View Full Version : Where to buy a custom knife

12-28-2001, 04:35 PM
Hi all,

I was thinking, how do you prefer to buy a knife? Do you prefer to commission the artist? Do you prefer to buy it at a show? In a store, online or not?

Do you think there's a price difference knives bought at a show and commissioned?



12-29-2001, 04:49 PM
Most of my customs I have bought from the maker to my specs.

Never bought a custom at a show, although I have bought one at a store before.

Just bought my first knife from an internet dealer (bladeart) and was pleased with the purchase. It was a Murray Carter knife from Japan.

Price is a funny issue.

When I have commisioned a knife, the maker listed his price and if it was acceptable to me I proceeded with the commission (100% so far :) ). I have not haggled on the price when dealing directly with the maker. Price may or not be negotiable when working with a dealer and I find nothing wrong with asking. With tighter financial times I forsee more reasonable prices.

01-21-2002, 10:38 AM
This is were I look when I'm shopping:

1. Directly on the makers site/album. I enjoy buyng from the maker and having the knife made for me.
2. Big known dealers, you have a large choice and I think they have low margins on knives, you find very often prices as good as from the maker.
3. For sale forums.
4. EBay (there actualy are good makers who sell exclusively on EBay, all you have to do is spot them)

01-21-2002, 12:17 PM
Hi Flavius..!! Good to see you made it here!

01-21-2002, 07:04 PM

Welcome to the CKD! If you ever need anything, let us know ...


01-22-2002, 01:48 AM
Thank you for the warm welcome guys! This place is a great source of information for anybody who likes custom knives. I became aware about it only yesterday and already found lots of good stuff to read.

Don Cowles
01-22-2002, 05:54 AM
Glad to have you with us, Flavius!

01-22-2002, 12:27 PM
Dont forget A.G.Russell. He carries limited production hand made knives from up and coming makers, and also has a huge selection in his Cutting Edge catalog. Many of these knives are new knives direct from the makers, as well as knives being re-sold. You can often find what you are looking for there. (

01-24-2002, 03:42 PM
As a custom knife collector of over 21 years, I have only "ordered" a few knives from the maker. A couple were with input from me and those have been since sold. You can see how important my influence in the process is lol.

I have some knives on order with Geno Denning with very little input from me. I saw other knives that he had done including his chute and fighter knives and ordered some. I have also a knife coming from Bill Burke (Pronghorn) but I did see that knife at the Blade West show in the summer of 2001 so I know what to expect when it arrives.

Over the course of my collecting time, I have had 189 knives of which there are 80 still in the collection with more to be added.

Most of the knives have been one I have gotten from knife shows in both the US and Canada and from other collectors. Lately, I have been doing some limited business on the auction sites.

When doing internet business, one can't be sure of the knife so generally it is nice to at least know the makers abilities and the best way to do that is to visit show.

The internet has been a great boon to both the maker, dealer and the collector but there is nothing like personally handling the knife and talking to its creator at some point. With online purchases, it is good to communicate via email with the maker to learn more about the knife and most makers enjoy the fact that you like the product that they produce to spend both time and money to purchase one of their creations.

01-24-2002, 05:28 PM
You can also look at the CKD front end or Maker and dealer for sale forums.

01-25-2002, 05:17 AM
Over the years I'd say that it's been a pretty even split between buying directly from the manufacturer and buying from a dealer or at a show.

Over the last few years the internet has opened other venues, e-bay and knifeauctions as examples. It's also let me see the work of knifemakers I would be unlikely to run across and aided in rapid communications between buyer and seller. I think one of the biggest advantages of the internet is that it allows smaller knifemakers to have a presence similar to major outlets. There are a lot of new knifemakers that can now consider knifemaking as a full time profession ONLY because the internet let's them reach audiences worldwide.

02-13-2002, 04:22 PM
I buy mine directly from the makers. That means that you have to wait through their backlog, but that is OK by me. I kinda like the wait as it gives me more chances to converse with the maker. If you don't want to wait, there are many fine dealers and purveyors out there. Les comes to mind.

02-13-2002, 04:59 PM
All of the above. I prefer to order direct from the maker, cause I generally have to tinker with the design or the materials. It also lets me talk to the maker and usually make friends with them. Sometimes I find stuff at a show that I just have to have, but mostly I order and I don't really mind the wait.

Les Robertson
02-18-2002, 10:38 PM
Thank you Keith.

Professional Custom Knife Dealers/Purveyor's are an excellent source.

I say professional, as I am referring to those dealers who have professional relationships with the makers you are interested in.

This is not a shot at the new dealers, I was one once and was told by more than one well known maker at the time..."Go away son you bother me".

Professional Custom Knife Dealers can many times provide you with an insight that the maker cannot.

Not about their work, but about their standing in the market. How does their work compare to other makers who make similar knives. Are their prices in line? New models or new materials that are coming out, etc.

Dealers know about these things long before most collectors and months before the magazines.

Another advantage about Professional Custom Knife Dealers is that you can vary your collection, move between makers, types of knives and/or materials and do it all with just one person.

Then again, everyone knows that dealers are scum of the earth...just ask a knife maker :D