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I just don’t understand!

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by vwb563, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. vwb563

    vwb563 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 29, 2007
    My expectations aren’t very high for this knife or steel so I don’t think I’m gonna be too disappointed. And I’m well aware of what Buck does with their knives. Their heat treatment and edge grind angles are superior to most. I’m also aware of the “factory edge is no good rule.” I’ve been buying, using, evaluating, and sharpening knives for around 45 years now.
     
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  2. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Just think what they could do with a knife in 154cm!
     
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  3. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    What more do you really need?

    I know of butchers that reach for a steel hone numerous times throughout their work day.

    I personally use the one my father reached for when butchering cattle on my grandfathers ranch. Years before I was ever even thought of.

    Yes, I know it is outdated by today’s standards but, it still works well with the knives I own.
     
    jaypopsti and Lesknife like this.
  4. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    765
    Aug 29, 2019
    No, I think I got the point and you're right. This is a powerful justification for cheap knives with cheap steels. They deliver throwaway performance for the throwaway market. There is money in serving that market.

    I guess my grippe is just that the gap in price to consumers between the throwaway tier and decent budget gear has gotten a lot smaller. In the case of 8Cr13Mov, which I'd place at the top of the throwaway tier, we've been seeing cases of that gap closing or going negative. Obviously, knowledge of these differences and access to the better options are factors. So too is the opportunity to take advantage of better budget gear by actually maintaining it.

    So this gets us to the question of whether those of us who hate seeing cool designs "wasted" on bad steels can do anything about it. Obviously, communities like this one drive demand for better gear to exist. Given that our discussions here show up in searches and this forum is a valuable resource to those who are curious, I think it's worth steering people towards both better materials and better maintenance practices. More organically, perhaps those of us who care should sponsor a "teach your friends to sharpen" day. :)
     
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  5. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    There will always be cheap knives and there is nothing we can do about it.

    Here’s why. There will always be someone willing to make an item cheaper. Always. Plus, there is always someone looking for a “deal”, something for nothing, etc.

    I would love to see my AUS 6 CRKT made with better steel but, if it had, I never would have made the jump to Spyderco or Benchmade knives. Never would have joined BF.org. Never would have learned about my grail knife, the CRK Small Insingo 21. And, more importantly, I never would have made friendships with many of you.

    Gee, I guess cheap knives do have a positive side.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
    willc likes this.
  6. c7m2p3

    c7m2p3

    180
    Apr 20, 2018
    Well for real sharpening (like what many people find themselves in need of given they do not take care to hone the edge at all until its chipped out) a honing steel is not going to be of much use. If you need to remove material rather than just align some rolled portions of an otherwise sharp blade that honing steel is simply not going to do it.

    My point in bringing this up in the context of cheap pocket knives is 1. People do not know how to sharpen 2. they rarely have the tools to sharpen 3. when they are unable to sharpen after months or more likely years of hard use on a folder they simply purchase another. Im sure you do just fine with a honing steel but we arent really talking about forum members or knife enthusiasts
     
    sabre cat likes this.
  7. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    You have not seen a diamond impregnated kitchen steel have you?

    There are professional chefs that send their knives out once a year to a pro for sharpening. Needed or not.

    We have a professional cookware shop in town that many people take their knives to for sharpening.

    Although, the ability to do it yourself is a plus, knife sharpening seems to becoming a lost art.

    Then we have those horrible pull through sharpeners...
     
  8. comis

    comis Gold Member Gold Member

    934
    May 17, 2013
    I think I am on the same page as Sabre Cat, there's always gonna be cheap knives, no matter what. I think in reality, though BF is filled with passionate knife enthusiasts, it only accounts for a very small fraction of sale of all the cutlery made worldwide.

    I don't have the numbers of sales from Kershaw utilizing 8Cr13Mov, but judging how many knives Victorinox sell each year, most non-enthusiasts probably will find 8Cr13Mov satisfactory in daily use, won't necessarily consider it a "throwaway" steel and think those knives are of good value.
     
  9. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    There is also the availability factor you and others keep missing. All the Chinese brands, more seeming to pop up daily, with the "better" budget steels don't matter at all if Jane or Joe six pack can't walk into the local walmart and buy one. The vast majority of these low end budget knives don't get purchased online and no research goes in to the purchase decision at all, which is fine for what they are.
     
    Lee D likes this.
  10. MarkN86

    MarkN86

    503
    Sep 3, 2012
    You can't see the quality of a steel just by looking at it, and most people don't run controlled edge holding tests. A good, solid feeling knife with good action would appeal to even a less educated customer.

    Even as someone who has knives in good steels like S30V, M390, VG10, etc., I could tolerate a well built, smooth knife with a comparatively poor steel over a knife with great steel with a shoddy knife around it. I love my cheap Kershaw Atmos, but I hated my lemon of a Buck Vantage Pro.

    I don't care how much people like the Vantage. After the experience I had sending it back and forth to Buck, and seeing how bad my coworker's Vantage Pro was, I've sworn that model off forever. Buck needs to either polish that turd or flush it, one of the two. You can get a MUCH better USA made knife for a similar price, even from Buck's own lineup.
     
