Knife Collecting Guide

How to Start Knife Collecting – A Guide

Knives have been a constant companion to mankind, starting from the stone age where they were one of the oldest tools utilized. Unlike our ancestors who used flint and obsidian to make knives, the knives of today are made of over 50 types of steel and countless handle materials and designs. Knives are now viewed as a form of art – exquisite layered Damascus steel and precious metals create art within a knife. The fascination that our ancestors had has never died, and knives continue to be a primary tool that is handy to use even in today’s dynamic environment.

Starting a knife collection can be difficult at times, because of the immense number of brands and possibilities that are present. Most knife collectors do no know where or how to start collecting, and may go with the “flow”, or simply just follow what more experienced knife collectors are collecting. Collecting knives can be an interesting and rewarding hobby, as you will eventually find out. A good knife collection can be a showpiece in a living room and a great conversation starter among guests of course. Certain knives, for example military and discontinued knives, are difficult to obtain and knife collectors enjoy the “hunt” in trying to get one of those rare knives. In this article we will discuss some quick rules and tips on how to go about collecting knives.

If you have seriously made up your mind to collect knives, it is always a good idea to seek information on collectible knives. This can be done through reading up on knife books, participating on knife forums or using the internet to search for information. Another great way is to attend knife shows, where die-hard knife collectors and knife manufacturers would be present and will be most willing to share their knowledge and display their knives. An excellent way to get to see knives in person and discover what your ‘taste’ in knives is. Not to mention lots of knife eye candy, as custom knife makers put their high end knives (easily worth >$400) on display. You’ll be able to see exotic materials (eg. Gold, mammoth tooth scales, intrinsic damascus patterns) in their knives and a whole lot of interesting designs!


Tips for starting a knife collection.

  • Collect what you like. Don’t buy a knife simply because many people like that brand or style. Ultimately if you buy a knife based on other people’s opinions you won’t be happy with your collection if you don’t really like the knife. You will always be happy with the knives you have if you buy what you like. Don’t ever buy knives with the intent of selling them off at a profit later. A good way of collecting what you like is to collect knives that you like based on the knife type/design.
  • Do your research! Nothing is more damning than to spend $500 on a bunch of “rare” knives that are fake or later regret buying in a few years time. Quite often you may not know how rare a knife is, or what its collectible value is. Bargain hunt and keep a watch on knife forums and auction sites. Know your knives well before buying anything.
  • Know your prices. It is useful to keep a price list on how much a certain knife sold at what year. So at least you can track how much that knife goes for and whether you should buy it now (or wait a while for the price to lower). If you know your knife values then you can buy knives more easily with confidence. Here on our website if you are a Premium Member you are able to check out the values and last known list price of the knives we have on our database.
  • Have a little patience. Too often people see a rare knife and immediately jump on it. Little do they know that in a few days later the same model goes up for sale again but in a better condition and a lower price. Sometimes when you look at a knife it may have defects or things that you don’t like. If there is even the slightest hint of such a doubt, consider holding on first and buying later, unless the knife is really rare and you are unlikely to come across one again in future.
  • Plan your budget. Some people get too into the buying spree that they end up buying too many knives at one go and sacrificing other rarer knives. Buy a few at a time, the fewer the better. Grow your collection slowly and prudently.This ensures that you have enough time for research and buy the knife that is in the best condition for the best bargain.
  • Good things come in pairs. Most people like to use one knife and keep one as “shelf queens”, or one that is stored in its original packaging (with box, papers, etc.) so as to ensure collectibility. Interesting to do but only if budget permits!
  • Don’t give up! If it seems like your collection is losing value, fret not! Most likely it is because there are too many of the same knife for sale on the market. Wait and you’ll see the prices rising. Don’t be quick to sell off your knives.
  • When in doubt, always remember point number one.
  • Happy Collecting!