Horrible Mistakes - Buying Ultra-Cheap Knives

Fascinating objects these are. You need them everywhere, wherever you are - your humble kitchen, in the backcountry, or NASA space station racing around the earth at an unimaginable speed. I'm talking about knives. They are man's oldest friends and have been around for over 2 million years. That's right. The first knives were sharp stone flints that our forefathers used to hunt and gather. And after two million years of evolution and technological advancements, men are still using them to hunt, gather, cook, build, discover, and explore. It's not hard to tell the significance of knives in human evolution.

The knife is perhaps the most crucial tool in history. Its significance ranks over the invention of wheels. And yet, many of us don't realize its value. Because it's so readily available, we don't see the knife as a tool that carves and shapes history. Hence many of us decide to spend as little as possible on knives. Simply head to your cheap supermarket, or browse through Amazon, and you'll see an ocean of cheap knives and knock-offs that come with mouth-watering price tags.

But money is not the only price we pay. You pay a lot more than money when trading for a potentially life-saving tool. Serious hunters, fishermen, mountaineers, and combat personnel know the power of a knife - it's the difference between life and death, food and an empty stomach. But many of us still prefer a good deal over a good tool. Here's why you shouldn't. You're actually paying a lot more than you bargain for.

Failure To Launch

No, it's not the cute rom-com starring Mathew McConaughey. I'm talking about mechanical failure. Bargain-price folding and automatic knives come with cheap hardware that easily rust, break and wear. This results in mechanical failure causing the deployment mechanism inside your folding or automatic knife to jam. This can pose serious threats. The blade can misbehave and injure the user. Or it can stay jammed inside and not flick open at all. This is not ideal in any survival situation. It's not what you want when preparing BBQ, never mind in the middle of the Arctic wilderness.

Inferior Steel And Edge

Cheap knives and knockoffs come with blades that might look fine (or even great at times) but are essentially made from the cheapest metal that's available. These unnamed knives NEVER EVER come with superior steel like:

  • CPM-154
  • CPM-3V
  • CPM-4V
  • CPM-S30V
  • CPM-S35VN
  • CTS-XHP
  • LC200N

They don't even offer good mid-range steel like:

  • 1095
  • 154CM
  • A2
  • D2
  • H1
  • O1
  • N690
  • VG-10

What you get is a cheap flashy metal that'll rust and lose edge within days or weeks. The result? You frustratingly hack your parcel with a blunt knife or worse end up injuring yourself. Stay clear of cheap blades.

False Economy

We've all been guilty of this, thinking 'buy it cheap, when it breaks, buy a new'. This illusion of saving is well documented. Studies show repeatedly that we actually spend more. Unsatisfactory experience leads to repeated and frequent purchases. The final result is spending more and getting less. This is most definitely the case for knives. You buy a cheap automatic knife thinking you got a great deal, and then within weeks you don't even look at it. In contrast, a quality knife lasts for years, becomes your trusted ally, gives you a far superior user experience, and helps your everyday life run a little smoother.