Off Topic Does increased cost correlate to increased joy/disappointment in a new knife?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by K.O.D., May 30, 2020.

  1. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. The Voice of Reason. Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    2 am central Kitten O'Death suffering from insomnomnia is wondering if you feel more joy in having a knife you spent a lot on meet or exceed your expectations than one that was more reasonable in price? The same goes for level of disappointment.

    I was out of the game for a few years. I started buying again 2/2019. I've bought 7 knives since then, one of which I've returned, and am fixing to return the newest.

    Prices have ranged from $100 to $290.

    I'd never owned an automatic, and was thrilled by my first, a Kershaw Launch 8. It replaced a $250 Maserin AM-4 which sucked.

    Just a stupid question from my stupid brain operating at 1% capacity.

    Oh and by the way, honey nut Chex are delicious with almond milk at 2 am.
  2. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    Sort of.
    I mean cost is associated with value non?
    What gives you more joy, finding 10 cents or 10 dollars?
    Then again I have a couple of less expensive knives that made me happy because they were less expensive! As in what a deal!
    jfk1110 likes this.
  3. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. The Voice of Reason. Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Exactly. However, what is better? Finding a $100 knife you really like or a $500 one you hate?

    Or finding no knife at all?
  4. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    Disappointment? Yes. Joy? I don’t think so. IMO it’s more about what a person values in a knife. I have been more thrilled with a cheap Rat 1 than the much more expensive Benchmade 761.
  5. jideta

    jideta Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    if you get a knife for free does it have any value at all?
    Shorttime likes this.
  6. DangerZone98


    Dec 7, 2019
    For my user knives, $100-150 is the sweet spot for me. That range spells the optimal cost-to-joy ratio. :D
  7. GatorFlash1

    GatorFlash1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2012
    Does increased cost correlate to increased joy/disappointment in a new knife?

  8. Roy Batty

    Roy Batty Y'all can sling load DEEZ NUTS Platinum Member

    May 25, 2016
    What I think cost DOES correlate with is my willingness to carry AND use like a knife should be used.

    Case in point: I have customs I could pay mortgages with, but I’m not going to break down 100 boxes and whittle sticks with them.

    Now, my Kershaw leek? I’ll destroy every box in sight, take it to the strop and back in the pocket.

    I’ve found in my many years of collecting that COST is not all that important in seeking the perfect EDC. The perfect EDC would be a “grail” knife. Honestly right now it’s a toss up between my Kershaw random leek in s30v, my para 3 in maxamet, and my Benchmade bailout in M4. I won’t hesitate to do serious work with any of them.

    But more to your topic: My joy vs disappointment is based more on my expectations for a knife before it arrives vs. my feelings once I have it in my hand and take a closer look at it.... not based on cost. But I also wouldn’t spend a significant amount of money on a knife that didn’t retain value.. like a CRK, or exclusive/sprint Spyderco.
  9. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    If I spend $40 on a knife, I have an idea of what to expect. If it's better than I think it should be, then I am pleasantly surprised. "Joy" is a bit of a stretch for me, but "satisfaction" is within reach.

    As the price goes up, I will be more easily disappointed by a knife that doesn't deliver the kind of value for the money that I expect, though I've noticed that quality improves in roughly $20 "steps", with diminishing returns after you pass the $120 mark. I'm told that the next real big step up comes at the mid-tech level, somewhere in the high $300's. I've never been there: right around the $150 mark, my old-fashioned upbringing and sensible paranoia, make me uncomfortable about having "too much" money wrapped up in something which I can't properly use, because I'm afraid to scuff it.
    Sharp & Fiery, guy g and K.O.D. like this.
  10. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. The Voice of Reason. Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I agree. I've been thinking about this a lot after placing an order for a new knife. In doing so, I realized that it is a rare thing for the new knife to meet or exceed my expectations right off the bat. Often what may seem a disappointment at first, can actually be that I am looking at it from the wrong angle.

    Looking back over the last few years, time has been a big factor. Sometimes you know immediately. It was that way for me with a few knives.

    I'm remembering back to when I got my Kershaw Launch 8. I was amazed and in love immediately, astounded by the quality and price point.

    The $350 Matt Bailey Model 2 Geek edition was more of a "wow, such quality and craftsmanship" versus "what a deal."

