Cost and Quality

Best and Worst Case Scenarios

I’ll start this post out by showing you three chef’s knives from my kitchen.

Knives

The top chef’s knife is a loose one that I picked up for $0.50 or so at a yard sale more than a decade ago – I’m unsure even what type it is. It’s serviceable, but it loses its edge fairly quickly.

The middle knife is from a Henckels kitchen knife set given to my wife and I as a wedding gift. It works extremely well for most cutting applications and holds its edge for quite a long time without honing. A similar knife retails on Amazon for $47.99.

The bottom knife is a Global chef’s knife, which I received as a Christmas present in 2008. It’s the sharpest knife (post-sharpening), holds an edge almost as long as the Henckels knife, and fits the best in my hand. It’s the best knife I own. It lists on Amazon for $115, currently.

If the Global knife is the best knife and I gave it a score of 100, what kind of score would I give the other ones? I’d give the Henckels a score somewhere around a 92 and I’d give the old knife a score of around 70, with 0 being the worst cutting experience I’ve ever had in the kitchen with a knife.

Now, here’s the big question: if I can get that 70 knife for $0.50, is that 100 knife really worth $115? In other words, if you have something perfectly serviceable for a very low price, is it ever worthwhile to spend significantly more to get a top quality, highly reliable version of the item?

Thoughts on Comparing Cost and Quality

1. Free (or nearly free) trumps everything

In the scenario above, I would go for the $0.50 knife every single time if I didn’t have a chef’s knife and needed one. That’s because the worst case scenario is that you’re out fifty cents. That’s the worst possible thing that can happen. On the flip side, the best case scenario is that you have a knife that meets your needs for many years to come. Given that the best case is very, very good and the worst case isn’t much of an issue, that would be the knife of my choosing. Free (or nearly free) means that the worst case scenario for an item you need is not bad at all.

2. If you can’t articulate the difference between a low cost item and a high cost one then stick with the low cost version

Claims on the packaging or by the salesperson don’t count! Again, you have to take a look at the worst case scenario for each item. The worst case scenario for the high cost item is far worse than the worst case scenario for the low cost item, but they have similar best case scenarios. If you do not know specifics about the item, stick with the scenarios.

3. Have some domain knowledge

The more knowledge you have of the items at hand and their usage, the better buying decisions you can make. Don’t just buy a tire and forget about it. Note what tires you’ve purchased and compare how they grip and hold air compared to other tires. Know what suits your needs and understand fully the terminology used when describing a particular item.

4. Research, research, research

Whenever you spend money, you’re spending the fruits of your labor. The more you know about a purchase, the more effectively you can use your money. It’s always key to remember that the money you have is directly connected to the work you do. If you work at a minimum wage job, every $7 you spend (roughly) equates to an hour of your work. If you can save $50 by researching a purchase for 2 hours, that is very much worth your while. If that same research leads you to buying a much better item at a similar price or a vastly superior one by paying a bit more, then that research time was still well worth it.

5. Never go into debt for a consumer item

If you don’t have enough money to afford the high end version, then don’t buy the high end version. Buy the basic item that you actually need. Don’t use credit to facilitate purchases that you couldn’t simply make on your own. You’re simply adding a huge additional cost to that high end item, one that alters the best case and worst case scenarios for each purchase significantly. The only debts worth incurring are for your education and possibly for your home.

6. If you do truly understand the difference and you can afford to pay cash for the better item, then by all means do so

If you can afford the better item without negatively impacting other aspects of your life and you truly understand why the item is better (and, more importantly, why the item is better for you), then purchase the better item.

I think all of this can be tied together with a note about my own experiences with piano playing.

I practice a bit almost every day. I use an old electronic keyboard that sounds a little “off” to me – the reviews of it often chide the sound quality. However, the price – free – is something that I really can’t argue with.

I’ve often looked at electronic pianos, and some of them are quite good. However, the good ones often have prices well into the thousands of dollars.

I know why I would want such an item, and I know from experience and extensive research that such an item would be reliable and of a very high quality. I’ve even been to music shops and tried a few of them.

I haven’t bought one, though. The best case scenario still involves me plopping down a few thousand dollars, and that makes the best case scenario simply not add up to enough to really compare to just playing on that free one in the basement. It’s good enough for me.

