Can anyone tell me why?

Apr 19, 1999
O.K, I'm about to discuss a topic which will be a little 'sensitive' so please read with an open mind and let me finish what i have to say. I'm not about to start a flame tread but i just want your opinion, that's all.
I'm frustrated by the way 'some' custom makers and dealers treated me. I've approached many custom makers and dealers since my hobbie of knife collecting got serious a year ago and have too been 'shut' off one too many times. Allen of Elishewitz custom knives, Mel of Madpoet, Travis of RedCanyon and some other dealers have been gentlemans and have treated me WELL with prompt replies on my enquiries and order.
Why shouldn't the rest do the same? (You know who you are) No doubt i live in MALAYSIA (Up north from Singapore, ASIA)and i'm chinese, does that mean i do not flow the very same blood of passion for knives? We are not what it seems to be potrayed by medias of certain news group and T.V shows, hyped up from what you see but you have to be here to see it yourself. In the word of God, we're equal in thoughts and judgement.
Yes, I understand their packed time schedule but i've yet to receive thier reply for weeks! Why? Electronic mails are fast! I'm puzzled. I'm no minor if that is on your mind, i'm in my mid 20s and have been working for the last 4 years, professionally. I may not be rich but able to pay for what i buy, so why aren't anyone taking me seriously? A short reply of "No, i'm not interested to make you or sell you a knife" will suffice, That's all i'm asking and be forever silence...........(Again, as a reminder, this IS NO FLAME TREAD! If you do not agree, tell me why. Please, NO FOUL language! I do not want to be booted out of here as i like this forum very much.) Thank you.

[This message has been edited by keninshiro (edited 07 September 1999).]

[This message has been edited by keninshiro (edited 08 September 1999).]
As with any situation like this I would suggest that you respond to service with your wallet. Just do not buy from those who you do not feel are treating you fair.

Also keep in mind many dealers and custom makers are not so internet literate and they may take longer to respond to you than some others.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

I can't speak as to exactly why the problem exists, but it often does. I personnally have been guilty of this in the past, mainly because of my full time profession, which often takes me away unexpectedly for unknown periods of time. Most potential customers understand when I explain what I do. I would suggest sending another message, asking the individual(s) why they haven't responded. That said, my next step would be to take Mike's suggestion and find another maker. Most makers that I know do their best to reply to inquires within 24 hrs, unless there is something that keeps them from doing so. Maybe not the best answer, but it's as honest as I can be. Take Care.

Ed Caffrey
"The Montana Bladesmith"

I would guess (and hope) that it's more a matter of logistics and geography than any other motive. Besides, there seem to be quite a few makers that just about everybody complains about, anyway. Maybe nobody gets a reply from the ones you're having problems with.

[This message has been edited by Ewok (edited 08 September 1999).]
Keninshiro, I doubt if it has anything to do with us being Chinese or living in Asia. I believe Mike was right when he said that most custom makers aren't really up to par yet with this internet thing. Just needs patience, that's all.

I haven't bought any custom knives yet, but from what I got (and I got plenty already) I can safely say that I like the way I'm treated better than when I buy stuffs locally here in the Philippines.

I too have ran into this problem.

I even sent some designs to a guy and have heard nothing since, despite various emails.

Oh well, his loss.

Marion David Poff aka Eye, one can msg me at If I fail to check back with this thread and you want some info, email me.

My site is at:

Including my review of the Kasper AFCK, thougths on the AFCK and interview of Bob Kasper.

All I can say is that some of the custom makers I've talked to or worked with have been friendly, genuinely happy to talk, and excited about every new idea or project. Others have been complete pr*cks. This is either face-to-face or over the phone, so my nationality didn't enter into the picture. I guess it takes all sorts. Sometimes you catch a guy on a bad day.

I'll make the obvious suggestion that you only deal with makers who make you feel appreciated and special. The experience will be much better, and the knife will carry some of the special bond between you forever. For every maker who treats you like dirt, there are three or more out there who genuinely want to produce a very special piece for you.
I reply as quickly as possible. I admit I
have lost addresses due to computer problems
and have misplaced requests in my shop for
a period of time.
Also to consider that there are many requests
for a brochure(which costs money) without
an offer to reimburst and people that want
the brochure for collecting without the slightest interest of a knife. I also have
had several people order a knife and then
when it is finished not send the money. I
have even sent knives and not got paid for
them. I don't think I'm in this boat alone... So it might behove to not look down
on custom makers just because they don't reply speedily. It would probably help to
ask in the first inquiry to reimburs for their response. Some may be too backlogged also

Don't walk in tradition just because it feels good!!!!!
Romans 10:9,10
Hebrews 4:12-16
Psalm 91

I have seen the same thing as keninshiro. I don't think it has to do with geography or anything like that. I have said this before, some of these guys are just lowsy businessmen. They might be the nicest guys in the world or make the best knives ever. When it comes to running their business and keeping customers happy, some of them are no good. I have given up getting too upset. I have come to realize, it is their business and they can do with it as they wish. I will take my business elsewhere. There are plenty of excellent makers around who would be more than happy to make what you want. It may take time to find them, but they are there.

