Factory knives have come a long way over the years. Very good knives can be found for reasonable prices. Blade steels like 3V and M4 once found only in custom knives are available over the counter. Factory knives, made on CNC machinery, can offer things like good symmetry and complicated grinds. But they often lack personality or exclusivity.
When you choose one of my knives, you know that an artist has scrutinized every detail of the knife from the steel selection and heat treatment to the ergonomics, balance and material choices. As a custom maker, I have the freedom to select materials and techniques that would be too expensive or unsustainable in a high volume production operation. While the materials are expensive, it is the time involved in bringing all these materials and techniques together into functional works of art that account for the bulk of the cost. I take great care and pay close attention to fit and finish and that translates into time. I cannot work to break even or take a loss. There are overhead and consumables to consider as well as the necessity to make a little profit. In the end, the product is a unique knife you will be proud to own, use and pass down to your children.