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 Post subject: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:26 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1351
So, I posed this question to Mel on a different, but would live to see how all you knife nuts view this. Is there a distinction to be made between collecting blade and enjoying the nuances of different steels, shapes, wieghts etc. and the utility that one gets from an incremental purchase? I.E. if someone uses a Kikuichi TKC 240MM as a go to, is there a practical reason to buy a Konosuke HD 240MM? Will the times when a true laser can make things easier justify having a duplicate type of blade? Or is that even the right question? I guess I'm trying to figure out how I justify to myself wanting to own multiple knives that might overlap in performance without qualifying it as simply collecting blades...



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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 423
Location: ATL
Chip - You collect high end wine when regular wine will complement the meal just fine. I don't think you need much arm twisting. :)

To answer your question from my perspective though. I don't have the bug as strongly as others here. My goal is to have an excellent setup of knives that serve their purposes. I don't feel the need for 3-4 240 gyutos along with another 4 210s. Now ask me if I felt the need to load up on Vieux Telegraphe 2010 even though I had 04-08 laying down already. :) I guess I'm arguing both sides of the debate.


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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:01 pm
Posts: 423
Location: ATL
I also think one needs to separate those who use these as tools to earn their living and hobbyists. I don't plan to have more than 1-2 of any particular type and length mainly because I hate not using something that I've spent my hard earned money on. I'd personally rather sell those items and reallocate the funds towards something that will get more use.

Do I need a dedicated slicer? Nope, but I'm happy to have one and only one. This works for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:32 pm 

Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:37 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Pensacola, FL, USA
I'll share what Murray Carter had to say on this.

All of us buy and acquire things for various reasons. Sometimes we genuinely need something for our day-to-day activities, such as a toothbrush to brush our teeth, and other times we purchase items simply because we desire to have them. I think that either motivation to purchase is legitimate if the buyer stops to consider the Asset/Liability concept.

Considering the following questions will help you determine the value of each knife you have:

Is this for day-to-day use?
Is this for an investment?
Do I just have to have it regardless of the cost to me?

1. Is the knife for day-to-day use?

If you spend X amount of money on a knife purchase and you use the knife several times a week, or even daily, then the cost-per-use of that knife is less and less the more you use it. For example, if you buy a $100 knife, and use it 100 times per year for ten years, then your cost is 10 cents (or $0.10) each time you use it. On the other hand, if you use that same knife just a couple of times during ownership, it could cost you upwards of $50 per use.

Keep in mind that a knife which is used even just once is no longer in mint condition, thus subtracting greatly from its value on the second-hand market. This brings us to the second question:

2. Is the knife purchased for an investment?

Some knives, especially those made by prolific and highly sought-after custom knife makers, can be sold on the second-hand market for more than the knives were bought for. Usually the price difference corresponds to the passage of time. Wouldn't it be great to receive 20% interest on a knife investment over a couple of years!

Let's say that your $100 knife, never used, is sold for $120. You made $20 profit...or did you? You see, every time you moved that knife around your home from one storage spot to the next, every time you took it out and cleaned, it cost you time and effort. Surely your time and effort are worth something in terms of dollars and cents. I'd argue that your profit in this case was much less than the $20 you thought you made.

So where does that leave us? Is your knife working for you, or are you working for it?

Knives that are constantly being used, pay for themselves, and are an asset to you. Knives that are carefully chosen for investment purposes might prove to be an asset over time. But the knife that is bought on impulse and then rarely used, it is clearly a liability to you... unless you are able to positively answer the following question in the affirmative.

And finally:

3. Do I just have to have the knife regardless of the cost to me?

If you answered "yes" to that question, that's OK, too, so long as you realize you are paying to pursue your hobby.


Personally, I find that I have too many knives in the third category,


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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:43 pm 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1351
Ha, yes I do spend a good bit on wine. That said, I view knives in the same way I view wine. I would never spend money on wine that I didn't plan to consume. Similarly, I have a hard time justifying purchasing a knife that may, or may not get use. Given, wine is a single use commodity and a blade is not, but the general gist remains the same. I'm not a huge fan owning something that is basically a curiosity and won't see application.

When I started really getting into wine, I was comfortable spending a bit more to learn the nuances of vintage, terroir etc. I eventually found that for a new local, to really understand the dynamics of the wine produced, I needed to buy more than one bottle from a given producer in a given vintage to learn how the wine changed with age, differences in growing season and amongst competitors. Now, I don't really need to do that as my knowledge of specific areas has become broad and deep enough to have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Bringing it back to knives, I find myself in a similar circumstance to wine as I try to learn. I.E. I want to learn how different steels feel, how the balance and geometry of a knife may or may not appeal to me, how to sharpen and manipulate a blade etc. Now, given all of that, I purchased a couple of knives which I really enjoy, can discern the differences between them and have begun to refine my taste in terms of what I want in a blade. Now, I want to purchase even more to get even a bit deeper in refinement.

And back around to the conundrum. I'm now looking at knives that all run north of $200 and, some that intrigue me, well north of that. I can almost guarantee that one (and most certainly more) of the knives I buy in the coming years won't appeal to me very much. Now, that really irks me. Unlike the wine, which at least I could consume in a manner that I would any other wine, the knife will simply be another thing cluttering my apartment. T



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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 104
I like to think I collect utility knives. That is to say I use them all on a regular basis no matter what is in the rotation. Right now the mag bar is full of knives by American smiths. I like the performance so much I may sell off my Japanese knives just to free up some cash. I have two Devin ITKs - one carbon one stainless. I'll probably sell the carbon one soon as I don't see a need for two of the same type/size knives even by Devin. I would sell both to fund a higher end Devin, but do I really need one? No. Do I need a Michael Rader knife? No, but I want one.


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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:19 am
Posts: 313
Chip, I do enjoy trying out different blacksmiths and trying out different types of steels, (heck even the same steel but heat treated differently from one blacksmith to the next acts and sharpens different) I enjoy the different profiles and blade types from one maker to the next. I do enjoy picking from 10 different Gyutos off the strip, with all that said is it necessary... NOPE. I could cook most of my meals the way I want using a serrated steak knife if I had to. It wouldn't be efficient or fun to use, but I could do it.

I think you should check out the Kono hd 240 your inquiring about, you will enjoy it. It's a quality knife that goes through product very well, everyone should have a nice laser, something special about flicking right through a onion when making horizontal cuts. If you decide you don't like it, (unlike wine) you could always just resale it in the classified section and recoup most of your money.


The J-knife bug only gets worse from here, soon you will "NEED" or tell yourself that you need a Suji for slicing roasts, a Deba for breaking down fish, a Honesuki for breaking down poultry, a Nakiri for vegetable prep, etc etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:58 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:26 pm
Posts: 104
The J-knife bug only gets worse from here, soon you will "NEED" or tell yourself that you need a Suji for slicing roasts, a Deba for breaking down fish, a Honesuki for breaking down poultry, a Nakiri for vegetable prep, etc etc.

Ha - ain't that the truth - it's one hellava rabbit hole. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:55 am 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1351
What I'm afraid off... At least my wife won't be at a loss for B-day/Christmas present ideas



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 Post subject: Re: Collecting vs. Utility
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:00 am 

Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm
Posts: 1351
Hutch, the reco on the Konosuke is perfect. I don't have a laser and, well... I don't have a laser :idea:



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