What about the warranty?
Almost all products we sell are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. However, how that warranty works and what the terms and conditions are can differ per brand or product. For that reason we love to tell you more about what we mean when we say warranty and what common exceptions and point of attention are. It may be a confusing amount of exceptions and differences so buckle up: here we go.
What does your warranty apply to?
In nine out of ten cases you will receive a warranty on material and manufacturing flaws when you purchase a product. This means that if there is a defect in the product caused by a flaw in the material, or the manufacturing you are entitled to a warranty.
This also means that wear and tear never entitles you to a warranty. After a while each product will wear out, to a greater or lesser extent. This, however, doesn’t mean that the product or the manufacturer is to blame. Some products wear out faster because they are perhaps of lesser quality. As long as this is inherent to the product, and not an exceptional material or manufacturing flaw you won’t be able to invoke the warranty offered by the manufacturer.
So what does warranty mean?
What a brand feels should be a part of a warranty differs as well. For instance, if a product breaks within the warranty period you are legally entitled to a repair or replacement. This means that a knife can sometimes be fixed and enhanced with a new blade or any other replacement part. Sometimes it means you will receive a completely new product. If the product is no longer produced the product can be replaced by a product of equal value. This is taken care of by the supplier or manufacturer.
Some manufacturers choose to replace the product with a refurbished product. This is a fixed and checked version of the product. As long as this product is of equal value as the product you sent in, the manufacturer may decide to do so.
What about the warranty period?
Many products list a warranty period. Often a minimum of two years after purchase, up to life. Within that period you can claim the warranty offered.
It is important to know that for some products the conditions of the warranty differ from other products produced by the same manufacturer. Think of a bottle of oil or a tube of diamond paste for a strop. Fortunately these are also products for which the warranty is (almost) never claimed.
Some manufacturers can also decide to, for instance, offer a standard two-year warranty which they will extend to five years if you register online or send a postcard.
What does life-long warranty mean?
What life-long warranty means differs per brand. While some brands consider life-long to be as long as the initial purchaser is still alive, some feel life-long actually applies without a limit. However, most common is that a warranty lasts as long as the expected life of the product.
There are American manufacturers who print a label saying ‘Lifetime Warranty*’ on the box. However, when you look up the star on the back of the box you will notice that life-long only means when you live in North-America, and that you ‘only’ get a 25-year warranty if you live elsewhere.
Defects due to incorrect use
Sometimes something happens to a product because it isn’t correctly used. Defects caused by incorrect use are practically never a part of the warranty. Simply think before use if the product was intended for what you are about to do with it.
A favourite example is batoning with an outdoor knife where you cut or split a piece of wood by using a baton-sized stick to hit the spine of a knife. Yes, many knives can handle this. Some are even made for it. However, in the end it is a task which should be carried out with an axe.
We do have to state here that some brands give you a warranty on anything. No matter what you do with the product. These are, however, rare exceptions.
Rust and warranty
Knives rust. That is a given. Even when a knife is made from ‘stainless’ steel it can still rust. It is, after all, not ‘stain free’. This is the result of external factors: moisture, acids or salt. Or a combination of the three. Think of salty sea air or fruit acids. Just clean and maintain your product well. You could, if need be, also use Flitz to remove the rust. It is never covered by the warranty.
Modifications and disassembly
For many products the following applies: if you modify the product yourself your warranty will expire. Sharpening a knife is, of course, not included as it is necessary maintenance. But as soon as you start filing, painting, sanding, soldering, anodizing etc. your warranty will expire immediately. There are manufacturers who look at this a little more pragmatically: a small modification to the handle won’t affect the blade, which will make them lenient. But never assume they will be!
Disassembly could also lead to the warranty expiring. Think of the famous stickers on electronics: ‘Warranty void if seal broken’. It, however, really differs per brand how this is handled. First you should always check the website of the manufacturer before you bring out your toolbox.
Transferability and warranty
Some brands are very strict in saying they will only hand out a warranty to the first owner of the product. One of the reasons being that they assume that during the first purchase a user manual was included in the box that attempted to assure good use. If it is a second-hand product this manual is not always still included.
Batteries and warranty
When it comes to batteries things are slightly more complicated when it comes to warranties. For many lights, even those which include a battery, a five-year warranty is listed on material and manufacturing flaws. However, this applies to the light and not to the battery. Some manufacturers don’t even hand out a warranty on the battery at all, others only six months.
This is because the battery is considered to be a consumer product. Like you also need vacuum cleaner bags to keep your vacuum working, you will need a battery to make your light shine. A vacuum cleaner bag won’t last forever, even though you occasionally empty it. The same applies to a battery. On average you charge a Li-Ion battery 500 times, after which it is basically done. The way you handle a battery also determines how well it keeps working. Whether you charge it completely and completely empty it. Or if you leave it out empty too long, or consequently overcharge it in a faulty charger. Do you store it in a hot environment or a really cold one? These types of things cannot be checked in case of a warranty claim. So keep in mind that batteries are almost never covered by the warranty.
So many different opinions, what about names?
In this article we have talked about many different views amongst different manufacturers. It would make sense to say: but what are the names of these manufacturers? We will not say. Mostly because it would mean that this page would never be up-to-date. For that reason we always recommend to always visit the website of the manufacturer in case of a defect to see what type of warranty conditions they adhere to. After all, these may be subject to change.
Product defective? Contact us!
Is your product defective? Please contact us. You can do so via our service page. It helps a lot if you can clearly describe how you used the product when it went wrong. It also helps if you can include photographs of the problem. Based on those we will be able to see how we can help you.