Friday, February 21, 2014

Buy good tools to start with

A brief anecdote about why you should buy good tools from decent companies.

Thirty years ago, my dad had a little Buck 309 pocket knife.  I remember it well, as he used it for most every cutting task imaginable.  One day, he used it for some unimaginable task and broke off the large blade close to the pivot.  Since he had another one, he gave me the busted one.  I was 10 or 11, it was a knife with one working blade and one busted blade. 

That stuff is treasure to young boys.  I don't know why -- it just is.

Fast-forward 30 years, minus 2 weeks.  I still have that busted knife.  Again, I don't know why -- sentiment, maybe? (dad is still around, thankfully).  I got a wild hair and decide to send it to Buck under their "Forever Warranty".  To be clear, I did not say "Oops it just broke".  I said "Dad used this for years, he busted it, I don't know how.  Can you fix it?  I'll gladly pay, as it has sentimental value."  Not trying to beat them out of anything, I just wanted it fixed so I could carry it.

Last night a small box shows up from Buck.  In the box is the old knife, unrepaired.  Insert sad face here.  Next to it, in some wrap, is a brand new 309 and a little note saying to take care of this one, and that it too is a warranted knife.  I'm carrying that new knife today.  Buck has reinforced my desire to remain a customer (wouldn't have changed if they didn't fix the old knife), as I've been a customer myself for 25 years, too. 

Maybe it's cheap PR for them.  Maybe they know that sometimes the line between "use" and "abuse" gets blurred, whether on the trail or in the trades.  Maybe they really are just a decent company that wants happy customers (after all, it led to this blog post, right?) to spread the good word.