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Expensive Custom Knives !!!

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by SharpDog, Aug 3, 2019.

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  1. SharpDog

    SharpDog member

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    My buddy makes custom knives, they're no where near $4300 !!!! :what:

    CultroTech Knives:

    upload_2019-8-3_10-15-59.png

    https://www.knifecenter.com/brand/938/CultroTech-Knives

    Personally I would never spend more than $1000 on a custom knife (and my highest so far is under $400). I do have a $600 custom but that was a gift from the maker. I don't foresee that I get any more custom knives unless I hit the lottery.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  2. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Our own Todd Davidson makes a superb folder for mid 3 figures.
     
  3. JN01

    JN01 Member

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    For that kind of money I would expect some Damascus steel, inlays and/or relief carving and extra fancy wood scales.
     
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  4. SharpDog

    SharpDog member

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    My friend Fuad gave me this ivory-hilted dagger. I love the blade shape. Think Assassin's Creed ... Not going to use it ...

    He was valuing in at $600 for a friends and family discount ...

    Shown with the trick sheath that can be worn vertically or horizontally

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I know makers who get $150 and makers who get $15,000 for a knife. They're of different skill levels and of different followings and they get exactly what their knives are worth from the people who buy them.

    Some of the $150/knife makers only want to make $150 knives and others aspire to perfecting their craft further and further and getting proportionally more.

    The fact that Fuad GAVE that damascus/ivory piece to you is remarkable! You must be a special friend (and why didn't he give it to ME!o_O).

    I gotta say the Russians are bringing huge money these days, stonewashed Bohler M390 ... bronze anodized titanium frame ... walnut wood scales ... 3D machined mokume, is impressive, but I do have trouble seeing it as $4k since I have folders that are similar from makers that weren't anywhere near that. Still, I see a whole new generation of makers and collectors that have an international market and good promotion and a maker can make only so many pieces while a world-wide audience can cause prices to jump.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  6. Mullo98

    Mullo98 Member

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    Most of them are you paying for the name of the maker instead of the actual quality of the knife. (Same goes for custom guns, cars, boots, ect) My 250$ Toothpick made by a random guy is probably on the same level of quality as a Toothpick done by a dude that was on forge in fire, for a grand. But it was done by a guy on national television. So YMMV when it comes to this type of stuff; but that’s how I see it.
     
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  7. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    I was more of a $200 knifemaker - I made knives to use and frankly didn't have NEAR the skill set of some of these guys. I finished them on the grinder (no hand sanding) and only took the handles to a certain grit. Only one showroom piece from me in 10 years, we make what we make.
     
  8. SharpDog

    SharpDog member

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    Those are my kind of knives, I really like this one:

    Spalted_Maple_Fighter1.jpg

    Knife and Photo by DLKnives
     
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  9. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    HT by Bos! Doesn't get better than that! :D
     
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Ahem, the vast majority of the guys on FIF aren't that good. Rarely are the very talented smiths like Fuad going to go on that show and risk their reputation to some goofy "test" and questionable materials.
     
  11. Mullo98

    Mullo98 Member

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    True; but it’s the whole “ that’s the guy who was on the TV that made my Bowie. “ type deal where you can make a pointless boast.
     
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  12. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    A knife maker who comes by my LGS was there a day I walked in and had a few knives to show the owner.

    The owner asked how much for one of them and he jokingly said $2000.
    The owner, playing along, asked how it could cost that much.
    The maker said it took him a year to make it.
    The owner did a “pfft” sound.
    Maker says yeah I made it in an afternoon and it sat on my bench for a year.

    Makes you wonder.
     
  13. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    I figure it took me about 5 hours to make a knife, but like most makers I did them in batches so it's hard to tell. The real question is what is the maker's time worth? I valued mine at $25/hour but some guys spend a LOT more than 5 hours and value their time much higher. If a knife sells for $3k then the maker probably spent a lot of time on it AND values his time highly. Those guys are mostly always sold out too.
     
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  14. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    If it sat on his bench done for a year that maker must not need the money.
     
  15. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    I wouldn't pay CultroTech prices for their knives, but they're currently top-of-the-line in terms of exotic materials and fit and finish, and their heat treat on super high hardness M390 is something of a legend. They're a bit like Rockstead, another production company with extremely high prices, extremely low production, and a credible claim to flawlessness aside from those two things. They sell to people with lots of money who have to have the absolute best of the trendy knives. Shirogorov is probably the next step down and also pretty similar.

    That's not wholly true - Burt Foster has been on there twice, and his work is second to none (I've owned one of his base models, and he put just as much effort into making it perfect as he does his full dress knives, great fellow who takes a lot of pride in doing good work). There have been at least five competitors whom I know from Bladeforums who do excellent work. But yeah, a lot of them are not top-end makers.
     
