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TOPIC: Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on

Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on 2 months 2 weeks ago #15619

  • LeoBarr
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This is an article that James Ivy a knife maker wrote that I am sharing with his permission.

A few hundred dollars? For a knife?

Yes!

Let’s start out by saying this isn’t 1980 any more, it’s twenty five years later. You can’t get the knife your pops bought you back then for twenty dollars. Because back then a twenty dollar knife was a well crafted, well made, but an expensive knife. One that was expected to last. I’ve seen many of them, old, worn, some partially broken. Because they were used. People carried them in their pockets and pulled them out to use when ever they needed them which most often was daily. They cut, poked, prodded, stabbed, pried, re-sharpened them, all the time. Well twenty years later those blades are worn out. They held up and your pops got his monies worth out of his knife. Unless he lost it, there was never any need to buy another one.

That brings us to today. That same knife your pops bought and probably still carries with him at the bottom of his pocket would cost him a hundred dollars today. Now there are knives out there today that you can still pick up for around twenty dollars. Ninety nine percent of them are produced over seas in China, and yes many of them actually have 440 stainless steel blades.

440c steel was invented in the early 1900′s and was quickly adopted by the cutlery industry which helped revolutionize the industry by moving many knives away from high carbon to “SS, rust free, Rostfrie, Inox” stainless steel. 440c though, still a good inexpensive steel, belongs back in the last century. Metallurgy has grown by leaps and bounds since then. There are modern steels such as 154CM, S30V, ATS34, ASU8 and many others. All modern steels that are well adapted to knife blades. The reality is there is a higher cost in the manufacturing of these steels.

Knife scales or handles also have improved. Wood, Stag and composite plastics were the norm. Wood is still found on many knives today, though much of it is of the more exotic woods imported from around the world. Stag is still around, but the price is gone up and is continuing to rise as it gets scarcer mainly due to less and less hunting that is going on. Plastics are prevalent and have improved in durability. But there are other materials which are now preferred by knife owners.

G-10; simply a specification for a grade of fiberglass laminate composite made as commercial sheets, rods and tubes which makes an extremely durable knife handle.

Micarta; is a brand name for composites of linen, canvas, paper, fiberglass, carbon fiber or other fabric in a thermo setting plastic.

Dymondwood is a product of Rutland Plywood Corp of Rutland, VT. Select hardwood veneers are impregnated with advanced dyes and resins through state-of-the-art processes. The result: rich colors and optimum strength and durability that allows precise and efficient crafting. This beautiful, highly engineered material provides endless possibilities for fine, high quality products. DymondWood is ideal for creating high quality knife handles, pens, plaques, awards, trophies, billiard tables, pool cues, drumsticks, desk accessories, etc.

Exotics such as Mother of Pearl, Ivory, Abalone, Mammoth Tooth, etc.. all used as knife scales were expensive then and still are today.

Last, wages have gone up since then. Knife making in the highest quality takes a certain skill set. Skills that take time to learn. The skilled knife makers need to be paid a wage equivalent to their skill set.

You add up all the above and you will find a quality knife at a hundred dollars is a bargain. With that you should expect to get a well working knife you would be proud to carry, use, abuse, re-sharpen and expect to last you as long as your pops lasted him. Yes there are knives out there that can still be had for twenty dollars, but I’m a firm believer in “You get what you pay for.”

When you’re ready to spend you’re hard earned money on a quality knife, the best advice I could give you today is; Do your research!”
All the best,
James Ivy
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Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on 2 months 2 weeks ago #15620

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Thanks for that Leo!

To James Ivy...those are very beautiful knives you have posted. Very excellent crafting James. Your write up was excellent too and it brought back memories of my old Solingen Steel Bowie knife I bought when I was 15 as a present to myself. It cost a whole 15 dollars which luckily I had earned attending a Senior Leaders Course at Camp Ipperwash...that was 1951. It was a great knife and lasted for many years of abuse from a teenager learning to throw knives.
My advice for good knives now is to look at ESEE for excellent blades made from 1095 carbon steel. They are a little more than 100 dollars, but they are excellent and made in the USofA. One can buy a Mora knife from Sweden I believe for perhaps $40 for one of their better knives. They are easy to sharpen and do their duty well.
I want to look at your web site now to see whether any of those fine knives you craft are for me.

