Monday, March 28, 2011

Review of Knockaround Sunglasses

UPDATE: After reading this, seem my updated review here.

If you're like me, you've seen the ads on Total Frat Move, and other websites, for Knockaround sunglasses. Given their low price ($7.00 per pair for Originals, $14.00 per pair for Premiums) and large variety of styles, they've looked pretty appealing. However, the gigantic "Knockaround" logo on the side has really been a big turnoff. For a while now I've wondered just how good or bad they really are. A quick search of the internet did not reveal any real reviews, though.

After they started offering several pairs with mirrored lenses, though, I decided to bite the bullet and order a couple of pairs (I'm a sucker for mirrored lenses). I figured I would try to scrape the logos off, and if I was successful, I'd have two decent pairs of cheap sunglasses. If I couldn't, I'd only be out $30.

Due to the fact that they could almost be mistaken for Oakley Frogskins, I got a pair of the Black/Sunset and Frosted Grey/Red Sunset. It was nice to see that Knockaround gives you several options for shipping, with both USPS and UPS. Mine arrived after a few days and I opened them up. I was a bit surprised at how light they were, but they seemed pretty well made (having purchased a couple of $10 knock-off Wayfarers on Ebay, the quality was actually very good in comparison). While they didn't seem like they'd fall apart, I did have some reservations about how much abuse the frames could take due to the type of plastic they were made from.

This is how the grey pair looked with its logo (I should note that I had already started scraping before I took the picture):

Using an old trick that I'd heard about on the Ask Andy forums, I used a penny to easily scrape off the logo on the grey pair. I basically got all of it off. Here is what they looked like when I got done:

Here is how the black pair initially looked:

I started trying to scrape them with the penny first, but I hit a bit of a snag. The logo seems to be applied in a different way and it wouldn't really scrape off. I accidentally scraped a little too hard at one point and left a little bit of a gouge. I wasn't really sure what to do, so I did a little Googleing and found some model train forums that talked about ways to remove paint from plastic. One poster actually mentioned using Pine-Sol. While this seemed weird, already being in possession of some, I wiped some on and let it sit for a few minutes. I started scraping with my fingernail, and slowly but surely, I was able to start to remove the logo. Every now and then I applied some more Pine-Sol and would scrape again with my fingernail. After a while, this is how they turned out:

Not perfect, but certainly an improvement from the logo. From more than a couple of feet away, it's pretty difficult to spot.

So, now being in possession of two sweet pairs of sunglasses I started wearing them around. In sunlight, the lenses worked well, though they did have a bit of fogginess (as is typical of lower-quality lenses) if facing directly towards the sun. Although I initially liked the grey pair more, I ended up wearing the black pair more. But after about week of wearing them, I noticed a small crack had formed above the left lens. Here's a picture:

While I don't usually baby the things that I own, I do take pretty good care of things, especially small, expensive things like sunglasses. I can't really say how this cracked developed. In the time I had them, they weren't sat on, and I don't think I placed anything heavy on them. I'm not sure if it came from stretching while putting them on my face or what. Obviously I didn't pay a lot for them, but I would have expected them to hold up for more than a week. I had planned on buying some sort of glue to patch them up, but before I could they finally broke:

Knockaround clearly states on their website that they don't accept returns, and now it's pretty clear why. Oh well, I'm out $14. The grey pair seem to be holding up better, possibly because the type of plastic they're made from is better.

Would I recommend Knockaround sunglasses? Yeah, probably, especially if you're looking for some to take on a trip to the beach or some other place where sunglasses could easily get lost or broken. They have a large variety of good looking-styles, including a number of pairs with mirrored lenses, they're pretty cheap, and the lenses do a good job of tinting the sun. Best of all, the horrible logo can be removed, though it may take a bit of effort. Don't expect to much out of these, though. Be prepared for them to break, and if they last a while, consider yourself lucky.

19 comments:

pittsburghprepster said...

I found this post humorous...I tend to break and lose sunglasses to the point that I am scared to wear my designer and new ones...knockarounds sounds great!

Melissa Cahoon said...

Thank you, thank you for sharing! I've definitely considered buying a pair of Knockarounds, because I, too, am a fan of the mirrored lenses. I'd considered buying them as a pair to keep in my car, but honestly I think I can find a cheaper pair that probably holds up just as well.

Anonymous said...

