View Full Version : What do you guys think of this?

01-22-2001, 09:22 PM
What do you guys think when you see a guy making knives from kits, and selling them as his own, fully handmade? I asked some of the guys on firetalk this last night and wanted to get some more feedback. I'm not talking like engath ground blades, Im talking the mystery steel 440C/6a, Chrome vanadium, soligen stainless blades offered in jantz, texas Knifemakers supply, kovals, K&G, etc. What do you think of this? I know guys dont have time to grind the blades and do a nice job finishing them, but are they truly custom?? Also, a big company is selling these kits done by the guy as custom knives. For like $290 with a flashlight, black micarta handle, and leather sheath. Small blade, too..It is the one with the finger hole and serrations on the top edge of the blade. I know the blade sells for less than $20 bucks, grinds aren't the best in these kits, but he is assembling them, putting his mark on them and selling them as his own customs. How do you feel?? Is this why most of you guys don't offer knives in kit form??

Also, the steel is in question. I saw the "chrome vanadium" blades offered as CPM 440V. Is this true???

If I ever do kits, I will out a huge mark people cant get out on them with my name on it. I don't want people calling my stuff theirs when it isn't.

Also, what do you guys feel about sole authorship? I know some guys love this, others send their blades out for HT because pro's can do it. I agree with both, but sometimes it is best to let the pro's do it! (Ed, i will try to mail the blades out tomorrow if I can find packing material!)

Any comments, guys???

01-22-2001, 10:05 PM
I think kit knives are a learning tool,
or for someone who wants a knife thats a little different but dosen't have the $$$ to go custom.
As far as putting their name on them and calling them customs, I don't really think thats right.

Great topic!!

01-23-2001, 02:16 AM
Here In Denmark most knifemaker actually make knives with blades from other makers. I would not call them kitblades but maybe they are. But they all tell that the blade is bought. That?s ok. It is NOT ok to say they maed the darn thing them self or even put a mark on the blade. They should mark the handle or the sheath...not the blade.

I get this at shows alot: "So where do you buy the blades??"

....geeez..... my mark is on them with my name and all....Geeez

01-23-2001, 11:18 AM
I am not a pro or even a full time maker, but once I got the skill to grind my own blades I no longer put my name on any kit knife.

I used kits to learn on and offered them for sale at around $50-$75. I still use purchased kitchen knife blades if and or when I get talked into making them.

My opinion, a kit knife is not a custom knife.

01-23-2001, 11:35 AM
There is nothing wrong with making kit knives, in fact I think it is a very good building block and lets a person know if knifemaking is something they are serious about. However, kit knives should be marketed as such. To do otherwise is dishonest. Furthermore, it is fraudulent as well as dishonest to purposefully market a cheap steel as a premium grade steel.


01-23-2001, 11:44 AM
What Brett said. These are not custom knives and should not be marketed as such.

01-23-2001, 01:09 PM
Thanks, guys. I thought I was too harsh about this, but I guess not. Kits are great for practice and for making people a decent, cheap knife with the handle people want. But marketing them as custom and hand done, give me a break. Some of the blades, Largin I think, grinds blades for kits in Kovals, and I want to buy one. i trust his blades over the no name people. Why? he does them...he knows what he is doing and the steel is told, and is factual. if you guys want the links to the site of the guy who is doing this, email me. Thank you!

01-23-2001, 04:18 PM
Called a knife supply house today and talked to the guy about the steel in the kits. He said the chrome vanadium was 440C with extra vanadium in it and they get it from spain. it is not CPM 440V that the guy is claiming it is. What do you guys think of this one?? Steel being misrepresented?? I think I will have to email this guy again :)

Jason G Howell
01-23-2001, 07:37 PM
I think it is important for a maker to not misrepresent any portion of his work. Before I got a mill, I found it hard to slot guards with a drill and files, so I used preslotted (undersized) guards from the suppliers and final fit to my blades. I felt the need to disclose this info, especially when someone commented on my fit.
Same goes with damascus, mokume, embelishments, etc...

I had a friend of mine that used to bring kits to my shop and I'd show him the various steps of putting his blades together. He had all intentions of eventually grinding his own blades. He could turn out a really decent looking kit knife with fit and finish excellent. Word came back to me that he was misrepresenting his blades as his own, grind and all... I had to cut loose from that situation quickly. If he could do that out of my shop, who's to say I couldn't do the same thing. You can see the potential problem here. Anyway, I take pride in my work and have integrity enough not to misrepresent any portion of my craft.

01-23-2001, 07:59 PM
I like what Jason said! Pride and integrity is what sets the "CUSTOM" knife maker appart from the flea market peddler. I know when I put my name on a knife I'm responsible for the craftsmanship unitl I'm gone or the knife is gone.

01-23-2001, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the input guys. Next question. SHould i email the guy and ask what is going on?? Or just let it go??

01-23-2001, 10:53 PM
Would someone please tell Steve Johnson to quit putting his name on all my knives:)

01-23-2001, 11:10 PM
Lol Dogman!! I still like that stag fighter of yours!!! U working on folders yet????