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Categories of Knife and Multitool Company.... 424

No Life Club Posts: 1,313 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Categories of Knife and Multitool Company....
« on: February 03, 2021, 05:56:18 AM »
So I've been thinking (a dangerous passtime, I know....) for a few days about this. I've been trying to categorize brands. Now, maybe somebody has done this before, and come up with a different system to do the same thing, but here's my take on the situation. There are essentially 5 categories of knife brands out there (and it holds fairly true for MT's also). And a 6th category, which is no brand. The Category number does not necessarily correlate with the quality or utility or dependability of the product, but I think it often comes close. Sometimes a company blurs the lines between two, or slips from one condition to another over time.

Here's my analysis:

Category 0: No-brand knives. These guys aren't even proud or brave enough to put a brand on their product. You're lucky if they'll even admit where they made the smurf....probably China, but you don't know that. It could have been Bangladesh or who knows. Sometimes it says the country, but it doesn't give a brand or model number.

Variants:

0A: No knife brand, but sometimes a country of origin label, and slapped with promotional or conditional branding from a non-tool related company, such, as, oh, let's say Charlie's Bait and Tackle Shop.
0B: No knife brand, but country of origin labeling. Usually but not always China.
0C: No brand, no country. Totally anonymous.
0D: May or may not have country of origin labeling, but gives false (fake) identification markings of a known and respected company.

Category 1: Store Brand Knives

Category 1 brands are a step up from 0A in that they are purposefully and ongoingly planned, promoted and sold through a particular store chain over a period of many years.

Variants:

1A Bears a particular inhouse brand associated fully or primarily with a particular retailer. Examples include Ozark Trail, Kobalt, and Husky.
1B Bears the name of the particular retailer who sells it, ie, Cabellas, Sears, etc.

Category 2: Tool Brand Knives

Category 2 knives and multitools are branded with popular companies that make and/or market other kinds of tools. They are often outsourced to other manufacturers, particularly in China.

Variants:

2A Knives and MT's actually made by regular tool companies in their own company-managed factories (rare)
2B Knives outsourced and branded by popular tool companies, such as Dewalt, Milwaukee, Snap-On, etc.

Category 3: Knife and/or MT companies or brands who primarily outsource their work

Variants:

3A Those who centrally and continually design and manage their product line on an ongoing basis, but have no factories of their own (I think Frost fits this category, and many others)
3B Those who basically market and network with existing outsourcing partners and simply sell whatever is offered to them on the world scene....give me some examples....

Category 4: Inhouse Production Companies

Category 4 are generally prestigious, well-known companies who invest a good deal of capital into development, production, quality control, advertisement, and sales. They are usually high-production, high-profile companies based in first-world nations and with at least some of their factories close by their headquarters.

Variants:

4A These companies produce all, or nearly all, their products at their in-house, company-owned factories. Sometimes they need to outsource a few stray components, but it's generally all right there. Examples: Victorinox, Case, Leatherman.
4B These companies produce many of their own products in their own company-owned facilities, but also subcontract a sizable portion of their work out to overseas concerns. Examples: Gerber, CRKT, Kershaw.

Category 5: Hand-built knives

I do not have much experience with this category, but I realize this is where you can easily drop $500 on a high-quality modern relic. So I tentatively give you:

Variants:

5A Knife makers who hand-forge every blade, and hand-make every part, and each individual knife, while a thing of high quality, is also unique. Often this is a one-man show.
5B Knife makers who use techniques to promote uniformity and efficiency in the manufacturing process, to where recognizable and consistent models are produced and sold, usually at a higher production rate than category 5A. This is likely to be companies with more than one worker.
5C Those knife-makers who are still aspiring to become bonafide 5A or 5B producers, and aren't really there yet.  ;)



SO.....let me know what you think of my categorization.



« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 06:04:12 AM by Jim the Brave »

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Sr. Member Posts: 382
Re: Categories of Knife and Multitool Company....
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2021, 06:27:52 AM »
 :dunno:

Seems logical to me. 

Personally I don't really see a big difference between your category 1 and 2.  I could be wrong.  I feel like knives and MTs labeled as Dewalt, Sears, and Milwaukie are more-or-less the same quality as some of the Ozark Trail, Jeep, Hummer, Smith&Wesson, etc. stuff that you find. 

But yeah, the list seem pretty accurate to me.
No Life Club Posts: 1,313 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: Categories of Knife and Multitool Company....
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2021, 02:20:57 PM »
:dunno:

Seems logical to me. 

Personally I don't really see a big difference between your category 1 and 2.  I could be wrong.  I feel like knives and MTs labeled as Dewalt, Sears, and Milwaukie are more-or-less the same quality as some of the Ozark Trail, Jeep, Hummer, Smith&Wesson, etc. stuff that you find. 

But yeah, the list seem pretty accurate to me.

You probably make a good point--another way of listing them could be to combine those two categories.

Also, I didn't say it, but I figure the gun brands probably belong in category 2, so I'll go back and clarify that. (If it lets me change it). I simply forgot about them at the time I was writing.  :D

This life is merely a staging ground for eternity. Are you preparing for the rest of forever?
No Life Club Posts: 1,313 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: Categories of Knife and Multitool Company....
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2021, 02:28:44 PM »
Amended Category 2:

Category 2: Tool Brand Knives

Category 2 knives and multitools are branded with popular companies that make and/or market other kinds of tools, or other prestigious products, such as guns or vehicles.. They are often outsourced to other manufacturers, particularly in China.

Variants:

2A Knives and MT's actually made by regular tool companies in their own company-managed factories (rare)
2B Knives and MT's outsourced to Category 0 manufacturers and branded by popular companies, such as Dewalt, Milwaukee, Smith and Wesson, etc.
2C Knives and MT's labeled by tool or other prestigious manufacturers, and outsourced to Category 4 companies. Example: Snap-On.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 03:00:42 PM by Jim the Brave »

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Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,485
Re: Categories of Knife and Multitool Company....
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 06:32:47 PM »
There is a concept called MECE(mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) and personally, I think some of the categories may or may not mutually exclusive, or collectively exhaustive. :dunno:   


For example, Victorinox could fit in category 1(since they do sell thru their own stores), 4 and 5. Buck, Spyderco, Gerber kinda fit 3(they do outsource some of their production oversea), 4 and 5.  In fact, most major knife companies may fit 4 and 5 since there's always an element of manual labor.  Some of the companies may evolve over time and switch from one category to another, in fact many probably start from category 0 or 3.

Btw, why do we have to categorize them in a particular way to begin with?  :pok: :think:

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No Life Club Posts: 1,313 Hardwood sawyer, and follower of Jesus Christ
Re: Categories of Knife and Multitool Company....
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2021, 05:41:39 AM »
There is a concept called MECE(mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) and personally, I think some of the categories may or may not mutually exclusive, or collectively exhaustive. :dunno:   


For example, Victorinox could fit in category 1(since they do sell thru their own stores), 4 and 5. Buck, Spyderco, Gerber kinda fit 3(they do outsource some of their production oversea), 4 and 5.  In fact, most major knife companies may fit 4 and 5 since there's always an element of manual labor.  Some of the companies may evolve over time and switch from one category to another, in fact many probably start from category 0 or 3.

Btw, why do we have to categorize them in a particular way to begin with?  :pok: :think:

Probably we don't have to. Guess I just got a bit OCD and philosophical at the same time.
 :multi:

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