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A Pakistan suppliers point of view...didn't see that coming did you?

I was recently contacted by a supplier of Pakistan knives and steel.  Now, Now...give this discussion a chance.

This supplier has been on iKC for a number of years.  When he first contacted me it was with the hope that I would listen and have an open minded discussion with him.  Because he is a member and has been very respectful not to overstep here at iKC with selling openly.  I chose to listen.  This was how the discussion started

The issue is that I want to directly market my knives in USA market, these have already been sold in large quantity but indirectly by my country men, both in retail and wholesale. But I am sick and tired by their behavior of exploiting the smooth running business contact by dishonesty in many ways.

Well, that intrigued me & I decided to be brutally honest.  My reply was that you face 2 challenges.  Poor steel reputation from the region and the working environment (as we know it).  A few more emails passed regarding the environment of the workers.  We came to understand that he himself is not a maker, but has many local makers producing for him.  He interviews makers before he begins to accept their work and checks out their product.   My next question?  Do you employ kids?  The answer, yes.  It is a fact of the economic life in that region that children work within the family.  Much the same as it was for us many, many moons ago.  What did I find different enough to continue listening after that statement?  He discusses with the family before hiring a young worker that he wants them them to get an education also.

So my next discussion with him focused solely on quality, not of the build but of the steel.  I asked him to read a current discussion on here http://www.iknifecollector.com/forum/topics/does-anybody-want-this-....  I have been pretty brutally honest with my answers to him.  I advised him to give a few of his knives to people that use them hard and have them reviewed.  I also advised that he needed to be prepared for the response about the knives be that whatever it may be!

Lat me start by making this clear.  I do not intend to sell Pakistan knives, nor will I allow soliciting on the site.  As an international community I am curious.

So here is my question.  If you knew a company stood behind their product, that you were dealing with the company owner.  Would YOU be willing to buy a knife made in Pakistan?

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Tags: Forum, Knife, Pakistan

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Comment by Alexander Noot on July 31, 2014 at 2:39

Allright, thought it might be interesting to mention here that yesterday a package arrived from Pakistan that was sent to me by Waqas for inspection.

In it were 3 fixed blades (one blank and 2 finished knives) and 1 slipjoint.

Also 4 sheaths. (2 matching two of the knives that were sent and the others look more like separately made but very well done sheaths)

Just a quick heads up:

All the knives are very well done. The fit and finish it GOOD, not just adequate in most cases. None of the fixed blades show any gaps or misaligned scales/bolsters. The grinds are clean and well done. (All hollow grinds)

The damascus is clean and without flaws or inclusions. The damascus blades are heat treated in contrast to the damascus bolsters which have a lighter colour because of that.

Everything is pinned properly and the pins are flush.

I'm still hoping to have someone test the hardness of the blades. But so far I'm really quite impressed with what I've been sent and it gives me good hope for the future of our friends from Pakistan.


KnifeMaker
Comment by Waqas Yousaf Farooq on July 30, 2014 at 15:30

Respected fellows! I am glad to see all this discussion started by Respected Madam Jan, it is giving me a great opportunity to observe the attitude of the people who belong to that region where my work is being tested indirectly and where I want to be recognized directly among knife lovers/users. It will help me a lot to achieve my goals. And to change the negative perceptions.

Comment by Marc Lacrimosa on July 29, 2014 at 15:42
Exactly Jan I agree. I promise you this. The guy I deal with backs his work. I had a hair line crack on blade he missed. He sent me a new one asap DHL. I'm going to post some pics of his work later.
Comment by Jan Carter on July 29, 2014 at 15:03

Marc,

Thank you.  It was a unique discussion and has been able to shed some light here on how an international community feels about knives from this region.  A lesson I learned about knives coming from a specific region comes from the Rough Rider experiment.  So many people with bad experiences in buying inexpensive China knives took that challenge and became RR buyers based on cost and quality.  You hear the sentence time and time again.  "This is a good knife for the money " and it is.  Changing the perception was not quick nor easy, but it worked for them 

Comment by Marc Lacrimosa on July 28, 2014 at 21:07

Well I tell you I dealt with one for a few years. We built a friendship and put religion aside. We both have families. We both celebrate holidays. We both have a god.

We have had numerous conversations on economic times in each others countries. We both understand the down of poor quality. Poor quality can be produced anywhere... Sorry to say we have Frost Cutlery in the United States.

I admire the entire conversation you had with this guy Jan. I was recently kicked off a huge knife group on Facebook I helped build. All because I had a friend over seas. Anyways I could go on. It all comes down to building a strong business and friendship.


