Taking apart knives

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
Stuman
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Stuman » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:41 pm

anycal wrote:
Stuman wrote:...

Image

Let's try this one more time.

Sal's post is about about a specific problem - knives, which have been tempered with, are being returned to dealers as new, or demanding full refund. This causes several problems. So how can Spyderco prevent this specific occurrence - tempered with knives being returned as new. I documented couple of suggestions.

Please explain to me how, according to you, the temper proof seal would,
- make Spyderco lose 15% to 20% of their customer base
- people still would take the knives apart anyway
do I really have to explain this to you ? It’s elementry man. I’m not going through having to explain this to you. Better yet read the reviews and then you will understand. I read the reviews and if you had you would know exactly where I’m coming from. You can’t just glance over a few as you won’t get a full picture. But I’ll say it again putting void stickers is not a good idea and neither is glue but before you awnser me please do me favour and get some data.
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby husq2100 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:44 pm

Another Aussie here that buys all my PM2's from the USA. So much better. More choice on the 2nd hand market, and we can only buy exclusives new from the USA. That goes for ROW also.

I dont think supplying parts in the box is the answer. I guess its up to Spyderco and their retailers to come up with something. Some people will always be dishonest but the retailer not checking returned stock is a problem. It IS their job IMO.

Spyderco should not wear it, not should us the consumer.

I just got a couple PM2 52100's, one the blade is off centre. Im not going to take it apart at this stage, but I can tell you, shipping it back to the USA and back to Aus is a risk of damage and theft in transit. I take the risk to buy from the USA every time. I would also own the risk If I took the knife apart.

Im not perfect, and I think this the first PM2 I have that is off centre and I have about 30

It will be interesting to see the maxamet PM2 I have coming, to see if its one of the imperfect ones and how much is noticable.

We all want great knives at a great price with great service...but whos here ready to step up and start a business like spyderco and take all that on.

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MichaelScott
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby MichaelScott » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:18 pm

RLDubbya wrote:
MichaelScott wrote:
RLDubbya wrote:One thing I've learned from running support organizations: support is a black hole, taking all the resources you give it, and looking for more.

Perhaps there is room in a business model for an independent company with whom Spyderco can contract to provide warranty repair, sharpening, etc. Spyderco could provide documentation on it's products to this third party; the 3rd party would agree to a rate structure, and this would (a) fix the cost of service for Spyderco and (b) provide more techs for customers. Perhaps there are particular ranges of knives that give most of the problems - that 20% causing 80% of the problem. Perhaps Spyderco can keep all the collector stuff in house.

I would rather look at this ongoing conversation as a conversation about opportunity rather than a conversation about failure. I know the answers are not simple, but somebody once said "Opportunity knocked on my door and I slammed the door on its face because it looked a lot like hard work to me."
I don’t think I would buy off on the “black hole” assertion without some solid evidence to support it. I too spent a number of years running “support organizations” for a large company and I don’t recall it being near a “black hole.” I could be wrong in general since I have only my own experiences to support my view.

Responding to your 3rd party idea. I don’t know that Spyderco has problems with their warranty process and infrastructure in general. That may be working fine. What I have heard in the forum is the issue with non-warranty eligible knives being returned as “new”, or warranty-eligible is the cause of time and expense and some agitation on the forums. If their own warranty program is running fine, I would see no need to change that.

Some issues with turning over one’s support functions to a third party (a vendor) are that it requires another layer of management on Spyderco’s part. Some people have to be hired and trained to manage the vendor relationship. One also has to look at what incentives the vendor has to take on that business, like, how are they measured and how do they make money? Would Spyderco be only one client among many? How would the high standards of CQI and basic quality control be enforced with the vendor? Could the vendor meet Spyderco’s quality and cost requirements? What kind of customer satisfaction process would the vendor have and would it be up to Spyderco’s standards? How would Spyderco continually mananage that? If the relationship failed (pick your reason - degraded customer satisfaction with Spyderco would be the most damaging) how would Spyderco bring those functions back in-house? How long would that take? How much would that cost and how would Spyderco repair their damaged image in the knife community.

