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How to Start a Sword and Knife Collection

Updated on January 23, 2017
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David collects some unusual things, which he likes to share by writing about and showing off pictures of those collections.

Collecting Swords and Knives

I started my collection of swords and knives many years ago when I purchased my first sword on eBay. Since then I have developed an impressive collection.

Before jumping in, ensure you read this article to know what you are getting into.

The majority of my sword collection displayed in different ways.
The majority of my sword collection displayed in different ways. | Source

Do you collect swords or knives?

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The Pros of Sword and Knife Collecting

  • Cool looking. People always comment on my collection. They love looking at them and hearing the stories behind how I acquired them.
  • Can be a unique collection. I can almost guarantee your collection won't be the same as someone else's collection. In fact, you may be the only person with this type of collection in your area.
  • Always a new weapon to find. Swords and knives are constantly being made for collectors, so you will never run out of new weapons to add to your collection.
  • Can be used for protection. One time I thought someone was breaking into my home, so I grabbed a sword. It may not be a gun, but it certainly has the element of surprise.
  • Branches out to other hobbies. You can compliment your collection by having books on swords and knives, have armor pieces on display, etc.

A unique knife on display next to small samurai swords.
A unique knife on display next to small samurai swords. | Source

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The Cons of Sword and Knife Collecting

  • Legality. It may be illegal to own weapons like this, or certain types of weapons. Ensure to check the laws in your area before you start a collection.
  • Costly. The decorative weapons out there are not cheap. Some can run into the hundreds of dollars. The authentic weapons can cost many more times that, but are usually unique and one of a kind.
  • Can be hard to display. These are sharp and pointy weapons. If you have kids, you have to keep them out of reach. If you have pets, you have to be careful that they don't get to them. Tips on displaying a collection such as this can be found later in this article.
  • They are hard to clean. Cleaning a weapon can be hard. Sometimes the blade requires a special cleaning solution. Sometimes it's too sharp to clean.
  • Hard to sell off collections. If you look to sell off your collection, that may be difficult. You can try selling weapons online or at a flea market, but again, you have to ensure you are following law when you do so.
  • They take up a lot of space. Swords are long and bulky. Unless you find a unique solution to display them all, they will take up a lot of space no matter where you put them.

A closer look at my sword collection which is securely mounted to a wall.
A closer look at my sword collection which is securely mounted to a wall. | Source
Various weapons mounted to a wall.
Various weapons mounted to a wall. | Source

Tips on Displaying a Sword and Knife Collection

  • Find specialty designed displays for your collection. As can be seen in the photo above, I purchased a display specifically for my weapon collection. It shows off as much of the weapon as possible, but is also safe to do so.
  • Use a wicker basket. For my knife collection I like the hilts more than the blade. So I took a wicker basket and inserted the blade into the basket just to show off the hilt. The blades are safely hidden while the hilts are perfectly displayed.
  • Place swords behind furniture and other items. I have my largest sword resting against a corner of one of my rooms. A step stool is in front of it to ensure no one bumps into it. I use earthquake putty to keep it from moving around as much.

Displaying knives can be the hardest thing to do.  In this case I stuck the blade of each knife into a basket so that just the hilt is exposed.
Displaying knives can be the hardest thing to do. In this case I stuck the blade of each knife into a basket so that just the hilt is exposed. | Source
Some swords are displayed best while resting against the corner of a room.
Some swords are displayed best while resting against the corner of a room. | Source

Collecting Swords

Like I said in my introduction, I started out with swords. The problem with swords is that they are big and bulky, thus making them hard to display. Luckily I found a nice wall mounted display to put up my collection. Obviously I didn't place it above my bed or some other habitable area. If those things come crashing down that would be quite deadly.

I bought my first few swords on eBay, and then found online stores to get them as well. The problem with shopping online is that you can't inspect them up close. One place I purchased a lot of my swords from is the local swap meet. There were regular vendors out there who were eager to show off their wares. The variety was great and the prices cheaper than I ever found online.

With a collection of 10 swords, it dominated the room I decided to set them up in. So you don't need a lot to get a good collection started.

Taking care of decorative swords is relatively simple. Every so often I wipe them down with the appropriate cleaning solutions, taking care not to cut myself. Once you get them in a nice spot, you won't have to worry about them again. However, authentic swords may require special cleaning if you want them to look their best.

Moving swords can be a huge pain. My only recommendation is if you have to transport them, do it all at once and secure them in a good location until you display them.

Keep in mind you don't have to do just swords. Axes, maces, even staves can be considered part of the same collection.

There are many books out there about weapons which are enjoyable to read and provide great pictures.
There are many books out there about weapons which are enjoyable to read and provide great pictures. | Source
An unusual design of a dragon on the blade of a knife.
An unusual design of a dragon on the blade of a knife. | Source

Collecting Knives

Knives are easier to buy multiples of as they can be cheaper. Though displaying them can be difficult. One day I had an idea to stab the blade of one of my daggers through a wicker basket. It worked quite well as I have the side showing the hilts facing out, with the blades hidden. In the back you can see all of the blades sticking through. This makes them safe enough for people to touch without hurting themselves.

I stopped collecting knives because I was satisfied with my collection. Until I used a wicker basket to display my knife collection, I had a hard time displaying them. Before that I just had them tucked away in a box somewhere. That is the problem with weapons such as these, displaying them can be quite difficult.

A dragon knife on display, with some dragon figures in the background.
A dragon knife on display, with some dragon figures in the background. | Source

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Cheap Knockoffs

As one person stated, my collection does contain cheap knockoffs. There is nothing wrong with that. Most people who see your collection won't be able to tell the difference, and it's much more affordable.

Purchase weapons that you like, no matter if they are a knockoff or not. It's your collection!

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      Ryan 15 months ago

      Your sword collection looks like it's all Kit Rae items and Chinese knockoffs. The quality and cheapness of your 440 stainless steel swords saddens me. You should buy and show off actual quality swords and knives not made in China.

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