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I might be done with Case for a while...

Discussion in 'FEEDBACK: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!' started by JD Bear, May 23, 2017.

  1. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    It's not a perfect analogy. But you have to judge the difference based on the upgrade. The same applies to the Victorinox Pioneer with Damascus blade. It's much more expensive than a regular Pioneer. The same applies to the Spyderco Delica 4. The company has used many different steels and some cost more than others. Etc.

    It doesn't mean that you can't be less satisfied at the increased price. It does mean don't expect new tires to turn a Chevy into a Cadillac.

    I should say that I have no problem with the OP's decision to return the knife. I haven't seen the knife and can't judge what's wrong with it. But that doesn't matter. He's not satisfied so he should return it. If I stopped buying knives from every company that's made a bad one, I wouldn't be able to buy knives from any brand anymore.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  2. UseitorLoseit

    UseitorLoseit Gold Member Gold Member

    478
    Nov 3, 2016
    I completely understand the imperfect analogy and mostly just playing devils advocate. I guess for me it comes down to the premium percentage over regular cost.

    I also have a hard time believing that a common steel upgrade by today's standards would cost the manufacturer anywhere close to their price increase in this particular situation. So to say that the increase is solely because of the steel seems like a half truth. My guess is they're asking what they figured the market would bear. It's that reason that threads like these become important.
     
  3. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Here's my view, for what it's worth.

    Most of the CASE knives I've bought have been good knives and the price was moderate, most but not all. I have to buy all my knives on-line as I'm European and there are no knife shops here selling foreign (American) knives, therefore it can be an uncertain business indeed. A recent example was a brand new CASE Small Stockman Walnut Jigged Bone, a new line. I got it from an on-line dealer who I've used many times as he charges moderately for shipping, remember, I have to factor in up to 25% extra for import tax on the whole deal including shipping costs.... It arrived, looked very nice as the bone was most attractive but gaps a plenty, all blades had real play in them and poor W&T, a state of the art wreck! I contact the dealer and he apologises and asks me to return it and he'll pick out one himself. This is good as many dealers would regard a foreign deal as tough luck you've got what you paid for, there are SOME advantages to the Bay....I have to pay postage but the knife was useless so. It took a long time to get the replacement not because of the dealer but some idiocy at Chicago airport, anyway the replacement had no issues -but much less attractive bone. I'd say there's about a 15% fail rate in the CASE knives I've had in terms of QC, that is quite a lot but it seems to me a big company like CASE has been told by its bean counters, don't overthink QC or spend too much extra time on it, get the batch out. The evidence for this not just the fault rate but the company DOES have a very good warranty repair aspect, which seems to be in shall we say, brisk use? I simply think their long term health would be better served by a more stringent attitude to what gets sent out to the customer in the first place. Time saved and reputation enhanced. A lot of people don't want to be bothered with returning stuff, they may think it's a one off but if it happens again they'll hesitate to buy and that could be damaging. We debate these things as we're enthusiasts, and we should share experiences openly. To me it's no use saying that well the knife is the same but the blade (or scales) are higher grade that ensures a higher price but the build quality is actually rubbish but that's somehow explicable. A poorly assembled or finished knife is a poor knife whatever the value of the materials or the 'heritage' behind it. If we push the car analogy a bit more, what's the use of a badly finished car even if the garage is obliging and helpful and want to fix the faults? It's the reason I will never waste my money on a VW product again, from new terrible, but the dealer was most helpful and attentive, even so...o_O
     
    JB in SC likes this.
  4. JD Bear

    JD Bear Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    I work at a car dealership, so I get some of the analogies. I know this though, there is a big difference in our $140,000 trucks and our $50,000 trucks (suv's). There is a brand representation and a much higher standard as the price tag rises. I've said it before, I am a Case fan but I think the issues are becoming more often than not. It is what it is. I'm a hockey fan but I'll use a baseball reference for this particular knife...three strikes and you're out. I wouldn't have minded one of the issues but combined with the others it was not worth the money. And trust me, this is one I wanted badly. This is the first time I've ever returned a knife and I apologize to Mike for any inconvenience. I am also keeping my money with CK and I will be ordering something different. I know we can't expect a sublime example of craftsmanship with every knife we purchase, especially in a lower price range like Case offers. I just hope we don't get to the point where we should be happy because we get a knife that's "not that bad". It will be a sad day when the quality standards become whether the knife just cuts or not. If that was the case we would all have box cutters. I did not want this thread to take on an angry tone, because I'm not angry about it at all. I thought I'd share and maybe discuss the matter with you guys. To quote my dad from back in the day "I'm not mad, just disappointed".
     
