New knife from Queen?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by FLymon, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. FLymon

    FLymon Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    Call me skeptical.
    I don't have one in hand so I am taking my own thoughts with a grain of salt but I have questions for those with the knife in hand.
    1. Anyone feel like this is definitely USA made top to bottom? I mean can anyone tell that for sure Xxxx company made these? If Bear or Utica made t
    2. Is it any better than a the popular Chinese brands that sell for 1/3 to 1/2 these? How so?

    I have an Imperial Shrade import that looks an awful lot like these.
    Based on the only response from the seller of "I don't know who makes them" I am assuming they are import parts, or just straight imports until I know otherwise.

    I wonder if anyone would think less of the knife at that price if it turns out they are not exactly American made.
    meako and Will Power like this.
  2. PirateSeulb


    Jun 6, 2017
    From what people are saying so far sounds good I still have a few issues and some which might require a higher price tag which I would be ok with. First so far all we know of the steel is 440 we don't know if it is 440A or 440C I would much prefer clarity on this as it help establish expectations of the edge performance I am happy with a variety of steels but I like to know what it is so as to compare a 440A done right to know if this is too. If this blade is 440C but performs like 440A it to me is a mark against it even if it matches a 440A done right which would make a good knife in the sub $50 range. I also would prefer a little more fit and finish from what people are saying as I really have when knives have a gritty open or close even if it is easily flushed and cleaned out. Lastly I completely agree with complaints on the stamp an engraved stamp would be so much better and with font that is less plain.
  3. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    I'm just going by the fact that it states on the website, Made in the USA.
    Now I can't say for sure but that retailer has no problem stating when something is made in China.

    I would say YES!
    On the whole, the Rough Ryder knives I've received have been less well-finished than this knife.
    I do have a Rough Ryder that I feel is superior to this one, but given my < 10 knife sample size, it's not the norm.
    I'd rather pay twice the price and be able to keep and use the knife rather than throwing it in the garbage because it's complete junk.
    hornetguy likes this.
  4. hornetguy

    hornetguy Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2015
    I've only owned one Bear knife of recent manufacture. I would say that this one is comparable in assembly and quality. My Bear was a barlow, and had overall good fit/finish, with the opening and closing being less than "perfect". There were actually two mid-point stops on the secondary blade on that one. Not a problem, definitely not a deal breaker, but not "perfect". That's the way this trapper feels to me.
    I honestly do not think smkw would mark this as made in the US, if it was not. They stand to lose way too much in reputation, etc if it gets out they were misrepresenting something like this.

    edit: I may have hit the chinese lottery, but of the 4 different models of Rough Rider knives I've purchased, all of them have been really, really nice in fit/finish/action. Sowbelly stockman, three blade whittler, chinese 'viper', and the new slipjoint stockman in premium steel. All have been very nicely done.
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  5. FLymon

    FLymon Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    I agree in general that strictly speaking of fit and finish the imports I have had are at least on par with the average for Case. Materials don't compare, but they have the hafting down pretty tight.
    Will Power likes this.
  6. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Mine is getting delivered today. I am excited to see it.

    I also am really happy that it's shieldless. I vastly prefer a shieldless knife over a knife with an unpinned shield.

    I agree, I think the word choice of "invalidate" is unnecessarily strong.

    I absolutely agree. I have always stated if I got a knife at discount, even if it's just a normal discount and has nothing to do with the fact that I got the knife for review. Now I will be sure to mention that I requested that the dealer check the knife for issues, if I did make that request.

    That's a very interesting idea. I'd be happy to participate.

    I agree, I shouldn't have mentioned that. I can say with full honesty that I didn't say it to influence them into giving me a better example, but just because I am excited to see this reintroduction of the brand and was genuinely excited to make the review.

    Well in this case they won't, because they said they don't check knives for issues. I will say, I have used their customer service / warranty on Case and Rough Ryder knives (that came with major, unacceptable issues, unfortunately) and they have had great customer service in my experience.

    I appreciate that, and will :thumbsup:

    I really wonder how many were made. It'd be really interesting to see how well these sold.

    I'm interested to see what they do next. I'd guess a stockman. Whatever it is, I hope they don't include the "PILOT TEST RUN" etch, and I wish they'd stamp the tangs instead of etching.

    Sure, and it's fine for them to say no. I'm not upset about that. I even mentioned in my previous post that it will give me an unfiltered look at the knife.
  7. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    I agree. "Pilot Test Run," or "First Production Run" to my eye is too much like a disclaimer, especially in a factory that has been around for a while. Tang stamps require a higher degree of commitment in tooling cost to a product line than an etching. Looking at the comments in the thread, it may have been wise not to commit to this brand name. Perhaps this is what was being tested in the pilot model, but who knows.
    Cutfinger likes this.
  8. Headwinds

    Headwinds Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 15, 2016
    If I'm not mistaken, "Pilot Test Run" has been a standard SMKW gimmick for years to try to increase the "collectibility" factor of certain runs.
    Storm 8593 and Bartleby like this.
  9. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    That sounds about right, although I believe they picked up this habit from Mr. Taylor years ago. The tradition of the Big Story blade etch goes back to Sheffield cutlers exporting to America in the 19th century, but at least they mostly made some sort of sense!
    Headwinds likes this.
  10. Cutfinger

    Cutfinger Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    The first of the recent run of Barlows from Case, were called 'pilot test run'.

