It’s no big secret that there are two groups of knife buyers: those who feel a special emotional attachment to their cutlery and want only the very best, and those who think of a knife as just another tool like a hammer or screwdriver. Whatever works and doesn’t cost much is good enough. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cutlery importers that prey on the “a knife is just another tool” market. Put out something with a flashy appearance at a rock bottom price and wait for the fish to bite is their general theory of meeting the need. Spyderco Knives saw the market opportunity and thought they could do a better job of assuring the end user a quality tool at a reasonable price. Enter the new made-in-China “Byrd” line.
Given the poor quality of the vast majority of knives exported from the Peoples Republic of China, many of us still have a rather knee-jerk reaction against any knife made on the mainland (Taiwan knives are another story). The bottom line is that the Chinese are willing to make higher-level quality items according to buyer demand. Of course, you can’t expect that to be found in the “$1.99 each” bucket at the checkout counter of your local hardware store. Still, there is no reason a serious working blade can’t be had for under $40.