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Jul 6, 2020 - 8:13:42 PM
4759 posts since 10/6/2009

Question for collectors here- I am looking to build my small pocket knife collection (I have more time on my hands and enjoy owning and using a good pocket knife).Are there any members here that recommend a good starting point? By brand, by type, by “age” etc? I think I read some posts a while back from a member or two that have some nice collections. I’m interested in your thoughts. Thanks!

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:40:21 PM
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10407 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Bolie Jackson

Question for collectors here- I am looking to build my small pocket knife collection (I have more time on my hands and enjoy owning and using a good pocket knife).Are there any members here that recommend a good starting point? By brand, by type, by “age” etc? I think I read some posts a while back from a member or two that have some nice collections. I’m interested in your thoughts. Thanks!


Bolie ...... here are a few of mine!  I think I can give you a few tips.  When I first started collecting over 40 years ago I would buy just about anything I could find for the first five years.  The next five years I spent getting rid of a lot of the knives I had bought in the first five years.  I had bought some good ones but quite a few that were not so good.  It is best to start out collecting better knives for a couple fo reasons.  Better knives will hold their value (generally) and will be easier to sell if you ever want to get rid of them.

Personally, I hardly buy anything except mint knives made before 1970.  A mint knife is always going to be more valuable as a collectible and again easier to sell or trade.  There are exceptions for knives that may be so rare that you will hardly ever find one in mint condition.  I have a number of knives that have been "cleaned" and some dealers will advertise "cleaned to mint condition" ..... but that is impossible, but it could still be a good knife.  Learn what a cleaned knife looks like, or when you find a nice knife ask the seller if it has been cleaned.

I collect all of the better brands of American made knives.  The English and Germans also made great knives, and I have a few, but don't collect them per se. Everyone knows Case and I have a bunch, but don't buy many anymore as many Case collectors are really picky ...... at least when you are selling to them.  I also have KaBar (Union Cutlery), Remington, Winchester, Keen Kutter, Shapleigh, Robeson, Cattaraugus, Queen, Holley, Utica, Schrade, Ulster, Western, and others.

I mostly collect bone and stag handled knives, have a lot of pearl handled knives (mother of pearl) and quite a few celluloid handled knives.  You have to be as little cautious of celluloid as once in a while the celluloid will decide to break down and ruin the knife and any others that are stored around it.  It has happened to me.  I also recommend going to knife shows and look at as many old knives as you can.  Ask a lot of questions and most dealers are friendly and will try and help.


 

Jul 6, 2020 - 8:52:02 PM

4759 posts since 10/6/2009

John, thanks a bunch as that is definitely some well appreciated information. Your experience is very helpful. I have a couple of older Boker whiittlers, a few Hen & Rooster knives (Stockman?), a Buck, and a couple of Case smaller knives. Also some Swiss Army. I like your idea of attending some knife shows to get a better feel for the market. I agree and might start focusing on more “vintage” knives too. Your collection is impressive which is an understatement for sure!

Jul 7, 2020 - 5:54:23 AM
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72659 posts since 5/9/2007
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I've tried collecting knives,but I keep losing them.
I have a Winchester that lives in the toolbox on my tractor.Nice blade and doesn't rust.A bit on the heavy side,though.

Jul 7, 2020 - 6:37:28 AM
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1432 posts since 7/14/2004

Worth consideration is the classic US GI Camillus folding pocket knife. I have carried one since I was in the Army in the 60's. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgBvNXTBb_E

Jul 7, 2020 - 6:47:02 AM
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10407 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Bolie Jackson

John, thanks a bunch as that is definitely some well appreciated information. Your experience is very helpful. I have a couple of older Boker whiittlers, a few Hen & Rooster knives (Stockman?), a Buck, and a couple of Case smaller knives. Also some Swiss Army. I like your idea of attending some knife shows to get a better feel for the market. I agree and might start focusing on more “vintage” knives too. Your collection is impressive which is an understatement for sure!


Bolie ..... as a rule of thumb, just collect what you like.  There is nothing wrong with collecting any type or any brand.  I happen to like whittlers, so I look for whittler patterns in every make of knife.  I also like pearl handles so I try and collect them.  The really good antique knives have gotten so expensive that it makes it tougher to collect them.  You don't have to obtain a lot of knives for a collection either.  One of the best collections I have ever seen had three knives in it ..... a mint KaBar Large Grizzley (switch blade with stag handles probably made in the 1930's), a KaBar "Pirate's Switch" (not a switch blade) in mint condition, and a mint Remington Bullet (large trapper pattern).  Today's value for all three in mint condition would be north of $10,000.

Jul 7, 2020 - 6:57:27 AM

10407 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Sheenjack

Worth consideration is the classic US GI Camillus folding pocket knife. I have carried one since I was in the Army in the 60's. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgBvNXTBb_E


Certainly a good way to start.  Some people just collect military knives.  The Camillus utility knives are plentiful and inexpensive and since many were never used you can pretty easily find them in mint condition.  Camillus also made the USMC sheath knife (often just referred as the KaBar since they made the original ones in WW II and afterwards).

