Q: Why is shipping so expensive?
A: Our shipping rates are sourced directly from Canada Post - and then we add $1.50 to cover the price of boxes, packing and handling. We offer UPS, really only in case Canada Post is not available - really expensive!
Q: Why don't you stock my favorite steel?
A: Oh God, we'd love to. Back in the day, House of Tools was all we had in Canada. They offered only 440C and ATS34. At the time of this writing, we offer 6 stainless alloys and 6 tool / carbon steels - most of those in many different sizes. I know you think this place looks like a Costco warehouse - and some days, it feels that way too. We'll keep trying to offer a decent selection, but we can't offer it all.
Q: I ordered a foot of steel and you sent me 16". Now I'm tied to a fricken hacksaw for 1/2 an hour.
A: We sell steel by the linear foot and that means we eat a lot of scraps. None of our measurements are precision. If we cut your piece from a full bar, it is likely about 1/8" over. If it was the last of our stock, it may be 1/8" short. This is distinctly NOT a precision shop. If for some reason, we have a slightly longer piece, we'll just send it in case you can use it. Makes more sense that cutting it here and throwing it in the garbage.
Q: My steel is rusty - bowed - rough surface - scratched.
A: Most of the steel we sell is mill finish steel. It has not been flattened, ground, and it is certainly not precision dimensioned. Part of your job as a maker is to tweak it to where you need it. We sometimes have precision ground O1.
Q: This was not what I expected
A: You can return anything in it's original condition for a refund. If was DOA or misrepresented, we'll eat the shipping. If it was simply not what you hoped for, you can still return it for a refund - at your shipping expense - as long as it has not been altered.
Q: I need to know how to heat treat this steel.
A: You can get good heat treatment information at - among others - alphaknifesupply.com - or nsm-ny.com. For the most part, we do not share our heat treat recipes, because no two processes are the same, and frankly, we do not want to be blamed if your process does not provide the same results as ours. "Heat treating is science - but there is an art to getting the science right".
Q: Catalogue accuracy and prices?
A: We do our best to keep things accurate. Mistakes happen. We will honour a small error. Big errors will be apologized for and correct information will be applied to your order.
Q: I can't log in to my account.
A: This is very rare. Perhaps 3 accounts out of several thousand. We are happy to serve men, women, any religeous persuasion, through language barriers and we don't care who you see as partner or God. We don't serve assholes. Show respect! (Or feel free to call us if you may have forgotten your password.) :-)
Q: Do you sell knife kits?
A: Generally no. We'd like to, but have not found reasonably priced product with decent quality.
Q: Can I come to your store to shop in person?
A: This is not an easy question. Generally, the answer is no. We are not set up as a retail outlet. We do not keep regular hours and probably do not meet all safety standards required for public attendance. Having said that, some people have come here to pick up heavy items and save shipping costs. Others who come here are on the friend list first - and only then on the customer list. Our "store" includes working power tools - stacks of steel - shelving with unsecured items - and a few unprotected cactus plants. Well behaved pets are welcome. Most children should be on leash.
Q: How fast will my order ship?
A: At the risk of sounding like a politician :That depends". We often get orders out within a day or two, but that is not a guaranteed offering. Busy periods, family circumstance and yes - even vacation, may set us back. We do our best to post these on the home page to help you plan. We'll do our best to meet your needs. Email us with urgencies. We'll either meet them or advise you to seek your needs elsewhere.
Q: What measures have you taken for sustainable business practices and environmental responsibility?
A: In short, we care. We reuse packaging where possible. We reduce energy usage but never at the expense of quality. We recycle the huge amounts of materials we are able to. Responsible stewardship of the resources at our disposal is not only socially required, but also profitable. Waste sucks!
Q: What software does your website use?
A: We use X-cart. Is is somewhat expensive - labour intensive and effective. We hope you approve.
Q: How can I place my order?
A: This online store is the safest and most effective method. It allows you to play "what if?" games with your order and select from shipping options. It is way more secure than your cordless phone. We understand that this may not be your comfort zone. If you prefer, we can take your order by email or phone, though this has hazards relating to the difference between what you said - and what we think you said. :-)
Q: Where can I get information on how to make a knife?
A: The internet if full of knifemaking information. At least half of it is flat out wrong. Information you get from us may be wrong as well - but we do our level best. We welcome requests for information. Marilyn, in particular, has a great ability to walk you through a challenge and suggest some possible answers.