What’s your upper limit on knife purchases?

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A recent thread was discussing a $1500 kitchen knife, and there were some comments on not wanting a knife that expensive because they’d baby it and not use it.
I thought this was interesting because I’ve been the same way. I bought a ~$2500 shig Kitaeji and couldn’t justifying using it due to the price, so I sold it along as I do with all my knives that don’t receive use. I happily use my honyaki Takada though, and that was roughly $1700. Though, I found I’m most comfortable using knives up to the $1000 range and not much above.
My limit for this has gone up over time as my budget increases. What’s the upper limit you can justify? Would you use a knife at that limit?
 
I think I’m pretty similar in that I need a really good reason to go above the $800 mark.

Usually the reasons for spending more fall into one of the categories below

1. Personal project with someone else where the end product is a representation of that relationship and reminds me of them (ex: custom knives, group buys, etc)

2. Unique / Hard to find knife that someone gives me an opportunity to use (ex: Jiro)

3. Performance is significantly higher than other similar knives (ex: Xerxes 270)

4. Personal purchase to help someone out for whatever reason. I usually have to spend some time really thinking about it as I think it has the most risk
 
I simply enjoy buying cheaper ($400-600) knives instead. Trying out something different and learning what I don’t like in knives in that tier.
 
*Gulp*

I think I’m a weirdo. I find myself using my cheapest and most expensive knives the most often. It’s the 1200-4k range that sits unused the most on my wall. My most expensive gyuto, my tamahagane Damascus clad 260 from xerxes, cost me nearly 7k, and it brings me the most joy in use than any other knife in my collection. It certainly helps that it’s performance is absolute perfection.

So yeah, if I’m going to fork over half an organ for a knife, I’m gonna get my moneys worth.
 
*Gulp*

I think I’m a weirdo. I find myself using my cheapest and most expensive knives the most often. It’s the 1200-4k range that sits unused the most on my wall. My most expensive gyuto, my tamahagane Damascus clad 260 from xerxes, cost me nearly 7k, and it brings me the most joy in use than any other knife in my collection. It certainly helps that it’s performance is absolute perfection.

So yeah, if I’m going to fork over half an organ for a knife, I’m gonna get my moneys worth.
Jesus….

Can you show a photo?
 
*Gulp*

I think I’m a weirdo. I find myself using my cheapest and most expensive knives the most often. It’s the 1200-4k range that sits unused the most on my wall. My most expensive gyuto, my tamahagane Damascus clad 260 from xerxes, cost me nearly 7k, and it brings me the most joy in use than any other knife in my collection. It certainly helps that it’s performance is absolute perfection.

So yeah, if I’m going to fork over half an organ for a knife, I’m gonna get my moneys worth.
I wanna be more like this guy 😂
 
More on type of knife.

I usually won't pay more than 160k Jpy on standard clad or over 400k on any Honyaki.


This is including that,
Honbatsuke on Honyaki is usually a 25k option and mirror finish for Ura is around 30~35k and Omote is around 20~25k.

Which means Hon-Kasumi's price is hard capped at a point as Honbatsuke and Hon-kasumi are comparable.


When you place a order for Clad Damascus you're paying for a fixed amount of extra for the Damascus clad.

On coreless though, it's a diffrenct story.

The Damascus for clad, are pattern weld means the steel was exposed to heat extensively which causes it to lose carbon more than it had to, but it doesn't matter because it's only the soft clad not the steel.

Coreless has to be done at very low temperature in one go, most smith don't like to do coreless because it's a extremely tedious process to make a quality one yet it will not cut better than a Honyaki because there's not enough inpurity you need to purge on modern steel.


Now, Tamahagane don't apply to what I've said because it's not modern steel and the little bit of left over inpurity actually make it look wicked and cut slightly better than any Yasugi steel however, the price is well, over the roof to the clouds.
 
I mostly grab knives under $600 for my regular use like Hyde, Birgerrson, Wakui, Myojin. They have the advantage of not being too difficult to acquire so I won't cry if they get damaged.

But it's really nice to grab one of the "nice" knives once in a while - it feels like a special occasion when I grab the Newham, Kamon, Adonis, Ayling, etc. It makes it more fun when you feel like you're playing with a special knife vs just prepping dinner.

I definitely plan to use all the knives I buy, but some more than others.
 
I like to play in the sub-$350 pool. I've got a custom lined up that will be $590, and that's the most I'm willing to spend on a knife. I've just had too many good ones in the ~200-300 range and I don't have oodles of disposable income to chase the dragon.

It's taken me a while to realize there isn't a "perfect" knife, I think I'm getting pretty close but then I pick up another that's been languishing for a final goodbye prep session and realize I enjoy that one too and the contrast makes it fun. I'd rather spend my budget sprinkled throughout the offerings of KnifeJapan to try a bunch of different makers and steels.
 
