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

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Win - Thank you, nicely put.

By the way, BM did approach Chris Reeve regarding recognition. Chris was concerned it might be perceived as a Chris Reeve design (which the knife is not). To avoid confusion, Lester and Chris decided not to advertise the origin, assuming that everyone would know anyway. (There are no patents on the lock).

Regarding the Linerlock; Michael Walker did not invent the lock, he invented the detent that when attached to the locking spring also held the knife closed. This eliminated the need for a back spring (which earlier liner locks have) to keep the knife closed. This is what made for easy opening (that we all enjoy). He registered the name Linerlock in an attempt to gain something as reward since every custom maker was using his inovation to their own gain. Many custom makers such a Bob Terzuola and Frank Centofante readily give credit to Michael for the lock when speaking with their customers. Also, there are a number of manufacturers that pay or have paid Michael Walker royalties. Spyderco, Boker, Klotzli and Buck that I know of.

Orion - Honor does not yield to money, at least it shouldn't. The money would logically follow the honor. The exception would be a glitch in the system, like corruption. From an ELU's point of view, I can certainly follow your arguments. If everyone thought that way, there would be no value above money. Now broaden your view. imagine your self as the dealer, as the manufacturer or even as the designer. The response to the question changes if you are losing instead of gaining.

This is not to say that "Knock offs" don't exist in every industry. They must. If only 10% of the industry innovates, the other 90% must copy. And the ELU, voting with their wallets have deemed that the lower priced items usually sell the best (witness Walmart).

The glitch is not in the ELU, it is in the producer. It is their responsibility to help keep the tree alive that creates the fruit from which they all gain.

Didn't mean to start any flames. My apologies to Double 8 (should keep my personal beefs personal). It is an issue that more awareness might help solve. We want a healthy industry with a full range of price. Let's not forget the effort that successful designs require.


Thanks for mentioning the Benchmade/Chris Reeve thing and clearing up my misunderstanding in that regard (not to mention restoring somewhat my belief in Benchmade's integrity). You have brought a sense of honesty and fair dealing to this forum and that is a rare thing nowadays.


Knife lover, Philosopher, Humanitarian, and All-around nice guy
(all right, so I'm just a knife lover)
Dennis Wright's last post reminded me of a local computer store that has a big sign outside: "Used Computers from $100." You go inside and you see a row of computers, all plugged in and running. The cheapest one is nearest the door, the $100 XT with the MDA monitor, so customers sit at that one first and play with it. Then they try out the next one, which is only slightly more expensive and better, and so on down the line.

That sign sucks people in off the street -- including people who know nothing about computers, but know they have $100 to spare -- and they all move along the line until they come to the best computer they can afford. The same XT sits there week after week and the people who come in to look at a $100 computer keep leaving with $1500 computers -- the computer at the expensive end of the table has to be replaced every day while the one at the cheap end has to be dusted once a week....

I bet that would work with knives, too. Stock one of the knock-offs for every dozen of the good ones, encourage everyone to handle them all, and see what happens.

The only trouble is you'll have to keep an eye on things, since shoplifting is more of a problem with knives than computers, but you *must* get the customers to handle the knives. The cheap knock-offs look okay behind glass, but they're only lookalikes, and not even that up close.

-Cougar Allen :{)
The elitist attitude I was referring to had nothing to do with honor or companies. It was the attitude of individuals directed at other individuals because they would buy the rip-offs. So it's all about honor, huh?
So the poor guy who wants a decent quality knife and spends $20 for the knockoff because he can't afford the original throws his honor out the door. He gets a knife, loses his honor or keeps his honor and has no knife.
What most of you don't understand is that 90% of the knife buying public, the ones that will buy the knockoffs, are not even aware that they are knockoffs. They have no idea what a SOCOM is.
I firmly agree that when a company ventures into these kind of endeavors that some type of royalty should be payed, but that is not always the case. I'm not going to turn down a good deal because a knife looks like one that an elitist feels is an elite knife. If he feels that I have no honor, that's his problem. The only difference here is that I, as opposed to the general public, recognized the knife as a SOCOM knockoff.
I also feel that a lot of you are underestimating the quality of the knife in question.Sure, it's an inferior product.... but it's not as inferior as the price reflection would have you believe. I guarantee you that if you brought the average layman in off the street and let him look at both knives, he would much rather walk out the door with 2 or 3 of the $20 knives than the $300 original.
If the SOCOM is *worth* $300 then the knockoff is easily *worth* $50 or more, especially with the warranty.
Back to the original point....
The elitist attitude is when individuals make statements inferring that anyone that would buy the knockoff is unintelligent or stupid because they don't know a quality knife when they see one. I can't do anything about the honor of corporations in our economy, but I feel it is unwarranted to talk down to someone or about someone because they either can't afford the original, never heard of the original or just saw a good deal.

