Whats the point of buying high priced knives???

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by sportsfan007, May 27, 2014.

  1. sportsfan007

    sportsfan007

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    I'm just asking here honestly. Whats the point of buying one to two thousand dollar knives?? I've seen some Wustofs that cost around that price and some other knives as well. I'm not saying they're not good quality, I'm just asking why would I pay that much when I could go to Bed Bath and Beyond and get a set for $100-300 like some of the Chicago Cutlery or Global Knives that do pretty much the same job. Sarcasm is welcome as long as you follow with an answer to my question. Thanks. 
     
  2. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Quality asian stainless that can take a sharper, longer lasting edge than a 1095 Sabatier along with perhaps a handle made of some exotic wood.  But I'll always remain faithful to my 1095 Sabatiers.  They work for me.
     
  3. grande

    grande

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    Shop smart, don't buy knife sets. A good knife made of good steel will last forever if you take care of it.
     
  4. foodpump

    foodpump

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    I dunno...

    What's the difference between a Rolls Royce and a Mazda?   Final analysis is that both will get me to the airport in roughly the same amount of time, both will hold 4 passengers and a driver.

    What I do know is that some people like to collect knives, and they pay highly for them.  Fair enough, let 'em.

    As an employer, I do not let any employee keep valuables or cash that exceeds $300 in his/her locker at work, nor am I comfortable with employees wearing very expensive jewelry at work.  For the same reasons  I am not comfortable with employees bringing a thousand or fifteen hundred dollars worth of cutlery to work either.

    What ever you want to do at home, is what you do at home....
     
  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  6. knifeforhire89

    knifeforhire89

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    Personal preference...and dollar signs. I wouldn't spend more than probably $350 on a knife. Then again, I'm rough on my equipment. My 10" mercer does me just fine. It was only about $50.
     
  7. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Both of my 1095 Sabatier chefs knives measuring 10 and 11 inches, both didn't cost more than a hundred apiece at ebay around twelve fourteen years ago.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  8. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    My current gyuto cost $120.  The nicest knives I want run about $350.  There are some japanese knives above this price range that might be justified.  The higher up you go, the more skill is required, and the more maintenance it needs usually.  Everything $400 is really entering into 'collector' territory. 
     
  9. tweakz

    tweakz

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  10. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    The Henckels I purchased in '76 has a fit and finish as fine as any VF; and, the edge, once the blade was thinned on both knives, held a sharper edge that's even longer lasting than they were originally.  I know nothing concerning the Henckels that have been manufactured recently.
     
  11. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There are those who experience joy in fine craftsmanship above and beyond the utilitarian. The utilitarian (within a varying range) finds the bang for the buck piece that satisfies his desire for performance, maintenance and craftsmanship. The fan, hard-core hobbyist often enjoy small refinements in craftsmanship and materials the Utilitarian rejects as overpriced fluff. It's not right or wrong, but what satisfies you. 

    My friend bought a very nice utility hauling trailer. He enjoys the storage, maintenance and pride of ownership. He uses it maybe 2x/year. I don't get it, i'd rent for the occasions I needed one. 

    I buy expensive folding knives in carbon fiber, M4 steel, M390, cocobolo and so on. He doesn't get it. In the kitchen I don't spend nearly as much, but I appreciate the great work. 
     
  12. nothing

    nothing

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    Approaching this question from the perspective of all knives and not just limited to kitchen cutlery the reasons I have and have seen others throw substantial money at blades can be categorized as follows (many points previously mentioned by other posters):

    1. The Collector -- Someone who is searching for a knife that is at least to some extent unique and will potentially increase in value over time.  Things like functionality and even aesthetics don't necessarily play into the equation -- though you will often find that the serious collectors knives are very functional as well as beautiful....of course you would never actually use one as it would decrease the value.

    2. Aesthetics -- Quite simply a knife that you find beautiful.  The focus here is more on the materials and overall look of the handle and blade rather than the functionality or its uniqueness.  This will often but not always intersect with collectible knives.

    3. Functionality -- When the performance and durability of the knife is key.  People buying knives with thoughts such as, "I intend to use this knife often and I want it to last for the rest of my life."  Overall aesthetics and uniqueness are secondary -- things such as the type of steel, how the blade was crafted, warranties and blade shape are paramount.

