Anybody else give up on high-end carry?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by SavageSick, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    Better spending habits is the way I ve always characterized getting high value folders. Defined as folders that are relatively cheap considering their quality. Which is why I no longer consider buying a $400 plus knife when I can get essentially the same performance for $200 or less. Ability to buy has little to do with it. It s more about susceptibility to marketing.
    More money in my wallet, and less clipped IWB.
    All part of my education about the hobby of collecting and using edc/work knives over the years.
  2. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    In a strange but consistent way, the amount I pay for a knife directly influences how I perceive and use it. I see the Recon 1 in S35VN that I got for $90 as a nearly-perfect tool that I can use for anything even remotely befit to a folding cutting tool, but the Spyderco Caribbean that cost me ~$40 more, and is arguably a better cutting tool in most ways, will probably never be used as frequently.

    This falls in line with the spirit behind the term “budget beater”, where a less-expensive knife becomes the default tool for anything that might prove harmful to the knife or its appearance. Being aware of the practical value of a knife I won’t hesitate to use is no small part of why I don’t like to buy high-price knives for anything other than appreciation of craftsmanship... which leads to them finding new homes in a short amount of time since I see this significant amount of money just sitting there in knife shape, clearly not getting any work done.

    I guess what I’m saying is that, for some people, an inexpensive knife is functionally superior to higher-end knives. Certainly, I am much more impressed with a $45 Civivi than a $300 WE knife, since the latter just seems like an extravagant expense that I feel like I should expect to be perfect, but the former is a tool that has a similar feeling of quality while still being inexpensive enough to use with reckless abandon.
    Julian Williams and David Mary like this.
  3. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    Absolutely! And: Is it comfortable? Does it have good deployment? A solid lock with no blade play even in a tight grip?

    That knife is completely screwed! :D

    I just posted about this in the "Three Favorite Spydercos" thread, but if that's how you feel about the Caribbean, then if you had a Resilience, you'd probably never use anything else. I've mostly traded in my "high end" carry for my modded Resiliences. I have a feeling I will be buying a couple more to mod in the future as well. Out of the seven I've owned and modded, here are the ones I still own:

    Spyderco Resiliences 4.JPG

    Here is the one I lost:

    Resilitary Lost.jpg

    Here is the one I gave to my best friend:


    And there were the first two I owned, both which I eventually sold, after losing enthusiasm for the mods I made to them. Both I ground waves into, and one I ground a finger choil into, which I came to regret, so I reground again it into a recurve. I was still pretty green at modding back then.

    Old Resiliences.jpg

    I promise the bottom one (my first Resilience ever by the way) didn't always look that horrible!


    But its final iteration, though much better, is still not something I would be super proud of today. Still, not bad for a back and forth salvage job on a misguided initial mod.

    Resilience 1, final.jpg
  4. Kaizen1

    Kaizen1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    My regular carry knives range from $220 - $1k, with the most carried usually falling around $350 - $500. I don't often carry knives that are worth more than that.
  5. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    I don't remember precisely what every knife did cost... But if I like one of them, I will just carry it, use it, clean it, sharpen it, use it again. It's my pleasure.
    JJHollowman and David Mary like this.
  6. Jcsixx01

    Jcsixx01 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    I never mind purchasing users because it usually means I can get the knife at a discount and I’ll be more likely to use it. If I purchase a high end knife in mint condition, I’m more likely to keep it that way.
  7. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    I have jumped in the knife world looking for users
    It is still my first motivation : using my stuff

    for sure the price limit has increased but i use all my knives and if I don’t use one then I end selling it

    it like frn, g10, titanium ... cf and aluminum less but still ... :)
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
  8. David Mary

    David Mary KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 23, 2015
    You mean use more expensive knives around Hobbits?
    Steely_Gunz likes this.
  9. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    It sorta depends on the knife. It's funny, I have a couple thousand dollars of pocket jewelry made by ZT that has never been used. I bought an Inkosi and I have used it every day since November.

    The CRK, while more expensive than the ZT, has a practicality about it. You feel the $$ is going toward a knife that can take a beating and keep its tolerances tight for a generation of use.

    I dont mean to, but I adding up the cutlery on my person I am sitting at about $1,100 over 4 knives/tools. The least expensive I have on me is about $130 and is my multitool. It sees the most use simply because it's designed to handle the most diverse work.
    David Mary likes this.
  10. not2sharp

    not2sharp Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 1999
    I discovered a long time ago that my interest in knife collecting is entirely disconnected from knife use. On the one side I enjoy the lore and aesthetics of a finely made or historically relevant knife; and I will be happy to buy it for the right price and just as happy to trade it for the right exchange. The only relevant issues are that I be familiar enough with the item to estimate a fair value for it, and the real fun comes from studying for and reaching a level of comfort where I and my trading partners are happy with the results and can enjoy the interaction.

    However, when it comes to actual knife use, the calculus is entirely different. It then becomes a question about which knife would be the most practical tool for the job. Those knives tend to be much less expensive, but only because my daily habits fall short of needing any form of extreme survival tool, and I have found that very basic tools can accomplish everything that I need to accomplish. It is almost with a sense of pride that I have met my needs with such simple tools.

