Hard truths and observations

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

Postby Pelagic » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:44 pm

elduderino04 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:08 pm
One thing to add to Vivi's and others' observations is heat treat. With these value-focused companies (which are often but not exclusively Chinese) not only do you not know for sure what steel you're getting, you also have no idea whether the steel is properly heat treated, which is perhaps even more important than the actual steel that's used. Of course, industry wide no one knows whether their knives have been properly heat treated. Aside from expensive hardness testing or extensive use, there is no way to check the quality of a steel's heat treat. We have to trust that the manufacturer did everything properly, in the same way that you have to trust that the company will be around in the future to honor any warranty (if there even is one). This trust is why there's a value to buying from legitimate, established brands, regardless of the company of origin. A value that is not accounted for in the handle material and steel used in making the knife.

And don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Chinese knives specifically (aside from the fact that China does not enforce any requirements that the steel type cannot be mislabeled, in the same way that the US, Canada, the EU, and other countries do). I own several knives from We, Kizer, and Rike. They seem to be good knives. I have no reason to believe that the materials have been misrepresented, nor that they have been improperly heat treated. However, I know that they aren't pushing the boundaries of what the steel is capable of through their heat treat, certainly not in the same way that we know Spyderco and Buck do with their heat treatments. I also know that these brands (and others that continually are pushing for the lowest price possible, relying on the average consumer's ignorance) are not changing the heat treat based upon the intended use of the knife (certain applications need softer, tougher treatments while others require the opposite). This is what gets so easily lost by conflating knives with their materials. Just because I can get all the same ingredients as a Michelin chef, even if I follow a recipe for making the dish my end result likely won't be the same.
In regard to heat treat, spyderco is behind Buck in terms of s30v and behind Cold Steel in terms of XHP. Kizer offers great s35vn under $100, and there are many other examples.

Spyderco offers much more than heat treat though. I'm a spyderco fan because of how many steels they offer (among other things).
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Naperville
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Naperville » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:49 pm

Sure Sure Sure.... If Spyderco will make it, I want a Shaman in S90V. I want it. I'll take it. But lets look at the reality of the situation.

In 2019, I'm most likely buying a Shaman with S30V. I never get in on any of the Sprints, so S30V is probably the Shaman I'll end up with. I want that knife. It will be one of my faves!

If you don't want a Shaman in S30V, then buy something that makes you happy.
Spyderco Collection: Military (S110V), Bob Lum Darn Dao(CPM-154), Yojimbo 2 (1 in S30V & 2 in 20CV), Sustain(20CV), Native 5(Maxamet), Jumpmaster 2(H1), Province(4V). SHORT LIST: CF Shaman(S90V), Native Chief, Street Bowie(4V at 60+ HRC), Nightstick, Yojumbo.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby BobABQ » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:35 pm

Interesting thread, For me it seems very simple, Do I want it? Can I or do I want to spend whatever it costs to buy it. If it is yes to both questions I buy it. If it is no then I don’t buy it.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby dogrunner » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:59 pm

Knife pricing is kind of all over the place. I actually think 200ish for a Shaman is not bad. There are more expensive knives of lower build quality and material. Shaman is a high quality design of very good if not latest-and-greatest steel, manufactured to very high standards. The discussion here is pretty broad, but one certain theme - the value is not just in the raw materials.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby vivi » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:00 pm

ChrisinHove wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:43 pm
Titanium? High strength to wieght ratio and spectacular corrosion resistance, but most important of all is it’s resistance to whinging about peel-ply g10.
Corrosion proof I believe. It does have its place. Makes a nice pocket clip for Salts :)
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby vivi » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:04 pm

knolan wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:37 pm
Vivi wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:26 pm
I'll never understand the prestige Titanium enjoys.

It isn't very expensive. Check prices yourself - https://store.tmstitanium.com

That's the first retailer I found for Ti stock, I'm sure you could do better if you shopped around.

