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Anyone know much about "ASH Custom Knives" ?

Where are they made ?  I see them on e-bay.

         JERRY

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From what I see, Jeery, I'd say they're made either in China or Pakistan. 

My guess is Pakistan then sold by Chinese middle men.

I'd have to agree with J.J....from what I am reading from articles and forums, they are a cheaply mass produced knife with a price on them that has many asking "Why so cheap?" Another black flag is how do they have so many knives and styles available for sale if they are "handmade" or "custom". I could buy a knife and polish it and call it custom. Or add a lanyard and call it custom. This is a loophole many companies are using to push their knives. Seems a few other companies carry ASH knives as well, and are selling them for $50ish. Makes you wonder what the purchasing company pays for the knives. 

  The two ASH sheath knives that I examined do not indicate a country of origin (which I thought was mandatory

  for imported  items).  They were both etched :" ASH  -  440c Steel " on the left side of the blade. 

  One was shipped from Wisconsin.

   For $20 to $30, the price seems reasonable?

$20-$30 for a fixed blade knife of any kind of quality is very cheap. Depending where they actually come from and whether or not they are truthfully stamping the knife steel is a guessing game. Rip off artists are everywhere these days. ASH and CFK have both been discussed as questionable companies to buy from. You can contact factories in Pakistan and have them make you knives with sheath and design your own stamp to have them put on the blade, and for a very low price. There are a few companies there that do some decent work, but most are trying to sell junk steel stamped as higher quality. When you think of materials (wood for handle, leather for sheaths, stitching, liners, pins, guards, pommels and, of course, the steel itself) It hardly makes sense that the company that makes them would sell for that low of a price. That is cheap for a mass produced blade. A real custom or handmade knife is going to run you at least 20 times more than that. If you are looking for a wall hanger or a shelf display, they are fine...but without extensive research on the company and their practices, I would not trust that knife to use for more than opening boxes.

I had seen a company that was selling Ash knives in bulk.  No way for someone  to have a supply of "custom" or "hand made" knives without them being a massed produced item.

And again, J.J. brings up a very good point. A place with a hundred or so "custom knives" for sale is pulling your leg. No way can they have that many knives in various designs, handle materials, different steels etc. without them being mass produced.

Ditto on what JJ and Manx said.  The knife is cheap in price but will very possibly be cheap in performance.  They even look Pakistani.  Decent looking for Pakistani, but Pakistani all the same -- no doubt would look even more Pakistani in person.  Truth is in the details, & the details are all over these knives (& the sheaths!).  They seem to be what non-knife people might think of as "collectible" knives. 

(I won't touch the "custom" aspect, other than to say that most handmade knives aren't "custom" because they're not made to the buyer's specifications, they're simply handmade.)

If you take the leap, please tell us about your experiences with the knife.  Believe it or not (& despite what I just wrote above), it should be noted that we're always open to learning more about knives here!  (It's just that most of us speak from experience -- one of my first knives was a boot knife from Pakistan that I won from the Anoka County Fair when I was 10 -- I found this knife years later & there were telltale quality issues -- fit & finish, etc.).

And my guess is that the knife you buy will have these fit & finish problems as well ("makes each knife unique," after all) that will not be represented in the photos or the description of the knife.  Complain about it &, IF you get a response, it will be something along the lines of "What would you expect for the price?" 

In this scenario, they might also offer to exchange the knife as long as you send it back to the manufacturer (in Pakistan) at your own expense, & suddenly that cheap knife got very expensive.  Maybe they'd send the new knife right away, or maybe it would take months -- maybe they would send it to the wrong address or just not prioritize it at all, or not even return it, wondering why this knife was being sent back to them...  My point being that there are so many things that could go wrong in this scenario you really need to be open to having, um, a unique purchasing experience.  Of course it could all go very well & it could become your favorite knife, but you're definitely taking a gamble when purchasing one of these knives.

I would also be interested in seeing a review from a trusted member.  As someone that has a forge downstairs and a few knives made from recycle, even I cannot see the less than 50.00 price making any sense for anyone other than a hobby maker, just looking to recoup and buy more materials.  I can envision an assembly line putting handles on blanks and calling them handmade, but not in the US at the prices that handle materials are going for these days.

That being said, I am always willing to learn of a good maker so if you take the leap, share please!  

