The fall of Emerson Knives

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You know what, I'm not a huge fan of Ernie or his knives but I have to give him props for writing that post on his company's Instgram page. That he'd post something that risks upsetting a number of his fans is quite a stand-up move. Monitoring the comments on other Instagram pages, it is clear that this could have gone very poorly for him.
 
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Based upon my usage of multiple dozens of Emerson knives, the boldened portion above is frankly difficult to believe - no disrespect intended. 154cm at EKI's heat treat with a chisel edge would have to be one of the easiest blades to sharpen (by intent BTW) in a modern folder.
Maybe they just can't get the hang of sharpening chisel edges. I can't do it as well as sharpening a V edge, so I could understand that.
 
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I have owned some Emerson knives. I cannot really carry them here for legal reasons but IMHO they are better than their reputation. I never had any real QC issues and I'd actually prefer the CQC-7s I owned that were made by Emerson over those made by Benchmade. But the problem with Emerson is that they didn't really improve in the last 20 years. Sure, there are some new models and there are versions with better steels but in the same time Benchmade had the AXIS lock and the 940 and the Griptilian etc etc and Spyderco went from mainly backlocks to the compression lock and dozens of supersteels. Emerson lacks innovations or - to put it slightly more positive - is too old-school. IMHO being old-school and sticking to things that work isn't per se a bad. But there are some things where Emerson seems to ignore the community completely. E.g. why don't they make the mini A100 regularly anymore? Why don't they offer deep carry pocket clips for their knives (okay same goes for Spyderco and Hinderer I guess)? Why don't they offer other steels? Why do they stick (pun intended) to titanium lock bar linerlocks?

I still like Emerson knives as collectors items or an example of how tactical knives were made circa 2000 but I wouldn't pay full price for one and I probably wouldn't carry one.
 
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I have owned some Emerson knives. I cannot really carry them here for legal reasons but IMHO they are better than their reputation. I never had any real QC issues and I'd actually prefer the CQC-7s I owned that were made by Emerson over those made by Benchmade. But the problem with Emerson is that they didn't really improve in the last 20 years. Sure, there are some new models and there are versions with better steels but in the same time Benchmade had the AXIS lock and the 940 and the Griptilian etc etc and Spyderco went from mainly backlocks to the compression lock and dozens of supersteels. Emerson lacks innovations or - to put it slightly more positive - is too old-school. IMHO being old-school and sticking to things that work isn't per se a bad. But there are some things where Emerson seems to ignore the community completely. E.g. why don't they make the mini A100 regularly anymore? Why don't they offer deep carry pocket clips for their knives (okay same goes for Spyderco and Hinderer I guess)? Why don't they offer other steels? Why do they stick (pun intended) to titanium lock bar linerlocks?

I still like Emerson knives as collectors items or an example of how tactical knives were made circa 2000 but I wouldn't pay full price for one and I probably wouldn't carry one.


Seems the improvements are only if it cut costs... case and point is going from g10 back spacer to standoffs. It’s interesting Eki hopped on that train super fast turning all their folders to standoffs rather than g10 backspacers about 3 years ago. My suspicion is the backspacers require more time fitting and each models backspacer is non interchangable. I actually like the g10 backspacer but another issue with the EKI community is you can’t really stick your neck out and have an opinion


Another change in the over decade I’ve been collecting production Emerson’s is about 2 years ago they stopped stamping the blades with mfg year for whatever reason. Hard to imagine it’s a cost thing here... it really hurts my motivation to collect these anymore, no damn date stamp. And again, cannot really have a say because the EKI community will tear you apart because how dare you even suggest an opinion contrary
 
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Officer's Match

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Seems the improvements are only if it cut costs... case and point is going from g10 back spacer to standoffs. It’s interesting Eki hopped on that train super fast turning all their folders to standoffs rather than g10 backspacers about 3 years ago. My suspicion is the backspacers require more time fitting and each models backspacer is non interchangable. I actually like the g10 backspacer but another issue with the EKI community is you can’t really stick your neck out and have an opinion


Another change in the over decade I’ve been collecting production Emerson’s is about 2 years ago they stopped stamping the blades with mfg year for whatever reason. Hard to imagine it’s a cost thing here... it really hurts my motivation to collect these anymore, no damn date stamp. And again, cannot really have a say because the EKI community will tear you apart because how dare you even suggest an opinion contrary
Backspacers absolutely can be interchanged. The move to standoffs was to reduce manufacturing steps and to simplify later repairs. A standoff can easily be replaced by the customer, whereas a stripped/damaged liner (especially the spring side) is a send in warranty issue. For the record, I prefer (and only own) old school backspacer Emersons.
 

