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Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by SharpieB, Feb 25, 2018.
Am I the only one who noticed the CRKT Rick Hinderer speedsafe?? I will never understand.
All fair points, especially the BOS HT. The Vantange Pro series was a huge step up but did have QC issues and nothing new or innovative out of that series for many years. That said, most of their folder offerings are in the sub $40 range using 420HC or equivalent. Personally, I would not spend $500 on their Vantage Pro Limited Edition Legacy or $175 on the 896 RapidFire Dual-Action AUTO. Too many other options in that price range with better materials and craftsmanship.
That's where my personal disconnect with BUCK stems from, where they have "fallen out of favor" with me. It was my first folder, and I still have it over 30 years later. Given the history, legacy, and time in production BUCK could have innovated a flagship line to compete with current domestic offerings but they did not - at least for me.
I agree that Buck has had the farthest to fall, since it was once the dominant hunter/folder. However, I think its history and age have worked against it in competing with the current market. Benchmade, ZT and Spyderco, along with many of the most successful companies only began making knives within many of our lifetimes. Buck has the potential to change, but it will change more slowly than brands that started out with the goal of replacing the traditional image of a folding knife. Their folders with qc problems were repaired, but I agree never should have been sold with subpar washers. The 547(my favorite Buck folder, at around $70 in s30v)should not have included a non-retaining pocket clip, since the leather sheath it comes with can be carried vertically or horizontally. As long as 90% of their production stays in the US they will adapt, eventually, but for now I think they are the last company selling $20 folders made in the US. Their 420hc, though not good enough for most of us on BF, outperforms anything kershaw sells except their sandvik steels for less than $40-50.
None of the brands I like have fallen out of flavour with me, at least not the specific models I have. But there are tons of brands I never liked though, mainly because of aesthetics/design. Some of them:
Me too. SOG's are still popular with non-knife folks. I believe that niche is their bread and butter. Gerber is doing better for me since they moved some manufacturing back to the US.
I thought Strider shut down. Does that count as falling out of favor?
My understanding is that "general" production wise they shut down. Dealers are still getting MSC stuff, and there are limited production runs still occurring (the Frogskin SMF for PDW for instance). Lots and lots of those dopey titanium doodle knives being made too.
Shut down? Yes and no.
Mick and Duane made an official split (no more SKI). "Strider" knives are still being produced through Mick via customs, mid techs, and small batch productions. Duane is still producing his customs, but AFAIK doesn't have any production knives.
Now is it just falling out of favor with knife heads like us? I tried to dissuade my friend from purchasing gerber and sog yesterday, (only price for materials on sog, I barely hear about them, so I have no idea). That’s leading me to think that some of these companies are making money with everyday joes
Until very recently I had never had a bad Buck knife, but after two trips back to Buck the Vantage Pro I bought is still not really where I want it to be quality wise. It's fine for the most part, has decent lockup and it doesn't have play, but I just don't like it and wish I had picked up a Skyline in S30V instead. There are a lot of their modern folders that have the same terrible issues like blade play, bad lockup, poor action, etc. I can't in good conscience recommend any of their modern folders to anyone anymore, with the exception of possibly the Marksman. On top of QC issues they've now started enforcing MAP pricing. I can get a Spyderco Native for less than $10 more than a Vantage Pro. While their old school series and fixed blades are mostly fine, until they make some serious strides to tighten things up on their modern knives I'm out.
I must agree, their 420hc is pretty incredible, as is any other steel they heat treat.
SOG - They used to be a heavy hitter. Never huge, but they were on par with Benchmade, Spyderco, Etc.... for many years back in the day.
Al Mar - Not so much out of favor, but they just don't release enough knives or have a web presence. Would love to see a retro line.
Outdoor Edge - They made/make interesting, quality stuff, but never pushed the cutlery market seriously.
Timberline - In the 90's - early 2000's, they were an interesting brand, now :shrug:.
Gerber - Getting better, but the last 15 - 20 years were mostly .
Puma - They still sell some interesting models, but it's a shell of it's former self.
Marbles - Wish this could get reinvented as a boutique brand. They still have the Chinese lines, but you don't even hear about them much in comparison to Rough Rider.
Camillus - I'm pretty sure most consider it a dead brand even though they sprang back up.
Randall - Not dead or unpopular, still very strong in fact. But it has taken a little hit compared to the wild highs of years ago.
Sure. There is still a ton to be made from the general sporting goods or hardware market. And the low end is always booming. Sad to say, but the lower end stuff makes a mint compared to many of the quality brands.
When I run into someone with a clip showing (which is quite often) and the opportunity presents itself, I'll ask after the knife in pocket. I think the best ever proffered were a Kershaw and a CRKT. Most often the knife is a gas station jar-benza of unknown provenance--usually dull or beat-to-crap. Many of those are quite proudly displayed.
What may or may not have fallen out of favor with knife knuts is but a drop in the ocean of most all EDC.
So many of the great German brands have become garbage. Puma, Kissing Krane, Hen & Rooster, etc.
It's painful to see the beautiful Kissing Krane shield on horrible Chinese made folders.
I can't believe no one has mentioned Survive! Knives. The 90 day knives take a year if you ever get them. Some pre orders take 3 years?
I can't believe Blade Forums continues to allow them a forum here. At some point does BF become complicit?
For me, it's not about falling out of favor but just losing interest. This is mainly due to lack of anything new that comes down the pipe that is of interest to me personally.
A classic example is Chris Reeves. Impeccable quality. Fine materials. As good as a production knife gets. But I just stopped following them after a while. They have limited offerings and once you own one, there isn't much new to get excited about unless you are into collecting scale designs.
I also got a bit bored with Spyderco over the past couple of years but their newest offerings seem interesting and they appear to be breaking the mold of introducing hordes of new knives that are just variations of an existing design.
Kershaw used to be great, but then they re-branded some of their better knives as "ZT" and added $100 to the price. Also, they had a great subforum here, but the head honcho got his panties in a wad over complaints and shut it down.
Marbles used to put out good knives in Gladstone, sold out to China and was never the same.
From Marbles demise came Bark River and Rapid River Knifeworks.
It's getting worse. That forum doesn't have much activity because no one is receiving any knives. I just canceled order for 2.7's, 4.1 and a 7/7. I really don't believe I was ever gonna see them.