Not all buying high end. That gave me a chuckle! Most do not buy high end.
I don't buy power tools from Harbor Freight unless it is a one use item and I can foresee no future need for it. Hence, I own one HF power tool and it was used once. Harbor Freight is not a common store that I visit for any reason.
The sales volume is precisely why importers want to have their stuff sold at places like Walmart and Harbor Freight. Even at a profit of $1 each, that is still a million $ and you can bet HF also made at least a dollar each.
J E made Knifes comes from China. They make excellent knifes at a very good price point.
Harbor Freight serves a definite market. People that need a tool for specific purpose that do use it on a regular basis.
Then there are people that can not afford high dollar tools. Yes, tools should be SAFE regardless of the cost.
Companies in the USA have recalls and errors will be made regardless of the country.
I would suggest that most people on this site have used Harbor Freight at one time or the other with good results.
I'll say it again, I wouldn't ever walk into a Harbor Freight store again let alone buy something from them. What I saw the first couple of times was enough to amuse me . . . and frighten me off for good.
For people who don't know tools they have lots of Barbie and Mickey Mouse facades. Enjoy.
I don't have any numbers to prove it , but I suspect that most knives sold are somewhere in the great in-between .
Not really either "high end" or totally unsafe to use absolute junk . Most are probably somewhere in the middle , IMO .
I would NOT equate Walmart to Harbor FS . Walmart is easy to return stuff to and pretty good about it . They don't want to sell stuff that is total junk and have to take a return . They used to have good name brand knives , at least on-line . Less so now , maybe due to MAP pricing ?