Reate K1 Flipper - Good knife. Challenging Support.

Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
I don't see any other recourse for my issue other than to post my findings and warn other knife enthusiasts out there.

TLDR - Purchased a $500 production knife and have been jerked around by Reate for 3 months. Last week they finally informed me that they can't find the parts for the repair and then a couple of days later said that the tip of the knife was broken. It was unbroken when I mailed it so now they are investigating that damage. Never again will I purchase a knife from them.

I purchased this knife a couple of years ago and I have loved it. It had wonderful action and I loved the size and proportion of the thing as well as the blade geometry. Here's a picture of it:


It's been my EDC for about two years and last spring I noticed that it was no longer locking up securely. I looked closely at the lock bar and noticed that the lock bar steel insert had deformed the titanium on the bar:


I reached out to Reate warranty on 6/22/21 and after confiming my purchase from Blade HQ I asked if they could help with this issue and I sent them that picture as well as this video:


Now the one good thing I can say about their support is that they respond to the emails. They told me to mail the knife to their US agent (Crane Cutlery) and they would try to fix it for a $10 repair charge and if they couldn't fix it they would have to ship it to China which would incur a $50 charge. I agreed to that and shipped the knife.

After 6 weeks of emailing them every 10 days or so I was informed that Cranes was unable to do the repair and the knife had to be shipped to China.

Now, 3 months into this thing, they informed me that they were having trouble finding parts for this knife and weren't sure they could repair the lock bar. They also informed me that they were unable to repair the broken tip. Here's the email:


On Sep 14, 2021, at 10:42 PM, warranty@reateknives.com wrote:

Hi Tim,

We just had someone who was free to resharpen the blade, but the tip couldn't solve, we need to find other way to make it better.
What we can do is just to make the tip look not so bad.

For the lock problem, we need some time to find if we have any lockbar available that could help to solve it.
Because this is our very early model, we can't guarantee whether there are any hardware.

Very sorry to have taken up so much of your time to wait for this knife, please note that you sent this knife to Cranes on July, and they also needed some time to inspect it and sent it back to our factory for repair.

Hope you can understand.
And very appreciate for your patience.
<Catch.jpg>

Thanks & Best regards
Sandy Song


Broken tip? What broken tip? It wasn't broken when I shipped it to them. Here's the picture they sent of the tip:


Here's that picture again that I pulled from the video of the lock up issue:


So now that's what I'm dealing with in what is becoming a joke of an experience. They told me they needed to reach out to Crane Cutlery to investigate my assertion that the tip wasn't broken when I shipped . . . .

So that's the story. I thought I'd let people know what a headache this purchase has been for me. I'm looking for a new knife and it has made me VERY hesitant to deal with a manufacturer outside of the US where they aren't subject to the scrutiny of Google or Yelp reviews or the BBB. I spent the first couple of months thinking I just needed to be patient. Now I'm feeling like this is a deliberate test of my will and they are hoping I'll just go away.

Best of luck with your knife purchases all.

Tim G.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
They should just give you a comparable model that they can provide and you would agree to accept.
That would be nice Jill. The knife is out of warranty so I am more than willing to pay for the repair. It's just the lack of attention to the repair that has me frustrated. Of course their damaging the blade tip didn't help either. What is clear to me is that they don't have dedicated repair department. When they say things like: "We just had someone who was free to resharpen the blade. ." and "For the lock problem, we need some time to find if we have any lock bar available" it sounds like they are not organized to handle repairs at all - that they don't have anyone dedicated to doing repairs. A $500 knife should be able to be serviced by the manufacturer. I'm sure that Zero Tolerance, Hinderer, Benchmade all have staff that handle repairs. They 'need some time to find if we have any lock bar available'? You've had 3 months! It should be on a computer screen. Why did I ship the knife if you were unable to service it in the first place? Do they have to rummage through dusty boxes in a storage closet to find K-1 parts? What the hell? This isn't some gas station $8 'knyfe' were talking about. Reate's K-3 knife costs over $800! If I were one of the owners of this company I would be pissed. The competition in their industry is fierce. Landing customers is the hard part. Considering the quality of their product, keeping customers should be the easy part. If they are losing customers because of a non existent customer service department, man, they have a serious gap in their business model.
 