Mitchell Knives

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I'm sure Emerson is still doing just fine.

Emerson designs are fantastic.

The actual execution is lacking as some have mentioned previously. This doesn't really make sense to me because their grinds seem to be spot on. It's everything else that seems to have issues.

I can't see myself ever buying another one.
 
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Seems the improvements are only if it cut costs... case and point is going from g10 back spacer to standoffs. It’s interesting Eki hopped on that train super fast turning all their folders to standoffs rather than g10 backspacers about 3 years ago. My suspicion is the backspacers require more time fitting and each models backspacer is non interchangable. I actually like the g10 backspacer but another issue with the EKI community is you can’t really stick your neck out and have an opinion


Another change in the over decade I’ve been collecting production Emerson’s is about 2 years ago they stopped stamping the blades with mfg year for whatever reason. Hard to imagine it’s a cost thing here... it really hurts my motivation to collect these anymore, no damn date stamp. And again, cannot really have a say because the EKI community will tear you apart because how dare you even suggest an opinion contrary

I always wonderee why they changed the non locking liner to steel and not the locking liner. IMHO that could have been viewed as an improvement.

Regarding Emerson fans: I am still relatively new to the knife enthusiast scene (I started visiting forums in 2016) but my perception is that 99% of the people here don't like Emerson knives. The only guys that like them are either "old-school" or actual users (mostly, LEOs, first responders, military). I suspect that these.people are the core audience of Emerson.
 

whp

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Come on, let's be real here, you clearly just dislike Ernie fine. Don't be over dramatic. The ig post shows like 2 people that won't buy Enerson any more, and they probably didn't to begin with. The post also showed tons of support for the message he wrote.

You trying to prove that he is some kind of closet racist is beyond disgusting and disrespectful to say the least.

For anybody who wants to know the person Ernie is I have attached the post from yesterday on Instagram.

8040.jpg
I can t disagree with any part of this instagram post. How could any law abiding citizen?
 

Quiet

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I have owned some Emerson knives. I cannot really carry them here for legal reasons but IMHO they are better than their reputation. I never had any real QC issues and I'd actually prefer the CQC-7s I owned that were made by Emerson over those made by Benchmade. But the problem with Emerson is that they didn't really improve in the last 20 years. Sure, there are some new models and there are versions with better steels but in the same time Benchmade had the AXIS lock and the 940 and the Griptilian etc etc and Spyderco went from mainly backlocks to the compression lock and dozens of supersteels. Emerson lacks innovations or - to put it slightly more positive - is too old-school. IMHO being old-school and sticking to things that work isn't per se a bad. But there are some things where Emerson seems to ignore the community completely. E.g. why don't they make the mini A100 regularly anymore? Why don't they offer deep carry pocket clips for their knives (okay same goes for Spyderco and Hinderer I guess)? Why don't they offer other steels? Why do they stick (pun intended) to titanium lock bar linerlocks?

I still like Emerson knives as collectors items or an example of how tactical knives were made circa 2000 but I wouldn't pay full price for one and I probably wouldn't carry one.

He's gotta protect the income stream of all the guys on the Emerson Facebook pages and USN selling them back and forth to each other for $250-$300. The amount of "brotherhood" on display when those dudes gouge each other is magnificent to behold. LOL

Seriously, I've owned two of them (and just never liked them, too many other better knives in that size profile). The full size A100 though, is about as classic a design as they come. I don't like Emerson, and don't support him, his company, or carry his knives hardly ever anymore, but that's one of the ones I've kept.

Of course, MY A100 was made a lot better with a full flat regrind courtesy of our very own WValtakis WValtakis . Cuts like a laser now in a way that it never did with the standard Emerson grind.
 

Lee D

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Of course, MY A100 was made a lot better with a full flat regrind courtesy of our very own WValtakis WValtakis . Cuts like a laser now in a way that it never did with the standard Emerson grind.

Forgive me if you’ve posted pics of said knife before, I must have missed them, but could you maybe share a couple?
The A100 (standard and mini both) are the only Emersons I still have any interest in buying. They are the design I think of when someone mentions “Emerson”
 

GronK

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There are times when a guy just wants to cut in a straight line in a precise direction. If I need a chisel edge I pick up a chisel.
 
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I will never fathom the rationale behind combining the most aggressive G10 my fingers have ever had the misfortune of touching with a blade feature designed around ripping the knife out of your pants as fast as possible. Love the Commander recurve, though.
 

