Knives were one of the first tools invented by early humans, so collectable knives are the subject of one of the oldest hobbies.
Over thousands of years, there have been lots of opportunities for innovation and improvement on a good idea—what was once a simple cutting tool has evolved into swords and axes, scythes, saws, surgical implements, and knife accessories of every description.
Today, theme possibilities for a knife collection are virtually endless—nevertheless, most enthusiasts are collectors of knives with a certain handle material, a specific brand name or blade with a particular stamp, a specific pattern, or something from some specialty area. It makes sense to build a collection of knives that are similar in some way because there are so many different knives to choose from.
Collector knives are so popular and the hobby is so well established that there are knife collector clubs, shows, websites, books and magazines for hobbyists. For the beginner, these things can be a big help—shows are particularly recommended because they allow knife collectors to talk with knowledgeable people and get more familiar with what they should be looking for and what they should expect to pay for a knife.
Collectable knives at a show are likely to include antiques, hand made knives, character knives like those with Popeye or Buck Rogers handles, jack and pen knives, household cutlery, and even scissors. When choosing a show, look for those sponsored or recommended by the big knife clubs such as the National Knife Collectors Association (NKCA).
The NKCA is a great resource for knife collectors in other ways: not only do they offer their own special collector knives annually, but they also carry other products and knife collecting accessories, publish a list of shows, make collecting information available to members and maintain a database of knife collecting internet links. The organization exists to promote the hobby, educate collectors and the general public, and offer programs to assist those who are interested in collectable knives.
You’ll need to be careful in purchasing knives, especially the higher priced items. Because of the popularity of this hobby, and the value that many collector knives have, this market is ripe for misrepresentation and forgery. If you are not knowledgeable enough yourself to identify genuine pieces, always deal with a reputable and well established dealer. Beware of the great deal—a price that seems too good to be true probably is—and before you buy, check out the collectable knives dealer to ensure that their reputation is good.
One excellent place to search for collectable knives and familiarize yourself with the various dealers and knife collecting groups is the internet. Browsing internet sites allows you to familiarize yourself with what is available, what the average prices are for the collector knives you are interested in, and where they can be obtained.
If you need to check the reputation of the site, you can do that without feeling uncomfortable or putting the dealer on the spot, and if you’re not happy with the information you get, you can simply surf away from the site and find another. Since the true condition of the knife will not be evident to you, however, until you hold it in your hand, make sure that any site you purchase from has a reasonable returns policy.
If you keep all these things in mind, shopping for collector knives on the internet should be easy and much more rewarding than just shopping in your local area. With the internet at your fingertips, you can shop the world.