Trolling Walmart’s $4 Knife

You may have heard of the Ozark Trail, the long, rugged trail that winds through Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. You may have also seen Ozark Trail merchandise at your local Walmart, where it’s sold as a brand of inexpensive camping and outdoor equipment. In 2015, the brand caused a stir when it started selling a line of folding knives for $3.87, vastly undercutting the prices of even the cheapest blades they share shelf space with.

At such a low price it’s no surprise that the knives are manufactured in China. According to Walmart’s website, the maker behind the Ozark Trail brand is Hangzhou Great Star Tools Co LTD.  With 23,000 employees, the company is the largest hand tool vendor in Asia, designing and manufacturing manual and power tools at rock bottom prices.

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The knives are ruthlessly built down to a price, using mystery blade steel and questionable quality control. We purchased a couple of the knives from our local Walmart and noticed that the liner locks had inconsistent lockup from knife to knife. It’s safe to say the knife might make for the shortest and the cheapest Cold Steel lock test video the company could ever produce.

Knife reviewer and modifier Johnson Knives pointed out a striking similarity between the Ozark Trail ‘Camouflage Knife’ and the Rick Hinderer designed Kershaw Ember. The knives appear to be so close in design and size that Johnson refers to the Ozark Trail knife as a “clone” in this video.

The knives do offer many of the features that buyers look for in a modern folding pocket knife: thumb stud or flipper deployment, liner lock, pocket clip, and even G10 handle scales. Without missing a beat, a few bold entrepreneurial souls have taken to flipping the knives on ebay where the $4 knives can go for as much as $9.
New Ozark Trail Lockback Pocket Knife eBay

Knife featured in image: Ozark Trail Flip Opening Knife