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So Emerson..

Discussion in 'Knives' started by Morgan X, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. kd7dvd
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    kd7dvd EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    No, it's more like a Milwaukee Hole Hawg, a $400 drill that'll rip your arms out if you let it. Just because I would never pay that for a drill doesn't mean it doesn't have a place for someone.

    some of the other criticisms are hilarious, though:
    • "steel isn't very good by today's standards" -- what on earth does this even mean? Am I doomed to donate all my 154CM knives to Goodwill because standards have changed? What standards? Why didn't I get a memo? OMG, I have a KA-BAR done in 1095!! I consider 154CM the second-best steel in all categories. It's like Bruce Jenner, best all-around, but not even on the podium otherwise. (Full disclosure: I am not a metallurgist.)
    • "often illegal to carry" -- An Emerson knife is no more illegal to carry than any other one-hand liner-lock folding knife of similar length. Now, I haven't spent hours and hours poring over this, but I have spent hours determining where I can carry a knife (mostly where I can carry an auto). There are a number of states with some variation of "carrying with intent to harm" but not many. Speaking for myself, I have no more desire to cut someone up with a CQC7 than with a Kershaw Blur, even if Ernie wants to say it's a "close quarters combat" knife. (Full disclosure: I am not a lawyer.)
    • FITNFINISH -- See how I spelled that as one word? That's how people use it. I generally ignore fitnfinish comments. To me, that just means "I don't like this, but I want to be able to pretend to be objective." Now, if you just plain don't like something, that's fine. If a thing isn't made in a way you find useful, that's fine. Just say so. But when you say "this has bad fitnfinish" without further elaboration, you are pretending to a false objectivity that might steer someone away from a tool that may actually be perfect for their job. So, separate fit from finish and feel free to be subjective about each one. (Discloures: I think Emersons are butt ugly. They're also my favorite knives. It is possible I just have no taste...)
    • I can't comment on the customer service, since I haven't gotten a bad knife from them yet.
    Having said that, there are some valid criticisms here about some Emerson blades.
    • The chisel grind is left-handed. This isn't usually a problem for me, but I do have moments where I'm looking at the knife in abject confusion and saying "huh, how bout that!"
    • They are expensive, and you may not feel like they're good value for the money. Personally, I feel that the pricing is "in the envelope" for what the knife is worth to me, if only barely.
    • The "wave" feature is not for everyone. The knife does need to be broken in pretty well before it's truly useful. (I open the pivot screw 1/8 of a turn, add a drop of 3-in-1 to either side, and just work it until it feels good.)
    • They're not technologically sexy, they're not avant-garde, they're not pretty, the scales aren't flush with the liners (I believe this is an intentional design choice; I don't think it's important functionally.)
    • G-10 scales plus the "wave" feature will chew the heck outta your Carhartts.
    And, as with every piece of gear you see on this forum, YMMV :D
     
  2. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I have some opinions on the fanboyism that seems to surround these knives, but I will get the useful info out of the way first.
    Remember that these knives were not really meant to be opened slowly by the thumb disk. They were meant to open with the wave. That wave feature slams that (heavy, weight+speed=inertia) blade open fast and hard. The lock will most likely engage when the wave is used with a vigor, and they will break in, being a titanium lockbar.
    Now, my opinions. I agree that Emersons are meant to be used and abused, and some people buy them to be thrashed. However, for every person that buys an Emerson and thrashes it, you see many more that buy them and baby them. They were bought because of the reputation and the name and will never be used in the capacity they were designed to be. The average fanboy will spout on and on about how amazing his knife is despite any flaws the thing may have, simply because he spent money on it. I see this with Emerson, Strider, Chris Reeve, et cetera. Then there are the guys like me that appreciate quality tools that aren't overpriced because of the weight the name carries. I use my knives. I don't own an Emerson, Strider, etc., but my knives get used and when they are called to, used hard. I'll carry a $10 Opinel and use it hard, or carry a $100 Benchmade or Cold Steel ("the world's strongest knives", their words not mine) and use them exactly the same. I appreciate having a knife that is smooth and reliable no matter how I use it or how long I've had it.
    That said, I do like Emerson's designs, and I like Striders. I hope I will own one of both eventually when I can afford them. However, I don't buy into the fanboy stuff that gets passed around. I will also buy them used because I do think that they are overpriced for what they are.
    All IMHO, YMMV.
     
