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This is a Benchmade Proper clone/replica/copy from China. Before you jump on me with forks and torches and CRK Sebenzas, please hear me out. I own nine (9) Benchmade Proper slipjoints; three of the 319 model (in three different variations of the scales, and including first production units) and six of the 318 model (in different variations of the scales). So it’s not an understatement to say I am a huge fan of the Proper model, and generally a fan of slipjoints. Now do I condone copying? No, of course not. However the Benchmade designs (as those from many manufacturers) are usually not patented, so they are copy-able. Let’s be honest with ourselves; companies from all horizons and countries - USA included - will copy others’ products, if they know they can legally get away with it, and if there is profit in it. I agree it’s not ethical, but it’s legal. Note, In this case, I was very surprised they did copy the logo and even the ‘first production’ mention. That makes me a bit uncomfortable with the product, to be honest. The listing on DHG had no Benchmade logo or mention. So when I saw this Proper on DHG, I thought “meh, let’s get this to see how bad the quality is and how crappy the copy is”. Well, it turns out, it practically indistinguishable from the original. The fit and finish are top notch, the detente is smooth (albeit a bit harder than the original - maybe it'll smooth out with time) and the scales are out of this world (Benchmade does not make the black G10 scales, that is why I choose this color, to make sure it does not get mistaken for the real thing). The only thing I cannot verify, is the nature of the steel that has been used. But visually it looks pretty darn close to the real thing and it cuts like laser on soft butter. I am at a loss to explain how a company can produce such a high quality knife at a tenth of the original’s price. If it was branded with another company’s logo, it would have been one heck of a knife. With the Benchmade logo in it, it’s one heck of a replica.
(Edited)
thumb_upKTH007, Tim Hyde, and 11 others
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rgong
1
Aug 5, 2020
If you visit https://steelreviews.blogspot.com/ you can get the info on many of these clone knives. While it's purely personal choice, that's how I compare the price. The BM proper is listed for USD128. The Clone normally is on sell at USD25 including shipment to USA. 1) steel: It's marked as S30V, but high probably it's 7CR, 8CR or popular so called "D2" recently. None of them can be compared with a real S30V. also the heat treatment is suspicious. To get the same good steel, you need top up $30 for this small blade. 2) shipment will take 3 month. Compared with 2-3days delivery from a dealer or amazon, I see the difference is $20. 3) quality: basically no quality guarantee on these products. while you may get some good copy, I saw off from batch to batch. Considering the risk, It's $20. 4) brand. I know many person commented you pay extra for big names. But considering the life time re-sharpening service as BM offers and also the good customer service they have maintained so far, I would value it for $20. so.... 25+30+20+20+20= 115USD. I don't see the point that buy a clone one for cheap.
reswright
2842
Aug 6, 2020
Whether the quality difference is that big as $3 vs $25, maybe not. But if you want the quality, you have to go to $25 one. That's how the target customers are categorized. Insofar as you just meant that when a company has a $5 price point, a $10 price point and a $20 price point for something, a lot of us know we gotta pay the $20 just to have a chance at getting something that doesn't suck... you are 100% correct. Otherwise price as a guarantor of quality is, I think, more true of small operations than large ones. That is to say, it's the way 'good' businesses operate and it's how people act when they're trying to grow their business, but big businesses with shareholders and executive boards laugh up their sleeve at the idea that their prices are going to be a reliable indicator of the amount of work they did. If it were, two thirds of their staff would have no reason to exist, including the C-line staff, because they're ALL there to leverage as big a margin as possible for the shareholders and, indirectly, themselves. Nobody in business is there to make less money. So the prices are going to reflect what they think they can charge, and that may have extremely little to do with their costs. They definitely hope to exploit the fact that you as a consumer usually know less than they do about the business, their true costs, agreements they may have with the competition and they're also hoping you are going to mistakenly assume the best about their intentions. And these days it's frankly their fiduciary obligation to their stakeholders to exploit these asymmetries in available information, or they get fired. I mean, don't cry for them, but that's the reality. And some of those stakeholders who are getting things their way may plan on cashing out five years from now, and really don't give a damn if the moves they push for that maximize their short term income from investment, ends up damaging the company in the long run. They're known to work behind the scenes with a cooperating executive to see that things go their way, that costs get cut and expensive skills get lost in order to boost earnings in the next quarter. They say things like 'Dog eat dog world' and 'they shoulda been smarter' and that's the long version of how you can buy a $150 knife that isn't worth $20 from a well known, big producer that used to have a good reputation. That information is a lot easier to live with, you can kinda file it away as 'just how it is'... if you don't also know that many executives and activist investors actively despise the people who buy their products and would never use them themselves. Abstracts are easier to rationalize but once the added personal dimension comes in people start to sense that their better nature is being well and truly taken advantage of by people who don't possess one themselves.
