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Thread: Why do so many Americans have an attitude against Eastern Knife Makers?

  1. #1
    Spyderco Forum Registered User SpyderEdgeForever's Avatar
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    Jul 2012

    Why do so many Americans have an attitude against Eastern Knife Makers?

    Why do so many Americans have an attitude against knives and products made in China, India, and other places? I know, there is a rich history of good steel and knives made in Europe but look at the Japanese: They once had a reputation for bad quality items and now they make some of the best. The same goes for China. They have a bad reputation for poor-quality steel but their quality is increasing and getting better. Look at some of the Spyderco knives made in China, they are very good quality. And look at the SOG knives and others made in China. They are pretty good overall.

    I am also aware that there have been some bad scandals such as the Chinese-made pet food that was full of poisonous materials. But there were similiar issues in the 1800s. American knife companies called German knives low quality, they used the term "pot metal", or "cheap sheet steel", and other people said the same things about American products. So that means this is nothing new.

    Also, the Chinese and Indians invented steel as we know it, as did other ancient cultures such as the Chaldeans. The best steel was made in China and India invented "Damascus" wootz steel.

  2. #2
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Officer Gigglez's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Originally out of Arizona, currently live in Missouri.
    It is probably because they have a bad rep for producing cheap stuff. I also know that some people feel like outsourcing is like a betrayal, and will only buy American made stuff. Makes them feel patriotic that they're supporting 'Merica's economy. I personally don't have an issue most of the time, but I do make a point to do extra research on an item if it stems from somewhere like China or Taiwan. As such, I have knives out of Spyderco's "budget" line, which are made in China, and I love them.
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  3. #3
    Spyderco Forum Registered User yablanowitz's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    My personal beef is simply that they don't care what they put out as long as they can make money on it. They put the names and logos of other companies on their own products to make them sell. They mark their blades as high end American or Japanese steels when they are in fact not.

    Sure, not all of them are guilty of faking the products of other countries to line their own pockets, but enough of them are to make me distrust the whole.
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  4. #4
    Spyderco Forum Registered User Doc Dan's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Southeast Asia
    Many Western people simply do not understand the mentality of the mainland Chinese (and others). As I said on another thread, to them, God is money and getting money, any way you can, is the hieght of godliness. They burn fake money (not real, that is what they are trying to get) to the departed dead in order to get these spirits to give them real money. They do not care what they promise or what they do as long as they get money (forget warranty). Even Chinese in other countries will not buy China made products.
    Benelli Motorcycles in owned by mainland Chinese, now, and they have huge quality problems, including frames breaking.

    As far as the Indians you have mentioned, while there are many who make poor quality, most try and make good quality items. KTM motorcylces (Europe's largest maker) is owned partially by a company in India and some models (390, 690) are made there. The quality is good.
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  5. #5
    Spyderco Forum Registered User this_is_nascar's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Gloucester City, NJ
    With a question like that, I can't imagine you're any older than in your twenties or something. Back in the day, anything from China, Korea and Taiwan was labeled as junk. Many of the folks in their 40's, 50's, 60's, etc remember that and a good portion of those folks can't shake that thought, even to this day. Even now, I was surprised to learn about the high level of quality that Spyderco achieves from it's foreign factories.
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  6. #6
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Deacon's Avatar
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    Lots of reasons, some legitimate, some that may or may not be, some that are definitely misconceptions, and some that are simply a reaction to the loss of American manufacturing jobs and the huge amount of goods sold here stamped "Made in China".

    You are probably far too young to remember, but for 25 years after WW II, the vast majority of goods imported from Japan were cheap toys and trinkets and low quality immitations of things made elsewhere. A handful of Japanese companies slowly changed that image. Honda, Nikon, and Sony being the most well known, but the general perception of Japanese goods as shoddy and inferior was largely realistic until well into the mid 70's.

    Right now, there are no "standout" Chinese brands of anything. Even without the Chinese government's artificial manipulation of the exchange rate for the Yuan, it would still one of the countries that companies from other countries look to for cheap production due to low labor costs and lack of environmental controls. There may be some excellent products being made there, but they all have someone else's label on them.

    As for modern Pakistan and India, AFAIK neither has yet demonstrated the ability to produce decent steel or knives.
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  7. #7
    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Mastiff's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    raleigh nc
    Why do so many Americans have an attitude against knives and products made in China, India, and other places?
    That question is more accusatory than a real question. I believe Americans, like most any other people in the world like getting reliable, safe, good quality products as cheap as they can just like __________ from _________. Can't see any differences. I don't know of any Indian Cutlery. I do know and own a bunch of Chinese and Japanese cutlery.I don't care where it's made personally, as long as it's a good product.
    Japanese: They once had a reputation for bad quality items and now they make some of the best.
    And now we can't get enough and they are setting up factories here to fill demand ( not just cutlery, obviously) I remember when made in Japan was synonomous with cheap junk. The Japanese overcame this and made themselves into what they are now. This was not long after a long and very bloody war against the people now selling them TV's, Datsuns, etc. This should show that American's aren't some Xenophobic, arrogant nation that looks down on other cultures as inferior. Make a good product at a fair price and we'll purchase it by the boat load.

    Sell us poisons as pet food, have no respect for intellectual property rights, conduct corporate espionage on a scale that dwarfs anything in history while at the same time using America as a lightning rod to whip up nationalistic fervor against the common enemy who is out to put them down and keep them down while stealing their resources and you are bound to get a few people here and there who speak up about obviously stolen designs, counterfeit products flooding the market, and poor quality mystery steels.

    On the other hand products on the up and up like Byrds, and Kershaws and several others seem to be received and spoken about well. Very well considering that some of the same factories making the products legally also seem to have a back door sale of their own going on while at the same time the government of China is attempting to annex by force and intimidation a good size chunk of international waters as well as areas belonging to other countries which are Thought to have large reserves of oil and gas ( belonging to Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Taiwan). All the while complaining about countries trying to close them off from vital shipping lanes and making threats of nuclear attacks on the US and other countries. Oh yeah. Whenever they want to get the heat off something they have done they have North Korea begin another "we're going to war" charade.

    I could go on but it's already way too political. It's virtually impossible to not have politics enter into this subject which makes me wonder if that was the op's intent.

    Also, the Chinese and Indians invented steel as we know it, as did other ancient cultures such as the Chaldeans. The best steel was made in China and India invented "Damascus" wootz steel.

    This is what Wiki had to say about steel inventors:

    Ancient steel

    Steel was known in antiquity, and may have been produced by managing bloomeries, or iron-smelting facilities, in which the bloom contained carbon.[15]

    The earliest known production of steel is a piece of ironware excavated from an archaeological site in Anatolia (Kaman-Kalehoyuk) and is about 4,000 years old.[16] Other ancient steel comes from East Africa, dating back to 1400 BC.[17] In the 4th century BC steel weapons like the Falcata were produced in the Iberian Peninsula, while Noric steel was used by the Roman military.[18]

    Steel was produced in large quantities in Sparta around 650BC.[19][20]

    The Chinese of the Warring States (403221 BC) had quench-hardened steel,[21] while Chinese of the Han Dynasty (202 BC 220 AD) created steel by melting together wrought iron with cast iron, gaining an ultimate product of a carbon-intermediate steel by the 1st century AD.[22][23] The Haya people of East Africa invented a type of furnace they used to make carbon steel at 1,802 C (3,276 F) nearly 2,000 years ago.[24]
    Last edited by The Mastiff; 12-26-2013 at 06:51 AM.
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