    4. Specifics -- When you know exactly what you want a blade for, exactly what steel you want it to be composed of, exactly what shape the blade should be etc. you often are forced to turn to custom knives.  Though some people certainly turn to custom knives with respect to collectibles many also do so for functionality.  I'm not sure if there's an upper limit to how much money you can spend in this arena.

    5. The Best -- This is the only category that I feel does a disservice to those who end up subscribing to it.  Many people, especially those new to something take the stance that the more it costs the better it is.  Like just about everything else there is no best knife or best brand -- there are too many uses justifying too many blade shapes and there is too much warranted subjectivity that goes into what makes one knife better than another.

    For categories 1-4 I think that as long as a person knows what they expect to get then it's money well spent...in other words, if you're 100% satisfied with something you've bought then whatever you paid for it is justified.  Of course this means sifting through a lot of advertising, not simply buying brands based on reputation (which often changes throughout the years both deservedly and not), and of course reading the infinite amount of online opinions who will all say something different :)
     
  13. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I had the intention of buying high-end knives, but while I was deciding what that would be I thinned out some cheap ancient items that were lying around, and they have thoroughly satisfied me for the moment.  Out of ignorance I did start out by buying a 9" wusty ikon slicer cause I thought the $80 sale price was just fantastic, but you know when you thin and sharpen it well it does a very adequate job, particularly in the light way I use knives at this time.  The Ikon is my go to knife, I have a thinned 9.5" chefs (nice Sabatier profile) that works for heavier stuff along with boning knives, utilities and parers that all cost me nothing but the enjoyable time I spent thinning them.  They all have hardwood handles so don't look too shabby, except to the trained eye.

    I had a $100 sony stereo I bought a dozen or so years ago and I was perfectly happy with it for all those years.  But I need some decently powerful speakers I could hook to computer because I have limited access to radio stations in the valley where I am.  Recently I finished an assignment for Bose so on my last day I purchased a few sets of speakers for about 50% of retail, one for the living room and a couple for the desk PC's.  I tell you I will never go back to the $100 Sony again.  Same with the new lawn mower (which actually came before the speakers).  I'll likely feel the same about the pricey knives one of these days.

    Rick
     
  14. ordo

    ordo

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    My one cent here.

    It's pleasant to own and use gorgeous and efficient tools. A knife is no exception.

    You pay for performance, aesthetics, durability, etc. Form, function and let me add: beauty, a slippery and expensive concept.  
    Who knows why, this thread remembered me an old saying i read:

    And they lived miserably, because it was cheaper.

    Let's not that happen to us.
     
  15. tweakz

    tweakz

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  16. nothing

    nothing

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    that poor onion :(

    The only thing I would add to the never-ending Bose argument is some of the much older speakers are decently regarded for quick fixer-uppers and acceptable sound.  A lot of it is not having heard better, though some people also really can't tell (or truly don't care about the difference).  My wife's a perfect example of that...play a $5 speaker next to a $5000 one and she'll tell you, "Sure I can hear the difference, but big deal." 

    Lots of similarities with knives and pretty much any other tool/hobby....the more you know and the more skill you have the more you can appreciate the higher end equipment.  It's as much of a curse as anything else as once you've experienced something better it's hard to go back -- and man you end up paying for that "betterness" :).  Recently ran into this with a friend who was looking to buy a new tennis racquet and was eyeballing ones in the $300 range.  He plays twice a week and hasn't been playing for more than a year, he'd appreciate a $20 racquet as much as he would one of those.  I think sometimes with skill oriented endeavors we all get a bit caught up in the idea that having the best equipment will automagically mean better results when in fact 90% of it is always going to be your skill and often the better equipment just serves to make said tasks easier to perform.
     
  17. tweakz

    tweakz

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  18. rick alan

    rick alan

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     My dear boy, of course a pair of satalites and a woofer box are not going to compare exactly to full-sized speakers.  But I was not allowed that luxury of the bulky boxes because she who is the giver of pleasure and pain would not allow those big boxes to compete with her décor.  Actually though the Bose have one more advantage over boxes in that they are not the least directional, and you get practically the same sound no matter where you sit/stand. 

    Now if you tell me that for the same $475 I paid for the cinemates could have got a superior, easily hidden and fully powered speaker system, I might think you had more than chidedeck in your nutter.  Same for the companion 5 computer desk speakers for 2 bills.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  19. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    Oh dear...  That video. My heart shrunk 3 sizes that day.
     
  20. tweakz

    tweakz

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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014