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* Remedy Damascus - $400

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oivind_dahle

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Since Im not allowed to link to this site on this forum, here is copy from site:

Richmond Remedy Damascus Wa-Gyuto 240mm. We're working on producing the Richmond Remedy with Devin Thomas Bubble Wrap Damascus.

$399.95


As many of you I have no trouble with Mark, but this got my attention to day. Will this affect the custom knifemarket and the custom knifemakers? I cant imagine how a maker can match the pricing from Mark.

What do you guys think?
 

Lefty

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No comment
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Dumping.

The more I see, the more I am getting convinced that this is not about competition and business opportunity, but an attempt to push others out who don't sell through CKTG.

MR is willing to take a small or no profit but to make sure the others can't compete. If you call it competition, you are kidding yourself.
 

99Limited

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People who would buy this knife are probably not in the same category as those who would buy a semi or full on custom knife. It would be like saying, "Now that Mazda has the Miata, that will mark the end of the Porsche Boxster." We're not going to get into the fact that the Miata came out years before the Boxster, but you should get my point.
 

BertMor

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Yeah, naming it after yourself and giving it a (stupid) nickname. anyone can buy DT damascus, but who is making the knife is the real question. anyone out there want to stand up and take credit?
 

Marko Tsourkan

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It devalues work of others. Here is a simple mathematics. It cost MR about $100 (all cost included: steel, HT, grinding, handle, engraving, shipping between processes) to produce his Addict and he sells it for $150 - price includes shipping and payment processing. So, he is taking a profit of just a $40 (approximately) on a knife. At the same time he gets his Japanese knives at a wholesale prices that are 40-50% of what he retails them. Which one makes more business sense?

For people who are not knowledgeable, Remedy Damascus will look very similar to DT custom damascus or D. Ealy custom damascus, etc. and price point will play a deciding role. That is what MR is betting on.

Chinese have done it and look where US manufacturing is these days. Back than it was hailed like a great idea, globalization was to be a great thing. Well, what we got is a market flooded with cheap imitations and most quality makers moved manufacturing overseas or went out of business. I am looking for vintage American made machines some over 50 old, as they are better in quality than what you can buy these days new. Or look what Levi's jeans are these days! This is a consequence of dumping (or so called competition) and you as a buyer will eventually have a taste of that too.

History does repeat itself.

M
 

Seb

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Chinese have done it and look where US manufacturing is these days.
The Chinese had nothing to do with the failure of US manufacturing. That started long before the Chinese came into the picture.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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The Chinese had nothing to do with the failure of US manufacturing. That started long before the Chinese came into the picture.
You think? Compare the cost of production (even with high US worker productivity and high capital investment), Chinese currency manipulation, quality control, and so forth.

And thought I agree there is more than one factor that contributed to decline, foreign competition (unfair competition that is) plays an important role. But I don't want to turn this into a discussion about decline of US manufacturing. I used it as an example as many can relate to it, and you can to read more about it if you like.

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=5078&type=0



M
 

Seb

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The decline of American manufacturing was caused by greedy American corporations and venal American politicians. Before the Chinese came along, American industry was being schooled and owned by the Japanese.

And what is 'unfair competition' exactly? As if American businesses and governments have not used every dirty, filthy trick in the book to keep other people down.

Blaming the Chinese is simplistic nonsense and racist as well.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I am not blaming Chinese for pursuing their national interests. I am stating the fact that majority of the goods in US are made in China and many are of inferior quality.

Calling my statements nonsensical or racist is pushing over the line. If you want to take this conversation private, please do. If you want to divert the attention from the subject in this thread, than say so.

M
 

echerub

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There will always be a market for real quality, particularly when it comes to small-volume specialty items like high-end knives. The issue is one of educating customers. Competing makers need to educate customers about how their products are superior beyond the damascus patterning and steel used.

We know that a knife is more than just the steel used, and that the skill, knowledge and effort applied by the knifemaker makes all the difference in terms of handling and performance - but that's not general knowledge out there yet. Damascus patterning and steel type for knives is like megapixels for digital cameras or horsepower for cars: it's an easily-understood but not necessarily meaningful "measure" for blank-slate or semi-knowledgeable customers to base their decisions on. The important thing is to communicate and educate about what else there is beyond that first-glance measure.

That education and communication won't be easy though. Many of us here have spent a lot of time to learn a lot of these things and we continue to teach one another what we learn. The challenge will be to communicate the key points to customers who are going to make their decision in a few minutes or a few days and don't have the interest to spend a lot of time to discuss and learn.

