In general, knives made in Taiwan are much higher quality than knives made in Communist China. Modern mass produced Taiwanese knives are similar in quality to mass produced Japanese knives. Still, I prefer American knives.
For instance, I have bought CRKT knives from Communist China and from Taiwan. The Chinese knives vary enormously in fit and finish from one knife to the next, while every knife made in Taiwan has had very good fit and finish.
Since many knives made in China are designed in the US, it is a roll of the dice if you get a good knife.
Additionally, Chinese knives are often made with cheap Chinese steel like 8Cr13MoV. While some people compare this steel with Japanese AUS8A, 8Cr13MoV heat treatment and steel quality seems to vary much more.
I bought a Spyderco Resilience and it had quality issues. For instance, the blade was off-center and the tip would rub into the liner when I opened the knife.
While only costing half as much, the Kershaw Tremor, sometimes sold here on Woot for about $15, is a better Chinese knife of similar size.
To their credit, Kershaw maintains good quality control in China. The only problem I ever noticed from their Chinese wares was the somewhat unsightly blade finish on my Tremor.
However, American made Kershaws like the Ken Onion Leek are much higher quality and are still inexpensive. The Leek is an outstanding knife.
There are many inexpensive, good quality American made knives from Buck like the Vantage line, Omni Hunter and QuickFire.
None are ten dollars, but I often see American made knives around $20.
Of course, Taiwanese knives are often under $20. I have a Ka-Bar Fin and a Ka-Bar Dozier that both cost around $18 and both are excellent knives made in Taiwan with Japanese AUS-8 steel.
I bought the Smith & Wesson Extraction & Evasion Knife (SWEE2BS) with the black teflon blade coating. They reportedly have an effective assisted opening mechanism. Many people deride S&W knives, but I've never owned one and I want to evaluate the quality myself. 4034 is a pretty cheap steel, but the feature set of the knife otherwise looks good for this price point.
comma wrote:^^Doesn't know jack about knives. (get it?)
These are extremely inexpensive knives for what they are. You get what you pay for. You want to spend $10 on a Kershaw? It ain't going to made here in the USA. Many knife companies have budget lines that are made in China, Taiwan, Indonesia, etc. Kershaw, Boker, Cold Steel, Spyderco and many others... all have lines that are manufactured or licensed by overseas companies. That doesn't mean the quality is bad. Not by a long shot.
I have a Spyderco Resilience (China) that is equal in quality and fit and finish to my Spyderco Manix and Manix 2 (Colorado) at one-third the price (for the same-ish amount of kife). I can say the same thing about several Cold Steels I own. My Espadas (the carbon fiber versions) are some of the tightest and highest quality knives I own and they are made in Taiwan.
My god, you people cry if they aren't made in the USA and cry if they are too expensive. You can't have it both ways.
The Resilience is one of the first knives I recommend to people who are looking for a high-quality knife that won't break the bank. You can find them on Amazon for 35-40 bucks. It's got a 4.25" blade, which may be too big for some, but the other Spyderco knives in the same line, the Tenacious (3.5ish" blade) and the Ambitious (2.25" blade) are less expensive and likewise high quality for the price. LINKY!
EDIT: Yeah, I bought one. Have to see for myself.