Mikael Andersson wrote:I made up this list as to what knives to expect at each price range... I love doing this stuff and please tell me if you find that something isn't right about this.
This list is for pocket folders with 2'' to 4'' blades.
$1 to $9 - Crappy Quality and Low Quality knives
$10 to $29 - Low Quality and Lower Medium Quality knives
$30 to $59 - Medium Quality knives
$60 to $99 - Upper Medium Quality knives
$100 to $299 - High Quality Production knives
$300 to $599 - Premium Production and Mid-Tech knives
$600+ - Mid-Tech and Custom knives
I think that's a pretty subjective list and will depend a lot on what a person thinks "quality" is. Personally I think my $15 Opinel is an amazing knife for the price and is a quality knife for $15. By comparison I would take an Opinel over just about any generic flea market knife at any price. Your breakdown would lump the Opinel in the low quality group, but I don't think that's a fair assessment of the knife. Then your $30-$59 bracket being medium quality, that's where my Ladybug/Manbug/Dragonfly live, and I surely would consider those knives to be well above medium quality.
What I'm saying is, maybe quality isn't the best way to describe your price points. I can get a Victorinox SAK for $20 and I would never say they're a low quality knife. My experience is, the higher the price, the less you're paying for a tool and the more you're paying for materials, production cost, and probably the name and exclusivity that comes with it. My $15 Opinel will out slice a $600 Hinderer all day everyday, so what is it about a $600 knife that makes it better when it's so easily out performed by a $15 knife?
That's a rhetorical question of course. I fully understand the allure of those knives and for most knives/brands I understand where the cost comes from. An Opinel cost $15 because it only has 5 parts that make up the entire knife, and all those parts are inexpensive and don't cost a lot to manufacture. But, does that make it a low quality knife or an inexpensive knife? Obviously there isn't a direct correlation between cost and performance.
The problem with your list is that it assumes that everyone wants the same thing and places value in the same things. In the end, all a Hinderer can do that an Opinel can't is survive getting beat on in ways that a folding knife should never get beat on, and it cost 40x as much and doesn't slice half as well. So, for a person who cares more about all out slicing performance, a Hinderer is an over priced knife that doesn't slice well. But, to a guy who places his value in exotic materials and modern steels and wants to go and pry a door off its hinges, he probably feels pretty good about his Hinderer and wouldn't waste $15 on an Opinel because he'd probably break it the first time he used it.