Pocket-knives for those with very deep pockets

I appreciate art, within reason, and I appreciate a good pocket-knife as much as any man . . . but I’m stunned by the prices for William Henry pocket-knives.  How about this Monarch ‘Les Annees Folles’ model, ‘hand-engraved in 24K gold’, for a cool $15,000?  (Click the image for a larger view.)

Or, if that’s too rich for your blood, there’s the Monarch ‘Painted Butte’, featuring mokume gane metalwork and fossilized mammoth tooth, for a mere $1,575.

There are many more at the link.  They’re lovely, and some are even affordable to lower-income folks like myself . . . but I don’t think I’ll be buying any.  I use my knives, and I’d hate to nick or break something so lovely or so costly during mundane tasks like opening packages, cutting string, or using the back of the blade as an impromptu screwdriver.  Yes, I know, that’s heresy to knife aficionados, but like I said, I use my blades as tools.  I’m not a knife purist.



  1. Using your knife as a screwdriver is not using a tool. It's abusing it. Might be needed at one moment, but the tool for screws is, yes, the screwdriver.

    That said, I have a friend who designed one with that use in mind. We have a common friend who TRULY abuses knives.

    Also, yes, Henry does nice toys. If you want something more or less elegant with an affordable cost, MCusta, a Japanese maker, has nice things (the mechanism is _smooth_). Some of which could be used, in a pinch, against a glass. For about the price of a mini Griptillian (my personal choice for EDC).

    Take care.

  2. Hey Peter;

    I believes in "Gibbs Rules". Rule#9 Always have a good knife. I have them everywhere..I use them for work, for scouting and for just stuff around the house. I don't abuse them…they are tools, but I DO use them.

  3. Can't believe any of those knives were made to be used. I like to look at art knives, but I'm not tempted to buy one. I'm afraid it would be a gateway drug, and like you say – I use my knives.

    Of the course the problem of needing a screwdriver when all I have with me is a knife is why this pouch over here carries a multitool… 🙂

  4. Joel, 

    for about the same price of heroin, you'd have better tools to GET better tools… 

    Take care

  5. The measure of humanity….to take a tool and create art.
    No crow nor chimpanzee nor sea otter with their rock or stick will do so, but man will.

  6. I'm also one of those guys that knife people hate. A solution is to buy inexpensive 'gift' knives offered by WalMart at Christmas time. I buy a few each year, top off the edge, then add them to my knife drawer. You can carry and use as needed with clear conscience. The good knives like Moraknivs are reserved for hiking, camping and around the shop. Even so, they are inexpensive enough not to be mourned if lost. Knives carried for defense are probably another matter altogether.

  7. My wife gave me a lower end one of these as a Christmas present. I carry it every day to the office. I have other knives for practical purposes but that one is always in my pocket.

  8. I used to buy knives from Gerber, but I tended to lose them I nowvbuy cheapos from budk.com, no heartburn.

  9. I've occasionally thought about one at the low end of the price range. I'm mostly amused but I think it's entirely appropriate that Ross Seyfried, formerly of Elksong and still famously associated with fine quality break action guns, has endorsed William Henry knives as doing a fine job at Elksong. I don't doubt it but somehow for me the question doesn't arise.

    My own most used knife is a Timberline Aviator – IIRC one vendor wrote ad copy that said touted as unbreakable and probably is.

  10. And I thought the $3,000 knives I saw 2 years ago were expensive!

    I'm with the others above – I buy and use inexpensive knives; funnily enough, I lose good knives and expensive watches, but I can't seem to do either to cheap knives or watches.
    Of course, I also carry a Leatherman and use it as often as a knife.

  11. A knife IS a tool. It should be used, for more than one thing. Multi-taskers rule.

    But this are beautiful. *sigh*

  12. One of my favourite Christmas gifts from my children has been a Delica with titanium grips and a Damascus blade. Factory made, to be sure, but individual and chosen with thought. You can do a lot worse than one of those.

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