In my opinion, one of the things that sets Spyderco apart from other knife markers is their connection with and relationship with their customers. That’s something that is hard won, and you have to treat as a major company asset.

Not to say that your idea is bad, but it requires a lot of thought and study and business goes on all the while. Thanks for posting it. I hope it gets more discussion.
We might have to agree to leave the question of "black hole" evidence as falling in the realm of anecdotal evidence. My beliefs are founded based on experience in the hardware and software world.

There are several companies, but perhaps most well known is Unisys, which perform the majority of desktop, laptop, etc., repair for Dell and other major computer manufacturers. Dell keeps their enterprise branding in-house, but pretty much everything else gets you a Unisys tech. It works, and it works fairly well, IMO. That's more specifically where I was coming from with my post.

I also fully agree that this is not a trivial move. I'm not sure that it requires an "another layer of management on Spyderco's part." I would agree that it requires a different layer of management on their part. I think it's clear that companies like Dell have identified a cost savings with such a structure, and I would think that at least a portion of that cost savings would fall on the management side of the house.

In short, I agree with most of your points: this would not be a trivial move to make. I am a bit confused by at least one of your questions, to wit: "How would the high standards of CQI and basic quality control...". Perhaps I am betraying my ignorance (more than likely I am) but I thought that CQI revolved around material objects, not people - so we talk about the Millie having a CQI release, and we mean that it gets new liners, a tweaked lock, better standoffs, and other physical changes.

I think that, again, we should flip things around and look at opportunity: rather than simply stating that Sypderco's connection with customers can/will be damaged by such a business reorg, I'd prefer to look at how this opens doors for stronger connections. I have in mind (admittedly half-baked) that if Spyderco is no longer expending its collective brain power worrying about bad returns and their impact on the bottom line, perhaps they can expend more brain power on, oh, customer education on a series of topics which have been identified as having the largest statistical impact on the bottom line.

I've always viewed the sum total of product delivery as being comprised of 3 "legs" if you will: product development, including in this case CQI; technical / customer support; and customer education. If any of those three legs is significantly shorter than the other two, you end up with a wobbly tripod (product delivery).

Great thoughts, sir. Thank you for making the time to reply to me, I am flattered.
You are welcome, and you posed some interesting ideas. I will confess to have spent a number of years working with a very large high-tech corporation primarily in the areas of project and program management which included vendor and customer satisfaction relationships and processes. You seem to have a lot of experience in this general area as well. Now, to your response.

Yes, the “black hole” question will resolve with enough hard evidence. And, it may depend upon how the 3rd party support organization works and is managed by it’s own customers (i.e. a Spyderco). I think it is variable but I also think it is a process that needs to be constantly monitored and managed so that it does not begin to reflect poorly on the primary organization being supported. That’s why I think another layer of management would have to be created because, if the situation was serious enough to enter into such a 3rd party support agreement, someone would need to ride herd on it constantly. A third party vendor would not have the same corporate culture as Spyderco. Their mission and means of making money would be very different, so to protect Spyderco, their customer satisfaction and relationships would have to be managed very closely, especially if Spyderco was not their sole client..

I think the big question is whether Spyderco is suffering enough in cost and customer satisfaction to justify such a move. I would be very cautious given that a significant part of Spyderco’s value in the market is their commitments to their customers and their community. Lose that, and you won’t get it back.

You are correct about my use of CQI. I should have said Spyderco’s perceived, and real, level of quality and commitment to that. CQI is the functional outgrowth of that philosophy. I’m not that well versed in knife business, but from what I have learned, Spyderco has the best reputation for quality combined with a willingness to innovate and integrate new materials and design into their products. Take that away and you’ve got an over priced CRKT.

I like your tripod analogy. I think you will agree that even with that working on all cylinders, not all of the people can be satisfied. Any business will have its percentage of unsatifiable customers. One if the things I learned in my business years was never to offer a guarantee based on the customer’s undefined satisfaction. Some people, fortunately a small percentage, are never satisfied. If you don’t set up objective criteria to be satisfied, you’ll never reach that goal since the goal posts are owned by the customer and can be moved at any time for any reason.

