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Ripped off by Dale Reif

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john sage

Gold Member
Feedback: 18 / 0 / 0
Jul 16, 2001
To all knife collectors, enthusiasts, and designers:


Yes, I am sorry to say, it is true; Dale Reif stole over $1100.00 from me. For the last year I have been after Dale to either deliver the knives he promised to build, or refund the money I sent him. He refuses to do either. Now, he won't flat out say "No", he is too chicken **** for that, but like anyone who has been unfortunate enough to deal with this POS will know, it is just one excuse after another. If it isn't lost materials, or a delay at heat treat, its cancer or a pending divorce(yes, he did use cancer and divorce as excuses). I have been incredibley patient waiting and waiting, getting excuse after excuse.

Dale had built six or seven knives for me with no problems other than a little shoddy workmanship, but it was cheap so I overlooked that. But after several deals that he actually made good on, he just stopped, while he still owed me over $1100.00 in knives. I had prepaid for another prototype to be made, and sent Dale money that a freind of mine paid to buy an Atrox. Dale never came through with the Atrox and after months of having to tell me friend excuses, I paid him back out of my pocket. Subsequently, Dale agreed to build another prototyoe in place of the Atrox he so flagrantly flaked on. A little while later after Dale had missed yet another deadline, I spoke to him on the phone and he assured me all was well, and he would be getting my knives to me soon. Well, one month turned into several, and now we are at the one year mark, still no knives or a refund, amazing huh? To think, I tried so hard to get California knife shops to buy from Dale. I pushed his knives to Plaza Cutlery, We Be Knives, Walton's Saw, and other shops, and what is my thanks?

Well, I am not one to stand by and take it in the shorts from a cop turned thief, so I have filed charges of mail fraud against Dale with the US Postal Inspectors. The paperwork is in process as I write this, and while I doubt I'll ever get anything from Reif, perhaps the Postal Inspectors can arrange a little vacation for him, courtesy of the federal government. Hey Dale, any idea what happens to cops on the other side of the bars??? You are going to find out! I have copies of all the emails I sent and recieved, copies of the money orders, etc...

I invite Dale to come to this forum and defend himself, but I won't hold my breath. He is a coward, and a thief, and I would be surprised if he is man enough to face the truth in this forum.

My reputation is golden, ask anyone I have ever dealt with. Ask Dan Delavan, Intruder, Larry Brahms, Larry Davidson, Allen Elishewitz, Jeff Hall, Huntington, Lifter, MtMike, Bart Weijs, Glokman99, Jerry Busse, Surfin' Ronin and all the other people I have dealt with, I pay in advance, and my word is as good as gold. I am a man of my word, unlike that slug Reif.

The biggest pity of this whole thing is that after dealing with strangers for so long, people I had only emailed, and trusted them with thousands of dollars worth of knives, I have finally been ripped off, and by an ex-cop of all people. Hell, I even dealt with an ex-con here who had more integrity than Dale, what does that tell you? So, my friends this is a warning to you all, don't get Reif'd.

Since Dale has not replied to my last three emails, and I don't feel like wasting any more money calling him, I can only guess that his gall bladder burst, or that something else catastrophic has happened, and therefore I am left to the only conclusion, that after a year of trying to get what I paid for in advance, I have been ripped off.

Dale, I am accusing you of being a dirty thief, are you going to be man enough to prove me wrong? Make good on what YOU said you would do, be a man for once in your life, and I will tell everyone you came through.

And if you do show up here, leave the excuses at the door, this isn't the 5th grade any more.

Sorry to hear you have been ripped off for such a large amount of money. Hopefully with enough pressure from the postal inspectors and knife collectors, you will get your money back. Every think of filing a BBB complaint as well?? A full time knifemaker is a business. They may not be that helpful, but they send out an inquiry to him very fast where we is required to respond. I doubt we will hear from him here. His last post was on 11-24-2001
Is Dale a Guild member or member of the ABS? If he is, can you file a complaint?

I sure hope Dale responds and resolves this a little quicker than he has other issues in the past concerning his knives...........
Feel your pain john sage !

I hope that you're able to recover what belongs to you ! !
Dale is not a member of the ABS or the guild, they wouldn't have him. This has been going on for a year, I doubt Dale will be in a hurry to resolve this, but I just wish I could be there when he gets the first notice from the Postal Inspectors.
This sucks big time, but it is a very good lesson to all of us never to pay upfront for a knife you put on order. As Les Robertson posted on another thread.

quote by Les Robertson
I recommend to my clients to never give a maker a deposit.

With 2 Exceptions.

1) You are asking for something that would require a out of the ordinary out lay of cash for the maker. Very Expensive Ivory, Jewels, Gold, etc.

2) You are ordering something that just about every other knife collector in the world would find butt ugly. Then you pay 100% up front.

If you are going to give a maker a deposit, never give more than 25%...ever (expect in the case of the 2 exceptions).

