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Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum

Posted by CliffStamp 
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
November 21, 2012 07:38PM
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Chum

Depending on the market and the forum, most customers can recognize a jerk when they see one.

It isn't what is said on the forum, it is that you have taken a customer and turned them into a propaganda machine. It is what they are saying when you are not there and neither is anyone else. The worst are the people who know this and use the value they represent (in terms of preventing loss) and leverage it against the cost to pay them off.

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Chum
I wonder how devastated Cold Steel has become by not replacing their knives due breakage from batoning? I know they have been called out on this by many.

Cold Steel has always had this policy which I called out on the forums years ago. They put out a video claiming to show extreme performance yet attempt to duplicate any of the results will void the warranty on the knife. However while this does cause them to lose customers it is counter balanced by what they gain from the original promotion. I would hazard in general that most makers would be safe calling batoning abusive from a marketing perspective because more people are likely to accept it would be abusive (nonsense of course). Now the critical point Cold Steel has to make is how many customers do they lose vs how many knives would they have to replace if they accepted it?

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If they feel a customer is taking advantage of them the company should feel like they can take a stand, not just pay the customer off to be quiet. Other potential customers can decide on their own who's side they are on. Most will recognize who is right and who is wrong.

You are assuming you are always going to be there to give a counter point and even if this was the case you are ignoring the cost of making this counter point instead of actually selling a product.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
November 21, 2012 11:08PM
Replying from my phone here...

When you pay off customers to shut them up they invariably let people know it. Some may see it for was it is, others will see it as an open door to get something for free. You can gain a reputation as a company that will replace anything for any reason. This can work out favorably for large companies, but it can cause real financial harm to small companies.

Additionally, I have spoken to new customers who said they had read what my boss has said online, defending our product from a total nut of a customer. The new customer knew that what my boss was saying was true. That was enough to have them give us a try. This was on a horticultural forum.

Cliff, what would your reaction be to a customer who was unjustly asking for too much from a company who had treated them fairly? This is assuming you were reading about this exchange online.

You can't please everyone, but if you always fair you will inevitably attract others of a like mind.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
November 22, 2012 01:47PM
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Chum

Cliff, what would your reaction be to a customer who was unjustly asking for too much from a company who had treated them fairly?

I deal with such customers on a daily basis so I am quite sympathetic to people having to deal with abusive customers. My wife who is Indian doesn't believe such a thing even exists, she believes it is her job/position etc. to get the most from her money and there is no question of being "reasonable" in negotiation, she believes that is extremely naive. Try spending some time in a culture which has a high bartering culture and you will get a very different perspective. But again locally it is different and I would be sympathetic to the guy dealing with it, but if he called a client out in public I would think he was incompetent and if he worked for me I would fire him on the spot as that is damaging the company.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
November 22, 2012 02:32PM
Reasonable is a good thing, saves you from getting your ass kicked from someone bigger.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
November 22, 2012 06:49PM
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CliffStamp
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Chum

Cliff, what would your reaction be to a customer who was unjustly asking for too much from a company who had treated them fairly?

I deal with such customers on a daily basis so I am quite sympathetic to people having to deal with abusive customers. My wife who is Indian doesn't believe such a thing even exists, she believes it is her job/position etc. to get the most from her money and there is no question of being "reasonable" in negotiation, she believes that is extremely naive. Try spending some time in a culture which has a high bartering culture and you will get a very different perspective. But again locally it is different and I would be sympathetic to the guy dealing with it, but if he called a client out in public I would think he was incompetent and if he worked for me I would fire him on the spot as that is damaging the company.

You'd fire them regardless of the customer's actions?

I have about 24 years of customer service experience of various kinds from vastly different kinds of companies. I have never been fired, only promoted. At times the customer is wrong, sometimes they need to be told no.

Again, the type and size of the company makes a difference in how you should handle an out of line customer, and your black & white stance on the subject won't benefit every kind of business.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
November 22, 2012 07:16PM
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Chum

You'd fire them regardless of the customer's actions?

Yes, anyone who called a customer out in public and aggravated the situation instead of diffusing it is a liability for the company. Most people misunderstand what their job is, it isn't to satisfy the customer - that is the easiest job in the world. If that really was the goal you would just give everyone what they want. Their job also isn't to zero-sum follow the policy of the company (contract, obligations, etc.). Again if that was the goal it would be trivial to do the job, just do exactly that and refuse anything more. The job, as all jobs are in business, is to make money for the company. If they are acting in a way which causes the company to lose money they are not doing their job.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
November 22, 2012 08:12PM
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CliffStamp
Most people misunderstand what their job is, it isn't to satisfy the customer - that is the easiest job in the world. If that really was the goal you would just give everyone what they want.

