If they seem very interested in knives, I will check the knife over and look for what I look for in a knife. I tell them what I like and don't like about their model, I tell them what I avoid, I tell them what I worry about (lock failure). A lot of liner locks I see have a lock that is almost paper thin, doesn't engage well. I see a lot of made in China knives. Outside of Spyderco, I try to avoid getting stuff that is made in China. Sometimes the handle will flex. Sometimes they are heavier than they need to be.
I don't think it has helped anyone, but that's what I do. :)
One time a friend of mine was carrying a Spyderco Stainless Steel Police. I asked him if I could check it out. I compared it side-by-side to my Endura. It was heavier and had maybe 1/8" more blade. I think I'd prefer carrying a FRN Endura over a SS Police. I don't remember saying anything to him about it outside of them being about the same size and thanking him.
We had an appliance repairman come to the house to repair a dishwasher. He noticed a problem with another appliance that he fixed while there. I noticed he used a 'gas station knife' the kind that are sold in jars for impulse buys. When he returned with parts I gave him a Spyderco ClipiTool w/ Screwdriver/Opener ~ C175.
Well first of all let me say I was that guy, did not know jack about knives, steels, ergos and all that. Slowly with time I started looking at those things. Now I am known as the knife guru at work and always get asked to recommend a knife. If their cheapo knives get dull, guess who gets asked to sharpen them. And I always tell them better steel and grinds will keep your knives functional a longer time. But oldtimers are harder to convince they are into old fashion stag handle case and boker knives, those are good knives by the way, but they dont know what G10, FRN, micarta are. All they know is bone and stainless handles. They look at my spydercos and say they look cheap and what about that hole. I always tell them these are high performance knives for freaks like me.
Oh come on... How many of us actually have one of those really crappy gun show blades in a drawer or bottom of a toolbox?
I am sure I do. I admit it! I have picked up junk knives! Hehe
I guess I do stuff sometimes on projects or whatever that I just can't bring myself to do with even the less expensive blades from reputable places! I don't want to destroy a good knife! Who's with me there?
A target shooting buddy of mine brought me an assisted opener from Taiwan when he went. It's a horrid smelling piece of crap... But I smiled and thanked him. "It's a cool knife" and wow what a thick blade!" What was I really going to say?
But my spyderco's, bm's... Etc... Are selected and not neglected!
To me, it's like admiring someone's unattractive baby. You just oooh and aaaah and make weird baby talk noises at it and say how wonderful it is and then give it back just as soon as is commensurate with polite public discourse.
I usually try to say something nice but give a logical reason to carry the pricier, more reliable and better-performing blades that I carry. Byrds and value folders are a less painful way to get into quality knives. Most importantly, don't make people feel like their lack of experience with quality is some kind of character flaw. Most on here used to (and some, for various reasons (like me), still do) buy cheap knives that would fail at the worst times, and had to learn. That means that far from looking at ourselves as better people because of it, as people with experiences that back our choices in quality implements, have a responsibility to "pay it forward" in the form of being honest about why you don't worry that your knives will fail when you need them. You can compare and contrast without sounding too smug ;)
Another reason not to rely on cheap knives; A Sgt. at my department carries those cheap 20 dollar blades crafted by barefoot children in China regularly. Well he was cutting something, and the tip of the knife broke off and flew into his free arm, slicing open his wrist wide enough to where he needed stitches, lest he wanted to bleed out. I'm sure this is possible with top notch blades too, but far less likely. Just something to keep in mind.
What was he cutting?
Originally Posted by Officer Gigglez
I'm not sure, but my guess is probably cord or rope that was under tension.
Originally Posted by Jeremy_A_Neel
I suppose he could have cut softened butter with the same result
Very well said, that's good advice whether you are talking about knives or any other topic.
Originally Posted by Pinetreebbs
In my area, those cheap $10-20 China made folders are extremely commonplace. In South Dakota, the only knife law on the state books is that "ballistic knives" are illegal. Seeing a knife clipped to a man's pocket around here is a very common sight. That's one of the things I love about living here; however, most of the knives I see clipped to pockets are of the cheap China variety. When I do see a decent quality knife clipped to someone's pocket (I'm pretty good at identifying what they're carrying based on the clip), it's still more than likely a Buck or Kershaw or something else that is readily available in a standard retail store as opposed to something of higher quality. I've met a few people who carried a higher quality knife, but they are the exception rather than the rule. I have a friend who I convinced to carry Spyderco, and he's been doing so for probably 12-13 years now. I gifted him an orange Rescue Jr. when we were working retail together in college. He loved it so much that when he lost it, he bought a new one. I think he's on his fourth one now (he's not a knife knut, so he lost all of the first three), but he refuses to carry anything but the Spyderco Rescue Jr (or 79mm as it has been known for awhile now).
