Young people don’t need knives anymore

Hang around the knife industry for very long and you’ll no doubt hear a conversation about how boys today aren’t into pocket knives anymore. In fact, we here at CNJ have reported on more than one occasion that sentiment as well.

Yes, while it is true times have changed and we can quickly come up with a list of reasons, as we have, why this is the case. Young people don’t need knives they way they did last century, right?

painescutjrnlmastheadwoutdateWell, hold on to your horses there just a minute. This problem is not new to our society, nor our time. Listen to this statement as reported in the December 1930 edition of Paine’s Cutlery Journal.

“One of the leading publications in the advertising profession puts for the question ‘Why in the world don’t the cutlery manufacturers get together and bring back the pocket knife with a smashing advertising campaign to prove to the younger generation that a good knife has innumerable uses besides sharpening pencils?'”

So, there is hope because pocket knives became a rite of passage for most every boy up until the mid-1970’s.

On the other hand, there are lots of younger collectors out there- most of them just don’t carry the traditional pocket knife anymore, but they are definitely into knives just the same.

PS: Check out “Knife Collections” on YouTube to find over 6000 vids. Many of these collections are owned by the younger generation too.


You will never guess who I found in the blogosphere

A little while ago, I was surfing around and you will never guess who I ran into? None other than a very well respected knife expert, author and fellow auctioneer- Mr. Bruce Voyles.

No, we didn’t really run into each other; instead I ran up on his blog. Yes, you read it right- his blog and yesterday was his first post, or first since January.

BVoylesBlog

You just thought I was the only hyper-techie knife guy who blogged didn’t you? 🙂 Not any longer. Yes, I do know there are a handful of knife folks who blog- but very few, that is until iKnifeCollector was created a month ago. Now that knife collector community is growing in knife blogs. But outside of our community, there are very few that aren’t trying to sell you a knife or something.

Bruce’s blog is entitled Knife Comments by Bruce Voyles. I encourage you to drop by and welcome him to the blogosphere. I am tickled to see him joining us by providing free thoughts and observations from the world of knives.

Oh, yeah, while you are there let him know we’d love to have him a part of iKnifeCollector. We have a captive audience for his blog (as well as his own personal My Page just waiting on him). He belongs in our community, not out in cyberspace among the millions of other bloggers vying for our attention. We are over here.

Bruce is a tremendous asset to this hobby and is one of its founding pioneers. He has authored many books on knife collecting, including my favorite The IBCA Price Guide to Antique Knives.

2009 Knife Collector Survey Results- Question #2

In the first post of this series, we discussed the number of survey participants and how the survey was promoted, along with the answer to the first question of the age of the participant.

Today let’s look at the answers for the second question.

Question #2- How many years have you collected knives?

(Click to enlarge. If browser fails to load, please click chart)

CNJ Collector Survey Q #2 Results

CNJ Collector Survey Q #2 Results

Interesting to note- Fifty-two percent of the collectors have collected 5 years or less, including a whopping 31% for 2 years or less.

This chart clearly shows the future of knife collecting is very bright as an entire new generation of knife collectors are already actively enjoying this hobby.

This trend is particularly pronounced when you look back at the age proportions of the collectors surveyed as revealed in Question #1.

We have a whole new generation of collectors who have just recently started collecting knives as a hobby.

It will be interesting to see if when these collectors are the old timers, whether or not the really old and sought-after vintage knives of that day will be the early tactical and survival knives they collected back when they first got started collecting. Let’s just say, I’d be willing to place a wager, if I thought I’d be around to collect on it.


2009 Knife Collector Survey Results- Question #1

Cutlery News Journal conducted an extensive survey over a two and a half month period earlier this year. The findings will be published soon. There are some surprises too.

1308 collectors took the Cutlery News Journal’s 2009 Knife Collector Survey. It was conducted from January 15th to March 31st, 2009. It comprised of 10 multiple choice questions.

Today, I am presenting the answers to the first question in the survey. It simply asked the participant to indicate the age group he or she represented (click on the chart to enlarge. Each time you click the chart will zoom in).

If chart fails to load, click image to display.