That sounds a lot like what you have been suggesting, and what I have been arguing against.

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CliffStamp
The job, as all jobs are in business, is to make money for the company. If they are acting in a way which causes the company to lose money they are not doing their job.

Every job is definitely NOT to simply make money for the company. Every company is different and while money is the main reason companies exist there will be times companies purposefully do things that will not increase profits. Some people don't understand this, and probably never will. Regardless, telling a customer they are wrong, or they can't get a refund, or even to take their business elsewhere, won't always result in decreased profits in the long run.

Invent the perfect business model. After a year of putting it into practice it will be different. Some of the changes will be made to increase profits. Other changes will be made so the work day will be tolerable enough for people to continue working there.

Anyway, if a custom knife maker tells a customer on a forum, or YT, that they are a jerk because they are demanding a refund for a knife after breaking it in a destruction test... that won't stop me from buying from that knife maker.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
November 22, 2012 09:37PM
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Chum
Every company is different and while money is the main reason companies exist there will be times companies purposefully do things that will not increase profits.

A company by definition is a business organization, a business by definition is involved in the trade of goods and/or services with a customer base. The goal of every employee is to have a positive increase in sales, if they have a decrease in sales they are terminated and replaced with someone who has a positive increase in sales.

Even in a non-profit business, if you have to pick between two people and one has a positive effect and the other negative you pick the positive. Now of course you don't decide on the immediate, you decide based on the lifetime of the company and you don't decide on the direct as the indirect causes may be greater.

This of course assumes you want business growth, if you don't then your decisions would be different. If you need to establish a plateau, which some people do, then you make decisions which prevent growth as it isn't desired, but generally no one would rationalize doing this by aggravating a customer base because that is chaotic.

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Anyway, if a custom knife maker tells a customer on a forum, or YT, that they are a jerk because they are demanding a refund for a knife after breaking it in a destruction test... that won't stop me from buying from that knife maker.

That is not at all relevant to why you would never do it.

I would never buy a custom (i.e. designed) knife with a slab tang, would that mean no one should make them.

If everyone would rationally consider both sides before making a decision then policies would be very different, however most people don't consider any sides and will decide for extremely irrational decisions. It is why common techniques to increase sales are for salespeople to increase personal grooming as it has been consistently linked to improved sales. It is completely irrational but it is a fact, people don't decide rationally in general they are extremely emotional and highly biased.
Has anyone independently verified the Rockwell C hardness of the plain edge Spyderco Pacific Salt (or any other Salt knife)? I had edge holding issues with two of their blades in H1. The edges of the blade would reflect light after I attempted to cut through a green tree branch of less than 3/8" diameter, 3 times (3x). I returned them and asked them to verify the hardness of the blade. They would not, claiming that it can't be measured accurately except by micro hardness testing. I notice on their web site they say of HI that it "reaches a Rockwell hardness of 57-58rc". This is copied from the description of the Pacific Salt on the Spyderco webpage. The current url is: [www.spyderco.com]. So they say that H1 can reach 57-58 rc and they state that the Pacific Salt uses H1. They nowhere specifically state that the hardness of the H1 blade in the Pacific Salt is 57-58 rc.
You can argue that they infer it and you may be right, but they told me that you cannot test the hardness of H1 except by micro hardness testing. Since they never offered to do that test on the blades I returned, I assume it must be prohibitively expensive.
In some ways I am comparing apples and oranges. The knives I returned were not Pacific Salts, but ARKS. Still it seems to me that unless they are treated differently thermally, they should exhibit the same edge holding.
I don't want to push this too far. Spyderco replaced the knives I complained about. Interestingly, they did not offer to replace them like for like. They did say that they were coming out with serrated edge ARKs and seemed to imply that they would not have similar problems. Also they would not let me choose another Spyderco with H1 steel, unless I agreed to serrated edges.
In addition, they would commit none of their claims to print, physical or electronic. I would have preferred to deal with them by email, but they insisted on calling me instead.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2016 09:56PM by curmudgeon.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
January 10, 2016 08:28PM
Microhardness testing is fairly inexpensive, $5-$10 per spot, locally.
me2
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
January 11, 2016 07:35PM
I priced it locally (relatively) in Charlotte, NC, about 1.5 hours from here (Spartanburg, SC). The cost was reasonable, but not what I'd call cheap. It was about $125 for a hardness profile from spine to edge. Most of that was sample mounting and polishing. I don't see why H1 can't be bulk tested like any other blade, on the flat or ricasso. The claims of differential hardening are well documented, so if that is what they want to look for, then microhardness is the way to go.