    Etched right on the main blade too, if memory serves.
  11. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    I got mine. Haven't gotten any pictures yet.

    It is generally well put together. To put it all into one sentence; it's not perfection but I'm happy with it for the price, and looking forward to what they put out next.

    The action is snappy, but a little gritty. I think it will improve with some oil and repetitions.

    There's no blade play at all.

    There's no blade rap I can see.

    Both springs have slight gaps on each side near the pivot, but very little light goes through.

    The pile side cover is lifted slightly off the liners at the spring pin, enough that a little light shines through.

    Otherwise, the covers are pretty well fit. Better than most Rough Ryders I've had, not quite as smoothly as Case knives tend to be.

    Speaking of, it overall has a different finish than Case knives.

    It generally has a working knife feel to it. The blades have what I'd call a rough satin or as ground finish. The bolsters have something between a polish and a satin. The handles have a working feel because the edges are somewhat rough, and although it's well fitted you can feel the transitions.

    The blades seem well ground, with thin edges that will cut well (though I haven't cut anything with it yet).

    Closed, I actually really like how it looks. The plain black composite handles with the flush pins look classic.

    Unfortunately, with the clip point blade open, the etch draws the eye. The etch is big, an unfortunate choice of font from an aesthetic perspective in my opinion, and not ideally placed. In a surprise to me, it doesn't feel like any other etch I've seen on a traditional. The etch is raised quite a bit, enough that a nail easily catches on it. It's strange. I hope they don't put this on the first run of every pattern.

    I also don't really like the tang etches. They aren't very crisp. I would pay a few extra dollars for stamped tangs.

    I really, really appreciate that it DOESN'T have an unpinned shield. I much prefer no shield over a glued shield.

    Overall, I'm happy with it. It's a sample size of one, but it's on the same level or higher than Queen knives in their last couple years in my experience. It's definitely a solid working knife, which fits the Queen brand. I hope they make good choices going forward.
    AnW, Pomsbz, FLymon and 5 others like this.
  12. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 9, 2018
    Mine came today. In general, for a forty dollar knife it's fine.

    Mine has the blade opening grittiness that others have noted. There are no gaps between the back springs and liners that have been reported. Centering is good. The master blade is a little on the stiff side, and I'm not fond of the hidden nail nick on the spey blade. The transitions between the scales and bolsters are not as smooth as they should be. One of the scale pins is pretty sharp.

    It's functional, and not overpriced. It would be nice if whoever is building this thing would work on the aesthetics of the tang stamp.

    I'll keep it.

    For the same money, Buck and Case do a much better job. I'm not sure that I would recommend this Queen to somebody else. But, how many years has it been since you saw a $40.00 Queen? Well, Queen-ish.
    meako, AnW, Hivoltage and 3 others like this.
  13. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Hopefully they get their MOJO flowing.

    Queens, in D2 and S&M in ats-34 make stellar users, when built well.

    One of my favorite EDC's was a Queen/Burke collab. Anothwr is a Queen/Pardue collab barlow.

    I also regularly carry and use a S&M grandad Barlow File and Wire in Ats 34.

    I will say. I did a full regrind on all the Queen D2 blades to make them better cutters. The stock grinds were obtuse.

    Unfortunately, the Queen/Pardue gunboat broke a backspring!
    Cutfinger likes this.
  14. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    You mean like this GEC Factory Test Production Run?

    CK Picture
    meako, Headwinds, mbkr and 2 others like this.
  15. Modoc ED

    Modoc ED Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    My Queen QN1 Mini Trapper Pilot Test Run came in this afternoon's mail. Overall, it's a pretty nice knife. Well constructed with no appreciable gaps - perhaps a miniscule gap between clip side blade and the outside liner. The transition between covers and bolsters is perfect;however, the clip blade is not centered. About the only "gripe" is what others have pointed out - the nail nicks sit low, the clip blade against the liner and the spey blade against the clip blade.

    I know part of the picture is washed out but the whole length of the spine of the knife is as appears at the lower end of the knife.

    I see no reason to believe that this knife is not manufactured in the U.S.A. by perhaps Bear. I don't think there's any chance that the seller would lie about country of manufacture.

    Overall, I like the knife and like the fact that there is no shield.
    meako, AnW, FLymon and 5 others like this.
  16. Rookie82

    Rookie82 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 25, 2014
    If you search Pilot Test Run on the auction bay, there are a bunch of Case knives that pop up showing the exact same blade etch. hmmm Are those all SMKW releases?
  17. JohnDF

    JohnDF Gold Member Gold Member

    May 14, 2018
    You won the lottery on gaps. :cool::thumbsup:
    meako, hornetguy and Modoc ED like this.
  18. Camillus

    Camillus Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 3, 2015
    Have to wonder if the blades were made overseas and imported then the knives were assembled locally. There is definitely something not quite right about the pattern - mainly the blades. I doubt GEC is in a cold sweat.
    scrteened porch and meako like this.
  19. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Definitely not the best etch, but still has more style than on this QN1.
    mrknife likes this.
  20. mrknife

    mrknife Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2010
    yikes, that nail nick. that reminds me of why i didnt buy those red trout boys knives. nail nick geometry does matter.

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