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Real problems or whining buyers?


Mar 10, 2000
OK, no product is perfect, but at what point is the quality (or lack of) at such a level that a product should be returned? An edge may not be as sharp as you like or may have some small nicks that sharpening would remove. Blemishes on the handle material or on the blade that could be buffed out. A folder with a blade a little more off center than you would like but not yet rubbing. Most of us have a certain amout of do-it-yourself attitude, but at what point do you decide to send that brand new knife straight back to where you bought it or the manufacturer instead of fixing it yourself. Should the price of the knife be a factor in this equation?

It is not the fall that kills you. It is the realization that "yes, you did something that stupid."
I think price is absolutely a big determining factor. The more you pay, the higher your standards can/should be. Otherwise, what are you paying that much for?
I believe that quality and price should go hand in hand. I am not going to expect a Frost knife to live up to Case standards, or a Case knife to live up to a Sebenza's.
Two words for you....Emerson Production....sorry to all fans of his work, but his production knives are way overpriced and definately lacking quality.
I have enjoyed using some of his knives but have never been satisfied with the quality and that is why I no longer own any of his products.
I don't think it is whining to point out deficiencies such as a nicked blade, or blade rubbing the liner or others which in the long(or short) run could affect overall performance.
As we get more educated and discriminatory so should the QC departments of the many companies we frequent.

Just my $0.02.

I'm with Roy on this one..

Emerson is just about the worst I've seen. I know people talk about Benchmade quality problems, but I've had several and never had a problem. I've had 4 Emerson production knives, and all 4 had the same problems...Way overpriced, and your expected to pay return shipping for any warranty work, even if the knife shipped with problems...

Another part to this then. Is it worth the online savings to run the risk of return (perhaps several return) postage and other fees?

It is not the fall that kills you. It is the realization that "yes, you did something that stupid."
Actually, it ain't just about knives. Whining has become a national past time. My favorite whiner is the owner of a double-wide that just got mauled by a hurricane or other natural disaster. He tells the first TV camera he can find that 'the Federal government' has been slow to act and President Truman hasn't even said he was sorry.
One poster mentioned Emerson knives, and trust me, if anyone has a right to rebuke Ernie, it's me. (I'm fairly new to knives, and before I approached Ernie for reparations, I asked the knuts here for direction.) I've owned 5 Emerson's--4 CQC7-B's and one Commander. All fit straight into their handles, arrived with B+ edges, and locked with no wiggle or end-shake. I did, however, have a problem with the garbage disposal when we moved in. I didn't call the builder a pin-head, I asked for a repair.
In time, guys that let QC slide will lose all of their clients and knife companies that appreciate quality will fill the void.
In the meantime, do sit-ups, read a book, wear a hat, love your wife, and do maintenance on your vehicles; strangely, the 'whining' will stop.--OKG
My 0.02: With regard to Emerson - yes Ernie's knives are priced quite high - but that has a lot to do with the laws of supply and demand. Sure, he's making a profit, but it's also got a lot to do with what people are willing to pay. Now, if you look at it, the knives are expensive, but Ernie's still got QUITE a following. I find it difficult to believe that his fan base (for lack of a better expression) is there because of his knive's mystique alone. The knives HAVE to be good, or he wouldn't keep selling them at the rate he does, right? As for QC, yes EKI is lacking a bit in that department. BUT, any and all defects I've heard of have been taken care of in short order. Also, you have to remember that Ernie's operation is approx. 35 people, total. Benchmade's probably numbers in the thousands. At the rate people are snapping up his knives, some bad apples HAVE to get into the mix - it's just the law of averages.

B, as for your question, I believe online buying is worth the risk, based on the savings you can get. If I can get a knife at 1SKS for $60 cheaper than at the manufactruer's website, you bet I'm gonna buy from 1SKS. And if the seller has a good rep, I'm not worried about any bad consequences.

When discussing factory blades, I believe the first consideration always has to be whether or not the perceived fault, blemish or imperfection in any way compromises the functioning or safety of the knife in question. In this way we can determine if we're talking about a functional defect or a cosmetic defect.

