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An Update on Steel Claims, Balaur Arms and Devil’s Edge

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[fusion_builder_container type=”flex” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”true” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_sizes_top=”” border_sizes_bottom=”” border_sizes_left=”” border_sizes_right=”” first=”true”][fusion_text columns=”” column_min_width=”” column_spacing=”” rule_style=”default” rule_size=”” rule_color=”” content_alignment_medium=”” content_alignment_small=”” content_alignment=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” sticky_display=”normal,sticky” class=”” id=”” margin_top=”” margin_right=”” margin_bottom=”” margin_left=”” font_size=”” fusion_font_family_text_font=”” fusion_font_variant_text_font=”” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”” text_color=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]September 30th, 2021

Dear Customer

This is a wordy note, but there are three things I’d like to get across to you immediately.

1) We have identified a discrepancy in the steel type that the Balaur Arms and Devil’s Edge manufacturers provided us: after testing multiple blades at an independent laboratory, the actual steel does not match what we were told and thus posted on our site.

2) We are initiating a new certification program in an effort to reduce misleading claims. There are details about this below as well as here.

3) Customers who purchased these items will be given the opportunity to purchase a Balaur Arms or Devil’s Edge item at a “thank you for standing by us” discounted price.

Please read on for more details:
In March and April, three of our customers told us that their blades – from the Balaur Arms and Devil’s Edge lines – did not appear to be at specification.

Balaur Arms is a line we conceived in-house, and we take great pride in the quality blades that we have made available at a reasonable price. We are an exclusive retailer for Devil’s Edge, and feel the similar sense of ownership. So we dug deeper, and this summer, we took the unusual step of testing multiple models from different production runs from our two suppliers. These were tested by an independent global provider of materials testing, inspection and certification services, and done so per ASTM standards. We received the last series of results this month.

The results showed that the tested Balaur Arms models, marketed as 5160 steel, were steel grades ranging from 1550 to 1572.

The results showed that the tested Devil’s Edge models – primarily knives and daggers – marketed as 1095, were not consistent and were in some cases stainless steel.

We believe that many types of steel are appropriate for different blades. An individual’s preference is personal, and often based on experience, intended use, and the amount of money they wish to spend on a blade. Additionally, we believe the quality of the temper is often more important than the type of steel used.

These finished blades have not failed under normal and responsible use, and the amount of returns or complaints for these items are no different than normal. However…

Because individuals have a preference, we do not believe it is ok to market a blade as one type of steel when it is, in fact, another.

As a result, we are taking three steps.

First, all specifications on our site for these models will be updated in the next week.

Second, we are initiating a Certified Steel program, asking our suppliers to voluntarily provide either independent evidence or a signed statement that certifies the type of steel used in the production of their shipment to us. Many manufacturers and brands have committed to this program already, including Deepeeka, Universal Swords, Windlass Steelcrafts, Iron Tiger Forge, Ronin Katana and going-forward, Devil’s Edge. More on the program here.

Steel Verified Supplier logo

Finally, we will offer a “thank you for standing by us” sale.

We want to do-right by the customers who bought a Balaur Arms or Devil’s Edge item, regardless of which blade they purchased.

If you purchased a Balaur Arms or Devil’s Edge item after June 1st, 2019, we are able to contact you and will provide you a 25% off coupon for a future purchase of a Balaur Arms or Devil’s Edge item. There is no time limit to use this coupon. We will provide these coupons between October 18th and October 25th, 2021

Although the coupons will reach almost all customers who made a purchase, we will also offer a 25% off sale on Balaur Arms and Devil’s Edge items that are in-stock so that any customer – whether they purchased from these manufacturer’s or not – can still participate. This event will take place from October 7th thru October 17th, 2021.

To ensure all customers learn about these programs, we will share this information on our social media channels and on our website.

