My philosophy on knives, amongst other tools.

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Eyesofdeath13F, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Eyesofdeath13F


    Feb 13, 2018
    Hey everyone,

    I recently became a bladeforums member and have really been surprised by the kindness of this community. I would would like to share with you a philosophy I have always lived by.

    To me, higher quality knives are your Benchmades, ZTs, Spydercos, etc. Growing up money was tight, but I always had a knife on me. I never spent more than $75 on a knife until I was in college, when I purchased my first SOG multi tool.

    I always look for high value, functionality and durability whenever I buy anything, whether its guns, knives, vehicles, etc. On many occasions I will spend 4-8 hours researching an item before I make the decision to pull the trigger.

    Don't get me wrong, I do have some toys that I paid quite a bit more for than what the average joe is willing to pay. Heck, I've owned and carried six different Glock 19s for years before selling them (I know a cardinal sin) to fund my Sig MK25 Desert with Romeo 1. I even sold my 5.56 platform (Colt LE6920) and moved to a .308 caliber platform (Armalite AR-10 B Series) and became a reloader. When I implement a tool in a system, I give that tool my full attention, retiring the predecessors to be sold/traded away.

    I don't know if it's my upbringing to blame, or even some form of OCD. Even my time in the army is somewhat to blame, because I would carry reliable tools daily, use them, sometimes subjecting them to hard use, yet always maintaining it. This further fortified my foundation on relying on a tool and performing proper maintenance when required.

    So, recently I retired my long time EDC folder, the ESSE Avispa and purchased a Benchmade 810 in M390 from KnifeWorks. Without a doubt, this was the most expensive folder I have ever purchased. However, my workhorse has always been a multi tool. I purchased the 810 to fulfill a role as a larger tactical folder. However, I find myself not using this amazing knife with an even more amazing blade steel. In a way, I feel like I'm committing a crime if I was to subject this excellent piece of craftsmanship to hard daily use. I have had my 810 Contego for 2 days, yet I still reach for my Leatherman Charge TI.

    This happens all the time for me, such as with a BNIB Sig 229 Legion which an officer in my field artillery unit sold to me for a price I couldn't pass up. He nor I fired a single round through it. Though, his reason to sell was different than mine. I didn't have it very long. I carried it once to work and my boss just had to have it. It almost drove him into a depression, he wanted it so bad. So, I sold it to him for a good deal, though I did make several hundred dollars on it. Same thing happened with a Survive GSO 5 in CPM 3V. I like to bushcraft and the thought of batoning a $250 knife through a piece of oak was freighting to me. I sold it the next week, and bought a skrama, which I have put through the ringer without a hiccup or regret.

    So I ask you, is there anyone out there who feels the same way I do or am I just odd? At this point as a student about to graduate college, I can't afford to have expensive redundancies in my systems. However, even if I were a millionaire I'm fairly certain that I will not have redundancies. I won't buy an expensive sports car, though I may upgrade my 2013 Tacoma to an armored vehicle, haha. Each tool might cost exponentially more than my current items but I feel when I have a reliable, durable, and high quality item fulfilling it's required role in it's respective system, it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

    I would love to hear about your take on my philosophy and any advice you may offer!

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
    Korean Hog and Mr.SATism like this.
  2. singularity35


    Mar 1, 2010
    I don't have a philosophy. I take a fancy to stuff or gear and if I can afford it, I buy it. I do like bang for the buck. I also use the stuff I buy because I feel that I won't have my money's worth if I don't get full use. That doesn't mean that I abuse it though.
    Mr.SATism and Eyesofdeath13F like this.
  3. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    The Colt 6920 and the G19's tell me that you doing fine...although I'm not sure why you had six G19's. I'm happy with the 17 and the 19 and a Walther PPS for my smaller IWB carry. The SurviveKnives in the GSO are very high on my list, as are the Bradford G3 series for crossdraw fixed carry. The Guardian has pretty well made my clipped folder least to the extent that the folder is seldom used any more..
    I believe that upgrading your equipment is always a good answer, although I'm quite happy with mid-line prices as long as the equipment has been seriously tested and approved. Sure, I like Colt 1911 semis just fine, but I'm fine with Glock at a lesser price-point.
    Eyesofdeath13F likes this.
  4. Halfneck


    Jun 30, 2005
    No real philosophy in place, just sort of a loose framework. If I buy a knife and it sits unused for a year I seriously look at if I want to keep it. If it continues to go unused I look at either selling it or trading it towards something I will use.

