Cheap Knives question.

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SpyderEdgeForever
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Cheap Knives question.

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:40 pm

Every now and then I see these advertisements in various catalogs and on websites for low-cost kitchen type knives. I would appreciate your views on this.

Some have said that we get what we pay for and there is no way around it (at least with present human technology), the cheaper the knife is the lesser quality it is.

For example: In one catalog they have a section with kitchen knives. They list a 7 inch Santoku bladed "professional kitchen knife" with a seven inch Santoku blade, with riveted polymer handle, and stainless steel blade, for 2.99 each! Tell me about this. Based on what you know, what sort of performance would one expect from such a knife that has a retail price of nearly 3 dollars?

I also saw a Victorinox Steak Knife, made in Portugal, with a price tag of 7.99. What type of performance should one expect from that?

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby MichaelScott » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:43 pm

“Life is too short to smoke cheap cigars.” James Butler Hickok.
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Crux » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:04 pm

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:40 pm
Every now and then I see these advertisements in various catalogs and on websites for low-cost kitchen type knives. I would appreciate your views on this.

Some have said that we get what we pay for and there is no way around it (at least with present human technology), the cheaper the knife is the lesser quality it is.

For example: In one catalog they have a section with kitchen knives. They list a 7 inch Santoku bladed "professional kitchen knife" with a seven inch Santoku blade, with riveted polymer handle, and stainless steel blade, for 2.99 each! Tell me about this. Based on what you know, what sort of performance would one expect from such a knife that has a retail price of nearly 3 dollars?

I also saw a Victorinox Steak Knife, made in Portugal, with a price tag of 7.99. What type of performance should one expect from that?
7 dollars and 99 cents worth maybe. But after several middlemen and their markups is that knife even worth $3. If it's just labeled "stainless" then it's crap.

Far be it for me to tell anyone what they should buy (except you should buy the Para 3) so buy it and try it if you want. Who knows, maybe you get a great deal. Or you could have a Para 3. Just saying....
Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby demoncase » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:44 am

SpyderEdgeForever wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:40 pm
Every now and then I see these advertisements in various catalogs and on websites for low-cost kitchen type knives. I would appreciate your views on this.

Some have said that we get what we pay for and there is no way around it (at least with present human technology), the cheaper the knife is the lesser quality it is.

For example: In one catalog they have a section with kitchen knives. They list a 7 inch Santoku bladed "professional kitchen knife" with a seven inch Santoku blade, with riveted polymer handle, and stainless steel blade, for 2.99 each! Tell me about this. Based on what you know, what sort of performance would one expect from such a knife that has a retail price of nearly 3 dollars?

I also saw a Victorinox Steak Knife, made in Portugal, with a price tag of 7.99. What type of performance should one expect from that?
It's the classic English aphorism of 'Horse for courses', old chap- We're here because we're knife knuts and steel junkies.

So: Expectation for cheap kitchen knives:
Sharpish out of the box- maybe even pretty sharp.
Very, very thin blade
Poor edge retention
Handles that get loose after a few trips through the dishwasher
(The Victorinox Steakknife is probably going to be much, much better than this- consider that's $8 for one piece of cutlery- so a 4 setting set with 2 knives, fork and spoon would be in the region of $150)

These cheap knives are made for folks that:
1. Don't really know what sharp is
2. Don't really know how to sharpen a knife (unless it's with one of those drag-o-matic things they got from a tradeshow)
3. Drop the knife in the trash when it's reached a level of dangerous bluntness that even scares them

That's not making a judgement on folks like that- pretty much my whole family is the same, as are 99% of the population.

Lord help me, my mother even has tempered glass chopping boards and wonders why her knives are blunt inside of 3 weeks.....Because 'they look nice and wipe clean easy'. :D

Anecdote:
About 6 years ago my wife and I moved house- I took the chance to re-kit out various rooms with new stuff, rather drag old dross with us across town
I junked the mixture of Ikea and Poundshop (Dollarstore) knives we'd collected over several years and went to John Lewis (upscale department store)
I'd dragged my mother-in-law with me who is one of these people that cheapest is best and volume beats quality every day.
We were filling the trolley with stuff and hit the kitchen aisle
I started pulling down the 7" chefs knives and reading the back of the packets.

