Hard truths and observations

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
cycleguy
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby cycleguy » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:38 pm

The more I learn & get to know about these guys (Spyderco); the more I appreciate spending my money with them and owning their product. I am very amazed with where they have come from and where they have gotten to and how they do business (not just the end product)... and hope they can survive (thrive would be better) long into the changing future. It is a wonderful thing to have Spyderco (and for me, even a more wonderful thing to have them in my backyard.. ha ha)!

Designs, product, efforts and all - much appreciated;

CG
So many knives - so little funds!!!

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JRinFL
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby JRinFL » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:54 pm

I think it is unfair to continue to lump those with price concerns into the the "under-informed & price-is-main-concern" camp. None of use would be here discussing Spyderco knives if we were in that camp. Really, think about it.
What many of us are worried about is that Spyderco, once the benchmark of high value, middle priced cutlery is moving away to a market that is more high artistry, high price, and lower value. Value here is not a critique on price or quality, but rather a metric that encompasses build quality, design, materials, and intangibles like corporate ethos combined with overall price. We can blame the car industry for ruining the word value and turning it into a pejorative in order to up sell the customer.
In any event, from what I am hearing and seeing in the industry, it is impossible to remain in the high value and middle price range. Perhaps the good old days are gone?
Used to be JR in CT with a much earlier join date. :rolleyes: :spyder: Native in 440v was my gateway Spyderco! :spyder:

Doeswhateveraspidercan
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:09 pm

Bill1170 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:32 am
I think that my buying decisions, like my personal associations, are based largely on trust. Trust is a quality that has to be earned over time. A company provides a product I am incapable of completely evaluating on its merits before I buy it. Reputation and my personal track record with that company fill in for the missing information about the specific product. Spyderco has earned more of my trust than any other production knife company, so their products are automatically worth a premium. I appreciate their ethics, their designs, their choice of materials, and their execution of the finished product. I consider Spyderco’s knives to be a good value, and I take responsibility for carefully researching every purchase before making it. As a result of all these factors I’ve never been disappointed with a Spyderco knife I bought. That is what value means to me.
Well said.

I looked at the offerings of that Chinese company and the first thing that stood out was the heavy use of M390 steel they are advertising. What came to mind next was "Yeah Right" Then I thought that was a bit unfair of me and decided you know even if they are using M390 How can I possibly trust the heat treatment of it? Then I thought yeah sorry I can not even trust them to actually provide M390.

It is the trust issue big time China has proven themselves to be untrustworthy over and over again and again. Heck I remember not so long ago when they were poisoning their own infants with bad Baby Formula.

Looking at the knife designs I also saw where they had blatantly copied other designers including Spyderco.

I am not a cheapskate and refuse to allow price to dictate my taste but beyond that even I refuse to absolutely refuse to reward copy cats and all the rest that goes with the history of goods from China.

Yes Spyderco does have things made in China and China can make good things, oh yes they can, they only manufacture to the spec that is given to them and I know that if Sal says make it this way they will or he will not accept the product and pass it on to us with his good name.

So yes we circle back again to trust and now, and now looking into a Spyderco Tenacious. Having recently worked with a CR13MOV Chinese steel I like how easy it is to repair and re-profile and I know it will be fine after all it is a Spyderco.
:spyder: Make Mine Spyderco :spyder:

I have tried many different High End brands and only Spyderco consistently produces High Quality Knives with the most Innovative Steels and Incredible Designs and often for less money than others.

I have been surprised many times by Sal's design in the dark philosophy and agree with it. How it feels in the hand and how it cuts matters more than how it looks. Lipstick on a pig, does not make it something other than a pig.

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MichaelScott
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:00 pm

I only buy Spyderco and Great Eastern Cutlery knives. My reasons have nothing to do with the cost of the knife and everything to do with the philosophy and culture of the company that makes them. If I just wanted a cheap tool to cut the occasional thing I could easily be happy with a $25 knife from, for example, CRKT.

I want an original design made for specific purposes, built to high craftsman quality and a company that stands behind what they make.

I suspect I, and most of you here, are in the minority but there are enough of us to keep our companies going.
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araneae
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby araneae » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:40 pm

My purchasing of Spyderco knives has decreased as prices trend upward. I am lucky to own more than I'll ever need, but I'd buy more if I could. Nowadays, I'm happy if I can snatch up some seconds as I would never be able to justify dropping full dollar on a Lil Temp. Most of what I bought lately was dragonfly sprints or Lady/manbug sprints, which fall on the lower end price wise.

