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Experience with Artisan Cutlery?

Rat Finkenstein

Gold Member
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
22,672
another chinese company, no thanks. Read some engrish:

http://www.artisancutlery.net/image/catalog/2018CATALOG.jpg

2018CATALOG.jpg
 

shoegazer

Gold Member
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
253
IMG_20200628_103820951_HDR.jpg I like them. The Proponent is a great fidget tool. Got a very pointy Shark and it fires open like a fast Reate. The heavy handles are a drag, on your shorts that is. All of them have good actions.
 

jstn

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
3,166
I wound up getting a few and they are well made. I just got a few CJRB models, one with the new lock. They sent me the wrong model (very similar same lock) and I asked to exchange it. They just said to keep it and sent me the correct one too. The D2 steel is good, and fit and finish too. I'm gonna pull the trigger on a higher end model at some point.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
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304
seen them on sale from time to time on KC, never was swept up by the magic, but in my opinion, they are int he same category as WE and Kizer
 

Smoke

Gold Member
Joined
Oct 14, 1998
Messages
2,139
I just the CJRB Centros which came a little dirty on the insides, the force I need to flick it open is more than I expected (my thumb would slip off a catch on the edge), one of the pocket screws doesn't go all the way in (no effect on carry though), and the clip has mirror polish. Lockup and action are pretty smooth, spinewhacks didn't do anything, the blade is pretty sharp, but I'm not sure if I will actually carry it just yet.

Compared to my Spyderco Yojimbo, the Centros' handles slabs not as aggressive, the handle is slightly wider, but the blade spine is thicker on the Yojimbo.
 

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Dadpool

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May 18, 2015
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View attachment 1412919 I like them. The Proponent is a great fidget tool. Got a very pointy Shark and it fires open like a fast Reate. The heavy handles are a drag, on your shorts that is. All of them have good actions.

How do you like the non-brass Proponent compared to the brass one? I love the brass one and am sorely tempted to pick up the full-size in G10 as well, for a more manageable weight.
 

shoegazer

Gold Member
Joined
May 5, 2015
Messages
253
The copper one gets handled a lot, but I only actually carry the lighter one sometimes.
 

Dadpool

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May 18, 2015
Messages
3,875
I wanted to add a recent Artisan Cutlery experience which sort of counterbalances my praise earlier in this thread.

My Mini Proponent seemed fine at first: excellent action, nice fit and finish, no blade play, etc. It had extremely early lockup -- as in, "Is that actually locked up?" -- but felt solid and couldn't be forced shut, and I figured it just needed a bit of breaking in.

But after a week or so I found that anything other than a hard snap open would cause it to lock up unsafely, with just a hair of contact between lockbar and tang. I could easily close the knife without disengaging the lock. At that point I was past being able to return the knife (carried, used, Sharpie on the tang), so I disassembled it.

The proprietary pivot screw (which I don't like aesthetically; it's much too close to a swastika) is a real pain. The female side is D-shaped, which is great, but the male side has to be unscrewed using the slots in the logo. By the time I got it out, my pivot was scratched up and there were little metal shavings everywhere. This is a poor design, IMO.

Several of the screws were covered in junk -- not thread locker, as far as I could tell. Just...stuff. Try as I might, I couldn't get the standoff screws to go back into their holes, even with pliers gripping the standoff and me bearing down full-strength on the screw (never awesome with a T6...). I literally couldn't put the knife back together, so this was the point where I wrote it off as unsalvageable.

I've disassembled my share of knives (I could have fully serviced two Emersons in the time it took me to fail to service this knife...), but perhaps someone with more experience could have made this mess work. This could also just be my particular example -- maybe I got a lemon, who knows.

But based on this experience I'm going to be more cautious about buying more Artisan knives.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2016
Messages
1,540
I wanted to add a recent Artisan Cutlery experience which sort of counterbalances my praise earlier in this thread.

My Mini Proponent seemed fine at first: excellent action, nice fit and finish, no blade play, etc. It had extremely early lockup -- as in, "Is that actually locked up?" -- but felt solid and couldn't be forced shut, and I figured it just needed a bit of breaking in.

But after a week or so I found that anything other than a hard snap open would cause it to lock up unsafely, with just a hair of contact between lockbar and tang. I could easily close the knife without disengaging the lock. At that point I was past being able to return the knife (carried, used, Sharpie on the tang), so I disassembled it.

The proprietary pivot screw (which I don't like aesthetically; it's much too close to a swastika) is a real pain. The female side is D-shaped, which is great, but the male side has to be unscrewed using the slots in the logo. By the time I got it out, my pivot was scratched up and there were little metal shavings everywhere. This is a poor design, IMO.

Several of the screws were covered in junk -- not thread locker, as far as I could tell. Just...stuff. Try as I might, I couldn't get the standoff screws to go back into their holes, even with pliers gripping the standoff and me bearing down full-strength on the screw (never awesome with a T6...). I literally couldn't put the knife back together, so this was the point where I wrote it off as unsalvageable.

I've disassembled my share of knives (I could have fully serviced two Emersons in the time it took me to fail to service this knife...), but perhaps someone with more experience could have made this mess work. This could also just be my particular example -- maybe I got a lemon, who knows.

But based on this experience I'm going to be more cautious about buying more Artisan knives.