I've seen several on eBay that were listed as having cracked scales.  Now what "custom" maker would consider selling one of their knives as basically a second?

Hi Jerry - I see quite a few members have already weighed in on this topic. When discussing the Ash knives as seen on ebay, Amazon, and Black Iron (Canada) en masse, I agree on all points made in this thread. However, I am also one who owns in excess of 30 Ash knives - many of which are in my various photo albums on my iKnife Collector page. 

Buying an Ash knife from any dealer - ebay, Amazon, or other - requires the collector to really do their homework and research. All my Ash blades were purchased between 2012 and the end of 2015 from a variety of sources. Admittedly, a couple of my knives do have some fit & finish issues that could only be determined once in hand. Of all of my Ash knives, there are only a few that I purchased that are less than I expected and are somewhat disappointing. 

On the plus side - because I did my homework, asked good knife questions, and kept emotion out of the transaction, I have a great Ash knife collection. Except for the few I mentioned earlier, my Ash knives are  well crafted, durable, functional, and sharp. I use many of them in preparing my barbecue - dressing out goats and chickens, and other fun stuff knives are used for. I have six or so that I bought just as collection pieces....art knives if you will. Nothing fanciful, but not necessarily practical either.

I am proud of the Ash knives I have - even if sourced in Pakistan. I tend not put much into marketing verbiage many dealers and sellers use (i.e. tactical, custom, hunting - who skins a kill with a dagger?) As for being custom, they are as custom as any neighborhood of custom houses with only three models to choose from. 

So - would I recommend you go out and buy one? Probably not....I couldn't handle the potential backlash. It's a classic story of "buyer beware". If you see one you like, ask good questions, ask for more detailed photos, and learn all you can before you drop the cash. Again though, I wager most here will tell you that if you're itching to spend $30 on a knife, you'll do better with another brand. 

Lars,

Thank you!  I was wondering if you had a specific dealer you looked to for your Ash, as you & I had talked about your previously.  I have a friend that markets some knives sources in Pakistan (no damascus) he has repeat customers and sells out his inventory on a regular basis.  He never orders the multiple handle materials and after a couple years of buying from one dealer there he gets what he expects, quality steel, fit and finish.

I have always believed that, finding a dealer that comes to know you will serve your collection well.

It is good to here these are users for you and that your satisfied with how they perform. Thank you   

Thanks Jan - 

The dealer I used on Ebay is damascus007. The reviews for this dealer are overwhelmingly positive, with a couple of negatives ones to keep them human I think. They are based in Canada, and used to have a web site named Ashblades.com. That domain is long since gone now. I established a great communication link with them during my three year buying spree, and they were  quick to respond to any of my concerns.

I also used a shop called fireside2009 who is/was an Ash re-seller. He was really good...only sells a few knives at a time. He always seemed to find and sell the Ash knives not found anywhere else. 

There is also Black Iron Canada (https://blackironcanada.com/), an edgy dealer of Ash knives (forgive the pun...you'll see what I mean if you visit their web site). Great selection and priced at a realistic value verses the "Retails for $150.00" hype often seen on Ebay.

I know at the time, there were quite a bit of negative reviews about Ash knives in various knife forums and discussions; the sentiment of the time being that the name was borrowed (hijacked) from the Canadian knife maker Don Ash. 

I have often heard that knife makers / importers will mimic known and/or reputable names, such as Ash, Aron Fish, and others to add bona fide to their product.  I don't know if this is true or not, but it seems plausible when you spend enough time window shopping on Ebay. 

So in the end, is there junk from China and Pakistan? Oh absolutely! But not all of it...real gems can be found if you look for it. Regardless of maker - buyer beware. If one buys from Ebay, take stock in the reviews and weigh it carefully. If the negative reviews are about quality, not what the buyer expected, or poor communication - move on!

Jan Carter said:

Lars,

Thank you!  I was wondering if you had a specific dealer you looked to for your Ash, as you & I had talked about your previously.  I have a friend that markets some knives sources in Pakistan (no damascus) he has repeat customers and sells out his inventory on a regular basis.  He never orders the multiple handle materials and after a couple years of buying from one dealer there he gets what he expects, quality steel, fit and finish.

I have always believed that, finding a dealer that comes to know you will serve your collection well.

It is good to here these are users for you and that your satisfied with how they perform. Thank you   

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