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Knife Collecting Information




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Knife Collecting: A Beginning

Want to learn more about knife values or knife history?

Knife collecting is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the United States. It provides enjoyment as well as being an excellent investment for the future. A carefully assembled collection of selected knives will continue to grow in value year after year. The demand for older knives is a definite reality.

The four main groups that most knife collectors specialize in are:

  • Patterns
  • Handle Materials
  • Brand Names
  • Specialties

Knife collecting is a very personal hobby where each individual can select his or her specialty. There are knife collectors that search for certain patterns (such as trappers, whittlers, canoes, muskrats, peanuts, folding hunters, etc). Some collect certain handle materials (such as stag, mother of pearl, yellow, rough black, green bone, celluloid, etc). Many collect certain brand names (such as Case, Remington, Winchester, Fight'n Rooster, IXL, Queen, etc). Others collect certain blade stampings (such as Case Tested, Case XX, Old Remington, New Remington, etc). Some collect certain specialties (such as advertising, figural, souvenir, etc).  Regardless of your desires for a knife specialty, you will find buyers, sellers, traders at any knife show and most gun and knife shows.

 The most sought after knife in any brand or pattern is a mint one. As a general rule, used knives bring 25-70% of what a mint knife brings. You can usually pick up an excellent condition knife for 50-70% of what you pay for a mint one. Ten to fifteen years ago, all the knives experts preached "Buy only mint knives". Well, in the older knives (1945 and earlier), if you stay with only mint, you will pass up a lot of fine knives. If possible, collect only excellent or better knives. Used knives can have considerable value. But, for the soundest investment, it is more desirable to collect only excellent to mint knives.

Remember to take excellent care of your collection, as you are the curator during your lifetime for future generations to enjoy. Moisture and fingerprints are the prime villains to avoid. Check your collection periodically and keep your knives in a dry location. Make an asserted effort to wipe your knives at least once a month. Your collection can lose value very quickly if you allow your knives to deteriorate from lack of care and maintenance.

The best teacher for learning about knives is to attend as many knife shows as possible. Most dealers and collectors are very patient about explaining the many variations and subtleties that make some knives rarer than others. The more knives you examine the more familiar you will become with them. This experience will also make it easier to spot counterfeits or altered knives. If you are just starting out, take the time to look and talk rather than buying. The next best thing to going to knife shows is knowledge you can obtain from books and magazines. The way to obtain this knowledge is to read books on knives, knife history, knife price guides and knife magazines.

Don't start out hoping to collect every knife made by a manufacturer as that would be virtually impossible. For example, Remington made 1300 different patterns. Set your goals at a more realistic level, such as: one particular pattern, a certain type handle, or a particular blade stamping. A collection with a theme or direction will be easier to sell than one that is simply a conglomeration of everything.

Above all, when you reach the point where you are purchasing knives costing hundreds of dollars or more, make sure that you buy only from a reputable dealer who will stand behind the authenticity of the knife. Beware of 'too good of a bargain' as in all probability you are being taken. As in any hobby, there are always those unscrupulous few who will make a fast dollar in any way they can. Many counterfeiters are very good and only an expert can tell. Simply be as careful as you can and familiarize yourself with manufacturing methods and details.

In any event, get your feet wet at a knife show. Look; ask questions; read books and articles; start small; become a knife collector, and join thousands of us who enjoy this great hobby. Look for a local or regional knife club near you and go there to find other collectors who will reinforce these ideas.

Knife Collecting: A Beginning article above contributed by
Copyright ©Byron Rogers All rights reserved.
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Click here for "Remember the golden rules of collecting."

Recommended Reading On Knives:

Unfortunately there is no one book that gives prices or values for all knives.


* Levine's thoughts on the 5th and 4th edition of his book Levine's Guide to Knives and Their Values by Bernard Levine, as published in "Whut Izzit", July 2001 KNIFE WORLD. The following is a review of the 4th edition of Levine's Guide, the last edition endorsed by the author Click here for the review. -- Very informative and keep your 4th editions!

Article Index to KNIVES annual 1981 - Current Year by Knife World...
A complete article index for the entire series. This index will help those of you who are searching for articles on a particular topic, or if you want to know what the previous editions of the KNIVES annual contain. 
What a great resource! Thanks Knife World!


Article by Copyright ©Byron Rogers

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