jill jackson

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Messages
18,646
My XM-18 had the detent ball fall out and Hinderer had it fixed, tuned up and in great shape in two weeks. The blade was dead sharp and while I didn't ask them not to sharpen it, I was glad to get it back in the same exact shape it was when I sent it. Only thing I paid was postage to send.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
Latest email from Reate:

Begin forwarded message:
From: "warranty@reateknives.com" <warranty@reateknives.com>
Subject: Re: Re: Reate K-1 Frame Lock Flipper Knife Carbon Fiber/Titanium Issue
Date:
September 27, 2021 at 8:40:27 PM MDT
To: "Tim Gi####" <$$$$@xmission.com>
Hi Tim,

After confirming with our US representative, they were too busy to have no chace/time to do anything at that time.
They just took it apart then sent back to our factory.
And from your first email, I noticed that you said it had a sacrificial tip, maybe that's what you referred to on the picture I sent.
From your video, it was not clear enough for us to notice the broken tip, and you were just focused on the lock bar.

If you don't mind the tip, we could just repair the lock for you.

Due to our factory is really busy, there is no spare hand to repair your knife in time.
Since it is an old model for a few years, we are still trying to find the parts to repair the lock.
I'm sorry for the delay and thanks for your time.

Any question please let me know.
Thanks & Best regards
Sandy Song



For what it's worth the "Sacraficial tip" I was referring to was was the steel insert on the lock bar. I asked them if that could have caused the loose lock up.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
439
Hi Tim,

We are appreciated for all your emails with our team.
But please double check the video you sent to us at 11 seconds, that showed the blade tip is broken.
Our team have sent the screen shot to you by email, please check it.

We are trying to repair the blade tip for you as well as making the new lock bar to repair the lock issue.
The blade tip was already broken before we got it, we can not ingnore it even you didn't tell us.
We hope to repair everthing good for you before we send it back to you that is what we should do.

Those are all free for you and don't charge anything by our side, and International shipping fee is charged by FedEx.
We are trying our best to follow up with warranty issue all the time, we are sorry for all the delays and inconvenience during this hard time.

Thank you for your support.

Reate Knives Team
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
Hi Tim,

We are appreciated for all your emails with our team.
But please double check the video you sent to us at 11 seconds, that showed the blade tip is broken.
Our team have sent the screen shot to you by email, please check it.

We are trying to repair the blade tip for you as well as making the new lock bar to repair the lock issue.
The blade tip was already broken before we got it, we can not ingnore it even you didn't tell us.
We hope to repair everthing good for you before we send it back to you that is what we should do.

Those are all free for you and don't charge anything by our side, and International shipping fee is charged by FedEx.
We are trying our best to follow up with warranty issue all the time, we are sorry for all the delays and inconvenience during this hard time.

Thank you for your support.

Reate Knives Team
Thank you for the reply. I can appreciate why you would think that the tip is broken based on the video screen grab you sent but it is simply untrue. There are a couple of things that you are not taking into account.

1. Video compression does some really weird things with individual frames of video. In order to make files smaller a lot of algorithms are used to average pixel placement from frame to frame. This works well with a static image but breaks down when things are in motion. I know this because I've worked in television production for the past 30+ years.

2. The image you sent from the video shows a significant amount of the tip removed. Your photo that you sent from your shop shows a much smaller part of the tip gone. This really backs up my first point. Here are the two images for comparison. I'll let you be the judge.

Reate's image they took in their shop after I sent it in for repair:


Reate's email image of my video that they say proves the tip was broken:


I have no good pictures of the knife's conditon prior to my shipping it so I have no way and no real interest to continue arguing the point. I don't care about the tip. It's fine. I would simply ask that you consider the possibility that I am not lying - that I didn't send the knife to you with a broken tip. Consider how you would feel if you were in my position. . .

Anyways thank you for wanting to make the repair of the lock bar. That is really all I wanted from the start when I shipped this knife to you 3 months ago.

Can you please give me an estimated timeline on when this repair will happen? It's been 3 months. I would truly like to know when I can expect the return of my knife.

