check out our store
check out our store

The world's most collectible knives

Written by:
Aleks Nemtcev
Updated:
January 23, 2024
most collectible knives in the world

Collectible knives, highly valued for their craftsmanship and brand heritage, encompass a diverse range. This category includes both folding knives and fixed-blade knives, each with distinct qualities that appeal to collectors. Factory-made folding knives offer versatility, ranging from everyday carry options to specialized tools for survival, pen use, fishing, and mushroom picking. Handcrafted knives, often produced by renowned companies, showcase individuality and uniqueness, with no two knives being identical. Even within mass-produced lines, certain models achieve distinction, elevating them above typical offerings in a collector’s repertoire.

 

most collectible knives

Mass-produced collectible knives:

Mass-produced collectible knives, typically produced in large quantities using automated processes, cater to a broad audience. These knives often replicate traditional or popular designs, ensuring consistency in quality and appearance. Despite their mass production, certain models gain collectibility due to factors like limited runs, special editions, collaborations with renowned designers, or commemorative themes. Materials used in mass-produced knives, while standardized, can vary in quality, affecting the item’s durability and appeal. Collectors value these knives for their accessibility, historical significance, or as representative samples of a particular style or era in knife-making.

  • Folding hunting knives
  • Pocket knives
  • Universal folding knives with an additional set of useful tools – a favorite of travelers and handymen
  • Fixed-blade knives for survival
  • Knives for special forces
  • Stationary folding pocket knives

 

Knives for survival

Survival knives, designed for robustness and versatility, serve as essential tools in wilderness and emergency scenarios. These knives typically feature fixed blades, constructed from high-carbon or stainless steel for durability and corrosion resistance. Key design elements include a full tang for structural integrity, a thick blade for strength, and a serrated edge for sawing. The handle materials, often synthetic for better grip and weather resistance, contribute to the knife’s overall functionality. Survival knives may include additional features like fire-starting kits, built-in compasses, or hollow handles for storage of small survival gear. Their primary function is to aid in tasks like building shelter, preparing food, and self-defense in survival situations.

  • Ka-Bar
  • Tom Brown
  • Morakniv MG
  • Fallkniven F1
  • CRKT M16
  • Buck 110
  • Old timer Sharpfinger
  • Finnish Puukko
  • GLOCK Field knife FM 78
  • GLOCK Field knife FM 81
  • Spyderco Paramilitary 2C81GP2
  • Chris Reeve Sebenza

collectible hunting knives

Ka-Bar

A KA-BAR knife is a professional marine knife with a telling but concerning
name, “To kill the bear.” The name of the brand is tied to a real-life situation in which a thankful hunter sent an emotional letter to the company. He managed to kill a bear with this knife. Thanks to the entrepreneurial mindset of the company’s workers, the knife gained its name.

The strong blade can withstand a large amount of pressure and can have variations in its shape.
Popular models of this knife are the KA-BAR Tanto Black 600 and U.S.M.C. 1217.

Ka Bar knife

Tom Brown

The Tom Brown Tracker T3 has an interesting and brutal blade. The micarta linen on the handle stops the knife from slipping when held in a wet hand, and the blade can chop, cut, and stab. Specialists have said that it would be inconvenient for a trophy hunter to use this blade to skin their prize, but there are other tools for this. A hunter’s knife and a survival knife have different purposes, but they are helpful and can even save lives.

Tom Brown Tracker knife

Morakniv MG

The Morakniv MG Carbon is a very modern, simple, and reliable Scandinavian knife for survival, and it can be worn on a belt. It
has a rubberized plastic handle and a strong blade inside a plastic sheath. The strength and sharpness of the blade are determined by its carbon content.
Owners of this affordable model quote the aggressive cutting of the blade and the ease with which the knife is held.

Moraknive MG

Fallkniven F1

The Fallkniven F1 is a Scandinavian survival knife with a molded rubberized handle; this knife was used by Swedish and American Air Force pilots and foot soldiers. The knife’s construction is simplified as much as possible; there are no teeth or hidden containers. A reliable blade and a comfortable handle are the only features of the model that they entrust their lives to.

Fallkniven F1

 

CRKT M16

The CRKT M16 is a folding knife from Kit Karson; it has an Auto Lawks safety mechanism that opens with only one hand. The TANTO blade is made from AUS-8 steel.

hunting knife needs features that allow it to be an extension of the owner’s arm. For example, it needs a comfortable handle and a solid yet flexible blade made from stainless steel; this allows the owner to carry out different actions without breaking the blade.

