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Collectible and Quality Knives- Wow, but do People Love These!

Updated on April 24, 2016

Look at this beauty!

I paid $20 for this years ago, but today values in the hundreds to collectors.
I paid $20 for this years ago, but today values in the hundreds to collectors. | Source

Face the facts. Knives are really that cool.

Those who are knife aficionados cannot articulate why they are just that, but they are exactly that. Is it a deep subconscious thing? Nobody knows for sure, but it is undeniable that various forms of cutlery, from collectible editions to tactical weapons to kitchenware, folding knives and the fun throwing knives, are becoming all the rage with more and more people.

Hey, there is a popular television show, called Cutlery Corner, where the entire program focuses on various knives and knife collections for sale. There are very famous names in knives, such as Benchmade, Cold Steel, Hen & Rooster, Bear & Son, and tons more focused on making the very best in quality knives, and they are doing great. Consumer catalog companies such as BudK and Kennesaw Cutlery offer a wide range of knives of all sorts, from tactical to fancy to basic and the gamut, and they are running a successful and thriving business.

The average pocketknife is no longer average, particularly with so many sorts, types, styles and so forth available to you. Beyond that, the span of range through the costs, from nominal and really negligible to well into great money (yeah, four figures) demonstrates people take this seriously. You can easily spend $250 on a typical, everyday carry folding knife when that knife is made by Benchmade, and those who are paying that are looking forward to paying it again. Now, those unfamiliar may not recognize the difference between two knives, looking similar at a glance but hundreds of dollars in difference regarding cost, but those in the know could spend several minutes boring you to pieces as to why the differences are glaringly obvious.

The truth is you can buy a nice pocketknife or even a fixed blade knife (kitchenware to something Rambo is wielding) for about twenty bucks. There is no doubt of that. But there is something valuable in the knife loved by those who made it. The differences boil down to methods and materials.

Steels are not all the same. 420 stainless steel can be found in any $15 dollar folder, but s30v steel for a similar folder will likely cost close to $200. And keep in mind that there are numerous different steels for different uses. 1095 and 1045 steel should function well for something the size of a katana, but s30v steel is primo for a knife in your pocket. There are various stainless steels very good at rust resistance while many quality steels must be protected or else face damage quickly.

But why care? If that cheaper knife is cheaper steel, it isn't as though the thing is made of utter trash, right? Yes, that is correct. But cheaper steels do not hold an edge well (but therefore regain an edge quickly) and must be sharpened continuously, shortening the lifespan of the knife. But hey, you may very well get more than your money's worth. But a lot of this is intangible and comes down to value appreciation. For a timepiece, all you really need is a simple Timex or Casio, right? But visit any jeweler and count the Timex watches. Yeah, there aren't any.

The American pocketknife

A very typical Buck 110. I know you either have one or know someone who does.
A very typical Buck 110. I know you either have one or know someone who does.
Made for the author
Made for the author | Source

There is an actual value

Certain knives are quite valuable right away and remain so. The very average and widely available Buck 110 is everywhere. If you don't know it from this description you'd know it if you saw it. It is a very simple folding knife with brass bolsters and a clip point blade. Just about everyone has one or has at least seen one, and there are numerous copycats. Not only that, but these retain value so well that buying a used one on eBay just might run close to the cost of buying one brand new.

Cold Steel is a well known company famous for making exceptional cutlery, at a reasonable cost. Now, the cost is reasonable because these knives are made outside the country, keeping prices low. But they're well known for exceptional blades that are made to last. Benchmade makes numerous knives that are purely American made, in Oregon, and are known to be amongst America's best production knives. If you want a good knife, looking at either of these (but certainly not limited to these two) would be exquisite choices.

Different styles for different applications
Different styles for different applications
A very attractive knife that feels great in the hand. Furthermore, it is fully functional and built to last.
A very attractive knife that feels great in the hand. Furthermore, it is fully functional and built to last. | Source

A knife is more than a mere cutting tool.

Knives vary by style and use. The pocketknife Grandpa used to carry may be for simple cutting like some string or twine, or some whittling or whatever, while kitchen knives vary in use. You have your Chef's knife, your steak knives, bread knife, butter knives by the bunch throughout the kitchen, and likely even a cleaver.