Next, have the knife maker write up a receipt that gives you the following:

Cost of the knife.
Amount of deposit.
Balance due upon completion.
Estimated delivery date. (this is where you as the collector can put in a "fill or kill" date. That is to say, either the maker has the knife done by that day or he sends you a full refund of your deposit that day.

By the same token, the maker can opt to put his own "fill or kill" option. Such as you own the money within 30 days of the knife being finished or it is his right to re-sell the knife and keep the 20% deposit.

This boys and girls is a legally binding contract between both parties. Providing protection to both parties involved.

It also prevents the maker from charging more money for the knife when it is completed. Additionally, if the maker is a member of the Knifmakers Guild and/or the ABS. You will have documentation should something go wrong.

Always pay for the deposit with a check. This will give you additional evidence should something go wrong.

90% of the knife makers out there are great guys and you will never have a problem. However, there is always that 10%. Most of these makers use your money to augment their "cash flow". Which means they are using your money to buy materials for the knife they are currently working on.

This can become a problem if a few people cancel an order or are slow to pay. As the maker may not have money to buy the materials for your knife. Few if any of these makers put deposits into an escrow type account.

Again, this is a very limited amount of makers.

NOTE: A warning bell should go off if the maker requires a 50% or more deposit. Unless you are ordering the aforementioned "butt ugly" knife.

With the exception of the "butt ugly" knife...never...ever pay for the knife in full.

This can and has lead to a whole different set of complications and problems.

Set up your knife order in a way that makes both you and the knife maker comfortable. Additionally, it's essential to keep a good communication flow.
I agree with Les. An extremely well known knife maker was very responsive to my emails but after I sent him a required sizable down payment it seems he doesnt like to respond to my emails anymore.Sad as it is, it makes me laugh.
I vowed to never buy a knife from Reif when I found out he had substituted real Carbon Fiber with CF patterned Concealex in the inlays on a limited run of knives he did a while back (the model excapes me..).

That just struck me as being the ultimate in arrogance, not to mention the assumption that the knife buying public is that dumb.

Sorry to hear you are getting screwed.
Mr Sage,tell us how you really feel.Don't sugarcoat it this time.
....but he did the same thing to me a couple of years ago. I was lucky enough, I guess, to live a few hours away and told him that I'd be more than happy to take the day off, make the drive to Wichita, and 'settle the matter'.

I had paid up front for a new balisong he was going to offer and ordered it with Damascus, etc., so it was over $600. After waiting months on end, many e-mails, excuses, broken promises, and numerous delivery dates, I was finally able to get my money back (see above)..........

I have to admit that I'm being an a$$hole because I told him I would never say anything about the incident but after seeing the same thing happen again, and probably many other times since, I feel badly that I didn't say something before..........sorry.

Thanks all, maybe a few notes from forum members letting Dale know how you feel would help. You can reach the slug at


Just don't expect a response!!!!
I sent him an email yesterday letting him know that this thread was here and that he should come and tell his side of the story. I also provided him with a link. I got an email back that said "Thank you", but it seems that he does not want come here to explain his actions or defend himself in any way. That says volumes to me.
Shiit...I just spoke with Dale regarding the knife I ordered from him..he says its ready by Thurday next week. Ill keep ya updated. I should have it by next weekend or Monday..After reading this post I called Dale and left a message..I rec,d a call back within the next 15 mn. I told him about my concern because many people were trashing him on this forum..FYI
I looked at his site ( www.angelfire.com/ks/reif ) and I must say, they are some nice knives. Tobad he hasnt come thru.

" If you choose to have a knife made, I will require a small deposit. I will give you a tentative date of shipment... ..." :rolleyes:

Contact Information:
Dale A. Reif
2107 N. Sunrise Ave.
Wichita, KS 67235

Phone: (316)796-0903

E-mail: drknives@aol.com

Hmmmm....I sent Dale check for $75 with my MPF-5 for refinishing 2 1/2 months ago and haven't heard anything since then. My check was cashed last month. Considering what I've heard here, I think I'll give Dale a call.:( Thanks for your posting on this situation John.

Let us know what he says, will you. And if you sent you check via US Mail, guess what, more charges of mail fraud. Looks like Dale is going to have a bad year. All he has to do is be a man, and give me a refund and this will all go away. Hmmmmmm, seems pretty cut and dried to me.
Originally posted by john sage
Looks like Dale is going to have a bad year. All he has to do is be a man, and give me a refund and this will all go away. Hmmmmmm, seems pretty cut and dried to me.

Dale has probably spent your money and doesn't have any to send you a refund. That is one of the big problems with paying for a knife up front. The other is that the maker no longer has any motivation to make the knife.
I too spoke with dale on 5/3/03. I needed to know some info on a particular knife. He seemed fine, but at the time I hadn't read this thread.:confused:
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