Are expensive knives worth it?

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Hackenslash

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You'll find that people with poor critical thinking skills use this sort of logic, but then obliviously turn a completely blind eye to the money they spend on whatever they enjoy. "Why do you buy high end (insert literally anything here) when a cheap inexpensive alternative (or nothing at all) will suffice? "Well, I mean, THAT'S worth it, and, and, STOP ASKING QUESTIONS!"

:rolleyes:
I only buy Quarter Pounder with Cheese Deluxe because frankly, I'm worth it. I like to treat myself.

However, my knife budget tops out at $19.99 ;)
 

powernoodle

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Are expensive knives worth it?​


In my view no. They are objectively not worth it if your measure of value is utility. A $70 Delica slices better than a $500 Sebenza, though the latter has a slight edge <pun> in edge retention. If your measure of value is which one makes your leg tingle, then that's subjective and only you can decide what is "best".

But it is essential that each of us distinguish between objective utility and feeling good/leg tingling. Arguments frequently arise when the expensive knife aficionado asserts that his knife has more utility (i.e., cuts better) than a not-expensive knife. Such a person has conflated utility with feeling good. He makes the mistake of believing that because he likes the expensive knife, it surely must cut better. He just cannot accept the reality that a Delica will kill a cardboard box better than his <fill in the blank>. Such a person will often resort to "if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand". This is just a gibberish way of say "please change the subject because I secretly know your cheap knife slices better."

An expensive knife can make us feel good. But it rarely has any more utility than a less expensive knife. And if the expensive knife does cut or slice "better" than a lesser knife, it is virtually never commensurate with its cost. A $700 folder does not have 10x the slicing capability and 10x the edge retention of a Delica. It often has less slicing capability, and 1.2x the edge retention.

So it all depends on what ruler you are using to measure value.
 

ElementalBreakdown

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This question is interesting on a knife forum because unlike cars or watches so few people are going to know how much your knife costs.
Also, I think we all took this to mean EDC knives and not something like a kitchen knife, where there is definitely more to be gained by spending more (of course subject to diminishing returns as well).

Also, knives hold their value (more than some other items) especially IF you keep them in brand new condition.

What's odd about this "hobby" or getting into "flipping" knives for profit is that you really have to keep them in perfect condition to make the most money. Unlike firearms where people seem to be more willing to overlook a couple of dings, imperfections, etc. You can buy a really expensive gun, use it a bunch, and still expect to be able to get most of your money back, or even make money whereas with knives I see phrases like "snail trails" where "serious" collectors treat knives like comic books or baseball cards where any little blemish will significantly lower the value.

The biggest problems I have are 1) how much the people that buy multiple examples of a knife to create scarcity and an almost "artificially inflated market" (great example would be the Spyderco Slyz Bowie) ..although I am sure many of you will argue how that's phrased... 2) there are a WHOLE LOTTA knives that go for over the $500 mark that really don't distinguish themselves in any meaningful way. Gray hunks of titanium with maybe a little CNC work or minimal differences with similar blade shapes and materials.

So yes, I personally think it's dumb to buy a $500-$1000 knife that looks mostly like 5000 other knives out there and then lock them in a safe to make a couple hundred bucks or break even in a few years ... just to pick them up once in a while to fidget with, being mindful the whole time that any tiny scratch is going to lower the value.

I spent a lot of money on my Wayfarer and Ilya warned me that the particular anodizing and options I chose was going to result in a knife that looked banged up pretty quick using it for an EDC. But it serves me well, I am fine with all the scratches, and it's a beast. I don't do dumb things like "batoning" wood with it, but I do use it for everything from working in the outdoors to cutting up food at festivals, surf fishing chores, hunting, etc. It's still very much reliable.

A good chef would probably feel the same way about a knife that fits their particular way of prepping food.

I do not regret this.

On the other hand, I only a Sebenza for a month because it didn't suit me, and I knew that if I made a "user" out of it not only would I not have enough knife for all the stuff I needed it for, but I'd lose money if I wanted to sell it.

Then there's something really unique like my Stinger in SM-100 where I may not use it much, but it is interesting to see how well different types of sharpening stones work with it. It's a totally unique metal and scarce, and I enjoy comparing it to steel knives and experiment with things like how temperature affects the action (and even sharpening), and the because it's a weird type of blade material it still is a novelty.