Orion - We have few elitists here. Just a lot of knife nuts with a world of different opinions. All good, all different. All providing a larger picure for all of us.
great thread, thanx.
Orion, AS for Microtechs costing $16. vrs Ripoffs $6. You forget master knives didn't build the knife from the ground up..they copied it..They already had the hard part done for them! And I don't think I read anywhere that anyone said only unintelligent persons buy ripoffs, only that the companies that copy other designs exactly(except for quality)don't appear to be smart enough to design their own! I only speak for myself. I donot care if people buy 100 ripoffs..THEY SUCK!(they should stamp this is a microtech copy, on the blade)ha ha! If I want a $20.00 knife I'll but a "Q" or a BUCK, Even a used knife of quality would be better for me! Not some wannabe! I'm sorry if this offends someone, but its just ethics..Its American, hey, the cost of living is higher in the USA. The only reason these ripoffs exist is quik bucks. Its easy to ripoff such a basic item. Easy in, easy out. Low $$ invested, low return!!ha ha (as far as knifes go)If you wanna find Master Knives they are at flea markets and swap meets, sold out of car trunks! But hey, even dealers sell them, I guess they have to? But you are right most people who buy ripoffs don't know the difference. They also don't know why I would pay $120. for a MICROTECH, when I could buy a Master for $20. and probably never will. I'm state of the art, not elitest...go figure? Well just my true feelings nothing personal.. but hey I don't buy BUDWIESER either
(don't get excited, all you Bud drinkers)
COOL THREAD! peace be with you!
There will never be a simple answer to any of the above questions. I sold knock offs for years before I sold the "Real" things. And i sold both at the same time. The funny thing was that when I sold both the customer who bought the knock off, at that time, said they would never pay the price that the "Real" thing demanded. A few months later many of those poeple would come back and buy the "real" thing. I am one of those poeple. I know. Now I am one of the manufacturers who must now deal with the inevitable thought that one of my knives will be knocked off. I must say that I do not think I will be flattered when this occurs. I am also not certain as to what course of events I will pursue to rectify it. I will cross that bridge when i come to it. Or maybe I will just blow it up

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

Wait a minute. Masterknives are not copies. They are a company that makes "knives" that look like the higher priced brands. Key--look like. The knives are not made alike. The components are not the same quality, i.e., tolerances, metal, grinds etc. You get what you pay for. You want a Rolex, buy a Rolex, or buy a Rolexx for fifty bucks.

Companies like Spyderco and Benchmade would, and will, "sell their souls" to get contracts with K-Mart, Wal Mart, Shopco, and chain sporting goods stores, and will do what ever it takes to manufacture (or have manufactured) knives to enable them to meet the price point needed to close these contracts. It is called capitalism. The free market economy. Masterknives' marketing ploy, as stated clearly on their web-site, is to make affordable "copies" of the top brands (granted, they do not state the knives are made with inferior materials and are pieces of sh**t). Now, if you can "reproduce" a Microtech product with the same materials and manufacturing tolerances and sell same at profit at a much lower price, then great. If it could be done, it would be happening (and it may be happening).

The market for folding knives that sell for in excess of $ 100.00 is very very limited. Find one for sale at the chains listed above. You won't, and will not in the future. Look at the Spyderco line. They have knives at the "low end" price point. They make some very inexpensive knives. I have never, and probably will never, buy a Spyderco knife. Why? Because I am not interested in that "end" of the market. But many are. Spyderco is a leader in that end of the market, and will continue to be. So is Buck and Gerber.

Masterknives is buying a Rolexx instead of a Rolex. Note that Masterknives will most likely not be marking a Spyderco look alike. Why? Because Spyderco has knives at the same price point.

In summary, much ado about nothing.

