Wasn't expecting so many replies but thanks everyone for their input.
Just to clarify, my original question was more around whether there was any real difference in performance of a "swanky knife" rather than simply the value in owning something beautiful and hand made.
I'm in a lucky position that I could probably stretch to a £400 knife if I wanted to, but I wouldn't do so on the basis of image or simply because it was beautifully made. I'm not bothered about a rolex which (to me) is a status thing and tells the time no better than the £10 Casio I wore for years. Functionally, they're the same.
And I'm not really a "knife" person - I don't collect them and I don't really see them as objects of beauty. So if I was to stretch to something custom, then it would need to have a functional advantage. Which, from those who own emberleaf etc are suggesting, they do - easier to sharpen, stay sharper longer etc. Enough of a difference to justify £380 extra over a Mora?? Well that's down to the individual spending the cash!
Well put 75 and apologies for helping steer this thread a little off topic. I began making a few knives a couple of years ago. Not many and its early days. Trust me they're far from perfect and I have lots to learn but very satisfying if you have a few basic tools and can source a decent blade blank.
I’ve always been happy with my mora knives - they’ve done me well for many, many deer and I don’t lose any sleep on the odd occasion I’ve left one behind.
However, I’ve seen an increasing number of folk are using knives costing several hundred pounds. So what am I missing? I could have a box of 20 mora knives for the cost of one of these swanky knives - is it really worth it?
Ps. This isn’t a cynical post - I genuinely want to be convinced!!
I bought an Emberleaf camel because I liked the shape it’s a working knife and I hope one day will pass it on to my son. My Mora is the truck I once bought a load of them when on a trip to Sweden cheap as chips presents fo my stalking mates have to admit I was amazed how well they held an edge.
I had the opportunity and funds, so purchased a lovely custom hand made 'Stalker' knife from Richard Eadon (Dougster) soon after my second guided stalk. Taking both that and a Mora on my first solo stalk, I was fortunate to put three bucks on the floor one after the other. Starting the first gralloch, I decided upon the Mora so as to not muck up my lovely custom knife. However, no sooner than I'd inserted the Mora to unzip the buck, it slipped and I gave myself a rather nasty slice to the underside of my thumb pad.
Having to stop to clean and plaster, once bitten twice shy and I opted for the Stalker the second time round. Well, I've never used the Mora since, except to clean heads.
Dougster's 'Stalker' fits the hand like a glove and is so well balanced it's just a complete joy to use. I get the whole 'tool' argument and it is that to me, except a very well made tool which I shall treasure the rest of my life and likely the lads after me too. I sadly had to hang up the boots for a while last year and whilst having sold most of my kit, the 'Stalker' is one item that will have to be prized out of my cold grey hands.
Horses for courses of course, but for me, only shooting half a dozen deer or so a year for the table, I prefer to savor every part of the experience and the knife work being such a large part of that, I'm so glad I made the investment. Indeed, we spend thousands on rifle and scope and use them for considerably less time than we do a good knife.