View Full Version : BladeTech Quality Control
December 1, 1998, 10:21 AM
I hate to trash any manufacturer, but it's important that these Forums be used to relay the good, the bad and the ugly.
I own a number of Kydex products from BladeTech to MadDog to KyTac. I have to say that the service I received from BladeTech has been most unacceptable. When I purchased my first holsters from them some six months ago, I first phoned for information. When I had the temerity to question their return policy, I was met with an icy reply "Well, if you know what you want, why would you return it?" I went ahead and ordered 3 pieces. (I later had occasion to speak to Kevin McClung of Mad Dog Products and also to the owner of KyTac. Both were informative, helpful and reasonable. Both delivered products of impeccable finish and fit.)
When the BladeTech holsters arrived I was entirely underwhelmed by the fit and finish of each. I will not get into a discussion of the benefits of Mad Dog's retention system which requires no adjustment screws, other than to say I find it a far better system.
When I discussed my disappointment in BladeTech with Rich Jee of Gunsite, he encouaged me to give them another chance, insisting that Tim is commited to Customer Service. So off went my Leatherman Wave and Swiss Tool with a request for belt clips along the style of the Blade Tech open mag carrier.
After six weeks I received my tools and the holders back. I was blown away by the holders. While 1 3/4" belt was specified, the units would not clip over a Wilderness Survival belt (it had to be fed thru). The finishes on many of the edges were non-existent. The Wave holder was so tight that two hands were required to remove the tool. The holders were so shallow as to look comical with all this metal hanging out of the top. The base of the Wave clip extended below the bottom of the clip by 1/4" leaving a space thrugh which it can accidently slip the belt and disappear. The units hold the tools too high to allow for comfortable access.
I emailed Tim at BladeTech some three weeks ago and explained these issues. I have never received a response. So much for "Customer Service". Of the three units purchased, one Wave holder was given to a buddy who'd requested it...I couldn't bring myself to charge him for it. Another Wave holder has been given to Rich Jee in hopes that he'll show it to Tim as an example of what looses customers. The SwissTool holder is still in my posession, if only as a curiosity.
I will never order another product from this company again. YMMV
December 1, 1998, 01:21 PM
I would not suggest that your experiences with Blade-Tech have been other than exactly as you describe. I can only say that my experience with Blade-Tech's products and customer service have been more than satisfactory. Blade-Tech president Tim Wegner offers, in his current print ads, to "buy back" any gear that the consumer finds unsatisfactory after up to 30 days of use. Seems fair to me. In each contact I've had with Blade-Tech, I've been treated with courtesy and any questions I've had have been answered to my satisfaction.
It would appear that Blade-Tech has grown rapidly over the last couple years. Growth is often accompanied by some "growing pains" and I had heard that they had sent out some product that was not up to the standards that they are capable of. If the IWB holster that I just received is typical of what they're currently turning out, then they've corrected whatever problems they might have had, as it is very nicely made.
December 1, 1998, 02:10 PM
Thanks for adding balance to my post. I have also heard great stories of BladeTech support. I don't mean to trash the Company in total, but I did feel the need to share my experience, if only to have it get back to Tim for use in any constructive manner he'd like.
I personally think it's unforgivable for any company to offer a feedback email on their web site and not respond to a reasoned complaint after 3 weeks. Perhaps it was just "luck of the draw", but my three experiences with this company have each been unsatisfactory. There is simply no way that this last order went thru any quality control check at all.
I have great respect for your opinions and evaluations and I hope others will recognize that my experiences with BladeTech will not necessarily be the same as theirs.
December 1, 1998, 03:12 PM
Rich - where can I find more info on Mad Dog?
December 1, 1998, 05:10 PM
Rich seems to be onto something when he notes that his e-mail has gone unanswered for three weeks. It seems that there are still a great many companies out there...many of which have extensive websites...who give darn little attention to answering e-mail promptly. Perhaps they don't view e-mail as being as "legitimate" a form of communication as a letter or a phone call. Perhaps, at their firm, e-mail is relegated to the computer geek who understands the system. I just don't get it. I've had slow/no e-mail responses from a number of companies which are QUITE responsive if you PHONE them...Bushmaster, Blade-Tech, Derry Gallagher, and others.
