Monday, 4 April 2011

Bark River Knife and Tool Customer Service Review

From the first time I visited the Bark River Knife and Tool website I've wanted one of their knives. They do a massive range of styles, handled in a whole host of different materials, gorgeous woods and Micarta/G10's all beautifully photographed.

When The American Bushman first had his gear sale I bought a Micro Canadian II, a small fixed blade knife with a blade in the style of a 17th century surgeon's scalpel.
The blade dinged the first time I used it to sharpen a piece of Lailandaii, [I have heard other reports of the blade temper not being all it might be, but it may have been a batch  defect as there are a lot of very happy owners], the mosaic pins had been installed out of alignment, and the fit of the handle scales was less than perfect. Nice knife, but it looked as if it had been made on P.O.E.T.S day [Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday].

The website offers this reassurance to perspective customers.

Lifetime Warranty All Bark River knives and axes are guaranteed against manufacturing defects for life. If you have any problem with our product, just return it to us and we will repair or replace it. If you would like us to refurbish or re-sharpen the product please enclose shipping and handling fees — $12 Lower 48 States, $25 Alaska, Hawaii and Canada, $30 All other Countries. Mutliple knives may add to charges.

Conspicuously it doesn't say anything about the time-frame over which this will take place.

I sent them my knife (from the USA) and the tracking note showed that they received it on the 9th of November 2010, having heard the sum total of NOTHING from them I called in the first week of January of this year and was told they'd be getting to it later that week and they would email or call me to discuss remedial works. No communication ever came.

Finally in the first week of MARCH my knife dropped on to the door mat, and yes they've made a great job of refurbishing it, it is really nicely done. I appreciate that no purist could countenance anything less than quarrying the metals for the pins with stone-age tools, it's just that I question the business case for growing each piece of hardwood to order.

My advice: if you see one of their knives you like, and it's finished to a standard your happy with, yeah buy it, they are very nice especially for the price, however I would strongly recommend not buying one online. You need to make sight of it before you buy it.

Sorry guys but the way I've been treated just isn't commensurate with the spirit of the offering to perspective customers.

Your pal
SBW

2 comments:

heyBJK said...

I appreciate this post, SBW. At one time I was looking heavily at a Bark River blade, but after doing research there were just too many mixed reviews concerning knife quality and customer service. I couldn't bring myself to order one without actually having it in hand first. It's a shame because I like several of their designs, but there are too many negatives out there for it to be coincidence.

I know they make good knives, but the quality and the service seem to be hit or miss depending on who you ask. I'm not taking that chance with my hard earned money.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Hey BJK
Sad isn't it, It's such a great range they must make at least 7 or 8 knives i'd really like to buy and there's something to be said for just about any model they make. I've already sold the knife, just was never going to seem as sweet, and if the blade dings again I don't think I could bear to go through the same rigmarole.

SBW