Overpriced knives in terms of materials, quality & service

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

  1. Cosmic Superchunk

    Cosmic Superchunk

    Jan 28, 2001
    Debating on what is or isn't overpriced is moot. It's all based on personal perceptions. What's overpriced to one person might be reasonably priced or perhaps considered a bargain by another. There are just too many variables to consider. That's why you have knives being marketed at every price point.
  2. bld522


    Feb 3, 2004
    Yep. Like a said earlier, one man's ceiling is another man's floor.
  3. HuntBomb


    Sep 18, 2009
    I can promise you that Powernoodle knows something about knives. Maybe you haven't been around long enough yet.
    The majority of people buy knives to simply cut, we are not in the majority, but we can relate to their opinion of how a knife is a tool used to cut and a $60 FFG spyderco will do basically the same job as a $1000 custom
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  4. Scurvy092


    Jan 31, 2012
    If you are buying high end ($400+) knives expecting better materials (unless we're talking dressy materials like timascus, mokuti, zirc etc) and higher performance blade steel, then you are looking for the wrong reasons.

    Higher end knives generally gets you exclusivity, better designs, better fit and finish, more specialized grinding, better heat treats and cutting geometry.
  5. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    I agree that so many mid techs use fairly ordinary D2, N690, S30V, S35VN and the new darling XHP as pretty much their sole steel just to maximize profits. Look at Brous and Medford at their inflated prices using nothing but D2!

    At least, ZT and Benchmade give you premium steel as well as other enhancements in their Limited Editions and Sprints.
  6. Gaston444


    Oct 1, 2014
    He doesn't know anything about large fixed blades... And if he wants a small item to just cut stuff efficiently on a budget, he doesn't even need $60...

    If you want a small tasks high performance cutter for a low budget, nothing will beat a boxcutter and a stack of spare breakaway blades...: That's all that gets used on actual construction sites, and for good reasons, as they stay sharp, and so are much safer than some tiny folder that will get dull... So even $60 for a small folder is a rotten deal in that context...

    As far as large fixed blades go, maybe a $200 Esee Junglas will perform well (though I kind of doubt it when I see it beaten by a Trailmaster, of all things...), but an Ontario SP-52 will probably out-perform it by a lot for a lot less... And I still would never recommend an SP-52 if you want long-term use, because of the likely edge thickness...

    The trouble with all cheap big fixed blades is that they are all thick-edged: Even my San Mai III Trailmaster was thick-edged because of its stupid convex edge... Thick edges mean that, after use and resharpening, the knife gets duller and duller, and after a few months of resharpening the angle becomes so open the thing is an accident waiting to happen (I have had a trip in an ambulance to remind me of this)...: The Bk-9 was a little thinner than most, but it was still too thick-edged to really last the distance...

    The best bargain in large chopping fixed blades I found is the Randall Model 12 with a 14 grind: It performs the same after dozens of resharpenings because the edge geometry is a thin 0.020", and, crucially, this thinness has a built-in reserve of wear, meaning you can go upwards on the edge and it doesn't thicken: Because of that, and the incredible quality of Randall's forged 440B steel, which seems literally unkillable even at very closed edge angles (even beating INFI in wear-resistance by a wide margin while chopping concrete), the knife wears and stays the same thinness, while all the other knives become open angled and thus dangerous junk...

    Furthermore, the Model 12 out-chops the Bk-9, the Chris Reeves Jereboam and the San Mai III Trailmaster by almost two to one... The almost equally thin-edged Lile "Mission" does do about 25% better while being 3 ounces lighter than the Model 12, showing that going even much higher in price sometimes still yields some noticeable dividends in performance (if not finesse of finish in this case: Yuck)... The opposite of what is usually spouted on this...

    I have simply trashed my Trailmaster and the Bk-9 (poorly made with a commonly heat-curved blade), and I still have my $950 Model 12: Around $450 in the trash and I still have the Model 12: Which is the greater user bargain?

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  7. ToddM


    Oct 2, 1998
    Exactly, and that's why most of those mid-techs were replaced by benchmades, spyderco's and ZT's that offered premium steel options under $250. There's only been a couple mid-techs where I've felt the fit/finish/ergos were impressive enough to justify the price without having premium steel but if I'm honest with myself they don't get used much because I'd rather carry something with better edge holding. CRK's, Southard AVO/Tolk, and George VECP/Talos are perfect examples where the fit/finish of my examples were outstanding, but blade steel IMO is lacking. I don't have a problem sharpening super steels, reprofiling is more work of course, but edge maintenance I really don't have to put in much more effort to maintain M390/S90v/S110v vs S35VN, the difference is I touch up the edge much less frequently. As a result as much as I like those knives fit/finish/ergos, most were sold because of the lack of edge holding compared to knives that cost half as much.