Whether the Remedy Damascus at 400 is dumping... I don't know about that. To me it's a whole different product, like a Miata is completely different from a Boxster. Both have four wheels, are similarly sized, are marketed as fun, zippy little cars, but I have zero interest in the Miata. Likewise, I have zero interest in this new knife. It's just a matter of perspective that comes with a bit of knowledge about the product and about my own preferences.

When my girlfriend was hunting for her own car for the first time, she didn't know the difference between any of the cars. To her, a car was a car was a car. I educated her over the course of a few test drive sessions with different models and now she truly understands the differences - and her preferences have changed with regards to what cars get her attention. The same can - and must - be done for knives, but in a more efficient fashion :)
 

JMJones

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I see it as just another factory knife, albeit with quality artisan made steel. The vast majority of kitchen knife users dont give a damn about thier knife, a smaller segment feels pretty good about their wushtoff/ henkels, a even smaller segment is into using higher quality factory offerings/ japanese knives and yet an even smaller subset is buying the high end products of makers here and other top level makers. I dont see this last subset too interested in this offering and it is pretty pricey for the demographic that is into factory knives.
 

ecchef

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I'm having trouble differentiating between this and all the Kramer replicas being produced by volume knife manufacturers.

Hell, if the formula worked for ol' Bob and nobody (except me) has an issue with it, then why get all huffy if Devin wants to give it a shot?

At least it's not being made in China! :rant:
 

Pensacola Tiger

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I'm having trouble differentiating between this and all the Kramer replicas being produced by volume knife manufacturers.

Hell, if the formula worked for ol' Bob and nobody (except me) has an issue with it, then why get all huffy if Devin wants to give it a shot?

At least it's not being made in China! :rant:
Devin's NOT making this knife, it is being farmed out to Lamson & Goodnow. The only connection Devin has is that he made the damascus billets.

A run of 70 is planned.
 

Seb

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I am not blaming Chinese for pursuing their national interests. I am stating the fact that majority of the goods in US are made in China and many are of inferior quality.

Calling my statements nonsensical or racist is pushing over the line. If you want to take this conversation private, please do. If you want to divert the attention from the subject in this thread, than say so.

M
Well, I take offense to your previous comments.

It's racial scapegoating (and therefore racist) to blame the Chinese for destroying/sabotaging American manufacturing when those to blame are in fact wealthy American shareholders and American megacorporations who chose to relocate offshore to line their own pockets.

Chinese factories are price takers. The real price makers (for manufacturing contracts of all kinds) are the American and other Western corporations who play factories off against each other and chisel the price down. The Americans take all the cream and the Chinese get the peanuts.

I get sick and tired and nauseated whenever I see these comments pinning the blame on China for the mess that America is in, and I am seeing these ignorant and simplistic comments everywhere. Americans created this mess. And if it wasn't the Chinese working like slaves to keep American consumers happy it would have been somebody else.
 

99Limited

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Seb... You need to give this subject a rest. Get back on track to the OT.
 

echerub

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I dont see this last subset too interested in this offering and it is pretty pricey for the demographic that is into factory knives.
The new knife in question is an interesting "bridge" for those who don't know or appreciate the difference design and production make in the final use of the product but want something pretty that makes for a bit of a status symbol. There's a market for it. I think it is something that other makers and sellers will have to respond to in some way. I don't think it will make a big impact on its own - but if this and others of its ilk are left alone and ignored, well yes, there could be some long-term impacts on makers.

The game goes both ways. High-end hands-on guys going into mid-tech or non-damascus products to seek the $400-500 market range are playing a similar game but from the other side. They're going after the folks who are knowledgeable but either can't or won't pay the higher prices their more involved work necessarily entail.

The contested ground here is the $400-500 market and there are different ways to approach the customers here because the customers are coming from different places in terms of knowledge, preference, and requirements. Some very reputed makers from Japan are playing in this same field too so it's a pretty busy little market band we're talking about.
 

Dave Martell

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Interesting topic......in my opinion...this move will de-value custom work on some level.
 