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  3. Adahn

    Adahn Loaded Pockets

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    What I like the most about this comment is the point, They're not for everyone. I'm always surprised when a knife gets blames to have the clip only in one position, but big hooray for Spydeys and the like with more holes in it as a swiss cheese. And that's the point, you can't make one tool for everyone. I hate tip-down and 3"+, others love it. That's how it should be :)
     
    Last edited by Adahn, Jun 10, 2014
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  4. LupinIII

    LupinIII Loaded Pockets

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    If I only purchased knives in line with my typical uses, I would own a SAK or multitool and be done with it. I do not need beefy titanium framelocks, super steels, 4" blades, etc. This goes for the entire knife community which consists largely of "collectors" over "users". How does this apply more so to Emerson in particular than other makers? If you are talking about knives purchased for reputation and name over actual uses - I think companies like Hinderer and Strider are even bigger offenders.

    You are right that people will defend what they spend their money on to justify the purchase to themselves. You see the Emerson, Strider, CRK fans in that camp and I am sure there are guys who see you the same way in the Benchmade and Cold Steel camp, even though you consider them better "value" brands. No company will appeal to every person out there. All that matters is people enjoy what they spend their money on.

    You say you do not own an Emerson or Strider - have you at least handled these knives before? You might not buy into the positive hype but the critics seem to have your ear. It is crucial that people actually own and use a few knives from the company in question before deciding something is overpriced or fanboy fodder. Otherwise it is just more hearsay.
     
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  5. oranges

    oranges Loaded Pockets

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    Well said.

    Its not about preference. That is obvious. Its about quality, at least thats what I am talking about. If they charged Sanrenmu prices, do what you want. but they don't. Emerson is a crapshoot.

    And how does anyone comment if they never handled an Emerson?
     
  6. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    @LupinIII
    That's my point exactly. It doesn't apply to Emerson more than other manufacturers, I personally think that it's worse with Chris Reeve and Strider (as you mentioned), and I was using the Cold Steel/Benchmade as an example- you can have a knife (of whatever brand) that costs $x and use it y way, or you could have a knife that costs ten times more and use it the same way. I could have said $40 Spyderco Tenacious and $400 Sebenza, or $30 Rat 1 and $300 Strider and my point would still be valid (in my opinion). Heck, one could even say a $200 Seiko dive watch and a $2000 Omega Seamaster.
    Yes, I have indeed handled them before. I wasn't able to form an opinion on Strider, but I must say that I wasn't impressed with the Emerson Commander I handled at the Emerson booth at the NRA National Convention 2014. It's about a $200 knife, and for me, a $200 knife should be good out of the box and break in to be great, but the Emerson was gritty (and the linerlock was early) to the point that I would not have used it enough to break it in in the first place.
    I do agree that someone should own the product and form their own opinion. I attempted (save the last sentence) to remain unbiased because I do not own the knives, therefore I cannot really form an opinion on their performance. I do know what I like and dislike, and the first impression I got off of Emerson was that it (while obviously being strong as an ox) was rough enough around the edges to not justify the price that one would pay to get the knife new. I had tried to simply say that, right or wrong, there is a lot of hype surrounding these knives and it has become increasingly difficult to find a review that's honest and unbiased because of all of the positivity skew that has happened. The people that will say that an Emerson is gritty to the point of being annoying while new, or the lockup isn't what it should be out of the box are getting increasingly more rare.
     
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  7. Tipper_Tom

    Tipper_Tom Loaded Pockets

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    A hundred and some pounds for a folding knife that doesn't work properly out of the box.


    Nah I'm alright cheers I'm trying to give them up


    --------------------------------------
    Bad planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on mine.

    She's not leaking oil she's sweating power
     
  8. Tipper_Tom

    Tipper_Tom Loaded Pockets

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    A hundred and some pounds for a folding knife that doesn't work properly out of the box.


