Folks who don’t collect knives just don’t get it

Knife collectors have screws loose

It’s a well established fact knife collectors can be viewed as a little out of whack. A bit odd. And not just from the anti-knife crowd, but by our closest friends.

It even gets worse when you throw old knives into the mix.

Well, I had a funny thing happen getting my hair cut a few days ago I thought you’d find amusing.

You know the routine- you sit there getting your hair snipped while your barber or beautician stylist politely entertains you by asking questions about your family, work, any planned trips for the holidays and any other areas he/she knows you are into.

Paul, my hair cut guy, knows I’m a knife collector, along with everyone else in my little universe, and after we’d covered all the other topics, he finally worked around to asking about my hobby.

“Bought any knives lately?” he asked.

I don’t know about you but I really don’t like getting into the details about my knife collecting hobby with non-knife collectors. It often leads to questions about- if I use them, how much they cost and how many I have, and questions like that. So I thought for a moment about how to respond and then remembered I did just buy me a new old knife off ebay that didn’t cost my last other leg.

“Well, yes, I have,” thinking I found an example safe to talk about. “I bought me an old one off eBay.” Then I made the mistake of adding one more tidbit about this purchase when I should have left well enough alone, but out it came before I realized it- “Yeh, its blades were broken off.”

Case TESTED XX Green Bone Toenail (1920- 1940)

Now remember most non-knife collecting folks already think we have a couple of screws loose.

When he absorbed what I said, he looked at me with the oddest look. I knew I had said too much. “It’s blades are broken off?” he questioned. I was at the point of no return and the hole was only getting deeper. “Yes,” I said, “you know I collect old knives and thought it’d be cool to have an old toenail with both blades broken.”

Then realizing he might be about to embarrass me by continuing to ask about something he thought was probably the stupidest thing he’d ever heard, he said,

“Oh, I get it. It’s like a car collector buying a car without any wheels on it, right?”

I swear those were his exact words. And at that point all I could do was say- “Yeh.”

Advertisements

Challenges of technology and Knife Collecting

The advantages of technology and, more particularly- the Web, to our hobby are tremendous. I see it everyday, both here and over at iKnifeCollector. In addition to allowing makers & collectors the ability to upload and respond to images and video, the Web allows us to span geographic boundaries- to connect, in a personal way.

Well, using technology has its pitfalls too. Bugs, server crashes, hacks, bankrupt providers, etc. Most of which are over our heads and out of our control, and are issues to dread.

Unfortunately, the Custom Knife Collectors Association recently experienced just such an issue with their forum.

forumcollageForums are online discussion areas where you can post and read messages from other users, usually in an organized thread layout.

Here’s what Kevin Jones, the CKCA President said about the interruption in service of their forum-

“…we have an issue with our forum causing a shutdown, from which we may not be able to recover.”

Talk about bad news.

The good news is they are already in the process of obtaining and setting up new v-bulletins forum software and should be up and running now.

Knife collecting still making the cut

us-economyThis year’s been a doozie and we’ve still got a quarter to go. We’ll end up at over a hundred bank closings. Auto maker bailouts. Record high foreclosures. Unemployment near 10%.  Record business and personal bankruptcies. Makes your head spin doesn’t it? Not since the Great Depression has our country been hammered like it has this year.

CNJ reported successful knife makers reduced employee’s salaries or have been forced to adjust by laying off workers due to low knife sales. In some cases other business failures have impacted knife companies too- distributors, retailers and suppliers.

In regard to our knife organizations, the timing of this severe downturn couldn’t be worse, as most need the steady revenue while the leaderships conduct SWAT analysis on their organizations. The economy’s caused many collectors to drop club and association memberships.

economyThe dark-side of the recession is also having it’s toll on collectors in other areas too. More collectors are selling knives to help make ends meet. I spoke with another collector yesterday who is selling because he needs the cash.

One knife industry expert claims, incidentally, these collectors will become tomorrow’s dealers. His theory is this-  these individuals who do need to sell will hit the show circuit in order to liquidate. Then they will eventually need to buy more knives from other dealers in order to have additional inventory to sale. I think that is hog wash, personally. The guy I mentioned earlier who is selling off a major chunk of his collection isn’t going to set up at shows- he’s using eBay.

