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Spotting Counterfeits 6384

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Spotting Counterfeits
« on: January 18, 2013, 05:52:47 PM »
This is not an area that I'm very experienced in, but I thought this thread might be a good place to compile information on spotting counterfeit tools. I know there are other threads already on the topic, so if folks want to link those here, It'd be much appreciated.

The first thread that popped to mind was one on a Gerber knockoff sold on ebay, the thread was titled 'chinese Gerber'
http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,40249.0.html
Hero Member Posts: 607 Not yer typical toothless abductee
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 06:19:23 PM »
I think if anyone could duplicate the look, feel and quality of a Leatherman, they deserve a bit of credit for that, at least.

"I seen 10 bald eagles in my time, and I kilt 9 of 'em." -Joad Cressbeckler reading from his autobiography.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 06:40:26 PM »
Not everyone would agree that Leatherman's quality is the benchmark ;) It took me three attempts to find a good one and I've had a few more rough ones since then too



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
No Life Club Posts: 3,081
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 04:40:59 AM »
I think if anyone could duplicate the look, feel and quality of a Leatherman, they deserve a bit of credit for that, at least.

I'd have to say I agree with AL

I don't think Leathermans are the benchmark at all - just cos they're popular doesn't mean they've set the standards in terms of quality.....nothing like.

IMO the rise of Leatherman is more down to marketing than anything else.....and dare I say it - that they're still claiming to be built in the USA. Which I suspect accounts for a huge percentage of their sales.


Just sayin'

I don't claim to know it all, but what I do know is right.
Hero Member Posts: 607 Not yer typical toothless abductee
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 05:04:29 AM »
I think if anyone could duplicate the look, feel and quality of a Leatherman, they deserve a bit of credit for that, at least.

I'd have to say I agree with AL

I don't think Leathermans are the benchmark at all - just cos they're popular doesn't mean they've set the standards in terms of quality.....nothing like.

IMO the rise of Leatherman is more down to marketing than anything else.....and dare I say it - that they're still claiming to be built in the USA. Which I suspect accounts for a huge percentage of their sales.


Just sayin'
Not sure I fully agree with the sentiments there.  I know some were made in Japan for a time, but I believe they are now made in the US. Here is a press release to that effect: http://www.leatherman.com/about/release?id=20

"I seen 10 bald eagles in my time, and I kilt 9 of 'em." -Joad Cressbeckler reading from his autobiography.
No Life Club Posts: 3,081
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 06:07:25 AM »
I think if anyone could duplicate the look, feel and quality of a Leatherman, they deserve a bit of credit for that, at least.

I'd have to say I agree with AL

I don't think Leathermans are the benchmark at all - just cos they're popular doesn't mean they've set the standards in terms of quality.....nothing like.

IMO the rise of Leatherman is more down to marketing than anything else.....and dare I say it - that they're still claiming to be built in the USA. Which I suspect accounts for a huge percentage of their sales.


Just sayin'
Not sure I fully agree with the sentiments there.  I know some were made in Japan for a time, but I believe they are now made in the US. Here is a press release to that effect: http://www.leatherman.com/about/release?id=20

I haven't checked your link as yet - but from what is bounced around here on the forum it's almost universally accepted that leatherman are now out-sourcing the manufacture of parts to over seas. They may well be assembled in the USA - just not made there.
But I've no doubt some of the other members on here will come along shortly to correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't claim to know it all, but what I do know is right.
Hero Member Posts: 607 Not yer typical toothless abductee
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 06:13:48 AM »
I think if anyone could duplicate the look, feel and quality of a Leatherman, they deserve a bit of credit for that, at least.

I'd have to say I agree with AL

I don't think Leathermans are the benchmark at all - just cos they're popular doesn't mean they've set the standards in terms of quality.....nothing like.

IMO the rise of Leatherman is more down to marketing than anything else.....and dare I say it - that they're still claiming to be built in the USA. Which I suspect accounts for a huge percentage of their sales.


Just sayin'
Not sure I fully agree with the sentiments there.  I know some were made in Japan for a time, but I believe they are now made in the US. Here is a press release to that effect: http://www.leatherman.com/about/release?id=20

I haven't checked your link as yet - but from what is bounced around here on the forum it's almost universally accepted that leatherman are now out-sourcing the manufacture of parts to over seas. They may well be assembled in the USA - just not made there.
But I've no doubt some of the other members on here will come along shortly to correct me if I'm wrong.
I think any one who ventures an opinion on this should read the press release first.

