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What expectations do you have when making a knife purchase?

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by TheEdge01, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    Well, I guess I could have worded it differently. I am referring to what the market has to offer, there are always compromises in the knife market. Even if a person has one custom made to meet their demands, you still may have to compromise.
  2. rje58

    rje58 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 21, 2013
    My expectations vary!

    Depending on:

    1. how much I paid for the knife
    2. what kind of knife it is
    3. what I intend to use it for, and what it's intended purpose is
    and I would even add:
    4. where I purchase it from

    I have knives that I paid less than $10 for new, and knives that I paid over $200 for used. Obviously, I had different expectations for those!

    As someone else said, all I really expect is to get what I paid for.

    Preferences are something else entirely.
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I expect a new knife to be sharp; preferably very sharp.
    I expect the blade(s) to be centered (more or less) on a folder and as a result not rubbing on another blade or the liner.
    I expect that the manufacturer actually did what was advertised in terms of heat treat, steel used, and so forth.
    I expect the knife to function as designed without any adjustments.
    I expect a sheath to be functional on a fixed blade and not impact the edge when sliding the knife in or out.
    PNWhovian, buckfynn and TheEdge01 like this.
  4. clovehitch


    Jan 8, 2018
    In response to the title, I expect zero blade play in a folder, and I expect the entire blade to be ground fully and evenly. These 2 things far outweigh sharpness for me as I prefer putting my own edge on the blade anyway. I expect blade centering to be acceptable and the action to be somewhat smooth.

    As far as what I look for in a knife, I like a strong and durable feeling lockup with good ergonomics. I look for well rounded premium steels (I prefer a slight deficit in edge retention if it's significantly easier to sharpen, as I don't want to wear out my sharpening supplies quickly. I will take m390 over s110v normally, for example). I do not mind heavy knives whatsoever. To me weight is an indication of strength, integrity and durability (not a fact, but certainly an indication). For steels that are not the toughest, I prefer a thicker blade.
  5. SharpieB


    Oct 31, 2017
    Even grind.

    I suck at sharpening and even I can keep a nice even grind. If I’m paying $100+ for a new knife, why can’t it leave the factory even 100% of the time?
  6. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    I am very picky on blade centering. I could be wrong but it seems that an uncentered blade would wear the washers unevenly. I don’t like the idea of a defect causing unnecessary wear and tear on an item.
  7. BubbaGump


    Oct 30, 2015
    Depends entirely on two things--how much it costs and what the intended use is. IMO, a lot of people will miss out on good knives if they only look at certain aspects of a knife or design or just limit themselves to a certain price. They also can miss out if they only rely on the opinions of others to guide them. Sometimes people can get overly anal about things, especially with less expensive knives.

    You can always find something imperfect about a knife. Doesn't matter how expensive it is or who made it. You can always nitpick some flaw, whether perceived or real. The perfect knife exists only as an ideal. But with that being said, the more a knife costs, the more I generally expect from the product I receive in terms of things like fit and finish. Beyond that, I have no litmus test other than I prefer to buy American made knives.
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Brand and cost come into play too. But of the five basic things I mentioned above, I expect that on all knives and any price range. I generally don't buy the really cheap stuff, and I don't consider $50 cheap necessarily either. My pickiness, increases with price.

    I prefer companies to list the actual steel used, but that is not necessarily an "expectation" or absolute.
    buckfynn and TheEdge01 like this.
  9. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    1) No blade wobble.
    2) A pull that is light enough that I do not have to fight the knife to open it. Something between a 5 and 6 on the "pull scale". (A 91mm SAK is the standard for a "5" pull.)
    3) No gaps more than a couple thousandths of an inch on my traditionals. (I do not expect perfection, but do expect average pre-war construction quality for mass produced pocket knives.)

    Fixed Blades:
    1) The handle, guard, and pommel to be tight.
    2) I expect the knife to fit in the sheath it comes with.
    3) I expect the sheath to last more than one year, with "average" use as intended.