I put mine back together with relative ease (after fighting with the pivot as you did. I used modified snap ring pliers and a rag) but the trick I found with mine is get everything lined up and started with the handle (2 screws and standoffs) then the bigger screw near the clip and the pivot last. I just found it easier to line the scales, and standoffs up without the blade
 

Dadpool

Gold Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
3,875
I put mine back together with relative ease (after fighting with the pivot as you did. I used modified snap ring pliers and a rag) but the trick I found with mine is get everything lined up and started with the handle (2 screws and standoffs) then the bigger screw near the clip and the pivot last. I just found it easier to line the scales, and standoffs up without the blade

I put in the pivot first just to keep things in place, then worked on the standoffs. The butt screws seemed fine, although I didn't actually get to them because the standoffs were such a problem.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2016
Messages
1,540
I put in the pivot first just to keep things in place, then worked on the standoffs. The butt screws seemed fine, although I didn't actually get to them because the standoffs were such a problem.

Try getting the standoffs in place before you put the blade and pivot in. That's what worked for me
 

jstn

Gold Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
3,166
I wanted to add a recent Artisan Cutlery experience which sort of counterbalances my praise earlier in this thread.

My Mini Proponent seemed fine at first: excellent action, nice fit and finish, no blade play, etc. It had extremely early lockup -- as in, "Is that actually locked up?" -- but felt solid and couldn't be forced shut, and I figured it just needed a bit of breaking in.

But after a week or so I found that anything other than a hard snap open would cause it to lock up unsafely, with just a hair of contact between lockbar and tang. I could easily close the knife without disengaging the lock. At that point I was past being able to return the knife (carried, used, Sharpie on the tang), so I disassembled it.

The proprietary pivot screw (which I don't like aesthetically; it's much too close to a swastika) is a real pain. The female side is D-shaped, which is great, but the male side has to be unscrewed using the slots in the logo. By the time I got it out, my pivot was scratched up and there were little metal shavings everywhere. This is a poor design, IMO.

Several of the screws were covered in junk -- not thread locker, as far as I could tell. Just...stuff. Try as I might, I couldn't get the standoff screws to go back into their holes, even with pliers gripping the standoff and me bearing down full-strength on the screw (never awesome with a T6...). I literally couldn't put the knife back together, so this was the point where I wrote it off as unsalvageable.

I've disassembled my share of knives (I could have fully serviced two Emersons in the time it took me to fail to service this knife...), but perhaps someone with more experience could have made this mess work. This could also just be my particular example -- maybe I got a lemon, who knows.

But based on this experience I'm going to be more cautious about buying more Artisan knives.
Thanks for the update. The pivot is one aspect that had me feeling reluctant and sounds like with good reason. I may wait awhile before i drop on money and a higher end model.
 

soc_monki

Basic Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2019
Messages
1,567
I've disassembled my Tradition a few times and never had a problem getting it back together. My pivot is a torx though, the decorative side is the female end and keyed.

The only thing about mine is I can't get it centered when closed, but no big deal. It's only off slightly and doesn't rub so I'm still happy for $50.

My lockup is early, but the lockbar is fully on the tang. If I open it really slowly it may not lock up fully, but it's a flipper and it never gets opened slowly!
 

Dadpool

Gold Member
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
3,875
Try getting the standoffs in place before you put the blade and pivot in. That's what worked for me

I'm glad that it worked for you and I appreciate the advice.

The problem on my example wasn't assembly order, it was bad standoffs and/or standoff screws. Even with a standoff fully removed from the knife, using pliers to grip it and a Wiha T6 wrench to try to fit the screw into it -- which is not an arrangement any standoff should require -- the screw wouldn't return to full depth.

Between the standoffs, faulty lockup, and poor pivot design, the components of the knife made a bad impression.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2016
Messages
1,540
I'm glad that it worked for you and I appreciate the advice.

The problem on my example wasn't assembly order, it was bad standoffs and/or standoff screws. Even with a standoff fully removed from the knife, using pliers to grip it and a Wiha T6 wrench to try to fit the screw into it -- which is not an arrangement any standoff should require -- the screw wouldn't return to full depth.

Between the standoffs, faulty lockup, and poor pivot design, the components of the knife made a bad impression.

Ahhh I got ya. That is insane. I've only owned a few of their knives but they were from both ends of the spectrum and I can say fit and finish on my $50 tomahawk was just as good as my $200 (guessing can't remember exactly but I get the picture lol) proponent. That sucks you got a bad example but don't let it discourage you completely. I had excellent experience with their customer service, give them a ring see what they can do.
 

Dadpool

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May 18, 2015
Messages
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I had excellent experience with their customer service, give them a ring see what they can do.

I was pleasantly surprised to get an email back within a few hours. :) I've provided them with the photos they requested and tried to fully describe the issue. Could turn into a solid warranty experience -- I guess we'll see. I'll update my earlier post if it turns out well.

Update: It's been over two weeks since I sent them those pictures, as well as a couple of follow-up emails, and it's been radio silence on their end. At this point I assume I won't be hearing back from them at all.
 
Last edited:
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I was pleasantly surprised to get an email back within a few hours. :) I've provided them with the photos they requested and tried to fully describe the issue. Could turn into a solid warranty experience -- I guess we'll see. I'll update my earlier post if it turns out well.

I hope it does. Definitely let us know what comes of it. I'm no fan boy but the Proponent really surprised me. It was my first decent knife out of china.
 

BitingSarcasm

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Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
1,355
How do you like the non-brass Proponent compared to the brass one? I love the brass one and am sorely tempted to pick up the full-size in G10 as well, for a more manageable weight.

I have a full size Proponent in carbon fiber, and it is still quite hefty. Check out the blade thickness, I have bigger fixed blades that are thinner, and all that meat makes a lot of weight. It's still a fun knife that flips out with an authoritative thunk, but you are never going to forget it's in your pocket.
 

Dadpool

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Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
3,875
I have a full size Proponent in carbon fiber, and it is still quite hefty. Check out the blade thickness, I have bigger fixed blades that are thinner, and all that meat makes a lot of weight. It's still a fun knife that flips out with an authoritative thunk, but you are never going to forget it's in your pocket.


Thanks! :)
 
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