Is there a "perfect" knife? Opinions and Philosophies...

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by dasknife, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. dasknife


    Sep 26, 2012
    This has been a long time coming? As I sit here looking at my collection of knives, I cant figure out what is missing? In my years of collecting knives my taste have fluctuated greatly, yet it still seems as though something is missing. I can't seem to put my finger on it and it is driving my crazy. While the most expensive knife I have purchased was around 650, I am quite certain paying more is not what I am after, but something else? As a knife guy, we are always chasing the next purchase, but I can't seem to figure out what is next on the list? While I would not like to see this thread turn into an arena for fanboys to fly their flag, I would like to use this as a place to discuss the philosophy behind what makes the perfect knife or maybe some theories into what makes the perfect knife and if anyone has hit that brick wall in their knife career.
  2. strategy9

    strategy9 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2015
    The perfect knife, philosophically, is the one that is available and works when you need it to in any given situation...

    A sebenza may be "better" in every aspect, buy if it's a Schrade you have on you and a situation presents itself where you "need" it, and it comes through, then in that moment that Schrade was more perfect
  3. Cursum Perficio

    Cursum Perficio Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 27, 2012
    I try to avoid using the word 'perfect', it is a very strong word which allows no room for the vagaries of life and reality, that results in the inevitable trade offs which are a part of existence as we know it.

    Perhaps one may think about a knife with a 'perfect' balance of characteristics within the context of one particular person and his/her requirements for the knife. But then as soon as the knife is picked up by someone else for something else, it is no longer 'perfect', therefore it never was in the truest sense of the word.

    Perhaps a knife could be 'perfect' for me and what i use it for? Suppose I used and blunted my perfect knife. It is no longer 'perfect', it requires sharpening. Therefore, given that it can be blunted, it never was 'perfect'.

    Perfection cannot be achieved in the way we make things. Materials and 'top down' manufacturing inevitably include flaws, even though they may be microscopically tiny and unnoticeable to the user. Nonetheless, any flaws presence, even if unnoticed and inconsequential, means the item is not 'perfect'. Perhaps in future, nanotech may allow manufacturing of a knife atom by atom, without any materialistic flaws at all.

    Am I taking the definition of 'perfect' to seriously here? Maybe.

    I do not understand philosophy at all. But I do think, therefore I know I am.
  4. Gaston444


    Oct 1, 2014
    Your definition of perfect makes the word perfect useless...: That is less than perfect...

    If the definition includes maximum sharpness through optimal edge thinnnes, maximum edge holding and maximum hand confort, with near double the Trailmaster's chopping performance at the same weight, and a general amazing ability to bridge seemingly contradictory requirements, then the middle one comes close (the only flaw is I don't care much for the clip style, but I can't argue it doesn't work either)...:


    Just to give an idea of true lightness, the Lile is a bit lighter than the green coated Chris Reeves...

    Workmanship on the Lile was very, very so-so for the price (no guard soldering, rough finish with dirt-poor original flaky paint), but not enough to be a flaw by itself...: At last symmetry was dead-on... It seemed to do a lot of different things very well...

    I could not find a flaw in the bottom one either: It is out-slices the Chris Reeves on the top by a factor of about two to one, with each one of its two edges... So I figure it out-slices the CR by a factor of four...

    Yeah, you do get what you pay for, with a bit of luck... For true grinding perfection, Seki City blades often score higher in precision: I was particularly impressed with the symmetry and sheath fit of my Katz Alley Cat, a much cheaper knife than any of the above, but the edge thinness was a long, looong way from that of a Randall...

    Is it that expensive to grind metal thin?

  5. williamisthe1


    Apr 11, 2015
    Sounds like you might be headed into customs and finding out what is perfect for you. What materials, size, blade shape. Then you think you have it until something else will catch your eye.
  6. red mag

    red mag

    Apr 12, 1999
    Yes, there is a perfect knife.
    While I do own several, I'm afraid to use them. ;)
    A knife is much more than a cutting tool.
    Most people think so - that's why marketing works.
    I do have some I use (in the sense of cutting things) and enjoy.
    During use, I learn what works for me and that helps with the next piece.
  7. Kwon Kwang

    Kwon Kwang

    Jul 7, 2013
    Some knives are better for some tasks than others, but that's about as far as it goes if you ask me.
  8. cchu518

    cchu518 Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 6, 2013
    This extends further for my own needs. Having a knife on me is an important idea. And for this fact alone I require a thin and light platform in order for me to feel comfortable using it under any circumstances in public.

    So for me I have an idea of what makes a perfect everyday edc knife and also what makes a perfect working knife. My non kitchen k life duties usually fall I to these two categories.