For the people not interested in this discussion, my apologies for such a long thread. For anyone else, please chime in. Your thoughts are valuable.

Thanks.
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The Mastiff
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby The Mastiff » Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:57 pm

The best Australian Spyderco Fanboys like me could wish for is for Zen Imports to catch fire and burn to the ground, be swallowed up by a sink hole or similar and we all start again afresh. :)
:)

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Daveho » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:54 pm

The Mastiff wrote:
The best Australian Spyderco Fanboys like me could wish for is for Zen Imports to catch fire and burn to the ground, be swallowed up by a sink hole or similar and we all start again afresh. :)
:)
And me makes 3

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Tucson Tom
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Tucson Tom » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:33 pm

I can see all kinds of angles on this -- and I am giving my thoughts relative to Sal's original post, not for the most part diving into the discussion that has already been going on.

First my own views. I have no problem with taking full responsibility for a knife I choose to take apart. If I do that, it is mine and my problem. Anyone who tinkers with their knife, then returns it as new is a liar and a low life no-good. On the other hand, I am always taking things apart and fixing them, so I will be annoyed if Spyderco begins pinning and sealing knives or some such. But I can understand why they might do that and could live with it.

Next I try to see this from Spyderco's point of view. Sal says they receive hundreds of knives each month returned through dealers. Holy Mackerel!! I understand they have to stand behind their dealers and thus their customers. So they are looking for a way to reduce this to legitimate returns. So they have to decide about the trade off between the benefit of reducing these dishonest returns, and people like us who they upset and the lost business that results if they take measures to prevent tinkering.

I am willing to become less of a knife tinkerer and give up the option to customize my knives with custom scales and such. If I have a real problem, I can send it to Spyderco, and I do believe they will take care of me. I would also hope that they might make repairs at a reasonable cost if I am at fault, thought I haven't heard much about that. This is me weighing in with my thoughts. If I really weigh in with what *I* want, it is for knives to have sensible screws and be accessible for skilled and intelligent repair in the field; at the same time I would wish for all lying and dishonest end users to cease and desist, or something of the sort, perhaps significantly worse.

And as for Zen imports, whoever they are, I thumb my nose in their general direction.

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby ChrisinHove » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:30 am

Is it also worth considering each knife on it's own merit?

Disassembling a Friction Folder, or unscrewing the handles on a fixed blade knife is worlds apart from messing about with a glorified, albeit sharp, fidget spinner with delicate internals and critical tolerances/torque settings (as the most extreme examples).

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DougC-3
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby DougC-3 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:24 am

So for domestic sales at least, it seems that a reasonable starting point would be to work with dealers to encourage them to change their overly permissive/lazy/irresponsible practice of accepting all returns without question. What they're doing supposedly to please customers winds up hurting customers as well as manufacturers and ultimately all concerned. To protect themselves, they would need to examine each knife before shipment and have the examiner initial the shipment. Individual dealers shouldn't need to villainize themselves by putting out any advance notification to customers (unless most major dealers agreed to do so as well) since customers already know they should not return altered merchandise. They would find out soon enough when their fraud attempt was discovered and refused. But since these people seem to hang out on youtube, if such a plan ever gets going it might be good if a few youtube gurus put out word about the problem and the fact that the party's over and there's about to be general tightening up of return policy.

As for international sales, maybe a crackdown in Zen Imports would be a good starting point (whoever they are ;))
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DougC-3
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby DougC-3 » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:51 am

ChrisinHove wrote:Is it also worth considering each knife on it's own merit?

Disassembling a Friction Folder, or unscrewing the handles on a fixed blade knife is worlds apart from messing about with a glorified, albeit sharp, fidget spinner with delicate internals and critical tolerances/torque settings (as the most extreme examples).
I would hope reasonable owners would take note of this and their own skill level when they're deciding whether to disassemble or not.

I was just noticing that the current catalog has almost 300 folders and wondering if some of these afis would demand that all had to be field-strip-able.
:spyder: K-390 on hand: Mule Team 17, Police 4 G-10, Endela, Endela backup & Endura (micarta scales)
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Evil D » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:19 am

ChrisinHove wrote:Is it also worth considering each knife on it's own merit?