(Edited)
reswright
2842
Aug 7, 2020
BTW, rock solid post, dood. Good to see. 1) steel: It's marked as S30V, but high probably it's 7CR, 8CR or popular so called "D2" recently. None of them can be compared with a real S30V. also the heat treatment is suspicious. To get the same good steel, you need top up $30 for this small blade. I agree. You definitely don't know what you're getting with a clone and you're a fool to expect the exact same material. At the least, the cloners have no motive to use S30V and business sense would seem to dictate that they'd use something cheaper. But the flip side of that is, Bear and Son in the US just got busted for selling knives marked S30V that turned out to be 5Cr steel with a hard heat treat. And a number of Chinese companies have been caught passing off 8Cr as D2 and better steel. This isn't really an issue that you can be sure to avoid by buying a name brand anymore.. 2) shipment will take 3 month. Compared with 2-3days delivery from a dealer or amazon, I see the difference is $20. Eh. I mean this is a fair point: some people would place that high of a value in getting their purchase quickly. Other folks, especially ones that order a bunch of knives, kinda can go both ways with this. When I open my mailbox and find a TwoSun's in it that I ordered months ago, it's kinda like getting an unexpected present. :) Would I prefer getting them in 2 days? Yeah, but I ain't paying for that. It's from the other side of the world; things take time sometimes and it's reasonable to let them. For the person buying them intending to resell at a higher margin I suppose they have to do the math and look at their finances and ask themselves what hurts worse, a long shipping time between purchase and arrival, or having that extra $20 in cost to cover. 3) quality: basically no quality guarantee on these products. while you may get some good copy, I saw off from batch to batch. Considering the risk, It's $20. Yes. This is kinda related to the first point but still the truest thing about buying a clone is you don't know what you're getting. And you also don't know what tier of quality from a production run of cloned knives you're gonna get -- and these companies sell their bad knives out the back door before they scrap them. So you could be getting a 'good' clone or one that even the manufacturer knows wasn't put together correctly. Honestly I'd place the risk value on this for a knife like the Proper even more highly than you do. You're saying $20. Given the asking price of the Proper I can see it being twice that. In any case it's a real factor. 4) brand. I know many person commented you pay extra for big names. But considering the life time re-sharpening service as BM offers and also the good customer service they have maintained so far, I would value it for $20. I think this is a matter of temperment. One of the reasons I buy as many Chinese made knives as I do is that for most minor defects I'd rather honestly just try and fix it myself rather than deal with a customer service representative. And.... hell, when I get a bad one that I can't fix? I'd rather warn other folks about the brand than go through the hassle of a return. I'm just never ever getting out of bed in the AM to deal with customer service. And for every company out there who, when i do have to work with customer service, really owns their genuine mistakes and makes them right, to the point that I hang up the phone and go 'that's a decent company right there, I feel better about this now' there's gonna be about ten that go straight into the 'never again' file. Seems like everyone wants to make their CSRs grovel for you, which is distasteful to me... and the wait times are calculated to make some people abandon their call and just deal with their broken item somehow, out of sheer frustration. Seems like everyone wants to make sure their CSRs try to offer you the least compensation possible while trying to convince you that you're having an awesome experience that's making things right. That gets old fast for me. Where do I come out? I don't knowingly order clones, although I'm quite at home buying a knockoff like a SRM Land 910. For me, buying the knockoff tells me everything I want to know, and they're likely to have a little more honesty to their description than someone who's openly selling clones with fake labels. The knockoff doesn't cross a legal line that the clone crosses, but it's still a bit of a warning shot to the companies charging $200 for a knife made out of $30 in parts and another $30 in labor, with the margin going straight to the investors.
