1. Click here to enter the drawing for your chance to win an Ontario Knives Spec Plus SP8 Machete Survival Knife & Ka-Bar Dozier Folding Hunter, , Bladeforums.com swag or memberships!

    Be sure to read the rules before entering, then help us decide next week's giveaway by hitting the poll in that thread! Entries close at midnight, Saturday Sept 7!

    Once the entries close, we'll live stream the drawing on Sunday, Sept 8 at 5PM Eastern. Tune in to our YouTube channel TheRealBladeForums for a chance to win bonus prizes!

    Questions? Comments? Post in the discussion thread here

Cheap knives

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by JTB_5, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. JTB_5

    JTB_5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    If you mean “more interesting” as in more baffling then I’m with you! I can’t see any good reason for paying a ton of money for poor quality.
  2. gaj999

    gaj999 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    @gaj999[/USER] I have a couple of the Rough Rider large Sunfish. (Two of the Outdoorsman smooth tobacco bone, and one Zombie Nick) You will not regret getting one. Even though they are a large and wide knife, they do not "print" in your pocket, even if you are wearing a suit.

    Thank you. Large it is.
    afishhunter likes this.
  3. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    I seriously doubt that anyone knowingly buys expensive, poorly made knives. And I can't even imagine that someone would find pleasure in it. With the vagaries of production knives, sometimes you receive an expensive one that has flaws, if you buy sight unseen.
  4. runninmike


    Oct 19, 2005
    I remember my dad usually had a medium stockman, like an old timer 34OT or his Boker- similar, but with a punch blade....he later always had a USA made Uncle Henry or Old Timer 2 blade trapper, but, I remember him having a colonial and/or imperial (both good carbon steel) at times, and he used them up pretty quick because they were expendable tools that he would replace. He would have one of the other mentioned knives for years and seemed to covet them....I think maybe he was a knife folk like myself.....guess this apple fell near the tree :->
    I do have many cheap knives-mostly gifts that I have seldom or never used but won't part with because they have a sentimental connection to the individual that may have gifted it to me....I too, have inexpensive knives of quality that I may use time to time...there's maybe a couple hundred in my possession-but I kinda choose from a pool of about 30 or so Bucks, Schrade USA, Cases, ZT, CRK, GEC, Kershaws which I rotate. Usually a small to medium traditional and either a larger pocket clip type or Buck folder in sheath....sometimes a conundrum to choose lol
  5. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    Agreed! I also seriously doubt that anyone knowingly buys buys inexpensive, poorly made knives. And I can't imagine that someone would find pleasure in that either. One would think that added cost and low production numbers would allow the makers of the expensive knives to remove those with flaws, rather than passing them on to their customers, especially in the case of those items which must be pre-ordered or are available in many areas only on-line in order, to mitigate the vagaries of their production.
  6. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    Well, they are still just production knives. I know $100 seems like a lot of money for a pocket knife, but it's still a lot less than the $300-$500+ that customs go for. I have had well over 200 GECs come through my possession, and I've only had two that I had to send back. Less than 1% is a pretty darn good return rate.
    solphilos and joeradza like this.
  7. Nixelplix


    Mar 26, 2003
    I carry and use cheap knives. I carry and use expensive knives. I carry and use knives I have made. I consider myself knife folk.










  8. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    True in as far as it goes. I was thinking more of S&M, but the GEC example works as well. Unless you happen to be that 1%. Like the fellow last Thursday:


    Keep in mind that not everyone buys 200 knives at $100 per example. If I own just one or two and one is defective, that would be 100% of one purchase or 50% of two.
  9. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel Basic Member Basic Member

    Feb 11, 2016
    I feel exactly the same way.

    Take Imperial knives for example, they're weren't built like tanks but have great steel and we're born to slice.

    Most people don't go buying pakistani flea market slipjoints with quality issues, but I do think that with the nature of traditionals more here can appreciate an inexpensive knife that cuts just as well as something expensive.
    Sometimes there's a joy to be had knowing how much you can get for so little, or how inexpensive of a knife can get the job done just as well.