Titanium was discovered waaaay back in the 1700's, it isn't the space age high tec stuff it is often made out to be. Humans have been working it for well over a century. USSR were using it for military applications right around the end of WW2.

It sure gets a lot of hype in the knife world though.
I too wondered the same thing about 30yrs. ago when I was USFC amateur bike racer just getting my first bike built w/a Ti frame. Rewarded with the most supple ride I'd ever experienced in a cutting edge light titanium bike, I started reading about Ti's properties and history, and seem to remember that it was one of the most abundant elements on earth, however, until that time (1989 or so) it was so hard to machine due to Ti's tinsel strength (it would literally stretch away from the tool trying to cut it), and therefore too cost prohibitive for many consumer applications to use.

Fast forward 30yrs however, and with the emergence of lower cost CNC machines and better techniques for machining, we now are inundated with Ti do-dads everywhere you look. I like Ti knife scales a lot, but have always felt this material only really shines in app's where it can withstand tremendous loads without breaking.
I'm much more interested in Ti touring / road bikes than knife scales :D Or cookware / utensils for hiking.

I like FRN on my knives. G10 works too. I find Ti heavy, cold in the winter, and slicker than the former materials for a knife handle.

I don't recall the laat metal scaled knife I bought, barring multitools.
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sal
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby sal » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:12 pm

Hi Vivi,

We seem to have similar tastes in many things. You will probably like the new FRN Police 4.

sal

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby rgrad80 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:28 pm

I know it’s difficult for some to not get emotional when presented with information they don’t like, but sadly that’s just they way things are.
In my opinion, the strength Spyderco had was being a major player in the “high value” $80-$130 price point. Constantly moving prices higher, especially with the 2019 bumps, has caused Spyderco to now have to compete with a larger number of QUALITY makers and designers they didn’t have to compete with before.
Be sad, mad or otherwise, but that’s just what it is...in my opinion.
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You always have a choice.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby knolan » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:32 pm

Vivi wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:04 pm
knolan wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:37 pm
Vivi wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:26 pm
I'll never understand the prestige Titanium enjoys.

It isn't very expensive. Check prices yourself - https://store.tmstitanium.com

That's the first retailer I found for Ti stock, I'm sure you could do better if you shopped around.

Titanium was discovered waaaay back in the 1700's, it isn't the space age high tec stuff it is often made out to be. Humans have been working it for well over a century. USSR were using it for military applications right around the end of WW2.

It sure gets a lot of hype in the knife world though.
I too wondered the same thing about 30yrs. ago when I was USFC amateur bike racer just getting my first bike built w/a Ti frame. Rewarded with the most supple ride I'd ever experienced in a cutting edge light titanium bike, I started reading about Ti's properties and history, and seem to remember that it was one of the most abundant elements on earth, however, until that time (1989 or so) it was so hard to machine due to Ti's tinsel strength (it would literally stretch away from the tool trying to cut it), and therefore too cost prohibitive for many consumer applications to use.

Fast forward 30yrs however, and with the emergence of lower cost CNC machines and better techniques for machining, we now are inundated with Ti do-dads everywhere you look. I like Ti knife scales a lot, but have always felt this material only really shines in app's where it can withstand tremendous loads without breaking.
I'm much more interested in Ti touring / road bikes than knife scales :D Or cookware / utensils for hiking.

I like FRN on my knives. G10 works too. I find Ti heavy, cold in the winter, and slicker than the former materials for a knife handle.

I don't recall the laat metal scaled knife I bought, barring multitools.
Haha...I think we're largely on the same page bicycle wise, although CF pretty much rules these days. You make perfectly valid points re scale FRN & G10. Sadly I'm swayed by emotional/subjective wants, and have a real thing for Ti and Micarta scales.

