kult of athena did me dirty...

by patrick
(orange county ca)

I use to be loyal to kult of Athena.. then they sent me a sword with rusty fingerprints, chipped blade that also had a fatty dent on both sides from being in a vise too tight... I contacted them right away and they told me I expect too much and told me how much they know about swords and how lil I know.. in other words insulted me.. they basically told me " f.u. we got your money piss off sucker" the sword looked used like a display model.. nothing like the other windlass cobra steel swords I have that looked amazing.. I have a sword I have had for 2 years that looks newer then the 1 they sent me... same sword same company same cobra line... when checking out theres an option to leave a note.. I made the mistake asking for the nicest 1 of their stock and that's why I ended up with a hunk of junk. Im like 99% sure some 1 immature saw that and decided to send me their worst 1 not their best or even an average.. I thought it coulda been their last 1 in stock, but nope they have plenty more... so only thing I can think of is my nice note when checking out tempted some 1 too much to send me the worst 1 they had... heres a copy of my F.U. letter they sent me.. they offered to refund me knowing on a $55 sword Im not gonna lose my $10 shipping plus what I spend to ship it back so they can just resale this used defective sword to some 1 else... so I'll take the $65 loss and spread the word that kult of Athena isn't like they where 5 years ago or even 2.. they have become shady.... let me say this 1st..

you don't get rusty fingerprints from forging a sword you get it from handling it and not wiping it down after.. you don't get a chipped blade unless you cut something or dropped it and when putting a sword in a vise to grind the edge you have plywood or cloth or something in-between.. you don't just put the blade in the vise and tighten waaaaay tooooo tight metal on metal... my gut tells me it was a chipped display model they them selves tried to regrind it after chipping it in use... denting the blade... so every point he tries to make in the email is bullshat..

I’m very sorry you were not happy with this item. Unfortunately, what you are describing is completely normal for a product like this and really can not be considered as defects. These items are all hand made and are not going to be “perfect”. The types of issues you are describing are exactly what we are talking about here http://www.kultofathena.com/ship.html . To be perfectly honest with you, I feel you may be expecting a bit too much out of this type of product. We did inspect this item for you before shipment, but doing so is not going to force the item into a quality range that the manufacturer can not achieve. The inspection is to weed out clearly defective items, such as cracked or warped blades, bad rusting etc. Simply requesting “the best one available” is not going to guarantee perfection by any means, not when dealing with hand made swords. There is nothing wrong with wanting high quality, but you do need to be realistic with the products you are purchasing, otherwise you will never be happy.

Any marks in the blade with be from the forging. This blade was hand hammered to shape, not cut out of smooth bar stock, this is likely what you are seeing. They do not go into vices for the sharpening. Any minor scuffs in the finish are very easy to correct for. This item is not a mirror polish so minor issues like that are simple to polish, the same as you would if the surface started to oxidize or was scuffed in usage. Again, you are not normally going to get one without a single mark on it, that is somewhat like a white whale, so to speak.

I’m afraid we will not be able to replace this with one that is going to meet with your expectations. Exchanges like that are only for truly defective items, not such minor issues. If you would like to send it back for a refund, you are welcome to do so. However, I would like to give you a bit of advise if I may. Speaking as someone who deals with these items on a daily basis, has for nearly 15 years and has handled literally thousands of swords from almost every manufacturer at every price point, I can tell you that you will be much happier when you learn to appreciate these items for what they are rather than look for what they are not. Minor imperfections like this are part of the nature of hand made goods and are what swords were actually like in history. With our modern society and so many machine made goods we tend to expect everything to be machine perfect, but swords don’t fit into that way of thinking. Expecting that, will just lead to constant disappointment. If you can learn to appreciate them, you will enjoy them much more. I do hope this helps a bit. In any case if you do want to return if for refund, the info to do so is below.

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Aug 22, 2018
The full story
by: KOA

Patrick has been telling this story for years and every time he does, he tries to make it sound worse. This happened in 2014. At this point it has traveled pretty far from the truth. I personally saw the item he received, so I know how extremely minor his issues actually were. He constantly tries to make it sound so much worse than it was in an effort to punish us for not caving to his demands, never mind the fact that he would have never been happy with any he could have received. You can read his original email about it below and you decide if what he originally described is the same thing he is trying to make it sound like now. As he describes it "a small almost imposable to the naked eye chip in the edge " is now a "chipped blade". "2 dints in the blade" is now "a fatty dent on both sides" and " a scuff in the polish from a fingerprint, most likely" is now "rusty fingerprints".