Buying American made products costs more cause American companies dont benefit off child/slave labor. That’s where the whole legal but not ethical thing comes in. Yikes
reswright
2842
Aug 6, 2020
I want you to google 'Prison Labor in the US'. Read a little bit. And don't tell me they get paid unless you're willing to work for the wages they get -- usually under a buck an hour. These are captive laborers. Next, I want you to google 'Wage Theft in the US'. Note that '$40-60 BILLION a year' figure. Let it sink in. That's how much pay is stolen from the American worker every year by the people employing them. Maybe sit and think about these two things for a moment before you want to talk about American labor practices vis a vis overseas practices. I don't know about you but I've worked in American factories and they are NOT, repeat NOT models of safe and fair labor practices as a general rule. They're as crooked as the owners are, however much that happens to be. I have lingering lung issues caused by inhaling toxic chemicals, hearing damage caused by loud noise levels, and oh by the way I've seen more shitty and flawed goods get packaged up and rushed through QA to make a shipment for an American factory than you can shake a stick at. Pension funds plundered, people thrown out of work a day before retirement, cancer clusters in small American towns... yeah, dude, if you wanna talk about American factories I'm entirely prepared to do so, but it might end up being the sort of conversation that entirely recalibrates your understanding of the topic. The thing to keep in mind about them is that they're the people who moved the production overseas in the first place, not the consumer. Because yeah, American companies that have American labor usually also have overseas labor. When you buy from them there's no clean 'I did good, I supported the American worker' because you're supporting a business that could, at any time, bring all its production back to America, and isn't doing that. You're paying executives who are drawing fat salaries because of the fuckery they worked out with overseas production. They're maintaining a profit margin by threatening their workers that production can always be moved overseas if they ask for too much dough. Seriously, man, if you want to back the American worker, right now backing American industry on blind faith is what's allowing the powers to be to screw them as hard as they are. Yes, we need labor jobs back in the US -- but we also need to hold industrialists accountable and we definitely don't need to let them keep running the table on us. Yikes, indeed.
(Edited)
Fixall
247
Aug 1, 2020
You’re straight up promoting a clone. GTFO of here with that crap.
Bobraz
2456
Aug 5, 2020
Get out of here yourself. You'll have the right to insult anyone after paying $1000 to the original knife manufacturer (like I did) and then spending $20 to see what's the story about clones.
Bobraz
2456
Aug 12, 2020
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99cuts
16
Jul 31, 2020
the knife companies in US are not competing on price. map prices keep going up. I suspect the production costs are dropping with technology but they pocket the savings.
Bobraz
2456
Jul 31, 2020
I suspect you are entirely right!
Andersays
97
Jul 30, 2020
my guess is there's not much warranty support or other customer support along with parts. but I could be wrong...
Bobraz
2456
Jul 30, 2020
I'm sure you're absolutely right!
bert000
2
Jul 30, 2020
Yeah, i know, got one from Ali, bought out of curiosity, as a test indeed, wondering what the quality is. And its good, its very good. Green micarta scales, a bit different than the original. But stil, for a tenth of the price. Dont use it because the logo bothers me.
Bobraz
2456
Jul 30, 2020
They should have taken out the logo; when I bought it, if memory serves there was no logo on the listing, it had been Photoshoped out...
Bknguyen
683
Jul 30, 2020
Interesting write-up!
DHG?
Bobraz
2456
Jul 30, 2020
Yes, sorry should have been more explicit in the naming of the vendor!
reswright
2842
Jul 30, 2020
all good