Knife collection direction- Which way do you go?


Knife Collecting is Fun!

Knife collecting is fun. Of course, there is the camaraderie of other collectors, but for today, that’s not what I’m talking about. Instead, it is the excitement of seeking out new knives to buy. The rush of finding one you want. Sometimes, even the nervousness you feel about wanting to buy an expensive knife, and then the mental games you play justifying the decision to go ahead and get it. All that is the fun, no doubt.

We also love to get our new prize home and then figuring out what to do with it. Display it? Use it? Put it in the safe or drawer, or is it one for the special glass case? Decisions. Decisions. Still all the fun part.

Which way do I go?

Which way to go?

Eventually though, every collector comes to a point where a decision must be made- What is my collecting direction here? Most of the time the collection at that point is made up of knives we like, but are really a bunch of random knives.

If you are like me, you have probably found yourself with a hodgepodge of knives too. All nice knives, yes. All knives you like, sure. But is there a theme or pattern you are following, or are you going to continue to buy just any knife that tickles your fancy?

What direction are you headed?

What direction are you headed?

All the “knife experts” advise us to make a deliberate decision to specialize, whether in a particular type, era, brand, etc. But even within the knife type, for example, there is a myriad of decisions. What about handle materials? Patterns? Makers? Blade types? On and on we could go here, but I think you get the point.

I, for one, have in the past subscribed to this line of thinking, but of late, have decided not to over analyze it. Instead, I’m now sitting back and enjoying knife collecting for what it is- buying knives I like. Knives that are cool, whether old or new. Knives that speak to me when I first see them. Then let the chips fall where they may.

The heck with this, “What do you know about ____ type knives?” Yes, when we go with the flow like this, we run the risk new collectors face, like overpaying because we aren’t as familiar with values. Or buying a maker whose popularity or appeal has peaked, or even falling victim to “buying into the hype” of a knife company’s marketing, only to later realize the knife maybe isn’t high quality or demand.

But in the end, does it really matter? While we don’t want to waste our money, we collect because we enjoy knives, right? Yeah, one day we are going t0 sell them, and may not get all of our money out, but let’s go back to the beginning and reexamine why we started collecting in the first place.

TiggerKnife collecting is fun and let’s keep it that way.

Collecting and the Web

Geek Rated: Moderate

Geek Rated: Moderate

In this the second installment of the Weekend Edition, I have to make another confession and it pertains to another collection I have going.

I know many knife collectors who also collect other knife related stuff, like displays and memorabilia. Ok, but what about collections of non-knife stuff?

I love old and I love tech. I don’t talk much, at least I don’t think I do, about the geeky side of things. But I study emerging technologies, social networking,mypb5300cs online trends and demographics, which is one of the reasons for this year’s knife community survey.

No, I don’t collect computers or hard-drives, although I did “stick back” my first laptop (Apple PowerBook 5300cs) from 1995.

Instead, I collect something that is an intellectual property- in this case, it is a real smart sounding name for something you use probably everyday. In fact, you used one of what I am collecting to get here to CNJ today.

Collection of Web Addresses (Domain Names/URL’s)

Yeah, I know that is weird, but the names fall into three basic groups- knife, online marketing and auction.

Here are a few of the Knife & Traveling Salesman related domains in my collection-


My favorite –

I am itching to launch– the next generation knife community. It is a networking platform for knife collectors. One of its areas will function similar to MySpace and Facebook. Tomorrow's web hub for collectors Tomorrow's web hub for collectors

I’m convinced it is the future community of knife collectors after studying the results of the Knife Community Survey.

The NKCA should be doing this. I’m also itching to write an editorial on the NKCA and its future, which this is it right here. It’s a virtual “association,”  to use that term loosely.

Anyway, and each new member gets their own personalized email address. Mine is

My biggest issue is the web building firms want about $15,000- $20,000 for Phase I – Yeah, I know, and I have the plan all ready to be built. Do you know how many toenails that will buy?

Domains, Real Estate and Auctions

I’m guessing I have grabbed about 40 domains to date. To most folks that is a bunch, but to the folks in the domain industry- it’s not. In fact, our company is conducting an auction for a “collector” on his portfolio of  2650 real estate related domain names. It will be very interesting. If you are near the Fairmont in San Fransico on June 11th, come watch us work. While our company only sells real estate at auction, but being the geek I am, I couldn’t say no to doing the largest collection of real estate domain names ever assembled; after all it is virtual real estate.

Lots of thoughts bouncing around today-

Have a Enjoyable Easter Weekend!

Source for future city image: Fantasy Art 3D Wallpapers: modern digital art, 3D artists, computer desktop backgrounds.

2009 Knife Community Survey is now closed

crowd1The first official knife community survey is history. A record 1308 collectors participated.

If you missed out, we’ll run other surveys, polls and contests here at Cutlery News Journal.

In fact, my suggestion is to sign up for CNJ UPDATES so you won’t miss out on the happenings, which is really important, especially if you only check in off and on.

2009knifecommunitysurveyreportcoverI’ll be burning the mid-night oil studying over the results. A formal report will be published once it is complete.

The results are significant because the collectors represented all age groups, knife types and years collecting.

The entire knife community rallied around this project, in particular the knife folks on the forums and YouTube.

I’ve taken a sneak peek and think you will be surprised by many of the findings.

Thanks again to all who took part.

One knife thing leads to another knife thing

One of the challenges of collecting knives is staying focused. Yes, multi-tasking is a part of everyday life today, but when it comes to knife collecting, it can be problematic, distracting and expensive. What I am talking about is staying focused on the knives, just the knives.