Thank you for your support as we address this issue and build a program we believe will improve the industry we love,


David and the Kult Of Athena Team[/fusion_text][fusion_title title_type=”text” rotation_effect=”bounceIn” display_time=”1200″ highlight_effect=”circle” loop_animation=”off” highlight_width=”9″ highlight_top_margin=”0″ before_text=”” rotation_text=”” highlight_text=”” after_text=”” title_link=”off” link_url=”” link_target=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” sticky_display=”normal,sticky” class=”” id=”” content_align_medium=”” content_align_small=”” content_align=”left” size=”2″ font_size=”” animated_font_size=”” fusion_font_family_title_font=”” fusion_font_variant_title_font=”” line_height=”” letter_spacing=”” text_shadow=”no” text_shadow_vertical=”” text_shadow_horizontal=”” text_shadow_blur=”0″ text_shadow_color=”” margin_top_medium=”” margin_right_medium=”” margin_bottom_medium=”” margin_left_medium=”” margin_top_small=”” margin_right_small=”” margin_bottom_small=”” margin_left_small=”” margin_top=”” margin_right=”” margin_bottom=”” margin_left=”” margin_top_mobile=”” margin_bottom_mobile=”” text_color=”” animated_text_color=”” highlight_color=”” style_type=”default” sep_color=”” link_color=”” link_hover_color=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]


[/fusion_title][fusion_accordion type=”” boxed_mode=”yes” border_size=”1″ border_color=”” background_color=”” hover_color=”” divider_line=”” title_font_size=”” icon_size=”16″ icon_color=”” icon_boxed_mode=”” icon_box_color=”” icon_alignment=”” toggle_hover_accent_color=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=””][fusion_toggle title=”Why aren’t you offering a full refund on these purchases?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]The core issue here is trust – We were misled, and inadvertently misled you. However, the finished blades have not failed under normal and responsible use, and the amount of returns or complaints for these items are no different than normal.

As a small business, we need to find a path that regains your trust with us – and allows us to keep operating financially.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Why aren’t you changing your returns policy for these purchases?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]If you wish to return your item within normal return policy rules, you may.  But we feel what we are offering as a future discount is fair compensation that does not threaten our business.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Only three people questioned the steel composition of these items – and this will cost you money, why are you doing this?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]We believe you should know what you are buying.
We believe you should have confidence in what you purchase from us.
That’s why we have a quality control check prior to shipping your order. That’s why we re-classify first quality goods as munitions grade or blemished, even when suppliers classify them as first quality. That’s why we minimize drop-shipping blades.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Why don’t you test every blade in your inventory?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]The tests that were performed require the blade to be destroyed, and each test is over $400.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Tell me more about steel grades?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]Please see our steel glossary here.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Tell me more about your steel certification program.” open=”no” class=”” id=””]Please learn more about the steel certification program here.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”How do you know my purchase was or was not part of this mess?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]In the case of Balaur Arms, we had limited inventory from 2019 shipments, and this failed testing, so we assume all Balaur Arms items are not at standard. For Devil’s Edge, it is not clear-cut, but we are providing the opportunity for restitution to all customers, even if the customer may have received an item from a batch of inventory that was to standard.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Are you changing suppliers?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]For Balaur Arms, yes.

This was only one of many serious, unusual and often “unique to this supplier” difficulties we have experienced over the last 18 months. We had already begun to cross-source Balaur Arms prior to this discovery and this finalized our decision to move the entire Balaur Arms range. It is worthwhile to note that we are not the first retailer or private brand developer that has run into either quality, financial, or intellectual property issues with the Balaur Arms supplier, who continues to make erroneous claims about the steel used in selling items that were designed by our team.

The development team here at KoA has commented on two rounds of pre-production samples and we are close to approving the beginning of production with Windlass Steelcrafts.

For Devil’s Edge, the supplier has readily shared information and agreed to new quality steps. The manufacturer has been a solid supplier and is participating in our certification program. We do not believe we will run into future issues, but if we do, we will assess the situation as a whole at that time.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”You began testing in April. Why are we only hearing about it now? ” open=”no” class=”” id=””]We needed to understand how broadly this applied – was it a one-off, was it only one shipment, was it only one model? We knew additional shipments were en route and needed to evaluate those, as well, and make sure our continuing suppliers understood what we were doing.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”Who tested these items?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]The legal team at the lab states we cannot share their identity. However, you could do a search online for an industrial certification lab that is based outside of Chicago and has global offices.[/fusion_toggle][fusion_toggle title=”If you can’t share the name of the lab, why should we believe you?” open=”no” class=”” id=””]Raising this issue harms us in the short term. And although we hope it builds your confidence in us over the long term, we are putting our business at risk by sharing. Please continue to support us as we do what’s right – and hopefully build an industry wide certification program that will improve the overall market.[/fusion_toggle][/fusion_accordion][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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