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Why I Sold All My Hinderer Knives

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Today I just packaged up the last of my Hinderer knives, scales, pens, and other accessories which I had previously purchased and sent them off to the individuals who purchased them from me.  In short, while there’s no doubt Rick Hinderer makes a great knife, I can no longer recommend  Hinderer products, nor do I wish to do business with the company.  The reasons why is a rather long story, but an important one I think to share with my readers.

Last month, I did a comparative review with the Umnumzaan, XM-18, and SnG.  I received largely positive comments even from those who didn’t particularly agree with some of my stated opinions in that review.  That is except for members The Usual Suspect Network forum where I shared the article in the Hinderer sponsored forum and the Strider sponsored forums.

Now, as anyone who’s read this review can see, I didn’t say anything  particularly negative about any of the knives in this review or the manufacturers who produce them. I  simply stated my opinion about the competitive advantages each held over the other.  I’ve also done stand alone reviews of each of the knives compared, and gave each high praise.  In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted that none of the knives reviewed were provided by the manufacturer for review purposes – they all were purchased by me.  Neither did I receive any sort of compensation directly or indirectly from these manufacturers.

Again, community response to my comparative review was largely positive.   However, the response received on the Usual Suspect Network or USN was quite atypical.  In particular, the response from both the “Strider Hardcore” forum and the Rick Hinderer forum was…eye opening to say the least.  In the case of the Strider Hardcore forum, my post was met with a stream of insults, profanity, and other unseemly behavior which went on for over 20 pages until the thread was actually moved out of the Strider Hardcore forum …the worst of online forum mentality (and as someone who owned and ran a large forum for almost 10 years, I’ve seen my share of bad).

In every online forum I’ve ever participated in, the discussions are governed by moderators who try to maintain some semblance of civility and decorum.  From what I can gather, brand sponsored forums on USN are only moderated by the sponsors themselves.   In the case of the Strider Hardcore forum, Mick Strider was one of the most profane responders to the thread, which honestly came as little surprise.  It was only after I purchased the Strider SnG that I actually learned of Mick Stider’s checkered past and I’ve since sold that knife too.    In the case of the Hinderer forum, the review discussion thread was almost immediately moved out of the forum, and a company representative Rob Orlando posted rudely in the thread which was moved.  This reaction was quite a bit more surprising to me.

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John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com.

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  1. Jim Schuman says:

    @Adam, I just want to make a comment here. I am far from a fanboy of Hinderer knives, and I certainly don’t like asshats when they act like these guys do, so for the most part, I am aligned with the tone and opinions of this thread. I have owned several Hinderers though, and every one was perfect — I just got rid of them because they were not the right configuration for me. I now own one (with the configuration I prefer) which is my EDC, rotating with a Curtiss F3 and a Chris Reeve Sebenza. The Hinderer that I have is an excellent knife — solid as a rock, great steel that holds an edge, and good-looking. With only one exception, I bought all of my Hinderers second-hand from reputable sellers on the forums. If any of these knives had blade-play when I got them, I was sure they could go back to the sellers because they were individuals who cared about their own reputations. (The one knife I bought from the dealer was through Triple Aught Design which probably performs an extra level of quality control on pieces they distribute anyway.) The reason I am writing is that, while it is a massive fail for a $500 knife to have blade play, it is quite possible, with a minimum of due diligence, to find one of these that is perfect — I am sure most of them are perfect or there wouldn’t be so many fans anyway. @Adam, don’t write off the brand for this reason — they really are very nice knives.

  2. This is why i will not buy a hinderer knife. It is also why i love my CRK’s. Screw these idiots, their knives are not worth the 500-750$ street price regardless of their attitude to their customers. Add in their foolish business philosophies and yea, well im not going to be a buyer, along with many others.
    I will keep buying my CRK’s, using and enjoying them, and will maoe sure to tell as many people as possible to stay away from hinderer knives. Thats the great thing about a free economy, we as consumers, have many many great choices.

  3. Glad I read this thread as I was just looking to purchase a Hinderer or another Strider but now having second thoughts. I feel totally insulted with Mr. Hinderers comment about not caring about collectors, with that said, no way can I support a company with that attitude. I hope collectors who attend Blade 2015 know how you feel Mr Hinderer. As for striders,I have two, a custom Duane Dwyer, which is a beauty, wicked sharp,fit and finish is perfect and an old AR which was customized by Warren Thomas; this knife has been a hard user knife for more than 12 years. I have split logs with it, sent it to war and back and other than reprofiling the blade, it keeps on going, rock solid! I guess Im fortunate that I’ve never needed to call customer service, but if I did, I’d call Warren to fix it or Duane.
    I guess I’ll be purchasing another Duane Dwyer knife and instead a Hinderer,maybe I’ll grab a few Emerson’s as well.

