What's Going on in the Japan Plant?

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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morgaj1
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What's Going on in the Japan Plant?

Postby morgaj1 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:52 am

I now have over 30 Spydercos and all of the plants are represented in my collection. Lately, the quality of the Spyderco's from the Japanese plants has been poor. For example, the Kiwi 4 I just got was terrible. Rather than a wharncliffe blade shape, it was recurved. The knife was dull and the edge angles were not consistent from one side to the other. I spent about an hour with some diamond stones and it is now the way it should be.

The biggest reason that I am willing to pay a premium for Spyderco is that their quality is generally above other production companies. However, the inconsistent quality I am seeing for the Japan plant as of late, is making me leery of buying models made there. Now, I have no complaints about the Taichung and Golden models I've purchased.

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Evil D
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Postby Evil D » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:56 am

Could be an isolated incident with the particular knife you got, could be a sign of some concerns. I think it's good to give feedback, so long as it's constructive. As for your Kiwi, I always suggest that when people get knives that they feel aren't up to par, they send them back to Spyderco so they themselves can see these issues, rather than you fix them yourself. Something like a squirrely bevel isn't something I would be too upset with unless I bought the knife strictly for collection purposes, but if I felt it was really far off I'd send it in to Spyderco just so they could see it and then maybe provide feedback to Seki. They could send me the same knife back for all I care, just so long as something positive came from the situation.
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morgaj1
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Postby morgaj1 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:17 am

Evil D wrote:Could be an isolated incident with the particular knife you got, could be a sign of some concerns. I think it's good to give feedback, so long as it's constructive. As for your Kiwi, I always suggest that when people get knives that they feel aren't up to par, they send them back to Spyderco so they themselves can see these issues, rather than you fix them yourself. Something like a squirrely bevel isn't something I would be too upset with unless I bought the knife strictly for collection purposes, but if I felt it was really far off I'd send it in to Spyderco just so they could see it and then maybe provide feedback to Seki. They could send me the same knife back for all I care, just so long as something positive came from the situation.
I agree that a bevel, by itself, is not a big deal. However, coupled with the recurve blade grind, it left a lot to be desired. I have diamond stones and am capable, so I fixed it. It's just that the past 4-5 Spyderco's I've bought that were made in Japan, had quality issues.

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Postby SpyderNut » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:35 am

That does seem odd for Seki. I agree with David's suggestion regarding sending the knife to Spyderco for a closer look. They should be able to get to the bottom of things. CQI is a major focus for Spyderco. I'm sure they'd appreciate a head's up on this.
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"...as I said before, 'the edge is a wondrous thing', [but] in all of it's qualities, it is still a ghost." - sal

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Postby Cheddarnut » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:50 am

I agree with the cqi issues from japan. I sent a superblue endura back that had a stripped body screw, and poor blade finishing. There are subtleties in the production of something that are indicitive of quality that are independant of quality of design or functionality and id say some the japanese models ive seen have been hurting on these planes. It makes the knife feel less like a piece of love like so many of the knives we are used to seeing from spyderco, and more like a quickly churned out product void of that certain something that can normally part me from my dollar. So golden and taichung get it.
"...is cabbage a better blue than cars that sing?" C.S.

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Postby Axlis » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:53 am

I was going to keep this to myself, but since you brought it up, my Kiwi 4 had a couple of issues too:

-The bevel was uneven
-The wire pocket clip was badly warped right of the box
-There is a slight recurve to my edge as well

Lock up and all other fit and finish couldn't be better.

Out of the 40 or so spydies in my collection, the Kiwi 4 and the Caly 3 g10 are the only ones not absolutely spot on.

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Postby timlara » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:54 am

I just posted in another thread before I saw this one...but in contrast, I handled a Kiwi 4 at the Factory Outlet last week and it was absolutely perfect. So it isn't a problem across the board, but obviously if you got a sub-par copy, there are issues. As far as percentages go, I of course have no idea...Obviously, I would assume they'd cherry-pick a perfect example for the display case at the SFO. I couldn't afford to buy my own at the time, so I didn't sample any others.

