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Thread: Spotting Fake Bayley Knives

  1. #1
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    Default Spotting Fake Bayley Knives

    I prepared this article for a website at devalbushcrafter.com a while ago to help people out who may get ripped off, but haven't finished it yet, so thought I'd post it up on forums so it would be more accessable.

    In short, most people will know that Rob Bayley's S4 survival knife he designed for Bear Grylls has been copied en masse by a Chinese company, complete with the Grylls logo.

    Here's how you tell them apart and why they are as far off from the original Bayley made knife as you can get. The sales pictures make them seem very good copies, but in reality, they really aren't.

    First up. The two together, Bayley at top:



    Just by this picture you can see major differences. The quality of construction and materials is miles apart. So lets look at the closer details:





    The Rob Bayley knife has a shaped metal guard and the fake has a basic, crudely shaped square one. The fake has gaps between the G10 slabs and guard and the G10 also sits higher to the guard on one side, and lower on the other on the fake. The handmade Bayley has perfect fit and lines. everything fits together well on Rob Bayleys knives. The serrated bladed Bayley guard is rounded compared to the plain version he makes, which has a more angular choil area. And again, is much more ergonomic than the fake, which is not finished off.



    The Bayley also has a shaped spine with a raised thumb ramp at the guard. The fake is completely flat and uneven in places.



    The fake (right) also has basic aluminium tubes holding on the slabs. The Bayley knife has tubular (4mm hole) loveless type handle “bolts” the thread end can be clearly seen.

    As you can see from the close ups of the G10 slabs, the fake is flat without any form or ergonomics in mind, while the Bayley is hand finished and shaped to fit the users hand for extended periods without causing blisters. use teh fake for more than a minute and you really know about it!!





    The edges on the Bayley are also shaped and ergonomic, while the fake is left unfinished and square, although a half hearted attempt and putting an angle on the edge of the slabs has occurred in some areas, but they must get bored easy as it is not consistent or even regular.



    Looking down the back of the knife, The G10 handles on the Bayley the front of the handle tapers off towards the guard while the fake is dead flat with no shaping at all. All Bayley Knives are etched on the spine. Later models also have a serial number.




    The iconic Bayley side grill/scoops run flat/parallel to the knifes tang on the real knife, while the fake has them scooped out. The Bayley knife also has a deep belly which lets you fingers lock into this grill On the fake, your fingers don't fall anywhere near them, so they are useless.



    They are far more subtle and finely machined on Rob Bayleys knife. The fake looks like someone was let loose with a Dremel.



    Rob Bayleys S4 is also made from RWL-34. The fake is made from AUS-8 and is clearly printed on the blade. The fake blade also has machine marks running vertically down it. Rob Bayleys knife is finely polished with a hand rubbed horizontal brushed finish.



    The Bear Grylls signature is also etched into the steel on a Bayley and in black. The fakes are printed in white/silver and uses kiddy font rather than bold caps found on the Bayley.



    Now the sheath. Where do you start here?






    The fake is made from awful, very thin leather and the knife point actually pokes through at the bottom after sheathing it a few times due to the multi layered and thin leather stacking. The Bear Grylls printing is crude and it is just the cheapest thing you can imagine. This Bayley one next to it is four years old and in better condition, made from thick saddle leather and finished as you'd expect from a custom knife maker.

    You get what you pay for. But don't be fooled by people who say it is the same. It is a world apart and feels completely different in the hand. The heat treat on the fake is also inconsistent and it is pure luck if you get one that will hold an edge and not roll. This one I tested developed a bent tip up to 1cm up after prising off dead birch bark. It is no Bayley knife. Fit, form and function are different, as are ergonomics and even the overall shape. It looks like a Bayley in the pictures advertising it. But believe me, it is as different as the cheapest of Chinese SAKs compared to a Victorinox, but even more so.
    Last edited by JonathanD; 23-03-2011 at 20:43.
    <a href=http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/aa-2.jpg target=_blank>http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77..._1969/aa-2.jpg</a>

  2. #2

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    Great article Thanks for the heads up. The Bayley knife is not really my cup of tea but the chinese one is awful.

    Mark
    I,ve cut this twice and its still too short!

  3. #3
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    Excellent article Jonathan.

    Hopefully it can be made into an article or sticky on here for future reference
    Mad Dave... When I see lovers' names carved into a tree, I don't think it's cute, I just think it's strange how so many people take knives on a date.

  4. #4
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    Excellent article although I feel you wasted words on the sheath,the photo says enough.

  5. #5

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    thanks for the heads up chinese fakes have become a worldwide pain

  6. #6

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    Interesting Jonathan, well done article. I am another one who doesn't take to the Bayley design, but the quality and craftsmanship are certainly evident in the Bayley product.

    Seems after all is said and done, BG ended up marketing a Chinese knife, the new Gerber thingy. Not going for that one either! I do like my Les Stroud Temagami though. Seems they are now sold out and waiting more stock from Helle. Cheers!

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    Rob has pointed out that the sheath on my Bayley in the review is an early one with squared inner stitching and popper retainer. Only about ten of these early knives where made before he switched to the more rounded inner stitching and deeper bolder etching on the knife.

    This is my very early one...



    Compared to the later versions...



