*Master Knives* SOCOM rip-off.......

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Oct 4, 1998
Anyone ever heard of a company called *Master Knives*? I just got hold of a knife made by them that is an exact replica (at least aesthetically...) of a MT SOCOM. The handle is aluminum with rubber inserts on one side. The blade is AUS8. Can't tell what the liner is made of, but looks like some type of stainless. There is also a removable clip. You can obviously tell once you have your hands on it that it is an inferior product to the actual MT version, but for $20, it's a damn good knife. Very smooth action and absolutely no play in the blade when locked open (which I had HIGH expectations of....glad I was wrong!!) I'm actually thinking of grabbing a couple more of these just because the quality to price ratio is outstanding....
Anyone else ever heard of Master Knives or put their hands on one of these models? If so, what did you think about it? It's not going to fall apart on me in a couple of weeks, is it??

The knife you have is made by the same company who will be making my line of Dragon Forge knives. I won't carry the knock off becuase Microtech will can any dealer or distributor who does. I have played with the knife and your right, for $20 it is a helluva deal.

The Master Knives trademark is owned by Double 8 Trading. Microtech claims they are looking into legal remedies for the situation.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

I guess it's cheaper because they saved a lot of money on R&D, design, product development, tooling glitches and advertising. They simply stole it.

If you appreciate all of the features that the Socom offers, why not support the company that created what you like, and not the thief that stole it? Just a thought to share.
I hole heartedly agree with Sal. All this does is hurt the company that had to fork up the cash to try to make the best knife that they could. And someone else comes along and takes there idea, not make it with as good as quality and make money off it.

Like I said before. If you ever need a GREAT patent attorney, I know one well. Among the best in the US.
Why bother with a patent(or pending)if you can't enforce it ?
Now I am definitely going to grab a few more. They may be collector's items once MT puts the boot up the booty....

I have a SOCOM, but I also have a problem... when it comes to my knives, I buy them and then like them too much to use them (very hard, anyway...) or either I paid so much for it I just can't bring myself to put it in the *user* list. (I'm sure that I'm not the only one here with this problem...).
Like I said before, this knock-off is a very good knife for the price and it's so inexpensive that I wouldn't mind losing it or breaking it under harsh circimstances. I like to think of it as a good quality disposable knife, whereas my SOCOM is anything but disposable!!! I would never consider, or suggest to anyone else that this knife could replace the SOCOM, but for a disposable or to someone who can't afford a $300-$400 knife, the knock-off is a good deal. Sorry most of you don't agree.....


[This message has been edited by Orion (edited 20 March 1999).]
Harsh words Sal.

What is it that was so special about the Microtech that was stolen? Come to think of it, what is so special about the Microtech anyway? The shape? The Color scheme? What R&D? A linerlock is a linerlock. Aluminum handles? Already been done. Rubber inserts? Ditto. The blade shape certainly isn't unique. Tantos are everywhere. 154CM? The knockoff isn't using that. So what is the big deal?

I'm not trying to be insulting. I am genuinely curious. Shapes and styles are copied every day. Look at Benchmade's 750 Pinnacle. If that isn't an absolute knockoff (Ripoff?) of Chris Reeve's Sebenza, I don't know what is. I don't believe BM is paying Chris anything to use his design. I don't hear any santimonius screams about that. Is that because BM is a "legitimate" company? Is it because Les DeAsis is one of the "good ole boys"?

I won't carry these things because I don't carry knockoffs, period. They don't fit in with the quality of the knives that I do carry and customers won't put up with them. However, I won't be carrying Microtech any more either. Why? Because they are overpriced on the wholesale end and they have been *****d out so bad on the 'net and at shows that you almost have to give them away to move them.

Customers aren't stupid. If there is quality in these things, the price will reflect that. If the quality matches the low price, the real knife knuts won't touch them and there is no threat to us.

Speaking for myself, of course, and I hope that you would agree, my business survives on the patronidge of real knife enthusiasts who know the difference between knockoffs and quality. Seldom have I seen a fussier bunch of people. I appreciate that, and work hard to accomodate it, so, no knockoffs. As I said, my customers wouldn't buy them anyway. No big deal. Heck, the BM 750s don't even sell that well.

Thanks for the opportunity to vent.


Only Sharp Knives are Interesting!

I have to agree 100% with Sal...

The knock off's doesn't do any good to the knife industry, they just copy a good design and make it into a poor quality piece...

What is the point of having $2500 knives in your collection and spending $20 on an "user"??

I have a Microtech Halo2 and a Manual Socom as an user, that I'm not afraid to scratch.
Both fills my expectations of quality and they will never let me down...

A knife is like a gun... It's not good to have a cheap one when you need it...

BTW about Microtech prices... different budgets for different people...
Rolexes doesn't move out of the stores so well either...