    I prefer the high value lower cost knives ( sub $50 ) because i just want basic quality that works, this goes for knives and some tools.
    I don't need knipex when American made Channellock does me just fine.
  10. Old Engineer

    Old Engineer Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    I bought 2 brand new cheap knives in 2014 just to see if they were any good . The prices were probably less than the material would cost in the U.S.A. They were worth the money , but not what I would carry for use .
    I am always looking to buy a good knife at a CHEAP PRICE . That too makes it a Cheap Knife .
    Then there are persons who buy only what they can afford and that may have to be a Cheap Knife . I commend them for that . I have to admit that I have a very cheap fixed blade that I have tried to destroy just to get rid of it and it keeps on keeping on .

    veitsi_poika, Bartleby and JTB_5 like this.
  11. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    Very true. My friends and I have found superb value in the Russell Green River fixed blade hunter over the years. Quality materials at low cost. As Russell used to state about their Barlows back in the '30's, "Not much for looks but quality in the blade!"
    Faiaoga likes this.
  12. Dfunk1210


    Apr 7, 2015
    I agree with everyone that Rough Riders are the exception because they are cheap and good. But in response to the OP as to why people buy cheap knives, i will say what i recently said in a different thread. Knife nuts need to get their fix. Sometimes if that means grabbing an interesting cheapo at your local flea market, so be it. It may be something you would never be caught dead using, but its a knife
    veitsi_poika and Bartleby like this.
  13. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    Good point. It is unfortunate that a gap seems to exist (except for some offerings by Case perhaps) right in between the $10-$20 inexpensive/cheaper knives and the $100-$200 knives.
  14. knarfeng

    knarfeng senex morosus moderator Staff Member Super Mod Moderator

    Jul 30, 2006
    There are a number of reasons that I buy inexpensive knives, as well as the occasional expensive item.

    And I take exception to the "sweat shop" comment. In this forum, we just talk about knives.

    1) I'm a user, not a collector. I don't collect knives, I accumulate them.
    2) I was raised by parents who lived through the depression. I was taught to buy the least expensive thing that gets the job done. So I'm always looking for an inexpensive item that still works well. I'm usually more interested "functional" than "fancy".
    3) A lot of issues that folks agonize over are more cosmetic than functional. So a knife that another may say is lousy may still be "good" to me.
    4) I grew up using knives that most folks on this forum would turn up their noses at. The American made "user" pocket knives of the 50's and 60's that I grew up using frequently had what would today be considered unacceptable cosmetic issues. Since I grew up using knives as tools, the cosmetic fine points were lost on me in those days.

    So, yeah. I sometimes buy cheap knives.
    stlbob, tmd_87, afishhunter and 4 others like this.
  15. JTB_5

    JTB_5 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I meant no offense with the term sweat shop. It wasn’t intended as an indictment, or as provocation to political debate, but as an indication of cheap rather than inexpensive.
    Bartleby likes this.
  16. leghog


    Aug 10, 2013
    Those are the knives I collect/accumulate. They aren't what I consider cheap knives like "gas station" knives or Ozark Trails from wallyworld.
    Bartleby likes this.
  17. Nixelplix


    Mar 26, 2003
    Cheap beer. Cheap knife. They both seem to work pretty well!

  18. Dan of Bazz Clazz

    Dan of Bazz Clazz Gold Member Gold Member

    May 10, 2017
    Best response I have for this is: "You will never be rich enough to be able to afford buying the cheap stuff". Translation is that cheap you have to replace over and over and over. Quality will last and last providing far longer and better service to you.

    With that in mind, I try to make my purchases based on value, not on the selling price. A $10 knife can actually have greater value than a $100 one. Example would be, you bought a fake for $100, and it isn't worth $10 to resell, while someone offered you $50 knife for the $10 knife. Value has a lot more components that resale price but you get the idea.

    I enjoy finding the great stuff at bargain prices. Have an Enzo that is amazing for what I paid for it. Rough Rider I have is a great value, for the $10 I spent on it. I am buying less of the low end these days for 2 reasons.
    1. I already have a good number of low cost knives. I try to only buy more when it is something that really grabs me.
    2. If I keep buying cheap knives, I can't save up enough money to buy high end beauties.
    JTB_5 likes this.
  19. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    Ahh Rolling Rock! A premium beer from my college days....
    Nixelplix likes this.
  20. Bartleby


    Oct 28, 2005
    I had not really considered it until I looked at your list, but there is a lot behind what you say in my own meandering accumulations. I think that there is something about being raised by children of the depression that makes one see form and function first as the indicators of value as opposed to fancy materials or embellished surfaces (although I appreciate fine craftsmanship too). I am fine with having a foot in both sides of the collecting world (although they seem to be spreading apart over time), but given a preference I tend to go for utilitarian designs.

Share This Page