Never meet your grail knives?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by b00n, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. b00n


    Dec 15, 2016
    Okay, so it's been something that has been a little on my mind, in part inspired by a few recent threads about "best this, best that" and to an extend the whole custom DDR debacle.
    Most everybody around here has some (current) grail knife, and maybe some have actually bought their grail knives, and some moved on to others.
    The question is, have those of you who obtained their special pieces been validated in their expectation of awesomeness or were there disappointments?
    For me in particular the Shiro 111 3D CF is my personal grail knife, the thing is, it's about a ~1350$ knife, there about. I have a number of very nice knife with really good action, I am wondering if I would feel like it's worth it, if the action isn't THAT much better than a Reate that comes in at a third of the price? Should we (who are still itching for that special knife) have lower expecation or not look at it as a subjectively better knife but just as a more special piece?
    It seems like calling something a grail knife to begin with sets somewhat unrealistic expectations that the final product needs to be essentially flawless to avoid disappointment. Maybe I am overthinking it? What's everybodys take on "grail knives" and actually obtaining them?
  2. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    Had to build mine...

    Lapedog, BITEME, d762nato and 13 others like this.
  3. b00n


    Dec 15, 2016
    Not a bad route, at least you know who to blame if you end up disappointed :D;)
    But yeah, it's a really really great looking blade, just a great balance between simple/utilitarian and stylish. It reminds me a little of the stuff Treeman Knives makes, although their/his designs are a little bit more stylized.
    Deinos and Charlie Mike like this.
  4. PirateSeulb


    Jun 6, 2017
    I think for me what I seek in a grail knife if that it hits all, or near enough all, points of my knife "needs" yet also has something that will make it more personal and more mine than any production knife. This combined with high expectations of the F&F for me that doesn't mean I expect a F&F miles ahead of some high quality productions like a Reate but I expect it to match and maybe exceed a little.
  5. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    I can speak to this, indirectly. Hopefully, it makes sense.

    The most I've ever spent on a knife is $200. This is the "tipping point", where if I spend more than that, I would not be able to afford the loss (psychologically) if it got lost/stolen/confiscated.

    I've also noticed diminishing returns in QC and F&F on knives much above the $80 mark. There is not a lot of difference as you move toward, and past, $100.

    Maybe something amazing happens after $300 that I don't know about, but I'm happy where I am.

    If I find one of my "grails" for under $200, I would consider it. But that price point is the hard ceiling.
    Pomsbz likes this.
  6. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    Still love it after almost 3 months of carry and use. CPM4V/V4E is awesome. Haven't had to sharpen it yet.

    2018-08-15 08.57.39.jpg
  7. SpySmasher

    SpySmasher Lead Guitar

    Sep 1, 2016
    I'm in a slightly different situation. My "grails" are not variations on a theme (like a frame lock flipper Shiro). My grails are either:

    1) Unique mechanisms (like a Hawk Deadlock or Stan Wilson NFF).
    2) From a specific maker (like Bob Loveless).

    I'm not going to be disappointed if I'm ever lucky enough to get one. Thanks to the internet I know exactly what these knives are.
  8. Spikediesel

    Spikediesel Spare time SAK builder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 14, 2018
    For me anyway, my grail knives were a Chris Reeve Inkosi, and a Hinderer xm-18 sheepsfoot in cpm 20cv. The right knife at the right price came along and I bought a barely used Inkosi Insingo. I must say I am so impressed by the fit and finish of this knife I wish I had bought one sooner. I have since ended my search for the Hinderer and purchased two more CRK’s. It would seem to me that you would reach a point of diminishing returns somewhere. However after seeing a few shirogorovs disassembled I believe that point begins beyond their price point as they seem quite flawless to me.
    b00n likes this.
  9. shqxk


    Mar 26, 2012

    This is some awesome knife. May I know the price for this one if you ever considered lets it go?
  10. b00n


    Dec 15, 2016
    I can understand that, I enjoy the variety of locks/mechanisms as well, speaks to the inner tinkerer in me. It's something I did in the beginning where I bought an example of every (conventional) lock type part because I wanted to see what I like best but also to experience them.
    Both the Deadlock and the NFF are really neat, it'd be great if Stan Wilson did a collab like GTC did, get it into more hands. It's definitely a more particular type of grail and certainly keeps it more special. :thumbsup:
    SpySmasher likes this.
  11. Charlie Mike