I have dabbled in a few "nice" affordable Chinese made knives in the past year. A Tangram that flips nicer than my Dice in acuto 440, an acceptable using steel. Finish is frankly amazing for the price. A Steel Will cutjack, flips pretty well, great grinds, D2 steel that has performed well. And a step up, a massdrop/ferrum forge/WE knives made Gent. Top quality materials and finish and about as nice as anything I own for around $80.

So, I am buying fewer spydies and have found some really nice knives elsewhere in the meantime. I'd still say in a heartbeat, Spyderco makes my favorite knives- I just can't afford as many as I used to. If there were more good new designs under $100, if probably be buying them instead of looking at other brands. I do think Spyderco is pricing some people out of the market.

I still wonder why Sal hasn't gone to Taichung and said, hey you make a really great knife with CF and xhp, but let's see what you can make for <$80 street price in bd1 and frn or g-10. I'd also like to see more Byrds.
So many knives, so few pockets... :)
-Nick

Just got: Wharncliffe & Waved D'flies

The "Spirit" of the design does not come through unless used. -Sal

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Bloke
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Bloke » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:30 am

One thing’s for certain; we’re all different. :)

I for one would much rather pay $150 for the upcoming LC200N Waterway from Golden let’s say, than $1.50 for a an 8cr Bow River with turquoise encrusted, buffalo hide scabbard from China. :eek:

I’ll never be able to afford the mansion on Sydney Harbour I like or this year’s Bentley Continental Coupe but I can afford a nice knife every now and then and I doubt I’ll ever be thinking I shouldn’t have spent so much money on my hobbies when I’m laying on my deathbed. ;)
A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

acer
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby acer » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:00 am

Bloke Agreed. I have always had a kind of comfort in my mind that when my times up and my Nephew receives my Spyderco collection in my will I would have done him a favour as to be fair he has had his eye on a few of then already. I dare say he may be more interested in have I left the house to him as well 😁 Still having fun out.

500Nitro
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby 500Nitro » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:39 am

Borrowed from Blade Forum and thought it very relevant.
Can you do this for a Chinese SELLER ? In a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years ?


"Recently landed a used SE Dodo off the exchange. This was a knife I'd been looking to find for sometime and while this one was a user, I jumped on it.

Overall, it was in pretty good shape but had some striped screws, a bent pocket clip, a tiny blade chip and needed a good sharpening, all of which was relayed to me before I bought it. Far from perfect but a grail is a grail.

Once I received it I reached out to Spyderco, was told turn around took about two weeks, was given an estimated repair cost and decided to send it in right before Christmas. Just got it back today and wanted to say I'm very thrilled with the work done to it.

The screws and clip were replaced and its factory sharp again. The small blade chip is gone. Had never needed to send a knife back to Spyderco before but like any time I've ever dealt with Spyderco, their customer service is once again stellar. They also performed the work for less than the original estimate.

Not sure if I'll ever need to send a knife back to Spyderco in the future, but I know if i need to, I won't hesitate to do so. They took a "well loved" Dodo and brought it back to excellent condition.

Can't wait to drop it into my EDC rotation tomorrow.

Thanks for reading."

If you want to see the photos
https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/spy ... t-18690960
3 x Endura 1 SE, 1 x Endura ? CE and a Black Pacific Salt. Want Aqua Salt, Fish Hunter and a Pacific Salt Yellow.

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polyhexamethyl
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby polyhexamethyl » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:07 am

„Can you do this for a Chinese SELLER ? In a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years ?“

for me that’s no argument, that’s rather something you can ask about any company, because you’ll never know!

also sending it back for service or replacement parts is not really practical for me since i live in europe - i just buy spyderco because i like the designs and i’m some kind of steel nerd 🤓

500Nitro
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby 500Nitro » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:42 am

polyhexamethyl wrote: also sending it back for service or replacement parts is not really practical for me since i live in europe - i just buy spyderco because i like the designs and i’m some kind of steel nerd 🤓
It's an option available to you that involves sticking it in the post and probably 99% chance of getting there.
And getting it well serviced.

I wouldn't say that about China.
3 x Endura 1 SE, 1 x Endura ? CE and a Black Pacific Salt. Want Aqua Salt, Fish Hunter and a Pacific Salt Yellow.

Sildani
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Sildani » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:22 am

Thanks Sal for chipping in here and there. Rare a business owner ever talks about the underlying business issues and thoughts behind a price increase. It’s illuminating.