    My EDC over the last 25 years has been a basic no frills stockman knife, which is always in my pocket and meets 95% of my needs. It has become a very comfortable low stress go-to-tool, that just seemingly magically materializes in hand whenever I need to cut something. I certainly didn’t plan it that way; and I remember that when I first put in my pocket, it was with the expectation that the thing would fail within weeks. But, oddly enough it works for me so I see little reason to change it.

    jc57 likes this.
  11. Monofletch

    Monofletch Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    I have found myself holding back when I’m about to use an expensive knife on some task that I know will leave a mark or scratch. After the first scratch it gets easy!!
    David Mary and Sharp & Fiery like this.
  12. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    I've gone down from carrying $100-$135 knives to carrying $25 SAK's if that helps? :)
    David Mary, Therom and comis like this.
  13. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    Sorry for the typos ;)

    mues, that is what has happened to me
    My first expensive knife was a 0350
    I was used to go for hikes and I was looking for a folder for the short ones

    I was so impressed by its performance (compared to the cheap knives I was used to have) that I started to be interested into the hobbit and to want to test more

    in my approach, I am looking for experiencing the knives.... kind of hype vs reality approach

    so even if the knives I have now are sometime expensive, I use them
    David Mary likes this.
  14. Julian Williams

    Julian Williams

    Apr 22, 2019
    I've been thinking about this lately and I feel like I'm about to. At my current job, I don't need a knife, but I like to carry nice knives because I appreciate the engineering, machining, ect. But it seems like I have the bad luck ordering knives, in that I always seem to get one with fit & finish issues that I think shouldn't be coming up at that price point ($200-300) . To the point where I'd believe there was a mass conspiracy among knife retailers to give me the stinkers (exempting older ZTs). My most expensive knife purchase, a WE Malice, had white "specks" on the flame ano and backspacer so misaligned that you could see the locating pin when looking at the back of the knife.

    My newest knife, a M4 Shaman, came with a fairly long scratch on the DLC coating that wont rub off. I don't really mind scratches, but I'd at least like to be the one who puts them there. Its like buying a new car with door dings already on it. I'm probably just too picky or maybe its life telling me to stop spending so much lol. I'm now more content with budget knives like the RAT 1 or Civivi. They might have a few finish issues, but at least I'm paying much less for them.
    David Mary likes this.
  15. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    I never even got into high end carry, or high end at all.
    And why would I?
    Carry knives are very likley to get lost or stolen, so why would I risk getting $500 or 500€ knife lost when a knife for around 1/10th of the price will be more than sufficent for my needs?

    Not to mention, I don't want to pay that much for a knife anyways...
  16. Sharp & Fiery

    Sharp & Fiery Always Embellish Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    May 14, 2012

    (I’ll finish that sentence for you. ;) lol)
    Therom, David Mary and WValtakis like this.
  17. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    May 17, 2013
    Another SAK fan and carrier here.

    I think it's just personal preference--some like to put their expensive knives to use, and some like to collect them in pristine condition. In terms of utility and daily usage, I love carrying a SAK along with a folder.
    Sharp & Fiery and David Mary like this.
  18. CHNeal

    CHNeal Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 24, 2019
    My favorite carry knife used to be a top rate knife at a very decent price, now that it’s no longer made its just not worth the price they are getting for it. So I have found myself looking at higher end knives to get the quality to justify the price.
    When I bought my mini sere it was $125 but I felt it was worth every penny of that. Now they want @250. The knife just can’t pull of those numbers...
  19. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    Guess I've pretty much been a low-end knife guy the whole time. I only own a handful of knives that cost me over $100 in the first place, and the most expensive of those was $130. My daily carry and use knives are mostly in the sub-$50 range. Some Case, some Victorinox. Occasionally a Buck or GEC. My fall down the rabbit hole was in the area of quantity and variety, primarily in the traditional slipjoint area.

    I have way more than I practically need, and maybe only regularly carry a fraction of them, perhaps a dozen, out of maybe 150 knives.

    Financially speaking, it would have been wiser to just have a dozen high quality knives, and not a shelf full of unused knives warehoused until I get around to selling them (or dying and leaving them for the estate sale). But we all have our journeys through the collecting or accumulating phase of the hobby, with varying levels of regret (or none). So that was my folly. Quantity and variety versus quality.
  20. SALTY

    SALTY Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 19, 2000
    Ah, materialism - worshipping things. The vast majority of us are guilty of it to some degree now and again - especially here in BF.

    Despite the good fortune some have had, I see the biggest threat to a folder as being loss (or theft) not lock strength or other such use related hazards.

    I have knives that give me pleasure of ownership by taking out of the safe (or drawer for the lesser value ones) and admiring from time to time while others give me satisfaction with their ability to be used and abused with abandon ... some are a little bit of both. That last category can be frustrating as the scratches and dings that use can bring can adversely affect the ownership experience. The marks, scars and tattoos acquired on my close-out sale AUS-8 CS Voyagers, some RAT-1s and like are badges of honor and actually enhance the ownership experience for me.

    I've got too many knives and too much money ties up into knives; I sense that I may not be alone. To the point of the OP, I don't carry my Box Elder Sebenza but there's not many days that I don't have an Emerson or Cold Steel user on me - sometime along with a SAK and/or Leatherman. A ZT630 (great knife and great value IMO) is about as "high end" that I carry on a regular basis. Even though I have a back-up for it, the fact that it is discontinued gives me pause if the use may be abusive. The CS Voyagers I have - bring it on, whatever the task.
    SavageSick, David Mary and aicolainen like this.

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