CRKT M16

Buck 110

The folding hunting knife Buck 110 is notable for its simplicity, reliability, backlock mechanism, and lifetime guarantee from the company Buck Knives. The comfortable handle is made from brass or nickel. Its hard and sharp blade allows you to cut through bird bones and branches and skin animals.

buck 110 knife

Old Timer Sharpfinger

This lightweight hunting knife with an original shape has become a household name thanks to its small size and reliability.

Old Timer Sharpfinger

Finnish Puukko

This traditional hunting knife has a distinct national identity that is a great addition to an expert’s collection. The traditional steel blade is straight in shape, a characteristic unique to steel, and resistant to low temperatures. The barrel-shaped handle is made from Karelian birch. The strong and stable blade of the knife is suitable for any hunting task.

Finnish Puukko

GLOCK Field knife FM 78

Classic survival (army) knife can be used for any purpose: for opening ammunition boxes, as a weapon, or as an outdoor knife. Blade hardness: 55 HRC.

glock 78 knife

GLOCK Field knife FM 78

Survival knife Glock FM 81 is equipped with a sturdy saw at the back of the blade.

Blade hardness: 55 HRC.

glock 81 knife

Spyderco Paramilitary 2C81GP2

The American pocket knife from the designer Bill Moran is marketed for tourism and sports, but thanks to several features, it can be more widely used. Thin, compact, and hardly noticeable in
your pocket, the knife is comfortable to hold in your hand. It is easy to open, thanks to a hole in the blade. The patented “Spyderhole” is also a design feature. The extended finger blade is made from CPM S30V steel. There is also a compression lock mechanism.

Spyderco Paramilitary knife

Chris Reeve Sebenza

This folding knife with a frame lock locking mechanism became a coveted collector’s model—thanks to its elegant design and high-quality blade cutting.

Chris Reeve Sebenza knife

Collectible pocket knives

collectible pocket knivesCollectible pocket knives, often sought after for their historical, aesthetic, and craftsmanship value, represent a diverse category in the knife-collecting community. These knives typically feature unique designs, high-quality materials, and intricate workmanship. Collectors often focus on specific types, such as vintage models, limited editions, or those produced by renowned manufacturers. Key factors influencing collectibility include the knife’s age, rarity, condition, and provenance. Collectible pocket knives not only serve as functional tools but also as artistic expressions, reflecting cultural and technological changes over time.

  • Folding penknife Higonocami
  • Pocket knife Opinel №8
  • Victorinox
  • CRKT Snap Lock Folding Pocket Knife
  • Leatherman Wave – multi-tool

collectible pocket knives for sale

paracord beads for knives

 

Folding penknife Higonocami

This handmade Japanese knife has no lock and boasts an original shape. The Higonokami is made by a company with history. The knife of “The Last Samurai” resembles a straight razor and has a very sharp blade. Simple and sharp blades were so popular that even schoolchildren used them to sharpen their pencils. Thanks to the handiwork on the knife, it’s possible to see traces of forging. The value of this penknife is that it’s impossible to find two identical Higonocami knives: the design tells you where the knife came from.

higonokami knife

A beautiful pocket knife Opinel №8

The French folding knife Opinel №8 has to take its place in any collection as an example of an elegant pocket knife. Opinel has an impressive selection of handles and functional blades: one for mushroom picking with a specialized curve, one for children with a rounded blade, one fish knife, and one with a whistle that is ideal for walking in the woods without the risk of getting lost. The Opinel №8 model is a classic version of the simple design, with handles made from beech and a blade made from XC90 steel. It’s not stainless steel, but it is durable and retains its sharpness well. A special feature is the Vibrobloc locking mechanism, patented by Opinel. Vibrobloc safely keeps the blade in one position, both while open and closed.

opinel no8

Universal folding knife Victorinox

The universal  Swiss folding knife with a lot of additional tools is suitable for any situation. The  Victorinox Huntsman model can provide tools both for a picnic and common household activities: it has a corkscrew, bottle opener, screwdriver, tweezers, and a saw. It’s a suitable knife for anyone who wants to have maximum comfort without leaving the comfort of civilization.

