The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Knife Myths: More Expensive Knives Are Always Better

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We’re continuing our series on knife misconceptions with another prevalent myth: More expensive knives are always better than less pricey ones and don’t need to be sharpened as often.

When people see an exorbitant price tag on something, most assume that it’s the best in its class. In general, more expensive knives are typically made with better materials and feature better craftsmanship, but that’s not always the case.

Let’s take a quick look at a “cheap” knife that will stand up to some higher end models. Mora of Sweden is notorious for making some of the best low-cost knives on the market and the Mora Clipper 840 will only set you back about $13, despite being considered a highly respected knife with quality that’s above par.

Mora Knives Clipper 840

The Mora Clipper won’t break your wallet but still gets rave reviews.

So why are some knives more expensive than others despite having similar features or craftsmanship. A few things can explain the difference in price:

  • Marketing: We all know that Beats headphones are priced higher than Sony headphones, despite having similar specs on many models. So what’s the difference? Marketing, of course. Beats by Dre is just cooler and therefore you will pay more for that brand name. Sometimes, the same thing goes for knives.
  • More expensive materials: Why is this Case Jack Knife $200 more than this Case Jack Knife? Mother of Pearl. Other than the more expensive handle material, the knives have the same craftsmanship and general design.
  • Custom: A custom-made or limited edition knife will generally cost more. The reason for that is you’re paying for exclusivity and in some cases a name. However, I should say here that a custom knife does frequently feature better craftsmanship than an inexpensive factory folder.
Mother of Pearl and other rare materials can raise a knife's price.

Mother of Pearl and other rare materials can raise a knife’s price.

So now that we know that the more expensive a knife is doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better, we’ll tackle the second part of the misconception: more expensive knives don’t need to be cared for as much as cheaper knives and never have to be sharpened.

One of our fans wrote on our Facebook page that one of the biggest myths he’s run across is people telling him, “I bought an expensive knife, therefore it is currently sharp regardless of how long it has been since the last sharpening and how I treat it.”

It’s only natural to want an indestructible knife, especially if the knife costs an arm and a leg, but that mindset will only cut short the life of your knife.

As explained earlier, a more expensive knife doesn’t necessarily mean its materials are better, so you shouldn’t expect it to act significantly better than a less expensive one.

If anything, you should pay extra attention pricier knives because you can always shell out another $5 on a Mora, but most people can’t shell out another $1,500 on a Fallkniven Idun Damascus they didn’t take care of.

The premium S30V steel on this Kershaw Blur is high quality steel, but it must still be taken care of and maintained.

The S30V steel on this Kershaw Blur is premium steel, but it must still be taken care of and maintained.

Should I ever buy a more expensive knife if they’re not always better? Of course you should. More expensive knives offer different materials, add to collections, and are better sometimes. Just don’t expect it to be everlasting and you’ll be fine.


Tim

Timothy Martinez Jr. is the community director for Knife Depot and the editor of The Cutting Edge. If you have any questions or ideas for The Cutting Edge, you can contact him at Tim@knife-depot.com.
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4 Comments

  1. I’m a knife enthusiast . I don’t agree with perceptions that expensive knives are always better, the best knives come with best handle and blade.

  2. I’m going to need a translator for the ^^^ comment Carmine?

    This is a great post, another one to pay attention to. The Tenacious is an awesomely priced knife. Due to it being made in Taiwan, some find that a turn off, but don’t sleep on that, It’s a great knife regardless. Many “cheap knives” I’d rather have than the more expensive ones. Do some research for sure before you buy.

  3. I think it’s fair to say there are good knives that are cheap and good knives that are expensive.

    The question, can you tell if a knife is good. This is where some education is needed and I look forward to learning from those who are experienced.

    • Excellent point. The idea of how to tell a good knife is intriguing. I’ll make sure to write up something on that in the near future.

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