting bolt's fitment by reaming out the handle's holes with a fine jewler's circular file. This is to compensate for the improperly machined bolts (it's tapered causing binding with the hole)
Aside from these actual problems. QC was my biggest disappointment. All of this shit should've been caught. Sure, I would've let this go if it cost $150, maybe even $200, but for $360?? C'mon. Anything less than blowaway is not good enough. To add to the hurt, it took a friggen year. Hell, a McMillan custom rifle stock only has 6 months lead time fully custom built, bedded and test fired. My BMW motorcycle ordered custom from the factory took 3 months.
My Benchmade Contego 910 at half the price was pretty much flawless. And that was a mass production knife!
Yeah, you could argue that the S90V steel may have commanded the $360 price tag, but Knife Center (whom HTM sold our knives out to) is selling pretty much the exact same model for $270.
I'd be thrilled to get 270 for mine...