Victorinox folding knife

buy collectible pocket knives

CRKT Snap Lock Folding Pocket Knife

Most Innovative Knife Award at the 2004 Blade Show. Designed by Ed Van Hoy in Abingdon, Virginia

Innovative Opening: Unique cam action of the snap lock mechanism. Minimizes Reflectivity: Bead blast finish reduces reflection. Quick Release: The Lanyard can be quickly released from a tool for safety. Designed by Ed Van Hoy in Abingdon, Virginia.

CRKT Snap Lock Folding Pocket Knife CR 5102N

Leatherman Wave

Here’s one more universal and unusual Swiss knife—from the designer Tim Leatherman. Special service knives never fail to attract the attention of a collector who focuses on the practical purpose of a knife. Simplicity, reliability, and  multi-functionality are the key features of knives  with a strong character:Leatherman Wave

Special forces knives

Special forces knives, engineered for military and tactical applications, prioritize functionality, reliability, and versatility. These knives typically feature robust construction, often with fixed blades made from high-grade steel for optimal strength and edge retention. The design emphasizes a balance between sharpness for cutting and thickness for prying or heavy use. Handles are ergonomic, made from materials ensuring a secure grip even in adverse conditions. Blade shapes and sizes vary, tailored to specific mission requirements. Common characteristics include a non-reflective finish for stealth operations, serrated edges for multipurpose use, and compatibility with modular sheathing systems. Special forces knives serve in combat, survival, and utility roles, reflecting the high-stress and diverse needs of elite military units.

  • Ari B’Lilah knife
  • Eickhorn Kampfmesser
  • FS knife
  • Emerson CQC-7
  • Gerbert Mark II

 

Ari B’Lilah knife

the model used by Israeli special forces has a sharp blade with teeth, which can be used for any task.

Ari BLilah knife

Eickhorn Kampfmesser

— a NATO army knife with a blade made from 440A steel which can
chop, cut, and even hold the weight of a soldier.

Eickhorn Kampfmesser knife

FS knife

— this model of knife has its design based on the shape of a stiletto and is
the favorite of many special forces.

Fairbairn Sykes fighting knife

Emerson CQC-7

a folding Marines knife that can be easily opened in one movement while removing it from your pocket. This historical model is often desired by sophisticated collectors.

Emerson CQC 7 knife

Gerber Mark II

a killing combat knife that, for ethical reasons, is marketed more as a tool for survival. Its black blade with teeth is attractive not only for collectors but also for directors, and the knife is often featured in films. The American knife company has existed since 1939 and has been improving its technology and attracting collectors who prefer professional knives.

Gerber Mark II knife

1918 Trench Knife

1918 trench knife,  also known as the U.S. M1918 Mark I Trench Knife, is a combat knife designed and used by the United States military during World War I. It was designed specifically for the brutal close-quarters combat that was common in the trench warfare of that period.

1918 trench knife

What is the most collectible knife?

Knife collectors prioritize various attributes in their pursuit of the most collectible knives. These include iconic manufacturing brands, vintage pieces, and custom knives handcrafted by skilled artisans. While production and vintage knives hold significant value, custom handmade knives often stand out as the pinnacle of a collection. A custom handcrafted knife by a renowned maker may attain ‘Holy Grail’ status, representing the apex of collectibility due to its uniqueness and craftsmanship. These knives, crafted individually, often require several months of meticulous work. Designs range from unique, one-off creations to limited-run reproductions, each exhibiting the artisan’s skill and attention to detail.

collectible knives

 

Rare collectible knives

Rare collectible knives encompass a diverse range, including unique traditional and modern designs. Among these, African round wrist knives stand out, historically used for both combat and utility purposes. Additionally, covert knives, such as those designed to resemble everyday objects like desk sculptures or lipstick, represent a niche in custom knife-making. These unique creations are rarely found in conventional stores. Collectors also seek out rare pieces like brass knuckles and stilettos that merge martial utility with artistic craftsmanship, contributing to their uniqueness and collectibility in the realm of edged weapons.

covert knife for collector

Collectable knives from custom makers

Collectable knives from custom makers represent a fusion of craftsmanship and artistry. Each knife, handcrafted individually by an experienced knifemaker, reflects years of expertise and deep knowledge of the craft. Knifemakers approach each piece as an artistic endeavor, meticulously considering design, steel type, heat treatment, geometry, balance, and ornamentation.collectable knives

Contrary to common misconceptions, “custom” does not imply fragility or purely decorative purpose. Handmade custom knives often surpass mass-produced counterparts in toughness and durability, excelling in various cutting tasks regardless of their aesthetic intricacy.