Just my 2¢

Joel Pirela
Graphic & Knife Designer

Joel, you mean to tell me that you don't have any knives that you are reluctant to put to use due to your affinity for them? If so, then you are one of the few.

You also make the statement-
*A knife is like a gun... It's not good to have a cheap one when you need it...*

I think in this case you are confusing *inexpensive* with *cheap*. Under reasonable circumstances (let's face it... I'm not going to be using it as a piton while climbing icebergs or anything like that...) what will a $350 MT do that the *cheap* knock-off will not do?
Like I said before, and even Mike Turber agrees, that for $20 this ia a helluva knife. You would be hard pressed to find a better knife for $50 or less.
I also have to agree with Dennis- What is it about a MT that is so unique? The rip-off company proved you can manufacture a VERY similar knife (although admittedly, using somewhat inferior materials) for only 5% of the MT price!!!!!! Now, I have to ask- Is the quality of materials and engineering of a real MT 2000% better than the rip-off. No. Why is the SOCOM so expensive? The shape? Can't be... The rip-off company copied the shape exactly for $20. The quality? Nope... The rip-off knife is far from a piece of junk especially for $20. The materials, then? Nope... you can get very high quality knives from highly respected manufacturers using the same materials for $150 or less. Then it must be the R&D (the idea of the guy who put it on paper...). I have to say that guy really thinks a lot of his ideas to charge 2000% more than the rip-off company....
Basically, what it boils down to is that you get 50%-75% of the knife (depending on your individual views) for 5% of the cost.

None of my customers will confuse the Master for the Microtech, anymore than they confuse an Emerson for the $8 Chinese knock-off. These are two totally different customers. There are those who want the quality and will pay for it, and those who won't. Looks to me that the Master series knives are made by Taylor, who do the S&W and Junglee lines. I don't like the knock offs because they usually don't perform and then the customer comes back upset. But, if they don't pay for the quality they don't get it. I think if this is a problem for Microtech, they need to go after the manufacturer of the copy. I doubt they will because it's obviously not their work. I'm just a pimp who will sell whatever the buyers give me. If they won't buy the Sebenza, I'll sell 'em a pineapple...I mean...Pinnacle. It's the market at work.

A flute with no holes is not a flute, but a donut with no holes, is a danish.
i don't fully agree that one should spend his money on the company that did the original r&d and spent the big money on knife design and manufacturing. when i see a knife of reasonable quality (microtech) for $200, and then i see another knife that is VERY similar in terms of aesthetics and somewhat close in quality, for $20 - i feel ripped off. if someone feels that microtech (or any company) charges too much for their product, then they will try the knockoff version. i see nothing wrong with that. it is all about perception. i don't think that spyderco or benchmade knives are overpriced. i think both of these companies are fair in their pricing, so i would not purchase knockoffs of spyderco or benchmade. however, i think microtechs are overpriced - so if i like a design, i might buy a knockoff. if one feels that a company is trying to screw the ELU, then why support them?

Joel, My point is the person with a $2500.00 knife collection isn't likely to buy the $20.00 knockoff. The ones that do buy them usually aren't the collectors or heavy users who aren't going to be "penny wise and pound foolish".

As a dealer, I have staked my future on the discriminating buyer who wants top quality and is willing to pay for it. Honest prices for honest quality and workmanship is the life blood of a reputable business.

You are right about the Rolexes. I own two of them and paid dearly for them. You don't find them new for ridiculously low prices either, like with some of the knives we sell. (Unless they are stolen).

Orion got it right. There is not enough unique about the microtech that makes it worth the price they ask for them.

As for budgets, yes, different budgets for different people. Some people don't mind paying $250.00 for a $100.00 knife and some do. If the name is worth the extra $, then pay it.

The reality is that we buy what we have confidence in and other people's opinions only go so far in helping to determine what is the right tool for for the job. Once we have chosen, price becomes less relevent.

Another .02.



Only Sharp Knives are Interesting!

Marco, well said. I wish I had seen your reply before I posted my last one. I still won't carry knockoffs, but your point is well taken.

Haji.....get some sleep!


Only Sharp Knives are Interesting!

When one looks at product pricing, they should consider several facts. The cost on R&D and material have been discussed in previous posts, so I won't repeat them.

However, when you try to decide on a pricing point, you should also look at several other key factors. Once upon a time, Microtech produced relative few pieces in each production run. What does that mean? It means that in order for them to cover the cost for their CNC and hired employees and factory and liability insurance and patent filing fees and everything else, they have to consider those costs into their knives.

Granted, the actual cost for each knife is relatively low, but the cost of running such a business is not. And since they wanted to control the quality of the stuffs they pump out (I have heard of stories about how Tony could spend several hours just to make tiny changes for a single knife), they cannot just let the machines spew out knives after knives without caring. That would be evil.

