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Pros and Cons of Knife Collecting

Written by:
Aleks Nemtcev
April 2, 2024
custom hunting knives

In the diverse realm of collectibles, knives occupy a unique niche, marrying unparalleled functionality with exquisite artistry. The hobby of knife collecting attracts a broad spectrum of enthusiasts, drawn by a variety of motivations including a passion for historical artifacts, admiration for craftsmanship, and the pursuit of valuable investments.

Collectible knives, renowned for their potential to appreciate or maintain value over time, represent more than mere objects; they signify heirlooms that can traverse generations of collectors. While the pursuit of profit motivates some collectors, many embark on their collecting journey driven by a genuine appreciation for the knives themselves, often disregarding the items’ historical backgrounds. It’s advisable to avoid acquiring knives that are significantly damaged or in subpar condition, except in cases where the items are exceptionally old and rare, or if their craftsmanship captivates you. Ultimately, personal satisfaction remains the cornerstone of knife collecting.

Custom knives are particularly prized within the collector’s inventory for their distinctive designs, superior materials, and the remarkable craftsmanship required for their creation.

This article explores the intriguing domain of knife collecting. It aims to enrich both experienced collectors and novices with a deeper understanding of the hobby’s allure and value, thereby augmenting their appreciation for this complex and rewarding pursuit.

knife collecting

Pros of Knife Collecting

Collecting knives has the following positive aspects:

  • The knife has a rich history. No collector would like to know more about the weapons in their collection. The more knives you collect, the more you learn about them. This increases your knowledge, and you will become a master of this art in no time. By gathering knowledge, you get the opportunity not only to teach other people but also to make wiser decisions when making future purchases.
  • Collecting knives is an enthralling way to spend your free time. Psychologists show that when you practice a hobby, you feel more important and more intelligent.
  • Collecting knives is a good opportunity to leave an imprint of yourself in the memory of other people. We all want to be remembered when we leave. In most cases, people are remembered for what they did. As a knife collector, you will leave them as a keepsake for your children. It is very important to convey to children information about the historical value of the collection and its cost – so that in the future they can sell it, preserve it, or give it to a local museum.
  • Knife collections can bring in profit. There are always people who are interested in collecting knives. As you know, the value of antiques increases over time. This means that if you do not want to keep your collectible knives, you can always sell them for a higher price than you bought. You can earn money for a trip or use it to buy a new collection of knives. Great, isn’t it? Many collectors assume they will eventually sell their knives and may even aim to earn a living from the hobby.


Cons of Knife Collecting

As with any hobby, a new knife collection can bring negative aspects into your life. Some of these disadvantages include:

  • Having bought the first knife, you will be sucked in and the collection will grow. Sometimes collections can get out of hand, and you find yourself spending more money than you planned. This can lead to bad situations, especially if you have no spare money to collect knives.
  • A knife can cause injury. Since art knives are weapons, they can easily injure people around you. Perhaps you have small children for whom your knives seem like toys. It is recommended to store knives in a safe place out of the reach of children.
  • The knife may not be original, and the collection will become cheaper. There are many genuine antique knives you can collect, but like any other industry, there are unscrupulous people who may try to sell you fake antique knives. If you fall into their trap, you will lose money. But this can be overcome with minimal research and by finding a reliable source. The key to being successful in this hobby is research. Before buying, make sure that the custom knife you are purchasing is original and of high quality.

custom knife

Building a Knife Collection

A. Starting Small:
Embarking on the journey of knife collecting can be both exhilarating and daunting. A prudent way to begin is by setting a sensible budget and making informed purchases. This initial phase is about learning and exploration. It’s essential to research and understand the different types of knives available, ranging from custom, production to antique and vintage knives. Engaging with other collectors and seeking advice can also be beneficial. As you delve deeper, you’ll start discovering your personal preferences, be it a penchant for traditional Japanese blades or a fascination with modern tactical knives.

B. Expanding Your Collection:
As your understanding and collection burgeon, networking becomes a cornerstone of this hobby. Joining knife-collecting communities, both online and offline, will open doors to a wealth of knowledge and opportunities to acquire new pieces. Attendance at knife shows and auctions is a fantastic way to see a wide array of knives, meet seasoned collectors, and even stumble upon rare finds. These gatherings are the crucibles where lasting friendships are forged, and valuable insights are gained, propelling you further down the intriguing and rewarding path of knife collecting.

