Disappointing trip to the hardware store

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I stopped by a local hardware store because I remembered them having a few Schrade and Case knives in a display. When I got there, I saw a 194OT in the case. I asked the gentleman if I could see it, and he opened the case and took it out. Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that it was one of the newer "Made in China" knives. Now, I generally have nothing against buying items made in the PRC, but I think the expectation that I was about to buy an American made Schrade kind of spoiled the purchase. I was also a little peeved about the fact that the guy tried to pawn it off as being an original Schrade. I feel regret when I think about all the times I could have purchased Schrade knives from a local Kmart, before they went out of business.

They did have a couple of other traditional patters, such as Case sodbusters, and a No. 6 Opinel. They aslo had a couple of knives from a company I'm not familiar with. They were a Barlow and Fish Knife from Imperial knives. They were less than $7 so I may end up going back and picking them up just cause.
 
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If you see those Imperial again, check the tang stamps, if they are marked "Imperial Ireland" they were made by the old Schrade factory in Ireland, where they made an inexpensive line of knives, may be carbon or stainless steel and may have hollow steel handles and bolsters, Imperial Ireland was closed before Schrade went down and some of the Irish models were later made in China, again, check the stamps.

Luis

Edited to add pictures, an Imperial Ireland Fishknife and close up of tang stamp:

 
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Thank you for the info Don Luis. I thought the Imperial icon looked very similar to Schrade's, but never put it together.

If it's one of the ones made in Ireland, is it worth the $7?
 
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If it's one of the ones made in Ireland, is it worth the $7?
That's about as much as I paid for mine some years ago in Mexico, I don't know if it's the same in the USA.

Luis
 

brownshoe

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It'll be worth $7 but not much more. Although as a 1/2 Irish american, I'd love it if imperial was cool however the knife is a low level brand. However, as a green irishman...that's what i'd expect from an irish product called "imperial."
 
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Chris Mapp said:
Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that it was one of the newer "Made in China" knives.

Actually there is no excuse for that, other than indifference. There are still USA made Schrade knifes available from the wholesellers. So there is no reason for the stores not to be stocking up on the american made knives. But people are buying them up as a investment. I just bought out a schrade collection from a friend of mine that lost his job and needs to pay the tax bill on his house. I got them for about $20 & $25 each and they sell on Ebay for about $30 for the most part right now.
 
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Chris Mapp said:
If it's one of the ones made in Ireland, is it worth the $7?

The Ireland knives are better then what they were. At least they are sharper now, but they do not hold up all that much better then what they did. They still self destruct, just not as fast now. For $7 they are worth the price, just keep it clean or oiled and it should be an ok knife. If you were going to pay much more, walmart was selling buck knives for $15.
 
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I'll probably pick up at least one. At that price I won't cry too much if it falls apart on me. They also had a couple of Case Sodbusters, so maybe I'll check them out as well.
 
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My experience with Imperial Ireland knives is that they are good users or beaters. In those with the hollow steel sheet handles the plastic covers tend to be fragile. If they just fall off they can be glued back on with epoxy, in those that have broken I have made new scales from epoxy putty.

Here's some examples, these are Imperial Ireland knives with new scales made from epoxy putty, in the two top knives I just molded the putty over the original sheet metal scales, in the two bottom knives I removed the sheet metal scales and made full scales from the putty.

Luis


Click to enlarge
 
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I bought some Imperial knives on closeout when Schrade went out of business. I didn't pay more than $5 for any of them, and most were $1-$3. While not exactly "free", I thought those were fair prices.

There are still a few of the Schrade/Imperial closeouts available at SMKW, including a plastic-handled drop point fixed blade for $4, grab bag Cliphangers for $5, Imperial Tradesman tools, and some others.

Best Wishes,
Bob
 
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