I like to play in the sub-$350 pool. I've got a custom lined up that will be $590, and that's the most I'm willing to spend on a knife. I've just had too many good ones in the ~200-300 range and I don't have oodles of disposable income to chase the dragon.

It's taken me a while to realize there isn't a "perfect" knife, I think I'm getting pretty close but then I pick up another that's been languishing for a final goodbye prep session and realize I enjoy that one too and the contrast makes it fun. I'd rather spend my budget sprinkled throughout the offerings of KnifeJapan to try a bunch of different makers and steels.

Every time I use my darn $150 wakui nakiri I'm like "why the heck did I ever bother buying anything else?" 🤣
 
Every time I use my darn $150 wakui nakiri I'm like "why the heck did I ever bother buying anything else?" 🤣
I think that sometimes when I use certain knives. Like my Spare Cleaver, which is my cheapest cleaver... every time I use that I think to myself "I could only use this knife for the rest of my life and be happy". Or my giant takeda, whose steel is so ridiculously easy to sharpen and stays so magically sharp for so long... whenever I use it I think " I could sell my entire collection and buy maybe 7-8 takedas and be happy as a clam". Then I happily push those intrusive thoughts out of my head 😂
 
It's pretty arbitrary but <$800 would be my comfort zone and $1000 is my absolute line in the sand. Anything above 3 figures feels too luxury/jewelry-like. Would have to be a major event in my life and approved by family as well, which can be difficult...

Fortunately I have not found myself wanting anything really expensive. Upper end knives tend to gravitate toward workhorse like geometry and I am a laser man through and through, so it's rather hard to spend a big sum on something you know you won't like using too much. But you always wonder maybe there is some black magic in the grind and it looks so damn good so you open the wallet anyways.

I also really enjoy trying things out in the ~200 range. Finding value is always exciting.
 
My fave knives that I own are in the 400-500 range but if I had the chance to pick up something like a yanick or shihan I would be willing to go over that. That being said, I've used cheaper knives like under 100 that I really enjoyed
 
For me, as long as I don't have a paid off mortgage + money for kids to go to college + emergency healthcare buffer + enough to retire, I will always feel guilty spending more than the minimum required on anything because it's fiscally irresponsible. So with expensive knives almost the whole price induces guilt, lol.

Back when I first graduated college and got my first $100+ gyuto, I babied it. I even sold a $220 powdered steel knife cause of the guilt, haha. Couldn't bring myself to use it.

Nowadays I have settled at around $500 for knives that don't get abused, and around $80 for knives that do (lobster, bone etc). I find that there isn't much value in terms of performance gained at above that price point, and the number starts to become substantial on the scale of mortgage payments.
 
I think it's good to have a firm idea before you buy "is this a tool or a piece of artwork?" Nothing wrong with either. Some makers blur the line, like Joshua Prince or Veronique Laurent/Jean-Louis Regel.

If it's a tool, rip the tag off and wear it day one. Feel the joy.

If it's art, display it proudly, don't use it.

Easy peasy.
 
$600 is my max. Though it used to be much much higher. The only exceptions would be like a Denka waifu or Kato, and Kato is becoming unlikely as I likely would baby it even though I’d go into that purchase with the mindset that I enjoy its performance.
I can understand others that chase integrals, dammy, wrought, Honyaki etc. But I’m not there.
Besides, I kinda enjoy treating all my knives like beaters tbh
 
I'm both Dutch and poor... so my general motto is 'the cheaper the better'. I used to think 50 euros was a lot. Over time that crept up, especially as I realized that getting something really good at such low prices was problematic. So it has crept up to the point that I now think 200 is fairly affordable - though still not something I'd buy without serious consideration... 300 is acceptable... but anything above that I already consider a serious splurge and 500 is probably a hard limit.

And that's gyutos...where I accept a higher pricetag because I know I'll use them a lot. For less used knives my acceptance is significantly lower. Took me years to buy a Herder K1M at 60 euros because I still thought that was too much for a paring knife. And fairly affordable petties like the Ashi Gingas sat on my wishlist for literally years because I found it hard to justify considering how I don't use them all that much.
And bread knives... let's just say I still use the fibrox handled Victorinox pastry knife because darnit I'm not paying 30 euros more just for a wooden handle!

I think what also plays a role is that...as my 'collection' grew... I realized that I'm not really a collector. I just don't have the space for it, and it just leads to good knives getting neglected because it's not like I'm cooking 10 meals a day. Sharpening routine only gets more complicated when there's that many knives, and frankly I have a feeling it only impacts my muscle memory and cutting speed for the worse when I'm constantly switching knives.
Admittedly, I think what also plays a role here is that I have somewhat 'completed the journey'. Growing my collection was in large part to explore my preferences, and now that I have a better feel for what I like and want... I guess I rather just have my money back than just having an expensive piece of metal taking up space as decoration. ;)
 
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