Microtech have just recently expanded their manufacturing capacity, which means that they just bought a few more rather expensive equipments. However, since their production volume went up, they are also reducing prices. For example, newer models such as the MUDTs are actually priced fairly.

On the other hand, the people who manufactured the "copy" of the SOCOMs are quite large already. They don't just produce a small group of knives. They are contractors who have a wide array of products to cover their overhead. Which means that they can afford to earn much less on each knife and they can still make a pretty good profit. And when you sell them at lower prices, they literally fly off the shelves. So it is merely a different business model. Of course, Spear Point does not carry those kind of products. But for just $20, it sure sounded tempting.

In conclusion to this essay (yikes), I would just like to say that the prices for Microtech knives are quite fair in my opinion. The expensive ones such as custom pieces are meant for those who are willing to pay for those one of a kind pieces, while the regular stuffs are meant for people who like to actually use them. While the prices are a bit higher than average, they are fair considering that they are not producing a wide spectrum of items with huge numbers. Is it fair for you? You are the consumer, you decide.

James W.
All this raises a question in my mind.....
How many people that buy the SOCOM rip-off actually know what a SOCOM is?

The argument is that the general public is not familiar with MT. The general public is the primary purchaser of knock-offs due to their *ignorance*, so to speak. Then why would the knock-off manufacturer go out of his way to make the knife look like a knife that is probably not very popular with his intended target audience?

I bought the rip-off because it looked like a SOCOM. I wanted to compare, and was slightly impressed. There are thousands of other $20 knives out there that I will never own, some bastard designs and some knock-offs of very popular brand name models. The die-hard enthusiast won't buy the knock-offs because of some unspoken code of integrity. The average Joe Blow won't buy the MT because it's too expensive. What would make the average layman buy a knock-off of a popular model that he is more than likely unfamiliar with? Personally, I'm in the middle. I like quality knives and own quite a few, but I also know a good deal when I see one.....

Just curious......

The bottom line is that these companies sit back and let legitimate companies put there time ,effort and funds to developing a new product setting up the tooling to manufacture it and then weeks before it is ready to be sold to the knife buying public a cheap two bit little company intoduces there imitation of your new knife and not only blows you out of the water but confuse 's the hell out of uneducated knife buyers.Now you have a bunch of buyers figuring here is the knife they want for x amount of dollars why should they pay at times well over hundreds of dollars asked by legitimate companies when they can get this hot little number for $25 bucks.Yeah I know you get what you pay for but in this case it's out right fraud.Dennis Think if you designed a new knife and finally had the end product for sale at the SHOT Show and all these people were coming up to you saying the guy 8 tables over was selling the same knife as yours for a fraction of what you were asking.How would you then feel about knock-offs? Just my ramblings on this subject.
Itneresting post. My contention is whatever sells, sell it. Everything has already been done whether it is in cutlery, traditional bows, or guns. My God look at the Loveless diesigns of knives. Every body is doing those. Some good some bad. Same goes with just every product you can think of. While I like to buy the best I can afford, as of late I haven't been to impressed with any but one of the higher end folders I purchased. If the knockoffs are that good more power to'em. It is still a free country and the free enterprise system. C'est lavie
I think that the issues here are black or white no grey at all....

You always get what you paid for. For example, 3 years ago I used an old Master knives to remove a nail from my tire. Well, the tip of the blade broke and the blade got bend. I didn't thought that was even hardened!

In these days, advertising, friends, magazines, experts, are bombimd us with information and we go ahead and follow that...

What is the point of driving a Bimmer when you can do just the same with a Geo (now Chevy) Metro???

What is the point of buying a Rolex for $4500 when you can have a very similar Casio for $35??? they both gives time....

So I guess that this discussion could be endless at this point, since you will always have something to compare...

As I said, I have knives that are collector pieces and I'm not intend of using those but it's good to have a good knive (it doesn't have to be expensive...) next to you when you need it. Spyderco & Benchmade will do more than fine.

p.s. I don't know why to me inexpensive and cheap are always holding hands.... how do you make inexpensive pieces??? putting together cheap materials...

Just my 2¢! wait a minute, I have spent 4¢ in this thread...! ; )

Joel Pirela
Graphic & Knife Designer

Some interesting points presented. Nicely said; Spearpoint & Strider. Naturally these are all opinions and each will bahave as they choose.

One of the poor side effects is that successful knife designers become discouraged and stop designing. Spyderco has spent a great deal of money defending our designs. Perhaps Microtech cannot. At this time, Spyderco won't produce anything we cannot patent. a shame since there are many nice designs that will not ever reach the market becauase the cost of protection exceeds the returns once the knock offs begin. They do hurt the original!

Intrersting to note that this particular knock off artist is notorious for this and is accountable for a particularly large percentafge of the knocks offs sold in America. Just an opion.
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