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  1. Des says:

    For better or worse, I think this is one reason why lifestyle inflation occurs as you get older. An 18-year-old subsisting on pizza and ramen might not notice the difference in quality from the cheap knife to the pricey one (or, might not care). But a SAHM or SAHD who cooks three square meals a day is going to benefit greatly from the improved quality. The same thing happens with bigger items like houses and cars. What was “passable” as a college student is no longer so as a parent or an career employee.

  2. Adam P says:

    While I agree with this article, I think you need to bring more into the discussion about the concept of “conscious spending”, or spending more in areas that make you happy. If you LOVE cooking and it’s your hobby and brings you pleasure, to you the value of the $115 knife may be worth the 100 score you give it. But if you never cook, the 50 cent knife is just great for you.

    I know you touched on that, but not until near the end of the article where I think it should be in the beginning. Getting the cheapo “nearly-free” version of something doesn’t trump everything if you’re buying something that will bring you great joy.

    The key, always, is to make sure your splurge spending matches areas that make you happiest.

  3. Johanna says:

    “That’s because the worst case scenario is that you’re out fifty cents. That’s the worst possible thing that can happen.”

    No, the worst possible thing that can happen is that the knife slips while you’re using it and you cut your finger off. Another bad thing that can happen is that you find yourself thinking, over and over again, “I don’t feel like cutting up those vegetables with that old dull knife – I think I’ll go out for dinner instead” – and you end up spending much more on restaurant food than you otherwise would.

    With the cheap keyboard, the worst thing that can happen is that you fall into some bad playing habits that you have to actively work to undo when you start playing on a real piano. Or that practicing isn’t as much fun, so you don’t do it as much, and you don’t get as much value out of your lessons.

    I’m not saying that everyone needs to go out and buy a $100 knife or a multi-thousand-dollar keyboard. But just because you can’t put into words the difference between the low-end and the high-end items doesn’t mean the difference doesn’t matter.

  4. Alice says:

    I second Johanna’s comment about injuring yourself. Dull knives are more likely to cut you and draw blood than sharp ones, and the better the knife, the more you can sharpen it. Most cheap knives can’t actually hold an edge and can only be honed, which only gets you so far, is my understanding.

  5. Josh says:

    Don’t buy what you can’t afford!

    Also I like the research research part of this, don’t get ripped off, especially online.

    And learn how to finance your own purchases instead of using cards and banks…

  6. Interested Reader says:

    I suggest going to a good kitchen supply store and talk to them about knives. There’s a nice locally owned place where they will direct you to the best knife you can afford not try to sell you something just because it’s the most expensive.

    I had a cheap knife I thought I could get by with – it okay and was mostly sharp. Until I was cutting into winter squash — the blade slipped and sliced the skin off the pad of my index finger. It cost me a trip to the ER, no stitches because of the way it was sliced – I pretty much filetted off the skin and the ER doctor finished the job and gave me pain killers.

    I have a weird raised callousy scar there and no sensation in that part of my finger. And for the cost of the co pays plus the food I ruined I could have bought a decent knife.

  7. andrew says:

    As a former knife-seller, you should get rid of that wooden knife asap. Wooden knives harbor bacteria and fungus. I’ve seen cut-open knives that have maggots inside of them!

    Sorry for the visual, but go with one of the other two.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I second Joanna’s comment as well. Where health and safety is concerned, you shouldn’t compromise. Over the years, I’ve had to pay more for shoes than most people I know because of foot problems. I don’t regret the cost because of the pain and future problems it has saved me.

    One thing I would add to Trent’s list is how you plan to care for the item. I spent the money to buy three basic Henkels knives when I graduated, but I also learned how to properly take care of them to make them last. If you don’t plan to put time and energy into caring for something, then you’re wasting your money.

  9. The mistake a lot of people seem to make is to buy a big set of several knives, and only really use two or three of them. Just buy those two or three to begin with. Most people can easily get by with a chef’s knife and a paring knife. If you eat a lot of crusty, artisan-style bread, get a bread knife too. Anything beyond that is just filler to get you to think $600 is a good deal on a knife block.

    I would go for the middle knife. 92% quality for 42% of the price is a good deal in my book. But that quality varies person-to-person; in my opinion, how a knife’s handle feels in your hand is a very important consideration, and as such I would never buy a knife without holding, and if possible using a sample.

