I was recently at my favorite supply store when I asked for a look at their carbon steel knives; I've never owned one before. I'm a furniture maker/antiques restorer and am a fanatic about razor sharp edges.
He showed me his Sabatier knives and explained what the "letters" mean on the blades (after the logo) and so on. I told him I had a set of Sabatiers I had bought 25 years ago at a local department store, which was closing and selling out everything on the shelves. The 10" chefs for example was marked down to $12.00 from $65, or there abouts.
Without missing a beat he said, "Oh, those are fakes". He said, take a very close look at the bolster where it meets the blade and you'll see that it's welded, stamped in other words, not a one piece, tip to tang forge. These were all over the place at that type of discount dept. store about 20-30 years ago.
He was right, it was an excellent nearly invisible braise. And I was crushed because I thought I'd gotten one of the best deals of my life. They don't keep an edge very long either but they are comfortable and well balanced, I'll give 'em that.
So the moral : there is NO such thing as a cheap tool (especially if you have to buy three of them over time). And, more importantly, as with everything in life, if it seems to good to be true, it is.