Same goes for really different blade shapes- I haven't gotten around to picking up a Grimsmo Norseman, but I would buy that knife at the right price just to experience the pros and cons of such an unusual design.
The flip side of that is something like a Rockstead (which I realize is unfair to criticize since I have never owned one), that to an outsider looks like a design that would very easily be cosmetically damaged and relying on a "like new" condition edge to be so amazing. As in, the design is different enough to warrant more money, the steel is unusual, the fit and finish look great, but seems like it'd be really easy to dull it and hard to bring back to that super-slicey edge, plus it seems like any use at all would severely impact its value. There's no place in my life for something like that.

And then of course there are "classic" knives from famous makers at the $10,000+ price point which to me are no longer really tools but more art to be displayed. Loveless knives are the perfect example. Bob originally wanted to see his knives being used, but quickly realized that it's insane to sell one of your knives on a working man's budget only to have the buyer flip the knife for thousands. Sure, they are great designs, but who would buy a knife for thousands or tens of thousands and immediately depreciate its value by using it?

Long story short: no one is going to look at your knife as a status symbol, so buy the one that you can appreciate every day and actually use. The extra couple hundred bucks I spent on my Olamic Wayfarer 247 are worth it to me because I enjoy looking at it every single day and it can tackle the toughest job I need it to.
 

Quiet

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In my view no. They are objectively not worth it if your measure of value is utility. A $70 Delica slices better than a $500 Sebenza, though the latter has a slight edge <pun> in edge retention. If your measure of value is which one makes your leg tingle, then that's subjective and only you can decide what is "best".

But it is essential that each of us distinguish between objective utility and feeling good/leg tingling. Arguments frequently arise when the expensive knife aficionado asserts that his knife has more utility (i.e., cuts better) than a not-expensive knife. Such a person has conflated utility with feeling good. He makes the mistake of believing that because he likes the expensive knife, it surely must cut better. He just cannot accept the reality that a Delica will kill a cardboard box better than his <fill in the blank>. Such a person will often resort to "if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand". This is just a gibberish way of say "please change the subject because I secretly know your cheap knife slices better."

An expensive knife can make us feel good. But it rarely has any more utility than a less expensive knife. And if the expensive knife does cut or slice "better" than a lesser knife, it is virtually never commensurate with its cost. A $700 folder does not have 10x the slicing capability and 10x the edge retention of a Delica. It often has less slicing capability, and 1.2x the edge retention.

So it all depends on what ruler you are using to measure value.
An assertion that no one has made in this thread, that I've seen. Speaking of gibberish, this entire schpiel reads as further "Look at people who like expensive knives trying to justify them" nonsense. If you like Delicas, good deal, me too, I have like fifteen of them in a bunch of super steels. But they are mass produced inexpensive knives, whereas some of us enjoy carrying something that was made by hand to exacting standards.

Seriously, what is with the membership of a knife forum when people who don't or can't spend the money that expensive knives cost have to set up comments to knock down?

If you like cheap knives, cool. If you like expensive knives, cool. If this comment comes off as testy, it's because we're 15 pages into this thread and folks are still trying different angles of the same comment. Buy what you like, spend as much as you like, simple as that. If folks don't want to spend that much, that's cool too. But their way's not "better", and there are no superior arguments or "Gotchas" to prove it.

P.S. Speaking of $700 knives, my $750 Ray Laconico one-off Custom cuts as well as any of my Delicas. :)
 
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I find this kind of joyless mentality pretty amusing. The idea that liking something isn't enough to make it worth it makes me think you must sleep on a pile of rags, never watch movies or play games and only eat soylent. Either that or, by your own philosophy, you're wasting your money.
Where did I say write that? I got 2 4x4 trucks, 2 Harleys, 2 sxs, cabin, guns, knives,tools, ect.

I buy plenty of stuff I don't need.

Social media has shown the lack of logic skills and ability to debate in society.

Most debates these days consist of me right you wrong.
 