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echerub

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A run of 70 is planned.
That's a pretty decent number. Someone certainly feels there's good potential there and I think this is a good number for testing the market. It's still going after folks who already know the Richmond line in the first place, so at this point it's still just a small addition to the overall picture. I think the more interesting question is where this line will go from here and how others - and who - will respond to it.
 

echerub

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To me there is no question at all that this move will de-value custom work on some level.
I think that is true, if nothing else changes. The way I think the devaluation can be parried is through education and awareness. I think everyone else still has an opportunity at this point to prevent the devaluation that we see approaching - I don't think it's inevitable. I think it's inevitable only if there is no long-term, sustainable response to this.
 

goodchef1

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it seems to me that this is another "mountain out of a molehill" topic. How China manufacturing, and US competition got mixed up in this is beyond me. I believe Mark is not driving, looking in the rear view mirror, he is after a bigger market. Competition for consumers is good, it forces innovation and keeps prices reasonable.

I don't ever see production ever competing or getting mixed up with custom work. That's great that some choose to take that high road, but when it gets to the point where few have gone, you would be surprised at how many will sell-out if money and fame is involved.

hypothetical scenario, how many with a wife and kids would turn down 1mil, to put their name on a production knife that may or may not price a few friends out of the market? people should applaud success, not resent it.

If Mark's main reason to do this knife is for revenge, or to focus on a few people to keep them from selling knives, then I wouldn't worry to much about his future success because there won't be.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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@ Seb - Obviously you want to make a public statement, rather than address any issues you have with my comments in private. Rant away! But don't forget to live by what you preach.

Some things I said about China are very true. From devalued currency, to destruction of environment, to its involvement in neo-colonizing in Africa and other developing world countries, China is pursuing its national interests and it is all to it.

My issue here is with unfair competition, whether most agree with me or not, I am sticking to my guns.

Devin is a steel maker first and knife maker second. Please don't make a negative association because CKTG commissioned his steel for the project. If he didn't supply the steel, somebody else would.

I might overreacted a bit with my posts, but ultimately, I didn't say anything that I want to take back. "Live and let live" is something that some people just can't accept.


M
 

Vertigo

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It's a great business move. People can pay $350 for a Kramer "knock-off" at WS and now they can pay $400 for a DT "knock-off" at CKTG. Obviously if Devin or Bob thought this would seriously impact their custom market, they wouldn't be doing it. Instead, it puts their brand at a price point accessible to people who otherwise couldn't afford it. Just one more half-assed knife in a sea of half-assed knives. The world keeps turning.
 

mr drinky

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Trying to get back on topic (sort of). I think it will be interesting to see how this plays out. In California the best grape growers just don't sell grapes to anyone as they don't want a mediocre winery producing medium quality wines with their grapes. That's not good for the grape grower. I'm sure Devin has thought about the pluses and minuses, but for me I see the biggest risk to him in this venture. His steel is definitely the selling point of this knife and his name will be talked about when selling it. I wouldn't be surprised to see this in a cooking magazine at some point, especially since Mark is getting a track record with the mags.

Anyhow, I'd hate to see blade or production problems that might spill over to Devin's name. When I was trying to get Al Pendray to sell me a billet of wootz to have someone make a blade, the reply was 'no'. He used to do that but people kept messing up the heat treat and he didn't want is name associated with poorly performing knives.

Again, I am sure Devin knows what he is doing, but I personally would trust Adam Marr, Marko, or any of the other makers who are using his steel to make my knife -- even if I had to pay more for it.

k.
 

ecchef

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Devin's NOT making this knife, it is being farmed out to Lamson & Goodnow. The only connection Devin has is that he made the damascus billets.

A run of 70 is planned.
That's precisely why I'm comparing it to the Kramer clones.

Oh, by the way Seb, Marko's point has absolutely nothing to do with race. "Chinese" is not a race, it's a nationality. It's their national (cultural) business ethics that are questionable, not their dna arrangement. I certainly don't like China's business practices. Does that make me a racist? Ask my Asian wife.
 

tk59

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I guess if I just had to have something in damascus but I didn't want to pay $1k, I might go with this knife. I believe custom work has always been driven by exculsivity and a customer's own shot at his/her own take on ultimate performance and aesthetics. This does not affect my attitude toward custom work in the slightest. Who wants an exclusive knife that has an odd nickname stamped on it? It seems to me that Mark is simply getting something out with a damascus core because there aren't very many out there. I've looked at Koki's site a few times just to look at the damascus core line there. Why not buy one with Devin's damascus in it instead? Just my $0.02.

These are not clones of Devin's work. This is nothing like the Kramer line. This is an apple pie that tastes like any other nice apple pie except it has some fancier apples in it.
 
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