Are expensive knives worth it?

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Quiet

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Quiet, you are absolutely correct about an Opinel being a very functional knife at the fraction of the cost of something like my Mnandi. The title of the thread was about expensive knives being worth the money so my approach was strictly along the lines of value provided by inexpensive knives versus expensive knives. Again, I think it boils down to need versus want and to how much pleasure you get from using the knife.
Well, from that perspective, then it goes back to what I was saying about value. Knife enthusiasts tend to define the word "value" with a lot more modifiers than just "value for money". I don't think any knife collector who spends say, $600 on a knife is doing it because that knife represents the best "value for the money". Spending that much on a knife means you appreciate a lot of things entirely other than "How much do I need to spend in order to have something that cuts well?" As we all know, a tin can lid rubbed on a concrete curb will cut what you need (albeit in a fashion that's almost as much of a danger to the user as to the material being cut!).

So that we can speak in some specifics, I'll mention a specific knife. My Diskin Volcan (I don't have a pic handy, and it's at home, so bear with me). I have a full custom, actually made by Matt Diskin. It's one of my absolute favorite knives. Machined with 3D milling on the scales and hardware, and a giant stabby blade of M390. Beautiful dual-bearing flipper action, the works. I paid around $600 for it. Now, I COULD have just paid the $200 or whatever it is for the Kizer made version, as I believe he farmed some of his designs out to them and this is one of them. It's ultimately VERY similar to my Custom. So, what do I get for that extra $400? Well, it's a design that I wanted for a very long time that I love VERY much, it's actually made by Matt himself (and I even sent it back to him to get tuned last year, so it's mint now), it's got assorted little extra touches that the production version doesn't have, and lastly (and this is huge), it's not made in China. So, it was never even a possibility to me that I'd spend less money for the Kizer. To me, this was $600 well spent.

Does it cut better than a $15 Opinel #8? Ha, not a chance. Would I rather have this Volcan than an Opinel 8? Absolutely. To me, the value is there, and I don't need to justify the purchase to those who don't see the value in it. Their values aren't my values. I just won't sit by and let people attempt to take the position that their values are more important or objectively relevant or correct than mine, because they objectively aren't*.


* Not that you've done this, I'm merely speaking of some attempts at doing this by others in this thread, as always happens.
 

EngrSorenson

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if I'm in a 12 star French eaterry
oooh ouch... only 12 stars? I think you just limited yourself to the lesser of the high-end knife makers.
Truly high-end knife makers prefer patrons of 13+ star French restaurants.
At <13 stars, I doubt you've even ever heard of them.
These are the kind of knives that your butler must ship back to the maker once a week for a reoiling of the joint and must be handled with fresh kid skin gloves.
 
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Quiet, I think we are on the same page, we are addressing the question a little differently. You seem to be approaching the question from a knife collectors point of view while I took a black and white function versus value for the follower approach. I agree with what you have said concerning the enjoyment you get from your custom knife. I feel much the same way about my Mnandi but in a strictly dollars versus function that Opinel will do what I ask of my EDC just as well. I still think it partially comes down to a want versus a need sort of question. Basically, I have adopted a position that if I really want something and I can afford it then I will treat myself to it. That includes firearms as well as knives.😁
 

Quiet

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Quiet, I think we are on the same page, we are addressing the question a little differently. You seem to be approaching the question from a knife collectors point of view while I took a black and white function versus value for the follower approach. I agree with what you have said concerning the enjoyment you get from your custom knife. I feel much the same way about my Mnandi but in a strictly dollars versus function that Opinel will do what I ask of my EDC just as well. I still think it partially comes down to a want versus a need sort of question. Basically, I have adopted a position that if I really want something and I can afford it then I will treat myself to it. That includes firearms as well as knives.😁
I don't disagree with that position at all, it's absolutely right. If you have more knives than cutting needs, they kind of ALL become wants! :D
 

NorthernSouthpaw

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I essentially look at it this way.
If you like it and can pay for it without putting any strain on yourself financially, go for it.
No one should EVER go into debt for a hobby.

The actual dollar amount one is willing to spend is completely subjective depending on the individual making the purchase.
To me a $450 Sebenza is too expensive. BUT a $900 Pohan Leu Hamachi is worth every penny.
 
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My line is I buy American, or not Asain. At this point easy line to hold.

I am sure we all have enough, and while used at work, are not the center of our income.

It's a hobby. Most of us are not cooking or guiding.