KnifeMaker
Comment by Waqas Yousaf Farooq on July 24, 2014 at 4:05

Respected Madam ! Thank you so much for understanding ,this discussion must be kept alive.

Comment by Jan Carter on July 22, 2014 at 17:18

Alexander,

You are like Donnie and I.  I am not much for the "over the top".  I like my lines clean and my knife sharp.  The fancy just doesn't do it for us.

Comment by Jan Carter on July 22, 2014 at 17:16

Waqas I am impressed with the well thought out answer.  It addressed a lot of questions regarding you and your work ethic.  Thank you for that

as for steel Waqas answered me in an email

Its depend upon customer's choice and availability, With respect to Damascus we normally use 1075 and 1095 with 4340, how ever we are now working on some other alloy to replace 4340. the forging is done also as per customer demand ,like how much numbers of layers are required and patterns as well.

For easy understanding you can say that we do custom and semi custom knives.

Any further questions will be welcomed.


KnifeMaker
Comment by Waqas Yousaf Farooq on July 22, 2014 at 1:33

Its really encouraging for me that more and more people are getting into this discussion with there valuable and open comments, I have gone through the comments of all members who have participated in it up till now,  as per my analysis on these comments, the debate can divert to different other dimensions which are mostly related to ethics , moral values and Misperception about various aspects in a region which is simply the media game.Because in current human age media is the most destructive weapon and vise versa. 

The shortest words that I can say as bottom line that words of mouth can't satisfy the world but only the practices. And anybody in this world is responsible for what he is claiming. So if anyone is very serious in achieving his goals, he should be fair with himself first of all that if cheats or deceive the people, he actually destroys his own self not the others.

So I am and will b responsible for all my own deeds with respect to ethics in all aspects of life not only in business .So if anyone from any region does bad how other people of that region can be responsible for that ?? Good and bad characters are present in every society with alive examples of their practices. 

I can't justify my dealings and products only by words. But I am strong believer that in any worst scenario dignity and honor should not be compromised.

Comment by Alexander Noot on July 21, 2014 at 3:07

I have a knifemakers website (shameless plug: www.lxblades.com), because of this I get approached by Pakistani knife producers on a regular basis. I get e-mails almost every week asking if I have an interest in their wares.

My problems with Pakistani makers in general are as follows:

  1. I always get asked by them if I want them to make knives for me so that I can sell those as my own.

    They don't seem to get it. I'm a knifeMAKER....not a purveyor. I make my OWN knives, I'm proud of this and to me it's almost an insult when they ask me if I want to sell their knives with my name on it.
  2. There seem to be whole industry going on with the above practise. Like Waqas stated earlier the US sold knives make a lot more money. Also I've seen MANY an american/brit/german sell knives that he claimed to make himself where I could clearly and bright as day recognise the Pakistani style of making, and damascus patterns. Thus I KNOW that (in a best case scenario) only put handles on or (in the worst case scenario) have EVERYTHING done in Pakistan and claim the honors for themselves.

    They sell those knives foor 10X the price that a Pakistani seller would get for it sometimes. This bothers me greatly.
  3. The Pakistani makers that I've dealt with so far are never completely honest in their dealings.

    This might change in the future (I'm currently talking to Waqas about helping him represent himself in Europe). But a while back I was talking to a Pakistani maker who promised to make me certain things and then send them as samples (I would pay for shipping) so that I could look them over.

    For weeks he's ask me what I wanted claiming he could make anything I liked. So I told him that in order to assess his knifemaking prowess I wanted him to make:

    1 Framlock folding knife
    1 Full tang fixed blade
    1 Hidden tang fixed blade.

    For weeks he strung me along claiming to work on it. Then he sent me a package. When I opened it

    4X a full tang knife, no hidden tang, no folding knife. All of which were of inferior workmanship to the stuff I can do myself....and I consider myself to be far from a master. Scales were uneven, grinds were weird, damascus was badly etched. And on one blade parts were even falling out of the handle.

    He should've been honest with me from the start and not ask what he wanted me to make.

So from now on I'll only deal with Pakistani makers if I know who I'm dealing with. And so far that's only ONE guy who makes excellent Mosaic Pins against very fair prices. He also makes knives but they're not to my taste at all.

My last issue with Pakistani produced blades is just a matter of taste. In general the higher end stuff ("the good stuff") just looks WAY too much over the top to me.

Filework + Damascus +5 different handle materials + 10 different colours + sawbacks + weird angles in their designs....it's just all too much.

White River Knives

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