    I will try and encourage you to use some of the more expensive knives and sometimes you will get even more enjoyment out of them. I currently have a Wood Jewel puukko on my desk I'm trying to get a better edge on. Cost me a little over $40. Nice knife and has done well on the few outdoor trips I have taken it. My main go to woods knife though is a custom puukko by the Jones Brothers that cost me a little over $200. It is a joy to use compared to the lesser priced puukkos I have. Easy to get sharp, holds an edge better, and the handle is a lot more comfortable in use. It's not as pretty to look at anymore, but it's beauty is more than skin deep.
    Eyesofdeath13F likes this.
  5. Eyesofdeath13F


    Feb 13, 2018
    The reason for the 6 G19's? The G19 was my EDC and a wonderful choice. Did several trades which involved guns, and G19s is basically as good as currency everywhere you go. After I traded I bought another to replace it. Lol

    Limiting the amount of guns I have allows me to afford more expensive ones. I have one primary rifle with a very expensive optic. Around $2000 in it, the Mk25 was around $1200. Reducing the amount of similar items opens the door to higher end items, even as a college student.
    Sonnydaze likes this.
  6. Basp2005


    Dec 6, 2015
    My philosophy on tools/guns/knives is to get the highest end item I can afford, but not so high that I wouldn't use the item as intended.

    For example a $1000 custom knife I would never use, I have no use for safe queens.

    I don't mind using my Glock hard, getting muddy, dropping it, etc. A Sig P210 is a grail gun, but I'll probably never buy one.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
  7. stabman

    stabman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    My philosophy is to buy knives I like, and then use them for stuff. :)
    Some knives get used for more stuff than others.
    BoozeFighter, ArchVV, danbot and 2 others like this.
  8. DeceptionStrike


    Jun 29, 2011
    Very interesting read. My philosophy is, use what I like and put my own wear marks on it. Doesn't matter if it's a custom piece. I like it even more when I put wear and tear on it. I recently acquired Benchmade 940 in a trade and am in a honeymoon phase as I like to call it. But after taking some good photos in its pristine condition, I'll put it to hard use and it'll eventually get scratched and dinged up. TBH I can't wait til it's beat up because it'll have a unique character by then. Don't be afraid to use expensive knives. They are tools after all. And with great warranty, it'll last a lifetime with proper maintenance.
    Eyesofdeath13F likes this.
  9. buffalo01


    Oct 13, 2016
    I can see what you mean. I bought a zt 0220 recently and was so afraid to really use it. $230 is a lot of dough for a knife, and I was reluctant to use it. That changes and you get a couple scratches and mar it up (I ran mine over with my wheelchair on a hard tile floor) Even though I got the knife for $130 with tax instead of the full price, just knowing it would cost so much to replace really hurt, but now I use the crap out of it and it ALMOST seems to perform like a $230 knife, not just look like one. I then received a zt 0804cf which came from the same store with the same crazy discount because it was a discontinued display, I just CANT USE IT. I just carry it when I go out and dress kind of nice, especially when I cant carry a gun I feel much better with that big 4 inch blade on me :)
    My philosophy is that if I pay a high price, I want to gain performance. I got the two zts because they where marked down a crazy amount, getting both of them for little more than what the 0804 goes for. But I dont think that they offer much more performance over more inexpensive knives. To me the pinnacle and the very peak of the curve of diminishing return is the spyderco manix ffg. An amazingly strong knife thats well made, easy to maintain, and goes back together the same way every time I clean it without too much tinkering. It's american made which is basically a necessity to me now, and I fell that most knives that are more expensive than the manix you are getting glamour options (unless you consider sprint runs of the manix in different steels) such as ball bearings, fancy titanium, and things like that. The manix is such a good knife to me because it is a TOOL not pocket jewelry. I appreciate the performance, quality, durability, and design of it because its made to be used and worn out until you break it, or more likely wear the blade down to a tooth pick.
    On the other hand I love flipping and just looking at my 0804cf, amazing touches such as the carbon fiber, milled clip, and cool back spacer. It is a knife that I would for sure buy if they made a less flashy model in g10, and even without bearings as long as it still open reliably. It has an amazing blade that is ground super thin with a steel that, even though I have little experience with (cts 204p) is suposed to be some good stuff. But it being so dressed up and expensive, I can not bring myself to use it to its potential and appreciate the thing I value most in a knife (or any tool for that matter) IT'S FUNCTION. I want them to make the same knife with a stonewashed blade, g10, and no bearings. Same steel, titanium lock side to keep it light and strong, and under $200
    I have a different view of traditional knives, but those are much cheaper, I can get a beautiful case jack knife with good performing steel and a nice thin carbon blade that I appreciate just because It is a knife from a time period I never had the pleasure to experience, along with the intriguing use of natural materials such as bone.