After about 2 minutes, my Mother In Law asked "What are you looking for Jon?.....They are all the same aren't they, so buy that one" (Pointing to the £4 one)
I pointed out that no- they are not all the same- the one in my hand at £20 had the actual Rockwell hardness range of the blade on the packet as well as the steel type.

She walked away shaking her head about "I could have bought 4 for the same money"......Reason being I could blunt 4 and drop each in the trash over the space of 12 months.
Whereas my reason is with my Sharpmaker, this £20 carving knife will probably last 10 years.
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby The Deacon » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:36 am

I'd say your chances of getting a decent 7" santoku for $3 are pretty low. OTOH, I'm sure there's a point of diminishing returns. A $200 knife may not work any better than a $40 one. Spyderco kitchen knives are relatively inexpensive and I'm quite happy with mine. I also know someone back in NY who processes a lot of game and swears by Old Hickory carbon steel knives.
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Doc Dan » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:26 am

Old Hickory in 1095 are pretty good. You can get cheaper knives that are pretty good. Forschner (by Victorinox) are inexpensive but stay highly rated by professionals, for another example. I can name some very expensive knives you could not give me (I won't because of shiny footprints and all that). The point is, cheap does not always mean bad and expensive does not always mean good.
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Evil D » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:20 am

I think there are exceptions to this rule. Opinel for example still sell pretty cheap knives and they perform quite well for less than $20. If they made a $15 chef's knife with the same steel I'd buy one.
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby BornIn1500 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:40 am

demoncase wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:44 am
These cheap knives are made for folks that:
3. Drop the knife in the trash when it's reached a level of dangerous bluntness that even scares them


There are a staggeringly high number of folks who do this.

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby vivi » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:26 pm

I'm amazed at how many folks are writing off cheap kitchen knives. You can certainly find good paring knives under $10, and a good chef knife for under $30. I used a Victorinox 10" Chef knife while spending two years in a fine dining prep kitchen and it kept up with much fancier knives.

Dexter Russel has pretty much every type of kitchen knife you could need for dirt cheap, and their stuff is legit.

These types of knives are run in softer steels than high end japanese knives, but they'll still hold an edge just fine cutting up food. It's not very abrasive.
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Tdog » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:37 pm

I would agree with Vivi that one can get "decent" knives for under $20. I have some old Dexter's, Victorinox, Chicago Cutlery, and others which I've bought and/or inherited when in-laws passed away. I've gifted many, and taken some to the local Hospice attic. While many of these will do the job, for knife nuts :p they sometimes don't cut the mustard. :rolleyes: Most of us could get by with just a couple knives if we had to.....but that would be no fun :D

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Crux » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:46 pm

A cheap knife is like a cheap ho. It might do the job but you'll regret it later.
Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby vivi » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:35 am

At $25 Spydercos paring knife is pretty cheap too. These junk? ;)

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Bloke » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:33 am

demoncase wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:44 am
Lord help me, my mother even has tempered glass chopping boards and wonders why her knives are blunt inside of 3 weeks.....Because 'they look nice and wipe clean easy'. :D
May The Good Lord help us both Demon! Beloved wife has a polished granite chopping board. :rolleyes:

I think there’s alot to be said for inexpensive knives. For example I have a friend who is an A Grade Boner at an abattoir and sometimes professional Roo Shooter who only uses Dexter Russell knives and another friend who’s a butcher working for a wholesaler and he only uses Victorinox Swibo knives.

Both knives cost around $AU30 and when you consider both are professionals in their fields and have been doing what they do for many years, if not decades you’d have to assume they know something. :)
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby supracor » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:06 am

it is not the price that counts, but the relationship between this and the quality.

For about 3 dollars this knife beats practically every knife over 100 dollars on the market, because as it may be a practical sh!t he will never be able to cut 33.3 times less , and the more the price increases the more the cheap knife wins.