  5. Bartleby

    Bartleby

    Oct 28, 2005
    Well stated Will. I have had a similar experience with a knife I purchased from a Sheffield maker some years back. There was not problem having the knife shipped to me in the US, but the return was a real pain as it had to clear customs to get back into the UK.
     
  6. Bartleby

    Bartleby

    Oct 28, 2005
    And rightly so, JD. Multiple issues in one knife to my way of thinking, means you are not being over critical. As my own dad used to say, "righteous indignation is called for in such instances".
     
  7. JD Bear

    JD Bear Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 4, 2015
    I appreciate the understanding Bartleby. It almost feels that way...
     
  8. UseitorLoseit

    UseitorLoseit Gold Member Gold Member

    478
    Nov 3, 2016
    I don't sense an angry tone in any of this thread. Just seems like very good debate going on. That's what these forums are for after all.
     
  9. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    Here are some photos of what is representative of the knives that I receive from Case. This knife is made recently and there have been some subtle changes over the last 17 years. The knife has no loose blades. The pull is around a 6 if a Victorinox alox Soldier is a 5. The snap is also stronger than a Victorinox alox Soldier. In my opinion, this knife is satisfactory.

    [​IMG]
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    And here are multiple knives... some spanning 17 years of production for the sowbelly...

    [​IMG]
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  10. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    Will, In my experience Case knives aren't "a badly finished car" but you are right that they do have good customer service.

    They do make mistakes. So do other brands. It is also good to discuss things openly and objectively. I do think that GEC and knives made in China tend to get a pass on the internet even when there are faults. Case and Queen take a bigger beating than warranted in my opinion. I say that having had LOTS of problems with Queen knives.

    Part of the reason that GEC is not viewed as critically could be that the knives aren't used... or that the knives are being resold or flipped... or maybe people don't speak out because criticism of GEC is usually not regarded favorably. I'm not saying they don't make nice knives but when there's a criticism it usually isn't well received. And cheap knives from China have almost no criticism at all even when there are obvious faults. In some posts people were asking for a USA made knife in the $100 range and a Rough Rider will get recommended.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
    Woodrow F Call likes this.
  11. Woodrow F Call

    Woodrow F Call

    Jan 3, 2013
    Excellent post Mike. From my limited experience, I agree with you. Even the older knives I have exhibit some of these "flaws" we hear about all the time on this forum. Some are near perfect, some not so much. I can agree with the OP that a $100 knife should have a little better F&F than a $45 knife..... but there are imperfect older knives commanding much more money than what we are talking about. Oh, well.
     
  12. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    Victorinox made a Classic with a bit of gold embedded in it. It costs several times the price of a regular Classic. Should the fit and finish of the knife be several times better? Or is the value of the gold the reason for the increase in price? Seems clear to me that it costs more because of the gold. But if would seem that most folks here think the fit and finish of the knife should somehow be several times better than a regular Classic.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. JB in SC

    JB in SC Basic Member Basic Member

    May 19, 2001
    Victorinox makes 35 million knives, and for the most part very reasonably priced. A regular Classic exhibits a high level of fit and finish for a $20 knife. If Case could make a single blade 048 with delrin covers for $50 as consistent as a Vic I'd buy dozens of them.
     
    jakemex likes this.
  14. Buzzbait

    Buzzbait Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 25, 2001
    I disagree. Of my 30 or so GEC's, only one knife has had a blade with what I consider to be unacceptable horizontal play. And none of them has had a blade with unacceptably weak walk and talk. Also keep in mind that most of my GEC's are multiple blade knives, so that's a lot of blades. On average, about 50% of my Queens and Cases have had either unacceptable levels of horizontal play or unacceptably weak walk and talk.

    Case usually gets a partial pass from me, because of the price point. If I'm paying less than $50.00 for a traditional with more than one blade, I expect some fit issues.

    But Queen gets almost no passes. They usually cost as much as a GEC. I can live with them not being quite as a good as a GEC, but some of the Queen train wrecks that have passed through my hands have been utter abominations.

