First Knife Post ever. I'm no knife expert but am learning and own several. I lean more towards utility and demand a sharp blade. I know different steel types and heat treating change things and why certain blades seem to respond better with different sharpeners/methods. The more I research the less I seem to know and have many questions. Of which I'll only ask a few here. Recently I purchased 2 cheap Chinese made knives, Elk Ridge brand. $8 each and 2 of the same. Why? Because I liked the blade shape for hunting and figured I could practice sharpening on cheap knives without fear of ruination. I think these are supposed to be 440C. Amazingly they arrived rather sharp and shockingly discovered just a few strokes through a cross steel type pocket sharpener put a razor edge on them! Seriously and they are sharper than a new S30V Benchmade Saddle Mountain Skinner! So I feathered with one of them quite a bit and besides doing well at that the blade still melts paper! On the other hand I just received a new $130 Spyderco Aqua Salt H1 plain edge. I love everything about this knife except... it tore through paper out of the box and feathered worse than the cheap Chinese knives! I tried but couldn't put a decent edge on it. Neither could my buddy who can sharpen knives! I called Spyderco and they seemed elusive. I had to practically pry out of them the edge angle. As though some great secret the best answer I got was 20-40 degrees... Really!? They offered to sharpen it for $7 and I said no thanks, I have to be able to sharpen it myself. So I tried again and got it a bit better, but it's still toothy on paper, only so so feathering, but does well on cardboard. (I have several sharpening systems) Still the cheap Chinese knives are sharper in every way! So why would any manufacturer send out an expensive knife with a questionable edge? Some knives like my Steel Will Argonaut 800 AUS 8 arrived razor sharp! The same with an Alaskan D2 Bush Camp. Same with most Buck knives these days. But not with some more expensive knives. Is this normal? Knives with questionable factory edges or wrong profiles? Why? Why do so many buyers change the factory profiles of their blades? One would think manufactures who do it right from the start, would clean house in sales. Besides they're the experts, right? I'm thinking about an ESSE 4 and 5, but put the brakes on purchasing after so many say the factory edge profile is wrong and they performance prove it in videos! So why would ESSE produce edges that need work? Shouldn't they know better? Why produce great knives with second rate edges? I have several Moras and with simple Stropping they are dang sharp! Yet I just received a new Bushcraft Survival stainless today to throw in my truck and are you kidding me... it tears paper so bad! Obviously I can fix that, but again why do they send out such sloppy factory edges? As an example I've been avoiding trying the belt WorkSharp on my Aqua Salt, but will tonight as a last resort. If this fails I may never buy that brand again- period! Factories that send out sloppy blade edges, well, it's perhaps at their sales loss. I'm really starting to wonder if full custom knives are the way to go? Because if the factory edge is sloppy, what else is too???