2009 Knife Collector Survey

2009 Knife Collector Survey

The survey was heavily promoted through the major knife forums, Blademag.com, Yahoo Knife Groups, Cutlery News Journal, ElephantToenails.com, the National Knife Collectors Association, YouTube and various knife company communities, as well as the NKCA Knife Show in Dalton, Georgia March 13- 15th 2009.

The finding show that of the 1307 participants who answered this question- 43% are 25 and under33% represent the 20 and under age group, with an additional 10% from the 21- 25 age group.

I will refrain from adding editorial comments at this time. Instead, I will publish the survey results in an official report.

I’ll only add  that most folks would have guessed the 46 to 60 age group to have made up the largest age segment, when in fact those ages only represent 23.5% of the collectors.

There are many conclusions that can be drawn here, and a bunch of questions. From a knife collecting organization’s perspective, one question begs asked: “What are we doing to reach out and engage this active younger collector?”

Published in: on April 27, 2009 at 5:00 am  Comments (4)  
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Wall Street investor put his money in collectibles

Talk about getting out of the market, Antique Week reports in the April 13th edition, on an investor who got out in time. Then he turned around and jumped into collectibles as his investment of choice.

Ralph DeLuca said, “I didn’t like what I was seeing.”

So, he cashed in well before it was common knowledge things were out of kilter. He added that he wanted to deal in more tangible items.

1933 King King Poster- sold for $345,000

1933 King Kong Poster- sold for $345,000

Now to knife collectors what he jumped into might be considered an odd place to stash millions. Yet he had a hunch and followed it. He could have ended up in any area of collectibles, but he chose vintage posters. Yeap, posters.

Last month, he paid a new world record for an original 1931 Universal studio poster of Dracula, staring Bela Lugosi. The price? A cool $310,000. And at the same auction he paid $107,000 for a 1932 poster.

Mr. DeLuca now owns over a 1,000 entertainment posters, but he also buys other types too. He remains confident that all quality antiques, sporting items, firearms and collectibles are good investments.

“If you collect for a hobby, buy what you want. But if you collect for an investment, look for the best. I look for the rarest and the best.”                                                                                                                                                                         David DeLuca

I don’t know if we want somebody like this guy cornering the knife collector market or not? All it would take is one or two guys like this to change our market dramatically. It would be fascinating to watch though, wouldn’t it?

$9 Trillion Pulled From Stock Market

Don’t let the talk of the recession put a cloud over our head regarding the future of knife collecting or declining knife values.

dowjonesConsider this- E*Trade reports at the end of 2008, cash in money markets and bank accounts reached right at $9 Trillion. You read that right, that’s TRILLION with a “T.”

Just think of all those investors who are now looking for another place to park some of those dollars. Plus, though I am not an economist- just a knife collector, we know we will have tremendous inflationary pressure as we begin to come out of this slump, knives can be a tremendous hedge against inflation.

On a related note- The results of the 2009 Knife Community Survey confirm, close to 50% of knife collectors are new collectors- close to 30% have only collected less than 2 years. I’m preparing the report on the survey now, but you will also be surprised to learn, close to 50% of the collectors are under 25 years old. These two stats provide a very healthy future for our wonderful hobby and it flies in the face of the belief that the vast majority of collectors are 50+ years old- that simply isn’t true.

Our hobby is very alive and well, I’m glad to report. Now all we need to do is tap a few hundredths of a point of the $9 Trillion and funnel it our way.

Published in: on April 22, 2009 at 9:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Carrying a pocket knife- the way things used to be

vintage_boy_scou1Kids today carry cell phones, not pocket knives. Unfortunately, most parents today would freak out if their son or daughter pulled a knife out from their pocket.

Clearly that’s not the way it used to be. In fact, we reported in Times have changed and lifestyles have too here at CNJ, pocket knife carrying was almost a rite of passage from the 1800s to at least the middle 1900s anyway.

Want to hear what it was like to be a boy carrying a knife back years ago, then listen to Robert Simpson share with us what it was like when he was a boy. It is entitled- Nostalgia- the fine art of selective memory.