[This message has been edited by JP (edited 21 March 1999).]
While in college a few years back I sold knives, pepper spray, tactical gear, police supplies, etc. to help feed the wife and new baby. Knives were my biggest seller and I refused to carry knock-offs and cheaply made knives. I didn't want to get a reputation for selling junk. Well about 6 months went by and the bank was calling for the loan payment and the baby was crying for milk. I barely managed to sell 5 or 6 NICE knives at a loss. I bought a trunkload of cheap knives, set up a table at the flea market one weekend and made more money than I had made in the last 6 months. Anyone want to guess what was on my "for sale" table after that?

I am thinking about starting up the old knife trade again. Everyone loves my Purple Mini SOCOM, but no one likes the $138.50 price tag. They don't understand, nor do they want to. They want the $30.00 model and "The customer is always right."

Call me a w h o r e, call me a sell out, call me collect, I'll be able to afford it with all the knives I'll be selling.

[This message has been edited by the4th (edited 22 March 1999).]
I like quality, I don't think 6061 Alumn. or SS handles are very hard to make, so they are not special enough for me to buy, I like the harder to make to look nice, Zytel(IMO); the harder to work with Micarta, and G10. The BM Cub is very tempting though(Alumn).
At the gun show I was just at, I looked at the copies, too poor a quality to buy for comfort, and then the MT Socoms, too much $ for my comfort, cause the quality, didn't seem to warrant the cost.(for me anyway)
I seem to fall into the Spyderco, Benchmade, EDI price, and quality mode.

I think part of being into knives is enjoying the quality, and not just getting a cheap price.

Yes, there are good thoughts on this thread.

Mark Camp

[This message has been edited by mcfg (edited 22 March 1999).]
One point you keep bringing up is the warranty.Because if you are going to use these cheapies hard you are going to need a warranty quicker then with better made knives I would really be suprised if MasterKnives gave you the same service as the companies represented on this forum.So until someone posts here otherwise with a fantastic story of the customer service that a knock-off company provides I wouldn't waste my money. That isn't being elitist That is being smart.
If I have any problems with the knife, as I will definitely be putting it to use, I will be checking into that warranty. As soon as this happens (if it does) I will post any pertinent info.


Why is it that when I'm typing a message, about halfway through the second line the cursor jumps back up in the name field and starts typing? I've had this happen twice now... Happen to anyone else, or is it my computer?
It seems that everyone has stopped ranting for a moment or two...

Sal: *Sigh* I guess I'll have to settle for the occassional experimental.

Orion: I don't think we have all that many elitists. I think the true reason for the fury present in several of the above posts is the fact that many of us have chosen knives as our religion, and few things offend us more than seeing our deities impersonated.

Personally, I'm rather fond of Spyderco, both as a product and as a company. Every time I see a Spydie replica in a department store, people start to avoid me. Something in the eyes, most likely. I have had very little experience with Microtech products, so I'm a little less fanatical about them. Most of the people here are more knowledgeable than myself, and have had direct experience with MT's. They started seeing red when they saw the topic name. If we were discussing Spydie imitations, I'd probably be ranting along with them.

That's my little dabble into psychology for the day...

Ted Stewart
I hear many good points and arguments. I feel that many still miss the point. It is not a question of quality or value. Simply put, Masters should pay Royalties to Microtech for the design. That is what a great number of American knife companies do to keep our industry healthy. Spyderco both pays royalties and collects royalties. Gerber pays and collects royalties. It is not a bad thing...to pay for something.

JP - I'm sorry that you never had an opportunity to experience a Spyderco product. "There is no substitute for performance". None.

To think that Spyderco would "sell their souls" to be in Kmart, Walmart, etc. shows you know little of our company. We have turned down the "majors" more than once. In fact we just had Kmart yield in a suit concerning a "knock off". Masters doesn't make Spyderco copies because Spyderco's legal people have big teeth. We appreciate your opinion. But it is not true.

I believe that Masters can afford to pay the designers for creating the designs that created the original of the "affordable copies". They would still be affordable and
Masters might be closer to running a business in our industry that supports the industry innovation.

It has nothing to do with intelligence...it has to do with innovation. Those with the courage to fondle and nurture the new idea, to develop and refine, to bring it to reality. Turning an idea, a mere wisp of a spirit, into a physical thing. Every industry needs these innovators in order to grow. This is why "Knock off" is a negative word, it denotes non payment. Plagerism of sorts.

