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Budget blade - when you need a knife and you can't spend more

Discussion in 'Knives' started by JOE68, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. bj warkentin

    bj warkentin Loaded Pockets

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    Given that I have a utility blade knife (TPT or RUT) as a constant pocket companion my travel technique, if just doing carryon, is to leave the blade at home and pickup a pack of blades at the destination... or toss the blade at the anal retentive security checkpoint and reload once back at the house (on the last trip to Disney).

    In that vein, I would suggest grabbing a Milwaukee Fastback III. Available at just about any hardware store. Cheap, easy to carry, great ergonomic handle design, and just about bombproof. Absolutely the blades are not as good as a decent knife, but with 5 blades on board (1 loaded, plus storage for 4) you don't have to worry. They have taken over the construction job site world.
     
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  2. JOE68

    JOE68 Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, realistically the utility knife is hard to beat for the price point.
    It's only for some really heavy cutting have I seen guys reach for a dedicated knife instead of their utility knife.
    And of those people I've seen the most reach for an actual knife, it's mostly been electricians.
     
  3. JOE68

    JOE68 Loaded Pockets

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    Security persons do tend to take it to heart when people won't comply with instructions.
    It sometimes leads into writing reports and other paperwork.
     
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  4. ThaMac

    ThaMac Loaded Pockets

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    In the States they just love to yell orders, I feel. It’s a lot more relaxed practically everywhere.

    Last note about that. Don’t wanna jack the thread.


    Sent from my Glade Air Freshener.
     
  5. MonkeyWrench

    MonkeyWrench Loaded Pockets

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    SAK Farmer ($35) + Ganzo G7393 ($23)
    I already carry this exact setup on a daily basis at work. The Ganzo has replaced my Benchmade Griptillian while at work after I went through a 2-day stretch, tearing my hair out looking for it, thinking I'd left it in the reactor... O_O

    Turns out it was just my laptop bag, I'd apparently been subconsciously worried I'd lose it, so I tucked it away for safekeeping. Now to safe myself the stress, I carry the Ganzo. On a positive note, I don't have to hesitate, or cringe when someone asks to borrow a knife and proceeds to cut wire with it!!!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
     
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  6. Jdjernigan

    Jdjernigan Loaded Pockets

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    Folder options (new):
    $20 Buck Bantam - all my kids have one, and I give them as gifts
    $25 Kershaw Cryo - owned a couple and handed them off as gifts, wouldn’t hesitate to purchase again
    $25 Ontario RAT 1 - recent purchase but the knife seems solid

    Folder options (used; i.e. eBay):
    Sub $60 Benchmade Griptilian - I own two that I bought used for less than $60, one is a daily carry and one is a backup
    Sub $50 Spyderco Endura 4 - I have bought a couple and carried them and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again from a reputable seller
    Sub $50 Spyderco Delica 4 - see above

    Fixed blades:
    Mora blades anything bigger I would save up for the purchase. I have bought the $25 Fire Knife version for each of my kids and recommended them to my Scout parents. If I needed a camping/bushcraft setup then it would be the Mora with a $24 Bahco Laplander saw. You could add a Council Tool Hudson Bay Axe with 28in handle for about $50-$60 and have a nice outdoors setup.

    Multitools
    Gerbers, Leatherman, SAK’s can all be had under $60. I have several Gerber 600 tools I bought new from military surplus stores for $25 ea. I’ve had Leatherman skeletool but I don’t like their pocket clip. I’ve had Leatherman Wingman’s for $28 and they are okay. Leatherman Micra on the keychain at $20. The only SAK I carry now is the Fieldmaster and I have given away about 6 of those to my Scouts and all my kids have one.

    My preference:
    $60 Used Benchmade Griptilian
    $30 SAK Fieldmaster
    $20 Leatherman Micra on keys
    $25 Mora Fire Knife
    I have a pair of 6in sliding vise grip pliers GV6 in my bag that I bought for $8-$10
    I also have a $6-$8 Stanley multibit screwdriver I keep in my bag so honestly I could ditch the SAK.

    What my kids have (10 yr old Son, 7 and 4 year old daughters)
    $20 Buck Bantam
    $25 Mora Fire Knife
    $30 SAK Fieldmaster
     
    #46 Jdjernigan, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  7. JOE68

    JOE68 Loaded Pockets

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    Used some Christmas gift money and bought a Real Steel H-6 S1. (Real Steel 7771 H6 S-1)
    I was impressed with the first one I bought and like their product as a good frugal choice.
    Very smooth opening, and was sharp out of the box.
    I keep looking at a couple of Byrd knives on a web site, and may purchase one as well.
    Never handled a Byrd, but as a cheaper version of a Spyderco they do look interesting.
     
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  8. Water-Rat

    Water-Rat Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Byrd Hawkbill. Feels just like a Spyderco and the serrated hawkbill will tear through anything. They're a very good low cost option. The only thing is you're not going to find them in local stores, at least not where I am.
     
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  9. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    I have a couple of Byrds: the Meadowlark 2 and the Cara Cara Rescue. The Meadowlark is basically an econo Delica and takes its own place in my rotation. The Cara Cara Rescue has a more or less permanent place in my car console 'just in case'.

    For the price I think they're good and capable knives. Until recently at least, they used the Chinese steel -- decent enough albeit not quite the equal of say VG-10. Fit and finish compared to actual Spyderco a bit cruder but still quite usable. Recently Spyderco have started making a few of the Byrd with US steels -- reviews I've seen were quite good. Sorry, I don't recall which knives this was.