I suppose that we probably ought to give some of these technophobe ol' mossbacks a break and just call or write them. E-mail just doesn't seem "real" to them.
December 1, 1998, 05:48 PM
There are a number of quality Mad Dog Dealers out there, some of whom have already been mentioned.
I use Shannon Lew at http://www.mdenterprise.com/ . He's listed in our links section and his site has some real good pictures of Mad Dog products for viewing.
Agency sales may be placed directly thru Kevin "Mad Dog" McClung, owner and creator of Mad Dog Knives and Gun Glove Holsters (520 772-3021). (If you are military or LEO and are looking to buy for your individual use, you will only waste a toll call and be referred to Shannon or one of the other Dealers.)
Good point, as always. Perhaps the scenario you paint is, in fact, the case with BladeTech. If so, then I'd hope complaints such as mine will encourage Tim to read his email or to amend his Web Site info to encourage use of the telephone. I just don't believe it's incumbent on us to figure out the best portal of entry into the Customer Service pipeline.
December 2, 1998, 02:05 AM
I believe we went over this one once, but I'll add my personal opinions anyways if nothing else just to add some confusion into the mix. :)
I loved my Bladetech. Their fit was exceptional. I know this because I have two Glock 27's and the holster fit both perfectly. However, the holster had a slide guard. And it ripped because I wore it in front of me instead of strong-side like what most people do. Currently, I'm hoping to exchange it for an IWB with J-hooks.. sans the slide guard. But I haven't done it because I'm still 'researching' to make sure that this is the best option for my needs. Ok, that and I'm lazy. :)
Currently, I'm wearing the Mad Dog IWB. I have to give Kevin credit that this is truely the M1 Abrahams of holsters. Aside from tiny paint chips that got scratched off of the rivets, the holster has shown absolutely no sign of wear and tear. If I need a pure combative holster, this is who I would turn to.
But now comes the downside. I had to really take a hairdryer to work on that bad boy make it fit my gun right. Recently, I acquired another Glock 27. As fate would have it, it didn't fit right for the newer gun either. And I'm not just talking about the holster being slight too tight or too loose. The holster, like the first time around, will either not be able to hold my gun, or you can push it in, but it'll be next to impossible to pull it out. I'm sorry, but this holster has the poorest fit I've ever came across. Furthermore, the IWB is not very comfortable, and I'm a delicate person ya know. ;) Comfort is extremely important to me since I'm a civvie.
Unless my needs change, the MD will probably be the only MD holster I'll probably ever own.
[This message has been edited by SB (edited 12-02-98).]
December 2, 1998, 11:05 AM
I had similar problems with two MD holsters I tried for my Glocks.
One was too loose, to the point I could easily shake my gun out. The other too tight, to the point where holstering and drawing the weapon took more attention than they should, and safety became a concern.
I ended up sending both back for credit.
I have been happy using Ky-Tac kydex holsters for my Glocks, in both belt slide and IWB configurations.
Live Free, or Die
December 2, 1998, 11:30 AM
Been wondering where you were. I guess yours is living proof that all makers have problems. The issue is how well they resolve them. As I said, the owner of KyTac spent a good deal of time with me discussing designs and his finishes and fit are excellent. My only criticism lies in the fact that retention is dependent on friction alone; Mad Dog's retention is based on a molded trigger guard.
I recently shipped an MD for my Officer's model back to the factory, because it was too tight. It was promptly reworked and returned after a phone call from them to discuss it. When I received it....same problem. I took it with me two weeks ago on a trip to Kevin's neck of the woods and showed him the problem. Turns out the Officer's model is an enhanced (flat top) slide which requires a different mold...not the maker's fault at all.
Kevin went as far as to order an enhanced slide so that he can add this to his line-up. That's my idea of Customer Service.
Blade Tech might have gained the same accolades from me had they stepped in to resolve the problem.
December 2, 1998, 12:25 PM
Off this week, so I get to sit at the computer when I feel like it. <g>
Regarding the holsters, I actually found the lockup/retention of the Ky-Tac models superior to the MD trigger guard retention.
Despite the click, I didn't find the hold as secure as the Ky-Tac. In any case, neither one is going to be much use in keeping the weapon holstered against an assailant. That's where tactics come in.
Good to hear from you bud. Let me know when you want to go riding again.
