Photos Bark River Crusader "Issues"?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Igor_xl, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. Igor_xl


    Apr 9, 2020
    Hello Everyone,

    This is my first post, and it's great to be here! Thank you for all your responses in advance.

    Last week I received my first Bark River knife and it is the Crusader in 3V (see pics below).
    I've been looking for a large bush knife and when I came across the Crusader, it was perfect, especially in that steel choice.

    The knife is super capable, well balanced and beautiful.


    However... As this is my first Bark, I did want to get your opinion on some finer details on the blade. There are a few, what I would consider, significant cosmetic "imperfections" and asymmetry on the knife for this sort of a price tag. I wanted to know if this is just the way Bark River rolls and it's their "style" or level of execution, being a "semi-custom" and all, or if this is something you would recommend I address with the seller or Bark River themselves. Am I nit-picking or is this unusual for a Barkie?

    Here are the "issues":

    The grind is a full 3mm higher on the right side than the left. This is also partially responsible for the uneven grind depth around the choil. (See pics)

    There are some unsightly grind marks that were missed during the finishing process on the blade grind by the choil and on the butt of the knife tang. These don't look great and are subject to corrosion. See pics below:


    Additionally, the false grind is also visually asymmetrical, but it's hard to depict that in photos.

    So what do you guys think? Should I just forget about these cosmetic flaws and just enjoy the knife, as Bark Rivers are meant to be imperfect. Or did I get a "Monday Morning" specimen and should have these things looked after? I do absolutely love the knife, but I'd be lying if I said there things weren't a bit annoying on a hefty purchase.

    Thanks so much for checking this out!
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  2. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    I would send it back.
    razorburn, DB_Cruiser, dirc and 4 others like this.
  3. steelhead seeker

    steelhead seeker

    Aug 1, 2014
    Nitpick all you want. Looks like that knife is $310-400+ depending on which exact model you get. That's a good enough chunk of change I think allows you to be nitpicky. And that grind being that much higher on one side would bug me. I'd say if it's already bugging you, you should contact them about it. Itll just eat at you all the time if you dont. But I have no idea how their customer service is. I haven't heard the best things about them as a company so good luck. Let us know how it goes or what they say if you decide to contact them about it.
  4. Mikael W

    Mikael W Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    It is the norm for BRK, the grindlines are seldom perfect.
    You can contact them and ask them to fix it if You want it more even.
    They usually fix such issues as an aftermarket service.
    Unfortunately they are now closed down until Michigan reopens, but You could contact them on their Facebook page.
    Their warranty is unconditional, so this shouldn't be a problem for You to get fixed.

  5. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    If it's a user I wouldn't worry about it, but if it really concerns you, send it in for a regrind. That is a beautiful knife, BTW.
    Fn_perfect13 likes this.
  6. JamesofArc


    Apr 19, 2016
    I like the imperfections to an extent because it shows it was made by a human on a belt sander not a cnc machine but if its too off sided then its not a high end knife but a factory second.

    If it bothers you enough to take pictures and post here then that's enough to contact the place you bought it from and ask for another or contact the maker and ask for help but you don't seem to like it so do something about it.

    Good choice in knife, I like it. Reminds me of the Browning Crowell Barker Competition Knife but probably in a better steel.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
    Dr-Mabuse likes this.
  7. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    This is unacceptable even if this knife is intended to be a user.
    Edgeoflife, shqxk, Quiet and 4 others like this.
  8. AntDog

    AntDog Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 3, 2001
    If it bugs you now, it always will. Every time you pick it up you’ll see the things that bother you and it’ll never be “right” in your eyes.