The term ‘expensive’ in the context of custom knives requires a nuanced understanding. The price reflects not only the material and labor costs but also the artisanal value. Experienced knifemakers set prices based on a comprehensive understanding of their product’s worth. The decision for a buyer hinges on personal valuation of the knife’s worthiness of its price.

collectible daggers for sale

Unique knives for collectors

Unique knives for collectors represent a specialized segment in the knife market. These knives, often custom-made or limited editions, feature distinctive designs and superior craftsmanship. Collectors value such knives for their aesthetic appeal, craftsmanship, and potential investment value. This segment includes historical replicas, artisan creations, and innovative designs, each with a story and character that appeal to enthusiasts and collectors.

  • Charlie Benica
  • Michael Walker
  • Owen Wood
  • Bob Loveless
  • Noblie Custom Knives
  • Hattori

collectible knives for sale

Charlie Bennica

Folding knives made by Charlie Bennica can be recognized thanks to their use of 416 steel on the handle, which houses their legendary pommel lock. The master inlays the precious materials into the steel handles. The blades are made from Damascus and expensive RWL 34 and ATS 34 S, D-2 steel.

Bennica creates precious artistic knives that you could easily forget are weapons if not for the opening mechanism.

Charles Bennica knife

Michael Walker

Michael Walker’s folding knives can be identified by their Linner-lock mechanism, based on which the master created over thirty variants and jewelry. In the past, Walker was involved in jewelry making. His hand is easily recognizable by the artistic drawing, despite the differences in the shape of the blade and handle. A special feature of the locking system is the plate spring—thanks to this mechanism, the blade is locked in position but can easily be opened or closed with one hand. Walker became the first knife master to give the folding knife new features.

rare collectible knives

Owen Wood

Owen Wood creates art in the shape of folding knives and is inspired by architecture. His custom work attracts attention thanks to his unusual artistic drawings and architectural design elements.

Owen Wood knife

Bob Loveless

Loveless is considered a trendsetter with his “supply” knives. The unusual shapes of his knives were the reason the special forces became interested in Loveless. The master created knife models for CIA agents. Loveless was so particular about the quality of the blades’ steel and their specific purpose that he preferred to stamp the brand name with acid rather than with stamping technology. The master created legendary knives for sixty years.

Bob Loveless knife

Noblie Custom Knives

Noblie Custom Knives stands out in the knife-making industry for its skillful blend of function and artistry. At this location, they craft knives that not only perform exceptionally but also exhibit a unique aesthetic appeal. Noblie focuses on using high-quality materials, ensuring each knife is durable and visually striking. Their knife range caters to various tastes, appealing to both those who use knives professionally and collectors who appreciate fine craftsmanship. The Edison, NJ office serves as the heart of their operations, where tradition meets innovation in the creation of each custom knife.

 

collectible knife

Hattori knives

The Japanese small dagger – this hand-made knife from Hattori is small enough in size to hide and has a durable blade.

Hattori knife

Why are collectible custom knives so expensive?

The cost of collectible custom knives stems from several factors. High-quality materials significantly contribute to their expense. The production process of these knives involves intensive labor and meticulous attention to detail. Custom knife making, a time-consuming task, results in limited production, enhancing the exclusivity and hence the cost of each piece.

Customization to the buyer’s specifications also adds to the price. The complexity of the blade design and the intricacy required in crafting directly influence the time and skill needed, thereby increasing the cost. Attention to detail, such as the seamless joining of the handle to the ricasso and a flawless finish, requires skilled craftsmanship. The absence of pre-made fittings and the emphasis on unique design are additional factors.

These knives are not only functional tools but also artistic showpieces, reflecting the individuality of both the maker and the owner. This combination of craftsmanship, material quality, customization, and artistry accounts for the high price of collectible custom knives.

collectable knife

Where is the right place to buy collectible knives?

For purchasing collectible knives, selecting a reputable dealer is crucial. Established in 2015, Noblie has gained recognition as a dependable source of handmade custom knives. Their extensive inventory includes collector-grade knives, encompassing hunting knives, tactical knives, hand-engraved knives, folding knives, and other collectible varieties catering to refined tastes. This wide selection ensures immediate availability, eliminating the usual wait time associated with custom knife production. Each premium knife from Noblie comes in a wooden box, enhancing its elegance and presentation. Noblie provides an array of ready-made options suitable for luxurious gifts, catering to collectors and enthusiasts seeking quality and immediacy.

