I don't have any expertise with the things, but I have had a chance to train with different kinds. These range from tactical folder-length, to krises, machetes, parangs, up to swords, all like that.
All of which is to say I appreciate a nice knife. Recently, I felt the need for a shorter folder than the (legal length) one I usually use for EDC. Great tool, but a little on the heavy side. (A technical term, that : EDC = every day carry.) I didn't really need a new knife, but, you can't have too many, so ...
I shopped around, and came across one that called to me. Short, stubby blade, liner-lock, one-handed operation, thumb-stud on the blade. Really liked the look, it was a high-quality steel, titanium handle got good reviews.
Thing was, the knife was a semi-custom, i.e., made in small batches from a single-man shop. I went to the guy's website, read his philosophy about the craft and customer service, and was impressed. Looked at the list of dealers, and went to go see what kind of deal I could get.
Turned out, no kind of deal.
Six retailers, none of them had it in stock, didn't know when they'd get one.
Oh, well, back to the source. Found the maker's contact info, sent an email: Hey, love this knife, but none of your dealers have any. How can I get one? You have a wait list?
Week passed, nothing.
Well, the guy is undoubtedly busy, and maybe my email got lost in the aether. So I called his number, got his machine, left my number and the same message.
Another week passed. Nada.
Okay, so maybe he's on vacation, or he had an accident or something, shit happens, right?
Found a Facebook presence, and from the tone of his posts, he wasn't stove up, nor on vacation. So, I'll ask him again, I figured. Hey there, I really like your work. Can I maybe get on your list for one of your next batch?
And once more we have crickets and tumbleweeds ...
So, it has been two more weeks, and while I know life gets the way as often as not, this does not bespeak good customer service. How many times do you knock before you realize nobody is coming to the door?
Rule of three. All done.
This experience as opposed to another first-class knife guy who go back to me the same day when I queried. Or a top-rated luthier with a long wait list who responded within a few hours.
What this kind of interaction does for me is kill my interest. Yeah, it's a nice knife and all, but after this? I don't want one any more. It wasn't meant to be. Could be a great guy, others might not have this experience, but back in my hippie days, I would have shaken my head and chalked it up to bad vibes. Sometimes, you just can't get there from here.
You know what? That still works for me ...