Unkosher Dragon Forge?

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Oct 11, 1998
Look at this and tell me what you think:


Dragon forge:


Dragon forge:


Dragon forge:

Each of the Dragon pieces is around 20.00 Check it for yourself at http://www.888knivesrus.com/dragon.htm

Unless I'm not totally mistaken I would say here is somebody copying popular designs, making them in Taiwan and not paying any royalties.

OY! Does anybody have some fire-retardant foam to spray on this thread? In some cases, you would kosher a knife by throughly cleaning and scrubbing it, and then boiling it.

OK . . . Can we discuss what is and is not a "knock off" without getting personal?

Interesting topic, similar to the one on "master of Defemse"?

I have not noticed any personal attacks as stated.

Point seems made with pics posted.

Let everyone get on the side they choose
(sly grin).

Let the fun begin.
Well, to begin with I do not buy any knives made in Taiwan or Pakistan, because they usually last about a month of hard use, if you are lucky. I have always thought that if a company wants to make cheap copies, then they should slightly change the design. These are blatantly ientical. As for me, It's not worth spending the 20 bucks that will go into the trash eventually.

Now of a company stops making a certain knife, then I see another maker comming out with the same design, more power to them. The Butterfly knives are not being made anymore(I think) and at least this company is getting out copies of it. They won't last, but at least they are available. To each his own. If BM had a problem with this they would do something about it
I have another problem with Dragon Forge and WOW that I've been silent about until now. Namely, the reason that I steadfastly refuse to participate over in knifeforums.com is that I see it as little more than a sales vehicle. I joined this group in Feb. only after assurances from Spark and several others that this forum was not going to be just another sales vehicle and was told that WOW was wholesale only with no plans for any retail arm. Yet each day, it seems to be heading more and more in that direction.

I think that the best thing that could happen to Dragon Forge would be zero sales, based on a boycott of them by all forumites due to the rather obvious knockoffs and the potential conflicts. I also think it's rather telling that a simple post of comparitive pictures instantly has the resident censor so worried that I bet he's practically ready to lock this thread right from the start. Why is that? Is honest discussion to much to ask for?

Personally, I've got nothing much against even obvious knockoffs, since in the cutlery world most everything from the wrongly named "Walker Lock" to multitools to pocket clips to whatever can easily and readily be called a ripoff of designs that existed at the turn of the past century. I say let BM's lawyers hack it out with DF's lawyers. What bothers me far more is that I see some real problems down the road with people not feeling comfortable openly discussing any problems with certain knives or companies just based on who owns them or runs them. I haven't seen it happen here, (yet) but there is a certain rather well known forum over on the other site, where the unspoken word seems to be say whatever you like so long as it isn't at all negative in regards to certain doggy knives. I hope never to see that same thing here.

'nuff said
First I have no intentions of closing this thread or deleting it. I can take heat like anyone else.

The knives that come through Dragon Forge are made in Taiwan. I will not argue whether or not they are knock offs because that would be foolish.

I do not make any of these knives. They are made by a company in Taiwan and they are really damn good knives for the money. We have tested each of them and they hold up quite nicely. This discussion has been brought up before and the subject of knock offs is always around on the boards somewhere.

That issue can be used against damn near everyone.

Does anyone actually think the Pinnacle is not a knock off of Chris Reeve? This is not to say I will sell knock off Benchmades because they knock off Chris. I just found a great source of knives that offer substantial value for the money and I will market them as long as there is a market for them. Or I could just drop the whole idea and go on another course. This is just a test to see how they will move. If they move, I will put more money into the project and approach makers to see if we can license designs. In fact I have every intention of meeting with Allen and with Pat to discuss these issues. Don't you think I could move a lot more if I had their blessing? The problem is that Allen is under contract with Benchmade and he may not be able to license another product. I am to blame for that because I was the one who introduced Allen to Benchmade and got that ball rolling. Either way I will look into it.

