Al Mar SERE 2020

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by MBG, Jul 30, 2020.


Is the Al Mar SERE 2020 worth the price?

  1. Yes

    3 vote(s)
  2. No

    28 vote(s)
  3. Maybe

    4 vote(s)
  1. MBG


    May 21, 2020
    I want one of these knives but I have a hard time justifying the price vs the materials. Two knives that I own for comparison are the RAT-1 and the Spyderco Tenacious. All three of these knives seem to be very comparable. Regardless of steel choice though, the price is significantly higher for the Al Mar. I know that the 2020 is assisted opening, which I guess adds to the price, but is not a desirable feature for me personally and the assisted RAT-1A is still a better value.

    So, is there any justification for the price? Is the fit and finish a cut above the others? Superior heat treat? Is it just the name?

    If I get one it will go into my rotation as an EDC knife, assuming I like it. I usually carry one of my nicer knives and a value knife that I don't mind lending out, the SERE 2020 would be a secondary/lend out knife.
  2. vjb.knife

    vjb.knife Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 2, 2002
    I am not sure that I would use one but for $30 to $50 the D2 models don't seem too bad, although they are china products.
    MBG likes this.
  3. midnight flyer

    midnight flyer Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Welllll.... you are asking for opinions, so take this post for what you paid for it!

    I have seen some of the newer AlMar offerings at gun shows and even a couple at one of our local gun stores. I don't see the fit/finish/operation that they built their reputation on years ago. I had 2 Al Mar folders gifted to me about 30 years ago, and they are like little Swiss made watches. Fit/finish some of the best I have ever seen on small folders.

    Fast forward to today. To me, those designs look like the real designers took the day off. Definitely a gas station kind of vibe. Again, this is to me, I think they look like a bunch of other Chinese knives. And without refiring the heated debate over what exactly constitutes D2, Chinese D2, metals being called D2, etc., at +/- $100 that is a lot of dough for a Chinese D2 knife. Worse, if you get one of their 8Cr13MoV models, they are $65!!! If you are looking for a larger work knife, there are a lot of great options out there that won't break the bank. I wouldn't pay more than $35 for one of those knives, 8Cr or D2.

    Since you aren't craving the assisted feature, take a look at all the Cold Steel knives that are in that same price range. They have significantly better steel of a known pedigree, better designs, and the Demko lock. Plenty of other knives in that range, too. Search around here on the forum for some good ideas.

    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
    marrenmiller, jeepin and MBG like this.
  4. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    SERE is a classic.
    Get a Seki.
    Or at least a Moki.
    Or don't bother.
    woodysone, Quiet, AntDog and 5 others like this.
  5. cheeseit123


    Feb 12, 2019
    Not sure what it is with all the rebooted Almar knives but they all look really cheap...
    jeepin, Stelth and MBG like this.
  6. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 29, 2019
    I just saw this on Drop for $108. To be fair, I haven't held one in hand. I don't know what the fit and finish is like. I don't know if it'll shine my shoes or buy me a drink. All I know is what I can see: Chinese D2, G-10 scales, and an assisted action. Based on the current market, I'd struggle to justify this at half the price.
  7. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    I voted No. I too haven't held one in my hand but given the list of materials, not sure how you justify the price. The old Al Mars were very well built knives made in Japan and it looks like they are cashing on the name and reputation. It is possible that the fit n finish is excellent (Kizer, WE, etc from China do a great job) but I would be wary.

    If you are looking for another inexpensive folder to lend out, maybe a Bestech, CJRB, or CIVIVI would work. Same materials (D2, G10, from China) at half the price.
    Chronovore and MBG like this.
  8. elde66

    elde66 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2019
    Just, no.
    MBG likes this.
  9. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    MBG likes this.
  10. Hackenslash

    Hackenslash Don't feed the Trolls Platinum Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    I say "no".

    An Assisted Open Flipper is nothing like an Al Mar design. The look and lines are there, but the quality and performance definitely isn't. If you're already onboard for an imported knife, the same dollars can get you a much better knife if you look at CIVIVI or Kizer.
    MBG likes this.
  11. goldie


    Feb 18, 2000
    I got one on sale for 35.00 shipped. On the plus side, the knife was as sharp as a spyderco .It was pretty well made ,but i still sold it a few hours later. One thing that i knew bugged me is the tang is reduces the cutting edge to 3" and it looks funny. assisted open was average speed good lockup . another quirk is theres a notch on the handle for thumb stud relief, meanwhile theres no thumb stud..kind of makes no sense. The worst is the pocket clip. Its too big, and when it curves up and ends,its too high off the handle.It didnt create a hot spot,but i didnt like that either.And since its mounted to the back of the handle, you can grab it and rock it back and forth slightly cause its so long and thin. Its a shadow of the Seki Sere's.Its only been out a few months and its already on sale by some dealers. Never seen that before.Id try to get one from a place that has a good return policy in case you dont like it.
    Dadpool and MBG like this.
  12. Stelth


    Jul 15, 2007
    The name is appropriate: 2020 will go down as a terrible year for most and compared to the all the Sere models before it it's probably an apt designation.
    patrickguignot and MBG like this.
  13. MBG


    May 21, 2020
    I appreciate all the input. I'm going to pass on the 2020 and maybe keep an eye out for a used 2000 instead.

    Thanks, everyone!
    AntDog, jfk1110, coinbuysell and 4 others like this.
  14. BJ987


    Jul 21, 2020
    I accidentally voted "yes" thinking it was the classic Al Mar SERE... I have a SERE Operator in S30V that I got over 15 years ago. So, that's what I was thinking of when I clicked yes--my bad. I don't know anything about the re-boot, but from what I've heard it makes me mad. I don't remember where my "true" SERE was made (Japan?) but, the Al Mar SERE is such a classic and respected name for a classic, proven tactical knife... I guess the only upside is if I'm ever in a situation where I'm carrying my SERE and I run into someone with one of these new chinese, gas station SEREs, I can be like "no, THIS is an Al Mar SERE".
    MBG likes this.
  15. Stelth


    Jul 15, 2007
    You can change your vote
  16. GCG199


    Apr 26, 2001
    I can understand why they did them with flipper openers.

    I don't understand why they had to do all of them with assisted-opening though.

    They really need to offer them with manual opening.
    MBG likes this.
  17. BJ987


    Jul 21, 2020
    I don't even understand the flipper... It's like they took the classic SERE design, added the two fad-ish features of the past decade that it didn't need, and then shit on it.
    MBG and jfk1110 like this.
  18. Stelth


    Jul 15, 2007
    It's like dopes who bolt stupid accessories on a classic car. Like putting a spoiler on a car that shouldn't have one.
    MBG likes this.
  19. goldie


    Feb 18, 2000
    ^ oh, like a huge rear wing on a ford taurus like i once saw ? thats what Al Mar seems to be doing.
    MBG and Stelth like this.
  20. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    Yes. The Sere 2000 was a great knife. Sere 2020 is not. Couldn’t have picked a more fitting year to release that turd. :thumbsdown:
    Quiet, MBG and jfk1110 like this.

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