$14 for kick around sunglasses??? !!!
Insane. I went to Walmart bought 4 pair of sunglasses that somewhat resemble Ray Bans...but without logos, etc.....at $5 each. Got through last summer wearing both black and tortoise shell color....with nary a crack.

Tony (College Trad) said...

I hate cheap sunglasses precisely because they break so easily around the lens area. Although I do have some frogskin-alternatives with black lenses, thick rims and neon green ear temples that I break out for fratty pool and beach parties. It's held up so far and got them for free as a party favor. Wonder how long I can sport them before officially turning "too old" for undergrad antics haha.

Let The Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore said...

Rats...I just got the SAME two pairs in the mail yesterday! I am also a sucker for mirrored lens!!! I ordered the black and the frosted grey for JCW. I thought they would be great for sailing! One thing I noticed was that the arms of the glasses have a pin and don’t pop in and out...that made me a little nervous as to how they would hold up. JCW has the Oakley Frogskins and the arms are detachedable. We will see how long they last! xx

Anonymous said...

I purchased a pair of premiums and within a couple of weeks of wearing them I noticed a crack in the same spot. I sent them my concern via email and they sent me a new pair, no questions asked. In my opinion, for the price, you can't beat Knockaround shades. Ace on base.

Anonymous said...

Wow man you must have sat on those sunglasses or something because I bought a pair of knockarounds a couple of years ago and they are still going strong. And also they are $14 so go ahead and buy your $150 ray bans that your going to lose in a year anyway

Anonymous said...

Just found this after Googling looking for a review of these things.

May I suggest using the Mr. Clean "Magic Eraser" to remove any paint the penny or Pine-Sol cannot remove? Sounds funny, I know, but I have realized that the magic eraser is actually abrasive (um, damaged the paint on my walls...) despite feeling soft, and it would probably be great for that purpose.

Anyway, are these things any better than the cheap sunglasses you can buy at places like Target or Kohls? Those are my go-to places to shop for cheap sunglasses... they have a million styles (without giant logos which need to be removed) and they're all under $20 each. I break and lose sunglasses ALL the time, so I refuse to pay more than $20 for a pair.

Wood Sunglasses said...

I had a pair of electrics and they lasted me for years. How long did you have your shades when you saw that crack? I need to do a review of these on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Why is it with sunglasses that the cheap ones always last forever and the expensive ones get broken in a week?

RockChalkSwagger said...

I have a pair of black premiums with sunset mirrored lenses. They worked great for the pool and lake. I just ordered a pair of black premiums with the dark blue lenses, as well as a pair of the Fort Knocks in black matt w/ sunset mirrored lenses.

these are great for me b/c i have broke 2 pairs of oakleys, dropped my RayBan wayfareres in the lake, and dropped another pair of oakleys in the lake. lost 2 sets of electrics. and now refuse to wear my new expensive shades out during (drunken) adventures.

jnparker said...

I got mine at a thrift store that were all in a container still in wrappers for a buck! i should have bought all of them and they still would have equaled 14 bucks. Could've lasted me months :). Good for daily use though and are lasting good so far.

krebs said...

so far ive owned 5 pairs of knockarounds (i kept expecting to lose/break them so i would order colors i liked before they sold out). ...whether this is good or bad, i have yet to break (or even scratch a pair) and have even given a pair away so i wouldnt feel like i wasted money for buying a color i liked better. i bought these glasses for this purpose; i am very active in outdoor ventures, and usually lose glasses in the ocean, lake, landing on face, etc. and im not wearing some lame sunglass strap b/c they're, well...lame. anyways, haven't been able to lose or break these...good buy for sure.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually surprised that yours broke - mine have survived without a scratch after being dropped, sat on, and hit with a frisbee while being worn. These things are generally pretty durable, and I strongly recommend them to anyone. Awesome sunglasses.

EasternStandard said...

After losing my second pair of Persols ($200+) I decided that I no longer deserve good sunglasses. I purchased two pairs of the Fort Knox model from Knockaround, the classic tortoise with an amber lens and the translucent grey with a blue reflective lens. They are a little more expensive than the premiums but I think they are better quality. They have held up well, i definitely recommend!

Anonymous said...

Mine lasted for a while, till my dog ate them, how good are the seven dollar ones? I like the style

buy cheap sunglasses said...

Its really nice exceptionally and lovely Look. Thanks For Sharing this information is useful for all.

Anonymous said...

Mine have lasted for a long time - and i love their logo. Why would you scratch it off?

Anonymous said...

Get the fort knocks ones they seen a lot more durable