    Regardless of manufacturer, I expect the blade(s) to be sharp enough to shave arm hair when I take the knife out of the package.
    I also expect the blade(s) to be properly heat treated.
    Pomsbz likes this.
  10. Marvin_E2E


    Jan 24, 2018
    I don't neccessarily consider myself to be loyal to any particular brands but I do however prefer certain brands over others based on whatever my taste is at the time. As far as expectations, Id say that if I purchased a $25 knife, Im not expecting everything to be perfect. If I buy a $500 knife, I expect it to live up to that price tag.
  11. GB940Rookie

    GB940Rookie Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2016
    I expect to get what I paid for. Other than that, I just hope that I like it.
    danbot and Cvrobinson like this.
  12. Comeuppance

    Comeuppance Fixed Blade EDC Emisssary

    Jan 12, 2013
    The closest I have to a list of expectations is a list of dealbreakers. By the time I've purchased a knife, I have already spent ages researching the item and watching videos with reviews and know whether or not the knife and the quality control fit these standards:

    - I have to be able to sharpen it without butchering the blade. Knives that have grinds that immediately widen out to the blade stock with no sharpening choil = no go. (I'm looking at you, Reate Future)
    - My bottom-grade acceptable steel is 8CR13MoV, with the only real exception being Rough Rider knives (because they're cheap and fun)
    - Pivot smoothness has become a dealbreaker for me. If I can't kick it open or flip it open smoothly and then also let it fall shut after disengaging the lock, it's probably not for me. This also eliminates spring-assist knives and out-the-side autos from consideration. *
    - While "deep carry" isn't much of a concern of mine, knives that stick more than 3/4" out of my pocket when clipped make me a little anxious when walking around for various reasons.
    - Coatings on blades? Ehhhh. If it isn't some high-wear coating like DLC, I'm probably not into it. I like scratches on satin more than I like something looking like a keyed car.
    - One-hand open and close is a must. *
    - Solid lockup.
    - No blade-liner contact when closed.
    - Must be able to take it apart without proprietary tools. *

    * Obvious exception being slipjoints.

    Other than that: when a knife arrives, I want it to feel good in the hand, come out of my pocket without strain, stay closed in the pocket, allow me to feel safe operating it, and to not be loud to operate.

    ... Yeah, loud. Ever use a Paragon Warlock? It makes this CLACK SHUMP sound when you open and close it. Some autos and lockbacks are pretty loud too. I'm not trying to announce to the world that I have a knife - I just need to cut a thing, and being reasonably discrete and nonchalant about it is a good idea in a lot of situations.
    PNWhovian likes this.
  13. DelialFallen


    Oct 2, 2017
    Typically, I personally prefer blades of a length between 3.25” and 4”, with functional designs, without fluff, without too much stuff on the blade, inconspicuous company name, brand, type of steel. I also prefer G10 scales over micarta (which I find hideous), and carbon fibre or metal because it has a better grip and thus makes it more functional.

    I’m also particular about blade shapes and will reject a knife that has a design with a blade that goes against my design sensibilities.

    Then, I begin a process of evaluation.

    First, I look for a design that appeals to me aesthetically. I then compare the price to the materials out of which the knife is made of and evaluate if the price corresponds to my appraisal of the worth and value of said materials.

    After that, I start to mull over the other stats of the knife: blade length, blade thickness, scale materials, type of lock, weight, etc.

    Finally, I go on a hunt for data about the knife: reading forums, watching YouTube videos, any review that’s out there and I can get my hands on.

    If the knife’s made it this far, I buy it.
    3fifty7 likes this.
  14. miso2

    miso2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    I would expect that the knife tickles all my sweet spots, slicer ability, even grind, heftiness, ease of operation, smooth action, good fit and finish, solid lock up, and usable pocket clip.
    TheEdge01 likes this.
  15. Pomsbz


    Jul 31, 2015
    I like this post so much I'm going to quote it. :)
    afishhunter likes this.
  16. jceckrosh

    jceckrosh Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 2, 2016
    I expect to lose money when I decide to sell it. Always.
    rje58, afishhunter and TheEdge01 like this.
  17. TheEdge01


    Apr 3, 2015
    That is pretty much what happens to me 99.9% of the time
  18. Phixt


    May 28, 2016
    Correct. Being a consumer is not an investment.

    Furthermore, 'I expect non blem models to come with no blems'...

    But the dealer sent it with a torn corner on the Spydie box, NOW WHAT WILL YOU DO OH NO! :p
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    That would be my expectation as well. Just getting to the point of being willing to sell stuff I own now. In some ways, the fun is gone with the old modern stuff.
  20. Goose 7279

    Goose 7279 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 22, 2015
    That's the first time i have heard anyone say the axis lock seemed weaker than a liner lock. Personally I feel like it's way stronger than the liner lock. I really like the axis and frame lock. But have started to enjoy some others as well like the hawk lock and compression lock. Nesting the liner lock does wonders for it.

    I have just had so many bad linerlocks that i do not want one anymore unless its nested or done by spyderco or an equivalent. And i dont care for a backlock unless its on a traditional knife. I do enjoy the axis lock.

    I just got a new bugout and it made me appreciate thinner blade stock. What an incredible knife for such a small and light package. It punches well above its weightclass. So now im venturing into the world of thinner blades.


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