I consider the Byrds to generally be every bit as reliable and safe as their counterparts. Some models, like the early Crow I had, feel a bit lightly built but I've never seen that liner lock not perform exactly as it should, and I love those aluminum handles. They may not hold an edge for as long, and sometimes there will not be certain design features or handle materials you can find in a but when it comes to operation and performance (cutting performance on a good edge that is), they really hold up well. If you love spydies and want to try a new blade shape or general design that also has a similar byrd model, the byrd is an inexpensive way to get into the type of knife and gives you a knife you won't cry if you ding up. Top notch stuff, and often miles ahead of other Chinese made knives by other makers, owing to the design, engineering and careful selection of manufacturers, IMO.