Paranoia is only smart thinking
when everyone is out to get you.

I have experience this phenomenon to a certain extent also, and I have come to believe it is because some makers just don't spend as much time in front of the old keyboard as we do. Knifemakers tend to be largely of the get out to the shop and work until you are too tired to do anything but go in the house, eat, and fall into bed work ethic. Sometimes I think they have web sites and email accounts because their kids said they ought to, but they only find time to check it out on weekends when there is no show to go to.

So don't take it personally. Try calling. Even the oldest, crustiest makers have gotten used to the phone by now.

I tell you what though, I have a theory that the friendliest makers are also the best makers. They tend to be more open minded and learn more from others.

I would not bother with anyone who cannot follow through. As a maker (ABS Mastersmith), collector and dealer I have seen all sides, there are no excuses. Problem is that most knifemakers are not good business people. I go to great pains to return any and all inquiries asap (that day if possible) with computers there are even fewer reasons to get stiffed. Please feel free to contact me at anytime for your needs in the custom markets. I usually deal more in the high end markets ($800 to $20,000)
Good Luck and take good care and spend your money wisely not with flakes.

Dave's point is well taken, if a maker can't be bothered to return calls or emails don't sweat it just look for another who responds to the customer.

Usually I get back to a customer the same day unless special information such as material pricing is involved and I am at the mercy of others. The other cause of delays in my case is my show schedule but that is posted on my web site for all to see.


I have seen this often.

We got to keep in mind that most, if not all, custom knife makers are really small home based (mom and pop) businesses. Resources for the operation are usually limited to the knifemaker and his immediate family. The level of responsiveness will vary from day to day depending on the demands placed on these resources. If the maker gets sick, "gets a good idea" resulting in a temporary increase in demand (which is probably when most of us are trying to reach him/her), is attending a show, or, simply decides to take a short break; the level of responsiveness will be reduced.

We should either make allowances or buy factory products. What I will never tolerate from anybody is rude or disrespectful behavior. If the response you are getting is anthing other than professional, then I would suggest you take your business to a another vendor.

[This message has been edited by not2sharp (edited 08 September 1999).]
Hey guys! Thanks for the replies, i guess almost every knife buyers had encountered this before. To the knife makers, please don't take this personally. I know not all of you are like that but just a handfull is enough to spoil the market. To continue what i've written. Yes, i called him at 2am in the morning from Malaysia. He seem alright at first but never reply for weeks despite numerous attempts on emails. Well, i guess he is VERY back logged! I won't wait as i have other plans, and i'll take the lot's advise and look for another maker. Again, knife makers please don't hold a grudge on me. I know is hard as it is but I feel alone here in Malaysia as a collector and the last thing i need is to be shut off.
Goshawk; Sorry about those people who played you out. I meet bad makers and dealers, you meet bad buyers. But i think most of us here in bladeforum are honest people. I know you helped me before so i think you're alright.
Thanks guys, may we all live long and prosper!

Keep trying till they will send your orders. Nothing wrong if they don't mail your orders on time or not at all. Sooner or later a dealer or supplier would like to send you and perhaps you cannot contain all anymore the flow of incoming orders of yours.

No Malaysian, Chinese or whatever blood everyone has something to show of. But we do all things with art and convincing words. That when we are writing in the email they can feel what we are saying because it is the truth. Some also may don’t mean what they say but to get more info on ourselves. There are a lot of things we can’t explain in one posting.

Also, some suppliers don’t just send orders at minimal quantity if they are at a lost in their shipping cost plus other custom duties or incidental costs in the shipment. Some countries don’t allow also some kind of goods as they have list of considered hot items. Sometimes, the manufacturer has no dealer in a particular place or an export license.

I am also a Filipino and I won’t remorse if I am ignored. One time I ask info from a Phil. Site and posted a comments, when I went back it has been deleted. I email them back still I don’t have reply. Whereas, other site which are noted of being westernized addressed our grievances sometimes like where we are talking now (TFL). As you said you don’t like to be booted out in this site, they don’t do that as they can see things crystal clear if we are airing legitimate comments, topic etc.