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New CRKT Knives Made in China

Discussion in 'Knife Reviews & Testing' started by Confederate, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Confederate


    Sep 5, 2005
    While browsing through my new CRKT catalog, I determined to look into the Lake Thunderbolt series of the company. I was a bit surprised to find that a beefy 4-inch bladed knife was far less expensive than I thought--just over twenty bucks. Then I noticed they were made in China. My question is, does the fact that knives are made in China alone cause for dismissal, especially when the price is significantly less than similar knives in the company's line?

    The steel in the Thunderbolt is about AUS8...perhaps a bit more. I like the fact that it has serrations on the tanto's frontal point and I like the overall look of the knife, but I don't know whether the blade's being made in China means it's made by someone for CRKT, or whether CRKT maintains a tight control over the production.

    Does anyone have any experience with any of CRKT's new knives made in China?
  2. Andrew Colglazier

    Andrew Colglazier

    Sep 14, 2006
    If I'm not mistaken, many of CRKT's knives have been made in China for quite a while.

  3. shecky


    May 3, 2006
    Indeed. Some CRKTs have been coming from China for years now.

    They have tended to be the lowest end knives in their lineup, so I would expect them to perform as such.
  4. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore

    Feb 28, 2002
    The quality is on par with the previously Taiwanese knives.
  5. Confederate


    Sep 5, 2005
    Well, again, I like the serrations in the tanto point, not to mention the aircraft style of the knife (where the thumb hole is the "cockpit"). The blade steel is 8Cr14MoV. If CRKT has the knife made for them by a contractor, that's one thing. If they do it in their own factory in China, it's another. Still, for the price I may check it out. The serrations on the lower part of the blade seem redundant and, of course, make it easier for the company to put it out with a left-handed chisel grind design.

  6. Chris "Anagarika"

    Chris "Anagarika"

    Mar 7, 2001
    I have a real china made with china brand on it and the blade steel 8Cr13Mo or something is very good. Check out srmknives.com

    China can make as good as anyone else if the contract requires that. It depends on the principal to enforce it ;)
    If it's wanted or ordered for, they can make many knives at 1$ price range, which is a complete junk ..
  7. Molly-Coddle


    May 18, 2007
    I've received my new M21-04G folder with G10 scales yesterday. Blade of this one is made of 8Cr14 (58-59 HRC) chinese steel, instead of AUS 8 on M21's with aluminium scales. I can't compare 8Cr14 with AUS 8 but overall knife is very well built! Flipper works smooth and lock is solid. So CRKT must have strict quality control with this new line of chinese folders.

    Here is some pictures:





    I used to have old M16-13 folder with aluminium scales. It's blade was marked as AUS 8 / Made in Taiwan. As You can see this new folders have not any signs of used steel or country of origin on the balde. Only box marked with "product of China" label.
  8. CWL


    Sep 15, 2002
    To remain competitive globally, Taiwan businesses have moved most of their manufacturing to China, Vietnam, Philippines and Cambodia.

    This is true across the board from pharmaceuticals, electronics/TVs, computers, cell phones, consumer items and clothing.

    Same Taiwanese managers, different work force.
  9. TheHunt


    Dec 26, 2006
    Honestly, I dont care where its made, I care HOW and with which quality its been made. See Byrd knifes. Great blade for the buck...

    I remember the old saying "made in Germany", as for quality...
    So, if it works, why not?

    We have some german based companys which still manufacture here (for exmple: http://www.otter-messer.de/) for an affordable price.

    I own al lot Benchmades, USA and China manufactured, as well as Spydercos and Byrds, all of them are worth theyr´re money.

    You get what you pay for.... As simple as that...
  10. Krustynutz


    Jul 8, 2006
    I agree. We now live in a global economy and must get used to global commerce. Really doesn't matter where its made, more important is How its made.
  11. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore

    Feb 28, 2002
    CRKT does have good quality control in place in China. The quality of models made before and after the transition to China is comparable. There seems to be some vague and unreasoning dislike of the company's products in some circles, but they produce a broad, diverse line of functional tools at affordable prices. There is much to recommend them as a result.
  12. neeman

    neeman Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    The voice of reason....
  13. Thomas W

    Thomas W Banned by Moderators

    Oct 11, 2005
    Almost all companies that have knife offerings from China have them made. There are levels of quality when outsourcing. It always comes down to how much a manufacturer wants to pay.

    Speaking of the word manufacturer, don't you have to actually build something yourself to fit into that category?

    Phil, nobody has good quality control in place when making knives in China. You pay a little extra up front, tell them what you want, QC the initial samples, and trust each production run that shows up after that is of the same quality you've paid for.
  14. Gerberblades


    Dec 31, 2006
    I never would buy a knife made in China, period.
  15. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore

    Feb 28, 2002
    And you base this assertion on... what, exactly?
  16. benaroia


    Sep 21, 2008
    I have a M21 that is AUS-8 made in Taiwan which holds it's edge wonderfully, and I recently got a M21-SFG (G-10 handles) which sports their 8CR13MoV steel, made in china. I feel as though the edge doesn't hold quite as nicely, and it doesn't seem to like the sharpening. However, the Veff edging rocks. Wicked looking. I'll put some pictures up soon.
  17. Thomas W

    Thomas W Banned by Moderators

    Oct 11, 2005
    No disrespect Phil, but my assertion of "they have good quality control in place in China" is based on a bit more than the examination of a few of the same knives produced in two different countries. I apologize if you have additional information to the contrary.

    We have multiple facilities in China, that are run soley by Kai Corp.
    http://www.kai-ind.co.jp/en/ (please see group companies)
    We've produced quite a diversity of products in China. We do business their daily, and have to travel overseas regularly. We've also visited most of "other" mainland facilities as well.

    The drill over there is not complicated. I mean it's not like any manufacturer/wholesaler is going to go over to China every time the next run of knives is ready for them to ship to evaluate each of them. You have to QC back home, after the PO was cut, after the run is finished, after you're in possession.

    The way of doing knife business in China is simple, you are offered a few levels of quality, and it's all based on how much you're willing pay. Sure you can go over there and work with a factory, tell them what the expectations are for this particular project and such, but after that, there is going to have to be a level of trust. Both parties have agreed on a price and the specifics on a knife. After the agreed upon price/quality expectations, you get some samples, and this is your last chance for changes, this is your QC operation. It's all over till the run shows up after that. Then you have to go through the product and do a first hand QC, trusting with every step that they honored up to your agreed upon requirements (there can be the occasional lost in translation scenario ;)).

    Now I will say this is the norm, but there can be deviation from the above on occasion.

    So I don't know if this answers your question to me on why I posted the way I did, but working for a manufacturer that has, and continues to do a bit of daily business in China is were I based my opinions.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  18. benaroia


    Sep 21, 2008
    The pics I promised:

    It's not that I'd have a problem with a knife made in china, it that if they offered one made in the US of A for an extra $20-30 I'd take it over the China made one.
  19. Phil Elmore

    Phil Elmore

    Feb 28, 2002
    Fair enough, Thomas. Given this, what is your opinion of the quality of the products your own company has manufactured in China?
  20. Thomas W

    Thomas W Banned by Moderators

    Oct 11, 2005
    As far as knives go, I've been on record as saying this in the past Phil.
    I still stand by it.

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