On blades fwiw... Factory stuff has its limits to be sure. They also have their uses. They can be reasonably durable, tough and useful as tools.
But if you want a blade that performs above and beyond in all categories there really is no other choice than a properly made blade from a good smith. I have some very expensive kitchen knives that I use most of the time. And then there are the two knives I have made by Japanese swordsmiths. One I bought, the other a gift from the smith. Both require a bit of care (no stainless here), but both take a remarkable edge and hold that edge better than even the most expensive "fancy" knives I own.
There is a difference.
If I were worried about a blade that was going to be to protect my life I have no question I'd be makin' calls to some friends to have something made just for me...
That said I've got a piece that a friend of mine bought off a Gurkha guard who was working at Saddam Hussein's former residence soon after Baghdad fell. It looks like it was quickly made. But that thing is sharp, has heft, and would do some serious damage. That inside curve makes for serious nastiness...
A lot of the military folks who routinely work overseas interfacing with foreign troops will not carry expensive knives. If you cross borders, they often end up in the possession of some customs official. Many developing countries have traditions in which you are obligated to give something to someone who overtly admires it. So guys got in the habit of leaving their really expensive Randalls at home and carrying solid quality benchmade knives that didn't make them cry if they ended up with new ownership.