The knife lifestyle pops up in GQ mag

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On a long shot, I emailed the James Knives guys about their knives and the knife designer emailed me back. Totally friendly and open guy, to me.

Tells me that he does the design, the knives are made in China by one of the reputable oems that works for Spyderco and Kershaw, and materials are sourced from all over. He says that the video is dated and that while they used to do the assembly at their shop, the oem does the entire manufacture now.

Whatever else, seems like a legit operation. They're not claiming anything that any other reputable cutler is embarrassed of.
For what they're charging for the knives, I assumed they were American made. So we have $150 dollar knife that would probably cost $40-$50 from any other brand. I wish I could wish them luck, nothing against Chinese made, just against overpaying. These guys will sell these as they promote the hipster lifestyle.
 

SpySmasher

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So we have $150 dollar knife that would probably cost $40-$50 from any other brand.
This is, of course, a huge issue. I mean, we know that Chinese oems can make knives that would be worth that price tag but it doesn't seem like it's the case here.
 
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What's the big deal? Magazines like GQ, Maxim, Men's Journal, and Stuff has always been about Man things. They have been covering knives, guns, edc items before the internet made edc a thing. Add to that drink, watches and gadgets. GQ itself may be more about style which is where this "hipster" sentiment is coming from. And Men's journal includes more outdoors. While the rest are somewhere in the middle. But this is not out of the ordinary. They have done this since forever. I've always flipped hrough these mags to see if i see something I like
 
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Have always been about man things?

If these chest shaving, mani/pedi craving things are men, the West is dead.
 
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For what it's worth, the CEO of James Brand got in touch with me after my review, and has expressed a (seemingly sincere) desire to increase the standards both for production and QC, and they're claiming to be working on it. I can't say I recommend the County (which is the only James I've handled for any length of time), but at the very least, they do appear to be trying to catch up to "knife guy" standards.
 

19-3ben

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Having taken a couple ays off from this thread, I think i have a more refined perspective that steps away from my previous comments about normalizing knives.

I guess it really boils down to this. What's good for the industry, is good for us.

Is there a single knife manufacturer who is going to say "Dear Lord, I hope hipsters don't spend their money at my company." No? I can't imagine anyone saying that. More money into the knife industry, and more market penetration is a good thing.
Money is the bottom line in any business, and if an otherwise untapped demographic is going to spend money on the industry that supports our hobby, I fail to see how it's a bad thing.
 

SpySmasher

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What's good for the industry, is good for us.
Again, I would argue that it's not good for the industry to sell anyone overpriced knives. Those sales are short term gains and neither grow the hobby nor the industry in the long term. If the industry, as a whole, offered all of their customers, no matter the demographic, knives priced appropriately to their quality and craftsmanship then that is good for us.
 

austonh

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Overpriced doesn't matter, it gets people into knives regardless. Said individuals won't have any idea that any knife is overpriced until they start to do adequate research. That research will lead them to better offerings for equal money, or equal offerings for much less money. Not to mention many of the knives that collectors currently buy are "overpriced," yet that does not stop them from buying what they want.
 

SpySmasher

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I don't think it does. Not the way you hope. When a newbie spends $150 on a $50 knife I think they more often react with "why did I spend $150 for this" than "wow, I love this knife." It's the latter that makes for knife enthusiasts, not the former.

The value of a knife to a collector is a lot more complicated issue than the value of a knife to a newbie and is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about, essentially, not ripping off those new to carrying a pocketknife.
 

austonh

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It takes a long time to understand the value of things in niche hobbies. Once someone starts doing research, they will find other options that interest them, and they will base the value proposition on the current level of experience. Everyone in the hobby has a 'live and learn' story as they started in the hobby. It's just part of the process and experience.
 
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Everyone seem to have accepted the quarter inch thick overbuilt/overpriced pocket-brick for the tactical community wholesale. Having a bunch of hipster douches sporting overpriced gentleman knives they'll never use isn't that far off. End of the day, the media isn't going to crucify a skinny-jeans wearing lumbersexual's pen knife like they would the dude in the molon labe shirt sporting a ZT or a medford.

These lifestyle companies have been popping up for a while now. All have the same web page layout (ie very well done and aesthetic) charging a premium to a fanbase who really don't know what they're buying and that they can get it cheaper.
 
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Benchmade is coming out with the 'Proper', a beautiful little slipjoint that just oozes class. The blade is S30 you can choose micarta or g10 scale. It presently costs $115 and it's US made. Someone should send the James Company one so they will understand the difference between hipster crap and a real knife.
 

stabman

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End of the day, the media isn't going to crucify a skinny-jeans wearing lumbersexual's pen knife like they would the dude in the molon labe shirt sporting a ZT or a medford.

The media don't care about anyone unless they are stabbing people (or trying to).

Pretty sure that the vast majority of members here, and the "hipsters" as well, are not running around stabbing people (or trying to), so the media ain't gonna write anything about us.

Other than commercials disguised as news in some trendy magazines to sell knives, which is great, because it sells more knives. :thumbsup:
 
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I shudder at the thought of the reaction a subscriber of GQ would give if they got a splinter or swallowed a bug. :rolleyes:
 
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