    I think maybe the answer to my question is thus;

    Increased cost = greater expectations and therefore greater susceptibility to being disappointed, not necessarily greater joy.
    MarkN86, Lee D, Sharp & Fiery and 3 others like this.
  11. guy g

    guy g Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 22, 2000
    I have an idea of what I expect in the price range I pay. The only issue I've had in the last couple three years is odd edge grind . 15 on one side and 20 on the other. But I've been at this a while and own diamond rods for my Sharpmaker , so I fix it.
  12. Peter Hartwig

    Peter Hartwig Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    It certainly is going to lead to greater disappointment if your expectations are not met
    Greater cost can(or not) translate to better materials and workmanship or less available, which can lead to a happier conclusion than cheaping out, but there is no guarantee.
  13. Skidoosh

    Skidoosh Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 21, 2016
    Usually with higher cost my expectation is higher. I love it when I get a job done with my SAK rambler or slice something (besides myself) with K390. The cost is secondary usually to my experience with using something.
  14. l1ranger

    l1ranger Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2017
    i can agree with this, for knives, cars, cameras, whatever....
    if i spend a lot and its not up to the price I paid, I am dissapoint

    on the other hand, if I only spend 30 bucks on a knife, but get a product that i fell I would buy at 100, thats a good feeling.
    Sharp & Fiery and guy g like this.
  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I agree to a point but there is the wild card factor in there for many of us that treat an "expensive" knife with kit gloves and never really experience what it can be.

    Cost (with craftsmanship) increases the "wow" factor significantly, but not the pleasure of using a knife. But it could. It is very hard for me to choose to use something that cost $500 over a much less expensive knife. I keep asking myself why I buy the more expensive knives? I guess the answer lies with the hobby and "you can". The cost thing is a personal issue and your internal sense of what things should cost and value. Also the cost factor makes me not want to screw up a knife.....

    But honestly speaking.... how often in my life have I ever truly screwed up a knife? Essentially never or once or twice at most. So, why does the cost affect me so much?

    Edge shape.... I notice I use flat ground blades much more often than convex to the point of simply ignoring the convex knives. Why? Because I'm set in my ways of sharpening knives on bench stones and find it a pain in the butt to dig out the strop and do the convex edged knives properly.
  16. Smiling


    Nov 21, 2019
    The higher the price the higher the expectations. That being said, I'll overlook many small flaws on something that's very cheap while I'll be disappointed if I find them on an more expensive knife.

    The most expensive knife I have is Warcraft Tanto, fit and finish is spot on, everything is symetrical and tight. Performance is also excellent, so far so good.
  17. K.O.D.

    K.O.D. The Voice of Reason. Platinum Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    I think maybe some of what could be perceived as increased joy when an item of greater cost exceeds/meets your expectations is actually the same amount of joy plus a feeling of justification in spending said amount of money.

    I think we all need something to help justify those ~questionable purchases. Thankfully, you can return or sell a knife. Not so with cars and houses.
  18. Velitrius

    Velitrius Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2000
    This definitely plays a part.

    I got the Camillus OVB Bowie back in the day and didn't want to use it. I was certainly satisfied with it as it sat in it's presentation box.

    I mentioned it on BFC Chat one night when Fisk was in there. He says "They were made to work, Vel... Go Forth!"

    And so I did. Increased my satisfaction and appreciation by many many degrees. Hard to know if you're satisfied without using it.

    I just can't help feeling full-on blessed that I can drop a couple hundred bucks on a pocket knife. F&!%-in' blessed.
  19. hhmoore

    hhmoore Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    I enjoy munching on dry Corn Chex while drinking bourbon; whether in the morning before bed, or at night if i'm awake at home. Pretty sure I've tried it your way, too - pretty good when the cereal is breakfast.

    I find that my expectations increase along with the numbers on the pricetag. Unfortunately, along with that goes my likelihood of disappointment. I dove into the $400 pool for a while - got some knives I really liked, and some that left me flat. The disappointments pretty much drove me out of that range, and left me unwilling to purchase some of the more expensive knives that interest me... in fact, it really slowed down my knife shopping as a whole.
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
    Sharp & Fiery and MolokaiRider like this.
  20. herisson

    herisson Apple slicing rocking chair dweller Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    If some dollars more get me so much more knife enjoyment, I will shell out the money with no qualms. Here is my next project, I like this little knife like it was already in my hand !

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