Why are Tactical/Defense Knives so Expen$ive??

This is a discussion on Why are Tactical/Defense Knives so Expen$ive?? within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; At least the name brands, when comparable no-name brands are fractions of the price? I am talking simple knives, not a leatherman tool, but a ...

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Thread: Why are Tactical/Defense Knives so Expen$ive??

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    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Why are Tactical/Defense Knives so Expen$ive??

    At least the name brands, when comparable no-name brands are fractions of the price?

    I am talking simple knives, not a leatherman tool, but a spring assist defensive folder. Spyderco and others seem to add $$ just because of the name..
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    Materials tend to be better quality, and some may even have more hands-on construction.

    Of course, you're also having to fork over for a fancy brand name, the costs of their advertising/marketing, maybe royalites for using a famous custom knife maker's or knife fighter's name in a particular model, and the fact that they're called tactical.

    Spyderco I consider a great brand for the money, which often cost a fraction of what you'd pay for a Benchmade.
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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Some of the name brands use fancy steels that cost more. Some steels function better for some purposes. Some steels hold and edge better, some are harder, and some are easier to sharpen. When it comes down to brass tacks a knife made of the cheaper steels will function just as well as the expensive for most purposes and will probably outlast most people if they take care of the knife.

    If you don't abuse your knife or lose it we are talking about a lifetime of about 100+ years. Most WW2 knives were made of 1095 steel, I have over 500 knives in good condition from that era and they all work fine.

    To me Fancy knives with expensive steels only get you bragging rights and hardly ever get used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raevan View Post
    Some of the name brands use fancy steels that cost more. Some steels function better for some purposes. Some steels hold and edge better, some are harder, and some are easier to sharpen. When it comes down to brass tacks a knife made of the cheaper steels will function just as well as the expensive for most purposes and will probably outlast most people if they take care of the knife.

    If you don't abuse your knife or lose it we are talking about a lifetime of about 100+ years. Most WW2 knives were made of 1095 steel, I have over 500 knives in good condition from that era and they all work fine.

    To me Fancy knives with expensive steels only get you bragging rights and hardly ever get used.
    I have quite a few kershaws with "fancy steels" and I use them all the time. They have all been under $100 except for the kershaw leek with titanium handle and ZDP-189 blade steel (my favorite blade steel of any knife I own.)

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    Mostly because of the materials and the name, although the prices for some of them are outrageous, I don't consider spyderco or CKRT to be that bad as far as pricing.

    I have had a fair number of cheapo knives break while I was using them, if I can get a $50 knife to last me two-three years I'm saving money on them.
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    Why are Tactical/Defense Knives so Expen$ive??

    Because they have the word Tactical or Defensive in their name.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Betty View Post
    Spyderco I consider a great brand for the money, which often cost a fraction of what you'd pay for a Benchmade.
    I'd wager that between comparable models the Benchmade would last considerably longer, too (just sayin'). Just remember that knives designed for fighting are different than those designed for tool-use, and a knife that excels as one may not be very good, or even very durable, at the other. I consider my favorite knife, the Gerber Paraframe, a prime example of this: it's lasted me forever, and been used hard, but if used for fighting would probably be ruined awful quickly based purely on its design. Otherwise, I agree with Betty's post.


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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Betty's right.

    Quality of materials.....primarily the steel, but also pins, liners, locks, etc.....

    Grab a Spyderco and a cheap "Wally world" special and open them both. Check how solid they both lock up and for blade play. You'll understand in a hurry.

    Now having said that, you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good knife. Grab a Spyderco Delica or Endura for about $50 and you've got an edc user that will last forever and will take care of you when the chips are down too!

    Here are two "old school" Delicas....I've carried one or the other every day for the past 15 years. They'll be going strong for another 15, I guarantee it!


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    Tactical/Defense Knives

    Most major brands also have a very good repair policies. Spyderco I know, is one company that stands behind their products. Cheap Chinese knock-offs are nothing but wonder knives to me. If you lose it,you don't wonder where you lost it. Like the old saying goes,"you get what you pay for". Stick with a well known brand and choose a blade style that will work for you. Remember that a tanto blade is not a screwdriver and you should do well. Besides,what better way to start collecting knives than finding that one special keeper.

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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    Maybe because we'll buy them.....ain't they cool
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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    To a large extent, you get what you pay for. Just like I wouldn't trade my Glock for a Hi-Point, I wouldn't trade my good knives (spyderco, SOG, Cold Steel, etc.) for a $20 S&W or some "pawn-shop special."

    That said, there are knives that cost more simply because of the name or because they are a custom or semi-custom.
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    because they are tacticool...

    and some people buy them because that is as close to "tactical" as they will ever get...
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    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    My CRKT is just as good as the day I bought it. Just sayin'...

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I have a friend that is/was president of a knifemakers organization.He makes custom knives and depending on what kinda handle etc. he puts on them dictates the price.When he would show me a 600 dollar knife i would pull out my 10.00 walmart liner lock and say i could have 60 knives fer what that one costs,then wait fer the justification lol
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gljaxon View Post
    At least the name brands, when comparable no-name brands are fractions of the price?
    "Comparable" is not generally comparable. If you mean the plethora of look-alikes, they are usually made in Chumpa, poor/no heat treatment; poorly fitted spine locks; poorly fitted, unhardened liner locks... I literally whittled away half of a cheapy blade with an Endura, to prove a point once.

    Generally, $50 +/- will get you a well made, non-injury inducing defensive knife.

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