  4. Lots of better places to spend your hard earned buck Chad. Thanks!

  5. Chad, don’t think Rick is a bad guy. He’s not. I’ve talked to him, and we really got along well. We chatted on Facebook for over an hour about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and I can tell you, he’s a good, guy who’s fun to talk to. But, (always a but…) the people I’ve talked to at his company, and they treated me like I wasn’t important. I don’t have a problem with Rick, he’s never given me a reason to dislike him, but the people who communicate with customers at RHK make me absolutely Hate the company. Haha, I just find it funny that the founder/owner of the company is a down to earth guy, who just wants to make sure you’re happy. But the people below him, who work for him have a huge friggin’ God complex, and think they can do whatever they want.

  6. Evan – I used to think the same way as you. Rick can be a great guy to talk to. But he’s responsible for his employees, and I’m well convinced they take their lead from Rick in terms of how they treat people. At the end of the day, it’s his company – Rick is responsible for the actions of his employees.

  7. plamen2110 says:

    I’ve had a handful of hinderers including the new Eklipse. No complaints besides imperfect centering. I’ve hard used almost all of them (prying glued together wooden boards). Never had to send a knife in, and I hope I never have to.
    That being said even if I were to baton with it I don’t think replacing the knife should be an issue. I batoned with my Spyderco Brad Southard flipper nearly breaking the blade (it cracked above the spyder hole). Emailed them explaining that I realize I was a dumbass for doing that and if they would let me buy a new blade to replace the broken one. They asked me to send the knife in and they would let me know what they could do for me. A week or so later a brand new Spyderco Southard flipper arrives with a typed note saying that they examined it and decided to replace the knife free of charge and in hand writing “the knife is not meant for batoning”. That was a $250 knife.
    Just thought I’d put that out there.

  8. This is quite funny…I was recently looking at buying a used Hinderer, a used Strider, or a used Sebenza….my money is now on a Sebenza…I can’t stand people like Rick Hinderer who act like they are god’s gift to the knife world and seem to think they don’t need to be respectful to the public, respectful to the people who spend outrageous sums of money on what are essentially overpriced knives…I am voting with my money, and my money is going to Chris Reevesn(well, indirectly at least)…..

  9. Can’t go wrong with a Sebenza. CRK started the whole titanium frame lock craze…

  10. You read one guy’s complaint and decided that Rick is an asshole?

    You should really consider checking out the Hinderer section on BladeForum, or the Herd Facebook page, and see how he interacts with people and how people talk about RHK’s customer service.

  11. ??Yeah. If you want to see how nice of a guy Rick is, visit one of HIS pages, where he has rules about what you can and can’t say., essentially, a place where you can only compliment him, otherwise he pm’s you, and will b*tch you out, and possibly kick you off the forum.

  12. That doesn’t match what you said about Rick from a few comments upstream.

  13. I was referring to the article.

  14. I have to concur with the notion that Rick and company sure seem like swell guys when read/post in venues where they control every last key stroke. China seems like a wonderful place if you read the government controlled media too….

  15. Thank you. I considered buying ZT 0562, but now I know I’ll never buy anything connected with Hinderer. USN is full of nice people but also some maker/manufacture forums are filled with fanatic, rich douchebags.

  16. This is all very interesting. I can say out of personal experience, Duane Dwyer was one of the biggest assholes I have ever met. He also has a very checked past and is full of shit.

  17. I was looking to purchase my first Hinderer knife but after came across this, I don’t want to have problem if I need service from them. Do you have other comparable knives to suggest?

  18. Look to Zero Tolerance. I have several of their knives.

  19. Uriah armijo says:

    I won’t be buying anymore hinderer knives again either. Thank Gof I only bought one. I found out after I had a mishap with my xm18 that they do not and will not replace your blade no matter what. It’s meant to be a hard use knife and it doesn’t make sense why they wouldn’t replace blades. So if someone breaks it which that will happen now you have a 400 dollar boat anchor. I will stick with crk. They treated me better and offer all the services I like and would ever need. Also when your knife gets old and warm out from sharpenings you also will have a 400 dollar or more paper weight. I expect more from a hard use knife company. Just glad I know now to take my buisiness elsewhere. Btw I was polite to them and just said okay thank you. Goodbye.

  20. Jason Rogers says:

    I believe that since RHK opened the doors on it’s much larger production facility a few years ago, none of the customer service issues from the past are even relevant anymore. The RHK – Users and Collectors Facebook page is filled with hundreds of comments regarding Hinderers excellent customer service. Breaking a blade, unless there was some odd manufacturing defect(which they will cover), is abuse. I wouldn’t expect anyone to fix something I broke using improperly. Rob Orlando is no longer with RHK, if he was an individual who bothered you. I believe this post is misleading, as it is now 5 years old and the company has made many drastic changes since then. If you are reading this, give Rick Hinderer Knives a chance, they are great products and people. Thank you.

  21. Jason – thanks for this information I hadn’t heard that Rob was no longer with RHK. Where did he go? IMHO, neither the expanded production facility nor Rob Orlando’s departure changes anything. Rob was with RHK for YEARS. During that time he was less than professional with more folks than just me, as the comments here will attest. Rick did nothing to discourage this from Rob, and in fact supported him. That’s just not good business IMHO.

  22. Jason Rogers says:

    I believe Rob is now with RMJ Tactical

  23. Tom Willerton says:

    Hoback!! Nice guy. Amazing quality knives.

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