Very best regards
Leo
Never go anywhere without your knife!
Gibbs rule number 9

Leo James Mitchell
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Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on 2 months 2 weeks ago #15621

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Kousins_Kustoms kousins-kustoms.com he also sells on e-bay I know of him through Facebook or contact him he is based in Texas
www.facebook.com/lightningivy
Last Edit: 2 months 2 weeks ago by LeoBarr. Reason: addition
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Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on 2 months 2 weeks ago #15628

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Hi, I have several knives for more than $100. But differences between latest super steel and older steel is not such important according my opinion. I have very good experiences with knives from 12c27. This steel has very similar composition like 440A, so looks cheap, but has very good reputation on internet forums. Also 1095 is quite old cheap steel and I have great experience with it.

I have some knives from high end steels like SG-2, japanese steel similar to D2, HAP40. This knives have better edge retention provided you are able to sharpen them (its ok with WE) and have good cutting style (they are more brittle). But difference in usefulness doesn't seem big for me. Suitable blade geometry and comfortable handle are more important for me than difference between latest super steel and older cheaper but proven steel.

But this is practical aspect. Expensive knives are beautiful and you it is joy to have and use them.

For example I have 2 4-inch outdoor knives www.moraofsweden.se/morakniv/craftline-topq-allround-50.0.141.2 for $15 and www.helle.no/products/knives/eggen/ for $80. Both work great and have comfortable grip, but the second one is much more nicer. I like to have www.fallkniven.com/en/shop/details/389/28/exclusive-knives/hk9l for $400, it is more exclusive with better steel, but I don't think that it would work significantly better for me. You can also buy the same one with even better steel for $1700 www.fallkniven.com/en/shop/details/390/2...lusive-knives/hk9cxl , but I thing I wouldn't see the difference between the steels.
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Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on 2 months 2 weeks ago #15631

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IMG_1644.JPG

I have a Mora knife I was given they do take a lot of abuse and since they are cheap I don't mind misusing them.
I think quality shows through in details , symmetry and steel I think out of genuine good quality cheap knives that are not made in Asia to the best of my knowledge there are Mora , Opinal & Victorinox.
I think most cheap knives have flaws that are acceptable for the price things like the blade not centring when closed uneven name stamping or small mistakes on the scales .
Many other minor irregularities have been surfaced by WE users like none central bevels uneven bevels etc many of these things can be sorted by the user but once you go over the 100$ price these irregularities start to vanish. Another thing I have noticed is impractical grinds the blades left way too thick I bought a German designed hunter made in China it had a good thick spine 5mm D2 steel but was both thick and blunt out of the sheath I convex thinned it on both sides and finished it with a convex edge bevel now it is super sharp I thinned it before I had a belt sander & I think it took something in the region of 4 hours to do.
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Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on 2 months 2 weeks ago #15634

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You are right Leo.
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Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on 2 months 2 weeks ago #15635

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LukasPop wrote:
Wow! I didn't know that. And this knife is not even hugely overpriced, I know Hattori makes gyutos out of Cowry X steel that are also in the $1000+ price range.
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Why You Need to Spend a Hundred Dollars or more on 2 months 2 weeks ago #15639

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mark76 wrote:
LukasPop wrote:
Wow! I didn't know that. And this knife is not even hugely overpriced, I know Hattori makes gyutos out of Cowry X steel that are also in the $1000+ price range.

It's difficult to compare gyutos with outdoor knives. You can find beautiful Hattori Cowry X hunting knives similar to Fallkniven for better price here www.japaneseknifedirect.com/Hattori.html - look for KD30-HT70BM. But they are all sold out.
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