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Overpriced knives in terms of materials, quality & service

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by RamZar, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Charlie Mike

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

    Nov 1, 2000
    Having a criminal record means any money that would have gone to guns now goes to knives :D
  2. knifedude802


    Jul 18, 2014
    Half glass full kinda guy. Good stuff.

    - Underfunded
  3. coinbuysell

    coinbuysell Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 29, 2014
    I think the Reates are starting to push the overpriced button, their first offerings were a better value...Ti + S35VN for $100 to $150 was fair but their newer offerings all seem to be $300+ so that is a lot compared to their previous offerings. It was good marketing, pricing your initial releases a little under the market to prove your production capabilities but they now seem to be pricing over the comparable market pricing (maybe it is the royalties that they have to pay to the "collaborators"?).

    Of course Striders are way over priced at retail for a knife that 80%+ have issues straight off the line and the new Cold Steels with XHP are also pushing the limit. The AUS8 Recon 1 for $60 versus the same knife with XHP for $100 seems like a stretch, I have a hard time believing the steel upgrade is worth 40% more. I do like my Ultimate Hunter in XHP, it is a real upgrade for CS in style + F&F, but the others re-released in a new steel for a much higher price are overpriced (imo).

    Benchmade has also fallen into this category lately, the last couple that I purchased had issues straight from the maker.

    Spydercos are falling into this realm as well, nice knife w/o the numerous quality issues, but priced at $200+ is a bit much...I am hoping their change to MAP does not hurt them as much as it seemed to hurt Benchmade.

    Most "customs" strike me as overpriced, since they are glorified mid-techs and not true one-off customs built to order, but they are becoming a lot like a Rolex, i.e. a status symbol for the knife community.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  4. jrawk


    Jul 14, 2014
    This was probably mentioned in prior replies but all northwoods new from KSF include a very nice leather pocket sheath that is a $20 value. I particularly love using them.
  5. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    Reate started with Horizon-A, Horizon-B, District-9 and Hills all around $180-$200 except for Horizon-A with M390 and integrated backspacer for $250. Then, all of a sudden they went to $250-$425 with Horizon-C, Valkyrie, Horizon-TI, Horizon-CF, Valkyrie II and Torrent.

    Their Liong Mah designs are all $350 with nothing exceptional but designer royalties.

    Finally, Reate now makes the Todd Begg Steelcraft series for $445 each but the price is set by Todd Begg Knives. The Steelcraft Kwaiken is as good or better than any mid tech Todd Begg has produced. Is it overpriced at $445? Perhaps. Is it underpriced since it's half the price of a TB Field Grade? Perhaps.

    There are no absolutes.
  6. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Yeah, that's true. It's also their packaging, and not something I want with every knife, or something I would use. They are definitely nice pocket slips, but idk if they're worth $20.

    Again, I think Northwoods knives are nice, just increasingly overpriced.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  7. Kwon Kwang

    Kwon Kwang

    Jul 7, 2013
    Great post, this is how I feel about it as well. :thumbup:
  8. folder geek

    folder geek Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2012
    Overpriced is only overpriced if you think it is overpriced.
    Its all about the perspective.
  9. Kwon Kwang

    Kwon Kwang

    Jul 7, 2013
    Yeah, I don't think we've been talking about this enough. This is a very subjective matter and one person's overpriced piece of steel is another person's wicked value.
  10. folder geek

    folder geek Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 28, 2012
    I see the satire in the first statement and understand the truth of the second.
  11. Catabis


    Sep 13, 2015
  12. Scurvy092


    Jan 31, 2012
    I think a lot of people here aren't taking scale into account.

    The reason with smaller company's knives are more expensive that a bigger company's knives is because it's a lot cheaper to make 10000 or something than 2500 of something.

    Now, that doesn't account for all of the price differences but that's part of the reason.

    As far as the northwoods vs gec, my understanding is the northwoods are supposed to have a much higher fit and finish and that KSF pays a premium to GEC for higher quality stuff. I haven't held either, that's just my understanding.
  13. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    I've had at least three Northwoods. In build quality, I'd say the GEC made knives are equal in general to GEC's usual offerings. However, the similarly priced Queen made models are of definite lower build quality. What I'm saying is that the design characteristics that set Northwoods apart (sabre grinds, unfinished blades, simple coloring) cost less in production than the normal design characteristics of GEC's offerings.
  14. Gaston444


    Oct 1, 2014
    I keep hearing that kind of stuff, but at least the people spouting it usually have the good sense to put the bar at around $200.