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  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Burt, Fuad, Murray Carter, Walter Sorrels, Salem Straub, ... make what I said "wholly true". Their caliber rarely shows up on the show (especially as of late). As an ABS apprentice and a collector of custom knives I can assure you that most Master Smiths and Journeyman Smiths won't touch the show with a pike because they have far too much to loose in reputation when something goes bassackwards on the show that they'd never have happen in their own shop (or that would never see the light of day if it did). Some are solid enough they have nothing to loose by the crazy conditions and rules if they end up having something break. They'll laugh it off as the fun of a competition, but nothing like what they'd sell to clients. Some are truly wounded (no, I won't name names) and regret going on.
    The show is better for the knife world than it is bad for it. People who would have no idea that there are people actually making knives by hand get interested and some go to local shows and see more and better makers first hand. Then some of them go to Blade or other large shows with the best makers present and they learn what they thought they knew was just the dust on the surface and some of them keep collecting and keep meeting Fuad/Walther/Burt/Craig/... and finding out there are better and better and better makers out there that change their perspective of what is "the best". Like I did and others did before me and others will after me.
     
  17. 25-20 WCF

    25-20 WCF Member

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    Dude, it’s a BS story from a drunk in a LGS......
     
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  18. RA40

    RA40 Member

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    It's salesmanship too. Some of these makers are quite charismatic and they can develop quite a following of collectors/admirers of their work. A knife is worth what someone will pay. I've seen some $$ bottle openers and key fobs that sell at quite surprising levels too.
     
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  19. Valkman

    Valkman Member

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    I think the real good long time makers develop a big following that buys their knives over and over. That's all you need to keep the order book full. The ones who do splashy advertising never appealed to me.
     
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  20. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    I think there was a peak moment in Forged in Fire. At first no one knew about it. Then the knife community found out about it, and a bunch of people jumped in and had a good time. But... a show has to show spectacle, and after several seasons, you eventually jump the shark.

    Even the everday Joe smiths who are on the show suffer if they have a catastrophic failure - on one of the episodes where they had previous competitors return for a second chance, I remember one of them said his sales dropped by 80% after he had a blade break on the show.
     
  21. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent reference!
     
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  22. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    That is very sad. It is obvious the knife smiths are put out of their comfort zone. Any good maker has refined his process and equipment over years of work, but take all that away, and the quality control goes back to chaotic. I cannot imagine any justification making knife makers forge over coal fires in the bright sun, and the show has done several of these. Conditions like that are guaranteed to burn a blank. Plus, the time constraints create errors and prevent starting all over and fixing an error. Pretty much, if the knifesmith makes an error, ruins the blank, he is really and truly hosed.

    I very much enjoy Forged in Fire, I have learned things about metallurgy and heat that I did not know before. If you watch the program it becomes obvious why the single heat M1903's have burnt receivers. The Army did not have temperature gauges in the forge shop rooms, either at SA or RIA. Forge shop workers were judging temperatures by eye, and they were being paid piece rate, so they had a cash incentive to really heat the billets up, to stamp them out faster. I would never have believed just how over heating ruins steel until I saw time and again, some poor knifesmith's blade fail due to overheating. It was a learning experience to me. Not that any of this makes a difference to Lyonites.

    And I love the weapon tests at the end. I had dismissed weird weapons such as the hunga munga as more harmful to the user than the target. And I was wrong!. Time and again I am totally surprised by the cutting and thrusting ability of ethnographic weapons. Someone tosses a hunga munga at you, better hope it misses. And a gut hit will create such an incision that a gut pile will form at your feet. For your health, it would be better to be holding the hunga munga that made the cut.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  23. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I very rarely watch "Forged in Fire" and quickly lose interest... What I would like to see is a program that selected a different craftsman each week and followed their work - in their own shop with a casual Q & A afterwards (or during) each aspect of their craft... I doubt that any two really skilled craftsmen (or ladies...) go about the various steps of knifemaking in a similar fashion..

    I know that what I'm wishing for isn't "entertainment" but I'm a craftsman of sorts myself (I build and repair fishing gear, make lures, worked as a commercial fly tyer for many years, etc.) and would really appreciate being able to watch and learn from a master - in any field - if it was of interest to me....

    By the way every sample of Valkman's work that I've seen was really outstanding. I look at every knife as a particular tool - and would never even want something to hang on the wall - but that's just me.... not a "collector" in any sense of the word.
     
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  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Those can bee found on different streaming content and there are good Youtube videos amidst all the chaff.

    There are variations, but the steps are fundamentally the same.
     
  25. Mullo98

    Mullo98 Member

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    On the side topic of FIF; I do enjoy it as it does bring edged weapons that aren’t mainstream or commonly known to the forefront.
     
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