There’s a great deal of argument that goes into blade make, cost and styles.
One product from a manufacturer may be junk, the next pure gold.
The $12 Moras have their place, especially where the knife will get broken or lost (Boy Scouts). And for a knife that will get abused, a Mora or Opinel are good choices, who wants to use a Rinaldi or Simonich custom to spark a metal match?
At the same time, that custom, my Largents for example, wil hold up to use that will kill cheap knives. My ‘cheap’ Largent was @$125 and can break down several deer or elk before the edge needs any attention except getting the fat off the edge.
My favorite Largent $225+ (its been a while) was used to baton firewood in a camp last fall, cut dinner in the kitchen for a week and still was shaving sharp for hunting season.
My war bag contains a Benchmade fixed blade (reviewed here elsewhere) that’s done everything asked of it and more. For the price @$200 its steep in my opinion but well worth it. Its handled things that have broken KaBars for example.
Fixed knives, i tend to be willing to spend more as they will generally be used harder. Full tang is the rule but there are exceptions, the Camillius Q225 ‘Quartermaster’ knife (WWII) is not full tang but you’ll be hard pressed to hurt one. Thats why they were so highly sought after, especially after breaking KaBars in the Pacific.
I don’t like to spend more than $200 on a blade, I have, I just don’t like it. Especially since they are a consumable item.
Folders, I tend to go for the cheaper models, $70 or less. Having lost or misplaced more than I care to remember, a $40 Kershaw hurts less than a Benchmade. A Spyderco Police model was once abandoned, I just didn’t want to get it back, it fell in a portolet.
I hope whoever cleaned that out enjoys his find.
A $40 Gerber Bolt Action was bought nearly 30 years ago, it still sees weekly use. I showed it off at Shot Show last year, it was older than the young lady at the Gerber booth, she had never seen one that didn’t have the blade exchange feature.
My old Benchmade folders, @$100, some 20 years ago. Beat up, reground, they have been an amazing bargain. I just haven’t found a new model to replace them, all the new ones are too ‘ninja’.
Flat grind, hollow grind, drop or clip point, full tang, riveted, pinned or screw mounted scales? It varies from knife to knife.
I don’t have deep pockets. Many of my best and brightest were bought when I was flush. And a number of these have been handed down to my kids so they have at least one good knife.
Certain ‘off brands’ have served well, Katz knives for example, I have two left, they needed the edge angle changed but other than that have been surprisingly high quality and well built.
The Lion King model while not a full tang, has what is the most comfortable handle of all my knives, and that’s saying something.
Personal choices, $30-80 for a pocket knife. Its gonna get abused, lost, borrowed and not returned, better to have a couple of the same knife for the cost. The Kershaw folders may not be as tough as the Benchmades, but I can buy 4 for the price. (Used Glock vs new high end 1911)
$50-200 nominally for a decent factory fixed blade. Unless I run across a steal, I don’t expect to see the low end of the spectrum anytime soon.
$150-??? For a good custom, and they’re worth it, if you have the cash.
Cost doesn’t always explain it all. For years, I used an USAF survival knife, yup the then $15 surplus knife. The blade while a bit hard for my tastes now held up to all the abuse a Boy Scout and budding survivalist could come up with. Today my son has that exact same knife thanks to my grandfather, mine having been stolen years ago.
Much like Selco’s AK bayonet, it just works.
For years I was a bit of a blade snob, now not so much.
A good 4-5″ fixed blade, a good @3.5″ folder, and I’m happy, at least until I see something else that I ‘need’.
Like many, I oddly tend to spend more on the belt knife that normally sees more abuse and damage, yet less use, rather than the folder that will see more use and is likely to be there in the hour of need.