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Knife Collecting From beginner to professional. Discuss the latest trends, get reviews, opinions and more ... If you're serious about collecting custom knives, start here!

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2003, 11:38 PM
Steven Roos Steven Roos is offline
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Using vs. Collecting

Hello everyone! I've been reading here for a while, but just registered tonight. Some of you may recognize me from Bladeforums.

I recently attended the Vegas Classic and purchased my first custom knife: A Trace Rinaldi Engima! (similar to this, but in S30V and G10)

Here is my problem: I originally purchased this knife with the intention of using it. Now, it is off to the photographers place for pictures to go into an upcoming issue of American Handgunner. Now I'm not really sure if I should use it...

If you were in my place, what would you do? If you wouldn't use it, what might you do to fill the place of the Enigma as a carry knife? (small utility fixed blade with synthetic handle and kydex sheath)

BTW, in case you noticed my sig, yes, I am a knifemaker, and I do hope to make a knife that would fit my needs as a carry piece, but that may take a while...


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  #2  
Old 03-06-2003, 06:52 PM
HJK HJK is offline
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Hi Steven,
You have the classic dilemma: to use or keep in pristine collector's condition. I have the same problem with almost all of mine. All you can do is buy two:evil
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2003, 08:24 PM
JimmySeymour JimmySeymour is offline
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Only you can decide that. If you bought the knife for investment or resell, it will lower your return. you have to decide if that's a loss you want to take. But not using a good knife is a loss to others. All my knives I have bought for my collection of show knives usually get used hard. All the knives I buy for hard use seem to fair better, go figure. I purchased a U2 from kit carson while in the navy stationed in guam. It's built for hard use and nothing but it. It see's the least action anymore and now only collects dust instead of sea water. I have quite a few knives that I had made with no intention of ever using. But for various reasons get used all the time. It's really up to you. I guess you have to ask yourself is the enjoyment of using the knife, with the expected loss of value more than you want to part with.
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Old 03-06-2003, 08:51 PM
whv whv is offline
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first, steven, welcome to ckd.
second, and as already pointed out, you will have to decide that for yourself. if it were me, i would probably use the s30v knife and have trace make me a display knife out of talonite. he is still a new enough maker that either one will no doubt rise in value if he continues the way he has, but s30v is intended for use and i suspect that in the long run few will pay extra for a knife made of it. my .02


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  #5  
Old 03-17-2003, 09:31 AM
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Keith Montgomery Keith Montgomery is offline
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So you ahve run into the problem that I have seen from many others, myself included.; purchasing a knife with the full intention of using it and either because of the cost or that you think it is too beautiful to use, or both, you are have trouble putting it to its intended use. If you do not collect knives, it is a shame to buy them and then let them sit in a drawer or safe because you are afraid to scratch them. If that is the case you would be better off selling this knife and purchasing one that is priced low enough that you will use it. If you plan on starting to collect knives then hold onto this one and take a look at some of the less expensive custom utility knives from one of the fine makers that you will find by checking out the CKD forum.

By the way Steven, are you too smart for us too?


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  #6  
Old 04-01-2003, 11:37 AM
Steven Roos Steven Roos is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Keith Montgomery
By the way Steven, are you too smart for us too?
Nah, I've stopped using my old nick on knife-related forums.

Thanks for the advice guys! Maybe I'll just have to put this one aside and buy another one to use!


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  #7  
Old 04-17-2003, 07:18 PM
Tactical-Steel Tactical-Steel is offline
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I was going to start a new thread on this tonight but I'm glad I caught this one before I did. I guess I'm looking for of a response on this to see how a few of you feel on collecting vs. using. Now being that some of you who may reply are knife makers I would expect you to say "collect, collect!" as people who collect but not use your knives may or may not help you earn a living. I'm just interested in both makers and collectors view points on this.