Here is his original email.
"I recently bought a windlass cobra steel falcata from you guys and even left a note asking for the best out of your stock and when it arrived it was pretty dirty.. I passed it off as shipping grease and wiped it down with a clean cloth.. I noticed 2 dints in the blade from being too tight in a vice from who ever put the edge on it.. then I noticed a small almost imposable to the naked eye chip in the edge and lastly a scuff in the polish from a fingerprint, most likely.. and not mine, its been there for a while damaging the finish is my best guess.. idk I do know theres a scuff about the size of a dime... all in all Im not happy.. I feel like some 1 read my note when I ordered the item and went out of their way to give me your worst 1.. or it was your last 1 and you figured I lose out to windlass not you guess? Id like a replacement of the same item.. at no cost of shipping to me.. its very pitiful you guys had the nerve to send me this.. almost used looking sword.. "

The bottom line here is that he wanted 100% perfection from a very low cost hand made blade. Rather than blow smoke up his ass about it, we told him the truth. What he expected was not going to be possible. No amount of exchanging would have made him happy when his expectations are not realistic. Anyone with any experience with these types of items knows exactly what I am talking about.

I’d also like to clear up something mentioned in one of the other posts.
"they don’t fix any issues they get from the manufacturer because they figure if that’s how the manufacturer sends it that’s what one gets"

This is not actually correct. In many respects that would be the correct policy. The manufacturers do need to set their own standards. If a manufacturer does not acknowledge a "defect" as being a defect, they will not exchange it, so in many regards we will need to defer to what a manufacturer considers normal. That is what has happened with some Cold Steel items. The issues became so common that we decided to inform customers about them up front. However, all that being said, we do inspect everything before shipment and separate out items that are cosmetically blemished, have warped blades or are damaged in other ways. Badly damaged items can be returned to the manufacturers, but issues that are less significant can not be. In those cases we discount items as either blemished or munitions grade and take the loss on the price difference. We also fix a lot of minor issues here before shipment. No one else does any of this. It is precisely because the quality of these types of products can not simply be assumed, that we decided to stock and ship everything ourselves in the first place, rather than have orders blindly drop shipped like most of our competition.

Feb 25, 2018
by: Thats Normal?

It Has rusty fingerprints from being handled before hand and was carelessly unwired after .... the blade was used and/or dropped beforehand and chipped yet you accepted it then sell it as new and say it's normal?
Sorry but that is not completely normal, and bullshit is that you would send it to him that way then tell him it normal. I'd hate to see what you sell as discounted rejects.
Nice I ran across this. Good to know. His expectations wasn't too high but apparently your's must be really low.
I don't have expectations so low that I'd willingly spend my money buying someone's bullshit. I'm glad to know. I was thinking of a few items that were pretty expensive. The poor dude likely saved me.

I’m very sorry you are ok with selling bullshit but Unfortunately, im not interested in buying what you call bullshit.
I can make that on my own. It is also handmade, butt of the highest quality. I can can send you some if you like. For a nominal fee of course.

Jan 04, 2018
Koa can be iffy but
by: Anonymous

But they are one of the most trusted sites for USA sword buying that’s not a drop site. Meaning you make your order and the site just orders it from the manufacturer for a discount which is how the site makes their money. And they don’t fix any issues they get from the manufacturer because they figure if that’s how the manufacturer sends it that’s what one gets. Cold steel has an enormous amount of complaints and issues with their stuff but koa will no longer exchange or trade out as the manufacturer doesn’t care about its own quality so that’s what you get from them. I’ve ordered many times from koa and it’s hit or miss because it’s up to the maker. Koa is just a buying site. And they’re far cheaper than anyone else. While price is not always an indicator of quality it can be. I know windlass is of low quality. Sure you may love their stuff and you may even get some decent pieces , but they are machined in India where they refuse to temper properly. I’ve been told this by Indian forges. They can they just don’t want to. They’d rather produce a lot and sell cheap than produce quality and wait for someone to buy. At wholesale your sword would be 25$. Idk how you can expect a great sword for that price.
But it sounds like you got one that sat around nd for a while and unfortunately koa is right that it’s not their fault it sat there. Maybe they did go through the style you wanted and all the ones they had were far worse so they sent you the best one they could.
Whatever your wallet size, unless found at a garage sale or a friend just hands a good one over, your not going to get a quality sword for less than 300. You just won’t. Every single sword maker will have issues at that price point. Even in the thousand dollar swords there are glaring issues. Surface rust is easily removed with sand paper. And unfortunately yes hammer marks can look aweful. I have seen countless high end Hanweis with hammer marks all over and deep ones too. The forges just don’t care enough to remove them all. The more work that goes into a sword the more it will be at wholesale and the more the site will sell for.
Don’t hate on koa too much, I went through the same thing.

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