Even with the tough times, knife collecting is still making the cut.

The 2009 CNJ Knife Collector Survey taken earlier this year revealed almost half of the 1300 collectors surveyed stated their participation in the hobby hasn’t been affected by the recession.

Click to enlarge

2009 Knife Collector Survey Q#6 II

******

There is an additional bright-side to all this too- Record low interest rates and tremendous investment buying opportunities. Untold billions will be made as a result of this recession. Cash rich companies and individuals will make a fortune buying in a down market, but when we do come out of this-  the business landscape will look all together different.

Don’t be surprised if there are some knife company mergers and buy-outs before this is all said and done too.

Photo credits: http://www.uml.edu; http://www.blogtrepreneur.com

Are you a User? Give a little bit!

Knife collecting is all about knives, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. Today, we’re going to look at the people who make up the knife world.

crowd1I have observed two types of knife people. Don’t know if they collect or not. Don’t know if they like new ones or old ones, or if they have an EDC or not, and it really doesn’t matter for the purposes of their introduction. The point about these knife people isn’t about the knives anyway.

I’d like to introduce the two knife folks I see in our hobby. The first is the person I call “The User” and the other is “The Giver” (bet you thought I was going to say a Collector, didn’t ya?).

The User

The User is just that- a user. He takes. It’s the- what can I get from you or the situation that benefits me– perspective. It’s all about him. You don’t want to be a User. I see them everywhere. This person drains you and then is on his way. It is the knife seller who is only interested in relating to you as long as you are interested in one of his knives and when you aren’t, he is gone. This person exploits others. If you can’t do anything for the User, then the “relationship” offers no value to him.

The Giver

There is, on the other hand, this second person- The Giver. The Giver approaches another person or situation from the opposite direction. The Giver is a how can I help you person- without an ulterior motive. The Giver helps and shares. As too good to be true sounding as this person is, I see them all the time in our hobby. When you meet one of these people, you know it immediately. And yes, we will often think, “Now, I wonder what they want?”, but the fact remains, a Giver isn’t looking for anything from you.

The Giver isn’t necessarily a knife expert. Instead, his approach isn’t about knowledge or facts anyway. It is about relating to you, or me. When you meet a Giver you will know it. On the other hand, when you meet a User- you’ll know it too, immediately. Givers are the good knife folks.

Thanks to all who have given to me!

Give a little bit! 🙂

Published in: on May 24, 2009 at 3:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

The Next Generation Knife Collector Community

I want to join a knife community. I’ve looked at a bunch. Searched the web- deep and wide- and it ain’t there. Not like what I’m looking for.

What I am looking for is a combination- 24/7 Knife Show, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, FaceBook, Yahoo Group, Cutlery News Journal and knife forum- all rolled into one, all exclusively for knife collectors. (more…)

My Favorite Knife YouTube Video Contest

youtubeUPDATED: Thur. April 30, 2009

The deadline is today for entering your video! Put it up on YouTube and send me your link. Thanks to the contestants who have taken the time to enter. Good luck!

Check out Cutlery News Journal’s YouTube Channel for the entries as they come in. I’m linking them to the 2009 My Favorite Knife Video Playlist.

The rules and instructions are linked below.

Everyone has a favorite knife. And I haven’t met a knife owner who doesn’t get excited and want to tell about it.

(more…)

The Joy of Knife Collecting

joy002It is a pleasure when I run into a knife collector sharing his joy for our hobby. Well, it happened again. 

I know “Joy” isn’t a word we often use when talking about knife collecting. Typically our hobby is associated with more manly words.

Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure. It is more commonly associated with things like- words in Christmas songs, evidence of one’s faith, and propagating, but knife collecting?! 

On his website, this collector tells the story of how and when he started collecting at a young age. He then describes a few of the antique knives still in his collection and that are kept in his cabinet- in everyday sight.

It was his expression of joy that stood out to me; it was very refreshing. He tells his story, and then ends with-

“Still, there is a certain childish joy I get when I look over at my antique knives there in the cabinet…. I know it (the joy) will never get old no matter how long I live.”