    The everyday carry is usually a single bladed slip joint 3.25"-3.5" closed. Perfect to me. Right now this is a case copper lock full size, wharncliffe mini trapper, rough rider whittler and a Northwoods everyday barlow in cpm154.

    The work edc isn't so heavy that if I clip it to my non tight jeans (did I admot to wearing tight jeans publicly? Lol) that the knifes weight doesn't fall over at the clip or in a rare case for me a fixed blade or hand saw. Right now my wife just got me a half serrated Spyderco native lightweight and I instantly liked it.

    At any given time these are perfect edc's and I could accept not buying another k if for a decade. But I'm ok with rotating some in and out of the collection just for the fun of it!

    Some knives are so perfect for me like the Delica that it messes with my fun using of knives as they serve as great all arounders.
  9. LX_Emergency

    LX_Emergency KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 28, 2007
    Perfect for what?
  10. iamdb


    Dec 18, 2015
    Yes, the PM2.....:thumbup:
  11. IceCold


    Jul 19, 2013

    Yes Agreed USA made, for me good size and weight, cuts like a lazer, amazing price. strong locking mechanism, amazing style looks and ergonomics. Paramilitary 2
    Of course the best knife is the one you have on you when you need it, If you have nothing but a $10 Smith and Wesson but you need a knife then its good enough.

    I would have said SBENZA but at $350-400 it never leaves my desk, and too expensive to use.

    So its PM2 or SBENZA only because how good they are and proof is no matter what other knife comes out its always but how is it Vs. the Spyderco PM2.
  12. Final Option

    Final Option Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 11, 2012
    I agree with this, a knife is first and foremost a tool and as such one particular knife may be perfect for a narrow specific task at hand then for another task it will fall short. I like tools like most of you so my assortment of tools has numerous screwdrivers, hammers, saws, etc., all for different tasks no one particular tool can perform perfectly when another of the same variety can do the job better. I guess that is why I carry at least two knives, sort of like two screwdrivers, one for slotted screws and another for Phillips head screws.
  13. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    Best knife for the job. That's the philosophy the i base my purchases on and choose which knife to carry each day.
  14. HappyDaddy

    HappyDaddy Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    My newest one, whatever that may be.
  15. abcdef


    Oct 28, 2005
    NOT a philosopher here, but I am pretty sure those guys/gals cannot agree on the existence of perfection. So, I think it will be problematic to define or find the perfect knife.
  16. fetzer85


    Oct 17, 2012
    My perfect knife is usually the one I'm about to buy. [emoji3]

    In all seriousness, no, I don't believe there's a perfect knife. There are knives I really really like and enjoy owning but perfection is not a word I would use to describe them.
  17. Sonnydaze

    Sonnydaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 6, 2009
    Yes, for EACH of us, there is the perfect's activities are fairly constant from day to day.
    There was a time when I would get three folders in the mail-box in one day. Now, that is gone. I still rush thru the Exchange every day, but haven't put any money down for a long time.
    For me, the knife must fit MY hand. The blade-steel must be acceptable in edge-holding and length. The weight of the knife must be less than five ounces, and the grip width very close to 0.450"-0.460"; a blade of 0.120"-0.140" with a decent grind that permits easy slicing. I am stuck on frame-locks, and flippers "can be" just real preference.
    I found this knife just about one year ago, and it hasn't left my pocket since.
    The Brad Southard AVO. It is my GRAIL, and I doubt that it will ever be replaced...which are strong words for someone with my history of buying and selling.
    I could be wrong... :)
  18. sideways


    Feb 19, 2013
    This is the right question.
  19. Silvanus

    Silvanus Basic Member Basic Member

    May 17, 2012
    There really is no single "perfect" in the world. Everything is a compromise on some level. To me, the closest thing I have to perfection is my custom Emerson CQC-15. The edge is a zero-chisel grind so it's crazy sharp. The stock is thin so it slices easily through cardboard boxes and zip ties which is what I use my knives on the most. It has great ergos with no hot spots, and I forget it's in my pocket because of the relatively small profile. It just works for me and does everything I think I knife should do FOR ME. Others may hate it, but for me it is my be all end all knife.

    ETA - Price has nothing to do with how perfect a knife is. It usually directly relates to quality, but not necessarily "perfection"
  20. Insipid Moniker

    Insipid Moniker Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 28, 2011
    No. Knife design, like many things, is a world of compromises between attributes that are inversely proportionate by their very nature. When you strive for supremely efficient cutting geometry you must, on some level, sacrifice strength and resilience and vice versa. The most comfortable knives in hand, those with large, countoured, hand filling scales, won't ride in the pocket as well as those with ultra slim and narrow handles. It's the nature of the beast, you have to pick which attributes are most important to you and find a knife that fits those.

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