    I don't buy the Chinese traditionals, so I have no real comment on them. But at the price I see them advertised for, as long as they didn't fall apart in my hand, I'd be cool with them.
     
    blademan 13 and JB in SC like this.
  15. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    I'm not sure what part you disagree with, Buzz. I didn't give particular examples of faults. Sometimes the first place that I'll hear about any faults in a GEC are in the Exchange when they are disclosed during sale. You haven't disputed that criticism of GEC is not well received or that there's a weekly beat down of Case.

    My perspective is that GEC knives and Chinese knives get a rep for being perfect and that any criticism is unwelcome. The Rough Riders are far from perfect. And although GEC makes very high quality knives, they aren't perfect either. It also seems that Case and Queen are the companies approved for a regular weekly beat down. In general. Not from you in particular. I don't really have an objection to anything you said.

    I don't dispute that Case and Queen are not perfect. If we get into individual complaints, I have several for GEC and Rough Rider as well as Case and Queen. The complaints about GEC and Rough Rider will not be well received.

    Some of my favorite knives are the Case/Bose collaboration knives but I'm not actually as big of a Case fan as some may think. I appreciate what they do but I don't follow Case at all. I'm also not trying to drive them out of business. I do follow GEC regularly and appreciate what they do as well.

    If I have a problem with a Case knife or a GEC knife, it doesn't mean that the knife is garbage and it certainly doesn't mean that everything the company does is garbage or that I and/or everyone else should avoid the company. Things happen and Case and GEC will take care of the problems. We are fortunate that there are still some companies in the USA making knives the old fashioned way.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  16. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Jake, I agree about the GEC tendency to an extent. They often don't get used, many of mine do and have stood up excellently. They are overhyped by some and we all agree that certain prices commanded for them 2nd hand are outlandish, the makings of a cult of safe queens... But I do feel their basic QC is more relentless and thus their knives are more reliable from an F&F point-of-view. As they should be considering their price.
    CASE knives offer a lot of satisfaction and rewards for ownership when they're good it's just that they and Queen (even more so) present the would be buyer with some grounds for concern or frustration.

    I'm not done with CASE but they don't have anything currently on offer that interests me, same with GEC and Queen, it's a knife drought!:eek:
     
    blademan 13 and JB in SC like this.
  17. JB in SC

    JB in SC Basic Member Basic Member

    May 19, 2001
    I think people expect a lot more of GEC than Case, perhaps because of the ridiculous secondary pricing of some of limited runs, perhaps not. But GEC is building a much better knife now than five years ago. I can't say that of Case. And I much prefer Case patterns over GEC (excepting the regular runs of the single blade 14 and 15).
     
  18. Peregrin

    Peregrin Traditional Forum Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    This has turned into another candidate for Feedback: GB&U. Moving it there.
     
  19. UseitorLoseit

    UseitorLoseit Gold Member Gold Member

    478
    Nov 3, 2016
    If the value of the gold implemented was say $100 but the price was increased by $300 then that's when I would expect better f&f in the same way I think that a $50 price increase on a steel upgrade that costs marginally more (as in not close to $50) to implement should also include a f&f upgrade. If the price increase only reflected the material upgrade then I wouldn't expect a f&f increase. It just comes down to cost increase ratio for what I'm getting.
     
  20. supratentorial

    supratentorial

    Dec 19, 2006
    I agree that quality hasn't noticeably improved at Case in the last 5 years. I do think it has improved in the last 10 and certainly in the last 20 years. The sowbelly in particular has really been tightened up after it was released from the "vault". Much stronger snap now. They were much more "mushy" 17 years ago. The springs are usually pretty good but there can be some small gaps. Some are water tight. Some patterns are different than others. The humpback stockman was a bit gappy, in general. But it was a very usable knife. I'm sorry to see that it was discontinued.

    I also agree that GEC has improved in the last 5 years. They were just getting started a few years earlier. Loose blades were something that I've experienced only in their early years... proud blades I've seen scattered over the years on knives with spear blades...some of the lockbacks have some play....Week snap more recently in with the 82 Dixie stockman... the covers that are oh so slightly smaller than the liners is something that I've only really noticed recently. In general, GEC pays much more attention to the small details that collectors obsess over. Some of those details have little meaning and some are artifacts of the way knives are manufactured. Although there are sometimes gaps, they pay particular attention to this and it's less common than other brands. And GEC anneals the blades and bends them to center.

    Both companies will take care of problems.
     

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