    Nah I'm alright cheers I'm trying to give them up


    --------------------------------------
    Bad planning on your part doesn't constitute an emergency on mine.

    She's not leaking oil she's sweating power
     
  9. LupinIII

    LupinIII Loaded Pockets

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    Fair enough. Was not trying to jump all over your post - you brought up some good points for discussion. I do agree that any knife, let alone something in the $100+ range, should be ready to go out of the box. You mentioned early lockup - was it still solid and secure? The gritty action is a well-known attribute of factory fresh Emerson knives. Does that necessarily make it okay? Nope. But you should be less surprised going in and if the idea of getting a potentially gritty Emerson is unacceptable, you know to buy secondhand or stay away entirely. For me and the other happy Emerson owners, we simply value the knives enough to not fret over a short break-in period. If you do not like the feel or design of Emerson knives from the get go, well that grittiness is just another nail in the coffin.

    As for finding unbiased reviews, I think this thread is a clear example of the exact opposite of what you are saying. Plenty of critics chiming in with their experiences, and this is absolutely not the first thread created questioning the quality or value of Emerson knives. Not rare at all to get feedback on both sides of the spectrum.
     
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  10. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    @LupinIII
    I didn't test the lockup very well (I was at the Emerson booth after all), so I don't know how secure it was. It was pretty tight admittedly, but the liner was early enough to be scary for me- if I remember it correctly it was just barely all the way onto the lockface. No real room for error at that point.
    I wasn't surprised that the knife was gritty, as you have said the grittiness is par for the course on Emerson production knives. I had thought that it was just a little grit though, there was more than I expected.
    The thing is- I actually love the designs. The ergonomics are great for me, the wave is nice and I like the thumb disk and the heavily textured G10. I don't like the chisel grind, but I can work around it with all of the other things I like about it. In fact I have been anxiously awaiting the new Kershaw/Emerson collaborations- they're just about perfect for me design wise.
    Yes, thankfully EDCF seems to be far and away unbiased, but I can't say the same about other forums or around the net. It seems that this forum is one of the unbiased diamonds left on the net, and the number is growing smaller and smaller.
     
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  11. Sriracha

    Sriracha Loaded Pockets

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    I agree, my comparison to BMW is flawed. However, when written, I just commuted 25 miles and it took an hour and a quarter. Reason being, a bunch if jerks in BMWs. Several that were too cool to keep up with traffic, and others that bought an older model and instead if investing in maintnence,and overheating in the middle lane, invested in ugly wheels. I felt that the poseur nature was of the same for OK, but you guys are correct, the comparison is not a 100% lock. Rock on with your bad selves!
     
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  12. Adahn

    Adahn Loaded Pockets

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    I'm very much with you at this point. One reason is that it's simply nice people out here but another reason is our moderators. Yeah, sometimes I got a message, too, when I posted pictures the wrong way or a bad link, but always in a nice way and never angry or something.
    Also I've seen in a thread that the OP got something wrong about a comment and turned angry and a bit nasty. I think the moderators and also the one who made the comment could calm it down and in the evening the bad posts disappeared. In other forums the bad guy just would've got banned, not here, here daddy tells his kids to shake hands with each other and go on like adults. I like that, cos there's no peace without rules, and a good daddy ;)
     
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  13. straitr

    straitr Loaded Pockets

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    Value, in and of itself, is subjective. Your idea of nice vs mine or anyone else for that matter, will not be exactly the same from product to product. My experience with the one Emerson I own, a CQC-8, has been a positive one. The knife has good fit and finish, lock up is solid, not sticky, blade came centered, extremely sharp, and zero blemishes. It functions perfectly in its role, and I feel it was money well spent, hence a good value to ME. I feel the same about the 2 iPhones, 2 iPads, 2 MacBook Pro's, and Apple AirPort Extreme we have and use for personal and business use. I also agree with another poster who said apple products are reliable, and that was the driving factor for us too.

    Good news though, there are lots of other knife makers for you to choose from. In fact, there are quite a few makers I don't like and some that feel present little value for the cost, but I won't waste my time finding and participating in threads about them.

