Taking apart knives

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sal
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Taking apart knives

Postby sal » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:20 am

Taking knives apart
Every month we get back hundreds of knives that have been returned to dealers. These knives have been played with, taken apart, re-assembled and then returned to the dealer as "new" for a refund. Dealers will just put them back on the shelf to send to some other poor customers that believes he's getting a new knife. It isn't a new knife; it has been taken apart and put back together by an amateur. Most (95%) of the time a knife is taken apart by an amateur it is not put back together properly so the new customer gets screwed by the previous customer.

Now we have the dealers return the knives to us so as to prevent this from happening. We then have to QC the knives a 2nd time and generally 2nd them. This is an expensive time taker and a loss to our company which has to be put into the costs of doing business which raises the costs of the products.

We ask our customers not to do this. We don't send out internal parts because it encourages customers to take apart their knives. These are not Tinker Toys or Lego sets, they re precision pieces. Follow our procedures and we will take care of you.

We've set up distributors all over the world to try to get the product to our customers and service their needs and problems. This is also expensive and many customers will complain about the cost and try to find ways around it, and then complain when they have a problem that circumvents all of the solutions we have tried to put into place.
We have not been able to figure out a way to sort this. Every month we get numerous customers getting on the forum and complaining publicly that we are screwing our customers. They want to have everything done the way they want it because “they have a reason”. We don’t expect them to understand all that is involved, and often they refuse to because they simply want what they want, which is often unreasonable and more costly to us than the solutions we have already put into place..

We set out policies to be able to solve issues and still make good products, please our customers and maintain a business. Perhaps this can be an ongoing discussion?

Thanx,

sal

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby ThePeacent » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:52 am

I am sincerely sorry Sal and this has obviously been a very frequent problem the last years. :(

YouTube, Forums and online social networks have promoted the disassembling, modifying and tinkering of knives and the new aftermarket parts (scales, clips, standoffs...) are now more popular than ever before.

I am hesitant to touch my SPydies' guts unless there's a real problem and I am sure I know how to address it. :eek:
Other knives and brands I also trust to give me a usable and properly fit knife when I buy it,
and I am angry that the prices rise because of this, :mad:

there is a reason for Warranty and Repair services from reputable brands such as Spyderco,
and in the end most problems the ELUs complain about are in one way originated by the customers themselves (washers cupping, loctite, detent and lockup...)

IMO you're doing well and are being so lenient and stand-up guys, it's the community that needs to stick to policies and warranties and settle their heads a bit (for the most part, not everyone of course) considering other perspectives and points of view before saying things that once out of their mouth stop being theirs :spyder:

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Archimedes
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Archimedes » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:55 am

I was raised that if, "you broke it, you bought it." Taking apart a knife is breaking it. You are now the owner of that knife. Especially if you can't reassemble it properly. I think personal responsibility is missing in a lot of people these days.

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ChrisinHove
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby ChrisinHove » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:58 am

Clearly pinned construction and red loctite have their advantages...

Most new vehicles have their key fasteners marked in some way, I assume to betray any meddling. Perhaps a soft finish on key knife fixings would at least make any tinkering obvious?

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curlyhairedboy
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby curlyhairedboy » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:47 am

Any of my spyderco knives that I've taken apart I did so with the assumption of total responsibility for any issues. This was especially true under the prior warranty policy.

I think people don't fully appreciate the tolerances that go into making a great knife. We're talking well under a mm, into the thousandths of an inch.

(anecdote: got an aftermarket g10 scale for my Southard, and upon putting it on, the centering was noticeably off. It could be fixed with adjustments to the pivot, but I ended up putting the original back on. When I overlapped the two scales, there was nothing different I could visually detect. They were identical in every dimension, except the aftermarket scale must have been off by a hair. Big enough difference to apply a torque to the screws, standoffs, and frame to twist things out of alignment.)

Add to this the usually low quality or crude tools most readily available to the ELU - box store screwdrivers - and the improper methods - stop pin won't come undone on a pm2? Use a vice grips and squash it - I'm sure there's a gap between what people can do well and what they can't.

Let's put it this way. Most of us wouldn't take apart a modern smartphone to swap in louder aftermarket speakers. Those of us who DO know how to do it certainly would accept that the activity would void the warranty.
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steelcity16
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby steelcity16 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:10 am

sal wrote:
Now we have the dealers return the knives to us so as to prevent this from happening. We then have to QC the knives a 2nd time and generally 2nd them. This is an expensive time taker and a loss to our company which has to be put into the costs of doing business which raises the costs of the products.

sal
If the dealers are able to identify a tinkered-with returned knife to send back to you, why can't they just refuse the return and refund as a violation of their return policy? They should send it back to the customer.
:spyder: Enjoys long walks on the beach with rustproof lightweight folding knives. Must love Boye Dents and deep carry wire clips. :spyder:

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby ross8425 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:16 am

It sounds like the start of the problem (other than the obvious disassembly by someone who is incompetent) is the dealers blindly accepting returned items without inspecting them.

