WWII-ish combat knife...

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
So a young friend was admiring one of my Bowie knives and said..."...it's too pretty for me...I would be afraid to use it...but since I can't afford it...it doesn't really matter...."

The back-handed compliments that you don't want to hear. Translation: "your knife is a prom queen and costs too much..." lol!

he's a young ranch hand not a knife collector...but he does love knives. I asked him what he thought a fair price for a good "user" would be? He didn't have to think about it....."For a knife like that Bowie? $200-$250..."

So I made a knife that is a "user" that I think I can sell in that range. I will have to come up with a kydex sheath. This knife has a 6061 alum. guard, Powdercoated guard and blade (much less hand polishing), Paper micarta handle (much less hand finishing, super grippy!).

I put a fighter guard on it and not the big "S" shaped Bowie guard.

He has already put a deposit of $100 towards a knife so I'm working on kydex designs to finish it up....

The balance was good before...with the heavier micarta handle it's perfect!


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J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Good looking blade.

His price expectations are ridiculous, frankly. Even for a 'simple' machined knife.

Most of the time, people that think $250 for a handmade/custom knife is reasonable, they don't have a clue.

I'd be tempted to take their $250, hand them a pile of the necessary raw materials, tell them have at it and give them a hearty handshake and send them on their way.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
I'd be tempted to take their $250, hand them a pile of the necessary raw materials, tell them have at it and give them a hearty handshake and send them on their way.
Excellent!

Between China making our "stuff" for 40 yrs...and FIF proving how simple it is...pricing a knife is miserable business...

That is not charging a shop rate...my hope is getting some blades out...building a following and raising prices as I go....I'm trying to think of inexpensive knives as an advertising tool. It looks mid-tech because it is...
 

tmr

Well-Known Member
hey guys the one thing we need to remember is the percentage of people that are potential customers for our handmade knives is really small and the comments and valuations from the bulk of people remaining are not valid and nothing to pay attention to........every time we sell the buyer their first handmade knife we educate one more future knife collector hopefully......also with the economy where it is $250 is a lot of money to a lot of people......I am never offended by a person who offers too low for a knife....i always enjoy the challenge of selling them at my asking price
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
I look at a 19 yr old guy...and if I can get a $250 dollar knife into his hands...as he sees knives of mine going for $600....my hope is someday he makes the jump...along with the 100 or so people he shows the entry level knife to. A very long term gamble...but one that companies have used for years...
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
When I was 19, if you told me a knife costs $250 you may as well have said a million dollars. To a young guy scratching to get by there are knives in the case at Walmart that seem really expensive.

Take it as a compliment when people see your knives as something to be admired and completely out of reach. That’s what makes them want one, one day.
 

Bruce McLeish

Well-Known Member
When I was 19, if you told me a knife costs $250 you may as well have said a million dollars. To a young guy scratching to get by there are knives in the case at Walmart that seem really expensive.

Take it as a compliment when people see your knives as something to be admired and completely out of reach. That’s what makes them want one, one day.
when I was 19, my navy pay was about $200.00 per month. That was with sub pay and hazardous duty pay! A knife that cost that much must have been made from gold!
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
In 1980 I made $4.35...A $250 dollar knife today would have cost less than $100. As an apprentice machinist then...I was buying tools that cost $100. Of course they let me make payments with no interest....but what you value is where you spend da money....

Maybe we need to do "lay-a-way' for younger buyers...?

inflation.png
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
Too cheap.

I mean, I wouldn't charge that much, but I'm an idiot.

But I got no issues saying that in comparing this particular knife, knowing it's construction and materials used, to what I see scads of makers selling for more money, that your price is too low.

I'm going edit and add this too. You've captured something very special here, with the lines, material choices, everything. You balanced the classic Kabar type real life tactical feel very unique but-not-odd. It will have broad appeal.
 
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Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
Ted, you must go back further in the Navy than I do if you got $200 a month with hazardous duty and sub pay. At least it came with a place to sleep and three squares a day and I understood that food on a sub was pretty good.

Doug
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Ted, you must go back further in the Navy than I do if you got $200 a month with hazardous duty and sub pay. At least it came with a place to sleep and three squares a day and I understood that food on a sub was pretty good.

Doug
Doug...that was bruce. I only felt like I was in the Navy (Dad was a navy pow in WWII...lol. Things had a way of trickling down...)
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Too cheap.

I mean, I wouldn't charge that much, but I'm an idiot.

But I got no issues saying that in comparing this particular knife, knowing it's construction and materials used, to what I see scads of makers selling for more money, that your price is too low.

I'm going edit and add this too. You've captured something very special here, with the lines, material choices, everything. You balanced the classic Kabar type real life tactical feel very unique but-not-odd. It will have broad appeal.
Thanks man! I thought it had a classic look...sometimes though, you stare at your own project and don't know if you're talking yourself into somthin'....lol.
 

Smallshop

KNIFE MAKER
Ted, that’s a nice looking knife.
Thanks Kevin! In line with my original thought I am developing a Kydex sheath that will keep costs down...and feels like work...lol...'cause....

I hate kydex. (hopefully my snobbery gets dealt with by my experience making a sheath...lol!)
 
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