I also think it's rather telling that a simple post of comparative pictures instantly has the resident censor so worried that I bet he's practically ready to lock this thread right from the start. Why is that? Is honest discussion to much to ask for?
You will note that this thread was not locked, and no one is censoring it,
or deleting it. You must be confusing BladeForums.com with something else.

WOW does not sell to the public and your argument is completely without grounds. I am not sure what you mean by we are heading that way. In fact we are heading the opposite way. I sold my retail business 3 years ago. WOW
may very well be sold in the next few weeks to a west coast company. I am about to launch 2 new companies totally unrelated to knives.

On what grounds do you base your arguement?

BladeForums is still in the red. I pay about $1,000 a month alone to keep this site up and we are not taking that much in through the store. The software used to run this site is not FREE, the links software is not FREE
and the banner software is not FREE, plus we just bought a server which cost many thousands of dollars. We have 19 banners running at a cost of $100 each. A drop in the bucket compared to the $20,000 + this site will cost me this year alone all paid for out of MY pocket. We do plan to make revenues from the site to help offset the cost of running it. If you see a problem with that, then maybe you could help pay for it. Don't take the last statement personally or as an attack.

A long time ago we asked for donations to help keep the site running. To date we have received $0.00. I am not asking for a handout here just a hand (is that a trademark? sounds familiar). The profits from the store will
help offset the costs of running this site and the sales do not interfere with other dealers. I have to have some way to pay for this site or else it will become a liability and I will be forced to shut it down.

If I wanted this to be an extension of my business I would certainly not let many of the dealers who advertise here do so if they don't buy from me. Anyone and everyone is welcome. I would also have a ton of products in the BladeForums store. Geez with over 125,000 hits a day now I would have one
hell of a business! But I don't and won't. That is why we are getting the server. Through the funds we raise by hosting websites and other things we can do here, we should be able to make BladeForums self sufficient. This is also why we are seeking exclusive products to sell. We do not want to
interfere with dealers and I mean that, but remember they benefit from this site too so it is in their best interest that we keep it running. Just imagine how many hits we would be getting if we had the revenue to run ads
in the rags.

Now back to Dragon Forge
The vision I have for Dragon Forge is to bring out knives from Taiwan which are of good quality. I know they are not as good as Benchamde or any other famous US makers, but for the money they are Sweeeeeeet (Damn South Park). Then I will give them a name and a warranty which none of the other knives
offer. I have sold (Wholesale & Retail) knock offs for years. I can see if they are marketed directly against the original, they may do some harm, but the person looking for the $100+ original is not going to buy the knock off anyway. They are two distinct markets and they simply don't cross, and if
they do it is so rare that I have yet to EVER see it and I have sold several million dollars in knives. No one has ever called me and said "Hey dude I just bought a knife from you and I thought I was getting the real thing" ever. However what I have seen is a customer come in and buy an inexpensive knife only to return later to buy and even more expensive knife and so on. I think most members can relate to that. And no they don't just buy the more expensive ones because they broke the el cheapo; they buy them because they are hooked like all of us in here.

Now if I wanted to, I could really show you all a plethora of knock offs in the marketplace made by very well known companies that we all know and admire. The Pinnacle is just one example.

If a maker contacts me and has a problem with any knife I sell, I will ditch it immediately. In the future I will actually send a knife to a maker that I believe is being knocked off and ask for permission to market the knife. My vision here is to do what has never been done and that is this.

In the box with the knife will be the knock off and a flyer that states the knife is a knock off of an original. The original makers name and address and web site will be in the box with the knife. I think the makers would
like this as it is not currently being done. Most people who buy a Stryker have no clue who Allen Elishewitz is. It is not on the box or in the box anywhere. Only on their web site and in their catalog which most people
never see. The knock offs are not going away and this is one way to at least give something back to the makers who make the original designs. However doing this may also be viewed as giving a green light to the
companies who make knock offs. I just think if the knock offs are going to be here regardless, the makers should make something off of them.

This should help custom makers increase their business.

Dragon Forge will be at the Blade Show and we will bring this idea up to each maker which has a knock off in the market.

