Author Topic: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?  (Read 5436 times)

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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« on: November 28, 2012, 12:49:32 PM »
I have been considering options for some affordable alternatives to my sole authorship TOKT knives.  There are several suppliers offering pre ground and heat treated stainless blades. I believe I could offer finished knives made from these blades under $100, and under $150 with metal bolsters. The biggest thing that adds cost to sole auhorship knives is the in-house hand grinding and heat treat.

The trade off is that the knives would not be made entirely in-house, and would be stainless only.

Any interest in something like this?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 12:51:49 PM by PetrifiedWood »

Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 01:29:35 PM »
Hmm, that's a good question.

I am, currently, enjoying a knife that NMTracker handled.  It is BK Eskabar.  I am really enjoying this knife and I even handled one of my own because I like the one NMT put together very much.
On the reverse side of things, I have some customs (a handful which are yours) and I enjoy them in a different way.   I know my customs are made 100% by the person putting them together and that you stand behind them. 

So is finishing a pre-made blade something I would consider?  Yes as long as it is an alternative and you can still get a 100% TOKT knife from you. 

I feel across the board with all the knifemakers on here that knife kits are something I would like to see more often for sale.  Hint hint, PW.  ;)
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 01:46:23 PM »
Thanks for the input!

When I do get back to fully operational shop status, I will of course continue to offer knives entirely handmade in house. Kits could be an option as well, with blades and scales.

Offline Saintnick001

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 01:47:54 PM »
As a guy with very little cash I can get behind the low cost movement. I do think however, that if I could come up with that kinda of money I would just save my pennies a little longer and buy a 100% TOKT knife.
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Offline rogumpogum

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2012, 02:20:07 PM »
I think there is a huge market for this. NMTracker has shown that you can take a blank and make it uniquely yours and then sell it. Heck, not only that - it's inspiring!

So, imo, you need to make the blank a TOKT knife, if not by design, but looks and quality. You have to make it yours, so when someone looks at it, they can say.. Yeah, PW put that handle on.

Does that make sense?
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Offline Highlife

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2012, 02:30:36 PM »
As a guy with very little cash I can get behind the low cost movement. I do think however, that if I could come up with that kinda of money I would just save my pennies a little longer and buy a 100% TOKT knife.

I tend to agree with this mentality. If a semi-custom knife is $100-$150, and a full custom is $175-$250, you're catching the same demographic. If it's not below $75, it might as well be $175...

Just my opinion.
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Offline Buckskin

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 02:54:17 PM »
I might be interested in blanks only.  I can handle the handle portion.  My blade grinding skills are left to be desired though. 
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 03:00:53 PM »
Well there is always the fleur de lis logo... :D

I hear what you are saying Nick and I apreciate it!

Mostly I think this is me itching to make some knives but not having the the time to make them from start to finish. :doh:

THB, that is a difficult price point to hit when you consider time and consumables, in light of the fact that materials costs for pre made blades are about triple the cost for raw materials. Of course this all depends on the knife size, design, complexity, etc.

My Bushpick knife is a good example. If I could get the blades pre ground and heat treated for about $40 each and then add scales and hardware, plus grinder belts and sandpaper used, solvents and adhesives, rust preventives, sandblast media, shipping and packaging tape and bubble wrap, printer paper and ink, respirator cartridges, gas to drive to and from the post office... the cost per knife would be close to $55.00 and thats just the stuff I can think of off the top of my head. :D

If I charged less than $75 for the knife it would be about $20 or less for 2 to 3 hours of work.

I was charging $125 or thereabouts for a basic bushpick and that was a very reasonable price for an entirely handmade knife. But I did some seroius reexamination of the time and materials cost involved in producing them and though I was making a profit, it was not enough to justify the time that goes into producing one. I still like the design but I think it needs to go in a different direction, like a full flat grind and the tangs need to be drilled to balance better with the material a full flat will remove. A flat grind bushpick would be reminiscent of a kephart blade shape with woodlore inspired handle ergonomics.

In any case, the original $125 basic bushpicks are a thing of the past. I dont regret making a single one of them at that price, and I am grateful to the folks that bought them and proud that they are out there being used. But I cant let them go that cheap in the future.

It may well be that semi customs are not really a desireable option, but thats what this thread is all about... testing the waters. :)


Offline beanbag

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Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 03:03:45 PM »
Carbon steel.....

Offline Highlife

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 03:04:45 PM »
I understand the price point isn't achievable as a hand-crafter, I was just stating my opinion that a sub-$75 production knife would get my $$$ before a $100 semi-custom with a production blade. Just my mileage.
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Offline rogumpogum

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 03:10:06 PM »
In any case, the original $125 basic bushpicks are a thing of the past.

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Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2012, 03:14:47 PM »
^This.
I'm ticked that I missed the original bush pick.

:'(

KK

But, that being said, I think I'd prefer carbon steel as well.

Would I personally buy a knife that was 'just' 'handled' by a knifemaker?

Wow. Tough call. Maybe more "no" than "yes"....
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« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 03:17:36 PM by kanukkarhu »
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2012, 03:40:29 PM »
I'd love the stainless and the fact that it would have your creative additions. That being said..

there is only one original bushpick!



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Offline madmax

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2012, 05:11:17 PM »
Well,  I think you'll get a handfull of orders.  Then not much.  It'll get a few of your blades out there.  Finished not like you would. 

Aim higher.  JMHO.
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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2012, 08:36:44 PM »
I think there are already plenty of low-cost alternatives that would be stiff competition. 

My experience with stainless blades has been less than positive and I would only consider buying a stainless blade which was made by a custom maker, and even then I have mixed feelings - look at my experience with the C3 Bird and Trout, which I wanted as an alternative to the half-dozen cheap fillet blades I break every year, which didn't make it to my doorstep without damage.  IMHO, production stainless blades wouldn't be worth putting your time in on.

Having experienced first-hand the quality of your work,  I wouldn't buy anything less than a 100% TOKT custom product from you at this point.  My $0.02, keep doing what you do very well: making an excellent knife.   

Offline Dano

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2012, 09:02:01 PM »
I've seen a few nice looking blanks in the Jantz catalog, but can't figure how they can sell them that cheap.  Makes me worried about the heat treat, or the quality of the stainless they use.

My concern is keeping the separation/distinction of full blown TOKT products vs a product you've only finished.  If there is a quality issue with the blank, or it is sold/traded beyond the original purchaser...just hate to see it backfire.

Are you thinking of a different maker's mark to keep them separated?

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2012, 09:20:29 PM »
Half Axe, thanks for the compliment!

Dano, I hadn't really thought that far into it yet. It looks like most folks are not interested in a knife like this, and I totally get it. I probably would prefer to know the blade was made in house as well.

Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2012, 09:31:05 PM »
Ive been following this with interest.

I'm just impressed by your honesty in being open to ideas and throwing this out there. You're a good guy, PW, and i for one am wanting and fully expecting to buy a PW knife some day!

KK
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Any interest in a low-cost alternative blade line?
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2012, 09:37:08 PM »
Thanks man. :)

I will be up and running again. Its just a matter of time.