Different sized knives have various applications. Machetes are used to cut large swaths through overgrowth and great for the job, while a sword may look similar but is primarily designed to be a weapon. One could assume any knife can be a weapon but often mistake all knives, except kitchen knives, perhaps, as weapons. Look, pansies, just because someone has a knife in their pocket it doesn't mean they desire mayhem.

Hunting knives may have special applications, such as skinning knives and those used to clean the prey. But many knives have a varying use and can be used in numerous applications.

Larger knives may be less for cutting and more for chopping, such as larger Bowie knives. The blade can cut, surely, but the heft is desired for cutting in a chopping method, such as clearing branches yet can still cut effectively.

Regardless of use, the pretty and handsome knife catches the eye. It might be big or small, or somewhere in the middle, but the artistic approach to this fetches the cha-ching factor. It might be dazzling or simply militaristic, but it looks good.

Misunderstood and vilified for no good reason

A good example of an automatic (and pricey) knife
A good example of an automatic (and pricey) knife | Source
This sort of knife is so misunderstood. It is among the most vilified yet functions as the safest of all folders
This sort of knife is so misunderstood. It is among the most vilified yet functions as the safest of all folders | Source

A final note on some silly notions

A blade is a blade is a blade. Yes, some are made better than others with better materials, and some are bigger and smaller, and some are designed differently, but at the end of the day a blade is a blade. So what's with all the stupid regulations?

The infamous butterfly knife is largely illegal and viewed as provocative and mean, but it's likely the most practical and safest folding knife you can get. Because the blade doesn't fold out and rely on a mechanical locking mechanism that could fail in time due to wear or heavy use but has two handles counter-rotating into a handle, the only way the so-called lock can fail is through abuse. Otherwise, this system is the most safe. When the handles are rotated to the closed position, the blade is secured firmly between the handles and cannot accidentally open on you. My friends, this is the safest folder out there, but because foolish people in positions of power and influence saw it as a problem, legalities abound.

This is purely stupid.

There's more along this line. Manually opened folders, such as the Buck 110 above and others, are entirely legal for everyday carry. But automatics and so-called switchblades are illegal and come with all manner of scrutiny. But why?

The automatic still opens, but has a mechanism displaying or closing the blade. The infamous and overrated switchblade is often called gravity operated only because it swings freely when not locked opened or closed, allowing it to be switched open but otherwise floats there. However, the stiletto design is what frightens the silly onlooker, yet a stiletto with a manual open or assisted open is perfectly fine and legal. The untrained eye would never notice the difference when these two knives are placed side by side.

Ignorance abounds everywhere and with everything.

Ooo. Shiny

Functional Art

No matter how you slice it (get it? I am so funny), a quality knife is a treasure to behold. The sheer popularity of quality cutlery is so widespread that you must be living under a rock not to know at least something about it. And for those who are truly cutlery aficionados, the availability of quality knives is so profound that one must be careful not to spend oneself into oblivion.

But you don't have to own gobs of these things. Having one or two handy and awesome knives is something I just cannot recommend enough, on so many levels.

Just don't cut yourself. That smarts.


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    • RoddyJDryer profile image

      Roddy J Dryer 22 months ago from Central Florida

      Honestly, I've been somewhat suspicious of some damascus claims, particularly since I have seen damascus claims to acid etching, cheap printing, or the actual process but using cheap metals on top of cheap metals.

      But you are right in that these should be mentioned and I should do something about this particular process in the future. One should know damascus is NOT a cheap metal or process.

      But know this, too. One of the primary reasons for the process was because, in the days past, metals were nothing like the high-tech metals of today. For swords and larger blades, the metals were either too soft or too hard with no flexibility. They blended them through heat and folding to cancel out the inferior aspects and to strengthen the attributes. They succeeded in both greater metals but also a work of art.

      But today's metals cancel out the need. Today's tech advances in these materials offer greater metals without the forced compromise. However, damascus is beautiful and sheer artwork.

      You are correct. The story, process, and history deserves some mention. But as for claims of damascus in products today- buyer beware.

    • profile image

      Umair Mirza 22 months ago

      You have mentioned a lot of knives. I was expecting that you'd also comment on damascus knives as listed over here:

      But i found nothing. What do you say about these?