Tim
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
Messages
1,232
Better resolution pics showing the tip without motion blur
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xkGHT2B.png
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
439
Thank you for the reply. I can appreciate why you would think that the tip is broken based on the video screen grab you sent but it is simply untrue. There are a couple of things that you are not taking into account.

1. Video compression does some really weird things with individual frames of video. In order to make files smaller a lot of algorithms are used to average pixel placement from frame to frame. This works well with a static image but breaks down when things are in motion. I know this because I've worked in television production for the past 30+ years.

2. The image you sent from the video shows a significant amount of the tip removed. Your photo that you sent from your shop shows a much smaller part of the tip gone. This really backs up my first point. Here are the two images for comparison. I'll let you be the judge.

Reate's image they took in their shop after I sent it in for repair:


Reate's email image of my video that they say proves the tip was broken:


I have no good pictures of the knife's conditon prior to my shipping it so I have no way and no real interest to continue arguing the point. I don't care about the tip. It's fine. I would simply ask that you consider the possibility that I am not lying - that I didn't send the knife to you with a broken tip. Consider how you would feel if you were in my position. . .

Anyways thank you for wanting to make the repair of the lock bar. That is really all I wanted from the start when I shipped this knife to you 3 months ago.

Can you please give me an estimated timeline on when this repair will happen? It's been 3 months. I would truly like to know when I can expect the return of my knife.

Tim
Hi Tim,

Thank you for your reply and your pictures.

Please understand that we would like to tell you the truth that the blade is broken when we got it and we are finding a way to fix it for you.
We don't know when it's broken, maybe during shipping.
We didn't think you were lying, but guessed you may ignore the broken tip before you shipped so we checked your video like that, sorry for the misunderstanding.
We won't avoid any responsibility for warranty issue.
We are making the new lock bar now, and fixing the blade tip.
Our warranty team will send an email to you to offer a final deliver time today.

Thank you for your support.

Reate Knives Team.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
439
Thank you for the reply. I can appreciate why you would think that the tip is broken based on the video screen grab you sent but it is simply untrue. There are a couple of things that you are not taking into account.

1. Video compression does some really weird things with individual frames of video. In order to make files smaller a lot of algorithms are used to average pixel placement from frame to frame. This works well with a static image but breaks down when things are in motion. I know this because I've worked in television production for the past 30+ years.

2. The image you sent from the video shows a significant amount of the tip removed. Your photo that you sent from your shop shows a much smaller part of the tip gone. This really backs up my first point. Here are the two images for comparison. I'll let you be the judge.

Reate's image they took in their shop after I sent it in for repair:


Reate's email image of my video that they say proves the tip was broken:


I have no good pictures of the knife's conditon prior to my shipping it so I have no way and no real interest to continue arguing the point. I don't care about the tip. It's fine. I would simply ask that you consider the possibility that I am not lying - that I didn't send the knife to you with a broken tip. Consider how you would feel if you were in my position. . .

Anyways thank you for wanting to make the repair of the lock bar. That is really all I wanted from the start when I shipped this knife to you 3 months ago.

Can you please give me an estimated timeline on when this repair will happen? It's been 3 months. I would truly like to know when I can expect the return of my knife.

Tim
Hi Tim,

Thank you for your reply and your pictures.

Please understand that we would like to tell you the truth that the blade is broken when we got it and we are finding a way to fix it for you.
We don't know when it's broken, maybe during shipping.
We didn't think you were lying, but guessed you may ignore the broken tip before you shipped so we checked your video like that, sorry for the misunderstanding.
We won't avoid any responsibility for warranty issue.
We are making the new lock bar now, and fixing the blade tip.
Our warranty team will send an email to you to offer a final deliver time today.

Thank you for your support.

Reate Knives Team.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
Hi Tim,

Thank you for your reply and your pictures.

Please understand that we would like to tell you the truth that the blade is broken when we got it and we are finding a way to fix it for you.
We don't know when it's broken, maybe during shipping.
We didn't think you were lying, but guessed you may ignore the broken tip before you shipped so we checked your video like that, sorry for the misunderstanding.
We won't avoid any responsibility for warranty issue.
We are making the new lock bar now, and fixing the blade tip.
Our warranty team will send an email to you to offer a final deliver time today.