    Last edited by JonathanD; 31-03-2011 at 21:45.
    <a href=http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/aa-2.jpg target=_blank>http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77..._1969/aa-2.jpg</a>

  8. #8

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    Excellent to see those pictures, so I can compare my fake with the real thing!

    I can't honestly think that anybody would get the two mixed up though- £34 inc postage for the fake versus well over 10 times that for the original?

    I bought my Chinese fake on a whim to see what it was like, and because I like the shape. It's only had light use so far (as my main knife is a Fallkniven), so the proof of just how good it is yet to come. I still like the shape, even though mine is clearly a lot less refined than the genuine one, and a bit of fine grit wet and dry should make the scales a little more ergonomic.

    In general though, at this stage Iím very pleased with it. It takes a razor sharp edge (and it came with one too), and is a fun thing to own. The sheath supplied with mine does not look quite as bad as the one in this thread, and is of smooth leather. It's still fairly poor though (thin, and just a little sloppily made), which is why Iíve made a leather sheath for it, and plan on making a kydex sheath in the future.

    As i don't have serious money to splash on a second knife, I think £34 is a bargain for this fake- with the caveat that I reserve the right to revoke that statement should it fall apart once I give it some real use! Hopefully I've be lucky and got an example with a good heat treat.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnythefox View Post
    thanks for the heads up chinese fakes have become a worldwide pain
    I'm not sure I totally agree here (I may be getting myself into a world of pain now!), but i would doubt that the presence of these chinese copies are denting Robs business at all or cramping innovation. They are aimed at completely different markets. Besides, maybe i'm being not nice here, but the reputational risk to Bear if a fake knife bearing his name falls apart in use does not overly worry me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Lord Poncho View Post
    I'm not sure I totally agree here (I may be getting myself into a world of pain now!), but i would doubt that the presence of these chinese copies are denting Robs business at all or cramping innovation. They are aimed at completely different markets. Besides, maybe i'm being not nice here, but the reputational risk to Bear if a fake knife bearing his name falls apart in use does not overly worry me!
    The problem is though, many people are looking at the fake and handling it and making comparisons with the real Bayley as they think it is the same. Poor design execution of the fake effects peoples perceptions of the original and the forums are rife with people who have handled the fake saying that the Bayley design isn't that good based upon that. So it does have a knock on effect. People are also buying modified fakes at high prices thinking they are real, so that is obviously very damaging.
    <a href=http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/aa-2.jpg target=_blank>http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77..._1969/aa-2.jpg</a>

  11. #11

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    Fair point, I hadn't thought about that angle. I'll certainly make sure I let everyone know that mine is a fake, not least becuase if they think i have £400 to splash on a knife, it would make me overly popular at the bar!

    At a risk of hijacking the thread- anyone want to buy a genuine bonafide rob bayley bear grylls knife? ;-)

    The above photos will act as a great guide actually to my efforts to reprofile the scales on the fake to something a little more forgiving, but i suspect that i will only be able to help a little.

    Do you reckon that the scales on the fake are actually genuine G10?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Lord Poncho View Post
    Do you reckon that the scales on the fake are actually genuine G10?
    That is something I couldn't say for certain, although the thought did cross my mind as the quality is far lower on the fake. If you scored one with a decent heat treat, reprofiling the slabs will improve it. I had a go and it is much more comfortable. It was very easy to work which is why my suspicions of it being G10 were aroused. Two days later and I snapped the blade off.... bad heat treat. I only borrowed it too.
    <a href=http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/aa-2.jpg target=_blank>http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77..._1969/aa-2.jpg</a>

  13. #13
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    I'm bumping this as some Ebay.com users have been using my pictures in this thread to convince people that the knife they are selling is real. I've sent Ebay the link and most of them have been removed.
    <a href=http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/aa-2.jpg target=_blank>http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77..._1969/aa-2.jpg</a>

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanD View Post
    I'm bumping this as some Ebay.com users have been using my pictures in this thread to convince people that the knife they are selling is real. I've sent Ebay the link and most of them have been removed.
    Maybe you ought to do a watermark or something on the pics Jon to stop them being used
    Mad Dave... When I see lovers' names carved into a tree, I don't think it's cute, I just think it's strange how so many people take knives on a date.

  15. #15

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    i honestly believe that buying a fake is morally wrong (for me anyway, just my opinion) as i hear all the time about how our industry's and craftsmen are disappearing, and so they are.
    because of people thinking that it's ok and it couldn't possibly hurt, just me buying one! the ebay example alone is reason enough not to buy fakes.

    but that's just me being an idealist i suppose. i prefer something that has been made by a craftsman, who cares about his craft. it's not a case of cost either. i just save until i can afford the thing i want, and only have to buy once.
    as i said, just my opinion
    talk's cheap money buys whiskey

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mesquite View Post
    Maybe you ought to do a watermark or something on the pics Jon to stop them being used
    I did start if you look. But then got bored.
    <a href=http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77/darkcrown_1969/aa-2.jpg target=_blank>http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a77..._1969/aa-2.jpg</a>

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    ....Edit: Mistaken post...
    Last edited by Dave; 20-06-2012 at 19:37.
    The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as civilisation, when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.

    Tacitus. The Agricola

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