Disassembling a Friction Folder, or unscrewing the handles on a fixed blade knife is worlds apart from messing about with a glorified, albeit sharp, fidget spinner with delicate internals and critical tolerances/torque settings (as the most extreme examples).
Gotta say the Autonomy almost stumped me. It was the first knife I thought I'd have to send back for assembly but once you know how to get it together it's not so bad, even without the little tool they have to help you out.
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby anagarika » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:26 am

Evil D wrote:
ChrisinHove wrote:Is it also worth considering each knife on it's own merit?

Disassembling a Friction Folder, or unscrewing the handles on a fixed blade knife is worlds apart from messing about with a glorified, albeit sharp, fidget spinner with delicate internals and critical tolerances/torque settings (as the most extreme examples).
Gotta say the Autonomy almost stumped me. It was the first knife I thought I'd have to send back for assembly but once you know how to get it together it's not so bad, even without the little tool they have to help you out.
As much as I am a tinkerer, I haven’t summoned enough courage to disassemble the blurple Manix2. Seki’s FRN is not a problem, and also I think any lockbacks. GB1, and Resilience are also not a problem. One needs to know one’s limitations.
Chris :spyder:

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby NickShabazz » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:27 am

DougC-3 wrote: I was just noticing that the current catalog has almost 300 folders and wondering if some of these afis would demand that all had to be field-strip-able.
As one of those afis, I think there's some truth here. I'm willing to put up with hard-to-maintain construction either on the super-low end (where the knife is actually basically disposable) or on the super high end (where the knife isn't really meant to be used at all). I'm not going to drag Stan Wilson over the coals for hidden hardware, and Opinel is welcome to make their $12 knife without easy breakdown. And I'll also absolutely make exceptions for exceptionally complex mechanisms (e.g. Hawk MUDD), which would likely be beyond even a more skilled aficionado to maintain. But Spyderco doesn't make those, so no big deal.

For Spyderco's Art-focused knives (the Mamba or Tighe Stick come to mind), I don't really see long term functionality as a priority, so I'd be more OK with pinned or red-threadlocked construction. And if Byrds need to be threadlocked shut to hit their price point, well, but at Byrd prices, whatever. And if there's some element of a certain knife that makes it completely impossible to do without pinning, I get it. That's life.

But the moment you make a function-forward knife like the PM2 or Chaparral or Native less functional over the long term by preventing comprehensive maintenance, you're making it a lesser knife. Taking user-hostile measures to prevent maintenance is a serious down-side, and will make the knife much less competitive on the greater knife marketplace, so unless it comes with a substantial price drop (read: $95 pinned PM2), or you're bringing something super compelling to the table in exchange (e.g. some technical element of the knife which is worth the cost to easy maintenance), it'd make Spyderco's products struggle to compete. Because if it comes down to "Buy a New-and-Dis-improved PM2 which has been re-designed to make maintenance difficult, or a competitor's piece which you can take down and have back-to-new during a commercial break", the answer is easy.

That said, I'm still angry I can't take apart my whale rescue blade. :mad: :p
Mourning the Slysz Bowie and loving the rest of Spyderco's gems. Check out my reviews at https://www.youtube.com/c/nickshabazz!

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sal
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby sal » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:35 am

Hi Nick. We have no intention of changing our mfg methods with screw construction. Never thought to. Don't even know why one would think that. :rolleyes:

sal

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby NickShabazz » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:39 am

sal wrote:Hi Nick. We have no intention of changing our mfg methods with screw construction. Never thought to. Don't even know why one would think that. :rolleyes:

sal
Hi Sal, you've said nothing to that effect, absolutely. But people in the thread have advocated for return to pinned construction or JB-weld pivots and other solutions like it as a means to address the issue, which I'm pretty against. So, I addressed those voices. But it's nice to hear that it's not even on the table.
Mourning the Slysz Bowie and loving the rest of Spyderco's gems. Check out my reviews at https://www.youtube.com/c/nickshabazz!

