How's Queen's QC these days?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by irona, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. mrknife

    mrknife Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2010
    here are some of mine for comparison, dont get me wrong, i have quite a bunch of queen/schatt and morgans. not all of em have issues. but knife for knife, comparing with GEC, Ive kept all of my GECS but have passed on some Queen/Schatt and Morgans. Ive bought their EDC or seconds knives and some were totally fine.

    ive always liked this pattern from them, its just the example i received was poor. Some folks would balk at receiving such a knife and send it right back.

    these were winners, [​IMG]

    but some times [​IMG]
    cant tell whose fault that was,

    these were ok [​IMG]

    heres my heritage jack that i had complaints about [​IMG]

    had to grind off some to make it sit ok with out catching my finger when I run over the blade well [​IMG]

    older stock? [​IMG]

    another queen, [​IMG] i was pleased with this one, no complaints.

    post production modified queens, [​IMG]

    the thing is, I think some collectors hold Queen/SM to GEC standards and expect more than they can offer. Not giving Queen/SM a pass or knocking them for their QC, but i believe they let some things go with out scrutiny. But as other members have mentioned, Queen ownership has changed hands. The Daniels family have improved the QC some. There is a site that sells all sorts of queen/sm stuff and have it listed by production times? and that is sorta where/how I gauge the stuff I buy from queen/sm. Id say I have equal amounts almost of queen/sm and GEC knives, and i have moved more Queen/SM to users/edc box because of flaws. But to be fair, GEC standards should be kept for GEC knives, while Queen/SM standards should be applied to their knives. Again not saying they get a pass for releasing crummy knives, but keep your expectations reserved until you handle the knife. Some people are just lucky, they always get a winner. But ive sent one back definitely, others ive had to modify.
  2. Rusty1

    Rusty1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    2016 Barehead English Jack, fit and finish on the body of the knife has no issues. The sharpening of the blade (spearpoint) has taken most of the choil away from the blade running all the way down to the tip. Both the lower edge and the top edge should be parallel, as with other Queen English Jacks I have from the 50's and 60's. I know if I send the knife back to Queen they will level the lower edge to a parallel shape to meet the top edge, taking away the depth of the blade. I sent a Heritage jack in for the same sharpening issue and that is how they sent it back........Not happy!
  3. choombak

    choombak Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2009
    Hit or miss, with no predictability. I've routinely had liner gaps, non flush bolsters, metallic shavings in the pivot, and uneven grinds. The only perfect knife I have from them is a rail-splitter. Makes me rate them overall "poor", though I don't have experience with their top-end/very expensive knives.
  4. mrknife

    mrknife Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2010
    right, i do wonder about their Tuna Valley stuff
  5. neal70


    Jun 3, 2015
    I love my #49h(or f) , large cattlemans stockman and my s&m 3 blade equal end hj. Both came with excellent f and f, tho' I did re-sharpen the blade on the stockman to my preference. It kinda comes down to what you like and a bit of luck, but they will replace products if you're unhappy in some fashion. Try to buy knives you can actually hold if possible.
  6. Cannonball970


    Aug 21, 2015
    I have a Northwoods EDB and a Trestle pine Grand Portage which are both recently made Queens, and the only glaring issue I have with them is the poor finishing work around the bolsters and liners on the back of the knife. I can take better pics when I get home, but you can see what I'm talking about in the picture below. Ignoring the area I have marked in red (which is not an issue on my EDB) you can see how the bolsters are not cleanly attached to the liner. It's a non-issue for me on the Grand P, but it is much, much worse on the Northwoods. I'm really laid back about fit and finish, but I nearly sent it back because of how sloppy it looks(mostly because of the price point, if I'm honest). I'll upload a pic when I get off work today.


    *Edit to say that I do not have any of these issues with my workhorse barlow or Schatt & Morgan knives. Just these two.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  7. jrawk


    Jul 14, 2014
    So I could point to 3 different online resellers of current queen factory produced knives (who doesn't really matter). Those resellers take photos of each knife so you can see exactly what you are looking at. And in almost every instance, I can visually see excellent crisp mark side primary grinds but very poor soft pile side primary grinds. There's no hiding it in photos and if your eye is trained to see it, you cannot mistake it for bad lighting, bad angle, etc. It is what it is.. All you have to do is look at the plunge grind on each side to see if the primary grind is ground at the same angle each side (mark side will be crisp, pile side will be lazy/soft). Then I look at the tip to see how thinly ground it is behind the edge. Then I look at the secondary bevel and if the cutting edge seems to disappear on any side (most likely the pile side) then you know that primary grind is wavy.

    I don't understand how this happens? I don't know how Queen grinds their blades. I don't know their process. But it's almost as if the person grinding blades is right handed and rock steady with their right hand when grinding the primary side, but when they gotta flip the blade and grind the other side using their left hand they can't match the primary grind because their left hand is not as precise. You're right, secondary bevel to me is a non-issue. I'm gonna profile the cutting edge regardless. But if there's a poor primary grind then setting that 40 degree inclusive cutting edge is gonna be hard and very time consuming.

    Anyway, just my thoughts. Hopefully I haven't offended anybody or given the wrong impression. I expect people to have different experiences and preferences and that is wonderful. But I can't tell you how many recently released queen made knives I've passed on for the simple fact of seeing poor primary grinds in photos. It's frustrating because the patterns and materials queen offers are more fun and unique than most of the other brands being offered right now. The new Schatt and Morgan tear drops are calling my name, but every one I can see in photos has a poor pile side primary grind, and it's soo frustrating.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  8. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    This same topic came up very recently but it's not surprising given all the noise about GEC that people will wonder about some of the rivals. Good thing too.