Live Free, or Die
December 5, 1998, 10:39 PM
See if you can light a fire under our erstwhile buddy and putt on up to the Blue Ridge zone. I'll meet you guys halfway, if we do it before the snows come or the ice-caps melt...
December 6, 1998, 10:42 AM
Sure wish you would have mentioned something earlier.
I had been trying to get Rich up for a decent long ride, but I guess he had other obligations.
As for me, back to work tomorrow. Oh well.
Thanks for the thought.
Live Free, or Die
December 6, 1998, 01:14 PM
I thought I'd throw my hat into this ring...
I've been enamored with the Yaqui Slide holster made by Galco for a while now and have three of them, one for normal Glocks, one for large frame Glocks and one for 1911s.
It was a BladeTech that distracted me from these leather holsters and over to Kydex. I tried one at the behest of a buddy on my G23 and fell in love with it. Turns out that it was more of a fleeting crush than a real relationship. Since then, I have grown to dislike them, as they are relatively uncomfortable to wear, especially when driving. I have a strong side belt model and a IWB model, though not the J-hook model.
I strapped on the belt holster yesterday and threw my G35 into it for a trip to the store, but I knew it was a going to be a short trip. I'll not be using them on long trips anymore.
I might mention that one of my quick complaints to the local dealer was that I couldn't put my G35/24/22 into the G23 holster. A few weeks later, when I went in to buy a IWB kydex holster he had received from BladeTech some G-27 size holsters with a straight edge on the bottom, instead of the rounded ones. This allowed this one holster to hold all the Glock 9mms, .40's and .357s. I really liked that. Score one point for BladeTech CS.
After hearing all of the good reports, I am anxious to try out a Mad-Dog at some point.
Does anyone know why the MD website does not list a price for the High High Ride?
Can't wait to hear the reaction on this tidbit: As much time as I spend driving around, I am a fan of the shoulder holster.
[This message has been edited by Rob (edited 12-06-98).]
December 9, 1998, 06:19 AM
The MD High High Ride has been discontinued from the regular line. It may still be available as a special order item, but I can't vouch for that. They've also just released an excellent thumb break holster derived from the High Ride model. Since we're pretty off the thread topic by now, any questions/discussions should be posted to a new thread title.
FWIW, I've found the Blade Tech QC to vary from excellent to extremely poor. More than one person has told me of this problem of late. Lately a buddy and I have been working with Scott Evans/Edgeworks on some custom designs, and he's been extremely helpful in accomodating our needs. Give his products a look.
December 9, 1998, 07:15 PM
After reading your post I would suggest that you call Blade-Tech and talk with Tim Wagner or Victor Kelly (don't settle for anyone less). I am sure that they do not want you to be unhappy with their products or their service. If they knew you were not satisfied they would be helpful. The phone number is: 253-581-4347. Tim's personal e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org Give it a shot and let us know what happens.
[This message has been edited by Scott Evans (edited 12-09-98).]
December 10, 1998, 12:34 AM
I did email Tim directly. I only posted to this forum after two weeks passed without response. My feeling is, if I need to call him, then he shouldn't post his email addy....in any case, I'm certain he'd accessed the email prior to my posting here.
It's not like I didn't give them a second chance...placing the order *was* their second chance. I'll never purchase from them again. YMMV.
February 8, 1999, 11:28 AM
Important Postscript here:
Rob and I ran into Victor Kelly, Ops Director for BladeTech, at SHOT. He recognized and tried to place my name. Told him, I'd bought certain items from them and had spoken to him by phone once.
I also informed him about my experience with the supertool carriers and my thread here. He apologized, accepted full responsibility and insisted that he send me a new holder. Victor explained that the changed servers and lost about 1500 emails. While I sympathized, I responded that I didn't think it was my responsibility to phone after the email. He agreed completely and asked for my card.
I really didn't expect a follow up from Victor. He surpised me first thing this morning with an email confirm that he was sending out the replacement. I may have a bone to pick with BladeTech from time to time, but that's what I call customer service!
February 8, 1999, 06:13 PM
Glad to hear it, Rich.
I will report on the quality of the Realtree Dipped samples he is sending me when thye arrive.
February 9, 1999, 04:39 PM
Scott - is the email for Tim Wagner "twegner@" or "twagner@?"
Rich - seeing as how you have the email address for Victor Kelly, will you please post it so we all will have it?