  10. PK says:

    Okay, I have to point out that the worst-case scenario in this case is actually that the really cheap knife malfunctions in some way (handle breaks or it just isn’t sharp enough) and you cut your finger off.
    Nice article though.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    @ Adam Jaskiewicz — those are precisely the three knives I bought and they have served me well! The serrated one is fantastic for bread and tomatoes.

    The other knife I used a lot was a plastic knife (with a metal blade) and a sheath — for $15, I have something to safely carry with me when I pack lunches. Keeps me eating lots of fruits and vegetables!

  12. Tony B says:

    I have a set of Henckels knives I bought at Amazon for $50 for the entire set.

    Previously, I put up with my 5-for-$1 steak knives up to that point, but this set was entirely stainless steel. As a result, it was dishwasher safe. Yes, it dulls the blade but since I was it more I get far more use out of it.

    However, I’d warn against very worn knives because if the handle is loose, for example, it can become a safety hazard unless you are extra careful. $50 wasn’t bad for an entire set and I would gladly do it again.

    As the step from my 65 (out of 100) knives to my 90 (out of 100) has saved me many cuts and scrapes. Everytime I go back to cut up just one vegetable and use those old cheap knives, I end up cutting myself and I’m leaning towards using the nice ones now instead. (Running out of band aids!)

  13. Tracy says:

    I agree with almost everybody that in some cases, cheap is absolutely the wrong way to go – it’s far better to spend more for something high quality, and even more so if it’s an issue of health or safety.

    You should avoid going into debt for it, but you can’t replace your health or safety and there IS something to be said with quality of life. Cooking knives fall into both those – cheap, dull knives are extremely dangerous and also not a joy to cook with.

    If you’re serious about something, you should go for quality. That doesn’t mean you have to buy the most expensive version, but you should never go with the something just because it’s the cheapest.

  14. friend says:

    The 50-cent knife is, in some ways, like a $3 bathing suit. :-)

  15. Vanessa says:

    A knife that doesn’t keep its edge and could potentially cause you harm doesn’t sound “serviceable.” And the fact that you have been gifted twice since then with superior knives must mean that other people in your life don’t think so either.

    My mother is like this, often settling for “good enough” when she could do better. It is a mentality I have fought my whole life to shake.

  16. Marsha says:

    I absolutely think it was a good idea to practice on your free keyboard when you were first learning. You got a chance to see whether or not you’d stick to it without putting out a lot of money. When I was a child, my parents rented a good-quality piano for me to learn on. When they saw that I was sticking to the lessons, they bought it for me. I still have it nearly 40 years later and still play on it regularly. The pleasure I’ve gotten over time from this instrument is immense. I also earned some money as a pianist when I was in college, although I became an engineer and not a musician. My husband and sons are also amateur musicians, and the piano is an important part of our family life.

    I think at some point, if you stick with the piano playing, you should buy a good quality piano or keyboard. This is especially true if any of your children show interest in learning to play.

  17. Squirrelers says:

    It really depends on the item. In many cases, not only does more expensive mean better, but it also means more reliability and durability. This factors into the cost/return equation. For example, I had purchased some quite expensive business shirts about 10 -yes, 10 years ago! They still look good and have worn well over the years. Ended up being well worth the investment.

    On the other hand, if one can barely tell the difference, or the item isn’t that important, then why spend the extra money? I saw something recently about a Pizza that cost several hundred dollars. Now, why spend north of $200 on a pizza that will be devoured in a half hour, when you can eat a $10 pizza. The moment is fleeting, why bother? Alas, some do spend the money, which is why such businesses exist.

  18. Gretchen says:

    Obviously, the trick is to know when the worst case is losing 50 cents and the worst case is losing a finger.

  19. Marinda says:

    We got our set of Henckels at a work event for free. Our name was pulled from a hat, everyone before us had gone and selected the VCR’s and TV’s and BBQ pits, but this was left and we did the dance of joy. BBq pits wear out and vcr’s and tv die, but good knives are a thing of beauty and work hard. We sharpen regularly ourselves and every other year bring them to a gentleman who sharpens them and my sewing tools. Years later, they make fast work of onions, celery, bell peppers and other things and have good heft and feel right in my hands, all for being at a family day picnic and having our name pulled!

  20. Steve in W MA says:

    I agree with this post. In most cases, for most users, the low end to mid grade product is all they will ever need.