Thank you for your support.

Reate Knives Team.

Thank you. I'm glad we can move forward with this.
 

jill jackson

Gold Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Messages
18,646
Blade tip is not going to be broken during shipping. The knife is folded and packaged. To even say it would be a possibility is rediculous.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
Latest from Reate. Thank you to everyone that chimed in here. I have no doubt that it helped get the ball moving.

Begin forwarded message:
From: "warranty@reateknives.com" <warranty@reateknives.com>
Subject: Re: Re: Reate K-1 Frame Lock Flipper Knife Carbon Fiber/Titanium Issue
Date:
September 29, 2021 at 2:50:18 AM MDT
To: jeromew <jeromew@xmission.com>
Cc: david <david@reateknives.com>, warranty <warranty@reateknives.com>
Hi Tim,

We are glad to informed that K-1 is fixed now.
Please see attached video and pictures.

Knife is ready for shipping now but unfortunately,
We are notified by all couriers they cancel to ship outdoor knives during our National Day because of China's tightened policy including FedEx, DHL ext.
Outdoor knives shipment service will recover on 9 October, but we can send knife blades and scales anytime if we take it apart.
Please let us know if you would like to wait till 9 October or we can take it apart to send to you now?

Please send your shipping address including phone number that International shipment needed. Thanks.

Any questions please feel free to let us know.

Thanks&best regards.

Shera Feng

The edge looks great! I'll post again when I receive the knife and let you know how it all turned out.
 
Last edited:

NG VI

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
1,574
I guess aside from some unmet expectations regarding the time to do these repairs and the possibility that your tip got damaged somehow at Crane's, they did pretty much the best you could hope for. Provided that it feels right when you get it back of course.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
Yep. The only charge is $14 for return shipping. They offered that low price (opposed to $80 for international to my door) by shipping to Cranes first with their regular stock supply. Then Cranes will ship it to me domestically. That was honestly considerate of them. All's well that ends well? We'll see. Fool me once. . . .
 

Biginboca

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 17, 1999
Messages
1,647
The problem here is companies like Reate make any given model in a large batch and then move on to the next model. So production is constantly changing as they cycle to the next new model and parts from older ones are discontinued as production lines swap fixtures for the new models.

Service parts are going to be non existent under this style of manufacturing.

Companies like Chris Reeve and Hinderer who make the same models for years on end are able to offer replacement parts 10 or more years down the line.

The remedy Reate could offer in these cases (provided they choose to offer a long term warranty) would be to give a replacement knife from a current production model, or maybe offer one at production cost. Then they lose nothing and the knife owner gets a new replacement knife at maybe 1/4-1/3 of the retail price. In essence it cost Reate nothing to do this because their production cost for the replacement are paid by the knife owner, and the owner gets an incredible deal on a brand new knife.
 
Joined
Sep 24, 2021
Messages
23
Was the knife repair satisfactory?
I wish I could report that I have but I have yet to receive the knife. Cranes received the knife via fedex from Reate on 10/12/21 (according to tracking number). I contacted Reate on the 19th and asked when the knife would be shipped and I received this response:

Begin forwarded message:
From: "warranty@reateknives.com" <warranty@reateknives.com>
Subject: Re: Re: Reate K-1 Frame Lock Flipper Knife Carbon Fiber/Titanium Issue
Date:
October 19, 2021 at 7:54:30 PM MDT
To: "Tim G*******>
Hi Tim,

Yes, it has arrived, but Cranes needs some time to sort out the things.
I've tried to push them to send out asap.
When it is shipped, I will provide the tracking.

Any question please let me know.
Thanks & Best regards
Sandy Song
So who knows? They're writing their own story here. It's kind of sad. I've purchased a couple of high end knives now - a Herman Slim and a one-off CKF. That Russian knife cost almost 3 times the price of the K-1 and the comparison has made me appreciate the value and quality of the Reate but . . . . I started this repair inquiry mid-June, 4 months ago. I'd be an idiot to risk going through this again. . .
 
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