Wouldn't it be considered theft to return an item for a full refund that was used? Pretty sure theft would be considered illegal.

The dealers need to tighten up their return policy in my eyes. I have taken apart a bunch of knives - never once did I return one or send it in for warranty work. I know the ability of what I can and can't do. If I broke it, I broke it. It is my fault, no one else.

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby ThePeacent » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:53 am

Oh and Sal,
getting so close to 10K posts now!! :eek:
Three to go...are you asking any wish? :D

Maybe the Post Count Fairy could bring you an end to the headaches caused by this if you ask strongly enough :spyder:

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Larry_Mott » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:57 am

This puts grist to my mill about knives *not* being guns, or engines which are both meant to be disassembled and reassembled periodically (ok, in case of an engine very periodically :) )
I just hope the Youtube/social media tinkerbells will die out of style and popularity..
You drop a screw from your pocket knife in the woods - **** manufacturer! They fix it and now you can't disassemble your knife just for the heck of it - **** manufacturer!
You have my sympathy and understanding Sal!
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby wrdwrght » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:01 am

A sticky at last.

Perhaps the Edge-u-cation piece that ships with a new knife can be expanded to make clear what a buyer's disassembly is risking, not least a seller's right to refuse a return?
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby zhyla » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:43 am

Why are people taking Spyderco knives apart and then returning them? I think that's worth thinking about. Were they too tight? Gritty?

I'll admit, a certain fraction of consumers are just jerks, they'll take something apart, break it, and return it. That's just the reality of consumer goods. But if you've got customers trying to solve problems themselves with a torx driver on a brand new Spyderco it may be worth finding out why. Maybe some kind of survey?

Not everyone is going to send their knife to CS.

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby koenigsegg » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:10 pm

zhyla has a great point. Any time I mess with the knife is because it's got a gritty detent ball or a gunked pivot. I don't really want to wait a month and pay money for something I can fix in two minutes. I don't expect SFO to warrant anything I mess up while I'm working on the knife as this is not a issue caused by the manufacturing. If they take the knife apart are they looking for the dented washers? A shame that we can't tell if it was made that way or caused by the person who put it back together. Hopefully this will be less of an issue with a bit of CQI
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Daveho » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:28 pm

Why not just support your products and sell internal parts?

The current process causes out of pocket expense to the end user and this attitude of “users can’t possibly be trusted to use a T8 driver” comes across as sanctimonious, those who use these tools cone from many backgrounds and to assume that none of them could possibly assemble a knife is pretty poor form.

It’s perfectly reasonable to protect your income from people who break stuff then try and claim warranty but for those of us who would simply like to pay for a pair of washers surely you could put some process in place to support your customers who have supported the spyderco brand for so many years?
Last edited by Daveho on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MichaelScott
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:42 pm

zhyla wrote:Why are people taking Spyderco knives apart and then returning them? I think that's worth thinking about. Were they too tight? Gritty?

I'll admit, a certain fraction of consumers are just jerks, they'll take something apart, break it, and return it. That's just the reality of consumer goods. But if you've got customers trying to solve problems themselves with a torx driver on a brand new Spyderco it may be worth finding out why. Maybe some kind of survey?

Not everyone is going to send their knife to CS.
You don’t know why others are disassembling their knives. They may not know themselves. And, that is not the point. If they think there is a problem the remedy is, clearly stated in the warranty document present in each knife box, to send it in for evaluation by people who know what they are doing.

A survey of knife owners to diagnose potential defects would be worse than useless. They, by and large, aren’t qualified and that would only encourage some to take theirs apart.
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Evil D » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:46 pm

zhyla wrote:Why are people taking Spyderco knives apart and then returning them? I think that's worth thinking about. Were they too tight? Gritty?

I'll admit, a certain fraction of consumers are just jerks, they'll take something apart, break it, and return it. That's just the reality of consumer goods. But if you've got customers trying to solve problems themselves with a torx driver on a brand new Spyderco it may be worth finding out why. Maybe some kind of survey?

Not everyone is going to send their knife to CS.
That's entirely possible, but I fully believe there are YouTubers who buy knives for "reviews" and simply return them after making their video. That doesn't account for all of them though.
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby toxophilus » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:09 pm

The practice of consumers taking apart/adjusting/modifying their knives will never stop.

