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Premium OTF Knife Is an Investment Over a Cheap Knife

Premium OTF Knife Is an Investment Over a Cheap Knife

In 1621, English author Robert Burton produced the first edition of his Anatomy of Melancholy, a massive tome that you might mistake for a finely focused examination on a somewhat downbeat subject. In truth, though, Burton used the idea of depression to touch upon all sorts of subjects, including geography, the classics, mythological creatures, and even financial management. You likely haven’t heard of Burton directly, but you almost certainly know one of the quotes from his most famous work: “Penny wise and pound foolish.” This oh-so-familiar idiom has more than transcended its author, becoming an axiom by which we function — or at least by which we should. We all know that it’s possible to try to save money on minor things and in unimportant ways, but we often make major mistakes with more important that erase all those small gains.

In this article, we’ll argue that purchasing a lower-quality OTF is just such a penny-wise decision and show how selecting a premium OTF like those offered by TAKCOM can save you more in the long term.

How Buying Cheap Knives Can Cost You

Writing for the Medium publication Making of a Millionaire, Arthur Dias begins his article with an admission, stating, “I have an unhealthy relationship with money.” Unlike most people, Dias hasn’t maxed out his credit cards or tried to flee from overly aggressive bill collectors. Instead, he has failed to spend money. Sound like an odd dilemma? Sure it does. But Dias cogently explains why foolish frugality can prove just as problematic as financial excess: “Because being cheap can cost you more than it can help you save.”

Dias lists three reasons why acting like Ebenezer Scrooge (or his real life counterpart Daniel Dancer) is such a bad idea, and his reasoning runs so simply and cogently that we’re borrowing them to structure our examples as to why a cheap OTF may counterintuitively prove more expensive than a luxury one. So without further ado, a knock-off knife may end up picking your pocket because …

Reason #1: “It Costs You Time”

Philosophers, poets, and wannabe hacks have all spilled plenty of ink pontificating on how quickly (to quote one popular musician) the clock ticks life away. But while all of us intuitively understand that our time on earth is limited, we often fail to grasp how individual decisions negatively impact how we manage it. Let’s illustrate it with a hypothetical.

Let’s say that you just moved across the state and you’re getting settled in a new property. Your stuff is all unloaded, and you want to break down those cardboard boxes into which you packed everything. So you whip out your TAKCOM OTF, which opens with the flick of a switch, neatly slices through tape and pressed heavy paper, and snicks back into its handle without you even having to think about it. Simple enough.

Now consider what could happen if you tried to use an OTF with a fifth of the cost. Perhaps you thumb it open — and the blade sticks. OTFs require precision machining to work well, and any little deviation can cause it to fail. Muttering a few choice words under your breath, you hammer at it with your other palm — to no effect. You know that you have an Allen wrench around here somewhere and eventually find it — only to partially strip a screw while disassembling your OTF. You fix the issue (perhaps a bit of gunk or an interior hook that was catching or a spring that had slipped loose), reassemble your knife, open it — and quickly find that it has lost its edge. A consequence of going with a blade made of plain old 420 steel. You could stop and sharpen it — or you could grab a pair of scissors.

Sure, this example is a little overstated, but not by that much. Getting an “expensive” knife that just works will save you time, effort, and (ultimately) money. How can it keep your costs down? Just read our next section.

Reason #2: “You Pay Twice”

While some people possess a kind of stubborn patience, remaining obstinate enough to tolerate a subpar tool just to avoid further expense, most of us would prefer to have an implement that works the first time and every time. Sometimes, the selection of a bargain bin OTF will even necessitate the purchase of an additional knife.

There are many techniques to which manufacturers of inexpensive products turn in order to keep their costs down. With knives, one of the most common involves selecting less expensive materials to construct the blade and the handle. Rather than using 154CM or M390 steels, they may select 420HC or AUS-8. Yes, it’s true that one can’t declare that an entire type of steel is objectively “bad” in every circumstance, but we can point out that they have definable drawbacks that will hamper their usage as a cutting implement. These two examples both tend to dull quickly and may snap after only moderately hard use.

Similarly, a producer may opt for a less expensive handle material, which can prove particularly pernicious. One example is the trend of selling paracord-wound knives, a look that may increase the “survivalist” image of a blade, but makes it unpleasant to hold, less durable, and prone to wear. Fortunately, OTFs don’t use paracord as a cushioning material, but some may employ fiberglass-reinforced nylon (which is ugly and hard to hold) or cheap carbon fiber (which can easily shatter).

Finally, OTFs need to be machined with tight tolerances in order to open and close. There are several moving parts inside an OTF, and if one or two of them vary too much from the intended design, they simply won’t work. In such cases, the best option is simply the purchase of another knife.

Reason #3: “You Reduce Your Quality of Life”

“Quality of life” is a notoriously hard concept to quantify, but we all know when we lack it. Pointless toil, regular frustration, and frequent physical discomfort all reduce it. Sometimes it makes sense to endure such things if the reward for tolerating them is big enough. However, when it comes to purchasing a cheap, poorly made tool, the pennies you save rarely compensate for the practical cost. Pondering over the inherent impermanence of and loss inherent in life, one philosopher put it this way: “I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life.”

At TAKCOM, we create OTFs designed to bring you that sense of delight. Not only will they function excellently each and every time, they also possess a style that inspires pride of ownership. View our gallery of knives here.

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