I think we can all agree that true functional defects should be immediately returned regardless of the manufacturer or price point. For example, I would send back a wobbly folder blade or an improperly fitted liner lock no questions asked. The lines get a little fuzzier where cosmetic defects are concerned. I guess we each establish our own threshold for what is acceptable to us and what is not. For me, the cost and the intended use of the blade is definitely taken into consideration. Not that I'm happy with cosmetic flaws (or won't report them), but I'm not going to expect perfection from a $50 user.

As we gain more experience in this hobby we also come to know what to expect from each manufacturer. We see people on this forum relate stories about poor blade grinds on Benchmades. I can sharpen my own blades so that particular criticism doesn't weigh too heavily on me. We also see stories from the owners of certain Spyderco models who are told by the factory that liners that lock up on the right half of the blade tang are normal. This, in contrast to a poor edge grind, is a situation that I'm not as comfortable with and that I can't easily remedy on my own, so, in that instance I may choose to look elsewhere.

The bottom line is that I don't view identifying flaws as "whining", provided it's done in a constructive manner. I think we've even seen evidence lately that some of the major manufacturers are listening to the things that are being said on this forum.

Semper Fi

Roy; you said:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Two words for you....Emerson Production....sorry to all fans of his work, but his production knives are way overpriced and definately (sic) lacking quality.</font>

As it happens, I tend to agree with you that the custom Emersons are overpriced. However, when you publically attack a manufacturer, it is customary to give details of the problems encountered, what action you took regarding these problems, and what the end result was. Lacking these data, your post is likely to be regarded as a whine rather than a valid complaint about real problems.

I would like to hear the details of your problems.

As a customer, you have rights and duties when you purchase a product. For example - you have a right to have a product without defects - if there are defects, you have a duty to take it up with the manufacture to get it fixed or replaced.

There are some who would scream about a 30 K.I.S.S. knife which had an uneven grind. There are those who would happily pay $500 for a custom knife with fit and finish problems - to each their own.

As long as you live up to your end of the bargain - reporting and attempting to fix any major problems you encounter - then it's on the manufacturer to make things right by you.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Walt Welch:
However, when you publically attack a manufacturer, it is customary to give details of the problems encountered, what action you took regarding these problems, and what the end result was. Lacking these data, your post is likely to be regarded as a whine rather than a valid complaint about real problems.

I would like to hear the details of your problems.


Fair enough.
The first Emerson I bought was a CQC7. The liner engage the last third of the tang and it wobbled just a bit(and it was the best of the 4 I looked at). Within a week it was completely over to the end(and I do not practice flicking or snap opens). I took it back to the store but could not find a suitable replacement. Called EKI and they told me it was nothing to worry about but send it in if I was not comfortable. I did and about 3 weeks later I got it back. To my eye they had done nothing to it and it still wobbled and locked at the last third of the tang. A call to EKI was fruitless as they told me that was withing acceptable parameters but to send it back if I was not happy and they would "look at it". I took it back to the store the next day. Can you say "Refund"
I tried another CQC7 after moving to another locale but still had the same issues.
I then moved on to the Commander, I figured if it was a Blade award winner how could I go wrong. Well I had looked at several and to be honest lock up on "All" was questionable, the blade was wobbly(yes I practiced with the wave and yes I tightened the hinge) but the lock up was not secure IMHO....
Hey you know after looking this over....I am a whiner...

Serioulsy though, I have seen enough of EKI products to know I will not buy another and I will not recommend them to anyone I know.
Just my $0.02

*A confirmed Whiny biotch*
A "new" knife from a respectible manufacturer should meet the NKCA definition of Mint. That would mean no nicks on the blade, no blemishes on the handles, blade centered, etc.

The difference in value between Mint and Near mint is often 25-50%. So, if a manufacturer sends me a near mint piece, then they should discount the price accordingly.

Keep Thinking W! (Maybe just a few more hours)

Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
OK, the mint near mint sounds like a good definition. But how would/could one get a discount on an internet purchase? In person you could try to talk them down and/or walk away. I was mostly concerned about unseen purchases and what was and wasn't worth return shipping etc.