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Items are worth exactly what you can get for them and that largely depends on you. If you want to buy a pile of $500 knives and sell them for $10 the next day at the local flea market, they would sell fast. There are no rules preventing you from being a lousy sales person. There are others out there who can take $10 knife and sell them for $500 …. We think of them as crooks…but most of the time they are simply knowledgeable and talented. But, my point is that the item is only part of the equation. What matters most in determining a striking price is whether you can sell, and how well you can negotiate.

N2s
I am not sure what this has to do with my comment about people listing attributes of expensive knives, and rather just stating I like them. I also wrote I like to spend money too.

Might have been an interesting thread if people listed expensive steels that sharpen easy, stay sharp, and don't rust. Maybe handle material that they found comfortable and slip resistant. Maybe good sheaths. Maybe some shape that you don't see in cheaper knives that is comfortable.

But I am ok with buying things just cause I want them
 

Insipid Moniker

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Where did I say write that? I got 2 4x4 trucks, 2 Harleys, 2 sxs, cabin, guns, knives,tools, ect.

I buy plenty of stuff I don't need.

Social media has shown the lack of logic skills and ability to debate in society.

Most debates these days consist of me right you wrong.
You very literally wrote that justifying a purchase simply because you like it doesn't make it worth it. By your own logic, you're wasting your money on worthless things. Either that, or you're wrong and liking something is enough to make it worth it. Not terribly complicated.
 

000Robert

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As I said there is a lack of people saying why, other than I like too.

As you have continued

I am not against spending money. I do, and have more in life than I need.

Look at this little beauty and you tell me why. My Carothers DEK1 in great D3V steel with swedge and Penetrator Tip and gorgeous Cocobolo scales with blued titanium fasteners. About $535 and worth every penny!

Mine-17a.jpg Mine-18a.jpg
 
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Worth it cause titanium shaves weight? Beauty is eye of beholder. The looks don't jump out at me. But everyone has there own taste. Wood and bone are cool to me.

I am interested in different steels, and think that may make it worth it
 
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You very literally wrote that justifying a purchase simply because you like it doesn't make it worth it. By your own logic, you're wasting your money on worthless things. Either that, or you're wrong and liking something is enough to make it worth it. Not terribly complicated.
Yes I do waste money.

How many times have I wrote I buy stuff cause I want ? Or wrote ok to buy stuff just cause you want?

But I did note, the lack attributes, may not make it worth it. I don't read people taking about quality or material. That says not worth money. But doesn't mean you can't buy it cause enjoy.

You can buy a 1moa deer rifle for $300 plus you only need one. I don't have any $300 rifles. I am not against them if I needed one. More expensive rifles have attributes I can list, but it dimiminshes. A scope is an engineered item with increased technology that makes it worth more money. Though I could get buy with a cheaper one.

We are in era where cheap stuff is built better than in past
 
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You own two Harleys?

LOL We're done here.
I've rode to Artic Circle. How about you?

Or did you mean only 2? I do have a concourse but to slow and vibrates to much. But dollar wise better deal. But one reason I don't like metric is hard to work on.
 

Quiet

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I've rode to Artic Circle. How about you?

Or did you mean only 2? I do have a concourse but to slow and vibrates to much. But dollar wise better deal. But one reason I don't like metric is hard to work on.

Woooowwww "Artic Circle". Very impressive, and definitely a waste of money that could have been better spent elsewhere, amirite?

:)
 

Bob Denman

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One good thing about Harleys: they're easy to work on...




And you get so much practice!
 

Bob Denman

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One advantage of owning a Harley, and having an unpaved driveway: the leaking oil will keep the dust down!

We're on a roll now!
 

Insipid Moniker

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Yes I do waste money.

How many times have I wrote I buy stuff cause I want ? Or wrote ok to buy stuff just cause you want?

But I did note, the lack attributes, may not make it worth it. I don't read people taking about quality or material. That says not worth money. But doesn't mean you can't buy it cause enjoy.

You can buy a 1moa deer rifle for $300 plus you only need one. I don't have any $300 rifles. I am not against them if I needed one. More expensive rifles have attributes I can list, but it dimiminshes. A scope is an engineered item with increased technology that makes it worth more money. Though I could get buy with a cheaper one.

We are in era where cheap stuff is built better than in past
Worth is a subjective judgement. There are no attributes that will make a luxury item worth it if you don't like the item.
 
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