Knife Cost

Discover the factors influencing kitchen knife costs, from craftsmanship and materials to brand reputation. Learn what sets apart the price of high-quality knives at Element Knife Company.
Chef cutting fruits with a damascus Nakiri
Chef cutting apples with a Double-Bevel Damascus kitchen knife

Knife Cost Considerations

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a great knife.

There is a distinct difference between a cheap knife and an affordable knife. Cheap knives are made with cheap materials in a cheap way. Corners are cut, and steps are skipped as cost-saving measures. The materials used don't offer longevity, and the sharp edge typically doesn't hold well. Another way that manufacturers of cheap knives save money is by stamping the shape of the blade out of a sheet of steel. This never yields the same quality as a knife that is forged from an ingot of steel. Very low-quality plastics or other inexpensive materials are used for the handle. There is little-to-no consideration for comfort and balance. Quality knives from reputable companies almost always offer well-made, affordable lines as well as more luxury options.

Japanese Deba atop a filet of salmon

Knife Cost Considerations

What drives the price up on a knife?

It comes down to the cost of materials for the manufacture and how much work and labor go into crafting the knife. Natural materials for the handle versus synthetic materials will raise the price. How malleable the steel is versus harder steels which are more difficult to forge. Forging a blade out of a single billet of steel will keep the price lower (unless it's a hard steel and differential heat treatment is required, which takes a high level of skill). Layering steels together for Damascus or Sanmai constructions means more hammering work. A laser inscription is less expensive than hand engraving.

Home Chef Slicing Vegetables On Cutting Board

Knife Cost Considerations

The Bottom Line

An affordable knife and a high-end Knife if cared for properly, will last a lifetime. A cheap Knife won't make it past a couple of years. Furthermore, a cheap Knife will have underlying frustrations. They are lacking in performance and may have hotspots in the handle, which will cause discomfort and fatigue. A well-crafted knife, regardless if a production piece or hand-made, will be a delight to work with. It becomes an extension of your hand. It will even become an heirloom to pass on.