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Tdog » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:37 am

Bloke wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:33 am
demoncase wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:44 am
Lord help me, my mother even has tempered glass chopping boards and wonders why her knives are blunt inside of 3 weeks.....Because 'they look nice and wipe clean easy'. :D
May The Good Lord help us both Demon! Beloved wife has a polished granite chopping board. :rolleyes:

I think there’s alot to be said for inexpensive knives. For example I have a friend who is an A Grade Boner at an abattoir and sometimes professional Roo Shooter who only uses Dexter Russell knives and another friend who’s a butcher working for a wholesaler and he only uses Victorinox Swibo knives.

Both knives cost around $AU30 and when you consider both are professionals in their fields and have been doing what they do for many years, if not decades you’d have to assume they know something. :)
Years ago in the charter and commercial fishing days, pretty much all we used were Dexter's, Chicago Cutlery, Swibo, and if we wanted to splurge a Forschner. Don't remember a single person who had a high dollar knife. Our double sided Norton stone was far from flat. They always worked for us.

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Bloke » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:51 am

Tdog wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:37 am
Years ago in the charter and commercial fishing days, pretty much all we used were Dexter's, Chicago Cutlery, Swibo, and if we wanted to splurge a Forschner. Don't remember a single person who had a high dollar knife. Our double sided Norton stone was far from flat. They always worked for us.
Just seems to be the way it is Greg. :)

Nothing’s changed here, that’s for sure. A Swedish Frost (great knives) is considered “The Good Knife”.

I had a little chuckle at the far from flat Norton because that’s what both my mates use but only till they wear right through in the middle or they snap under their own weight when they pick them up. :rolleyes:
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Tdog » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Bloke wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:51 am
Tdog wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:37 am
Years ago in the charter and commercial fishing days, pretty much all we used were Dexter's, Chicago Cutlery, Swibo, and if we wanted to splurge a Forschner. Don't remember a single person who had a high dollar knife. Our double sided Norton stone was far from flat. They always worked for us.
Just seems to be the way it is Greg. :)

Nothing’s changed here, that’s for sure. A Swedish Frost (great knives) is considered “The Good Knife”.

I had a little chuckle at the far from flat Norton because that’s what both my mates use but only till they wear right through in the middle or they snap under their own weight when they pick them up. :rolleyes:
The Norton's we used shen fishing looked like soap dishes :rolleyes: The Frost Mora's are a good fillet knife for the $. BHQ has gone up a few bucks across the board on these https://www.bladehq.com/?search=frost+mora+fillet I've got a couple of the PG series, like the longer narrow blade for skinning and the narrow 7" does well for filleting most including larger fish. They get razor sharp easily and hold the edge pretty well. Not as fond of the 6" as they use the same handle as others and it seems a bit large for the knife. They have almost a sticky feel to them so no slip. Imo one of the better "traditional" fillets out there for the $ right now. Wish they came with a sheath or edge protector. Catch one or two for me :D And yes, a little humor goes a long way :p

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Evil D » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:16 pm

Crux wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:46 pm
A cheap knife is like a cheap ho. It might do the job but you'll regret it later.
Yeah well I also won't feel as bad if I break that cheap knife and throw it in the trash....does that analogy still work? Lol
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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:14 pm

How difficult would it be to take a cheap knife and somehow reinforce or boost the quality of the steel, or would that not be likely because at that point you may as well just start off with a quality steel to begin with?

I'm thinking something along the lines of taking a ten dollar butcher knife and transforming it by reworking the metal into a knife that has quality more like a 100 dollar or 200 dollar version.

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Re: Cheap Knives question.

Postby Crux » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:55 pm

Evil D wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:16 pm
Crux wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:46 pm
A cheap knife is like a cheap ho. It might do the job but you'll regret it later.
Yeah well I also won't feel as bad if I break that cheap knife and throw it in the trash....does that analogy still work? Lol
It kinda still does, in a weird way as she basically gets thrown away. I'm not really wanting to defend the analogy, it just sounded snappy at the time.
Can you find it and can it cut? :eek:


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