    As I've said before, if I were to draw up a 'Never Part With' or 'Can't Stand to Lose' list of knives there would be several Queen D2 knives in WCSB, ACSB and Zebrawood on both lists. Just grand knives and super patterns (Whittler, Teardrop, Utility, Muskrat, Small Stockman, Copperhead) GEC's equivalents are not as proportional or as appealing. However, Queen /Schatt are certainly capable of turning out knives with a lot of gaps, play, and very poor grinds/non existent sharpening, plus some cosmetic finish issues too. I wanted to like their Heritage knives, but raised/sunk springs on open, small awkward blades and floppy snap discouraged me to say the least.

    Current Queen knives are appearing in interesting new styles or patterns but I have to say I find the finish not as good as early century D2 knives. I have a suspicion that Queen badly needs to be able to re-tool in newer better machinery before it can really raise the quality level from inconsistency, but this is just supposition. Investing in a niche business is hard and costly obviously.

    I missed out on getting the recent EZ-Open Schatt & Morgan Teardrops in some beautiful looking spalted woods, I'd really like to hear how these are as they should be am excellent indicator of QC on a small run.

    My Workhorse Barlow in carbon Sheepfoot/jigged Delrin was inexpensive, simply made but extremely acceptable quality for ANY knife, not just a user.
  9. mrknife

    mrknife Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2010
    hmmm maybe they either fired that person or sent them for sharpening lesson or got a new person cause some of my newer Queen/S&M are pretty good. took a few out to coon finger and chicken eye
  10. Rookie82

    Rookie82 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 25, 2014
    I have quite a few of the Tuna knives, they are one of my favorites to collect. I like the specialty steels, and premium natural handle materials. I can't say every one is flawless, but they are certainly very high quality. Their grinds are not always perfect, and I have a few that when the blade closes the edge of the blade will lightly touch the backspring inside. But I've never had one with large gaps along the bolsters, or any blade movement or wobble, or any defects in the handles.
  11. Relee1


    Oct 31, 2013
    The later knives I have received from Queen and S&M were nice knives, with the exception of the blade grind being messed up. I usually sharpen my knives anyway, but I could see it being a problem for those who don't. You don't expect a new knife to be dull, but some of these are. I recently purchased a teardrop S&M in moose antler...terrific knife after I sharpened it, but the blade grind was way off. The F&F was fine.
  12. jrawk


    Jul 14, 2014

    See.... that just makes me think I'm late to the game on all the queen releases and the "good grinds" are getting picked out first. Makes sense because the knives I'm constantly shuffling in and out of my shopping cart remain unsold for months. So I can't be the only patron noticing the poorly ground blades in their photos.
  13. SonnyJim

    SonnyJim Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    ...^ this, AND, most of the blades are off center : ( For my Queen/S&M's it seems the rule rather than the exception that they're off center and even worse, when open have horribly crinked blades that lean ridiculously to one side. It's not enough any more to look at the centering pic on dealer websites when shopping for a Q/SM : (

  14. Cory Hess

    Cory Hess

    Jul 1, 2014
    I just checked the four Queen knives I brought back from Pennsylvania. Of the seven blades only one showed a sharper plunge line on the mark side compared to the pile side (the sheepsfoot on the stockman). The plunge on my GECs are definitely sharper than the Queens, but the Queens are pretty darn good. The more common issue is that the plunges are uneven one side to the other. By that I mean that if I look down at the spine of the blade the plunge lines don't match up, one side is further down the blade than the other. This isn't really an issue in my book, but perhaps it is to other people. My GECs have this as well, but the two sides are closer.

    As for the crinked blades, I pulled out several GECs to compare to the Queens I was looking at and if anything the crinking was more noticeable on the GECs than the Queens. Not bad enough on either to cause me any concern, though.

    I'm obviously working with a really small sample size, and I'm not trying to dispute anybody else's experiences. I'm merely becoming curious as I read these posts. Are there flaws with my knives that I'm blind to or am I just getting lucky? I must be getting lucky, but thought that others may be interested in what I'm seeing in my own collection.
  15. mrknife

    mrknife Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2010
    Pictures man! Pictures! Ive shared most of my queen/S&M and pointed out the few I had problems with
  16. Cory Hess

    Cory Hess

    Jul 1, 2014
    LOL, I debated not posting at all until I had a chance to take some pictures but went ahead anyways. I'll try to snap some a little later on today when I get some quiet time. The kids have some neighborhood friends over and is it is I had to step away from the computer three or four times before I could get that post written. Setting up knives for pictures would be quite the feat right now. ;)
  17. mrknife

    mrknife Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2010
    keep the sharp things away! until it is time haha
  18. jrawk


    Jul 14, 2014
    Did you get these from the Queen factory? Local resellers? Or online? I want to know the best way to buy queen knives.
  19. Cory Hess

    Cory Hess

    Jul 1, 2014
    Yeah, I don't worry about my kids too much, but some of these other ones. :eek:

    To be honest, most of my Queen purchases have been direct from Queen the last couple of years. I see Courtney Daniels at shows a couple of times a year and then earlier this month I was at the Queen factory and bought some direct from Ryan Daniels. It's possible that I'm getting "the pick of the litter" knives due to this. I don't know. I always assumed that they were just grabbing randomly from stock, but it's possible that they're cherry picking knives to sell in person. I will say that I have bought nice Queen knives from KSF, and they'll pick through their stock for you if you tell them what your concerns are.
  20. mrknife

    mrknife Gold Member Gold Member

    May 9, 2010
    where are you looking? ill leave a visitor message cause some of these are not paid sponsors

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