What ever happened to the middle class?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by MarkN86, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. l1ranger

    l1ranger Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 27, 2017
    its gonna be different from person to person

    for me, budget is under $35 - if i like it and it fits a need, I"ll buy it without second though
    up to about $125 I'd call mid range - won't hurt me too much to buy, but do I really need/want it and is it filling any gaps
    over $125 is a gonna be limited for me - maybe once a year and really something I'm going to use and enjoy.
    I haven't broken 300 yet
    Prester John likes this.
  2. rpstrimple

    rpstrimple Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 16, 2011
    I mean technically, a large 21 is a budget knife if it is the only knife you'll ever use again lol. It's very much a "buy it for life" product. Of course, the trick is only owning one.
  3. skyhorse

    skyhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    There's some less expensive brands that haven't increased much in the last ten years like Buck, Victorinox and Mora but they've been making these same models for many moons. I was thinking about this same subject about a week ago and crunched some numbers for two popular brands and several models. I went back over the last 10 years with an average inflation rate of 19% according to Government statistics. Some models were even less than ten years old but when I averaged all those numbers out they ranged from a 35% to 41% increase over the same period of time. On the flip side of the coin , knives aren't really a commodity so these numbers don't mean a hell of a lot. Ten years from now people will likey be saying , damn should have bought one back in 2020. :( I think mid range would be about $50 to $175.
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  4. Prester John

    Prester John Gold Member Gold Member

    May 20, 2018
    For me, budget is $20 or less. I would consider mid-range $20-$80. More than $80 is expensive. I don't think I've spent more than $140 or so on a knife, but I may buy one for about $200 this year. But I don't buy moderns. Those suckers are really expensive!
    bigsurbob, MarkN86 and Korean Hog like this.
  5. Korean Hog

    Korean Hog Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 12, 2017
    I'm with you, I mean I've been carrying my Sebenza for a few days now but yeah it seems
    like people want to call anything not super expensive "budget" or "economical" but knives aren't
    the only thing they do that with. Houses, cars, clothes etc. get that treatment too.
    It's marketing scams that have worked their way into peoples' brains.
    They call lots of things in the "mid range" economical because they want you to spend a little more.
    Naturally people begin to consider the mid-range closer to the bottom than it really is.

    That way as long as the price is say $200 or below it's considered economical since it isn't a $500 Sebenza or even $1000+ custom right?
    You most likely could accomplish your cutting needs with knives $20 or less and you should probably stop spending
    after a couple $100-$200 knives, but with so many budget friendly knives below "X amount of dollars" you can have/ buy all the knives you want.

    I think if you like knives and use them everyday it doesn't hurt to sample everything from $50-$1000 over time.
    After about $150-$200 you won't see many performance gains but up to about $1000 you'll see things that most knife nerds could really appreciate/ fondle.
    Prester John, stonproject and KAEDC like this.
  6. KAEDC

    KAEDC Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 25, 2013
    I think it's more like a long way of trying to illustrate the difference between cost and value, and that people tend to conflate the two.

    bigsurbob and Korean Hog like this.
  7. johnnytoxin

    johnnytoxin Gold Member Gold Member

    May 24, 2010
    Jewelry? I don’t agree as jewelry is usually something you want others to see. I don’t care if people see or know what knife I’m carrying. My CRK’s are tools first and foremost. I’d call them luxury tools as their are many less expensive knives that can perform the same or in many cases better. But those knives are not built to the same quality, not even close. Whether or not that is worth the cost is completely subjective.
    Quiet likes this.
  8. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Gold Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    Well, the way I see it, I think that folks have to take those comments in context. They're about some knife, they aren't about you. It's a huge problem in this hobby, or any other where the ownership of particular things makes up the majority of the hobby. People need to stop taking criticism against something they own or enjoy, as criticism of they themselves. If someone speaks negatively of a cheap, cheaply made of cheap materials knife, I don't understand why those folks should be discouraged. If you like it, getcha one!

    I mean, hey, for example I myself have made disparaging comments about cheap Chinese made knives in the lineups of various companies whose other products I otherwise enjoy. And if someone told me "That discourages me!", my candid response would be "...and?" because those comments had absolutely nothing to do with anyone who might think that cheaply made Kershaw 3cr13mov was a nice knife. If you like it, yep, you guessed it: get yourself one!

    A lot of us here spend a lot of money on expensive, finely made knives because life is short, and it's nice to own and use high end things. It is what it is. The reality is, the market for higher end objects, from knives, to guns, to action figures, to coins, to ANY "collecting" hobby will always be there for those who wish to pay for it. For those who don't...whelp, a SAK and a Mora will have you covered.
  9. Quiet

    Quiet "That guy" Gold Member

    Oct 11, 2013
    This is objectively uninformed.
    Hale Storm, Korean Hog and tyyreaun like this.
  10. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    I disagree. If it's a tool, you should buy the right one for the job, regardless of the price.

    You wouldn't tell a building contractor to buy "home gamer" versions of power tools, because they're cheaper. Those tools wouldn't survive both the duty cycles and the abuse they'd be subject to on a job site. They'd fail, need to be replaced, and would end up costing more in the long run - especially once you consider lost productivity in fixing or replacing broken down equipment.
  11. PirateSeulb


    Jun 6, 2017
    Ill say my tiers are mostly something along these lines and while most are hard set lines its just general guides

    Junk = Under $50
    Budget = $50 - $100
    Mid Range = $101 - $249
    High End = $250+
    Collectible = Over $600
  12. DocJD


    Jan 29, 2016
    Unless you're a knife nut / gearhead type , just an average consumer wanting a pocket knife , probably more like $10 / $20 / $30 for bargain / medium / excessive .:p

    If you think I'm joking , check out which knives have thousands of glowing 4 star plus reviews on Amazon . :confused:
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  13. 115Italian


    Nov 13, 2015
    Examples of “my” mid range-
    Spyderco endura to manix 2. Cold steel air lite to recon 1.