    Putting it at $60 tells me you don't know much about knives... A $40 all-plastic handle Chinese piece of crap may be able to kill a 525 pound bear, but it will not make you any smarter -than the bear...:


  15. bld522


    Feb 3, 2004
    Unless, of course, cutting stuff isn't your primary purpose for buying knives. ;) Believe it or not, some people buy knives other than to use them. I realize that fact may disturb some folks, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a fact.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
  16. threeheaddeddog


    Nov 14, 2015
    I have a Halo V. I would buy the exact model I have again. That doesnt mean its worth it. I feel that OTF's in general allow alot of lock up play and other inconsistencies that would not get a pass on any other $300+ pocked knife let alone one that cost $600.
  17. NorthernSouthpaw


    Feb 27, 2014
    Fully agree here. If I'm spending the $$ for a custom (or any knife over $50 for that matter) I don't want just a blade between two plain slabs of titanium/G10/micarta. It has to also be aesthetically pleasing to me.

    Also, regarding the whole "definition of overpriced" debate.
    The point of this thread was simply to find out what knives we find overpriced. Not a semantics debate over the definition of "overpriced", or explanations on how economy of scale works.
    We get it. "Overpriced" as defined by the OP is completely subjective to the individual.
    So please express your individuality and share your opinion on the actual subject matter. I know I would like to know others feelings and opinions regarding it.
  18. ToddM


    Oct 2, 1998
    I'd agree, but as long as people are clawing over each other to buy at these prices them it's going to continue, and it's going to get worse. People these days are willing to spend a lot more $ than they used to be on a wide variety of everyday products. I know lots of people with $600 vacuum cleaners, $500 blenders, $3000+ binoculars and spotting scopes, multi-thousand dollar gun setups, $3000 TV's, the list goes on and on.

    I've had a lot of mid-techs the last 3-4 years in the $400-$600 range and frankly not many have been really impressive, blade steel is usually nothing special and mostly the fit, finish, and ergonomics are no better than $200-$250 knives from big production companies, and many times those big production companies are using more expensive steel. Basically you are getting exclusivity, that's it, and in some cases you're giving up edge performance because so few mid-techs have high edge holding steels. They prefer to max profits by using S35VN etc. something that's cheap to grind and heat treat.

    Knives have become like watches, for many they are now a social/fashion statement. I'm very much a function over form person so for me I don't put much value on how limited the knife is or who's name is on it. That's not true for everyone, also plenty of people have tons of $ and don't mind spending it. For them they don't even think about price or value, they just buy what they like and want.

    I'd also put limited editions and sprint runs in that category. The prices those go for and the demand for them is as ridiculous. I'd put ZT as example one, their limited editions are nice, but nothing that special at full retail, but demand is insane, and secondary market prices even more so. Spyderco as well, some of the sprint PM2's etc. command crazy high prices. I will give them both credit compared to some mid-techs though that sell for similar $ but have average blade steel.
  19. axtalan0


    Jul 18, 2008
    I think most American, German, Japanese knives are overpriced. I say this based on handling Mora, Opinel, Condor, Sanrenmu. Clearly, those aren't quite as high quality, but the price gaps are way larger than the quality differences. Of course, I'm speaking in generalities. I think the most realistically priced of the 'big brand' knives are Kershaw.

    Big box stores like WalMart or Amazon have helped to bring prices down somewhat, but there could still be room for improvement.
  20. bld522


    Feb 3, 2004
    I hear you, Todd. I keep getting e-mails from KC announcing new midtechs that cost multiple hundreds of dollars to over a grand and I can't help but wonder who the heck they're selling them to. That's not to say I don't have some high-end knives with high-end price tags attached to them, but my days of buying those kind of knives are over. As you said, production knives have gotten to the point of being practically as well-made as some of the so-called "midtechs". For me to spend more than $200 on a knife anymore takes something really, really special. With knives like the ZT 0450 and the Kizer Gemini popping up for less than that, I'm just not feeling the need to pay more. And exclusivity be damned. At my age, I have no one left to impress but myself.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015

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