    Speaking of knives, specifically, all knives suck when owned by owners who don’t own a sharpening stone, don’t understand knife metallurgy, don’t understand that the edge needs to be jealously protected from any contact with ceramic or other metals, don’t understand what constitutes and creates a sharp edge, and don’t know how to sharpen them.

    Any knife that uses adequately hard steel is capable of being sharpened to a very serviceable level. I have a $4.99 Farberware chef’s knife that is a manufacturing second that is great–or is now that I’ve put a real edge on it. I have another $4 Paula Deen 5″ utility blade that, while not of as good a grade of knife steel as the Farberware, is still serviceable and probably sharper than 90% of the knives in kitchens in this country–only because I made it that way.

    I love knives but I won’t upgrade to a premium blade on my cooking knives unless I meet my end retirement savings/investment goals, and I have a long way to go on that, so it’s pretty unlikely. the choice is: $115 for something that I don’t need, or $115 for my investments. My investments are still underfunded, and I already have enough knives, so….the money goes to Charles Schwab.

    Unless I get a Global as a gift, it’s the Farberware for me. And it won’t slip. Because I understand it and know how to maintain it.

    And, for other tools, the sane applies. Great Neck brand wrenches from Autozone are fine for me because I don’t use them every day like a pro mechanic does. Combined with the fact that there is a replacement guarantee and the fact that I have copies of all my Autozone receipts, my one 10mm wrench purchase is good for life. I don’t need a fancy Matco or Snap-on tool, it’s just extra expense.

  21. Steve in W MA says:

    @”Dull knives are more likely to cut you and draw blood than sharp ones, and the better the knife, the more you can sharpen it. Most cheap knives can’t actually hold an edge and can only be honed, which only gets you so far, is my understanding.”

    Again, it is probably worth saying that unless you understand the item in question it is hard to make judgements about quality or serviceability.

    In the case of knives, if you’ve never used a truly sharp knife, then you aren’t actually able to perceive when one is dangerous by being dull. (A good comparison of sharpness, accessible to anyone for about a dollar, would be the sharpness level of a new utility razor blade. Start cutting a vegetable with one of those and see how it acts. Your knife should start nearly as sharp as that, and through use get slightly duller, until you resharpen it to that near-razor level again. )

    As far as you are concerned, if all you’ve seen is “normal” knives, that dull/dangerous knife might be “sharp” or normal.

    Also, while I think it is true that a dull knife is dangerous, a sharp knife is dangerous too. A dull knife and a sharp knife are dangerous in different (but related) ways.

  22. Steve in W MA says:

    FYI, Maggots secret an antibiotic from their saliva and skin (makes sense when you consider what they normally live in) . Maggots themselves are very clean, seek out putrefying flesh, and live maggots grown in a sterile medium have been used medically to clean wounds in burn victims and in some ulcerated skin sores. Don’t hate the maggot!

  23. Scott says:

    “given to my wife and I” should be “given to my wife and me”

  24. Jules says:

    Quality blades, IME, are mostly a matter of sharpening: I had an IKEA knife ($5) for about 18 months (left it in the States when I moved) and yes, I had to run it through a knife sharpener ($5) every time I used it, but it cut everything quite well and comparably to my mother’s Global. From what I understand, most chefs don’t use quality knives, but much cheaper ones that they keep sharp. Our €10 knives are sharpened regularly, and we’re quite happy with them.

    @ Steve #22: That depends on the species of maggot. Not all maggots are created equal. There are (probably apocryphal) stories of hospitals using the wrong type of maggot–i.e., the kind that eat live flesh–to clear wounds. Very, very icky…

  25. As a pianist and piano teacher, I have to say that if you want to drop a couple thousand on a piano, I heartily recommend going with a real piano. Electric “pianos” just are NOT the same.

    I bought my very nice upright piano for $5500, and I am pleased as punch with it. I have never, ever played an electric piano that comes even faintly close.

  26. deRuiter says:

    “knife set given to my wife and I as a wedding gift.” Incorrect, it’s “to my wife and me…”

  27. DougR says:

    Love this post and the responses! Clearly you can obviate some of the “worst case” scenarios for the 50-cent knife by keeping it good and sharp–a little extra work maybe, but if it CAN be kept as sharp as the Global with a little extra work (and a handy ceramic sharpener), you’ve got a classic knife that does the job.

