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OBM, diktator, Oregon blade maker, origin blade maker... etc...

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Drew Riley, Nov 29, 2020.

  1. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    I'm not sure what the official name of this company is, or why they seem to have somewhat recently started going to so many different variations of their original name (somewhat suspicious too, I suppose), but it appears that they are pretty blatantly copying other companies' designs and selling them as their own, without or blatantly against the approval of the original designers.

    Now I understand that "Das toobinator" or whatever other name they're calling it is basically an "open plans" design originally posted for free distribution by DC knives on his blog. How he feels about somebody then making it for mass distribution and sale, I don't know.

    However, you then have what appears to be a part for part rip-off of the mod-E by Northridge Tool. Do they have an agreement with Northridge? Given a recent comment in another thread, it does not appear that they do.

    They have also started making and selling parts directly based off of designs by Brian House's Revolution grinder at housemade.us. Now, here, I know for a fact that he specifically asked them not to do this, and they basically told him to pound sand, that they'd do what they wanted to do.

    As far as their other grinder and accessory designs, I'm not sure if they're "orgin"al or not, but just based on the couple of examples above, it's turned me off of buying another product from them (I currently have some of their wheels). If anybody has any additional info, good or bad, I'd be interested in hearing it, but for everyone else, I just figured I'd post this for your perusal. Do with it what you will.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
    Thom Moss likes this.
  2. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    I like the yellow colour, but their design is bad, bad, bad.

    Impossible to set it up for good tracking.

    I don't understand the name changes either, except to escape bad press.
     
  3. Hubert S.

    Hubert S.

    528
    Dec 14, 2019
    Bigfattyt likes this.
  4. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    That’s good to know.

    As a further FYI: George from Northridge said they copied the Mod-E from a solid works drawing he showed in an Instagram post. It does not appear that they had permission or even asked, apparently even going as far as releasing their copy before George sold his first Mod-E.

    Brian House said he received an email from OBM’s CEO that basically said: ‘I’m going to replicate and sell your grinder but I’m going to change it just enough to not infringe on your intellectual property’.

    From what I can tell, he’s doing this under the diktator brand and has changed very little if anything.

    It really doesn’t make sense to me why they’d feel the need to rip off other designs if they already have their own products from in house designs, or the "ok" to produce the DC design (which I've never been crazy about, but it seems to work). The “Oregon Blade Maker” products always seemed to be selling well and had decent reviews. I've often recommended them based on this and their prices. Now I’m learning of the design theft, and it really sours me against the brand (or brands... looks like even the Amazon store is under a different name). Let the buyer beware, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  5. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    I have a Das Toobonator. First grinder.

    Tracks ok. Runs smooth. I should have upgraded to a VDF, but was feeling pretty cheap.

    Not too easy to adjust the platen etc.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    I have no doubt that their grinders and accessories are made decently enough. Most reviews are generally positive, and few others can touch their price points. I personally have a number of their aluminum wheels. My issue is with the very obvious and unapologetic design theft that I'm seeing.

    I mean, let's be real. There's not a ton of companies out there selling grinder parts and accessories, and I doubt that there's many knife makers, if any, who haven't heard of OBM (or their half dozen and counting of other brands). Most of us have probably bought idler wheels or some other accessory at the very least. I'd think they should be able to stand on their own products without blatantly stealing designs and taking money out of other maker's pockets. Obviously a wheel is a wheel, and there's not too much you can do to re-invent a platen or a tool arm, but ripping off entire grinder designs (that are NOT freely shared) is not something I care to support, even if it means paying more for my wheels and such from now on.

    Now, where to draw the line between straight up design theft and changing just enough to call it one's own is perhaps another discussion, but this one seems pretty straight forward.
     
    weo likes this.
  7. weo

    weo KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 21, 2014
    This is kind of a bummer to hear. And I agree with Drew's line of thought. I've been using the original 2 x 72 with only minor complaints about for about 7 years. I did notice the name changes and wondered about that. With this new information on business practices and ethics I probably won't be promoting their products anymore as a reasonable, lower cost, alternative.

    Unfortunately, the right thing to do will take some sacrifice on our part.

    Hmmm....kinda the way the whole world works, isn't it.
     
    Drew Riley likes this.
  8. Tin.Man

    Tin.Man

    860
    Sep 5, 2010
    Shoot I was gonna buy one of the surface grinding attachments till I saw they blatantly copied Northridges economy grinder and the tubinator. The. Having it confirmed by George at Northridge. Obm or whatever they go by is garbage.
     