I think the high prevalence of cheap China knives in our society is a combination of a couple of things. The first is the lack of retail outlets to buy high quality knives. There are very few retail stores that carry high quality cutlery. The second and more prevalent reason is a broader issue than just the knives that people carry, but it impacts that as well. We've become a "throw-away" society rather than one the focuses on long term ownership. Instead of investing in a quality pocket knife that will last for years (and maybe even get passed on to a son someday), people buy a cheap knife, use it til it's dull, then throw it out and buy another (cheap knife). "Manly" skills like sharpening your own knife and keeping it clean and sharp have fallen by the wayside. As I said, this is a topic that goes beyond just knives, but I won't go into that here.
Originally Posted by ASmitty
I get it a lot:
Random Workmate: "Hey, Jon- you're into knives, huh?"
Me *tentative*: "....Well, yeah, I collect some quite specific stuff, but yeah"
RW: "What do you think about THIS-*shows picture of £20worth of chinese junk*?"
Me: "Looks pretty- Cost you £20 or so, yeah?
RW: "Yeah, pretty good, huh?"
Me: "What did you buy it for?"
RW: "Cos it looked badass/cool/tactical (Delete to taste"
Me: "Uhuh....it certainly looks cool"
RW: *sensing a lukewarm response* "Yeah, don't you like it?"
Me: "what steel is the blade?"
RW "Err......Stainless?....I think?"
Me: "If you don't know it won't be that good- sorry to say it"
RW "Well, £20 is a lot for a knife"*
Me: "Yeah- but for £30-40 you could get yourself a Byrd or a Spyderco ...Might not look as cool, but it will cut and cut and cut- You'll bin that £20 thing ten times before you wear out a Spydie"
Normally, my well worn Delica, UKPK or Military comes out by way of 'show n tell'.
*And it's ALWAYS- EVERY-DAMN-TIME- a guy who will think nothing of spending £30 on a HAIRCUT that will last maybe 2 weeks, but baulks at spending more than £20 on a tool that should (if properly maintained and used appropriately) last a lifetime.
And the 'knife' I'm shown is always- without variation either:
1. A massive machete or 'rambo' type knife blunter than a sock full of ball-bearings
2. A folding knife with more spikes, crenelations and serrations than a medium sized castle- with a 50% chance of a 'camo' blade coating too, for full tacticalolness.
But it's the world we live in.....If cheaper = better then cheapest must = best, right?
How many kitchen knifeblocks are full of Ikea tinfoil, instead of Sabatier or Global?
How many toolboxes (for the few that actually have them) are filled with marketstall spanners instead of Snap-On or Facom?
How many cars get Cheng-Shin Ditchfinder specials fitted instead of Goodyears or Pirellis?
Me: Hey bro, you're into knives too?
Friend: Yeah, I own a few knives and go up into the woods to mess around with them
Me: That's awesome, what kind of knives do you have?
F: Umm I got some fixed blade and a Swiss Army Knife
Me: (I am thinking that he isn't really into knives) Wow that's cool
Me: I am into Spyderco's, you ever heard of em?
F: Yeah, but those are junk, if you want the best knife buy benchmade
Me: Benchmades are really great, but I prefer Spyderco
F: Ahh Swiss Army Knives are better though
Me: *Slowly walks away, trying not to provoke the ignorant "Knife-Expert"*
That's my new favourite made up word hahaha. Almost fell out of my chair reading that.
Originally Posted by demoncase
And as for cars...I learned in high school I'd get no more than 20,000 km or so out of a set of cheapo tires on my pickup truck (I daily drive gravel roads). MUCH better to buy good tires that cost twice as much, go 4 times as long, need less weight to balance, and most importantly, have that extra grip when you REALLY need it.
I was recently told that Spydercos use cheap steel by someone carrying an 8Cr13MoV knife. I just accepted that the conversation was over at that point. I didn't care to point out that their knife was made of the same thing as Spyderco's cheapest offerings.
That's funny, goo goo gaa gaa, ohh what a little, oh my Lord what is this? And incidentally drop it, oopss:D
Originally Posted by tr4022
As ignorant and uninformed as he is on Spyderco, at least you were dealing with someone who has heard of Spyderco and Benchmade. That's a step up from the guys who love Gerber and MTech and think they're into knives.
Originally Posted by hawaiihunter
If it's a mate, tell the truth: you owe your friend that.
If it's a stranger, tell the truth: why become a liar on their account?
One has to be kinder to children and workmates, I suppose, but you can perhaps ask the latter if they really want to know what you think!