The most common complaint I have about the last few Japan made models I've purchased is a gritty pivot or stiff/sticky action on the pivot in general, but those issues usually go away with some cleaning and a little nano oil. I don't know if it's contamination from the work area where they assemble the knives or if it's something to do with the differences in climate during shipping to the USA, or what...but the Japan models are never as smooth as Golden or Taichung for me. However, so far the blade grinds and edges have been very good for me from Japan.
Tim

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Postby Invective » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:08 pm

I think the blade grind is just the nature of sharpening wharncliffes. With a curved edge you can hide any small flaws in grinding in the belly, but with wharncliffes, it is painfully obvious when a slip-up occured because, yeah the grind is supposed to be straight. I bought two Swick3''s that both had slight hawkbill edges even though they were supposed to be wharnies, and these ar eGolden Spydies so it's not just the Japanese plants that face these problems.

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Postby MacLaren » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:34 pm

I received a new (April '14) Caly 3.5 and it was outstanding.
Centering was just a hair off but....
And the Police 3, couldn't find one thing.
Maybe...just one day a...52100 Nilakka :D :spyder:

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Postby morgaj1 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:49 pm

I will tell you that I really appreciate the candor with which one is able to speak on this forum. My intent of this post is not to be spiteful against Spyderco. Quite the opposite. I meant this as constructive criticism.

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Postby jabba359 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:59 pm

morgaj1 wrote:I will tell you that I really appreciate the candor with which one is able to speak on this forum. My intent of this post is not to be spiteful against Spyderco. Quite the opposite. I meant this as constructive criticism.
Sal has on many occasions expressed that the criticism you shared is helpful to Spyderco, as it lets them know about potential issues they should be addressing. I didn't find your post at all spiteful, for what it's worth.

Like Invective, my Golden-made Swick3s both came with a slight curve rather than a straight wharncliffe edge, so this particular issue isn't just limited to Japan. My Caly3 was so gritty on arrival and hard to open that, to date, it's only one of two Spydercos I've sent in for W&R. Sure, everyone has their misfires, but it seems that Japan has had a few more than normal as of late.
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Postby gbelleh » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:03 pm

I've also noticed more inconsistency in Japanese knives. Some are spectacular in F&F, while a few seem to show a lack of attention to detail. Golden and Taichung have been more consistent in my recent experience.

But the flaws are usually small, and not really worth sending in.
:D :spyder:

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Postby timlara » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:57 pm

morgaj1 wrote:I will tell you that I really appreciate the candor with which one is able to speak on this forum. My intent of this post is not to be spiteful against Spyderco. Quite the opposite. I meant this as constructive criticism.
I, too, appreciate that we have the ability to speak candidly about Spyderco products here. As long as the feedback is given politely and in a constructive way (as I think morgaj1's was), Spyderco can benefit greatly. In an era where so many companies don't seem to care what their customers think (as long as products are moving), it is refreshing that Sal & Co take the time to not only listen to end-line-user feedback, but often actually act on it as well. It's a huge reason why I will give Spyderco my hard earned money again and again, even if I have an occasional problem or two.
Tim

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Postby Blerv » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:37 pm

Getting one or two knives not meeting your ideal specs doesn't mean a slip of F&F but rather a bad statistical dice toss from makers that finish knives on power belts. In order to see a global decrease in F&F quality you would have compare a large number over time, or even of the same model.

The only thing consistent with the Japanese makers is an increase in MRSP over years past and that's a problem with the economy.

In almost every case if someone isn't satisfied with a knife they can return it to Spyderco with a note explaining their lack of satisfaction. In a short amount of time either they will get an explanation or a new knife (likely the latter). Both the company and the makers in Japan are extremely proud of their products. They are also human which inherently means they can make mistakes.

