I'm reading the writing on the wall, China

Discussion in 'Spyderco' started by MyLegsAreOk, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. MyLegsAreOk

    MyLegsAreOk Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 31, 2017
    So I've been wanting to ask other collectors about this but didn't really want to because of how much flack I'm going to get. Still, after seeing the 2020 catalog I think it's high time to ask if anyone feels the same I do. I think, or feel, with the Tenacious being the biggest selling knife Spyderco has ever made as well as having the most market presence, and half of all the knives in the new catalog being from China that Spyderco is eventually going to pack it up and be Chinese. The other big manufacturers make everything over there and most of the world's knives are under $40 and made there too, swords also. I just can't help but see it.
    mdrgn79 likes this.
  2. bikerector

    bikerector KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 16, 2016
    Not likely
    sgt1372 likes this.
  3. StoneAndSteel

    StoneAndSteel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2019
    That would very seriously impact my future knife purchases. Not to say that all my stuff needs to be made in the States, but I am an ardent avoider of Chinese products these days. There are too many great knife makers that aren’t a part of a government that is a domestic and intercontinental bad actor.
  4. maugust09


    Mar 14, 2018
    The tenacious is probably Spydercos best selling budget knife for sure. But the Endura family (Japan) is probably one the biggest contributors (and only a little more $ than the tenacious) to Spydercos success, pushed further by the military family (out of the states no less). Spyderco isnt known as a 'budget knife' company like CRKT and Kershaw are (no disrespect to those companies) and probabaly never will be. While the tenacious is a huge success it certainly wont be the knife that takes Spyderco to the next level.
  5. maugust09


    Mar 14, 2018
    I also disagree the Tenacious is Spydercos biggest selling knife of all time considering the Endura has been produced for just about 28 years longer than the Tenacious.
    kniferbro, 115Italian and sodak like this.
  6. ReignChaser


    May 26, 2019
    The Tenacious is around $50 and the base Endura is $87.50. Nearly double. I don't think we can call that only a little more money.
    kreole likes this.
  7. kidcongo


    Jan 12, 2013
    ^^^^ looking for the other planet these knife makers reside on. Think you described the whole place of late.
  8. maugust09


    Mar 14, 2018
    Thats fair, but my point was that the endura isnt a very expensive knife still and has done more for Spyderco (considering its history) than the tenacious has or will.
    sodak likes this.
  9. kreole


    Jul 23, 2009
    The Endura is the first nice (non SAK) knife I bought. It's the reason I'm on the forums, having searched for knife brand reviews because I wanted a good knife and discovering BF and Spyderco's own. It's ultimately why I have so many Spyderco's, and just Enduras I've owned (and sold) is maybe close to a dozen. I've always had at least one.

    Looking at the price now, I would never recommend it and if I was looking for my first good knife now, it wouldn't be an Enduras because of the price. Makes me pretty sad.

    I can't say it's because of China. Spyderco likes to do a USA vs China comparison argument whenever price comes up, but truth is if you pick a country, one of Spyderco's competitors offers better production within that country for the same price. It's worse when you compare cross countries. My new "Endura" is a knife from another brand in G10 and XHP that sold direct from the manufacturer for $50 (and not made in China).

    As a Spyderco buyer/collector, I don't feel China production is the problem. I feel the problem is in just about every country Spyderco can't hit competitive prices. An effect of that perhaps is more models coming out in China, but I can't say that for certain. It does make sense the company would seek out cheap wins to help prop up the other lines that can't compete.

    That said, I serious doubt Spyderco ever goes to China completely, at least short of the company being bought out. And I bet if you looked over the history of the company, a larger number of models are made in the US than ever.
    jacksterp likes this.
  10. BMCGear

    BMCGear Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    Spyderco IMO uses the global economy to it's advantage. They attempt to manufacture in various places at various price points in order to continue manufacturing in the states. Spyderco began importing knives from Japan but built a facility and expanded it in the last few years (I believe) in Golden Colorado. They could have easily been just a design/import company.

    The other company referenced above does make a great product at a great price of which I've owned a few but there's something about a knife manufacturer that actually builds some of their knives as well. That company used to produce everything in Japan but it became too expensive. If Taiwan becomes too expensive will China be the country of origin next or are they too developed at this point?

