Another thread got me thinking about Master Smith Certification. Instead of hijacking it, I thought a new thread would be a better choice.
Certification typically implies that a person is qualified to work in their field, i.e. a doctor, engineer, lawyer, etc... A person doesn't have to be certified to make high end knifes. Users will quickly determine if the knife has any value.
For the maker, what is the advantage of the certification process? Is it an achievement knowing that few people have the necessary skills to attain it? Does it help with selling product?
Does certification mean anything or matter to the buyer? Personally, it adds very little to the knife. Since most of the times, I can't try a knife before I purchase it, the reputation of the maker is important. Are they known for consistently putting out a quality product. The certification does burnish the reputation.
Just like most people on this forum, I'd love to own a Bill Burke or Michael Rader knife. The knives speak for themselves. Knowing that they are Master Smiths is just icing on the cake.