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Knife prices vs diminishing returns

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by MMS375, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Korean Hog

    Korean Hog

    Mar 12, 2017
    At least 60-75$ or I question the quality, much more than 450$ I wonder what manufacturing process or added functionality can justify the price.
  2. tueller

    tueller Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    200 for folders.

    100 for fixed blade.
  3. Rhodies


    Jul 27, 2017
    Interesting thread. How about how much did a unique hard to find blade steel sway you in a higher end purchase? Myself, I was looking for a Para 2 or 3 in m390 steel all winter and I finally found one (Para 3) that I preordered.
    skyhorse likes this.
  4. JJ_Colt45

    JJ_Colt45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Think this is one of those very personally individual questions that could go from $10.00 too $1000.00 ...

    I've sat here thinking a bit before typing a response ... considering all the variables that seem to be endless ...

    for me personally I think I'd fall somewhere near the upper end of "diminishing returns" would fall between $150.00 and $200.00 ... and could get knives with materials and designs that would do anything I'd ever need.

    I own many knives less expensive that I love ... but if I think I may change something about them given a choice ... and then I own many that are above that range that are more aesthetics or to get a small inprovement in materials or design ... but nothing I truely need ...

    then I own knives that are $20.00 or less for what I use them for are perfect ... and have had a knife that was well over $500.00 and got sold because I found I already had others that performed better.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    Trout Tamer and skyhorse like this.
  5. GB940Rookie

    GB940Rookie Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2016
    $150ish for me. I can get everything I want at this price. I'm not opposed to more if I feel I'm getting something special.
  6. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Oh yeah, that's part of the addiction.
    Rhodies likes this.
  7. MMS375


    May 28, 2017
    All valid points and I appreciate the response. We seem to be similarly minded and objective. As an example I find the steel will cutjack in D2 to be an amazing value at $40. The Sebenza while being a superior knife at $400 is not in my opinion 10 X better. I own both so.... My EDC 90% of the time is a minigrip with G10 & cpm20cv. Don't demean anyone at either end of the spectrum. $10 or $1000 knife what ever your preference. Just interested in a consensus and where my personal thoughts fit. Thanks again for the feedback.
  8. 91bravo

    91bravo Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    As you can see , value is in the eye of the beholder...
    DocJD and MarriedTheMedic like this.
  9. GrReaper


    Sep 22, 2014
    Although it's a good opinion question, the OP should've asked for answers split up into four categories.

    For production knives: I see no real difference after $150-$200 for fixed blades and $25-$50 for folders.

    For custom knives: about $900-$1,500 for fixed blade knives and swords. I've never bought a custom folder so I have to pass on that category.

    Above those numbers I just don't see any noticeable or significant improvement in quality that would justify the cost.
    W. Anderson likes this.
  10. jbarsquat

    jbarsquat Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 22, 2017
    As so many have said there are a number of things to consider. I will say for utility everyday use my opinion is around $150. I own knives that cost five times that amount because I like them, and because I like knives I will keep buying more expensive knives.
    skyhorse likes this.
  11. KnifeWish


    Mar 22, 2017
    $30 Is my diminishing return point, the price of a Vic Sak. I have no use for any blade other than a Sak blade (cutting cardboard, paper, plastic).

    With that said, I do own a $1k knife, for no good reason other than it's insanely engineered materials and action.
    DocJD, Pomsbz and jackknife like this.
  12. panoz77


    Feb 3, 2007
    For me, both folders and fixed, diminishing returns max out at $100. Most of my folders and fixed blades are actually under $80.
    Trout Tamer and DocJD like this.
  13. microtech85


    Dec 1, 2015
    I feel that with folding knives you get useful and practical upgrades for up to $150. From what i have seen on the market, this is where diminishing returns starts to kick in. I think past this point you get upgraded materials that do not have very clear advantages and you get manufacturing improvements that are nice but do not improve the use of the knife, only the enjoyment. For instance, i think g10 is an excellent handle material. I really like carbon fiber too but it costs more than g10 but does not really add function to the knife. For instance, the 940 in g10 vs carbon fiber has only the slightest weight difference.
    4mer_FMF likes this.
  14. Cvrobinson

