Part of the issue with knives is one doesn’t know how they will perform until ya get then bought. And no one wants to spend 50 to 400$ to realize there is better. Also some people get used to what they got and don’t realize there is or can be better, much better in some cases.
That’s how I got into making custom knives, as a guide I am doing a lot of dressing and caping in a single year, I tried just about every knife out there as well as some "custom" knives and wasn’t happy. Several years later, hundreds of hours of shop time and even more hours of studying metallurgy, design and such, am very pleased with the blades I make and designs I do. Everything I do or how I make it has a specific reason although to most it just looks like a knife. I’m well aware how much better my blades perform then factory knives and 80% of custom knives, even at that I know I don’t stop with "good enough" .Always improvements can be and should be looked for.
I test some to complete destruction and with those results if I’m not happy with the high standards I have, I go back and look at why, which is one thing no factory blades do as they don’t have the luxury of being personal with their work. It’s all science in the end and a devoted willingness to learn and control what’s going on in the steel, not mystic alchemy or some strange exotic heat treat as I have seen some custom makers claim. Well any rate if anyone would like to learn more feel free to go to my site, it’s fairly in depth and open with information about knives and why I’m so anal about what I turn out.