"I seen 10 bald eagles in my time, and I kilt 9 of 'em." -Joad Cressbeckler reading from his autobiography.
Sr. Member Posts: 289 Leatherman, GEC, SOG, Parker
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 06:32:07 AM »
Let's forget about manufacturer for a moment and get back to determining if the article is genuine or not.

I purchase a lot of things from Ebay. I often worry about receiving knock offs or counterfeits as well. Here are some of the ways that I use to determine authenticity.

I often compare the photos given by the seller to high res photos online of the aforementioned article. This is most often the easiest method. Being a watch collector as well I just looked at some of the tell tale manufacture defects which often appear on a non genuine item.

If it all possible compare any text(engraving & printing) on both items. Generally the company making the copy will not get this 100% correct. Either that or the finish of engraving or stamping will be rougher and not as refined.

If that doesn't work or they look too similar to you check the fit and finish of the objects. Do they have the same fasteners and or screws and bolts. I often find knock off knives and tools on Ebay the screws and bolts are sometimes just a little different.

Also look for the inclusion or omission of minor details such as maker labels, metal type labels, things of that nature which sometimes get overlooked by counterfeiter's.


"To be prepared is half the victory" Miguel de Cervantes
Global Moderator Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 20,706 I may get older but I refuse to grow up.
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 02:47:11 PM »
I think if anyone could duplicate the look, feel and quality of a Leatherman, they deserve a bit of credit for that, at least.

I'd have to say I agree with AL

I don't think Leathermans are the benchmark at all - just cos they're popular doesn't mean they've set the standards in terms of quality.....nothing like.

IMO the rise of Leatherman is more down to marketing than anything else.....and dare I say it - that they're still claiming to be built in the USA. Which I suspect accounts for a huge percentage of their sales.


Just sayin'
Not sure I fully agree with the sentiments there.  I know some were made in Japan for a time, but I believe they are now made in the US. Here is a press release to that effect: http://www.leatherman.com/about/release?id=20

I haven't checked your link as yet - but from what is bounced around here on the forum it's almost universally accepted that leatherman are now out-sourcing the manufacture of parts to over seas. They may well be assembled in the USA - just not made there.
But I've no doubt some of the other members on here will come along shortly to correct me if I'm wrong.
I think any one who ventures an opinion on this should read the press release first.

If you want to debate on something first learn your facts.
Leatherman pliers are made/cast in Mexico, files are made in Europe (I think Switzerland or Austria :think:) I don't believe either of those three are part of the USA. They are than polished, assembled in Portland.
Sr. Member Posts: 289 Leatherman, GEC, SOG, Parker
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 03:25:56 PM »
I think if anyone could duplicate the look, feel and quality of a Leatherman, they deserve a bit of credit for that, at least.

People who copy other peoples ideas for profit deserve nothing but a good flogging with a hot pitchfork  ;)

"To be prepared is half the victory" Miguel de Cervantes
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 03:45:11 PM »
For the most part I think the folks who frequent this forum are sophisticated enough to recognize a cheap knock off when they see one. Hopefully they will recognize the knock off before they purchase it, but if not they will almost certainly recognize it as a copy the first time they handle it. But what really grinds me about the whole counterfeit business is when poor suckers who don't know any better - like the vast majority of the population - lays out money for a new Gerber 600 for instance and then finds out that its a complete pile of junk when they get it home. Not realizing they actually have a knock off, said person then developes a poor opinion of Gerber, never buys another product from them, and furthermore shares their poor opinion of the company with all their friends. It's an evil thing this business of counterfeiting, and I think the flogging with a hot pitchfork punishment would be well deserved. :twak: 

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 62,494 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 04:56:56 PM »
Even worse than that Bob- they use said knockoff for a while, break it, send it in to Gerber (or Leatherman or Victorinox etc) for replacement/repair and then find out they have a knockoff.

I wonder if any of these companies replace the tool anyway for the good marketing or upset the customer by telling them they were taken and they aren't entitled to any help?

Next time I am talking to company reps I think I'll ask them about that as that's somethign I've always wondered.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Hero Member Posts: 607 Not yer typical toothless abductee
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2013, 06:28:09 PM »
For me, its a no-brainer to find Leatherman's official statement on this matter to be more credible.  Rumors of dubious origin, claiming that Leatherman tools contain counterfeit parts are a dime a dozen.  Leatherman has much more to risk from a lie than some rag publication.

