IMPORTANT NEWS IF YOU OWN A WS MAPLE WOODLORE...
As many of you know, especially those who have been following the Wilkinson Sword woodlore knife threads both on BritishBlades and here on Bushcraft UK, the maple handled knife has met with a fair bit of criticism. The main point really being that the handle slabs were not sealed properly. On the knife I bought, I rinsed it under the tap and almost immediately it let in moisture and the handle slabs *lifted* away from the tang. Given the nature of the knife, this is a very serious shortcomming.
As the knife was intended as a subject for review and realising the review was going to highlight some significant problems, I contacted Woodlore and invited their response. Rachel replied promtly with a note of concern and an offer of either a replacement blade or a refund. Good stuff. Rachel also told me she was aware of the comments both here and on BritishBlades.
While I was pondering what to do about my knife (I was contemplating putting a new handle on myself), Rachel sent me a further email. I have her permission to repost it here, so I'll let it speak for itself...
Well, what can I say, except well done Rachel and Woodlore, and well done Wilkinson Sword. This is exactly the kind of superb customer service that can restore a mans faith in British commerce. This is exactly the best possible outcome. Wilkinson Sword have ventured into a new area with the woodlore knife, being something of a departure from what they normally do, but have responded promptly and with the best possible faith to early criticisms. A problem was highlighted, they conducted their own testing, substansiated the issue and acted promptly to rectify the situation. Well done Wilkinson Sword and again, well done woodlore.Dear Martyn
Further to your email dated 03.01.04 I have taken this issue up with Wilkinson Sword and this has been the response I have received.
------------ message from Wilkinson Sword -------------
Following our conversation regarding a potential problem with the grips on the maple Woodlore knives, I had some testing carried out on some grip scales from that first batch that we still have here. Iím afraid that there does seem to be some inconsistency in the treatment process used on that first batch which would potentially lead to the type of problems you mention. Unfortunately, I cannot determine how many of the maple knives already shipped were affected, therefore my suggestion is that we replace all knives from this first batch free of charge. I would appreciate it if we could get the original knives back after the replacements have been shipped, so that we can carry out some further analysis.
------------/ message from Wilkinson Sword -------------
Wilkinson Sword will be sending out replacement knives to all our clients with in the next two Ė three weeks and are not asking for the original ones to be returned until your replacements have been received so that no customer is without a knife for any period of time.
We are delighted that Wilkinson Sword believes in the same customer service as Woodlore. Your replacement knife will be with you very shortly.
When asking Rachel for clarity and permission to make this public, this was the response...
:biggthump :biggthump :biggthumpThis is our normal way of dealing with a complaint if it is brought to our attention directly. We would be very happy for you to post this on your forum. Each client that purchased a Wilkinson Sword knife, Maple Handle through Woodlore prior to 28.11.03 will receive a replacement knife, we would ask for the faulty knifeís to be returned to us as soon as a replacement has been received. This will ensure that no customer is without a knife for any period of time.
Glad to be of service.
This does NOT apply to the micarta knives, as there is absolutely nothing functionally wrong with that knife - it does what it says on the tin. The issue is confined to the improper sealing of the maple handled versions, which could mean a warping of the handle and a failure of the handle to tang seal.