How to Create a Knife Collection

Buying a popular knife does not in any way guarantee a price increase in the future. Furthermore, a collection of what now remains unnoticed does not give any guarantees of growth. Collectors should only collect what they like, so as not to be disappointed in their hobby in the future. These are the cardinal rules to be followed when building a new collection of knives: than good:

  • Inexpensive products will never be appreciated;
  • Collecting rare knives means paying big money;
  • Well-made products in good condition are the key to success;
  • Know what art knives can be found in specific geographic locations in the country;
  • Collect what you like or even use;
  • Chasing trends is stupid;
  • Do not buy damaged/bad knives unless they are very old and not collectible. For example, antiques, crafts, and rare military knives;

What is relevant now and what will be popular in the future is a classic question asked by anyone who has a collection.

The question and answer in the case of folding knives, or knives in general, are further complicated by things like the collector’s country of residence. What is in demand in the West and what is bought in the South often varies greatly.

This can provide an opportunity as well as a risk for collectors who want to try their hand in a different direction. Still, in my opinion, it is better to collect knives that you like for one reason or another. The collection of popular items and their “rarity” in the future remains an elusive forecast.

pros and cons knife collecting

What Knives are Collectable?

Collecting knives is a hobby that can catch up at any age and haunt you all your life. In some cases, this starts with the purchase of a regular knife. Sometimes from watching a movie where you saw a knife that sunk into your soul (for example, the knife from the Rambo movie was popular at one time). Moreover, collecting knives happens in different ways. Collectors often categorize their acquisitions by brands, creators, or functionality—ranging from robust and large survival knives to compact pocket knives designed for everyday carry. This diverse interest underlines the rich variety within the realm of collectible knives, catering to various preferences and uses. Some collect knives that are known all over the world, knives that are winners of international knife exhibitions such as Blade Show USA, Custom Knife Show Texas, AKI, SICAC France, and many others.

Knives that have received prizes and world recognition at international exhibitions are produced in limited editions so that those who wish can join the best of the best and purchase such a knife in their collection. The cost of such custom knives can be up to several thousand, depending on their collection value.

When starting your collection, do not try to calm the crowd and buy what everyone else gets. When you make a purchase based on the approval and recommendation of others, you will never be completely satisfied with your collection. It is essential to collect knives that grab your attention at first sight.

Large Knife Display Case

How to Store Your Knife Collection

Wooden knife blocks seem like a good idea to store a large knife collection. They hold your knives securely and look great on the countertop. When buying wood products, many believe that they have bought something sustainable and healthy. Knife blocks come in all shapes and sizes, usually made from a solid block of wood with angled slots large enough to accommodate different types of items from the collection. But despite the convenience and the fact that they are purely for organizing collections, they are not so good. Here’s why the knife block is doing more harm than good:

  • Marketing ploy from sellers. Most people purchase a block when they buy the first knife in their collection. But most of them find that they don’t need this storage element to begin with, since the collection of knives is still too small. Therefore, you should not pay for additional services that you will never use and that you will never need if you quit your hobby.
  • Dulls knives. All knives grow dull over time – this happens all the time. But if you run this blade over a hard surface, it will speed up the process. This happens when you insert a knife into the knife block. This sliding process, plus placing the blade inside the groove, dulls the blade as quickly as its frequent use in the kitchen. The blade can become dull after 70 hits on the knife block.
  • The block is full of germs. These deep, dark crevices create an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Dust and debris can easily accumulate in such areas. Thus, every time your knife slips out of there, there is a risk of infection. If that doesn’t convince you to give up your collection block, at least clean it monthly: shake out the debris, then brush the insides with an antiseptic and make sure it is completely dry before sliding the knives inside.


knife collection

Displaying Your Collection

Showcasing your knife collection can be a blend of aesthetics and security. Selecting the right display cases or cabinets is pivotal; options range from wall-mounted cabinets to freestanding display cases, each offering a different visual appeal and level of security.

While a well-illuminated, glass-fronted cabinet allows for an unobstructed view and easy access, a lockable, sturdy case provides an added layer of protection against theft or mishandling. The layout within the display is an art in itself. Arranging knives in a manner that highlights their unique features, grouped either by era, style, or craftsmanship can create an engaging visual narrative.