"I seen 10 bald eagles in my time, and I kilt 9 of 'em." -Joad Cressbeckler reading from his autobiography.
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,786 SAK Surgeon
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 06:34:57 PM »
I've seen fake gerbers and SAKs but none from other companies.  Have there been leatherman and SOG fakes?  I cant imagine there has ever been a fake swisstool.

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Hero Member Posts: 607 Not yer typical toothless abductee
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 06:37:52 PM »
I've seen fake gerbers and SAKs but none from other companies.  Have there been leatherman and SOG fakes?  I cant imagine there has ever been a fake swisstool.
Some might say the Swisstool itself is a knocked-off Leatherman PST.

"I seen 10 bald eagles in my time, and I kilt 9 of 'em." -Joad Cressbeckler reading from his autobiography.
No Life Club Posts: 3,435
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2013, 06:39:45 PM »
I find a good way to identify fake SAKs is the nail nicks. Both placement and how they are ground. Also how the tools "sit", i.e. the shape of the backspring and the exact geometry of the kick on the tools. These are good indications even when the fake is very well done.
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,786 SAK Surgeon
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2013, 07:11:59 PM »
I've seen fake gerbers and SAKs but none from other companies.  Have there been leatherman and SOG fakes?  I cant imagine there has ever been a fake swisstool.
Some might say the Swisstool itself is a knocked-off Leatherman PST.

Didnt Tim help them design it or am I remembering that wrong.

Not much in common though, leathermans never had all the tools opening on the outside, and the components are vic standard quality ones, just reprofiled to fit in the new tool.  Ive never seen a tool even come close to theirs on quality and fit and finish.

PM me or email sakmodder [at] gmail . com if you are looking for custom SAK work.

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No Life Club Posts: 3,435
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2013, 07:24:27 PM »
A SwissTool is a knock-off Bear and Sons. The Swiss bought the company for the patents, designed their own thing, and then let Bear and Sons be sold.
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 17,517 I'm not a pessimist, I'm an experienced optimist!
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2013, 07:33:15 PM »
A SwissTool is a highly refined Bear and Sons. The Swiss bought the company for the patents, designed their own thing, and then let Bear and Sons be sold.

Fixed  ;)



The cantankerous but occasionally useful member, formally known as 50ft-trad
No Life Club Posts: 3,435
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2013, 07:41:05 PM »
A SwissTool is a highly refined Bear and Sons. The Swiss bought the company for the patents, designed their own thing, and then let Bear and Sons be sold.

Fixed  ;)
:D
Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 21,264 Bored

dks cy

********* *
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2013, 07:42:11 PM »
As I said before all pliers tools (and scissors etc) are knockoffs derive from the original plier tool, which was probably invented a few thousand years ago..

LM did not invent pliers and even folding pliers were in use earlier (I think Bob is the expert here..); people just generally improve an existing design making it better, cheaper, lighter, more usefull, nicer etc..

Kelly: "Daddy, what makes men cheat on women?
Al : "Women!"

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Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,786 SAK Surgeon
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2013, 07:59:12 PM »
I always thought of a knock off as a cheaper version (or fake), of the original thing.  If anything the swiss have a significant UPGRADE to to an MT concept, hardly a knockoff of it.

PM me or email sakmodder [at] gmail . com if you are looking for custom SAK work.

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No Life Club Posts: 3,081
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2013, 09:18:21 PM »
Has this topic gone off the rails slightly??

I assumed the original post was regarding branding knock-offs.
Not whether a company has copied a blade profile or used the concept of scissors!!

Are we talking,  for example the recent Gerber DET's that were to be found on ebay and even amazon. To me personally, I find that when they actually use a 'Brand' name  in this instance  Gerber, i.e copy not only the font used but also blatant lies to origin of manufacture - it's this that I find totally unacceptable.

If they want to copy the Multitools specific tool layout - well thats bad enough, but to then list it as a genuine item is quite frankly deplorable and should be stamped out.


I don't claim to know it all, but what I do know is right.
Hero Member Posts: 607 Not yer typical toothless abductee
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2013, 09:31:15 PM »
I think "counterfeit" is a highly subjective term when it's not used specifically to refer to something produced with fraudulent intent to pass off as a product which is legally protected against being copied.