My personal opinion on this is I guess I would collect knives if I had the money to do so but I've had some serious life issues that have forced me to put that off for a bit. Soooo being that things are the way they are right now, I look at knives as a tool that I can use for my work. Anything I use for work must be of the highest quality that I can either afford or modify to fit my needs. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm not trying to rationalize a justification for spending a premium amount on a knife that just might save my life. I see my equipment as something I take deadly serious and money isn't a big concern when it comes to buying it... The quality is what matters.

The thing I'm really trying to understand is people who collect thinking their going to make money collecting custom knives... I've heard and seen people who think that buying then squirreling away a hoard of beautiful custom knives will bring them a fortune. I've collected a few nice things over the years like civil war items, sports cards, and limited NASCAR collectables. I quickly learned in collecting/trading that you almost never get what is quoted from price guides or dealers. Usually you only end up with 50-60% of what an items worth even if it's one-of-a-kind item. When I looked at the real reality of this (only dealers make money) I just stopped collecting as a hobby.

I don't see a knife being a knife unless you can carry and use it. In this way, I see the knife as fulfilling whatever it was really intended to do not sit in a box or case never being handled. In these modern times, I see the real beauty of a knife is in watching it put into action when no one else had one on them. When I'm done using my knife I'm always asked by someone if they may look at it and I usualy get compliments. I also know that that same person who asked to see my knife is usually thinking they wished they had one too. I would like to think that other than art knife makers who I feel their work is primarily made for display, a true bladesmith wants to hear about the product of his labor being used for what it was intended and not that it's being packed away or sealed in a glass case waiting for the day the owner can make a killer profit.

Am I wrong for thinking this? I hope that I'm not making anyone angry... I just want to hear what you think.





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  #8  
Old 04-17-2003, 08:45 PM
whv whv is offline
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i believe that most 'custom' makers who will express an opinion (as you say, other than art knife makers) will tell you that they make the best using knife that they can make in the hopes that it will indeed be used, and used hard, for it's intended purpose.
.
let us take joe blow (a renowned maker who writes for a national knife mag, goes to a lot of shows, writes a book or two, puts out a video on knifemaking, has a web site, advertises in magazines and makes some #### fine hunting knives). his work goes from around $1k-2k a pop. i am not aware of a secondary market for his knives (you can't find a single one on ebay). what would be the point of squirreling away his knives? oh, sure, they may be worth something more someday, but who knows. if you buy one, use it. that's what it's for.
.
then again, there are the makers who are hot - right now, today. if you can get one of their knives, do it. they will resell on the internet for half again what you pay, because you can't get one from the maker (he isn't taking orders because he's backlogged two years). but you had better make that resale in a hurry because who knows who will be hot tomorrow. most of these fellows will also tell you that they make knives to be used, and i believe that most of them do. but should you? probably not. the fellow that will pay that premium price wants a brand new knife and wants it right now. that's why he's willing to pay.
.
here's an example (although not a handmade, it is a custom order): next month i'm taking delivery on a new randall from the factory for $300. i placed the order 3 years ago. you can have one just like it, without the wait. ag russell has one in stock as of today. the difference? ag is asking $495 for his. will he get it? probably close to it anyway.
.
les is always advising to buy what you like because you may end up owning it for awhile instead of realizing that capital gain that you may have envisioned. if you still want to hold out for that dream price rise, not using the knife may enhance perceived value. then again, it may not. i doubt you can find many of scagel's in unused condition. at least if you buy from a dealer, some will offer you at least the original purchase price on a more expensive model.
.
i figure that any enhanced value of a knife i own will be realized by my grandkids or perhaps their kids if by anyone. certainly not by me. i can't afford to purchase knives that will realize capital gains within my lifetime. but i do have a few that i do not use, simply because i have a bunch that suit my needs and i like to keep the others in unused condition for the day that they may be worth something. i did start out to collect, but soon found out that i couldn't afford to. and i was bitten by the dreaded knife making bug - it's a fatal disease you contract from that beast.
.
sorry to ramble on, but putting my thoughts and feeling about this in writing is something i haven't done before so it is formulating itself as i type. for me, the idea is to enjoy this knife business. there are folks that enjoy many different niches of this hobby. if that means collecting safe queens, go for it. collect antiques. if a knife (regardless of cost) means little to you if it can't be used, either don't buy it or use it if you do. build knife kits. make knives from scratch. whatever rings your chime!