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  11. c7m2p3

    c7m2p3

    180
    Apr 20, 2018
    Again....I understand that you are experienced. I understand that there are diamond hones...but once more I am not talking about you when I am talking about the 95% of people that buy a set of kitchen knives from a big box store. A 20$ set of kitchen knives dont typically come with a diamond impregnated rod for sharpening butter knife steel.

    Im sure you have great sharpening gear. I will reiterate once again though....the point of the conversation is knives using extremely cheap materials to hit a price point. What I was trying to point out to others in the thread is that for 95% of knife users; that is because they are intended to be thrown away after becoming unusably dull or lockup failure. Those people do not have diamond honing rods. They probably dont have whetstones, KMEs, belt grinders, or anything else. They probably have a simple rod that came with a 20$ set of kitchen knives. Thats not going to get any kind of sharpening done, thus the market for the cheap 4cr kind of knives.
     
  12. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    I was talking to a guy one time that owned a used (pre-owned) car business. He told me that he can sell a car that looks good and runs like crap faster than he can sell a car with a brand new engine & transmission but looks like crap. I said that he must be joking. And he said that he was very serious.
    I guess the average person just cares mostly about what things look like. If something is aesthetically pleasing to them then they don't care about the details. It seems that that includes blade steels.
     
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  13. MarkN86

    MarkN86

    503
    Sep 3, 2012
    That's a fact. We like to pretend that looks don't matter but in this world they absolutely do. It takes a wise person to look past the surface appeal of just about everything in this world and see its true value.

    It's surprising the ratio of I4/V6 to V8 Camaros and Mustangs are sold when a four door car using the same I4 or V6 engine would be more practical. It's not just a price thing, a lot of people just want the looks and don't care about the speed.
     
    000Robert likes this.
  14. 000Robert

    000Robert Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2020
    I care about looks also, to a point. But I care about blade steel and other things as well. That is why I love CPK knives. But I also love V8's. There's no substitute for cubic inches. I miss riding around in the big old gas guzzlers like the long old Cadillac's and others with the 500+ cubic inch engines. Those were the days!
     
    MarkN86 likes this.
  15. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    765
    Aug 29, 2019
    I didn't miss it. From what you quoted in the above post: "Obviously, knowledge of these differences and access to the better options are factors."

    That's a big part of it. The demographic in question goes to the sporting goods section in Walmart or wherever. He sees a cool design for cheap and buys it. He might or might not weigh it against the other options in front of him. He probably doesn't pull out his smart phone and do a bunch of research. He may draws upon his own experiences with this pool of brands but who knows if he's ever had anything "decent", if he knows how to sharpen or actually does, etc.

    This guy might not know that the 3Cr13 in Walmart's Ozark Trail brand is junk (or that the mystery steel is 3Cr13). He might know that the Gerber or Kershaw in the glass case are better. That might be based on brand or price, as opposed to the 7Cr17Mov and 8Cr13Mov respectively. Hopefully, he'll have a chance to learn it through use over time. Hopefully, he'll learn as he keeps buying and using those knives. Then, let's hope that he eventually does go online, tries something new, and has a revelation. Maybe this forum will help him get there.

    BTW, I know this can happen. It's pretty close to my own story. The difference is that it happened to me before you could get a WE-made knife in decent budget steel for $32. :p
     
  16. craytab

    craytab Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    :rolleyes:
    Don't over complicate this.

    And moving from that $5 ozark trail to a $32 online only knife is a massive jump on many levels.
     
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  17. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    My Sister in law gave me a knife once. It came in a blister pack. It is still in a blister pack.

    Over the years I have paid close attention to what knives women use. Most of the time the knife is really to small for the job at hand.

    When I have ask why, they have said things like, “I like it”, or “I like the handle.”

    I have also noticed that they purchase gift knives the same way. “I liked the way it looked.”
    “It was cute.” “It was different.” “It was on sale.”

    Rarely have I seen the average woman purchase a knife based upon steel unless she has some knife education or experience that would lead her to make better choices.

    Men are no different. Unless they can see a need for better steel or superior heat treatment they will purchase knives based upon looks, style, or price.

    It looks like low grade knife steels are here to stay.
     
  18. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    I think you give way too much credit to the buyer of these knives.
     
  19. sabre cat

    sabre cat Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    LOL! I am not that experienced and I would say that my sharpening gear is nothing special.

    As for the kitchen steel that comes with boxed knife sets, many owners have never used it or have used it improperly.

    I could easy afford a Sebenza if I had a “C” note for every time someone said, “I have never used my kitchen steel.”
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2020
    Chronovore likes this.
  20. Chronovore

    Chronovore Basic Member Basic Member

    765
    Aug 29, 2019
    The stepping stones in between are in that glass case in the sporting goods section. You know, the Gerber in 7Cr17Mov and the Kershaw in 8Cr13Mov I mentioned. Then he's already buying $30 knives and a friend points him online. Maybe he tries a Sencut in 9Cr18Mov for $32 and it knocks his socks off.

    (I haven't tried the new Sencut knives from WE yet. The one I ordered went right to Outpost 76 for testing. I'll share the video in the WE subforum when it posts.)
     

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