Gerber Parang Recall

Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by Loogaroo, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Gerber has issued a recall on the BG Parang due to blade failure causing it to snap at the handle. The recommend use of the machete stop immediately and that they be contacted for a free replacement. [​IMG]
     
  2. kairo

    kairo Tracker

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    24 / 119,000 = .00020 failure rate. Am I missing something here? How's that grounds for a recall?

    Better safe than sorry, I guess, and "CYA" is all the rage. But still, if you're one of the 24 people with a failure, you were probably trying to chop through a concrete wall or something.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  3. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Company did right and didn't want to see people get hurt. I just got my brand spanking new one in the mail.
     
  4. kairo

    kairo Tracker

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    I can certainly understand that, but we're talking about an infinitesimally small failure rate. Obviously, when the failures occur on a knife, it's worse than say, a toothbrush snapping in half, but I still wonder. You've gotta figure, of the 119,000 sold, how many were to careful, considerate outdoors folks, using them for their intended purpose? When you market something as an "apocalypse survival kit", how many kids, or ignorant people are going to buy these things and start smashing them against things that were never meant to be cut?

    Gerber certainly doesn't want to people to get hurt using their products, but I can very easily imagine this conversation happening in a back room:

    "Well, Larry, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson bought this for young Timmy there. He cut his finger trying to pry a cinder block from the top of that abandoned bridge."

    "I say, Charles, you're right! That leaves us open to liability for marketing a product to an age group that should never have owned it in the first place. Quick! Call the lawyers, recall the product for plausible deniability!"

    Maybe I'm a cynic, but I deal with this kind of stuff all day every day with warranties and liability.
     
  5. b yond

    b yond Scout

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    Good move Gerber.

    Many other companies would've called that failure rate "acceptable."

    Clearly there are some people at Gerber who care about their customers. Ethics in business is unfortunately not common enough these days.
     
  6. kairo

    kairo Tracker

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    All I'm saying is that rate of failure is far, far, far lower than the industry acceptable rates for surgical tools used during heart surgery...

    I'm going to stick with cost of recall being far less than potential losses of one successful lawsuit. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! :p

    I happen to like Gerber a lot and I think they make many fine products. Whole reason I brought this up was because when I opened the thread, I expected to see something in the nature of a 5% failure rate or more.

    Interesting to note as well, one of the product #'s was an item available only at Walmart. Reduced quality steel used to meet price point requirements? I did some further research on some of the failures. There seems to be a few that have suffered failures under normal use in the same area. But that could easily be attributed to the chinese factories where they're made. These are mass produced import blades after all, not space ships.

    For what it's worth, you're 50 times more likely to have died in a car accident than you were to receive a defective Gerber Parang.

    The odds are equally the same that you will die by electrocution as that you will have randomly purchased a defective Gerber Parang.

    ( http://www.livescience.com/3780-odds-dying.html stats used for reference)

    Factory of manufacture is "Best Gifts Enterprises (Yangjiang) Ltd.
    They identify 21% of their business as manufacture of "knife" products.

    "Quality & Efficiency First" and "Being Always Faithful to Our Customers" are our principles while we do our business. We have a professional Design & Research team, who works on new ideas for both products and packaging, to meet the needs of customers all over the world.

    Further discussion of the topic:
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/983738-Fiskars-Gerber-BearGrylls-Parang-RECALL
    Who knows, maybe it's just a poor design after all.

    Man I was bored tonight lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  7. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    There may have been a higher failure rate if people actually used it rather than buy some BG gear because it was cool to get it. I actually wouldn't have gotten one myself. A teen down the street was more interested in flashy cheap renaissance fair garbage than his functional gear and wanted to trade because it looked cooler to hang a broadsword on a wall instead of the real stuff.

    Likely there would never be mass numbers of failures and with these low numbers Gerber could have just made a press release and said "Look we sold THOUSANDS and 12 failed. We stand by our product." They didn't though. Now if they did it for legal fears or just to be a stand up company, I will never know. I see exactly what you are saying though and I agree. These are staggeringly low failure numbers. I'll bet you that Iz Turley wouldn't put up with it though from his products.
     
