Please, help us prevent you getting ripped off because someone got their account compromised by reusing their email & password. Read the new best practices for using the Exchange FAQ page.

When is it time to retire a knife?

Oct 9, 1998
Knives wear out rather easy for me. The edge
gets chipped and dented, the tip is bent/chipped
by stabbing hard objects and scratches appear
all over the blade.

Take the 425M steel Gerber Ez-Out for example.
I have had it for only a month or so, and the blade is scratched all over, the tip is chipped, and the edge has been worn out. The
handle and lock are still intact though.

Since I am only a student and have so little
money to spend on knives, I have to make the
best of the knives that I have because I can
not quickly buy another as a replacement.
Should I send it back for repairs and pay
$13 dollars for a blade replace on a $30
knife plus $10 round trip of UPS for a total
of 23 dollars? Or should I just retire it
and save my money for a knife that wears
out less easy?
When is it time to retire your knife?

(I liked my EZ-Out a LOT. I think it opened
really really well for a 30 dollar knife and
it was well worth the price. I just wish that
425M steel was more durable and didn't need
so much sharpening because I am horrible at

A buddy of mine got the same knife. Used it for about the same period of time with the same results. He was pretty bummed. For $35, that blade is available in ATS-34. I bought two fo them for a couple of teenagers I know. They have beat the devil out of them and they keep on ticking.

If you like that knife, maybe you want to look at the ATS-34 version. It's no benchmade or Spyderco. But it is a pretty good $35 knife.


P.S. Before everyone asks, I got them at Smokey Mountain Knife Works for that price. I'm sure several of the other dealers here on the forums have similar prices.

[This message has been edited by Bubba (edited 21 November 1998).]
I was a certified Ramen-eating student for quite a long time. I could little afford to replace my knife on a regular basis. I found that the best way to keep a knife going is to invest some money in a good sharpening system (Lansky can be had in the low $20 range for a good setup.) and learn how to use it. I can get a really good edge on most of my knives, although compound bevels drive me insane. I have also repaired chips and blade tip breakoffs with careful use of the sharpener.
Another tip is to be a little more careful with your knife. There is little reason to destroy a knife with force when it is not necessary. I rarely, if ever, use my knives abusively. They are not pry bars, can openers or screwdrivers. (Yes, they can be used in this manner, but ask yourself if you really need to do this. I can usually find a more suitable tool within close proximity when it is needed.)
I hope this didn't come off as a punitive rant. It wasn't meant as such. It's just that the knives made today are, in general, stronger and of stouter construct than those made only a few years ago and should last you many years of regular use.
Getting back to the original question, I retire my knives when they either fail completey and there is no chance of repair or warranty replacement, (Had a blade actually snap in half once when I was cutting tape off of a cardbosrd box. Damnedest thing. Fortunately, it was replaced under warranty as a material defect.) or when there is too little blade left from repeated sharpening for the knife to be of use.
Hope this helped!


I've only retired 3 knives - 2 SAKs and a Buck 112. I retired them when the blades wore down about 25 to 30%. I guess they really haven't been retired, they all have a lot of memories so they're just reserved for special occasions.

Frank Quan
Just my 2 cents worth.
I would suggest that you carry two knives. That way you have one to fine work and one for hard work. Anyway a knife aint a crowbar so maybe you should get a toolknife.
I carry a Spyderco Endura and the Paratool from Sog. The spyderco i use for any cutting chores and the blades in the Paratool i use for delicat work. But i dont use the blade for prying if i can avoid it. The Paratool has plenty of tools for that.

Jens Ansø

I would recommend the new 98' Spyderco Delica or the Endura. I've had several and believe me, they last. I also have a BM 910BT. These "new" Spyderco's have ATS55 blades, and you can pick up either of them for $40-$50. The only difference between them is the size. I sell alot of them. -AR
I would recommend the new 98' Spyderco Delica or the Endura. I've had several and believe me, they last. I also have a BM 910BT. These "new" Spyderco's have ATS55 blades, and you can pick up either of them for $40-$50. The only difference between them is the size. I sell alot of them. -AR


Any knife, even one made from a high quality tool steel will get scratched up and blunted fairly shortly with moderate use.

However it does not take much ability to put a working edge on a knife. If you stick with a really soft steel like 425 even a butchers steel will cut metal away fast enough to sharpen that. An it takes little skill to use that at all.

If you don't want to sharpen or otherwise maintain your knives at all then I would stick to disposable straight razors and such for cutting.

I have to agree - for the price, you can't beat the Delica98 (for ordinary tasks), or the Endura98 (if you want more blade and more cutting leverage). The ATS-34 EZ-Out is a great design for a knife, I admit.

And, of course, just use the knife for cutting, and not for every task. Had a friend who kept breaking the tips of his knives (both were BM's). Turned out the fool was using his AFCK's as screwdrivers. God. He had more money than me.
Wow, someone thats just like me! Knife dealers should have pity on us students. I don't know how i got the money, maybe from my birthdays (like 2 days ago), but i started out with a Kershaw and a Gerber EZ-Out. I used the EZ-Out for quite a while, i think i lost it somewhere, but i replaced it with the ATS-34 one. IMHO it's a really great knife for the 40 dollars i paid, definately good for small chores. As the other posters said it's not a BM, but Gerber really surprised me with the quality of the ATS-34 EZ-Out. If i were you i'd try to see if Gerber would replace your blade with the ATS-34 one, or just dish out the money for a new ATS-34 EZ-Out. Or then again, you could just save for a while like i have and go for BM's or the mini-socom i'm ordering...Hehehe the number of days i'll save my lunch money for a good knife...<sigh>