Cheap knives are a bad idea.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Chapp, Apr 20, 2019.

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  1. Hackenslash

    Hackenslash Don't feed the Trolls Platinum Member

    Jul 25, 2014
    Blanket statements are a bad idea.
  2. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    Not necessarily so. Don't be a knife snob with such statements. It just proves your ignorance. Just so you know, many will consider your ESEE a cheap knife. I paid less than $15 and less than $35 for my two daily carry knives.

    Ulster 180/Craftsman 9507 and Victorinox Farmer.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
    TheChunk91, Lee D and Eli Chaps like this.
  3. JBoone


    Dec 30, 2012
    My first thought was that the delica and endura are sub $90 which are both awesome, but I agree with what you are going for. I believe you are saying don’t buy crap knives.

    Best not to put a dollar value out there as there are too many exceptions such as the above, SAKs, etc.
    WadeWilson and 416isToronto like this.
  4. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    There are lots of well made sub-$90 knives. I carry and use a Vic SAK every single day. None of my SAKs cost $90. I draw the line at about $30 for "inexpensive". Most people would never consider dropping $500 on a CRK knife for any reason regardless of how "good" they are. Generally not a fan of ESEE knives in general.

    I started with an inexpensive Imperial slip joint as a kid (one was $0.25 and the other $0.50) in the first and second grade. Guess my Dad should have bought me a Case? But I bought my own knife, because that was all I could afford and those initial knives worked great for me until I could afford a Case Barlow. Since they still are less than $90 for the most part, I guess they would fall into your "cheap" category. My stag Case Peanut is far from cheap either in cost or construction.
    colin.p likes this.
  5. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    A high price tag doesn’t necessarily mean your getting an all around better product than one that costs less. I have experienced issues with premium knives as well as ones folks would label as low end. There are many reputable manufacturers out there that produce quality products for budget conscious consumers. If your budget allows it, feel free to spend you hard earned dollars on what you like, just don’t allow yourself to be fooled by the price tag regardless of how high or low it may be.
  6. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    Most major brands in recent years have improved their quality with advanced manufacturing techniques like CNC, better steels and materials such as G10/FRN, IMHO. You can get an excellent knife that will cut for decades for well under $100.
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  7. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Basic Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    And the OP was never seen again.
  8. GronK

    GronK Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 1, 2001
    Wrong wrong wrong! The cut-off point for worthless, inexpensive knives is actually $97.43. Anything lower than that is cheap crap. :mad:
    Pomsbz, Neko2, Lapedog and 1 other person like this.
  9. GronK

    GronK Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 1, 2001
    No problem. Like you never made a Friday night wasted midnight post that you regretted?
    orangejoe35, colin.p and Rykjeklut like this.
  10. soc_monki


    Apr 5, 2019
    I've got 30 dollar knives (carrying my crkt caligo right now) and nearly 200 dollar knives (zt and spyderco). I use them all. I like designs, ergonomics, and different lock types, regardless of cost. Price is not what constitutes a good knife, quality does.

    Just my opinion.
    willc likes this.
  11. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Basic Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    Not on this forum at least :cool:
    colin.p likes this.
  12. rogatsby


    Jun 19, 2018
    I'm loving and using this $30 knife. The Kershaw Atmos. Tremendous design and action for that price. Yes, I know it's 8cr13mov, but it works fine, and it sharpens up easily.




    And these cheapo knives are also pretty good lol. None of my more expensive knives slice like them, anyway.


  13. James Y

    James Y

    Feb 18, 1999
    OK, I haven't read the entire thread yet, and everyone can prefer whatever they like. But there is a BIG difference between a cheap knife (as in poor quality) and a cheap knife (as in inexpensive).

    For example, SAKs are relatively inexpensive (by your definition, 'cheap'). In more than 40 years of knife usage, I've never had any non-locking folder, including an SAK, snap closed on me. At one point, my only knife for over 10 years was a SAK Spartan, and not once did it ever fail on me or let me down. I had bought it new, during a special sale, at a hardware store in 1981 for all of $5. Nowadays it would still only cost around $20 to $25. It also wasn't a 'one-trick-pony'; it was able to be used for more purposes than just a single-bladed knife. I learned early on to respect my knives and to treat each one (even locking ones) like slip joints. The lock, to me, is simply an added safety feature, but not expected to make a knife foolproof. And I own knives from SAKs, Buck and Case, to Spydercos, all the way up to CRKs.

    There are many other types of knives out there that are inexpensive but good to decent quality, and will serve the purposes a knife was designed for perfectly well. In such cases, it's the owner of the knife, and the know-how he/she actually USES it with that determines its usefulness or lack of.

    Countless people throughout history and around the world, up to the present day, have used knives that you would categorize as too dangerous and useless to be tools; many of whom often used (and still use) their knives MUCH harder to make a living on a day-to-day basis than a high percentage (most?) of today's 'knife aficionados'). They couldn't have done so if the knives they had were useless as tools.

    If you yourself only want knives over $90 and feel anything under that is useless, that is your right, but it is only a perception and an opinion. To say that inexpensive knives are useless as tools is not controversial, but is simply your opinion and preference and is not based on fact.

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  14. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    There are some good knives available in the sub $90 range. Fixed or folder. Even for $40 you can get a good knife that will function well.
  15. Sergeua


    May 1, 2016
    Lots of cold steel lite products that are cheap and won't slap on you. 20 bucks with triad lock
    jlauffer and DocJD like this.
  16. HappyDaddy

    HappyDaddy Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    Blanket statements are can be a bad idea. (Saved you from yourself :D).
    WadeWilson and DocJD like this.
  17. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    I agree that you should put your money into quality tools where it counts. I do that in the kitchen, where I do most of my knife usage. It makes a difference for me. That said, I also have some super inexpensive kitchen knives that have specific use cases (like cutting meat when it is already plated on a ceramic plate), which dull fast and re-sharpen just as fast.

    For my other general knife usage, I have pocket knives that serve me very well, ranging from sub-$30 Victorinox SAKs up to ZT, Benchmade, and Spyderco knives that were above the OP's $90 mark. I will use whichever is appropriate to the task at hand.

    If I had use cases that demanded a specific level of performance or sturdiness that could only be met by a knife at a certain price point, then sure, I'd pay and be glad of it. But I have plenty of basic uses that don't require anything much more than a sharp blade, and a Case Peanut or Vic Cadet is as good for that purpose as a CRK or $10,000 custom.

    So while I don't agree the the sweeping generalization of the OP, I do agree that you should be willing and happy to pay up for quality, when it matters.
    Insipid Moniker likes this.
  18. Workingsloth777


    Mar 10, 2019
    While most of the knives I buy now are over $90, I still enjoy some less expensive knives. I have a civivi praxis that is $45 (roughly), and the fit and finish is what you'd expect in a knife well above $90.

    The knives people need to avoid are those gas station m-techs or counterfeits.

    Also $90 doesn't seem like a good line to draw in the sand for what makes a knife cheap.
  19. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    Total silliness.
    Price does not guarantee that a knife is well built or how it will perform.

    There are plenty of sub 90 dollar knives that is are built great and can actually cut things.
  20. Workingsloth777


    Mar 10, 2019
    Whenever I see you bring up how good the kershaw atmos is even though it's 8cr it kinda makes me regret giving mine away. I might have to pick up another one soon :).
    rogatsby likes this.
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