Been a while since I spent a minute on the blog so here goes.
LOTS been going on personally. Quick trip out of state to take care of some personal business. Working frantically between rain and cold to get the docks and boats lifts ready to go in the lake. With the dry summers the last couple of years I decide to extend one dock another 24′ and replace a short dock with a 56 footer. HOPEFULLY, that takes care of any low water issues! Believe me, dragging an 18′ fiberglass IO off from a boat lift into low water will not only strain your back, it can strain an otherwise pretty good marriage. Spring in this part of the country can be pretty intense as your trying to get everything cleaned up and ready to go for summer. Seems like it all has to be done in an ever smaller window of time.
I’m also hoping I’m in the last phase of home ‘remodeling’. “We” started tearing apart our upper level and “I” will be laying around 800 square feet of hardwood floor and new doors and woodwork this summer. Carpet and padding has been torn out, the walls painted and old woodwork removed.
So why do I bore you with all these details? Because as a result, I’ve probably put a pocket knife to more different tasks in the last two weeks than I have in the last 2 months. My current favorite is the Queen #40 Gunstock or the #48 Whittler for lighter duty.
The other favorite that’s ended up in the toolbox is a #70 Country Cousin.
Why no Great Eastern’s? Well, to be honest I do end up with an old favorite 73 Linerlock going into rotation once in a while. But the fact is, I just find the D2 holds an edge longer when I’m cutting up carpeting and such. Add to that, I’m really fond of the shape of the Gunstock pattern (and with any luck, maybe we’ll see one from GEC this year).
While it’s been a long time since I’ve perused the web to see what’s being said about knives, a recent tour the other evening showed it seems to be quieter then ever. There have been some really nice knives come out of late, including the GEC 92 Talon, the #42 and 72 redux. Queens Medium Sunfish, Gunstock, etc., but the chatter seems to be pretty subdued. What a difference a year can make I guess.
Now, in spite of the lack of discussion, the last month has really been good for knife sales, personally. Interest continues to be strong for the older patterns. The number of new, first time customers has been steadily growing and welcome to all of you!
A growing trend has been notes included with orders specifying that the customer expects perfectly centered blades, ZERO side to side blade play, perfect edges between liner and handle material, perfectly matched panels, etc, etc. In addition, the number of returns has climbed to an all time high primarily because the customer ‘just didn’t like the knife’ after they got it. Unfortunately, that’s resulted in some changes in my return policy.
Sadly, I recently returned 5 of 12 stag handled knives to the manufacturer due to some incredibly poor quality stag. In fact one arrived cracked from end cap to bolster with stag burned charcoal black. Others had stag so paper thin it barely covered the liner at the edge.
In a somewhat soft market, that’s NOT what we want to see.
While I’m not singling out just one manufacturer, it seems that quality hasn’t always been priority one lately. I’ve gotten more critical then ever on what I accept as I know the consumer is expecting more bang for the buck. Just this past week I had a request to closely check over a sub $40 knife for flaws.
It’s slowly culminating into the ‘perfect storm’. More new customers entering the market, higher consumer expectations and a lack of attention to detail and quality issues is a lousy combination for everyone.
So, to the manufacturers, watch what’s going out the door a bit closer. To consumers, remember, you aren’t going to get $400 custom quality in a $100 knife. And consumers, if it’s truly a genuine quality issue, you do us all a huge favor, if you, the consumer, let the manufacturer know your displeased with your knife and why. Put their collective feet to the fire and make them answer to you by fixing the problem for you. It makes one helluva greater impact if ten customers return knives for repair. Way more then 5 dealers returning those same 10 knives. The manufacturers already know that we distributors/dealers are just a whiny bunch of complainers that they tend to dismiss. YOU’RE the ones that can make things happen.
That’s it for now!!! Still raining, gotta drain the water out of the boat.