A challenge knife manufacturers face everyday

usflagI was talking to my banker earlier this week and we got off on the subject of the economy. I mentioned that the Chinese imports are hurting U S knife manufacturers. He interrupted me and, while reaching in his pocket, said he wanted to ask me a question.

Then he pulled out a metal handled two- bladed knife and asked me what was wrong with it. I didn’t see anything broken. He softly said again, “So, what is wrong with that knife?” I looked at it again and there stamped on the rear master blade tang was the word- “China.”

He said, “This knife serves my purpose. It does what I need it to do. And, it only cost me about 10 dollars.”

He knows full well the implications to his question about not buying “Made in America” too- for him it’s Customers. Banks accounts. Interest on loans. HIS JOB! – but he was asking a fair question.

You know, he really didn’t seem to care it wasn’t decent quality. He just wanted an inexpensive knife that would go cut. Unfortunately, I am afraid there are many folks out there with his point of view too.

So, the challenge our knife companies face is this- when the knife buyer is trying to stretch his dollars, how do you convince him to spend the extra money for a better quality knife and one that was made here in America?

Casting the first stone-

Now before we jump on my banker friend and declare him to be unpatriotic, how many of us buy/have foreign- made products, like electronics – Nikon, Minolta, Canon, Sony, Samsung, or Mitsubishi, or cars- Honda, Isuzu, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, or Toyota, -just to name a few?

flagHeck, even some of our own flags are foreign-made.






 The first thought that popped into my head to answer his question was that much of the steel used in Chinese blades (the front tang was stamped “440C Stainless Steel”) is recycled steel and is a lower grade/quality- I remembered reading China bought the steel from the crumbled World Trade Center Towers. Now they are selling it back to us.

Also,  if you are curious about how to define a foreign-made car check this link out. Many of the US cars are built in Canada and Mexico and many of the foreign cars are now built here.


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Just as a side note, all steel is made from recycled steel. There is no such thing as completely “new steel.” All steel has a minimum of 25% recycled content.

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