I've learned much from reading forums/watching videos; I take what I consider are best practices from these sources to modify/maintain 'some' of my Spyderco knives. As others have stated I'm responsible for what I do to/with them, not a dealer and certainly not Spyderco.

I'm lucky to live close enough to the SFO if I ever have a production knife fail; to date I haven't.

Maybe a Kizan/Sig Sigma (or other quality process) approach could be implemented down the road?

Off the top of my head, given that consumers will take apart/adjust their Spydies, below are some Spyderco Technical Support potential ideas:
- Develop Spyderco short videos that support the content located at the back of the published Spyderco catalog i.e. changing the clip position etc.
- Include tips to ensure they do it right (using the right torx head, properly heating the area in case the clip screw is stubborn etc.)
- Maybe publish your own Spyderco Official youtube channel? (take away from those poorly published instructions that some youtubers are publishing)
- You've probably already got a database of different reasons why Spydercos come back; potentially develop a paid subscription with advanced videos to adjust/fix/reassemble Spydercos PROPERLY
- Develop a paid subscription to develop a 'Chat' with a Spyderco Technician with the ability to connect via video (Skype or other) to troubleshoot to a certain point; it would only go so far and if unsuccessful the Customer would have to send in the knaf

Food for thought...

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby ZrowsN1s » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:20 pm

Daveho wrote:Why not just support your products and sell internal parts?

The current process causes out of pocket expense to the end user and this attitude of “users can’t possibly be trusted to use a T8 driver” comes across as sanctimonious.
You may be able to take a knife apart just fine, but whether you think it's sanctimonious or not, the reality (they know this is the reality because they have the returned knives to prove it) is many elu's can't be trusted to take apart and put back together precision tools like spyderco knives. And what's worse is many of the people who do mess up their knives send them back to dealers like nothing happened, so they get sent back out damaged to someone else. This may be exactly how you got your knife that you are having problems with. Sending out internals encourages people to take apart their knives, which perpetuates this problem, which is why they don't do it. It's not an issue of not supporting their products, or an attack on your own personal abilities. It's the reality of most elu's ability to take apart a knife on their own, and the consequences of unscrupulous people who break things and then return them like nothing happened.
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MichaelScott
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby MichaelScott » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:27 pm

Daveho wrote:Why not just support your products and sell internal parts?
Sal already answered that question

[quote="Daveho“]

The current process causes out of pocket expense to the end user and this attitude of “users can’t possibly be trusted to use a T8 driver” comes across as sanctimonious.[/quote]

Maybe you should go back and read the original post and the Spyderco warranty.

Almost every new thing sold comes with some kind of warranty. It is the buyer’s responsibility to understand it. If the buyer does not like the terms, then don’t pay for it (the warranty and it’s services make up part of the item price. I.e., you are buying that along with the product.)
The “out of pocket expense” you complain of is a function of you agreeing with the warranty terms when you buy the product. It shouldn’t come as a surprise.

This entire issue stems from a small number of buyers not wanting to live up to the agreement they made when they bought a Spyderco knife then badgering Spyderco through public forums to be treated as special. A few, apparently, go so far as to return the knife they have misused or damaged as new, thereby defrauding innocent future buyers and perhaps dealers too.

These people are hurting the rest of us because, as Sal pointed out, dealing with hundreds of these instances each month along with the infrastructure cost incurred to support global customers, has increased the cost to everyone.

In the end, there is no satisfying these special people who can’t take responsibility for their own actions and decisions. We can only counter their rather transparent arguments in these public forums so that their rants are shown for the irrelevant tantrums they sometimes become.
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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Daveho » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:31 pm

We know your position is “read the warranty document” and I’m not sure why me having a slightly defective knife upsets you so but consider your opinion counted.
I don’t belive Sal has said why spyderco wont SELL internals?
Encouraging disassembly? Please! Tools need to be maintained.
Should I send my knife in every time it needs sharpening?
Bearings in plastic cages are going to wear and being in a position where it isn’t possible to repair these knives is planed obsolescence which isn’t a good thing, quite ugly in fact.
Last edited by Daveho on Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Taking apart knives

Postby Ankerson » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:38 pm

I don't know what the answer is to this other than maybe VOID the Warranty and make it CLEAR that taking them part does VOID the WARRANRY.

RED LOCITE on all screws except the Pivot Screw.

I have never had a reason to take apart my Spyderco knives.

Could use proprietary screws, have them made so nothing fits them.

RED Loctite and Soft metal so they strip thereby making it obvious taking apart the knife was tried voiding the warranty.
Last edited by Ankerson on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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