    Wow this turned int a long post, but Im sure someone can decipher my ramblings :)

    TLDR: If I pay more money for a knife, it must be made in USA, with materials and mechanics that actually improve function, not just cool factor. (unless I get a smoking deal)
    PS I also apply this to my custom knives, i want them to get something that is not just cool because its handmade, but because it performs better than a cheaper knife.
    Heres some eye candy to make up for my less than insightful and possibly boring post :):D:rolleyes:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. tim37a


    May 18, 2010
    Boy that handle on the ZT looks uncomfortable. Those sharp edges look like they would become hot spots in about 20 min. of hard use. I've never used one, so I may be completely off base.
  11. shinyedges

    shinyedges Unfaltering Love & Undeviating Will Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jun 5, 2012
    You would be off base on this one, I've had one a few years now, carried it exclusively for a year. No Hotspots and very comfortable handle.
  12. shinyedges

    shinyedges Unfaltering Love & Undeviating Will Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Jun 5, 2012
    I typically sell items I no longer use to fund items I want. Occasionally I like all my items enough where I won't sell anything to buy a new item. Even then, preferences change and I get tired of the same old same and I'll move some items on to a new home.

    I don't keep a huge selection of knives and I'll take quality over quantity any day.
  13. Mr.SATism


    Jul 31, 2017
    My collection relies on a different philosophy, but I believe that both our goals are the same, to have a usable item in your pocket. There isn’t a problem with not using an expensive knife, but because you retire what you don’t use, i think that you should give the Benchmade a fair shake and carry it straight for a certain amount of time. If you don’t like it, or are afraid of abusing such an expensive item, that’s completely fine as well. The best thing about this is that there are too many options that will satisfy your needs haha
  14. lieferung


    May 24, 2016
    I wouldn't call it something as complex as a philosophy, but I try to use all my knives. Never have I bought one with the intention of merely collecting it.
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I really don't have a philosophy regarding knives either. I certainly have a size range preference with regard to folders and fixed blades. Cost will vary. I do know that my average price increased after being exposed to the constant parade of higher end knives here on Blade Forums. That's okay. I'm an adult and I can make my choices. I suspect over time you will see the price go up that you are willing to pay as well as the price of knives you are willing to use immediately. I still have some that I resist using, but that is a personal decision and no big thing as I have plenty of knives that I like. You will too.

    I have a more rigid philosophy with regard to firearms. I tend to buy higher end stuff whether it be a 22 or whatever. But that is not where I started. I like Glocks too for their reliability.
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  16. Gravy


    Dec 16, 2014
    It's a tool. It was made to be used. Use it.
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  17. bdmicarta


    Feb 16, 2012
    Lots of people are like this, although different people have different thresholds. For instance some people will use a $400 knife, other people would place their limit at $200, etc. I think it is ok to buy knives to collect and not use, and buy other knives to actually use. My personal limit is around $200, almost all of the folders that I use are less than this. I figure I bought it to use, I'm going to use it. If something happens to it then I have other knives to use, but I would rather use it and risk something happening to it than to leave it in the drawer where I can't see it. It took me awhile to come to this conclusion and to find my own price limit.
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  18. needler420


    Apr 29, 2011
    My most sentimental item is a switchblade that my Grandpa got for my dad.I'd never edc or use. Also used to collect knives. Its in the blood. I cut back on safe queens to focus on users though. If anyone wants to send me their safe queens Ill give them a maiden banging.
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  19. SW-EDC

    SW-EDC Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Dec 4, 2015
    I have a quite extensive coin collection. That's what you do, collect coins. I don't collect knives even though I own many. I like to say I have many knives not collect knives since yes, they are in fact tools.
    Use em..don't abuse em ;)
    Mr.SATism likes this.
  20. marcinek

    marcinek Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Use your knives. Or don't. Spend however much you want on them. They are your knives.

    Hardly seems worthy of an essay or a "philosophy." o_O

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