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Need opinions on pricing

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I need help pricing my knife. I recently made this knife for my dad for Father’s Day. It’s forged from 80crv2. Scales are around $30 alone. About $120 in materials and 15-20 hours of work. I’ve had several people wanting to buy it or one similar. I have no idea where to start price wise. I know how to come to a price. But I feel like the math exceeds the value of my current skill. It’s my 6th knife I’ve made. And with $120 in materials and 20 hours of work at $9/hr. That’s  $300. I don’t feel like my work is worth that much. I’d like to hear what everyone’s opinions are. Thanks 









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A knife like that, well made, should easily be worth $300.


Fwiw, I see a few small fit and finish issues, but I don't think you are far off of that value now.  If this is your 6th knife, you should be able to ask more than that soon.  $9/hr is not a living wage, but you will also get faster as you get better.


Welcome to the knife maker's paradox.  Most of us can't afford to buy what we make :)

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This is one of the hard aspects of what we do.  You have to feel good about your skill, as it is right now.

First, that is WAAAAAYYYYY better than my first 50 knives, so congrats.
Second, where are you getting $120 in materials?  The steel is a few $, the scales are whatever you paid for them, but even counting fuel and belts I'd guess $50-$70.

What is your time really worth?  Are you a guy who makes a few knives as a hobby, or are you a bladesmith?  If this is hobby, don't charge for them, or charge what materials cost you and figure your time is your own.  Some of the best art and craft in the world is done by "amateurs", they have the time to spend.


If you are trying to be a pro maker, then you step right up and ask for a price that you feel is fair.

For an early work, that is pretty good.  If you'd like some tips on how to make it better, this is the right place.



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Posted (edited)


3 hours ago, WilliamStill said:

I don’t feel like my work is worth that much.


Bottom line:

If you don't think it's worth that much, nobody else will either.


Don't even try to figure the price using the time and materials method. What are you going to do when you get better and faster? Charge less, or raise your hourly rate?

Put a number on that puppy that you feel like you got paid what the knife is worth, not what you think you are worth (if that makes any sense)

At some point, you will finish a knife like that in less than 10 hours (forged) and around 5 hours (stock removal). Not counting heat treating or glue setting time, just plain old hands on time.


Charge what the market will pay. Handmade knives like that go for $250-$300 all day long.


3 hours ago, WilliamStill said:

What stood out the most for you fit and finish wise? I’m very critical at a bunch of different parts. Just wondering what stands out the most?

Without seeing it in my hand, it's difficult to say. Things that stand out for me are:

1. I really don't know what the intended use is. It doesn't look like some thing that I can say it's a (insert specific type here) knife. Is it a kitchen knife? A camp cutter? a hunter/skinner? The width to length ratio/proportions are off to me. It looks like the blade should be longer for the width or narrower for the length.

2. You only show one side of the handle. What's the other side look like? Are the pins in the same location on both sides?

3. What are the stats? (length, width, thickness, wood species, blade steel, etc.) 

4. The upcurve and dropped point don't "look" right to me. The upcurve looks too abrupt and the drop looks too severe. 

5. I like a tapered tang on full tang handles. Even a very mild taper looks better than none.

6. The heel of the handle is not symmetrical.

7. It's difficult to tell because your fingers are in the way, but is the center swell in the handle also symmetrical?

8. The front pin isn't centered top to bottom. It looks a little low. (most people won't see this)

9. The space between the front pin and the handle front edge doesn't match the rear pin to the rear edge. It's really close, and most people won't see it, but I do.


All that being said, I think the folks that want this knife, want it because they like it, and I think you should take full advantage of that and make some more of them.

Edited by Joshua States
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Posted (edited)

I'm not a full time maker (yet?) so take this as you will.  I feel that if/when one starts to think about money, whether a pro or hobbyist, you can start at what covers the cost of materials.  After that, you need to decide how much you feel your time is worth.  Which could be as little as $0/hr because you would be doing this regardless if you ever sold anything or not.  


One thing I'd do is spend some time filling the holes in the handle with CA glue or something similar.  Especially if this is going to see use in the kitchen.  Food, dirt, water, mold, etc can get in those little holes.


Definitely a good  looking knife, though.  Especially for the 6th.  

Dad should have been very happy.

Edited by billyO
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11 minutes ago, billyO said:

After that, you need to decide how much you feel your time is worth.

I don't look at it quite like that, my view is "What is it worth to the buyer"  While I've only sold a few axes (not my market) I do sell a lot of ironwork.  The value the market places on something determines it's price.  Right now, the market says that's a $300 knife. 

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Don't undervalue yourself, and have some confidence. From photos that is a well made piece and I think I would be getting a deal at $300 for it.


Unfortunately, I'm selling decorative things, knives are so much a harder thing in my opinion as you know your time is valuable and so much time goes into them. First advise or opinion would be, if you think you can sell one, then make at least 3 at the same time.  Think about making 'batches'. When I make flowers, I usually make one as a test.  Then I think of the process and make as many as I think I can handle at once. That then somehow works out that I made 3 or 4 in just about the same time as I made one. I sit on them for a while but I do sell them form time to time.



Also as a hobbyist, I through out thinking about an hourly wage. I track my time at the project to get an idea for if I truly want to think about adding it in one day. Thinking about it that way has freed me to enjoy it more than make it a task. 

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Like Joshua, I noted the misplaced front pin, the slightly off heel area and the slight variance in the palm swell. I also noted at the front of the scale there looks like a flat spot in the scale just above the ricasso and what appears to be a slight gap between the liner and tang at the heel, though that could also just be a shadow, hard to tell. I personally kinda like the symmetry of the blade, I get the feeling it would make a great all-around camp cook and butcher knife. I love the scales, they look like they would just gain luster over time.


Like Geoff I'm a bit confused. If the scales are $30 dollars, you can't have much more than about $50 total in materials. Or did you mean materials plus time, the sentence is a bit vague.


Would I pay $300? No I wouldn't, but that's because I can make a knife similar to yours. But to someone who can't, they would pay it, most serious collectors wouldn't think twice before paying that in my opinion. Its got good lines, awesome scales and obvious attention to  details. So, I don't think you're asking too much. People will find other knives like this for $35 bucks, but they'll be cheap imports that wouldn't last ten minutes before the scales let loose or rust set it. Real collectors and people serious about their tools look for quality, and I think you have it here.

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Sorry for the late response been putting in 8 hours a night all week working on another knife for my friend. I really appreciate the constructive criticism. I guess I’m my own worse critic. Even though I’ve only made 6 knife I feel like I should be producing a much higher quality knife so I’m real critical of my work. I just want to make sure that my quality is good enough to put my name on. I’ll definitely work on everything you all have pointed out. I really appreciate. Thanks 

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