The TBS Range of knives and accessories have been going down a storm over the past 3 years and we are very proud of what we offer. I have striven to bring a quality range to the market at a reasonable price.
At The Bushcraft Show this weekend I was asked on a number of occasions about the range on offer and why the prices were what they are. In essence people were asking “Why are they cheaper than many other high quality products out there?”………Well the answer is multi staged but in essence it is a balance between quality and volume.
The wood, for example, in both Curly Birch and Turkish Walnut, is an expensive product to buy, especially if you are only buying one piece from a UK dealer. We have not done this, we have set ourselves up as a trade supplier of these timbers to many other budding and professional knife makers so we buy these products in large quantities directly from the sawmills & lumber merchants in Finland and Turkey.
The steels, similarly, are not purchased in small bar stock quantities from a small steel dealer they are purchased in larger quantities, in one go, to make additional savings when the price is right. We then don’t manufacture one knife at a time but produce batches. This way we can concentrate a production run on one model and control the quality.
I suppose one of the biggest savings is simply, how much do you charge for your time? A small, one man producer, making one knife a day, for example, has to make a living and he will, rightfully, charge for that. If you did a time and motion study for a knife maker I bet the vast majority of them spend just as much time making the sheath or etching the blade with a logo then they do actually making the knife. Worse still is that they may be paying someone else to do those bits for them, adding production costs.
I think the easiest way to put it is that we are now, not a small one man artisan making one knife at a time. We are now more like the many small European manufactures, like Helle, Brusletto and many others that produce high quality products, from high quality materials and in relatively small batches. But, and most importantly, there is still an expert cutler, a real person and not a robot, handling every knife at every stage of the process and this is something that will not change.