Published in: on April 20, 2009 at 5:30 am  Comments (1)  
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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-

  • VintageKnifeCollector.com
  • SunfishKnives.com
  • KnightsOfTheGrip.com
  • JournalOfTheRoad.com
  • TravelingSalesmen.com
  • DrummersDairy.com
  • SalesmanSample.com
  • EDCClub.org
  • TalkingKnives.com
  • KnifeCollectingNews.com
  • KnifeJournal.com

My favorite – iKnifeCollector.com.

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

iKnifeCollector.com- Tomorrow's web hub for collectors

iKnifeCollector.com- 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 iKnifeCollector.com email address. Mine is scott@iKnifeCollector.com.

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.

Times have changed and lifestyles have too

vintage_boy_scou1Weekend Edition

Times have changed, at least that is what my wife tells me anyway. So, while thinking about what she said, I’m still trying to figure out how get a national whittling contest organized and how to interest one of the knife manufacturers to sponsor it.

At this point in my thinking I’ve come to this conclusion-

Since the late 1800s pocket knives have been as much a part of everyday life, as was marbles, hiking, camping and baseball. I doubt up until about the 1980s there wasn’t a young boy who didn’t carry a pocket knife. Coincidentally, it was in the mid- 1980s Nintendo, SEGA & Atari were fighting it out for the top “video game” system. Super Mario Bros was released in 1985. Then the handheld gaming systems started about 1989. You remember the Game Boy?creek2

We used to spend a lot of time outside as kids. We’d cut walking sticks. We’d hike through the woods, play down at the creek and go fishing at the neighbor’s pond with worms we dug up.

Times have changed

My 3 kids still at home (ages 13- 17) don’t play outside like we used to when we were kids. While they all lead active lifestyles, each playing three sports a year, but other than sports, they mudday1don’t play outdoors much. And when they do, it is on machines.

Otherwise, they play on the computer, which really means they’re checking their MySpace page or playing multi-player Internet games, like running raids on WOW. They do watch TV, but not much.

They don’t use or carry knives, and can’t, in most cases, if they wanted to. The truth is kids’ lifestyles have changed.

Does this mean they won’t become pocket knife aficionados? Not now, it seems. I have given each of my kids pocket knives and they keep them in their drawers (not breeches, but chester drawers- for you Northerners, that is chest of drawers, sorry).

I don’t know if my kids are typical or not-

For Christmas we gave my son a nice Leatherman to keep in his car, and I doubt he can even find it now. I know it never made it to his car.

And just last night I was cutting a string off my 13 year old daughter’s bag when she told me the knife I had given her several years ago had fallen between her bed and the wall. It takes three people to move her bed over in order to get it, so I offered her the one still in my hand as its replacement. She said, “No thanks.”

Where does this leave us? Are the traditional pocket knives simply items of nostalgia and that is it? From most young people this is probably true. So, we have our work cut out for us. We are up against pressures from society and the fact that young people’s lifestyles have changed.

These factors don’t mean the end of pocket knives, only that we must go to work to change how they are perceived.

New Collectible Auction Sites Abound

ebay-live-auctions

If you have been following the saga with eBay lately, you are aware some of the changes it made last year angered a lot of sellers, then they shut down eBay Live Auctions. 

eBay Live allowed auction houses to advertise and run their auctions in “real time.” Not only did they get traffic and bidders on eBay, it added an Internet-bidding component to their real-life auctions. 

We follow eBay closely here at CNJ because it is the largest auctioneer of knives. At the time of this writing, there are over 74,500 listing under “knife.”

With eBay angering their seller base and then shutting down of eBay Live Auctions, newly formed online auctioneers are jumping in to grab some of the market. 

  • LiveAuctioneers issued a press release announcing its plans to launch an independent online-bidding platform.
  • Ableauctions (iCollector.com) partnered with the National Auctioneers Association to provide the service to the NAA’s membership of 6000 auctioneers nationally. Their joint venture is called NAALive.
  • worthpointgoantiquesGoAntiques.com  reportedly offered more than 500,000 items from 1,450-plus dealers in 27 countries and logs more than 1 million visits and thousands of transactions each month. GoAntiques was recently purchased by WorthPoint.  
  • WorthPoint.com announced this week a newly designed collectors site emphasizing social networking, member profiles and news from the collector world. It has also integrated GoAntiques into its platform.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see F+W Media try to carve out a niche in the knife auction business through Blade with this online auction platform.