Moreover, ensuring that the display area is well-lit and free from hazards like moisture and excessive heat is crucial to preserving the integrity of your collection while showcasing it compellingly and safely.

knife collection display

How Do I Keep My Knife Well Maintained?

– Sharpen the edge in good time.

– Use the knife strictly for its intended purpose.

– Always keep your instruments separate from each other.

– Use an appropriate stand or box to keep your knife.

– Always wash and dry blades right after using your knife.

– Take proper care not only of blades but of handles as well.

– Always clean your Damascus or carbon steel knife right after using, dry it, and apply RustFree oil or wax to prevent rusting.

– Apply Quick Release oil to folding knives. Keep the pivot well lubricated.

– When demonstrating collectible knives, use protective gloves, to prevent leaving fingerprints on your unique knives.

– Never keep your knife in the long-storage leather sheath. Cupronickel or brass knife guards may be blemished by leather if left in the sheath for a long time.

– Do not heat knives and do not keep knives close to an open flame, as this may damage the knife handle.

– Be always cautious when handling a knife!

Are you interested in learning more about knife collecting and valuable crafts? You can always clarify any questions about knife collecting, and brands, and start your collection. Visit our knife blog!

Video credit: The Collector.



Is it normal to have a knife collection?

Yes, it’s quite normal to have a knife collection. Many individuals appreciate the craftsmanship, historical value, and utility that knives offer. Like any collection, it reflects personal interests and can be a rewarding hobby.

What do you call a person who collects knives?

A person who collects knives is often referred to as a knife collector. There isn’t a specific term akin to bibliophile for book collectors, but the community of knife collectors is a vibrant and well-established one.

Why do people like to collect knives?

Individuals may be drawn to knife collecting for several reasons:
Aesthetic Appreciation: Knives are often works of art, with intricate designs and beautiful materials.
Historical Interest: Each knife can tell a story from a different time or place, making them fascinating historical artifacts.
Investment: Some knives appreciate over time, making them a potential financial investment.
Practical Utility: Knives are useful tools, and having a variety of them can be practical.
Craftsmanship: The skill and effort involved in creating high-quality knives can be deeply appreciated by collectors.

How popular is knife collecting?

Knife collecting is a popular hobby among enthusiasts of all ages. Its popularity is sustained by a rich community of collectors, craftsmen, and historians. There are numerous forums, conventions, and online platforms dedicated to knife collecting, showcasing the enduring appeal and widespread interest in this hobby.


Stepping into the realm of knife collecting unfolds a journey of historical discovery, aesthetic appreciation, and community engagement. While it comes with its set of challenges, the joy of owning a piece of artistry and history often outweighs the cons.

The diverse world of knives beckons to both the novice and the seasoned collector, offering a rewarding and educational venture. As you delve into the intricacies of knife designs, the stories behind them, and the camaraderie among fellow collectors, you’ll find that knife collecting is more than just a hobby; it’s a lifelong passion. Whether you’re drawn to the impeccable craftsmanship of custom knives, the historical resonance of antique blades, or the reliable utility of production knives, there’s a facet of knife collecting that is likely to resonate with you. Engage with a community that shares your enthusiasm, learn about the rich tapestry of history associated with knives, and embark on a fulfilling adventure of collecting.

Each knife you add to your collection is not just a tangible asset, but a narrative, a piece of art, and a testament to human ingenuity. Your collection will not only reflect your interests but will also stand as a tribute to the age-old tradition of knife-making and the continuous evolution of this elemental tool. Through careful curation, maintenance, and a spirit of discovery, your knife collection can bring immense satisfaction and a deep sense of accomplishment. Explore the world of knives and carve your unique path in the fascinating and enriching hobby of knife collecting.

Author: Aleks Nemtcev | Connect with me on LinkedIn


Knife collecting

Knife collecting: A Beginner Guide Reddit.

Largest Collection of Knives in the World. Knife Blog Noblie.

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  • Roger Cantwell

    This was informative and interesting
    I, myself am 62 and have been collecting folding pocket knives for years. My first was a Cub Scout knife when I must have been around eight years old. Case XX has been my interest since I bought a SodBuster Jr in my early teens.
    Thank you for this article!

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