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Marbles from china?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by rev_jch, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. rev_jch


    Jul 29, 2002
  2. KeithAM


    Dec 15, 2003
    I've never seen one before this. I think it's really interesting that it's carbon steel -- I don't usually associate that with a presumably Chinese knife. Looking at his auctions for other models -- the Sunfish is stainless.
  3. Bobwhite


    Nov 30, 1999
    Do you think maybe he got his information wrong? I am supicious about it being carbon steel too.
  4. mckgreg


    Nov 18, 2001
    Marbles from China ?? Good Lord, nothing is sacred any more. China of all places.
  5. Thomas Linton

    Thomas Linton

    Jun 16, 2003
    IIRC, they closed the plant in Gladstone. They have to be made somewhere. :barf:
  6. Bob W

    Bob W

    Dec 31, 2000
    You know, I wouldn't have any problem buying a Chinese brand knife. But there's something different about a traditional long-time American-brand knife that's switched production to China.

    First Schrade, Buck, Chicago Cutlery, and now Marbles? I won't be adding any to my collection.

    I never heard that the Gladstone facility closed. All of my Marble's are marked "Gladstone" and I'm going to keep it that way.

  7. mckgreg


    Nov 18, 2001
    I am with you too Bob. I bought some more of them before they switched to the new steel and that will be the end of my buying any Marbles.
  8. textoothpk

    textoothpk Banned BANNED

    Sep 24, 2003
    As a Michigan resident, I truly am nauseated by the thought of 'our knives' made in the orient. As someone wrote above, "Is nothing sacred?" and the answer, according to some enterprising individuals, is 'No'.

    Fit and finish of some China made knives ain't bad at all, and they are bargain priced. Fine and well. But the whoring out of fine old American names makes me nauseous. Note that the seller will not even state: Made in China. He relys instead on 'Offshore'.
  9. Doug C

    Doug C

    Mar 15, 2005
    I too,wouldn't buy a Marbles if it wasn't marked Gladstone.Greed sometimes overrides sensible thought.It's a shame. :thumbdn:
  10. rev_jch


    Jul 29, 2002
    Now, to my understanding the majority of their knives are still made here (by them, or another american company, other than queen?). Its the new slipjoints, not the ones by queen, but the new ones that are made in china. I believe they are made of AUS-8, 420, and 440A which would be correct for the "orient". Me, it makes me...sad.

    Here are some of the pics of them:



  11. OTguy


    May 31, 2004
    The slipjoints look like they are brought to us by the same folks who make Rough Riders, which aren't bad for what they are. I own a couple, and they are ok knives. That being said, I wouldn't spend my $ on a China made Marbles, just doesn't seem right. If I were going to buy something Marbles, I would save up until I could afford the real thing. Someone used to have a tagline here that said "Buy quality and only cry once", seems to apply here.
  12. rev_jch


    Jul 29, 2002
    It could be. The rough rider trademark is a smoky venture, so you never know!
  13. Sharpthangs


    May 6, 2004
    I couldn't resist and bought a whittler off eBay for $10 plus shipping.

    First off, they are not carbon steel. They are stainless. Sliced up an apple and a tomato just to be sure. No patina at all. Nothing in the box indicates what steel it actually is.

    The Pros: Blades are very nice (the main blade particularly was as nice as you'll find) and came very sharp outta the box. No blade wobble. Walk and talk was good for the main blade, so-so for the smaller pen blades. They did a nice job hiding the pins, and the fit between the bone and the bolsters is very good. You can't tell this from the photos, and I was amazed to find that it is a "Y" split backspring model whittler like an old Case, and not a standard two or three spring model. Feels good in the hand. Came with a fairly nice zippered pouch to protect your vital Chinese investment, which seems a little strange. Oh well, I'll just use it to protect some Queens that need protecting.

    The Cons: By trying to make a "Y" split model, they bit off more than they could chew, and the springs along the spine are rough and uneven. There is quite a bit of blade rub on the main blade from one of the pen blades. Also , there is some uneven finishing along one side of the bone along the blade side.

    All in all not a bad deal for $14 bucks. Wished like hell it was truly carbon. I would go with one of the Steel Warrior models before I went with one of these, if a Chinese made beater is in your future.
  14. rev_jch


    Jul 29, 2002
    probably 440A, or 420. The 440A is popular with the "higher end" chinese cutlery (of you can call it that?)
  15. Daniel Dorn

    Daniel Dorn Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 1999
    So, you're all saying that the Marbles being sold by SMKW are the cheap Chinese products with inferior steel? I just saw a nice-looking (as far as I can tell by a pic) Sunfish for $20. I was very tempted by the Marbles name, and had no idea the quality could be less than standard. Is the quality anywhere near a Case folder?

    I have to admit that I'm very tempted by the knife I saw. NS bolsters and brass pins and liners, red jigged-bone handles. Here's the link.

    Let me know your thoughts.

  16. rev_jch


    Jul 29, 2002
    Well Dan, the quality is good for being made in china! (but that's not saying much). There are other chinese made marbles there also.

    Here's a couple links to the USA made marbles on smkw.com (probably made by camillus, queen?)




  17. Sharpthangs


    May 6, 2004
    I have a whittler model, and with a completely open mind I can honestly say that it is nicer than some of the newer Cases I've seen. The blades are unknown stainless but very well ground. The fit and finish are not as good as a Queen, but above average. There is not a hint of a pin in the bolster, and the blade snap is excellent. If you're looking for a $20 Chinese made beater, I'd look at one of the Steel Warrior knives first, where fit and finish are way above average. All that being said, I'd save up for a Queen.

    Here's a link to a review of the Steel Warrior.

  18. Daniel Dorn

    Daniel Dorn Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 1999
    Those USA made Marbles must definitely be of a different quality universe, considering that they are 4x the price of the PRC made ones. With that big of a price difference, I can imagine what the quality diff. would be.

    I'll look into the Steel Warrior knives just to see if those tickle my fancy for a cheap quality carbon steel slipjoint. I do like the idea of the Queen D2 blades, though, and I think Cold Steel sells some Carbon V slipjoints, if I'm not mistaken.

  19. Sharpthangs


    May 6, 2004
    The Steel Warrior Knives are 440 Stainless, and not a "Carbon Steel", probably 440A.

    If you like the Cold Steel knives, check out the Camillus Gran'Pa series. Camillus makes the Cold Steel knives, and the Gran'Pa series are essentially the same knives with brown Sawcut Delrin handles and 1095 blades like a Schrade.
  20. rev_jch


    Jul 29, 2002
    cold steel does make some SJ's in carbon V. I believe they are made by camillus for them.

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