  9. Seedy Lot

    Seedy Lot

    95
    Apr 15, 2019
    Is this not how business goes? How many of you have copied someone else's knife design?
     
  10. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    IS that how business goes? There are lawsuits filed all the time by larger companies for trademark, patent or copyright infringement.

    At any rate, there's a difference between building traditional patterns, or designs and patterns that a maker has given permission to be copied, and outright stealing an original design that a single maker or company has created. Even worse is telling a maker "I know you don't want me to make this, but I'm doing it anyway."
    Personally, I think it seriously lacks integrity.

    If you disagree, that's fine, and you're free to support who you want to.
     
    Thom Moss likes this.
  11. Seedy Lot

    Seedy Lot

    95
    Apr 15, 2019
    There are lawsuits filed all the time by large companies to control the market by shear dominations by wealth. I really doubt any of these grinder designs have a patent.

    Many makers take knives others have made and trace out the design parts they like and make there own.

    I am not saying what OBM has done and will do in the future is right or wrong but before we cast stones maybe we really should look at our own practices.
     
  12. Busto

    Busto KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 26, 2011
    GREED....That is the bottom line for a company willing to act as if it's OK to steal a design Knowing they are saving 10's of Thousands of dollars material and design Prototyping Costs.
     
    Mecha likes this.
  13. Outdoor Gear Dad

    Outdoor Gear Dad Gold Member Gold Member

    174
    Jun 1, 2019
    I’m a little partial as I own two different OBM grinders and I have had zero problems with either.

    But if I had to take the time on everything I buy to figure out if it’s original or not I would never buy anything.

    I do however believe that if you are going to take a design and make it your own, there should be some sort of better communication and collaboration with the original maker.

    but let’s me honest....it a chassis that holds a motor and turns a 2x72 belt. How many variations or original designs can there be?

    And honestly, looking at the other grinder mentioned here, I can see the similarities, but I would have never known the design was the same.
     
  14. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    i have seen many copies of the tw-90 surfacegrinder attachment. i am surprised there have been no law suits. i would assume they had these things patented ?
     
  15. Natlek

    Natlek

    Jun 9, 2015
    If in Coca Cola Company are stupid enough to publish their recipe for Coca Cola drink............DON T blame ME if used it :D If they are dumb enough and I find a way to steal their Recipe ......don t blame me :D
     
  16. Busto

    Busto KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 26, 2011
    They call that "Industrial Espionage"....Stealing the Secrets from Companies who developed a successful product. Go Steal an "Apple" trade secret see where you end up!!! I know the Knife Making is still a "Cottage" industry with a small Niche in manufacturing overall and there are Hundreds if not Thousands of "Homemade" Knock Offs like the KMG, and they are not going to spend time chasing every home builder, but when a Design is Stolen and the Thieves thumb their nose at the Original Designer Manufacturer there is cause for concern when they start marketing it...WHAT If It Was Your BABY....I'm sure there would be a Reason to be Upset!!!
     
  17. Natlek

    Natlek

    Jun 9, 2015
    I was joking a little :thumbsup: But , honestly all this talk about grinders ...have no point to me . It's like BMW accusing Mercedes of stealing their design because they made a four-wheeled car with four door :D
    Lucky me ...I make some weird grinders so someone can only sue me for fact that they have wheels :eek:
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2020
    Jesse Latham likes this.
  18. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    It’s well beyond using the same number of wheels, or sharing a few general similarities. They’re making part for part copies and passing them off as their own. Does that not seem like a lack of integrity to you?

    I know the line can get blurred between what constitutes outright copying and “inspiration”, but let’s call it for what it is here.

    They’re not making cola or cars; they’re making grinders from other company’s designs, plain and simple.
     
    Natlek likes this.
  19. Outdoor Gear Dad

    Outdoor Gear Dad Gold Member Gold Member

    174
    Jun 1, 2019
    Can someone show me a a side by side of some of these copies? I was trying to look for them to see what y’all were talking about but I was coming up short.
     
  20. Drew Riley

    Drew Riley Riley Knife and Tool

    Oct 17, 2007
    I’m on my phone, so posting pics is a pain, but look at the “mini diktator” vs Northridge’s mod-e, and the diktator “bandit” (appropriate name I guess) vs Brian House’s “revolution” kit.
     

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