    Here’s another example: wiring your speakers on your hi-fi setup with ordinary lamp cord versus fancy-schmancy Monster (or similar) premium cables. You can pay a buck or two, or … well, it’s possible to pay thousands of dollars for several feet of speaker wire. (Really!) I’d be surprised if one person in 10,000 could actually tell the difference, if the test was set up correctly.

    With musical instruments, it’s a little different: I rented a saxophone once, a cheapie, and it was badly designed and physically hard to play (key leverage design and spring tension were awful). The physical uncomfortableness of bad design would have been enough to drive many potential musicians away. That’s a situation where you need to either know the universe you’re buying into, or know someone (e.g. a professional musician) who does. The horn I’m playing now is a classic that cost me a little over a thousand bucks (a hefty taste, a while back) but it was such an ergonomic joy to play that it made practicing something to look forward to.

  28. Fabrizio says:

    Hi,
    I think your reasoning should include external costs, like production and dismissal costs.
    I mean, very cheap stuff are producted without paying much attention about environmental implication (in the whole supply chain).
    Although your worse scenario/zero costs is still valuable, I think it should be extended including process costs.
    In your reasoning you focused only on product quality and this means allocate process (hidden) costs to external entities.
    I think the best choice would be the Henckel knife. You get, with it, a good knife and one item for a long, minimizing as much as possible production and environmental costs.
    Fabrizio

  29. Luke says:

    @”Dull”

    I really don’t get all of the hubbub over the $0.50 knife being dull? Trent never advocated buying the knife *and never sharpening it*! Seriously, folks! A knife sharpener is not a big-ticket item! A $0.50 knife can–and should–be sharpened!

    Then…once it’s been sharpened…what exactly is wrong with it? (Other than the fact that your argument disappears.) If it needs sharpening every two months because it is a weaker metal…well, then sharpen it again! :) Not rocket science!

  30. Johanna says:

    @Luke: You seem to be taking this awfully personally. Do you have money invested in cheap-knife stocks, perchance? :)

    Anyway, first of all, I’m not even sure what “argument” you’re talking about. All people are doing is pointing out that Trent’s statement that “the worst thing that can possibly happen is you lose 50 cents” is not true.
    Second, knife sharpeners are not free. There are cheap ones that you can get for a few bucks, but there are also ones that run into the $100+ range. So the total cost of a 50-cent knife plus a knife sharpener is more than 50 cents. And if you’re buying a knife plus a knife sharpener, then you have two items for which you have to figure out the relationship between cost and quality, not just one.
    Third, as Steve in W MA notes, “just sharpen the knife when it needs sharpening” requires that you know how to tell when the knife needs sharpening, which not everybody does.

    Again, I’m not saying that everybody needs to be buying $100 knives – just that the tradeoff between low-end and high-end items is not nearly as clear cut (pun intended) as Trent’s making it out to be.

  31. Cathie says:

    Wow. I believe that Trent was using his knives as an example. Obviously if your $.50 is so dangerous that you could easily cut your finger off that would be the worst case scenario. And you could also cut your finger off with a highly sharpened expensive knife-an accident that could possible occur in any case is not part of his example, nor should it have been. Is there some sort of “prove Trent wrong” group that I’m not aware of? Or rather, “of which I’m unaware,” for the grammar-correctors. Jeez.

  32. Cathie says:

    possibly

  33. Tyler says:

    A factor not included in the analysis is time. What is the time needed to hunt down a $0.50 knife? The time required to sharpen or hone before every use? The time needed to research the products? What you save in monetary cost, you have used in time cost.

  34. Tracy says:

    @Luke

    I think part of it is that just reading through, Trent’s conclusions don’t really seem to fit his experience. He gives examples of three types of knives: almost-free/middle/pricey and then even though in his own analysis the middle one is clearly the best value, he dismisses it from his conclusion and even ignores it in the question itself and just says ‘free is better than expensive’.

    It’s just weird.

  35. michael bash says:

    I’m a Henckel guy for nearly 40 years and want to repeat their slogan which is both true and clever. “The only knife your grandkids will ever need.” Well said.

  36. almost there says:

    Tyler, I don’t know about the time and cost to find a fifty cent knife. But my dollar stores in town have plenty of knives for twice that and sometimes include multiple knives for that much. And what of the “free” knife sets with cutting board included with an order of Omaha Steaks? Just sayin.