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby guywithopinion » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:33 am

sal wrote:Hi Nick. We have no intention of changing our mfg methods with screw construction. Never thought to. Don't even know why one would think that. :rolleyes:

sal
The reason I'd think that is that you started out with a very specific issue. Customers taking knives apart and then returning them for a refund. In 10 pages of replies here, and 5 pages on BF, I haven't seen anyone defend such a practice by a customer. Then you get a little more broad, and say you don't make parts available because it encourages disassembly. Unless you think customers buy a knife, order parts from you, wrench on and then return the knife, these two things do not seem related. So it suggests you don't encourage disassembly at all, even by owners who know the knife is now their responsibility. Unlike the initial issue, this is a customer practice I suspect many people will defend. Then you title the thread something extremely broad "Taking apart knives". The impression it leaves on me, and apparently others, is that perhaps you are considering ways in which to prevent the end user from taking their knife apart. You also don't mention any specific course of action you are considering, and suggest it should be an ongoing conversation. Which people then started engaging in.

This is not meant as a criticism, merely pointing out how one could arrive at the train of thought above. Are there any specific changes you are intending on making, or thinking about making?

Edit: Total and complete aside, but I just wanted to say how impressive I think it is that you are so active in discussions about your company and products. The level of transparency you have about your choices and actions is admirable.
Last edited by guywithopinion on Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Evil D » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:41 am

anagarika wrote:
As much as I am a tinkerer, I haven’t summoned enough courage to disassemble the blurple Manix2. Seki’s FRN is not a problem, and also I think any lockbacks. GB1, and Resilience are also not a problem. One needs to know one’s limitations.
The Manix 2 is actually pretty tricky too with the spring setup. It's real easy to accidentally shoot the spring across the room never to be seen again.
How you carry yourself is just as important as what you carry.
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Ankerson
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Ankerson » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:31 am

Well there are always these things and legos etc.

Image

Image

Or for the really adventurous:

Image

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby NickShabazz » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:41 am

Ankerson wrote:Well there are always these things and legos etc.
I don't know, maybe I'm just a materials snob, but I've always had edge retention issues with lego knives. Although the corrosion resistance is off the charts, and the diamond sharpmaker stones work *great*, CPM-LEGO is not the most impressive material. Maybe if they upgraded the little one-by-ten units to S35VN... :D
Mourning the Slysz Bowie and loving the rest of Spyderco's gems. Check out my reviews at https://www.youtube.com/c/nickshabazz!

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Ankerson
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Ankerson » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:43 am

NickShabazz wrote:
Ankerson wrote:Well there are always these things and legos etc.
I don't know, maybe I'm just a materials snob, but I've always had edge retention issues with lego knives. Although the corrosion resistance is off the charts, and the diamond sharpmaker stones work *great*, CPM-LEGO is not the most impressive material. Maybe if they upgraded the little one-by-ten units to S35VN... :D

Yeah, guess they need to work on that. LOL :D

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby timlara » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:50 am

Stuman wrote:I’ve been a victim of this 4 times now where I’ve gotten partly or fully disassembled knives this is why I would like to see an authorised repair shop set up in Europe. I was told by the company I got them from it was probobly done on the assembly line in the factory as the torx screw heads were stripped but I know this wouldn’t get past Spydercos QC..
After hearing Sal bring up the scenario where disassembled / improperly re-assembled knives get returned to dealers and accidentally (hopefully accidentally?) resold to other customers, I am sure this has happened to me on a couple of occasions as well.

That scenario makes a lot more sense to me than the likelihood of major issues being missed by Spyderco's QA department, just based on how many near-perfect knives I've seen at the Spyderco Factory Outlet "seconds sales". Half the fun of attending those sales for me is going through knives and trying to identify what's wrong with them. There are always many knives where I literally can't find anything wrong, but they are at the sale specifically because they were returned, or the QA department thought they weren't good enough for official retail for some reason. So that makes me think it's very unlikely that any knives with obvious problems would make it to dealers that way straight from the factory. Not impossible...but very unlikely.
Tim


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