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Which Knife Brands have you seen fall out of favour?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by SharpieB, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. highestpoint

    highestpoint Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Hinderer and ZT are two good mentions.. I think they're going too far down the "Framelock and Flipper" road without an exit in sight. I miss ZT's "built like a tank".

    I think Microtech will spike this year with the return of the Socom.. but as soon as someone needs service I suppose we will see if they stay or plummet.
    mt666tm and Knives&More like this.
  2. Halfneck


    Jun 30, 2005
    Cold Steel had a rough period. Things started getting better with the addition of the Triad lock to their folders. Also they started being the go-to brand for those knife-nuts that like large folders. Most recently they upgraded their steel to CTS-XHP - though I heard it is getting changed to S35V now.

    Mantis/Quartermaster is just a train wreck.
    anthonycastorena2014 likes this.
  3. Ourorboros


    Jan 23, 2017
    I think there are two factors - a natural leveling off and a certain sameness in their product line.
    When they entered the market, they had a lot of value of their price. Very good flipping action, S30VN for less than $100, etc. So they hit the market in a big way & got good reviews. Now they've been around a while. Knife enthusiasts mostly know about them & people who want their stuff probably have one. So there is a leveling of sales.
    Second, a lot of their stuff is highly similar. Flippers if it isn't Vanguard. Tall blades, tall handles. Strong, if not aggressive styling - not mall ninja-ish like traditional Cold Steel, but a more adult version who remembers being like that in their younger days. Last year's addition of the Feist was a welcome addition. It added some variation in their product line, their first bona fide gentleman's knife. Even that was another titanium frame lock.
    I'd say they can use more medium & small knives in their product line. In day to day use a gentleman's knife is just carries easier. It also appeals to a different market/need than the rest of their knives.
    The Burgh likes this.
  4. RichardBay


    Jul 13, 2014
    I would agree with most of the people here on this topic so far.

    But for a while I thought everyone was going towards a certain knife but due to the lack of a good business model left many skeptical. I personally have no desire to do business with them based what I have read here.

  5. Final Option

    Final Option Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2012
    I don’t totally believe the premise than certain knives have fallen out of favor as much of supply and demand. The example the OP gave about Hinderer prices had a lot to do with the scarcity caused by lack of production. I still believe the Hinderer Brand has value however with increased production and availability, prices came in line with other production knives.

    The saturation of the market of framelocks by foreign and domestic manufactures will indeed affect pricing. More production less demand the economic principal of “supply and demand” will certainly play into what the consumer is buying . Also we fortunately have rising stars in the knife world whose knife you got to have, sort of like the stock market, certain stocks are hot then after awhile they get cold.
  6. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Hinderer are not some much out of favor as they lost their being exclusive and hard to get. Hinderer ramped up their production capacity considerably , so now all pay bench prices. Which were always in the $400 range. Previously people had to pay up in the secondary market(as well as some dealers) if they wished to obtain one. Only 1st responders could buy at bench prices then.

    Some of the younger custom makers seemed to have fallen back to reality.

    I'll add Gerber-not a recent event but they used to make a nice knife
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  7. GIRLYmann


    Nov 7, 2005
    Al mar knives, sog knives, puma knives, dorkOps (?) comes to mind.
    Granted there are ups and downs in any business.
    However the fate of not making a comeback in the top tier
    With some of these companies
    Must hang like the Sword of Damocles.
    And, oh dear! do I hate opening a can of worms.
    but truth be told
    I m of the opinion that some companies/ brands fall out of favour
    Due to change of management or ownership.
    Lack of vision or probably just finance to keep up with trends.
    Pure inability to expand it range of products.
    Sadly resting on its laurels as a single season one hit knife wonder...
  8. Lee D

    Lee D Basic Member Basic Member

    May 27, 2013
    For me, it’s Kershaw. Too many 8cr Chinese manufactured knives to keep me interested. I would have jumped on the XL Skyline, but unfortunately...
  9. McFeeli


    Feb 13, 2017
    It seems like Schrade is missing from the thread so far. They're still held in high esteem by many people, but that's mostly for their older models. The new models are hardly ever even mentioned here.
    jux t and anthonycastorena2014 like this.
  10. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    A few that hit close to home for me:

    Gerber - these were quite the knife in their day. Great steel, manufactured to very high standards, and eve the sheaths were incredible. I have a Mark II that I got in a trade deal and had no idea what it was worth. Liked the knife, but in the lack of adornment made me think it was a cheapie so I used it for everything you shouldn't use a knife for including throwing. When I finally broke the tip off the blade, I sent it in to Gerber and they reground the blade, cleaned it all up, and refinished the textured handle. Wow! A few years ago I knew they weren't what they were, but still was attracted to their Paraframe. The only knife I have ever owned that fell apart in my pocket... twice.

    Queen knives were pretty great stuff many years ago. Hard to get around here, they were considered kind of a near "custom" knife. Pretty finishes, lovely scale material, etc. Started buying them from a dealer here many years ago and finally quit as the quality was so poor it was unacceptable. I was advised by the dealer himself to quit buying them as the blade rubbing, not enough snap to fully close, VERY poor grinds, and cracked scales was probably going to be "as good as it gets". No doubt everyone here knows they just filed for bankruptcy. Queen is actually the brand that put me onto trying Chinese made traditionals.

    Maybe the worst - Puma. Wow. When I was a kiddo back in the late 60s - early 70s, they were the top of the heap. They had hand made models, and every knife was hand assembled, fitted, and in the case of their folders adjusted. I never could afford a Puma, but the local sporting goods store kept them in stock so I always got to see them. For 20 years I have wondered what happened to them; outdated steels, use of poor quality materials, in some cases awful fit and finish. Their quality seems to have actually gone up since they moved some of their assembly to China.