PS: As a side-note, my understanding is grinding a perfect wharncliff is a very difficult task. While it shouldn't look like a hawkbill the possibility of having a slight curve is always there just like having a perfectly symmetrical grind is unlikely (human hands < robot hands)
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Postby billy blade » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:14 pm

Of the last 3 I purchased that were made in Japan: Rescue 3, Gray Dyad Sprint and the Kiwi the Rescue 3 and Kiwi were spot on F and F. Both them were purchased from on line dealers. The Dyad on the other hand was purchased at a Brick and Morter and I sorted through and select one out of 6 they had in stock. The ones that I rejected had fit issues "gaps" on the back spacers and liners. Of those 5 "rejected" knives, 2 of those would have really disappointed me if I would have received them in the mail. With that said I realize some flaws are going to slip by QC but, those 2 should not have. That Dyad Sprint was not a inexpensive knife like the FRN models. I have a Worker coming this week and hope there are no issues with it, however if there are issues I am sure my online dealer will take care of it. Regardless I won't be switching companies because of an occasional F&F/QC issue. Spyderco and the dealers I do business with have always worked with me on any issues.

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Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:47 pm

[quote="Blerv"]

In almost every case if someone isn't satisfied with a knife they can return it to Spyderco with a note explaining their lack of satisfaction. In a short amount of time either they will get an explanation or a new knife (likely the latter). Both the company and the makers in Japan are extremely proud of their products. They are also human which inherently means they can make mistakes.


Does this also include a Spyderco knife you purchase from another retail store, and not only knives you purchased direct from Spyderco? Example: Say I bought a Spyderco from "Blade Center" and I was dissatisfied, could I return it directly to Spyderco with my proof of purchase and my reasons, as long as I was the original purchaser? Thanks.

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Postby Blerv » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:22 pm

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:
Does this also include a Spyderco knife you purchase from another retail store, and not only knives you purchased direct from Spyderco? Example: Say I bought a Spyderco from "Blade Center" and I was dissatisfied, could I return it directly to Spyderco with my proof of purchase and my reasons, as long as I was the original purchaser? Thanks.
I don't see why not. It's the W&R department. I would think an exchange would be possible. It's certainly better for their business than someone venting on the forums.

If it's something picky like an asymmetrical grind I wouldn't hold my breath though. All production knives (and even some customs) disappoint under a macro lens. If a $600+ folder can't meet someone's criteria expecting a $60 Delica to is disappointment waiting to happen.
:spyder: Blake :spyder:

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Postby v8r » Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:48 pm

In my experience the Japanese models have never been finished to the same level as the Golden models typically are.
I have to admit that I prefer the Taichung models over all of them if I have my choice. Almost every one of the Taichung models that I have owned or still own are finished better than most "Custom Makers" knives I have seen. The employees that work in the Taichung plant deserve kudos for the job they do.

On a side note I have made a few Wharncliff knives personally , and yes it is extremely difficult to get a perfectly straight edge.
My Swick 3 has a slight hawkbill grind as well, but I actually like it. It isn't a abrupt grind but it is symmetrical in its ark. It looks like it was intended to be that way.
V8R



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Postby Tdog » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:52 pm

The Kiwi 4 is the first Spydie I've received in a long time that didn't have the blade centered. Nor was it the usual, very sharp out of the box. Yes a bit disappointing. I have already sharpened the knife. If the centering should become a problem I know where to send it.

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Postby Doc Dan » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:59 pm

This shows that occasionally a product will slip by any manufacturers QC. My Caly 3 is one of the nicest knives I own but my Chaparral Carbon Fiber had a lot of issues (which I fixed) with the finish. Oddly, my Cat is as nice as any knife from Spyderco for which I have paid many times as much. It is not as good as my Caly 3 but at least as good as my Dragonfly G10. Weird.
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