It is not the fall that kills you. It is the realization that "yes, you did something that stupid."

[This message has been edited by bfm (edited 12-13-2000).]
Price should go hand in hand with overall quality. All of my knives are users. They do get marked up in use. If there is a problem effecting the use or safety of the knife then it doesn't matter what you paid. The maker/manufacturer should make it right. Cosmetic blemishes should be judged by price alone. The more you pay, the better it should be.



Trust no one...
Too funny. Walt Welch: you said that Roy made a public attack in his comment that Emerson productions are way overpriced. You then said that you agree that Emerson customs are overpriced. Are you attacking Emerson on a public forum??

I don' t read Roys reply as an attack. It is his opinion and he has shared his experience. I can tell you about the numerous times that I' ve personally encountered with QC problems in Emerson productions. Even after sending back the same knives to warrantee several times!

I will agree with some here that if you are not satisfied with any companys product and their warranty policy then do not purchase them. But that doesn' t mean they cannot share their experience here in the discussion forums.


[This message has been edited by Nakano 2 (edited 12-13-2000).]
Nakano 2; my comment was outside of Roy's original post, which he limited to production knives. I stated my viewpoint, which is entirely subjective, and thus not subject to the rules of proof, to show that I was not entirely unsympathetic to his position. Roy followed up with concrete examples of problems. I have contacted Derek Russell; hopefully he will give us Emerson's side to this subject.

If you could provide more detail about your experiences, Nakano 2, perhaps Derek could address these issues as well.

Prior to this, I had been unaware of any quality control problems with Emerson knives.

I agree with Walt -

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">it is customary to give details of the problems encountered, what action you took regarding these problems, and what the end result was. Lacking these data, your post is likely to be regarded as a whine rather than a valid complaint about real problems.</font>

When replying to another thread asking an opinion of a knife, I did the above. Of the fifteen knives I have bought this year, it was my only disappointment.I probably should have addressed my comments to the manufacturer, but the knife was inexpensive and I corrected the problems myself (nod to Bronco).

I did, as a result of my post, receive a very nice e-mail from the designer of the knife (a well known knife maker). While it did not 'fix' my knife, it did make me consider the gulf between design and execution, a problem that can develop in any production environment.

I guess that if the knife would have been a $500 custom by the same maker (Never would happen!), I would have sent it back. But it wasn't...so I didn't!

(Thanks Jim!)

Well, I just got my new Emerson SOCFK in the mail tonight, and I'm happy to report to you all that there are NO QC problems with this knife. It completely satisfies the definition of "mint", and was bought from an online dealer, without prior visual inspection. It is perfect.
The price does have an impact on quality. In general, is it not reasonable to expect a new $100 knife to be superior to a new $50? As far as whining, at what point does voicing a valid complaint become whining?

If you have a problem with a knife, contact the maker/manufacturer for a fix. If you are not satisfied, have another go at it, try to have it replaced or get a refund. If you aren't satisfied, don't buy anymore of their products.

Some of us here do like to tinker with knives. Some of us don't mind imperfections found a in particular brands knives. We figure we can fix it the way we want and not have to spend the money for shipping. Whatever trips your trigger.

I personally like to hear what people have to say about the knives they own. What are the strong and weak points. How many people are having similar problems. It lets me know what to avoid or what to get.

Win if can, lose if you must, but always cheat.
Walt, when you say Emerson customs are overpriced, are you talking about his prices or the aftermarket prices? I believe his customs at his prices are very good and compare evenly with alot of other makers making his style of knife.(If Mr. Hollister sees me defending Emersons, I hope he doesn't have a coronary
).I know the CQC6 goes for around $500-550, which really isn't bad considering his backlog. It's the aftermarket prices that amaze me. We're talking about heavy duty,meant to be used defensive/utility knives, not art knives. But hey, if someone will pay it, someone will buy it.
As for his production knives, I can't comment. The only one I owned was a La Griffe and it was perfect.
Just my .02

Dave (Phil.4:13)
I Can Do All Things Through Him Who Strengthens Me

[This message has been edited by lifter4Him@aol.com (edited 12-14-2000).]