It’s the other old knife stuff that’s the problem

Case Brothers Ad Card

1900- 1914 Case Brothers Ad Card

Please tell me you have this problem too. You see, I have an affection for all the other old knife stuff. While I do stick pretty well to only collecting one particular knife pattern, my problem is the all other stuff.

Little Valley Knife Association 1898

Little Valley Knife Association 1898

Let me give you an example. First I find an old knife, then I get curious about the knife company that made that knife. The next thing I know I’m on eBay looking for any old stuff related to that company.

Tell me you understand what I am saying here. Then I get sucked into the auctions of this “knife” stuff. What follows after that is a closet, bookshelf and office crammed full of all these other “collectibles.”

Union Cutlery Co. Salesman's Case

Union Cutlery Co. Salesman's Case

Collectibles like- the billheads, cancelled checks, stock certificates, letters, ads, catalogs, calendars, invoices, knife boxes, postcards, pictures, buttons, time sheets, newspaper articles, pins, salesman cases and rolls- really anything about the knife company.

It doesn’t stop there either, then I get into the history of the knife factory’s community, and its workers, in addition to the founders and their background, including where they were from…..

Wait a minute. I am a knife collector?! (more…)

The Rules of Knife Collecting

sportsrules_coverIn the Weekend Edition of CNJ, we determined knife collecting is a sport. And, by definition, a sport is governed by a certain set of rules or understandings.

“Rules,” you may say, “there are not any rules associated with knife collecting.” 

Oh, contraire, but it does. I will admit they weren’t easy to find, but find them I did, though I had to go back and do some digging. 

They weren’t in any of our current knife books or price guides though. Instead, I had to go back to one of the grandfathers of knife collecting’s published works to find them.

Instead of calling them “rules,” Mr. Dewey Ferguson, labels them commandments. Actually, he called them the Nine Commandments- To a Successful Future in Knife Collecting, and these were first published in 1969. 

  1. Do unto fellow knife collectors as you would have them do unto you.
  2. Do not develop an “I know it all” attitude.
  3. Do not sell a damaged knife without first telling the purchaser.
  4. Do not price a knife or offer to trade a knife and then change your mind in the presence of the customer.
  5. Do not take advantage of a less experienced collector.
  6. Do have respect for exhibitors when attending the shows.
  7. Do not make promises and then neglect to keep them for a man’s word should become his most prized possession.
  8. Do read all literature available on the hobby of knife collecting.
  9. Do not counterfeit knives. Just remember: Knife collecting and trading does not determine the destination of your future. You determine the future and destination of knife collecting and trading.
Published in: on January 14, 2009 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Conversion of a Rebel & Case Knives

Weekend Edition

When I first started collecting pocketknives I learned of Case knives. Then I kept running into Case knives. Everyone I talked to talked about Case knives. It was obvious Case knives were very popular and the throngs of collectors wanted Case knives.

No, I don't fly a Rebel Flag

No, I don't fly a Rebel Flag

I am a bit of a rebel. I don’t follow the crowd. I registered Independent. The last thing I want to do is the thing everyone else is doing. And as as it related to collecting knives, I decided-

I was NOT going to collect Case knives!

And I didn’t, instead I built a collection of German-made knives (H. Boker). Then years later I started collecting elephant toenails  and I wanted the old stuff! 

I can hear you chuckling now

Everyone who has been ’round knife collecting for very long knows Case is where every collector eventually gets to- one way or another. It is kinda of like what we say down here in the South- you can’t get there without having to first go through Atlanta (airport). The same is true for Case and especially for a collector of old American made knives.

You see, Case was a major player back when elephant toenails were first made. Case Brothers made them. W. R. Case &  SON had toenails made by Napanoch around 1902. Then you had the Platts (jumbo swellcenter!!) and W R Case merger around 1905. And the whole time Case toenails were produced, not to mention Crandall, Little Valley Knife Association, on and on. Everywhere I turned was a Case knife or family member.

Try as I might, I couldn’t collect old toenails without falling in love with Case and its fascinating history. If you have been around or CNJ for very long you probably thought I was a stock holder, on salary or something, but I’m not. I resisted it tooth and nail and then naturally fell for this firm.

cccmagwinter2008resizedlowresToday I am a proud member of the Case Collectors Club and this week received the CCC magazine, which, incidentally, mentions Cutlery News Journal’s interview with Tom Arrowsmith, the President of W R Case Cutlery Co., on the CNJ Knife Show.

The CCC  has grown from a handful of members in 1981 to 18,000 members worldwide. I can attest to the fact- these folks are fanatics when it comes to Case knives. I have been fortunate to have been asked to conduct the auctions for two Case events in Bradford, Pa and I’ve never seen anything like it. casefanknife

And I must confess one day you may see me like this too, cause the conversion of this rebel is complete.20080718_0778

The Upcoming Presidential Election and Your Knife Rights

There are reported to be over 100 million individuals across the Country who own, carry or collect knives today. Most of us enjoy this right without much thought as to it being a privilege provided to us under the United States Constitution. 

Folks who keep their fingers on the pulse of constitutional law say this upcoming Presidential election will in no uncertain terms threaten this often taken for granted right.

Doug Ritter, founder of Knife Rights (a knife rights advocacy group), one of the folks working on our behalf, is pounding the drum warning knife manufacturers, makers and owners of this impending infringement.

With the election only three weeks away, it is time, if you haven’t, to study this important issue.

Doug has addressed this issue in detail for us here.

Published in: on October 13, 2008 at 8:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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