As for mid-priced knives of high value quotient, what of the Cat, Chicago, Polestar, Alcyone, Persistence, Tenacious and the like? Please define a “mid-priced, high-value” knife, I’m genuinely curious. Thanks!

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby mattman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:52 am

Bill1170 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:32 am
I think that my buying decisions, like my personal associations, are based largely on trust. Trust is a quality that has to be earned over time. A company provides a product I am incapable of completely evaluating on its merits before I buy it. Reputation and my personal track record with that company fill in for the missing information about the specific product. Spyderco has earned more of my trust than any other production knife company, so their products are automatically worth a premium. I appreciate their ethics, their designs, their choice of materials, and their execution of the finished product. I consider Spyderco’s knives to be a good value, and I take responsibility for carefully researching every purchase before making it. As a result of all these factors I’ve never been disappointed with a Spyderco knife I bought. That is what value means to me.
Spot on, Sir!
Eloquently written.
Thank you.

Doeswhateveraspidercan
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Doeswhateveraspidercan » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:03 am

Bloke wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:30 am
One thing’s for certain; we’re all different. :)

I for one would much rather pay $150 for the upcoming LC200N Waterway from Golden let’s say, than $1.50 for a an 8cr Bow River with turquoise encrusted, buffalo hide scabbard from China. :eek:

I’ll never be able to afford the mansion on Sydney Harbour I like or this year’s Bentley Continental Coupe but I can afford a nice knife every now and then and I doubt I’ll ever be thinking I shouldn’t have spent so much money on my hobbies when I’m laying on my deathbed. ;)
I have a theory about that deathbed and hobbies thing Bloke. Have so many going or in the plans and death will pass you by saying naahhhh let em suffer some more, he's still got plenty to do. ;)

Yah know for $150.00 I think the Waterway is going to be an absolute steal. I was thinking of picking up some fixed blade Spydies for the kitchen but hey why not a Waterway?
:spyder: Make Mine Spyderco :spyder:

I have tried many different High End brands and only Spyderco consistently produces High Quality Knives with the most Innovative Steels and Incredible Designs and often for less money than others.

I have been surprised many times by Sal's design in the dark philosophy and agree with it. How it feels in the hand and how it cuts matters more than how it looks. Lipstick on a pig, does not make it something other than a pig.

mattman
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby mattman » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:21 am

Here are the qualifiers that guide my Spyderco purchases:

1. Corporate culture/Integrity
2. Design
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3. Blade grind
4. Steel choice
5. Handle material
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6. Price

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sal
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby sal » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:44 am

Pricing is always an issue, but we don't deviate too much from what we need as margins. The concept that we just "charge as much as the market will bear", while considered normal pragmatic pricing in business is not a philosophy we embrace. We believe that to "charge as much as the market will bear" is biting the hand that feeds you. Most of our in-house principles are pretty sound and based on long term; product, crew, equipment, customers, etc.

Competing against Chinese makers would not be difficult if the value of the Chinese currency was more in line with current global practices. Our tolerances are closer. The steels we use are more pure, our designs are well thought out and based more often on function than eye appeal, etc.

We consider competitors like; Buck, Benchmade, Kershaw, CRK, Cold Steel, etc. to more more fair in a Global market.

sal

cbrstar
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby cbrstar » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:55 pm

I agree that price is based on reputation and trust.

As many Chinese knives try to build their reputations they are increasing their prices astronomically! Just look at how many $500+ Chinese made knives there are on the market. Chinese doesn't = economical any longer.

I remember when Japan was considered cheap, then Taiwan, now China. But I believe in the near future it will be Pakistan that will be the cheap goto knives, as China will no longer be cheap as their quality of life improves.

Daveho
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Daveho » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:00 pm

sal wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:44 am

Competing against Chinese makers would not be difficult if the value of the Chinese currency was more in line with current global practices. Our tolerances are closer. The steels we use are more pure, our designs are well thought out and based more often on function than eye appeal, etc.

We consider competitors like; Buck, Benchmade, Kershaw, CRK, Cold Steel, etc. to more more fair in a Global market.

sal
Could you clarify what you mean by “steels are more pure” I’m curious as I had thought that if you buy a steel from Carpenter or crucible if it’s a named steel like S35vn those companies would be supplying the same steel to those who ordered it and the difference would’ve been in the heat treat.