I had 2 H1 blades and neither displayed that kind of behavior. They were on the lower end of the knives I had at the time, but not that bad, and certainly acceptable. Of course keep in mind I'm perfectly happy with Cold Steels Krupp stainless blades and CTS-BD1.
I have a dragonfly in H1, plain edge, that does not exhibit that behavior. They did not even acknowledge that other H1 blades don't have the problem. I bought another copy of the ARK since they kept the originals. I wanted to have evidence of its behavior and I like the knife. Interestingly enough, it was out of stock almost everywhere. I found it at the Bento Box Shop. Their prices are so high they typically have inventory long after others have run out. Something is different with the ARKs. Whatever it is, Spyderco is playing their cards close to the vest.

I'm sure Spyderco would be disappointed to learn that I have procured a Pacific Salt, plain edge, to test. I tried cutting the same limbs with the Pacific Salt that blew away the edge of the ARKs . The edge did not reflect light, but it did take a small amount of damage, I forgot to look at it under magnification before I sharpened it, but at least it was not reflecting light. More to come. I plan to EDC the Pacific Salt for a while.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
January 11, 2016 09:36PM
It is not unexpected for a new knife to have some edge damage, H1 or not.

--

Chris, in regards to micro-hardness, or any other kind of work, it has to be critical what you are requesting. In this case you don't want the equivalent of a stamped document which could be used as expert testimony, all you want at most is informal data. The costs are radically different.
me2
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
January 12, 2016 08:15AM
I have a comparison between my plain edge Salt 1 and my RADA kitchen knife on here somewhere. The Salt showed increased edge retention following a few sharpenings. It was almost certainly the less than optimal factory edge and it's removal that caused this. I don't know if it has anything to do with heat, but it was definitely not as clean an edge as usual on my other Spyderco knives. Did you sharpen the ARK and try again?
Me2,
Yes I resharpened the arks. Usually I have trouble attaining an edge that will push cut paper. Strangely, I got the arks to push cut notebook paper. I guess I didn't mention it in my previous posts, but I sent the arks back twice. The first time they sharpened them and sent them back. They said they couldn't find anything wrong with them, though they offered no evidence except to say they had never had any trouble with H1. I tried the newly Spyderco-sharpened arks on the same small tree branches that blew out the edge the first time. Same exact result. 3 cuts and the entire edge was reflecting light. As you might imagine, I was not happy. I sent them back a second time with a scathing report on their customer service. Subsequently, after an aborted conversion with Eric, they sent me a letter offering to replace them with any other of their knives that I chose. That was not quite true because they wouldn't exchange them for any other knife in H1 with a plain edge. I finally chose an Endura and a Delica. Of course I had to make up the difference in price, which was understandable. So I ended up pretty well satisfied, but had to purchase a Pacific Salt elsewhere. I am disappointed about the arks, I like them.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2016 09:42PM by curmudgeon.
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
January 12, 2016 11:03AM
I have used H1, and quite frankly even fairly low end chinese no-name $1 steel to do that type of work without issues. If you are taking any steel knife and just carving on wood and the apex starts reflecting light after a few passes then there is something seriously wrong with the steel, assuming the apex was actually sharpened properly and / or isn't at an angle far below what is required to keep it from deforming.
Eee
Re: Extreme Regrind : Pacific Salt, Small Sebenza, Meadowlark, Delica, Vapor, Fulcrum
January 13, 2016 03:50PM
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curmudgeon
Me2,
Yes I resharpened the arks. Usually I have trouble attaining an edge that will push cut paper. Strangely, I got the arks to push cut notebook paper. I guess I didn't mention it in my previous posts, but I sent the arks back twice. The first time they sharpened them and sent them back. They said they couldn't find anything wrong with them, though they offered no evidence except to say they had never had any trouble with H1. I tried the newly Spyderco-sharpened arks on the same small tree branches that blew out the edge the first time. Same exact result. 3 cuts and the entire edge was reflecting light. As you might imagine, I was not happy. I sent them back a second time with a scathing report on their customer service. Subsequently, after an aborted conversion with Eric, they sent me a letter offering to replace them with any other of their knives that I chose. That was not quite true because they wouldn't exchange them for any other knife in H1 with a plain edge. I finally chose an Endura and a Delica. Of course I had to make up the difference in price, which was understandable. So I ended up pretty well satisfied, but had to purchase a Pacific Salt elsewhere. I am disappointed about the arks, I like them.

I have a theory which may be worth testing. You are having problems with a fixed blade which doesn't seem to happen on a folder. I have an aqua salt and it is very sensitive to how you draw it from the sheath. Others have noted the same behaviour on British Blades. This causes immediate bluntness, but I suppose may weaken the metal close to the edge too.
Spyderco evidently agrees, since they replaced the knives.
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