One other thing to consider is that these knives have been out in the market for several years, and when I say these knives, I mean these, specific knives. What I have done is put them under a common label
and offered a lifetime warranty on them, something that you will never see with anyone else selling them. You could boycott Dragon Forge, but that is not going to change the fact that these knives were here before Dragon Forge, and will be here after Dragon Forge. All that will change is that there will be no Dragon Forge, no warranty, and I'll have to move on to something else.

But let's face it. How many of you actually buy these knives? Probably close to none, because you are better educated than most of the knife buying public. You buy Benchmades, Microtechs, and custom knives. You need to remember that these knives aren't marketed towards you. They are marketed towards people looking for a low end, medium quality knife that looks nice, but doesn't cost much. The people who want to make an impulse buy and have something they are happy with.

A few months ago, people were complaining because they couldn't get decent Butterfly knives from anywhere. Now I've provided them, and, on top of that, slapped a lifetime warranty on them. It's a double edged sword, I can either give you what you ask for, and do my best to make sure you are satisfied, or I can ignore what you want, and not answer your requests.

Either way, the knives are still going to be there, with or without me putting them under the Dragon Forge name. I just thought I would do it, because I would offer something that no one else would, at a similar price.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

[This message has been edited by Spark (edited 11 April 1999).]

An inexpensive butterfly with a lifetime guarantee?
Uh, no, I don't buy these knives, but I think I'm going to start!

BTW, Mike, you are a gentleman and a capitalist! (My two highest compliments.)
I can easily see what you're talking about with the Leapord copy and the butterfly copy, but I really can't say that the other one is a true copy of the auto stryker. Sure, it has very similar blade geometry, but the similarity ends there.
Would you call a CS Tanto a knockoff of a Hartsfield Tanto just because of similar blade geometry?
What about "high end" knockoffs? Remember Blackjack knives? These were all direct copies of other, more expensive and harder to obtain custom blades. The copy of the Randall No.1 comes first to mind. The Blackjack knives were very good quality and a great value for the money. (see all the blackjack threads on this forum) They weren't quite as good as the Originals, but they were probably 80 to 90 percent as good and cost about half as much.
If you don't want anybody to copy you, trade mark, copywrite, patent, and then sue the hell out of the other guy!

Definition of a knock off
A knock off is a rip off. It is a knife (or whatever) that looks like the original and is being PASSED OFF as the original. Example, fake Rolexes, fake sunglasses, gucci handbags, etc.
None of that is taking place here. Nobody's saying that these are the originals or even as good as the originals.
I'm willing to bet that if Les D'Asis or Pat Crawford had a problem with any of these knives, Mike would have pulled them off the shelves and deleted them from his web site within MINUTES of the first complaint received.
If these guys don't have a problem with it, why should we?

I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!

Fair enough, Mike. Thanks for explaining some things about this site that I didn't know. I think my underlying concern is still a valid *possibility*, namely that having a discussion site hosted by someone inside industry, (any industry) tends to hamper free and open dialogue in some subtle and sometimes surprisingly non-subtle ways. Fortunately, that concern exists here only as a *possibility* since you and the others do a good job of keeping dialogues open. Still, short of a non-profit springing out of the woodwork to bear the expense, this is still the best thing going. I personally thank you for the incredible time and $$ that you've put into it. It is appreciated.

I agree with you about knockoffs, and it sounds like you've taken a pretty good approach. I've argued for years that the overwhelming majority of designs in modern cutlery are appropriated from somewhere. Some are just more obvious than others. It does give rise to an interesting q. Namely, how many points of similarity does a knife need to have to an existing knife to be considered a knockoff? Also, is improving on an existing design still considered to be an infringement? For instance, most folks here might call most everything by companies like Explorer Brands a knockoff, however if a small time maker takes an existing design, gives it better handles and steel, then folks call it "custom". Weird, huh?

