Marble's knives?

Dec 14, 2006
Hello all,

I just got a large congress knife made by Marbles and was surprised to find a made in China stamp on the blade. I thought that Marbles was supposed to be US made and a really high quality knife ( I know their hunting knives are expensive). This is my first congress pattern (I haven't been able to get a large Case congress yet). Can you give me any info on Marbles (quality, etc)? I don't know if I should hang onto this knife or give it as a gift to someone.

Here is what Marbles has to say on their website:
Modern Technology has shaped a worldwide economic and business environment that was unimaginable a century ago even to a creative genius and entrepreneur like Webster Marble.

Focused on a steadfast goal of sourcing global manufacturers with a demonstrated ability to make products reflective of Marble’s superior quality, we are proud to offer a selection of internationally made superior cutlery that meets the uncompromising quality criteria Marble’s enthusiast the world over expect and demand.

Sounds like PC technospeak for "we found out that we can sell cheap crap made in China and still make a nice profit by using the Marbles name and most of the knife-buying public isn't able to tell the difference since thats the kind of product they are used to seeing".

If old Webster could imagine what is going on he is probably turning over in his grave.
I ordered a folding hunter about 2 years ago out of curiosity, the knife is actually made fairly nice. good fit and finish. I don't know how the blades are cause I haven't used it for anything. I think I paid 16.00 for it. For the price I would go ahead and use it and see how it holds up. If I would have gotten a smaller model I would use it and see, but I don't really have a use for a knife this big.
You might find some Marbles on ebay made in the USA.I think Camillus made them for Marbles.This day and age companies either manufacture overseas or sell some made in the USA and an import line.I alway's ask questions before I buy,can't go just by a company name anymore to tell where it is made.
As far as what to do with the knife? I would get no enjoyment from owning an Asian Marbles knife. If it were me I would return it,or dispose of it another way.
I think that at least some of the USA made Marbles knives sold in the past few years are manufactured by Queen for Dave Shirley from The Custom Shoppe. He paid for the right to use the Marble Arms name and distibuted some of the knives through Marbles dealers.
I have read a lot of confusing posts on the forums about modern Marbles folders. From what I can tell 2001 was the last year Marbles made any folders in the U.S.. There was also a Special run in 2002 made by Queen. If you watch on Ebay you will see a big price difference between knives made after 2002 and before.

I think this is what you are looking for:

I got a 01 Teardrop from the same site and I love it.

Such a controversial subject.
Two years ago I would have agreed %100 , now I am not so sure.

Sometimes you have to ask folks a question , would you buy a knife if it was made in Germany or France ? How about Sweden ? Of course you would , probably without hesitation.
Now I do not want to make this post political (when it's actually a thread about something I understand little aout - economics) but I could understand not wanting to buy anything from a country ruled by communists , that I can understand but then how can you possibly avoid buying anything that is made in China ?
You can't.
Go to Wallymart and check tags on where thier prodcuts are made , you'll find the bulk of them are made in China the rest in other third world locales.

How about your car or truck ? Bought them in the last ten years then chances are fat that many of the parts used in your "American made" vehicle are made in the Republic by low paid workers.
The keyboard that you will use to reply to this , is made in China , as is the bulk of the parts inside your PC , TV , microwave , iPod , GPS , your stereo , your DVD player , your washer and or dryer...... I think we got the point rebeltf !! :p

I remember being young , it was a cardinal sin to buy anything that was "made in Japan" - anyone recall the term "rice burner" ? We all know how silly this is of course , Japanese bladesmiths are among some of the most respected knife makers on this planet but , at one time was there a valid reason behind this idea ? Or was it post WW2 syndrome from fighting Japan... I do not know.

I do know what kills American companies from producing like they used to and that is the allmighty dollar. I think we all know that and , yes of course it can be done here but it can even more easily so be undone such as the case of so many old American knife companies either 'selling out' or closing doors completely.
You can blame the damned unions for most of that and then the often times outright greed of many American workers/consumers for some as well , don't lay all the blame on our Government or on the Chinese.
The above though , is an arguement in itself and what would be the point since nobody likes to stand up and accept blame , even if it is partial.

All that said , I can understand why many of the folks ( especially in this part forum where slippies are like the last vestige of pure Americana as opposed to say , tacticals ).
You hold a well made slipjoint in your hand and admire the stag or bone , the snap of the blades , you imagine your grandfather gutting a Rainbow with it for an early campfire supper , or digging that splinter out of your hand when you were a dumb squirt - Slipjoints just bleed Americana....

So I bought a Marbles 3 blade pattern about 4 months back , when I took it out of the box I was shocked at the heft of the knife, it did not 'feel' cheap , it surely did not feel like a $20 knife.
The good impressions kept coming as I opened and closed each blade to check for any play , nope not a bit.
I examined the entire knife for any factory defects or scratches , gouges , misprints or any mark of a cheap POS knife and could find not a one.
What I did find was a very well made slipjoint that I carry a couple days a week. The blades were all shaving sharp out of the box , the imistag not only very nicely done as far as imitating stag goes , but nicely polished and beautifully colored.
All in all the knife is a beauty and I would be lying to you if I said any different.
Yea , it sucks to see a long time , traditionally American company have thier products made in any foriegn country but honestly, what are you gonna do ? There is no "message" you're going to send to anyone by not buying thier products , there are millions of others who will gladly take your spot , American companies will continue to put out excellent products hopefully , and it is this sort of global competition that encourages those companies to do so.


Enjoy your day.
It is a decent knife, I was just really surprised to find it not to be an American product. I thought that was what Marbles's was all about (like Case). In terms of work knife, it will definitely do the job. I was just looking for a possible collector congress and was surprised.
Yeah, times have changed.

In general the China-made Marble's knives are excellent and the few exceptions seem to be improving. They are a good value and that means people will buy them.

I have a certain special pride in my "Made in U.S.A" knives......and we SHOULD take pride in excellent products made in our own country.

I imagine the Chinese feel the same way.
There is a Marbles Forum with tons of info over at KF. I find the info there to be top notch.