_

-Let us not allow the joy of knife collecting to get old either.

 

Looking for a pocket knife?

Weekend Edition

googleIf someone wants to buy a pocket knife today, what do they do? Sure they can go down to Walmart, but what fun is that?

Most folks today “let their fingers do the walking,” except it isn’t through the Yellow Pages anymore. Instead they turn to Google.

Google provides a wealth of information. My family turns to it almost everyday for something. The other day we were debating the origin of saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes- so off to Google we ran.

Google provides us a glimpse of what people are thinking at any point in time. 

In addition to watching our hobby from the grass-roots level, I also like to watch it from a bird’s-eye perspective. One of the ways I do this is to watch the Google trends related to various “Knife” search terms.

In today’s edition of CNJ, I wanted to share a few interesting observations about the search term “pocket knife” from the world of Google. 

(more…)

Published in: on January 17, 2009 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

OK, OK, I am finally getting an EDC

cnjftheligside

Last week, one of our CNJ readers posted a comment about me being a uber geek. Now, I need to clear the air of a couple of things.

While I took no offense, I want to make sure you know I am equally passionate about knives.

I have to confess though I do get pretty excited about all things Mac (Apple Computers). I have a blast playing on my computer, publishing CNJ, and chatting with fellow collectors on forums, YouTube and by email.

I also know I tend to foster the geek image as a result of me taking it upon myself years ago to promote the fun of our hobby via the World Wide Web.

Computer nerd posing as a knife collector

The members of ElephantToenails.com know a dark secret I shared a few years ago. It is one that has made some folks think I am really just a computer nerd posing as a knife collector. 

So, in an effort to set the record straight- I’ll tell you too.

I don’t have an EDC (and never have). I did buy one off eBay specifically as an EDC, but couldn’t bring myself to carry it…it was a used Case XX redbone toenail. I’m just too much of a collector to bring myself to use it.

Now, if you don’t know what an EDC is I am sorry, but I won’t further embarrass myself by explaining what it is.

I could sit here and give you all the reasons/excuses for why I don’t have one (travel a lot, don’t get into “cutting” situations often, etc, etc.,), but the EDC situation is a bit more problematic for me because my favorite knife isn’t easily carried in my britches pocket, OK?

The Problem Is Now Solved

Well, I think I have solved the problem now. I found a knife I want for Christmas (another one actually). From here out I will be able to hold my head up high around all my knife friends.

All will now know I am really not a computer nerd posing as a knife collector because I will be a card carrying member of the EDC Club.

With that said, I’d like to introduce my EDC:

(more…)

Published in: on December 23, 2008 at 6:30 am  Comments (7)  
Tags: , , ,

Knife Shows are the lifeblood of Knife Collecting

 

nkcashowdaltonga1One of the best parts of knife collecting is going to the shows, but I have to tell you, I used to not feel this way. Instead, I thought shows were just a remnant of the old days (old timers swapping knives among themselves) and that their days were numbered. 

The first time I went to a show I drove 3.5 hours one way. I made my way up and down the rows and then was ready to go- partly a result of my personality (Type A- Task Oriented), but the other was I didn’t know any of the guys behind the table.

Then I began to meet knife folks and now I realize why knife shows are so important. Knife shows are for the people- on a personal level. Knife Shows fill the need of the social side of our hobby. It’s kinda like a reunion, of sorts, and in a way it isn’t really about the knives at all.

As much of a fan of the Internet (and knife forums) as I am, nothing substitutes for the one-on-one fellowship knife shows provide. Now instead of thinking they are leftovers from an era gone by, I now realize knife shows are the lifeblood of the hobby.

It wouldn’t be much fun, or very rewarding, if we just sat behind our computers buying knives without being able to see and experience the real heart of our hobby. Knife Shows are every bit as much a part of our hobby as the knives.

Today I am headed to Parker’s Show in Sevierville, Tennessee. If you come look me up. I’ll be the guy walking around with a video camera & recorder capturing the essence and characters of the show.

Published in: on November 19, 2008 at 8:16 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,