At what price point would you consider a knife to be decent?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by Hal, Sep 16, 2020.

  1. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    I got some Victorinox and Dexter Russel that were less than 10 bucks that I use almost every day.
    Folder, I'd say like $30 (SAK) though I do have some Opinel and vintage slips.
    Fixed, I have two knives that were less than $10 that are actually ok (CRKT and Frost). I also have one that I bought for $17.
    I don't look at price as much as I check where or who made it. I think that's a better sign of quality.

    BTW, I used to be a knife snob until I read the cheap knife thread here and got turned on to some inexpensive steel.
    Now, I'm kinda proud to use some tendollah crap that works really well!
    Therom likes this.
  2. tueller

    tueller Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 16, 2012
    Need more info. What will it Be used for? I would need to spend 30 on an edc folder/user. 50 plus on a woods user/beater. 5 on a last resort SD only.
  3. RoyalHolic

    RoyalHolic Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 3, 2019
    I know Enlan is usually frowned upon on here as they are a budget Chinese brand tied to Sanrenmu but I paid literally $3.50 for a small little knife that shockingly is my best whittler and I'd really hate to lose it.
    willc and colin.p like this.
  4. BillZee


    Apr 30, 2020
    A decent knife........
    Do you want a blade that will reasonably hold an edge?
    Do you want the blade to have corrosion resistance?
    What type of lock for the blade or is slip joint OK.
    I usually expect to pay $30-$59.
    Ontario Knife hit the mark with the Rat1 Rat 2.
    Smaug likes this.
  5. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    Price alone does not dictate quality, but it can be an indicator. The higher you go the easier the search.
    colin.p likes this.
  6. Therom


    Nov 13, 2013
    It is not about the price but about the knife ;)

    For example on folders I have experienced: The Ruike 801, the manly wasp, any victorinox SAK or opined, the civivi elementum, etc... are all affordable and completely fine

    the question of the value for the money is really to be considered individually for each knife

    what higher price is supposed to bring is better material, better experience and/or specific application requirements...

    for my budget / personal tastes / daily use, anything above the BM bugout or the Spyderco basic para3/PM2 is part of the hobby and bring less value for the cost

    I enjoy premium brands for the experience but Seriously a SAK paired with any of the above knives would be perfect for me
    sabre cat likes this.
  7. KenHash


    Sep 11, 2014
    Knife "decency" is not determined solely by the price. Some knives may be very good for the price, while others may be garbage that's just over priced. Price is just one component to consider when considering a knife.
    jux t likes this.
  8. Hal


    Feb 26, 1999
    Decent would equate to something like an 8-year-old Toyota Carolla that was owned by some baby-boomer that took care of it and parked it in a garage - that kind of "decent".
    You're not going to impress your friends with how flashy it is, it won't in any "Fast and Furious wannabe races", it get's decent gas mileage but won't win any awards for it, it lacks all the gee-wizz gismos...that type of "decent".
    A simple folder that takes an edge easily - holds it for simple everyday stuff - has a lock that holds reasonably well -
    sabre cat likes this.
  9. Mitchell Knives

    Mitchell Knives Knifemaker Moderator

    May 21, 2000


    Victorinox paring knives are about $4 and are actually quite good.
    marchone and skyhorse like this.
  10. Hal


    Feb 26, 1999
  11. Hal


    Feb 26, 1999
    The "Why" is pretty simple.
    I jumped off the big name knife merry-go-round some years back.
    I was into the "knife snob" thing pretty deep.
    I carried only Benchmade or Gerber or Boker - and for a while CRKT (as a beater type - but- much to my surprise, they worked well ---this was 20 years ago though)

    I found that my Benchmade knives didn't hold up well at all. Two of mine actually & literally - fell apart.

    I'm just wondering how good the lower end stuff has become.
    Someone above mentioned a thread about cheap knives - maybe that would be the place to look.
    Is there a link to that?
  12. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    I judge the merit of a knife not by the price but rather the piece itself. They’re good and bad knives at all price levels. Last week I ordered two knives from Bucks web specials only to see what they’re like for myself. One was $12 and the other $15. Both made in Idaho USA.
  13. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    The Opinel on my desk is $17. The Vic Spartan on my belt is $22. The Vic Rambler on my keychain is $24.
    Therom likes this.
  14. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Platinum Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    At this point, it's probably around the hundred dollar mark or more unless it's one of the well known budget knives like an Ontario RAT or something along those lines. I have waaaaayyyyy more knives than I'll ever be able to actually use in my lifetime, so when I buy new knives these days, it's going to be something specific that I collect (like SAKs, Olamics, or Great Easterns) or else a neat design that I'm interested in, made in materials I'm familiar with like CF, Ti, and steels like S35vn.
    jlauffer likes this.
  15. aue123

    aue123 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2018
    When i was in the marine corps any knife you didn’t end up loosing was considered decent, i’d say 95% of the dudes had a knife and we referred to them as MRE openers. we might of had the occasional cut of 550 cord but mostly used for MREs and cleaning nails when waiting for the next task. I sometimes used my knife to scrape the built up carbon off my bolt carrier.

    in afghanistan i won $150 off a game of poker and treated myself to a spyderco, no clue what it was called. ended up losing it a few days later. clip retention on cammies is horrible. doesn’t matter the knife.

    ended up getting a $20 gerber that didn’t have a pocket clip and shoved it in my breast pocket, still magically have it today. chips in the blade and all.

    willc likes this.
  16. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    I still have a handful of Tramontina paring knives I got for $3 each in the 90s. They cut anything I need them to.

    The now $200 10-inch Wusthof Chef’s Knife has long been my kitchen workhorse. I’ve had a few of them. Plus the extra wide version. I bought two factory seconds in the late 80s.

    On the other hand, my $800 custom Laconico EZC beats everything else I have for carry.

    The best paring knife I have is a handmade custom specced Niolox and Olive wood beauty that was $300 all in.

    My favorite utility blade is a NOS carbon steel vintage French Butcher’s knife that was $38.

    Horses for courses.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020
    scdub likes this.
  17. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    You can find a decent knife at almost any price point, it's just that the less money you want to spend the harder you'll have to look. If you're will to do a lot of research and compromise on some features you may want you can almost certainly find something relatively well made for around $10. But if you're willing to spend $100 there are going to be a world of options available to you and, I would venture to say, the decent knives will outnumber the junky ones.
  18. jlauffer

    jlauffer Dissident Aggressor Platinum Member

    Apr 11, 2016
    Everyone's idea of "decent" is going to be different. Probably the cheapest knife I've had that I thought was really nice for the price was CS Prolite Sport. Can get them for like $25 and they really impressed me, but the blade was longer than I am willing to carry for legal reasons. My current EDC is a CS Grik which is only a bit more (~$30-35) and works great for me.
    willc and jux t like this.
  19. David Richardson

    David Richardson Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 30, 2018
    Zyliss steak knife which could be an ok paring or utility knife is $2 from their web site. More than adequate to cut stuff and therefore "decent."

    Agree with others that this question is too broad to answer. Decent for what? EDC? Folding? Fixed? Kitchen? Camping? Zombie apocalypse?
  20. whp


    Apr 26, 2009
    If your looking for a first class folder for a great price, look at the Ontario Rat 1 with a D2 steel blade.
    37.00 !!!

    I m carrying mine today.
    sabre cat likes this.

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