    I’d send it to where I bought it and ask for an exchange.
  9. Halfneck


    Jun 30, 2005
    The scratches wouldn't bother me. The asymmetrical grind would bug the hell out of me. I'd contact where you bought it from and see about exchanging it. If they are unable to help, I'd then contact Bark River.
  10. kylemiller

    kylemiller Basic Member Basic Member

    May 18, 2016
    Wow. I wouldn't be ok with that at what you must have paid. A $40 Schrade from Amazon maybe, even then I'd shocked by 3mm of difference. That's really amazing to me consider how many people speak highly of the company. I've been looking for a 3V chunker and I guess this is just another reason to keep BRK off the list of contenders.
  11. CVamberbonehead

    CVamberbonehead Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 6, 2017
    I guess Im in the minority but I wouldnt worry about it. Those are nitpicks. However, when you have a 300 dollar knife, nitpicking is to be expected! Thats a lot of money!
    It was made by a human though. Humans arent perfect. If you want perfect, you have to get a machine to make it or you have to buy a full custom. Those flaws dont affect function so I dont think it would be worth sending in. It seems to me like it doesnt matter, its a user right? You wont notice the marks on it when its beat up from use anyway.
    Fn_perfect13 and Dr-Mabuse like this.
  12. MolokaiRider

    MolokaiRider Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2017
    I’d send it back.

    I would be unhappy with uneven grinds like that. My OCD would be pinging like crazy.

    In my opinion, if a business is allowed to skirt the fit and finish, they will keep doing it as long as people keep buying them.
  13. KenHash


    Sep 11, 2014
    That is some considerable imperfection for a new well priced knife. I would ask for an exchange.
    razorburn, TheEdge01 and Smiling like this.
  14. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2013
    If it were a 2nd hand Mora you got for $5, then yes, it probably is fair to call it nitpicking. However, if it were a $300 brand new knife, I don't think that's nitpicking. The way I see it is handcrafted knife is not an escape clause for poor fit and finish, and seeing how lopsided is the apex (4th photo), I would give them the benefit of the doubt and it should be covered under warranty.

    I would send it back if I were you, and ask for a replacement. Please do feel free to keep us updated.
    Edgeoflife, razorburn, Quiet and 3 others like this.
  15. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I got CS Warcraft Tanto for that purpose.
    I agree, expectations go up with the price, at prices for under $100, I will probably ignore some mistakes, but at $300 unever grind (by a good margin), asymetrical and scratched up blade are unacceptable.

    I'll say the same others said - send it back.
    comis and TheEdge01 like this.
  16. Igor_xl


    Apr 9, 2020
    Thanks to everybody for your responses!

    Very helpful and I'm glad to that most of you agree with me on this.
    Unfortunately, the retailer is not willing to issue a refund and does not have any more stock for replacement. I have no use for a $450 CAD in-store credit at their store either.

    Looks like I will have to spend a bunch of money and time to deal with Bark River directly on this instead of enjoying my new purchase lol.

    All good, eventually I am sure it will all work out!
    Smiling likes this.
  17. Mikael W

    Mikael W Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sorry to hear about the dealer problem.
    Let us know how it ends.

  18. AndrewH60

    AndrewH60 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 15, 2019
    I had a Gunny Hunter with similar issues, uneven grind and plunge lines. Sent it to BRK (overseas shipping)and when it came back it was hardly changed, I won’t be buying another Bark River. Hope you have better luck.
    razorburn likes this.
  19. Igor_xl


    Apr 9, 2020
    That's actually my concern exactly.
    I am afraid it will come back worse than it is, after all this trouble...
    I noticed now too that one handle scale is separated from the steel at the blade side. I can fit a piece of paper underneath it. I don't know how much they can repair on this knife realistically, and I doubt they would replace it with a new one.

  20. MeritedEdge


    Jan 3, 2018
    I won’t by buying and more knives from BRK. I’ve had multiple knives with the very same issues you’ve pointed out with your example. However, they’re customer service isn’t all the terrible to deal with. I broke the tip on my Aurora prying a piece of hardwood. Totally my fault. I sent them an email explaining what happened and they told me to send it in and they would consider it warranty work.
    It took nearly two months but instead of regrinding the blade, they sent me an entirely new knife. Not too shabby.

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