  8. Bartnmax

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    No doubt the other thing Gerber have taken into account prior to instigating the recall is the cost of negative publicity to the company.
    24 failures = 24 unsatisfied customers.
    Given that the common equation of 1 unsatisfied customer = 10 disatisfied poptential customers, that's a potential 240 unsatisfied customers.
    In this day of elec' media that's one hellova lot of negative publicity for Gerber products.
    That could potentially cost them an absolute heap of dollars is lost sales.
    That type of negative publicty far outweighs the cost of the very minor number of recalls.
    Good call Gerber in minimising the nagative impact upon their products by instigating the recall.
    Good business decision IMO.
     
  9. wulfesinger67

    wulfesinger67 Guide

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    i checked their web site but there is no mention of the recall,
    . I remember the had some isssues a while back so im curious, thx for the heads up either way.
     
  10. cobra

    cobra Scout

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    This recall began a long time ago - early last year or something like that. They only keep their website up-to-date with the most recent recalls...I guess they have a lot of them.
     
  11. Woodsorrel

    Woodsorrel Banned Member Banned

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    Here is a thought regarding the reported failures vs. volume shipped:

    There are a lot of variables that we just don't know about. For example, the failures may have caused the company to examine their manufacturing process and discover a flaw. When a car is recalled, it is because they investigated the problem after a few complaints and found a flaw. Though the reported failure numbers may be low, recalling the others is a way to prevent future accidents.

    Would you knowingly leave a product on the shelves that could hurt people? I would not. I would fix them and eat the cost.

    - Woodsorrel
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  12. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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  13. donal

    donal Banned Member Banned

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    I have heard, years ago; that a given thing sold by Wal-Mart, is likely to have been made to a slightly 'lesser' spec., just for the reasons you describe...such as 10-22 rifles, and other goods.
     
  14. bharner

    bharner Guide

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    Wish I had saved the correspondence from Winchester but they confirmed this for me a few years back. I had picked up a few boxes of WWB .357 for use in my Blackhawk. Had roughly a third of them with the firing busting through the primer. Wrote to them and was told that they use different primers in the Walmart ammo to meet the pricepoint that Walmart sets.

    Tapatalk ate my spelling and grammar.
     
  15. dr. prepper 13

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    Gerber has claimed the problem is resoved and the Parang is now a safe product. That being said the nylon sheath ripped and I ended up with stitches! Far as the machete itself. mine has proven quite durable so far.
     
  16. sakimoto

    sakimoto Tinder Gatherer

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    From all the Gerber knives I have purchased. Just by droping them on concrete the points or mid-blade has snapped. Not very good if you ask me. Also Bear Grylls always chops rotted wood on the show with the G. Parang and never anything solid. I have a Bidor Parang in with a 10 inch blade that I got from machete specialist. It is one of the best bush knifes that I have. The size is very handy for me. Some people have a problem with the plastic handle, but I don't. This is just my opinion. Take care.
     
  17. yellowfoot

    yellowfoot Tracker

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    wow, thank y'all very much. i guess i'll contact them and see if mine is one of the afflicted
     
  18. ewtoutdoors

    ewtoutdoors Guide

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    Sent Gerber CS per the recall an email with my address and about 2 weeks later recieved a FedEx prepaid shipper to send it back. Took about 4 weeks and a new one showed up on the porch, this was a few months ago. Good luck.
     
  19. Maurice479

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    Slightly OT: Is there a way to rehandle one of these? The knife looks functional, and being more or less past the recall now, I would not mind picking one up if I knew I could either get rid of the orange on it, or rehandle it completely.
     
  20. naturaltactics

    naturaltactics Banned Member Banned

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    I agree, out of the thousands sold how many were actually used? probably 10-20% at the most, the appocolypse hasn't arrived so they haven't needed to come out of the kit, they thing must have been tempered wrong which is often the case from knives made in china.
    a machete whould not shatter in your hand if it is built right
     
  21. naturaltactics

    naturaltactics Banned Member Banned

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    it's true, bear seems to have sold out a bit with this line, if he knows so much then how did he let them use brittle old 420hc instead of a tru survival steel like 154cm which is in the gerber family already.
    the knives are flashy but do not perform in my opinion, a friend of mine used his brand new gerber grylls folder at work for a few tasks and it was destroyed, I wouldn't want to try to survive with one of these junkers
     
  22. bobalo59

    bobalo59 Tracker

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    I've been clearing my back yard/bush jungle with my Gerber mini machete. You wouldn't believe the stuff its had to cut through. Mostly saplings and green briars, but it makes short work of them. Today I had to haul out a dead fall log that was about 15' long, and about 5-6" in diameter. I chopped it into three separate logs with very little problem. I sharpen it and oil it after each days toils. Its been keeping a very good edge. Tried to upload a few pics to show you guys, but I guess they're too big. I'm happy with my Gerber, it cost $17 bucks and if it breaks, oh well, I'll get another.
     
