How much does the look of a knife influence you?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Wil lRogers, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Wil lRogers

    Wil lRogers

    Oct 29, 2013
    I was wondering how much a factor appearance is when people are deciding whether to buy a knife? Most of my knives are Spydercos (Caly 3, Sage 5, Centofante 3), just because I got caught up in Spyderco mania, and I love they way they function and like the way look. But I can't help thinking that if I were choosing a knife solely on the base of looks, I would buy an
    Al Mar or a Benchmade over a Spyderco. The Spydie hole is a great way to open a knife, but it doesn't result in prize-winning designs. If you asked the average person to compare the flagship Spydie - the PM2 - with the flagship Benchmade - the 940 - just on looks, I think 95% would prefer the Benchmade. That doesn't mean I would carry a Benchmade over a PM2 -most of the time I'm interested in function over form. But there are some social occasions when, if someone asked me to borrow my pocket knife, I'd far rather produce a 940 than a PM2.
    Does any else feel this way?
    Lapedog likes this.
  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Appearance is important. But I don't buy a knife based solely on "looks". The Spydie hole was a ground breaking design element. I don't think they look particularly cool, but they work really well. The Spyderco hole (and hump) is a dominant part of the reason I never bought one for years until reading about how good their knives are on this forum.
    Lapedog likes this.
  3. strategy9

    strategy9 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    Looks easily play the largest part in my final purchase decision.

    If the price was appropriate, I would possibly buy a cheap $1 junk knife that I knew was junk, If I really liked the way it looked, but I would not buy a $2-3-4- $700 knife that I didn't find aesthetically pleasing, no matter what the quality level.

    Likewise, I would much sooner spend $500 or $1000 on a quality knife I just loved the looks of, before i spent $1 on a knife I thought was ugly (unless I knew for sure I could flip it).
    Lapedog likes this.
  4. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Obviously, appearance is important. But the manufacturer, basic design, lock system, blade-steel, weight, closed length, etc. are just as important in making a decision.
    Lapedog likes this.
  5. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    With the staggering variety of blades available to us today in all sorts of styles why wouldn't you get a knife that appeals to the eye. Most tasks which require a knife can be accomplished by many knives these days. Let's say I want a skinner, there are tons of skinning knives to choose from in this day and age. Assuming performance is equal, why not choose the one I like the looks of?
    C.S. Graves likes this.
  6. FullMetalJackass

    FullMetalJackass Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 10, 2016
    First looks... then I look closer (steel, ergonomics, various materials used, country of mfg...)
    GJJGrappler and strategy9 like this.
  7. evilgreg

    evilgreg Why so serious? Gold Member

    Dec 25, 2012
    I carry cheap, ugly, awesome knives sometimes (e.g. Cold Steel Tuff Lite). That doesn't mean I don't enjoy pretty knives too, though. Carried this one today, and I feel like it's pretty but a great all-around knife too:


    It's got everything. IMO pretty. Thin at the edge, flat ground, M390 blade. Fantastic action. Carries thin and light for a 3.7" bladed knife (~4oz).
    BigKurtHaze likes this.
  8. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar

    Sep 1, 2016
    Judging by the knives I own, it's as important as size, ergonomics, materials and build quality and more important than lock type, who makes it and where it's made. I won't buy a knife I don't like the looks of.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  9. Dfunk1210


    Apr 7, 2015
    I've come across super deals for quality knives at stupid low prices but couldn't get myself to jump on it because the looks of the knife was absolutely fugtastic
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Face it, looks are important whether it be a knife, a firearm, or a woman (or man). As I grow older, I appreciate looks more and more, but it isn't the only thing I'm interested in. Why do you think those often ungodly tactical knives are purchased?
    Lapedog likes this.
  11. GB940Rookie


    Apr 19, 2016
    Looks is usually the first thing that draws me to a knife
    Lapedog likes this.
  12. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Personally, too much.

    However, once you have enough utility you're drawn to aesthetics and innovation.

    Almost nothing throughout human history has displayed the sharp edge more and in a more bejeweled fashion (except possibly for actual jewelry for a beloved or mighty ruler).
    Faiaoga and Lapedog like this.
  13. totkst1


    Oct 14, 2016
    I think once I decide on what I need a knife for (edc folder/fixed, bush/hunting, camping etc. ) then I definitely think looks and material choices are the most important thing I look at. Why buy something that does a job that you don't enjoy doing the job with.
    Lapedog likes this.
  14. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    VERY important.
    I don't pay attention to materials other that weather its blade is carbon or stainless, so that only leaves blade shape , size, and looks.
    SOoooo many knives are ass ugly because the maker focused on looks before simply making a straightforward knife that just plain works.
    I want my knife to just look like a knife, and not a piece of art or something that was " designed " versus " engineered "
    Just decided what blade type you want, if it will have a specialty purpose and what ( ie pruning, wood carving, skinning..ect ) which could determine handle shape, start engineering these things into a knife, then add some handle scales.
    Faiaoga, Lapedog and totkst1 like this.
  15. Jack_Burton


    Feb 23, 2017
    Welcome Styles
    'How much does the look of a knife influence you?'

    FullMetalJackass and Lapedog like this.
  16. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Your question is deeper than you may know . All of our instinctive value judgements from visual , taste , smell etc are related to function and survival . Most stuff that tastes good is generally not rotten . Bad smells alert us to unhealthy food or air . A very healthy and fit person or animal is perceived as more attractive . More streamlined vehicles tend to look better .

    I believe this extends somewhat to even how we feel about tools and weapons .Ofttimes the better looking tool really is better made and more functional . I think we can instinctually perceive this and the ability improves with experience .

    Of course , all attempts are made at false advertising to fool our senses . A person may be led astray by mere appearance . But I never discount my "feeling " impressions either .
    Faiaoga likes this.
  17. ATJ999

    ATJ999 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Looks matter very little to me. I mean if a knife is bright colors and Gody looking, then I won't want it, or some weird design that is based on looks instead of function. I look at a knife, especially one I can't hold in person, and think function, if it does not look like it was designed with function in mind, I move on.
    Lapedog likes this.
  18. Sigsog226

    Sigsog226 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 3, 2013
    Appearance is a big factor for me and to almost everybody i would think, rather its subconscious or not. One of the biggest reasons i buy/try a new knife, but there has been a few times when other factors overlook the appearance and vice versa.

    Some examples for me is the Lionsteel SR1 and Spyderco Manix 2 xl, i love the way it looks, the construction, the company, etc... but just didnt carry well in hand or pocket for me personally. Ive bought each one twice because i really wanted to overcome it but just wasn't working for me. Awesome knives though.
    Lapedog likes this.
  19. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar

    Sep 1, 2016
    So looks are important, then.
  20. jimmyd1982


    Mar 23, 2011
    It's hard to say because I find things that are very functional to be visually appealing to me. You say the average person probably doesn't like the looks of a spydie hole but because I know how well they work they always catch my eye.

    That being said, when I'm buying a knife and there's an option for a natural handle material I'll always pick that over synthetics, even though the synthetics are more durable and usually cheaper.

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