17 October 2018

Knife Quality

Let's say a $40 knife lasts for 5 years.

How long does a $250 knife have to last to reach parity with the cheaper knives?

31 years 3 months.

Now, lose it in the intervening three decades.

It's not broken, but it's still gone.  Anything you can carry that's small, handy, and gets used a lot (like a knife) runs a risk of loss.

I've honestly lost count of the number of knives I've lost over the years.

Happily, since I've never spent a lot on them, it's been an angry moment at myself for losing another one then a shrug and hit a store for a replacement.

Heck, I consider the $50 I spent on the Kershaw Cyclone to be extravagant for a knife.  I'm also ahead of the use/loss curve in that I've had it since 2011 and it's still with me and still working like it did new.

But what if you insist on a $250 knife and it disappears?  Lot harder to shrug philosophically and go get a new one, huh?


  1. Hey Angus;

    I agree with your assessment, I pick up a knife or 5 when I go to the Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville Tenn, I use them for gifts to scouts and I keep a couple for me at work, having a decent knife at work is important.

  2. Bought me a $30 Boker Subcom Wharcom about 10 years ago as everyday carry for non-social work. I retired it last year because the scales went smooth and it is not a good thing in a knife that size. I bought a substitute and a back up that now rest in my safe next to the retired blade. A good knife no matter the price is an asset to be cherished.

  3. I carry a $19.95 Swiss Army Spartan and a 19.99 Buck folder with a pocket clip. And I lose them far faster than I would ever wear one out. I also have a couple of good leatherman's, but I generally wear those on my belt or a plate carrier.

  4. I apply that to my flashlight and knife both, I go for Cold Steel for the money (Spartan is my EDC) and a basic Streamlight Protach 2L. Around $100 out the door for both, not something I'm eager to lose or need to replace but no particular pain if I have to. Never lost a knife, had my shorter Protac 1L get pulled out of my pocket though. Shrugged and ordered a 2L that had the extra length not to escape.

  5. I agree - most of my knives are under $15 and give me several years of service. I think the same thing applies to watches and flashlights - If I get a year of service for $4, I'm ahead of getting 4 or 5 years of service for $100.
    My current pocket flashlight was $3.50 online, a battery lasts about 5 months in my pocket, and the light itself a year to a year and a half - and I haven't lost one yet; I seem to only lose nice watches/ knives/ flashlights and not the cheap ones!

  6. I'm also less willing to do "Bad" things with a really expensive knife. Had a yardsale, one of the places I wanted to put a sign was hard-packed dirt....used my $40 knife to loosen it up. Thankfully it really didn't harm the knife, but that was a concern.

    A $200 knife, would I use it to dig a hole? to pry something? To loosen a screw I don't have a driver for? No.

    Then what's the point of carrying a tool if you aren't going to use it?

  7. How many Timex's does it take to replace one Rolex Submariner that was lost in less than 4 feet of water?
    I am still at about a thousand years of Timex's to go.
    Oh, there are several feet of muck on the bottom of that 4 feet of water.
    The only way that I am ever going to buy a expensive watch again is if the lotto smiles on me.


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