WValtakis

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Forgive me if you’ve posted pics of said knife before, I must have missed them, but could you maybe share a couple?
The A100 (standard and mini both) are the only Emersons I still have any interest in buying. They are the design I think of when someone mentions “Emerson”

img_20191002_141435_979-jpg.1208082


:D:cool:
 

VernonRemington

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Like some of the other guys, I like Emerson knives, but recognize the flaws. My Commander, Roadhouse, and Cqc7 all get pocket time and use. I like the ergos and don’t mind beating them up. I’m a novice sharpener and able to get good results with 154cm.

The more recent releases (2018- now) have better finish than some of my older ones. My Roadhouse was smooth a silk out of the box. Maybe I just got lucky.

A few years ago I was “lucky” enough to win a custom Tiger in the annual lottery. I was shocked at how what a piece of crap it was. It was so tight I was barely able to open it. I tried to loosen it up some, but couldn’t get a smooth opening without a ton of blade play. I feel like it needed a full disassembly or spa treatment from someone like josh at REK. Instead of messing with it I sold it just to recover my money. My A-100 po’ boy from fastlt1nos had much better fit and finish than an actual Emerson custom!
 

John_0917

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I can t disagree with any part of this instagram post. How could any law abiding citizen?
I don’t disagree with it either, but I guarantee a lot of people do.

My issue with him similar to the Kershaw collaborations (made in China), Ernie is disingenuous with his words versus his actions. He’s written more than once in ways that are definitely xenophobic and Islamophobic, promoted Crusader imagery etc and then goes and makes knives in China and writes about equality and the like.
 
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stabman

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Regarding Emerson fans: I am still relatively new to the knife enthusiast scene (I started visiting forums in 2016) but my perception is that 99% of the people here don't like Emerson knives. The only guys that like them are either "old-school" or actual users (mostly, LEOs, first responders, military). I suspect that these.people are the core audience of Emerson.

I don't think that 99% of people here dislike the knives, and I also don't think that most of the fans are actual users.

I have 5 actual Emerson knives (and 2 Emerson ZT knives), and I always felt the Emerson knives are about $100 overpriced. The ZT knives are right on for what they should cost. However, the ergonomics are great, and the steel is not crap like some people say; I found that out by actually using the knives to cut actual things I needed to cut. ;) Not the best edge retention, but also not the worst.

But yeah, about $100 overpriced across the board.
I will, however, get some more likely at some point in the future when I have extra cash again where I can not care about spending $100 more than I should have. :D
 
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I am actually in the process of selling off all of my Emersons. I will probably keep my UBR Commander, but the rest are finding new homes.

It got to the point that I wouldn't wave them much because of how much it wore the liner lock out. To me, that's Emerson's fatal flaw...that weak and easily worn out lock. Somebody mentioned Charlie Mike earlier...his comment that pretty much every Emerson could stand to be converted to a frame lock is true.

I can forgive the weird chisel grind and get over the fit and finish, but a combat knife that relies upon a thin liner lock just doesn't make sense to me. A Spyderco Tenacious has a much better lock up at such a cheaper price.

Someone mentioned Cold Steel earlier. I am actually moving into Cold Steel for folders almost exclusively, with a few ZTs in the mix. The ergonomics on several of the Cold Steel knives is equal to or even superior to Emerson...like the Bush Ranger. Heck, I sold my Persian after getting a CS Talwar. It was superior in every way imaginable. Not to mention the fact that the action on Triad lock knives seems to have improved so much in recent years.

I would love to buy American, but I just can't do liner locks anymore...so Emerson is off the menu.
 
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I always wonderee why they changed the non locking liner to steel and not the locking liner. IMHO that could have been viewed as an improvement.

Regarding Emerson fans: I am still relatively new to the knife enthusiast scene (I started visiting forums in 2016) but my perception is that 99% of the people here don't like Emerson knives. The only guys that like them are either "old-school" or actual users (mostly, LEOs, first responders, military). I suspect that these.people are the core audience of Emerson.

This has always cracked me up about EKI. The attitude of we don't finish our knives well because Navy Seals and SWAT cops are gonna use them for war is insane. Spyderco PM2, ZT0562, 20CV Griptilian, etc are all far superior in fit finish and materials, and cost less than an EKI. My time in the Marine Corps and Law Enforcement has taught me one thing about being the target audience of certain manufacturers: most servicemen and cops are happy carrying gas station knives that look cool before they'll ever spend $200 on a pocket knife that will be used to open MREs or trim fingernails. EKI knives are carried by guys who like EKI, whether or not they belong to any elite group.
 
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