You are missing the point. I was the one that started the thread with the point being that I had come across a *cheap knockoff* knife that, though no where close to the quality of the original, was an excellent deal for the money. I wanted to know if anyone else had seen these knives and was soliciting their opinions of them. The original point of the thread was never about the ethics of Master Knives or whether or not they should pay royalties, although I agree it turned into a nice, informative, sometimes opinionated thread.
What I got was a look into the bias of knife knuts. Mike Turber seemed to be the only honest one here. While most of the people here will not even give a second look at the knife due to personal reasons, he stated that he had played with one and agreed it was a hell of a deal. Everyone else just stated that it was a cheap piece of shiznit due to personal bias and ranted about ethics, honor and numerous other points of logic without ever having laid hands on the knife in question. Which brings me to my retort to...

Red Twin1-
I have been collecting knives for the past 15 years and I can guarantee that my collection is probably larger and worth more than 80% of the people here (I hate to sound *elitist*...). I guess you could say that knives is a sort of religion to me, as well as a few other passions I have in life. BUT...- I am not so closed minded as to discount the validity of something due to personal bias, regardless of what my stance on ethics are. Like I said before, I agree that Master Knives should pay royalties. But because they do not, I still cannot dispute the fact that they have put out a decent quality product for a damn good price. To turn my head and say differently without even looking at the product first hand would be extremely ignorant of me.
Example- I hate Marilyn Manson. Can't stand him. He has no talent what so ever. I hate the way he presents himself and his views. BUT- I have read and listened to interviews with him and I have to say that the man is very intelligent and has something to say. I just don't agree with the way he has chosen to say it. Now, I could be like most of the guys here and say, *Oh...he's an idiot* based on my initial impression of him, but I took the time to actually listen to the man and my opinion of him changed somewhat. I still won't buy his albums because he sucks and I don't think children should be allowed to listen to that garbage, either, but the man has substance. I can't deny that.
I don't buy a lot of folders. Most of my collection is fixed blades and swords but I have 8 Benchmades, 2 Microtechs, 1 Sebenza, 1Krait, 2 Genesis', 3 Cold Steels and I even have 1 Spyderco (I don't like Spyderco knives that much... They are excellent quality knives, but I just think that humpback look is ugly.... Sorry, Sal...). These are just the top end folders that I have that would impress the elitists. I have many more that... hell, I probably wish I didn't have. The point is, you alienated me with the elitist attitude that *many of us have chosen knives as our religion* by inferring that I was an outsider due to some reason or another....
That's exactly the kind of attitude I was talking about. I never knew I was opening such a can of worms when I asked for open minded, unbiased opinions of a product.
On a larger scale, it's the same kind of attitude that breeds racism, sexism and any other type of ethnic prejudice that you can think of. It seems this attitude is very prevalent among knife knuts.
I guess if you're going to change the original point of the post from my primary intended point into a point of ethics, then there is your point. Blind, closed minded prejudice.

If you want good knives for attractive prices, check out the Columbia River Knife and Tool line, as they prove that Taiwan can produce good products without microchips. There are plenty of other inexpensive knives out there that are not recognizable copies of somebody else's creative work.

That $20 Masters Microtechesque knife would still be a good buy at, say, $25 if they paid a few bucks in royalties to Microtech, and the $5 Eagle would still be a bargain basement knife at $7 or $8 if they did the right thing.

I assume that all of us here would not buy an outright counterfeit even if the price was right, any more than we would buy pre-owned goods from a known burglar. The knock-off knives, however, are not clearly criminal, but a civil matter, in an area of law that is notoriously "grey." And even if turns out that a judge won't make them stop, copying someone else's design without their blessing just isn't very nice.

Sal-I stand corrected. From your post, it appears that Masterknives has targeted Spyderco.

It was my impression that Masterknives is like the street corner hustler -- Psst, wanna buy a Rolexx and not -- wanna buy a Timexx. They appear to focus on selling "look alikes" at 75% less than the real thing. I find it hard to believe that Masterknives could ever be a threat or compete with Spyderco's line of well made inexpensive knives. I stand corrected.

Imagine working in R&D at Masterkives where the motto/mission statement is "What can we copy today." "We don't originate-we duplicate." I bet all the Masterknives men gave their wives faux diamond engagement rings.
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