Jul 7, 2020 - 7:00:10 AM

10407 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by steve davis

I've tried collecting knives,but I keep losing them.
I have a Winchester that lives in the toolbox on my tractor.Nice blade and doesn't rust.A bit on the heavy side,though.

Your Winchester may be a later reproduction since it doesn't rust ...... stainless blades.  Blades should rust on original ones.  If it is original, it could be pretty valuable, but it all depends on condition.

Jul 7, 2020 - 7:15:42 AM
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Eric A

USA

711 posts since 10/15/2019

I went through a period where I was scouring ebay for old pocket knives that I remember from my childhood. Never got concerned about absolute value or collectability. I hardly ever spent more than $25 on any single one. A lot of times closer to $10. If I can get them cheaply enough, and they are in decent functional condition, and they bring me a little joy, why not? Mostly Schrade, KaBar, and Camillus. Even those cheapy Imperials with the fake mother of pearl. I like them, my grandpa ( a famous cheapskate) had a few, and that's all that matters. When I'm gone, my kids will find that the whole lot of them have practically no value at all. One cheap banjo is more than every penny I've ever spent on knives.

The pictured lot is the contents of a ziploc bag that sits near my computer. There's always a toenail picker or a sausage cutter at hand. Or a bridge slot modifier. There are probably 2 or 3 more bags full somewhere. A couple of the boy scout types with the bottle and can openers on them. A couple with the little fork and spoon that fold out. One where the back is supposed to be a fish scaler, etc. Just anything that brings back a happy memory, for really not a lot of money.

I find that if I have a knife that is in stellar, like new, collectible condition, then I'm afraid to touch it. No joy. I like to get mine out, use them, sharpen them, spin them on a table top. Some of those bigger ones make excellent steak knives. You'd never dare do that with a collectable piece.

A few other things I collect are old cast iron cookware, old Coleman camping stoves and lanterns, old sharpening stones.

My wife just shakes her head. Why do you need a 4th Coleman camp stove from a garage sale? I guess for the same reason I need a 5th banjo or another old Wagner chicken fryer.


Edited by - Eric A on 07/07/2020 07:17:17

Jul 7, 2020 - 7:36:22 AM
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3139 posts since 9/12/2016

I don't collect but admire a good long lasting edge. Case and Buck are names that have been around in my circles

Jul 7, 2020 - 10:05:30 AM

10407 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Eric A

I went through a period where I was scouring ebay for old pocket knives that I remember from my childhood. Never got concerned about absolute value or collectability. I hardly ever spent more than $25 on any single one. A lot of times closer to $10. If I can get them cheaply enough, and they are in decent functional condition, and they bring me a little joy, why not? Mostly Schrade, KaBar, and Camillus. Even those cheapy Imperials with the fake mother of pearl. I like them, my grandpa ( a famous cheapskate) had a few, and that's all that matters. When I'm gone, my kids will find that the whole lot of them have practically no value at all. One cheap banjo is more than every penny I've ever spent on knives.

The pictured lot is the contents of a ziploc bag that sits near my computer. There's always a toenail picker or a sausage cutter at hand. Or a bridge slot modifier. There are probably 2 or 3 more bags full somewhere. A couple of the boy scout types with the bottle and can openers on them. A couple with the little fork and spoon that fold out. One where the back is supposed to be a fish scaler, etc. Just anything that brings back a happy memory, for really not a lot of money.

I find that if I have a knife that is in stellar, like new, collectible condition, then I'm afraid to touch it. No joy. I like to get mine out, use them, sharpen them, spin them on a table top. Some of those bigger ones make excellent steak knives. You'd never dare do that with a collectable piece.

A few other things I collect are old cast iron cookware, old Coleman camping stoves and lanterns, old sharpening stones.

My wife just shakes her head. Why do you need a 4th Coleman camp stove from a garage sale? I guess for the same reason I need a 5th banjo or another old Wagner chicken fryer.


Eric ..... that's the right kind of perspective to have.  Collect/accumulate what you enjoy.  I always carry a knife, but it is usually a newly made one that I bought at the Blade Show in Atlanta (ZT (Zero Tolerance)  with Carbon Fiber handles and Stainless blade).  It is pretty expensive but a great knife.

Jul 7, 2020 - 10:07:17 AM

10407 posts since 1/15/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Tractor1

I don't collect but admire a good long lasting edge. Case and Buck are names that have been around in my circles


Tom .... the old Case knives are fine, but I would not buy a new one to use.  Bucks have always been good, but have not paid much attention to the new ones and assume they are still good knives.

Jul 7, 2020 - 10:15:49 AM

3139 posts since 9/12/2016

I have a Case hawk bill . needs some stone attention. I use the main 2 grits stone on my metal pick edges also

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