SHardcastle, you are a discriminating enough buyer that no matter where the knife is made, you would be better off having a couple to check over, look at closely and select the one that suits you. I like all the Spyderco vendors and find models rather than place of origin to be most important to me. Not everybody is the same, but we all have to decide what makes us happy and what level of perfection we need to be satisfied. We are most definitely not all the same in that regard.
I in all honesty can't agree that Golden, Moki, G Sakai, or Taichung ( or Italy, Switzerland, etc., etc.,) are better or worse. They all have strengths and weaknesses just like the steels or other materials used in the knife making industry. The vendor you talk about in Taiwan in the city of Taichung makes knives that are second to none in the world in my opinion. Still, if I look hard enough I suppose I could find imperfection in any of their knives just as I could from any manufacturer in the world.
It all boils down to having to be satisfied with your purchase. If you aren't, at $1 or $1000 it's not worth it. Do what you need to to enjoy the products you purchase.
If you need to buy all American to be satisfied than do it and enjoy your knife. If you want the best value than seek it out and enjoy it. Be aware that the profit margins are going to be the same to Spyderco wherever your knife is made. They do not make more on their non US vendors products than they do on Golden made products.
Spyderco has been growing their production capacity in Golden as fast as they can but there currently still isn't enough. The vendors they seek out to work with are the best they can get in the world, not the easiest or most convenient. Notice that the Taiwan vendor uses American steels shipped there by Spyderco. They heat treat exactly to the specs decided on by Spyderco engineering and continually tested to make sure it's being done to specs. Their QC specs has to be met no matter who makes it. Nothing can or will be perfect though. Just as good as it can be made for the market intended at whatever price point has to be met. Quality and precision costs. The more precision you need, the more you pay. That is a fact no matter what you make, or where you make it.
A lot of people remember an early knife they had that gave them their reference standard for performance and quality. Every knife they buy after that has to meet their remembered expectations, which do go up as more is learned about knives, steels, materials etc. In other words what you remember just might not be as good as you remember it was. In addition the knife that was $30 in 1992 is now $70 or more. So, they look harder at a knife through a more experienced eye, at the same time they expect more because the knife price is so much higher even though the manufacturer has had to fight to keep costs down and sometimes even cut corners just meet that new price point which the consumer is now seeing as too high not realizing other things have gone up higher comparatively. If a non functioning section of a part on the underside, out of sight to all but those looking for imperfections doesn't receive the same level of polish ( as a cost savings measure) , some will complain about lower production standards, others will see the larger picture and be amazed the company managed to keep the costs as low as they have.
Spyderco has all those customers, and many more all with varying levels of experience, understanding, tolerance of non important imperfections, as well as the ones that demand perfection no matter what or they will post highly magnified pictures of imperfections not readily seen by the naked eye and go on crusades at 2 or 3 different forums talking about how they have never been so unhappy in their lives.
That's really not an exaggeration by the way.
There is a place for everybody though. Welcome to the Spyderco forums.
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