  37. almost there says:

    correction to #36 comment: “hone”

  38. Leah says:

    I really love your idea in theory (and usually in practice), but I’d disagree with applying it to knives. I would rather look at the different between a $50 knife and a $115 knife. The main key is to make sure you have a knife that stays sharp, and you should be able to keep it that way. I agree with so many here that there are real dangers to using poor knives.

    With knives, I’ve gotten several for free. All I ever do is end up giving them away (or trashing them). I don’t buy super pricey knives, but I do buy decent, solid knives that hold an edge. To me, it’s worth it to spend $30-50 on a knife rather than constantly curse a dull one and worry about cutting myself.

    A better place to make this argument, it would seem, are in things where a little quality might not make a difference. For example, with textbooks, I frequently buy used because it really doesn’t matter if there are a few notes or highlights in the book; it won’t affect my experience. Or with my new cross-country skiis. I did buy new skiis, but I bought low-end, recreational ones. I could have spent more to get really nice, fancy skiis. But even though I ski about once a week in the winter, I never ski for speed or performance. I just like getting out, enjoy the woods, and having some exercise. For me, the $250 pair I bought are good enough.

  39. Tall Bill says:

    The top knife was made by Chicago Cutlery in the 1970′s & I just cleaned mine up & placed it in the block with 7 others of the same make. Take care of things & they’ll take care of you. Used daily for 30+ years & straightened with the steel at each use, hollow ground sharpened about once a month. Looking at the new ones, but these keep delivering daily. Have a Great 2011 all! ! !

  40. Steve in W MA says:

    Those dull bladles that a few people threw out were probably savable (as long as the metal was good enough on the blade) A seriously dull blade needs to be sharpened using something that is capable of removing enough metal to restore the geometry of the edge. Most “knife sharpener” kits don’t allow that and are more for retouching a slightly dulled or dinged blade.

    a $50 combination Shun japanese waterston, 300/1000 grit is what I use for most sharpening. I use the 300 grit (there are actually coarser grits available but I don’t see the need for one in my own life) on heavily abused blades in order to restore the geometry, followed by the 1000 grit to bring it to near razor sharpness, followed by stropping on a piece of newsprint laid across the stone for full raxor sharpness (cardboard words too.)

    There’s no doubt that there is both an art and science to sharpening, and that it does take some investment of time and effort and study.

    For most people, a Cutco pull-through sharpener works fine. It won’t restore a truly neglected blade but it does a good job on most blades without the user needing to totally understand what he/she is trying to accomplish.

    If you really want to learn to sharpen, I recommend Murray Carter’s DVD about it.

  41. Steve in W MA says:

    I will give one piece of easy advice about knives (even though the article wasn’t really about knives!) which is: don’t ever buy the cheap serrated ones. They are usually made of inferior metal, with the serrations added to help them to cut aggressively.

    Get knives that are non-serrated (for general purposes, unless you are talking about a bread knife) and the metal on them should not generally and you will likely be headed in the right direction and you will in most cases get a knife that is decently serviceable if you also have a means of touching up the edge.

  42. Suz says:

    Sometimes buying the cheaper product results in having to buy a second one when the first one breaks. My case in point are some garden hose sprayers we bought for $10 per set where the handles broke pretty quickly. They seemed good enough before they broke, but it would have been less time and energy to buy the more expensive, sturdier ones than having to trek back to Lowe’s.

    Free should only trump everything if the item is close to perfect or gently used. (perhaps that was not mentioned because it’s an understood fact?)

    Getting a free, used keyboard is a great idea. The keys on a keyboard are fairly standard (action not withstanding), so if you find you lose interest in the hobby, nothing lost!

  43. Erik says:

    I read this the other week, and there was something that gnawed at me, and it comes to this: you are comparing used cheap, to new good. To make this an apples to apples comparison cheap would have to be new as well.

  44. deRuiter says:

    Estate sales and house sales are good sources for real good quality knives. You have to know what makes a good knife, and then take the time to hunt for them. I have half a dozen really good, well made knives which hold an edge a long time, and there isn’t $10. invested in the lot of them. They were made long ago, and all we did was sharpen them and wash them, and they are great. This conserves natural resuources by using existing ittems, saves us a lot of money, and gives the satisfaction of using fine quality items.

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