Apologies to all from straying from the thread topic.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby JD Spydo » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:11 pm

Since I've gotten into the hobby of premium, high quality knives and tools I've kind of resigned myself to a few irrefutable hard facts of life. First off the old adage "You Get What You Pay For" is true most of the time. Yeah there are exceptions when you find a premium blade in a flea market, thrift store, Pawn Shop or garage sale for a fraction of what the item is really worth. But again those are "exceptions" and not the norm.

Now like EVIL D stated you do get to a point of diminishing returns on just about anything you can buy. I doubt if anyone would even try to put up an argument that a high end ROLEX Watch is really worth $8000 + or minus depending on what model you end up buying. Actually it would be impossible to argue that when you can get a Timex watch at your local big box store for less than $40 in many cases and have one of those last you up to at least 8 to 10 years. I had a TIMEX last me close to 18 years and it got to the point to where the battery for the watch was no longer made. So I decided I got my $28 worth in that span of years and didn't complain when I went out a bought another discount watch to replace it with at close to $40 like I stated.

Yeah there is a point to where you are truly buying status and bragging rights. Spyderco as well as about 4 other knife companies I could mention actually still give you a super high quality knife without going overboard like you would with one of those "Custom" made knives made by a Bladesmith. And you're still getting a better deal when you consider the high quality materials used in a Spyder. Not to mention the long term retention of resale value as well as having an heirloom quality item to hand down that will still function as well as it did the day you bought it. So with all that said I still consider all of my Spyderco knives a long term bargain.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby zhyla » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:21 pm

rgrad80 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:41 pm
$200? For g10 and S30v?
I think this is the main folly of this post. What does the material cost have to do with anything? A BMW and a Hyundai are both made of steel, plastic, and leather. You're paying for the design.

If Spyderco didn't have awesome designs I don't think we'd really give them the time of day. Even their Chinese made knives aren't competitive solely on price.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby 500Nitro » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:25 pm

Jazz wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:32 pm
Here’s something. The Canadian place I order from raised their prices way up when the CBSA thing went down, and they’ve been getting knives in again, but the prices are still where they raised them to. Not to cool. Some really are ridiculous.

Have you told them ? With examples ?

Venting on a forum achieves nothing except makes you feel good.
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby vivi » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:35 pm

ZrowsN1s wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:18 pm
I would also point out that S30V and G-10 from company A, may not be of the same quality as S30V and G-10 from company B. Quality of the heat treat and proprietary heat treats are a big factor. Quality of the grind, and blade geometry. Quality of the materials is another. Craftsmanship of manufacturing another. Quality of design another.
This and elduderinos post are spot on.

Try out five different knives in 8Cr13MoV and see how many of them hang with a Byrd Cara Cara / Meadowlark. I've done it. The results were interesting.
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Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby vivi » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:37 pm

sal wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:12 pm
Hi Vivi,

We seem to have similar tastes in many things. You will probably like the new FRN Police 4.

sal
I'd say that's a pretty safe bet :D
Current carry rotation:

Pacific Salt 2 LC200N | Manix XL M4 DLC | Aqua Salt

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby elduderino04 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:04 pm

Pelagic wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:44 pm
elduderino04 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:08 pm
One thing to add to Vivi's and others' observations is heat treat. With these value-focused companies (which are often but not exclusively Chinese) not only do you not know for sure what steel you're getting, you also have no idea whether the steel is properly heat treated, which is perhaps even more important than the actual steel that's used. Of course, industry wide no one knows whether their knives have been properly heat treated. Aside from expensive hardness testing or extensive use, there is no way to check the quality of a steel's heat treat. We have to trust that the manufacturer did everything properly, in the same way that you have to trust that the company will be around in the future to honor any warranty (if there even is one). This trust is why there's a value to buying from legitimate, established brands, regardless of the company of origin. A value that is not accounted for in the handle material and steel used in making the knife.