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  10. calvinw

    calvinw Loaded Pockets

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    Cadet.

    I’d buy a knife that I would keep (assuming I would later expand). Looking back, I bought a lot of sub-$40 EDC knives that I no longer carry or own because I’ve moved upmarket. But the Cadet... it gives me the fizz.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  11. JOE68

    JOE68 Loaded Pockets

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    The thing I wonder when this urge hits me is am I really improving for the money I'm spending?
    As I grow older I tend to look for value for money in my purchases.
    Budget blades can still get the work done and be keepers.
    There is also longevity to fit into the equation.
    Will the one $150 knife perform and outlast three $50 knives that you have rotated?.

    My current EDC "heavy duty" (read supplement to my SAK for heavier jobs) is a Real Steel knife.
    It's a frame lock, has good fit and finish, feels good in hand, and didn't break the bank.
    It is one that I would have no qualms about using (even slightly abusing).
     
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  12. Daveho

    Daveho Loaded Pockets

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    Personally I advocate buying the best you can, you won’t take as much of a hit on the second hand market if you are buying in that low mid range like a Delica plus they are an easy sell should you need too.
     
  13. ThaMac

    ThaMac Loaded Pockets

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    Well but then you want what you want. If life would be all about practically it would be boring.


    Sent from my Glade Air Freshener.
     
  14. Lellobeetle

    Lellobeetle Loaded Pockets

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    Easy Greasy...

    Victorinox Hercules
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. calvinw

    calvinw Loaded Pockets

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    I do have a soft spot of inexpensive work knives - especially those with a heritage. Opinels, Sodbusters, Alox SAKs, my Douk Douk, my Glock field knife, etc. When I imagine cutting something, I see my Mora Classic No. 1 in my hand.

    I started with $30 Kershaws. Then some $60 Spydercos. Then a couple of $175 ZT’s. Then I got a Sebenza.

    They all cut. They all get tape gunk if you use them to open packages. They all get dull if you cut food on ceramic plates.

    A t this point, after what must be 70+ knives gone through my hands, and at least 30 currently in the drawer, I’m not looking to buy another high-value production EDC folder. I’d rather just carry something nice. Why pick the Delica today (a perfectly good knife) and leave the Sebenza in the drawer?

    I agree there is a diminishing return. I put it at about $75 with knives, when you get into the entry level Spydercos and Benchmades, and the high-end Chinese knives. However, I also think there’s a difference between a good knife and a nice or special knife. If I run into a friend carrying a new Mini Grip, I won’t have much interest in fondling it. It’s like fine watches and cars. Show up in a new Honda Civic and I won’t want to test drive it. Come in an air-cooled 911 and I’ll want the keys.

    When I die and my daughter goes through my knife drawer, I know she’ll keep the Sebenza. That’s dad’s knife. The rest? She’ll probably sell them on eBay. (She’ll probably also keep the yellow Peanut because she thinks it’s cute.)

    The Alox Cadet (I’m specifically thinking of the blue I got last year) is a keeper because 1) it’s a great knife, super pocketable and useful, and 2) it’s (at least somewhat) special - there’s a heritage you summon with that knife and the colors are now limited to yearly runs.


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  16. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    After reading the posts on this page (see above), I remembered a video Nick Shabazz posted about a year ago, in which he expounds on the concept and his interpretation of a "Cost Carry - Comfort Curve". Sort of a thumbnail sketch of the marginal increments in increased quality as you spend more, until you reach a plateau of diminishing returns. A classic "S-curve"; we've all seen these things. Here is the link:

    Whilst on the subject of cost - benefit analysis, this video of Nick's regarding balancing the trinity of Odds, Stakes, and Cost is also worth looking at:

    Finally, given how people talk about downsizing their collection and 'cashing out' on less used items, this might be of interest:

    Yup. I am a fan of Nick Shabazz!

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
  17. Daveho

    Daveho Loaded Pockets

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    Haha I love that people use Honda Civics as bench mark for boring cars, ever driven an EK9?
    The same translates to knives, a basic one vs one that’s been well setup makes all the difference in performance.
     
  18. calvinw

    calvinw Loaded Pockets

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    I meant a plain-Jane Civic, which I consider a perfectly fine car that is well built, handles well and a smart purchase. Just not exciting to me.

    If you show up with a Type-R, any model year, including the current (spoilers on top of my spoilers, bro!) I’ll want to drive it.

    If you come with a Gold Class Mini Grip, I’ll want to check it out.


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  19. jabe1

    jabe1 Loaded Pockets

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    Kershaw cqc-6k, mora, opinel, bk-14, almost any victorinox, case sodbuster.
    I've had good luck with all of these, although I mostly carry a Blur that I caught on sale for about $35.
    Most of my knives are hard use (remodeling contractor) and I can't bear to mess up a high end blade.
     
    #59 jabe1, Jan 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
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  20. JOE68

    JOE68 Loaded Pockets

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    The second hand market can be a funny place.
    "Non knife" people don't want to spend a lot of cash on a knife, and they make up a good section of the consumer group who buy knives.
    They just think the knife is "cool", so price is a factor
    I've actually seen people willing to spend more (percentage wise) for a really low end knife (in this case a new Schrade frame lock) than something with better quality (Spyderco Endura).
    The "uninformed" don't care about the price you paid, only the price they will pay and "non knife" people only care if it is sharp and functional.