February 9, 1999, 04:49 PM
BladeTech's site is at http://www.blade-tech.com/. You may access email from there. I'm hesitant to publicly post any person's address that was received in a private email...I know I wouldn't wish it done to me.
I note that your email addy is blocked from view, so I'm certain you'll understand.
[This message has been edited by Rich Lucibella (edited 02-09-99).]
February 12, 1999, 09:36 AM
Victor emailed me this morning that the replacement Wave sheath has been sent out Second Day air. Earlier charges have been reversed pending acceptance of the new order.
I certainly couldn't ask for more than that!
June 18, 1999, 02:23 PM
What was the end result of your dealing with BladeTech?
June 18, 1999, 06:23 PM
About 3 months ago, I ordered a Blade-Tech IWB for my 1911. Received same but didn't like the inner "tab" that extended so high, so I trimmed it off with a box cutter and dressed the edge with a file. It rides fine. Now to the interesting part.
Two weekends ago, I e-mailed them asking if their single mag pouch & 6P/Z pouch were available with clip-on retention, or if they could make me some, and if so, how much $$? I waited for a reply. None. This past Tuesday, I recieved in the mail a single mag pouch, standard, (thread through belt loop) from them, along with an invoice and a copy of a reciept charged to my credit card!!!!! Now, I have found a way to make this work as I desired, so I'm keeping it, but I don't think I'm going to deal with them anymore. I didn't ask them to send anything other than info, & I damn well don't appreciate them charging an item to me without my prior authorization (card is a credit/debit card with my checking account-that could have caused major problems for me.) I will probably be looking into KyTac & Mad Dog for future product purchases.
Frankly, I don't think it's very "Christian" of TW to charge a customer for something he didn't order.
Shoot straight regards, Richard
The Shottist's Center forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=45acp45lc (http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=45acp45lc)
I used to be on AOL, and Tim Wegner was on there too. You might be able to reach him with his personal e-mail if you send it to some version of his name "@aol.com". If I remember correctly (BIG if), it was TWegner.
[This message has been edited by 45King (edited June 18, 1999).]
June 18, 1999, 08:01 PM
If it is not just what you wanted - and you didn't order it. Call your bank - dispute the charge - send the thing back with a detailed explanation.
Even if you liked it - unless you REALLY liked it - send it back. It's a principles thing.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
June 19, 1999, 07:36 AM
I think I'm going to keep it. While it doesn't LOOK like what I wanted, it accomplishes what I wanted done. The pouch is a single molding, with the belt loop tab held to the body by a philips head screw located on the front side of the pouch, screwing into a rivet on the back side. There is a rubber O ring between the two sides of the pouch itself. This setup allows for tension adjustment. I removed the screw, rivet, and O ring; the retention of the mag is still acceptable, and the pouch can now be slipped on and off the belt at will.
I'm going to e-mail them a letter today expressing my displeasure with their business practices, and informing them that I will no longer be a customer of theirs. SOMEBODY there reads the e-mail.
Shoot straight regards, Richard
The Shottist's Center forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=45acp45lc (http://forums.delphi.com/m/main.asp?sigdir=45acp45lc)
June 19, 1999, 08:41 AM
The end result was that the sheath arrived but was still only marginal in terms of fit and finish. Given Victor's attention, I wasn't going to volunteer that info, unless asked.
My main gripe with BT is the wide range of qyuality I've found in their products. While I do like the split belt loop design of their holsters, I prefer the Mad Dog Gun Glove for kydex. (Our links section). However, be aware that holsters are a highly personal item.
Let me know what you're looking for from BT and I'll see if I have a loaner lying around.
June 19, 1999, 10:26 AM
Thanks for the offer but I've gone and ordered a complete Concealex belt rig from Pro-Style who came highley recommended. From what I've been told the Concealex is better materal than Kydex and overall the quality and color is much better but at the same price (black or od green) We shall see what the gear is like when it arrives, and there is a BlackHawk CQB belt anxiously awating it's new presents http://22.214.171.124/NonCGI/smile.gif
[This message has been edited by Shrike9 (edited June 19, 1999).]
June 19, 1999, 01:01 PM
Don't forget Moderator Scott Evans' EdgeWorks at http://www.tacticalholsters.com/ . Worthy of serious consideration.
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