I personally do not have a problem with knock-offs, as they have been around in every product market and will continue to be around for many years to come.
This is what making money in this world is all about. Car manufacturers, Gun manufacturers,Tool manufacturers,Clothing manufacturers(you get the picture) do it all the time,only the general public does not realize it.
If someone can deliver a product that looks or performs like another,but at a fraction of the cost ,some people who are not looking for top quality will buy it.And rest assured that most of those people will be happy with their purchase as long as it doesn't fall apart or break down.
Also note that most of the people that buy lower quality merchandise know that they are not going to get the same performance as top quality.That is why some consumers buy BMW'S and Mercedes, while others are perfectly content with Fords and Chevy's.

To sum it up in a two words:Free Enterprise

Now to get a little off thread: Mike, you stated in an above post that you might be selling WOW in a few weeks.
If this is so,what are your intentions with BladeForums? I for one would hate to see it shut down.

BladeForums is my baby and it will not be sold. The funny thing is I was made an offer and refused it. A nice offer too! The problem was that the person wanted to use it as an extension fo their business and make it primarily into an auction site. No way.

If I sell WOW and I mean IF, it will not effect this site at all. I have HUGE plans for this site and many will debute at the Blade Show. So visit the booth (#85) and see Spark and myself along with the full line of Dragon Forge knives.

I really hope the custom makers go for my plan as it will at least help them in many ways and it will be a more proactive approach to a very touchy problem.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!

Dragon forge is not the worst, in my opinion the site below is even worse:


All of God's Critters may have knives, but most of them are Benchmade Knives

I'm sure everyone will be glad to hear that you have no intention of giving up this forum.
I have gained a great deal of knowledge in this forum and I'm sure many others have too.
Dark Nemesis,

I don't know if you noticed,and not to put them down,But Knifezilla.com is a part of Pioneer Valley Knife and Tool.
All they did was get a catalog from Double 8 Trading Co.and order a whole bunch of Master knives,Jaguarknives,the Gigand Mosquito,and a some of other stuff from their catalog and are selling them through their site.
i agree with just about everything mike said, except the part about the pinnacle being a sebenza knockoff. to me, it barely resembles the aesthetics of the sebenza. other than the lock, what are the similarities? titanium scales? everyone does titanium scales. the CRKT S-2 is much closer to a sebenza knockoff than the pinnacle. it's the aesthetics of the pinnacle that made me buy one. not the lock. i think it would be just as good (maybe better) with an axis lock.

That is dead on the money Jailhack.

Best Regards,
Mike Turber
BladeForums Site Owner and Administrator
Do it! Do it right! Do it right NOW!


I think the knock off idea is good for persons starting to collect and use knives. This is how I started.

As for you wanting to make knock offs of custom makers, I like it!! As I am a new make for about a year and this would help any makers' business. I am in.

It is just like a car company which has the low cost car, then mid cost, and then the luxery car. Same could go for the knife business.


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!!! No, I had no idea they were Pioneer Valley. Thanks for the information
Must have a word with them "after" I receive my order
There is definately a "low end market" with prices below the Benchmade/Spydie level or even discounted Cold Steel stuff.

Please recall that the US limits handgun ownership and CCW issuance to age 21 and over. That leaves a WHOLE lotta younger people who can usually be trusted with lawful self defense but are heavily discriminated against by law enforcement. It's not smart for them to carry expensive steel even if they could afford it.

Next, CRKT has proven that good Taiwanese stuff exists. If Mike is hand-selecting sources and models that are worth the modest prices and won't fail in a fight, well hell, that's more critical than finding pieces that are 100% original designs.

So I think his priorities are in order. A knife is a SURVIVAL TOOL first and foremost, all other considerations are secondary.

Jim March
Jailhack and Dark Nemisis!!!!!!!!!!
(or anybody who can answer this Q.)
So what's the deal with Pioneer Valley?
I never heard of them til you guys mentioned them. I went and checked out their website and they look like any other net knife dealer. At first glance, it looks like they have a fair selection.

So what gives? What do you know that I don't?
(please don't list everything that you know and I don't. There's not that much room on the forum!

I cut it, and I cut it, and it's STILL too short!

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