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Last edited by whv; 04-17-2003 at 09:01 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-17-2003, 09:18 PM
Tactical-Steel Tactical-Steel is offline
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No ramble at all Wayne... A good read. It's just the more I read on these and other forums, I see the same people (not dealers) selling knives "untouched" and I'm wondering why the hell they even bought it. This is especialy true with the higher end production knives not customs.

I would love to see a "Knive's in Action" thread or tutorials with some users showing off how they use their customs at work or at play.


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Old 04-18-2003, 08:20 AM
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Hi Tactical,

One of your opening statements:

"My personal opinion on this is I guess I would collect knives if I had the money to do so but I've had some serious life issues that have forced me to put that off for a bit."

This speaks volumes. If you had the money you would collect. But you don't so you only buy a knife you would use.

When I first started buying custom knives I was a Rifle Platoon Leader in the 101st Airborne. I was buying a knife to be used. Then a friend of mine took me to my first blade show in 1985....and it was all over.

For many custom knives go way beyond their intended use. Price and materials are only secondary. It is how it looks and how it feels in your hand that makes your heart race. Each individual has their own criteria.

Which explains why there are so many butt-ugly custom knives made and sold every year.

As for making money with custom knives. You are basing your opinion on youre experience. Dealers will usually do better than collectors. Mostly for two reasons. They have better knowledge of the product and they are willing to take a financial risk.

Most collectors of anything are usually not willing to do the "homework". As collectors they prefer to walk into a show and buy what they like. Nothing wrong with that.

However, this works against someone who is looking to make money on a knife.

Many who buy collectibles for investment purposes belive their passion and desire for a particular item is shared among all other collectors.

However, the truth is in the aftermarket....not the primary market. As it is in the aftermarket that you sell your collectibles. This is where all the intangibles come into play. Rarity, desireablity, etc.

Custom knives move in a circle. You can track patterns and trends. Unlike the stock market, with custom knives you can "time the market".

Suffice to say you have to be able to put aside your passion and buy knives that have the ability to give you a return on investment.

Which is why I adivse people to buy what they like.

Fact is, like any collectible there are only a small amount that you can use as an ivestment.

However, right now with the market, banks and CD's are paying a very small ROI.

However, if you were to buy a knife for $400 and you desired to make 5% (which is better than any money market account or CD). You would only have to sell that knife for $420.00

There are a lot of knives out there right now that you could make 5% on your money with little or no effort.

Enjoy your knives while you use them. You should print this out and re-read it 5 years from now....as you look over your "collection".


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  #11  
Old 04-25-2003, 08:52 PM
Lloyd Hale Lloyd Hale is offline
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When you say you intend to use the knife, What does that mean.??
How do you intend to use the knife..?? And how will this use devalue it...?? I'm honestly curious here, so please help me out..


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Old 04-25-2003, 11:24 PM
Tactical-Steel Tactical-Steel is offline
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Lloyd, If that's directed at me, I mean just exactly what the knife was designed for... Skinning, filet, tactical, (actually being used in the field), and the general purpose... using it for what every you need to open/cut etc..


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Old 04-26-2003, 08:03 AM
Lloyd Hale Lloyd Hale is offline
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Thanks , I did not know......I've been in a vacume these past 22 years and while I was gone the Tactical knife became the knife of choice.... It's a great concept and I like it ....


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Old 04-26-2003, 12:19 PM
Steven Roos Steven Roos is offline
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Les: That is exactly what I did! I picked up the Enigma, and I knew it was just what I needed, so I bought it.

Since posting this thread, the Enigma has become my work EDC. I doubt it will see any extreme use, but it has come in handy many times already.

Plus, I gain a lot of satisfaction knowing I'm probably one of the only people in my area that EDCs a custom knife. hehe


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