    Now if I was abusing my folders, and chipping/breaking blades of S90v, S110v, etc. on a regular basis I'd adjust my edge angles and if that wasn't enough then sure I'd want D2/XHP etc. that can take more abuse without failure at the cost of edge holding, but I think those people are the vast minority. It's rare we ever see a post about broken folder blades or even heavily chipped blades.
  8. somber

    somber Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    And yet they sell out in minutes on the secondary market for twice the original sales price often times...

    Overpriced? Not hardly
  9. HuntBomb


    Sep 18, 2009
    I hate to say it, but you are digging yourself into a hole. The fixed blade arena is not that difficult. They are simple and much easier to diagnose and understand compared to a folder. And as far as thick edges go, we reprofile and sharpen them until they do cut very well.
    Very few people enjoy carrying and cutting with a box cutter which is why we have so many arrive here looking for an alternative. Weak , cheap, flexible blades that dull so fast can not compete with say, a Spyderco Delica, hence diminishing returns. You don't just factor in cost, but must consider longevity, comfortability, portability, etc.
    Where did fixed blades even enter this convo?
  10. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    I don't really know what you mean by "sell out in minutes on the secondary market". If you mean individual knives sell quickly, then yes. But certainly not always, or even the norm, and it's usually a rarer collector item. Collector markets are unusual.

    But as for on the primary market? Go look at the stock. Not exactly flying off the shelves.
  11. The Dude1

    The Dude1

    Dec 22, 2013
    I couldn't have said it better myself. I don't think I've ever lost more than $20 on a knife. I've gone through Chris Reeves, Spyderco, and Benchmade... I felt they were worth it when I purchased them and even after a little use someone else quickly agreed that they were worth about what I spent. That's a large part of the allure that this hobby holds for me. Personally I feel that many Spyderco, Benchmade, and Zero Tolerance knives represent a good value and they are quickly picked up on the secondary market.
  12. jkwithawave

    jkwithawave ..... Platinum Member

    Sep 8, 2011
    Overpriced is definitely up to the individual consumer. While I've got two CRK's, Zaan($425 new) and Small micarta double lug($450 new), they aren't overpriced, but out of my price range. I found them both on the exchange for right around $350 lighty used. Totally worth it for me.

    My most recent purchase ZT 0102 Tomahawk, may have been overpriced at $320. My brother thought it was, I was on the fence about it. Bought it anyways because I can, still may be overpriced but I could care less. I wanted it and got some fantastic customer service from Kershawguy.

    Look for deals and buy what you want and can afford. Because to most of the population, we are all insane for spending so much money on these super awesome necessary to us cutting tools.
  13. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    Ever try to slice an apple with a Glock? :rolleyes:;):p
  14. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    The counter argument would be: A $6 Opinel is better at slicing apples than a $350 Chris Reeve.
  15. SurpriseGoat


    Apr 28, 2011
    Why do we as hobbyists seem to need to justify this hobby to ourselves and others?? Buy what you like, what you can afford, and enjoy it however you see fit!!
  16. uofaengr


    Jan 9, 2014
    +1000 [emoji106]
  17. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder

    Aug 12, 2005
    If you really have a need to chop that many cinder blocks, I would suggest buying a cold chisel and a small sledge hammer. As for overpriced, the most expensive model in the Randall Model 12 line, the Smithsonian, has a catalog price of $650, yet you paid $950? For $950, you could get two choppers made from CPM3V from a custom maker and maybe even have some money left over. I am a longtime Randall fan, but I also realize that they use "cheap" steel and old productions methods (by their on admission) and their pricing is driving primarily by their collectibility. They may be more unused Randalls in existence than any other knife brand.
  18. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder

    Aug 12, 2005
    I would want to know exactly how those S90V/S100V/M390 blades were being heat treated. I saw one well known folder maker who charges a LOT go straight form the quench plates to temper with S90V with no cryo step anywhere. When I asked why, he basically said "meh."Not acceptable for steel like that or arguably any better high alloy steel.
  19. Landshark99

    Landshark99 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    No matter how you approach the subject the market dictates what is overpriced or not, if it sells then it is priced right if not then it is not, if sells for more in the secondary market then it is under priced. All of this is regardless of whether one thinks so or not. This same argument applies to everything we buy from food to houses. most the time we arguing here about our own perceived sense of value and economic position rather than true market forces.
  20. L.H.S

    L.H.S Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    ^ that's generally true, but oversimplified to the point of distortion. There's a real difference between luxury, collector, and necessity products and the market systems they create.

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