The Cutting Edge

The official blog of Knife Depot

Knife Myths: More Expensive Knives Are Always Better


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.


  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.

  4. I LOVE everything about the BLUR except for the liner lock. I know three people who’ve been cut from the lock failing (again, none are big knife people, but it still seems like too many).
    WHY won’t Kershaw come out with a framelock Blur?!?! It’s the perfect size and shape. I’d pay $$$ for one in good steel (I’d prefer 20cv or M390 to s30v). 🙂

    • NOTE: I agree almost all the MORA’s punch above their weight. Even the $90 Garberg with Carbon 1095 rivals $200-$400 bushcrafter knives.

      Kershaw has some nice steels for the price, and even Spyderco has some good lower-to-mid-priced stuff with great steels (like the lightweight line with ZDP-189).

    • My complaint with the burr is its slight recurve. Its very difficult to sharpen with a stone. Sure, you can micro bevel the edge but the existing bevel won’t touch the stone.

  5. What is the Spyderco knife model in the article title? I hope it is not expensive.

    • Never mind. Found it. It is a Paysan. Only $800. I am glad it was out of stock or I might have got 2!

      • The Paysan is indeed a most beautiful work of art but much of the cost is the solid chunk of Ti. Not unlike the elusive Lochsa

      • Glad to see that there is another Rick Gandy knife guy! The one from Concord NC likes Reate, WE, and ZT. Above a certain price point, there are diminishing returns. Some of the lower priced Spydercos are a big bang for the buck. That said, I will still put up my ZT 0562TI @$280 or my WE 707 Nitada @$250 up against the much more expensive models. And ZT will sharpen their knives for $5!


    October 18, 2022 at 11:26 am

    I have always collected knives and as a younger man years ago and always only bought German steel made knives because there was little carbon content in them and they were maybe harder to sharpen but were as tuff as nails and held an edge. Now practically, I have Ontario knives of every kind. Not expensive but not cheap and made in America! I like the Cold Steel SEAL Pup knives, made in Taiwan, but as good a quality as Ontario, just more concealable. The Navy SEALs use both! They are pry bars as to toughness. Anything more expensive is a waste and anything less in quality is a waste too!

  7. I’ve been collecting knives for most of 60 years and use most, but I do have a few custom or special ones I don’t carry. My tastes are rather eclectic, as I like many different styles, blade steels, types of folders and locks. My knives have to be made well and have some aesthetic qualities to them either in appearance, materials ( Abalone, pearl, Damascus, etc.) , or unique operation. I just like different things. I do pay attn to quality and steer away from many “cheap” knives, but not necessarily inexpensive ones. E.g. I just ordered a Walther MPK small slip joint folder from Heinnie Haynes and it was made in China, cost me $14.00, has a very sharp 450c hollow-ground blade and is very precisely and well made. I also like Civivi knives made in China but exceptional quality. Hope this helps the new collector.

    • In reading I feel your collecting standards have helped me to tune my focus I tend to be impulsive and find I miss quality because of.
      I too appreciate well made and eclectic, unique materials, especially specific use J-hook,flesher,filled, etc..

  8. William Morrison

    August 30, 2023 at 11:37 am

    Where is the spiderco looking knife in headline picture.
    Hate that like posting an article on cancer with a picture of a fine ass set of tits in the title .
    Gets me stuck reading some BS I couldn’t give 2 s__to about!

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