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Wartstein
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Wartstein » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:01 pm

polyhexamethyl wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:07 am
„Can you do this for a Chinese SELLER ? In a year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years ?“

for me that’s no argument, that’s rather something you can ask about any company, because you’ll never know!

also sending it back for service or replacement parts is not really practical for me since i live in europe - i just buy spyderco because i like the designs and i’m some kind of steel nerd 🤓
I am from Europe (and even Austria, like you seemingly... ;) ) too, so I can second that sending in a whole knife is not too practical and quite expensive (still, when a particular knife I really got acustomed to and love needed repairing above my skills, I´d do it. Never happened though, so we are at the "Spyderco-general-built-quality-point" again, one of the many reasons the prices are very reasonable imho :) ).

But when it comes to customer service and shipping out the replacement parts that CAN be made available to customers: I had very good experiences!: I once lost a clip screw both on a Delica and a Stretch unnoticed just while carrying the knifes. Mailed to Spyderco, they sent me replacement screws (more than I actually needed) plus locktite and stickers for free (including shipping cost).
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40

Eli Chaps
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Eli Chaps » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:08 pm

First, to everyone who keeps dismissing the Chinese as cheap, bad service, questionable quality, etc. I would strongly recommend you reconsider your position. Yes, those things can be true, but the Chinese figured this out about 20 years ago. Today, many companies are deeply committed to meeting and surpassing the quality and service provided by other countries, namely the USA. It is happening across a broad spectrum of industries. Believe me, I know and it is a constant concern in my industry as well. They aren't just coming, they are here.

No, I do not put support behind Chinese products any time I can help it. I also don't shop at WalMart or use Amazon. This isn't some simple costing or Chinese-made or whatever discussion.

Here's another take on this discussion, what impact has the consumer had on the pricing? Spyderco and their contemporaries absolutely must invest in all the latest steels and handle materials and whiz-bang new locks and such or the knife community screams they are behind and using out dated materials and there's not enough variety. but then, when the prices are up to pay for all of these endeavors across the board, they scream that, "at that price point for just S30V is ridiculous!" or "I can get a insert Chinese brand here for half that with better materials!"

In manufacturing, costs are often spread over all products. A company may have a very small margin, or even a loss on something but overall it boosts business. And often, if you dump a losing product, it burdens the other products with more costs as the overhead, taxes, R&D, etc. are not being spread across as many individual products as before.

If you want to love so-called super steels, that is awesome and I think it is great people are making that stuff and people are buying that stuff. But the average knife user wouldn't know the performance difference between BD1 and S110V if no one ever told them.

I highly value the steels so many believe are garbage because I can get them cheaper and they work extremely well. I know how to sharpen my knives and I don't need to spend a bunch of money on diamond abrasives if I don't want to. There's still remarkable quality to be found out there in lesser steels. In fact, often times you find even higher quality and hand-crafting because they aren't tying up manufacturing costs in the materials or new lock types. Look ta the knives coming out of France sometime.

At any rate, those costs have to get paid for somehow. The consumer base demands these things so they should expect the prices that inevitably accompany them.

Pay for or it don't.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby wrdwrght » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:11 pm

sal wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:44 am
Pricing is always an issue, but we don't deviate too much from what we need as margins. The concept that we just "charge as much as the market will bear", while considered normal pragmatic pricing in business is not a philosophy we embrace. We believe that to "charge as much as the market will bear" is biting the hand that feeds you. Most of our in-house principles are pretty sound and based on long term; product, crew, equipment, customers, etc.

Competing against Chinese makers would not be difficult if the value of the Chinese currency was more in line with current global practices. Our tolerances are closer. The steels we use are more pure, our designs are well thought out and based more often on function than eye appeal, etc.

We consider competitors like; Buck, Benchmade, Kershaw, CRK, Cold Steel, etc. to more more fair in a Global market.

sal
Why have I been here for 8 years?

Because I prize trustworthiness over most things and have seen NOTHING to betray my trust in the Spyderco crew.

The appearance of Spydies I can’t or won’t buy because of cost (there are and have been quite a few) is NOT a metric I use to gauge trustworthiness.
Marc

MY TOP 5 SAL’S (ordered by model #): Military; Stretch; Chaparral; Caribbean; Shaman. MY NEXT 5: Police; Calypso; Pacific Salt; Sage; Urban. MY FAVORITE SAL’S & ERIC’S : PM2; Chief; MY FAVORITE ERIC’S: Manix; Manix2; Lil’ Native.

RECENT ARRIVAL: S90V Shaman. ON RADAR: Maxamet PM2; “Crucarta” Shaman; Enuff Salt sheepsfoot; Roadie. IN DREAMS: K390 Military2 stop-lock; 4V Native Chief; Slysz Swayback; Anso Rock Lobster; Nishijin “R”; C27 serrated Jess Horn.


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