    Cvrobinson Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 19, 2017
    A lot of $20.00 knives work fine for the work most people subject their knife to. (I wouldn't spend less than a meal at micky d's though) after that it's art and it's hard to price art in the eyes of the beholder
    DocJD likes this.
  15. SharpieB

    SharpieB Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 31, 2017
    $150 for me. $150 should get you great blade steel, high quality scales and a quality product from a top company. Fossilized sabertooth tiger or wooly mammoth scales or inlays are obviously gonna take you out of the $150 range. ;)

    The most I have spent on a knife is $159 for a discounted ZT recently. All of my other knives were $30-150 and my EDCs tend to be $70-100.

    I don’t have any experience with $1000+ knives and limited experience with $350-1000 knives. I do have my eye on a Hinderer and/or a Chris Reeve that would both be in the $350-400 range, but I can’t see myself owning more than one or two knives over the $150 mark.

    I see nothing wrong with people spending thousands on a knife, but just not a big priority for me. I also use ALL of my knives and have no interest in filling a safe with rare and highly sought after knives. Whatever floats your boat, YMMV and all that... :)
  16. gazz98

    gazz98 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    The most I've ever paid for a knife is about $140 (LNIB BM Adamas off a forum IIRC). I almost pulled the trigger on a ZT 566 for $100 off this exchange yesterday. I'm totally content with $70-140 on a knife. I can get D2, VG10, 154CM, or S30V. Will I ever own M4, Maxamet, etc? Nope and I'm ok with that. After carrying knives for close to 30 years, I know the steels I listed are more then enough for my daily tasks. I learned long ago I will never be a Sebenza, Hinderer, or custom guy. I'm just not willing to spend that kind of $ on knife. If YOU want to do that, more power to you. I have found what works for me and my budget.
    Trout Tamer, panoz77 and DocJD like this.
  17. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    .....this sums it up most accurately.... I have $50knives I love and $1K knives I love... the VAST majority of us buy because of WANT and not NEED. If I WANT something enough I will pay for it.
    DocJD and 91bravo like this.
  18. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Diminishing returns hit big time around $200 with folding knives. You can buy a fine knife with modern steels for under $150. With fixed blades, I'd say about $250-$300 more or less. I have spent more but I resist. Any knife priced more than $150, I have to really want it. Many of the Bark River fixed blades are right at the point where I question if I really want the knife.
  19. Frailer

    Frailer Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 25, 2009
    Objectively, it would be difficult to argue that for the “average user” and from a functionality/practicality standpoint the point of diminishing returns lies too far north of $50.

    But the qualities an “enthusiast” values go beyond the tool’s ability to cut a reasonable quantity of things without falling apart or injuring the user. I’m willing to pay a small premium for good design and reasonable fit and finish, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to spend more than $200 for a knife.

    I’m certainly guilty of spending stupid amounts of money on things I don’t need, but I’ve not been bitten by the high-dollar knife bug.
    DocJD and Bill1170 like this.
  20. WftRight


    Jun 21, 2017
    I'm in bad health, so I'm not going to be doing a great deal with any knife. I really shouldn't buy any more knives.

    Even if I were in good health, I don't think I'd get any great performance improvements on a folding knife above about $30 to $50. I just don't expect a folding knife to do anything that is particularly rugged. The purpose of a folding knife is convenience, and a $30 knife can be convenient enough and functional enough. I generally carry a folding knife every day, but if I were stuck in the wilderness with nothing more, I wouldn't expect a folding knife to keep me alive for very long.

    With fixed blade knives, I expect higher performance under worse conditions. I suspect that many $40 knives would do the job well enough for long enough that I wouldn't die from lack of a quality knife. I sense that going to the $80 to $100 range does get one a better knife that will last longer and hold an edge longer. I've paid more than that for kukris, and I expect that they would perform well in a difficult situation. Whether they would really be better for the tasks at hand is hard to say.
    Trout Tamer, panoz77 and DocJD like this.

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