  23. Dirty-D

    Dirty-D Bush-Whacker Supporter Bushclass I

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    I think guys like Bear and Les could care less about steels and blade designs and ferro rod striking surfaces...

    In survivor man Les has a different knife in every episode that is usually something in the kit he is simulating.

    They all know they are an hour or two at most from the Calvary should they need to call them in. That why you see these guys shorting out their flashlights and headlamps to make fire quickly instead of the more sustainable/traditional/ labor intensive methods that they are capable of.

    I wouldn't say they are "selling out" as much as profiting from their success while realizing their greatest tool is their knowledge. And if someone wants to pay them to wear a certain shoe or use a certain knife it's not a problem...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  24. Outskirts

    Outskirts Tracker

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    I'm a big fan of parangs, but there's no way I'd get a Bear Grylls parang. I got my bidor parangs from machete specialist too. I really like the '10 ray mears style parang I purchased from them. You can do so much with that knife, I've even skinned a few squirrels with mine. The '12 duku chandong style parang I got from them is nice too but not as versatile, I primarily use it for gathering basketry material. Yeah, I hear lots of people complain about the handles, and I'm not crazy about the handles either. However I've found that they can be improved with some sanding on the end of the handle and some of that self adhesive silicone tape for a more comfortable grip. I figure when the handle goes on mine, I'll just have to give them a good wooden handle. A poor handle is always easier to remedy than a poor blade.
    I do like my Gerber multi-tool though, I have a Leatherman but it just sits in my tool box.
    The best parang I have though is my "Klewang" from Sicut, it was expensive but worth it.
     
  25. Ocho Verde

    Ocho Verde Tinder Gatherer

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    Very nice, excellent knife.
     
  26. Bank2987

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    Thanks again for the heads up
     
  27. CSM1970

    CSM1970 Scout

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    Collins Machete

    Back in the early 80's I bought a machete made by Collins Axe Co. It was made somewhere in Central America. What impressed me was that it was not just a big flat blade stamped out of a big flat sheet of steel. The blade had a forged distal taper! That meant that it had a uniform flex from one end to the other even though the blade width tapered to the tip. That means less stress on your arm and wrist. I sold it in a garage sale in Canada thinking I could get another one back in the US. Never saw another one like it. Personally, I think almost anything with Bear Grills name on it is overpriced even if it is good gear.
     
  28. Welch

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    Good on Gerber one way or another to recall. Not to mention 100-120 thousand of these is not a large number of products. When you consider that Buck Knives has sold over I think 19 million buck folders alone (for however many of years).

    In the I.T. community years ago a group of people identified Walmart sold laptops with the same model number as non-Walmart "identical" models which actually had varying internal hardware. You gotta realize Walmart has enough buying power to tell manufacturers to leave certain things out of products and lower costs. I don't care if they sold a Mora at Walmart I wouldn't buy it because it probably comes from a bin where internal defects may have been noticed or they changed the recipe slightly on the plastic or rubber. It's just not worth screwing with IMO.
     
  29. FCCBCT

    FCCBCT Tinder Gatherer

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    It's actually probably FISKARS behind it. they are making these Gerbers in China. Gerber once upon a time used to make all their knives in the USA now FISKARS ( a Swedish company and a good company too at making tools) makes them hence the colors or orange and gray,ie FISKARS colours, who by the way also make stuff in China along with making their higher end products in Sweden.
     
  30. wingryder

    wingryder Scout

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    Les may be hawking custom knives given to him, but I will say he ALWAYS has a Leatherman WAVE, regardless of the knife he carries.


    Back to the Thread topic: Given the use/abuse levels of every knife, I don't really see a recall issue here. I guess no company wants to take a chance in this litigious society we now live in... But the BG line of products is marketed toward inexperienced users who think BG is a bada$$. Most bushcrafters realize that every tool has an operating envelope and accept the consequences when WE exceed the tools limits... And accept personable responsibility whan we do.

    From all the posts I read here, many people could seek litigation against KBar, and all other makers of "weak", non-full tang knives that have performed flawlessly for MILLIONS of users... Yet have been reported to fail ALOT.
     

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