    Charlie Mike Sober since 1-7-14 (still a Paranoid Nutjob) Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 1, 2000
    I have already built more just like it for $600 as shown. People dig it.
  12. danbot

    danbot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    I try not to build expectations too high in my mind about grail knives. If it starts with some nice pictures, they can be misleading.
    I will do research and find a maker I feel comfortable dealing with and confident that they can make what I'm looking for. I haven't been disappointed yet! Of course all my grails have been fixed blades, never production folders.
    Another thing to keep in mind is that once you obtain your grail knife, its not over. The next grail is just around the corner!
    BD_01, BTGuy, Glenn Goodlett and 2 others like this.
  13. b00n


    Dec 15, 2016
    It's one of those situations where a Brick&Mortar store is always a nice thing, being able to check something out in person, we're lucky with the internet, videos and reviews, but there is still something about being able to see something in person that can't really be replaced completely.
    And I definitely agree with the whole "the next big thing is right around the corner" in a way even with knives I -just really want- it happens, where you keep pushing the envelope a little, let things get that little bit more expensive each time and keep justifying it to yourself.
    The Reate JACK is definitely going to have to live up to a certain hype next for me, since it's like 95% exactly how I'd built my dream folder, so who knows maybe it'll make me forget all about that Shiro :D
    Fixed blades has of course less chance to go wrong, less moving parts and all that. But in any case it's nice you haven't been disappointed. Got a current grail you're chasing?
  14. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    You do have to keep expectations somewhat in check. Likely your grail knife will be an excellent knife, but it is still just a knife. Diminishing returns certainly plays it's part here.
    katanas and Otto Carpenter like this.
  15. danbot

    danbot Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    Of course I do! What kinda knife knut do you think I am!? :p
    It's a Loveless design sub-hilt fighter in CPM154 with stainless fittings and Ironwood handle!:thumbsup:
    b00n likes this.
  16. Otto Carpenter

    Otto Carpenter Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 24, 2016
    However amazing something seems - or, is - when you first acquire it, the amazement will fade to simple appreciation in a relatively short while. That's just human nature and what makes the ineffable "grail" so elusive. I could never bring myself to actually use the one grail-level knife I bought (Shiro Hati CD) and sold it because it had no real place in my life. I won't ever buy another. It was a good lesson for me. I still respect the desire to own something fine or unique, but amazement never lasts.
    Horizon7, Lipripper, ArchVV and 4 others like this.
  17. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    Such a great looking knife
    Charlie Mike likes this.
  18. JimMD


    Dec 6, 2017
    How much can you perceive about what a knife will be like to hold and use without having it in your hand? That’s the question many of us face with buying things online, necessitated through lack of a local dealer with the knives of interest in stock.

    I’m fortunate to live near Recon1 and have handled production 111’s. With that large, long blade, the closing action is the best I’ve seen. The opening is smooth and silky, not quick and snappy like the HatiOn I just got.

    Your grail knife is yours. I’m not sure someone else can tell you how you should conceive of it. A grail should be elusive, perhaps. How much your expectations of a knife comport with the reality will be limited by the quality and detail of the information that informs tor expectations. Assess others’ opinions critically, and realize that variations exist between copies of the same model of knife. I think Shiro’s are supposed to be very consistent in this regard.

    One example of assessing others’ opinions: if a reviewer comments about a knife’s ergonomics, will it feel the same in your hand? Before buying a Rod Olson M9 Custom on Instagram, I was worried it might be too small in my XL hand. According to YouTube reviewers, the flipper tab could impinge on the index finger. The seller told me the forward choil, which the YouTube reviewers didn’t seem to realize was a usable choil, made this a non-issue. He was right.

    To answer your question, when it comes to highly sought knives, my expectations have been met or surpassed more than I’ve been disappointed, but that’s anecdotal based on just a few knives. One piece of advice: if you find a defect in a new knife, you should be quick to contact the maker or vendor, as appropriate. Thus the level of service provided is a consideration in purchasing a knife.

    You have your own priorities as to the qualities you seek in a knife. Do what you can to experience prospective knives in person, like at shows. Figure out what you like. That’s more important than what others say is the best. Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
    danbot and b00n like this.
  19. Mo2


    Apr 8, 2016
    Finally got a benchmade Anthem, was not impressed at all. Handled a grimsmo norsman and Wasn't impressed. Handled a aris and wasn't impressed.

    Handled a Rask and was impressed. Also a neon lw. When I got a sebenza 21 I was really impressed cause I doubted it from the beginning. Handled a cox workshop knife and was impressed. Impressed with the Holt blade works too.

    Lots of grail knives have dissatisfied me but you never know until you try one.
    b00n likes this.
  20. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    I like many knives but I do not have a grail knife. To me, a grail knife is the one that once you get it, you will no longer want any other knives. That to me is impossible.

Share This Page