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    JDRanger likes this.
  11. aleforme

    aleforme Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 21, 2013
    Have the agree with SOG, Al Mar.

    With SOG, I just don't think the quality is there for the price. At half the price, they would get more cred I think.

    Al Mar is interesting. I think it's two things. Lack of new designs and lack of upgraded steels. Their build quality is there and it's generally outstanding but I have a hard time with the price for the "lower end" steel used.
  12. AKnife


    May 10, 2009
    Kershaw for me. Once they started the "budget" China line I lost interest in almost all the new stuff they have to offer. Some of the designs are good, but I prefer USA made and better steels.

    I think Hinderer knives took the biggest hit in recent years. Their supply caught up w/ demand and now lots of people lost interest. I feel like a bunch of people were banking on them staying at a high secondary price and got burned. I was able to get one direct ($395) when they were still at ~$850 on the forums.
  13. Phixt


    May 28, 2016
    So we're mostly talking about supply demand here it seems, as opposed to favor/flavor of the week. AK BG went for bout $275 (or maybe it was $295...) on Exchange recently.
  14. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017
    Ontario knives took a hit over the rat cutlery dispute, but imo they’ve come back since dan maragni and tooj came onboard. Kershaw and Gerber, and many others moved a lot of production to China without any quality control. 8cr is probably the pinnacle of their offerings, aside from their Portland made knives.
    buckfynn likes this.
  15. Eagle Scout

    Eagle Scout

    Mar 10, 2010
    Some great and valid points made on an interesting topic.

    The supply side (retail operators) would have a good indication based on changes in sales. My opinion would only be perception and effect my personal consumer decisions.

    Buying trends aside, price plays a big role to most everyone except the "aficionados". Would like to better understand what percentage of the folding knife market (in terms of number of units sold) is made of pieces costing over $300. Maybe 10% with 90% of folding knifes sold under $100? Just a guess.

    The guy at the gas station or Walmart spending less than $20 might have a bigger impact on overall sales trends than me buying an MP-1 or Reate Horizon D. You need to be fairly "educated" in the knife market to find and justify buying a cutting tool made of those materials at that cost.

    Of everything mentioned, I guess I'd pick on BUCK for not offering a higher end EDC that competes with the materials and build quality of pieces in the higher price range. Loved BUCK in my youth but would be hard pressed to carry one today. That said, I'm confident they sell a TON of knives per year.
    dkolds likes this.
  16. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    Here’s some well known examples.

    Gerber- It’s been so long since they have been considered a quality product I honestly think they forget how to make a good knife.

    Benchmade- They were considered one of the top players but a spat of QC issues made them notorious amongst collectors. Luckily they have always maintained good CS.

    HTM- Here’s an interesting one. The company was started a few years ago when the Ti flipper framelock craze was just starting. Their first and flagship model was the DDR Gunhammer and I remember everyone wanted one. Unfortunately nearly every knife they released had a defect and they blew what was alot of good anticipation.

    Camillis, Schrade, etc. - American companies that went under and were revived using Chinese magic as shambling zombies of their former selves.

    Microtech- as covered above, shady business practices left a bad taste in the knife consuming public’s mouth. Nobody likes a thief and despite their attempts to justify their actions we all know two wrongs don’t make a right. (They claimed the original slight against them was ZT was going to release an OTF; as if only MT was allowed to produce those) Then there was the whole producing a clone of the Steyr Aug thing and trying to sell them for like 4000$ a piece.

    Strider- lots of QC issues which were fortunately resolved. The owner, Mc Burger, is a notorious liar. Still they make good desireable knives it seems.

    Frost- These guys apparently began by producing some pretty awesome stuff. Sadly they used any positive reputation they gained to immediately begin hawking the shoddiest Chinese made knives.
    Low_rez, austonh and mt666tm like this.
  17. kylemiller

    kylemiller Basic Member Basic Member

    May 18, 2016
    For all Benchmade's QC problems, I've never heard of heat treat being a common one. ZT on the other hand is my choice for this very reason. I'm really hoping their 20 CV phase is more consistent than their S35VN and Elmax. And grind all the way down to the bottom. I think every ZT I've owned or handled got really chubby near the bottom. Have they ever done a deep hollow grind?
  18. madcap_magician

    madcap_magician Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2005
    This thread is about brands that fell out of favor, though. Nobody really ever thought Frost or Ganzo were any good, and Brous and Gerber were more like "Turds who occasionally make something interesting."
    ChazzyP likes this.
  19. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    Strider is about the only one I can think of that really fell out of favour, due to the actions/lies of the owner.
    With the major production of them being over (and out of stock just about everywhere), the knives may actually come back into favour, as secondary market selling and acquisition may be viewed as a separate thing...none of that money goes into the pockets of Mick or Duane.

    Seems from some companies listed, folks read it as "Knife Companies I Don't Like." :D

    There are already multiple threads for that. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  20. Yonose


    Jul 10, 2017

    Just a note on Buck; they have started making a few excellent folders in s30v, s35v, and even s110v if I’m not mistaken. The Unbiquitous bos flame signature still carries a certain pride of ownership, even to collectors like myself who ordinarily don’t buy s30v anymore. Bucks’ open season pro line, especially the folder and 4.5” skinner/camp knife combine old school design with modern steel. The older buck 119’s and 120’s (pre 1981) definitely used a steel that is much higher quality than what came after.
    sabre cat and buckfynn like this.

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