And don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Chinese knives specifically (aside from the fact that China does not enforce any requirements that the steel type cannot be mislabeled, in the same way that the US, Canada, the EU, and other countries do). I own several knives from We, Kizer, and Rike. They seem to be good knives. I have no reason to believe that the materials have been misrepresented, nor that they have been improperly heat treated. However, I know that they aren't pushing the boundaries of what the steel is capable of through their heat treat, certainly not in the same way that we know Spyderco and Buck do with their heat treatments. I also know that these brands (and others that continually are pushing for the lowest price possible, relying on the average consumer's ignorance) are not changing the heat treat based upon the intended use of the knife (certain applications need softer, tougher treatments while others require the opposite). This is what gets so easily lost by conflating knives with their materials. Just because I can get all the same ingredients as a Michelin chef, even if I follow a recipe for making the dish my end result likely won't be the same.
In regard to heat treat, spyderco is behind Buck in terms of s30v and behind Cold Steel in terms of XHP. Kizer offers great s35vn under $100, and there are many other examples.

Spyderco offers much more than heat treat though. I'm a spyderco fan because of how many steels they offer (among other things).
I'm genuinely curious, do you have a source that shows Cold Steel's XHP heat treat is better than anyone else? I haven't looked specifically, but haven't seen that. I'd be very happy to be educated otherwise.

Agreed regarding Buck, the general consensus is they lead the industry in treating the two steels they primarily use (S30V & 420HC). I'm also curious about Kizer, the most praise I've seen for their heat treat is along the lines of "it performs like S35VN should." Not necessarily that they're actually pushing the limits of what the steel can do. Aside from Buck, my understanding is that Spyderco has just about the best heat treatment in the industry, across the board. Which is particularly impressive given that they use 80 steels across their line (per the catalog), compared with, e.g., Buck's 5 (per their website). I certainly agree with you on this point, one of my favorite aspects of Spyderco is the willingness to continually experiment publicly with the steels they offer, far moreso than any other company around.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby Liquid Cobra » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:09 am

Jazz wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:32 pm
Here’s something. The Canadian place I order from raised their prices way up when the CBSA thing went down, and they’ve been getting knives in again, but the prices are still where they raised them to. Not to cool. Some really are ridiculous.

Their prices haven’t gone down because the situation hasn’t changed. Assuming you’re talking about WW’s anyway.
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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby standy99 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:24 am

sal wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:52 pm


Different strokes. Different levels of education and understanding.

I see a design like the Shaman as a physical embodiment of tens of thousands of years of history, hundreds of years of design and technology, 60 years of personal touch, the result of hundreds of hours to form, hundreds of hands and minds to build. Yeah, you got. "It's just a knife"

sal
Also different ages, different amounts of expendable income ;)

I myself scream blue murder to myself when I see a wooden fishing lure for over $30 but will happily spent a whole wet weekend making, testing and painting a piece of wood to save me paying $30.
Costed the last one $14 for parts and $240 in my wages ( now if I used Sat-Sun rates :eek: )

Take my hat off to you Sal as your quote above is gold :spyder:
Im a vegetarian as technically cows are made of grass and water.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby 500Nitro » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:30 am

standy99 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:24 am

Take my hat off to you Sal as your quote above is gold :spyder:
I have to agree with that, it is a superb quote and I love the ending sentence !
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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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby BornIn1500 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:51 am

zhyla wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:21 pm
rgrad80 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:41 pm
$200? For g10 and S30v?
A BMW and a Hyundai are both made of steel, plastic, and leather. You're paying for the design.

Kind of funny you say that because it's how everyone outside of the knife world also views knives. Are you sure a BMW and a Hyundai use the same quality steel? Are you sure it's the same quality leather? What you're saying is very similar to "well a Chris Reeve knife has a steel blade like an MTech. No difference there"... only you're talking about cars instead.

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Re: Hard truths and observations

Postby acer » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:56 am

You Pays Your Money - You Takes Your Choice. 😁 Looking forward to a rewarding 2019 . Over and in .


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