    I think the mid range lives and is a great place. So many things to choose from.

    Mid range sometimes is not just price but materials too. Vg10 or aus10. G10 or a nice frn, as examples.

    I do know people that consider ZT to be their mid range. Guess it’s a subjective term.
  14. Vibranium


    Dec 17, 2019
    Thinking of "budget", "mid-range", and "high-end", I consider cost and features. This goes for anything - knives, appliances, cars, etc.

    With "budget", I expect to have some kind of trade-off in either materials and workmanship and little to no customer service.

    "Mid-range" casts a really wide net for me and with it, I'm expecting anywhere from average to great workmanship and materials. Same for customer service. If a product doesn't meet these requirements, I consider it a bad buy.

    With "high-end", I expect excellent materials, workmanship,and customer service. This doesn't mean that you'll always get them, but, ya know, "caveat emptor". To me, a product should have at least 2 of those things to justify the cost.
  15. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    Based on my (fixed) income:
    Budget: (under $15)
    Imperial and some Rough Rider/Rough Ryder

    Mid Range: ($15-$20)
    Old Timer, Marbles, Uncle Henry, Some Rough Rider/Rough Ryder, Old Hickory

    High End: (over $20)
    Buck, Case, Ontario

    Above price ranges include shipping.

    Maybe if I win the lottery:
    GEC, Queen, CSC, etc.
    (note: I do not waste my limited funds on a lottery ticket. Even so, I figure my chances of winning are about as good as those who do buy a ticket.)

    Right now $44 a month is what I have left after paying bills and rent.

    Needless to say, there are few, if any, new (or used) knives - or anything else with the exception of Skoal and (generic) Mountain Dew in my foreseeable future.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
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  16. Goofcat


    Jan 8, 2020
    We actually agree. If a knife is a tool, you spend the money to get the level of performance that suits the task. For contractors it makes sense to get a Dewalt 20V instead of the Ryobi, or for a mechanic to get Snap-on instead of Husky. But, I know of no contractor who uses custom tools forged with exotic metals wrapped in fancy handles.

    When we over-spend on a “tool”, much like a fine Swiss watch, it is guy jewelry. It’s our way to show we have extra disposable income and can afford the “finer things in life”. It’s okay to own that. Don’t pretend it is anything else. A Hi-point 9mm will go bang just as loud as a HK or Sig, but I can afford the latter so I choose to own fine German pistols. I’m not running around pretending that I am some sort of “Operator” that needs these expensive tools, or that my custom Cocobolo grips, some how make me a better shot.
    bigsurbob and 22-rimfire like this.
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I learned pretty quickly that buying the less expensive power tools that are used frequently is the wrong choice. Need something for essentially one job a year, go less expensive if you don't want to spend for the higher dollar tool. With knives, I don't see the correlation other than comparing some $20 knife to a $150-$200 knife. I think if you're a contractor, a fixed blade works best for regular harder use and a folder works best for occasional harder use unless you just want to carry a fixed blade. It just depends on what you cut and use your knife for.

    For me, hard use generally means frequent use. I doubt you are going to point stakes for a construction site with a knife which might be considered harder use. You'd probably use a hatchet or maybe a machete.

    I think most of us buy what we like and want. If the price is high and we want it, we find a way to get it. That goes for firearms too. But I learned a long time ago that buying the cheap stuff doesn't pay and you end up buying the better stuff you wanted anyway down the road. But the less expensive stuff will tide you over. That said, there is nothing wrong with buying say a Spydie FRN Delica now and getting the CRK later. You'll still have the Spydie knife.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
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  18. Hale Storm

    Hale Storm Kydex Whisperer Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Gold Member

    Sep 18, 2013

    I agree. I don't do Chinese made or Taiwan made knives (I miss out on a lot of Spydercos). That's just me. I don't drink beer very often either but when I do, I prefer Miller High Life. It is CHEAP beer here where I live. I've had people scoul and scoff at it when it's mentioned. But, I like it so therefore, I drink it and enjoy it. I've skinned deer with $200+ American and Italian made fixed blades and I've skinned them with a $2.00 flea market slip joint once. I prefer the aforementioned.
    And you think knife people are bad about the subjectivity of mid-tech, or mid-price? Try discussing bourbons. :D
    Storm 8593 likes this.
  19. Goofcat


    Jan 8, 2020
    As an observer of the human condition, I find this need to explain higher costs occurs in almost all male interests. On the other hand, women buy stupid expensive luxury items and they don’t feel the need to explain the “technical merits” of said handbag or scarf.

    Guys like gear. Wealthier guys buy expensive gear and that’s totally fine. Problem is that some guys buy expensive gear then feel the need to justify the higher cost, at times by putting down lower cost items. Golfers will try to explain how their new hyper-expensive driver will turn them into a PGA pro. Cyclists want to talk about tech on their bikes, firearms enthusiasts will explain how their custom .45 or latest AR build is so much better than an off the self one, knife guys are the same wanting to rationalize why their knife with the latest wonder-steel or scales are more cutty.

    Life would be so much simpler if guys can just own it and say “ I bought this expensive item for my hobby, I really like it and I can afford it.”
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  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Or they can say "I bought this knife because I think it is a great value and will work very well in my world." Value and expensive are relative terms as we all know. You know, I feel better mentioning a less expensive knife and how much I like it rather than what I consider an expensive knife where I feel I have to or should like it. People here have said.... I tried to like it.... But....
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