    Spyderco is a global company. I love the Goldens but also own a Japanese and Taiwan knife from them. All of these knives support the American Worker because Spyderco makes sure that they do.
  11. loon#r

    loon#r Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 10, 2008
    I avoid almost all knives with a C H I N A stamp and have done so since 2010 when I really got into collecting and using knives. The quality and aesthetics did not do it for me. Fast forward to now and CHINA is producing everything better than they once did and in a curiously short matter of time...

    The handful of CHINA knives that I own are in my opinion “budget” tools and the majority of them happen to be Spydercos. Fortunately, I can purchase higher priced and IMO better knives and most of these are manufactured outside of CHINA. Unless something drastic occurs I’ll keep avoiding them. But no I don’t see Spyderco changing like that, in the future. Yet it’s possible.
    Pharmagator and 4mer_FMF like this.
  12. Biochemdawg

    Biochemdawg Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 11, 2018
    I do not buy many spyderco anymore as their prices don’t seem competitive as they once were.
  13. Ajack60

    Ajack60 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 21, 2013
    I don’t see it happening. The management at Spyderco isn’t raping the company and pocketing net profit. They’re actually investing capital back into the company to keep the company financially stable. I see them also recognizing the need to expand their portfolio to remain a sustainable company in a competitive market.
    Do you really think Spyderco would bite the hand that feeds them. They could shut down the Golden facility, sell the assets and hope they don’t piss off the U.S. fan base which IMO would hurt their overall business.
    That’s the way I see it.
    Pharmagator and loon#r like this.
  14. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015

    Still a long way off till April One on my calendar.
    ol_sc, nephron and StoneAndSteel like this.
  15. nephron

    nephron Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    In the short term maybe, but they will run out of convicts and kids eventually.
  16. sgt1372

    sgt1372 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Oct 16, 2018
    I really don't understand the prejudice against knives made in China by US, Chinese or other companies.

    Most of the knives in my 330+ knife collection are made in the US but the next largest group of knives were made in China.

    Knives contracted to be made there by US companies (like Kershaw, Spyderco and otherrs) are obviously made there for economic reasons. You get what you pay for. Knives made in China are generally made w/cheaper materials and steel but the quality of construction generally is quite acceptable for "normal" or light use.

    I don't let "politics" determine what I buy, whether its a knife, gun or anything else. If I like it, I'll buy it because I don't think my purchase(s) will made any difference to the companies (or countries) involved. The only one I'm affecting by not purchasing a particular item is me and I think it's stupid to deny myself something when it makes no difference if I do.

    I carry but don't "use" any of the knives in my collection, so the quality of steel is irrelevant to me. However, the quality of construction of each knife is still important to me and I can say that I have had absolutely NO problem w/any knife that I own that was made in China.

    Just my 2 cents on the topic.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2020
  17. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    We've always been at war with Eastasia.
  18. cabfrank


    Jun 21, 2010
    Perhaps, with emerging quality, more manufacturers and better manufactures, there will be more Spydercos made in China, but my opinion is that we will not see them pack up and become Chinese, at least not in the foreseeable future. I don't see them suspending business in Seki, nor do I see them shutting down manufacturing in Golden.
    StoneAndSteel likes this.
  19. yablanowitz


    Apr 14, 2006
    I wasn't aware that Spyderco had released their sales figures for the last forty years. They usually keep those numbers to themselves. If the relative newcomer Tenacious was number one, where did the Police Model rank?
  20. StoneAndSteel

    StoneAndSteel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2019
    Different strokes, man. I don’t have any “safe queens” so the quality of the steel and heart treat is a big deal to me. I’m in a profession that relies heavily on tools working when they’re called on so if there’s a question on the quality of a knife, I don’t buy it.

    But as far as the “politics” I think you’re referring to I see as more of an ethical issue. I can get great blades from other makers where my purchase isn’t going to a company where the government has a large stake in the company and uses proceeds from my purchase for bad acts. I don’t want to completely derail the thread into a “holier than thou” shouting match, it’s simply how I’d like to see my money spent.

    Now if China had the 100% perfect blade (which doesn’t exist) in the 100% perfect steel (which also doesn’t exist) for anything that I could possibly want in a knife, well... my moral high ground would likely be abandoned and I’d buy the knife.
    loon#r and mdrgn79 like this.

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