Monday, August 23, 2010

Frost Cutlery: Worst Company In The World To Buy Knives From?

As long as there's FleaBay, Frost probably isn't the absolute worst U.S. importer of Pakistani garbage knives, but they do run a close second. The picture to the left is a monstrosity they are giving away free to some hopefully blind person who was unlucky enough to have his name drawn from a hat. To Frost, such a design is not only pleasing, but something they have the audacity to refer to as a "Custom".

However, at least on the Bay one can get lucky; with Frost you get pot steel  and even less of a guarantee.

Cutlery Corner, that several-times-per-week reminder that yes Virginia, Satan is real, supposedly warranties their product for 30 days, yes 30 whole, entire days, but this devil is in the details for sure. I don't know about the flea markets where you hail from, but in this neck of the woods it is a virtual impossibility to walk 15 feet without running into a knife stand that is guaranteed to be featuring old man Frost's wares, and they do it knowing full well that to keep a good customer happy one must replace broken down product without help from Frost, as Frost has more hoops to jump through than a dog with his tail on fire over at Ringling Bros.

Like to return that there blade you purchased because you might as well have used a picture of a knife to do your cutting chores? Better have the original invoice, fella. But, dayum, you say, why's that? It has the Frost name on it, it's right there on their website, and you got is as a gift so how the heck are you supposed to conjure up an invoice?

Three reasons, bunky; 1) they don't WANT you sending back any knives, one of the reasons their shipping is ludicrously high,  2) it's a real hassle for their incompetent office folk to go looking up all that paperwork, and last but never least, by making it as difficult as possible they know damned well that most people will just say to hell with it and forget those couple of bucks uselessly spent.

This is why a dealer or re-seller of any sort cannot tell a customer to simply send a bad knife...not that there are good ones, mind you... back to Frost. Because the customer would have to send back a copy of the seller's invoice, and no seller stays in business by doing business like that. And even with an invoice, Frost dealers have told me that molasses in Alaska is faster than a Frost warranty-return, and know they're better off just eating the outlay themselves rather than waiting for the nigh on impossible. But sell them they do, because Frost does a good job of advertising their products to complete idiots that simply do not know any better, and to pride oneself on having a fairly complete line of cutlery, one simply has to include Frost along with the companies that actually make their own stuff and do it rather well.

Frost Cutlery does not have a manufacturing facility. Anywhere. They purchase bulk quantity of Pakistani and Chinese made blades, and offer the occasional brand-name product just to make it seem as if they're a real knife maker, too. Just like legitimate knife dealers must sell Frost, Frost is obliged to toss in a Kershaw, or Case here and there, simply for appearances sake.

For years they've had the Fudd market, if not all to themselves, than at least salivating over all of those poorly made slip-joints that grand daddy loved so well. Grand daddy had far less of a market from which to choose his blade from, but Grand-sons STILL select Frost even though anyone with half a mind should know better.

Back when we lived in Iowa, I found a portable Rockwell Hardness tester at a Pawn Shop. Looked like an oversized fountain pen, but did a reasonably good job. Using a $7K fancy lab version, one can obtain a Rockwell result down to the decimal places, like 52.5 HRC, for example, but the little field device only provided a range of say, 52-54. And EVERY last Frost knife I got my hands on, and DESPITE their advertising that the blade had a Rockwell of 54-56, every knife from Frost had a difficult time cracking the 50 barrier, and that's being generous.

Soft, butter-knife alloys, usually poorly heat treated 440A, 420J, or any number of alphabet soup Chinese steels that are junk, plain and simple, are what little Frosts are made of. Throw in crappy pivots, loose screws, wafer-thin liners, cheap plastic handles they lie about and refer to as Kraton or some other decent scale, and you are beginning to get the picture.

For a good laugh, you can get to Cutlery Corner by clicking here. Check out the video's that are made available after every broadcast if you'd like to continue guffawing. If they have one saving grace it is the fact that their television-representatives are dumber than a box of claw hammers, and while they might lie, cheat, and stumble their way through EVERY last broadcast, at least they're damned funny looking.

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