It is good to have back up
 
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Bark rivers are crazy expensive in my opinion.

But really good edge retention at crazy toughness like with 3V is trully amazing, especially considering it's also almost stainless.

And crazy edge retention at decent toughness like M390 make for a good compact fixed blade.
I am having trouble spending the money. Get little cheaper at small shop.

I want cause made in UP., Plus looking for something new. I have never bought a knife made out of anything interesting. Not even sure I would notice.
 
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Quality only costs once, so are cheap knives worth it ?
While I typically do believe this. I think you can get lots of mid range knives that won't let you down.

I've only had one knife fall apart, a free Cabela's folder. I know someone who had fixed hunting fail, after many years, he said broke.

Now I had a sheath start to come a part. Which could cause problems. Used speed sticker on it. See how it goes
 

EngrSorenson

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Quality only costs once, so are cheap knives worth it ?
I can't believe we're back to this point. 🤣

Turning the question on it's ear doesn't change the answer.
You used the term quality, which can refer to a knife which isn't pretty but is more than sufficient for serving as a cutting tool. If you're looking for a knife that cuts, you'd be hard pressed to say an Opinel, Mora or SAK isn't sufficient as a cutting tool; in fact, it's why those brands persist.

There is one meaningless and yet interesting outcome from Skyhorse's trivial reversal: "expensive" extends to infinity while "cheap" is asymptotical to zero. From any given starting price, you can stare into an indefinite body of more expensive knives or you can look into a definitive body of cheaper knives.
 

NorthernSouthpaw

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,

This is actually a VERY good point. I've bought a lot more inexpensive knives that weren't worth what I paid than expensive ones.

That said, I think this applies even more strongly to shoes, power tools and bedding. 😉
Excellent point, and I couldn't agree more!!
Those 3 in particular I see as perfect examples.
Quality shoes and tools that cost more up front are more than likely going to prevent VERY expensive medical bills later on.
Also, No less than 700 thread count Egyptian cotton on my mattress (and that's high quality too). Because Getting a good nights sleep on a consistent basis is (to me) a very important and valuable thing.
My wife and I are willing to take on a little debt for any of the above. We would never for my knives, or any of our other hobbies.
 

NorthernSouthpaw

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I can't believe we're back to this point. 🤣

Turning the question on it's ear doesn't change the answer.
You used the term quality, which can refer to a knife which isn't pretty but is more than sufficient for serving as a cutting tool. If you're looking for a knife that cuts, you'd be hard pressed to say an Opinel, Mora or SAK isn't sufficient as a cutting tool; in fact, it's why those brands persist.

There is one meaningless and yet interesting outcome from Skyhorse's trivial reversal: "expensive" extends to infinity while "cheap" is asymptotical to zero. From any given starting price, you can stare into an indefinite body of more expensive knives or you can look into a definitive body of cheaper knives.
Very true
Expensive does not always equal "quality" (see Will Moon, Heeter, RMK, Alex Dietz)
Inexpensive does not always equal "cheap" (see Mora, RAT 1&2, Opinel)
A lot of people tend to mix those up Though in this case, I'm pretty sure skyhorse skyhorse was just pointing out that fact.
 

000Robert

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The real question is 'what is, expensive'? Expensive to one person may not be expensive to another person. But it seems to me that most people are content carrying a less expensive knife because of what they 'expect' will happen during their day. I carry a Carothers DEK1 because of what 'might' happen during my day. I'm confident that she can handle just about any demand that I give to her. Some people say that she is expensive. I don't.
I could've saved some money by buying a bare bones DEK1, but I wanted her to be gorgeous too - and she is gorgeous!

Mine-17a.jpg
 

skyhorse

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I can't believe we're back to this point. 🤣

Turning the question on it's ear doesn't change the answer.
You used the term quality, which can refer to a knife which isn't pretty but is more than sufficient for serving as a cutting tool. If you're looking for a knife that cuts, you'd be hard pressed to say an Opinel, Mora or SAK isn't sufficient as a cutting tool; in fact, it's why those brands persist.

There is one meaningless and yet interesting outcome from Skyhorse's trivial reversal: "expensive" extends to infinity while "cheap" is asymptotical to zero. From any given starting price, you can stare into an indefinite body of more expensive knives or you can look into a definitive body of cheaper knives.


I'm merely pointing out you usually end up getting what you paid for. Ever heard that old saying , no such thing as a stupid question ? Well whoever came up with that was full of crap imho. ;)
 
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