    Thing is, I'm not wrong for liking what I like anymore than you are for liking what you do. It's a personal choice for the individual, not meant to be taken personally by everyone else.
     
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  14. oranges

    oranges Loaded Pockets

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    Clearly its subjective. Everyone knows that. The point is the level of craftsmanship does not even meet the standards of knives a tenth of its cost. So in my opinion if Emerson cannot be bothered to simply check a knife to see if it has lock rock or that its blade touches its liner before sending it off to a customer, then I can't be bothered to drop a dollar on their product.

    The topic of Emerson was brought up with discussion of it as a brand. The non-fan chimed in. So you don't like that a discussion isn't all roses even when presented in an adult fashion? The problem is not mine. If a differing opinions presented in reasonable context hurts your sensibility, perhaps the internet isn't somewhere you should venture.

    Who took it personally? Perhaps you misquoted.
     
  15. kdurt

    kdurt Loaded Pockets

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    Interesting thread. I see some of the opinions proved out with cars at my shop all the time. BMW 325 customers are usually pushy demanding and unbearable maybe cause they bit off more than they can chew with the insane cost of maintenance for the car. Then you have the guy in the 75k BMW that is cool as can be and enjoys the performance that these German engineering vehicles can lay down. What a driving experience when all is well. Does this play out in knives? Kershaw and crkt guys, then your benchmade and spyderco guys. ZT guys paying CRK prices. Then your Strider and Hinderer guys. I don't think so here on this forum. I have seen many times kind words for the guy posting pics of his $19.99 Hinderer designed economy blade and I have seen the guys with the 2 grand handmade by so and so cutlery master play it very cool and low key none of the guess how much I spent bull rubbed in our face.
    Bottom line I feel at least on this forum and what I see for the most part is a community that loves everything knives and edc and really enjoy checking out the cool stuff and neat folks. Just immersing and learning our passion and hobby. I did buy an Emerson not for fanboyism or as a status symbol but because I simply loved the design and the rugged simplicity of it and in a way showing a respect for the folks that rely on a knife like an Emerson in life or death situations. I will buy more. My experience has been great.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Cujobob

    Cujobob Loaded Pockets

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    If you purchase a knife for $100, how would you feel about it having 8Cr13MoV? It's not a bad steel, but you expect better at that price point. 154 isn't that great by today's standards. It's an improved 440C, but there are many better steels, even some which are similarly priced. Custom makers often use mediocre steel but that's because they are making collectibles, not tools. The Emerson models are supposed to be more of a tool, from my understanding. So when the company doesn't focus on objective performance (in the ways I mentioned previously), it loses some credibility. With all of that said, it doesn't mean they can't be cool, fun to carry, or useful. I just believe there are better values. I will purchase an Emerson someday soon or possibly a ZT version, just to try out. I could say a lot of the same things about Strider, the hard use king with more lock failures than anyone else I've heard about. They're priced where they are because people blindly purchase them based on reputation, just as they do with many other higher end production knives (Hinderer, Strider, CRK, etc). If we all want better value for our money, we need to evaluate them as tools, objectively.
     
  17. straitr

    straitr Loaded Pockets

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    I said it before, and I'll reiterate it once more, we see things differently. There's no right or wrong in personal preference based on subjectivity. The rest is pride.

    Feel free to have the last word, this thread has turned into the usual manufacturer pissing match, and I can find better things to do than participate in it.
     
    Last edited by straitr, Jun 14, 2014
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  18. oranges

    oranges Loaded Pockets

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    Blade steel is a fact I would know before buying a knife. Garbage fit and finish, and terrible customer service aren't given facts.
     
  19. oranges

    oranges Loaded Pockets

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    I see it differently, in that no one was upset about anything. Its a discussion with both sides being presented based on actual experiences. You are the one commenting about "pissing" matches. Clearly you are taking it personally for some reason. Not sure why. Hope your day gets better. Thanks for the last word, its delicious.
     
  20. LupinIII

    LupinIII Loaded Pockets

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    Oh boy I must not know how to evaluate knives at all - how was I so blind to such garbage fit and finish on my Emerson knives?!?