And when the Pawn Stars boys shoot a commercial implying that all the other similar shows are "knockoffs" they are overstating the original meaning of the term I think.  Success is often imitated, after all.

"I seen 10 bald eagles in my time, and I kilt 9 of 'em." -Joad Cressbeckler reading from his autobiography.
Global Moderator Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,786 SAK Surgeon
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2013, 09:57:33 PM »
Has this topic gone off the rails slightly??

I assumed the original post was regarding branding knock-offs.
Not whether a company has copied a blade profile or used the concept of scissors!!

Are we talking,  for example the recent Gerber DET's that were to be found on ebay and even amazon. To me personally, I find that when they actually use a 'Brand' name  in this instance  Gerber, i.e copy not only the font used but also blatant lies to origin of manufacture - it's this that I find totally unacceptable.

If they want to copy the Multitools specific tool layout - well thats bad enough, but to then list it as a genuine item is quite frankly deplorable and should be stamped out.

Ya counterfeits is what I thought this was about.  I remember the Gerber DETs, and there are routinely fake SAKs that ebayers are trying to sell as real ones.  I was just wondering if there are counterfeit leathermans or SOGs, as Ive never seen any.

PM me or email sakmodder [at] gmail . com if you are looking for custom SAK work.

Modding thread : Here
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Full Member Posts: 234
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2013, 09:15:32 AM »

Ya counterfeits is what I thought this was about.  I remember the Gerber DETs, and there are routinely fake SAKs that ebayers are trying to sell as real ones.  I was just wondering if there are counterfeit leathermans or SOGs, as Ive never seen any.

I guess it depends on your definition of counterfeit. Does this count, since it has the Leatherman name on it, but doesn't in any way resemble any Leatherman product ever made?

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Leatherman-315-Survival-Knife-The-Blade-Coating-Oxidation-Black-Handle-Materials-Aluminum-Handle-Free-Shipping/912445_578547551.html
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 5,106 Never forget Yourself in the wind of success!!
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2013, 09:49:19 AM »
Would be good to see the more common and not-so-common counterfeit examples in one spot, then stickied. Probably would be need to be updated as well. That way when some of us that are not so adept on the subject would have a reference to go by.

Often tools are encountered online and on auctions. Even pictures of auctioned products are deceiving in what you see isn't what you get. Many eBay listing share the same graphic files and often have no enlarged photos. That should be a clue right there.

Products with unclear or horrible photos should be passed on.  :ahhh

¬ Outback in Idaho

Behind every mask there is a face, behind that a story.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,909 Any tool is better than nothing. Some not by much
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2013, 05:09:34 PM »
Would be good to see the more common and not-so-common counterfeit examples in one spot, then stickied.

That kinda WAS the intent here, but...

While I wield no authority, and I understand every thread wanders off topic, I was hoping this to be a 'I just saw X on ebay. How do I know I'm not buying a fake?' thread. Not a 'Leatherman Suxor/No Suxor!' thread.

And yes, tools that don't look anything LIKE a product from a company's product line, but branded with a company's name I would still consider a counterfeit.
Admin Team Point Of No Return Posts: 34,090
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2013, 05:29:01 PM »
Would be good to see the more common and not-so-common counterfeit examples in one spot, then stickied.

That kinda WAS the intent here, but...

While I wield no authority, and I understand every thread wanders off topic, I was hoping this to be a 'I just saw X on ebay. How do I know I'm not buying a fake?' thread. Not a 'Leatherman Suxor/No Suxor!' thread.

And yes, tools that don't look anything LIKE a product from a company's product line, but branded with a company's name I would still consider a counterfeit.
Exactly what I thought this was about.  Counterfeit strongly carries the connotation of an attempt to defraud by misrepresentation.  So basically if something claims to be something it's not.  "Clones", "Copies", "Knockoff's" and "Inspired by" absolutely DON'T fall into that description, just so long as they don't claim to be something other than what they are.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 05:32:44 PM by Gareth »

Try not to be the person who blunders around and causes everyone else to get out the way.  Everyone else thinks you're a utter...
Admin Team Absolute Zombie Club Posts: 23,213
Re: Spotting Counterfeits
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2013, 05:31:18 PM »
Well defined Gareth :salute:

In order to be certain of having the right tool for every job.........one must first acquire a lot of tools

 

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