You can choose a collectible knife from our huge selection of handmade knives!

FAQ

What makes a knife collectible?

A knife gains collectible status through various attributes: craftsmanship excellence, historical relevance, rarity, and the maker’s renown. Collectors often seek knives that are part of limited edition series, possess antique value, or have a verifiable provenance. The knife’s aesthetic characteristics and unique design elements also play a crucial role in its desirability as a collectible. These factors together determine a knife’s appeal and value in the collectibles market.

How can one start a knife collection?

To start a knife collecting, combine passion, in-depth knowledge, and discernment for quality. Key steps include:

Research: Acquire knowledge about different knife types, their historical impact, and notable manufacturers.
Networking: Engage with knife-collecting communities, participate in knife shows, and consult with experienced collectors.
Initial Acquisition: Start with a few select knives that captivate your interest, expanding your collection as your expertise grows.
Documentation: Keep detailed records of each knife’s provenance, manufacturer, and distinctive features.

How does one maintain and store collectible knives?

Maintaining and storing collectible knives necessitates careful practices to preserve their condition and value. Proper maintenance includes regular cleaning and oiling, using materials gently on the knives’ surfaces. For storage, use controlled environments with low humidity to prevent rust and corrosion. Display cases or storage cabinets with soft lining protect against scratches and environmental damage. Secure locking mechanisms are essential for safety and to deter theft. For knives with wooden components, avoid direct sunlight to prevent fading. Regular inspection for signs of wear or damage ensures timely intervention for preservation. These practices are critical for maintaining the integrity and value of collectible knives.

collectable knives

Conclusion

Knives have held a primal allure for humanity since the dawn of time, transitioning from rudimentary tools of survival to coveted objects of artistry and prestige. The world’s most collectible knives are testaments to human ingenuity, craftsmanship, and our deep-rooted connection to tools that have shaped our history. These knives are not just about sharp edges and handles; they’re about narratives, traditions, and the confluence of form and function. They resonate with collectors not just for their aesthetic beauty or utility, but for the stories they tell and the legacies they uphold. As we’ve journeyed through this list, we’ve been reminded that knives can be more than mere objects; they can be symbols of culture, tokens of history, and prized possessions that traverse generations. Whether you’re an avid collector or simply an enthusiast, the realm of collectible knives beckons with its rich tapestry of tales and treasures, inviting you to be a part of its ever-evolving narrative.

Author: Aleks Nemtcev | Connect with me on LinkedIn

References:

Knife collecting Wikipedia.

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

Knife collecting (video)

Especially for you, we have selected videos about knife collecting.

Video credit: Pawn Stars.

Video credit: Talon Sei.

Leave a reply

We don't allow links in the comments. Any comment containing links will be declined.

Thank you for your comment, it is currently under review.
Fill in all fields for commenting!

comments

  • Luis

    I have a MARAKNIV MG knife, how much does it cost on the market?

    Noblie

    The Morakniv MG knife is priced at around 14 euros in Europe and starts from 19 USD in the US. Prices might vary slightly based on specific retailers and any additional fees or taxes.

  • SteelSavant45

    Great overview of popular knife steels! For those diving deeper into metallurgy, it’s also worth noting the importance of heat treatment in determining a knife’s performance. Two knives made from the same steel but with different heat treatments can have vastly different characteristics in terms of edge retention, toughness, and corrosion resistance. It’s always a balance between these factors, and the heat treatment plays a pivotal role in achieving that balance.

  • KnifeD27

    I understand that ‘best’ can be subjective, but this list seems to focus heavily on aesthetics and brand names rather than the practicality and functionality of a true karambit. For those seeking a karambit for martial arts or self-defense, factors like grip, balance, and edge geometry are paramount. I would’ve appreciated a more nuanced discussion on these aspects.

  • BladeBuff

    While the list showcases some undoubtedly iconic knives, I’m surprised that certain key historical and culturally significant blades were left out. Collectibility isn’t just about rarity or price, but also the story and significance behind each piece. I think a more comprehensive analysis or perhaps a broader selection criteria would’ve done the topic more justice.

  • Alex Thompson

    Fantastic rundown of collectible knives! I’ve always been fascinated by the history and craftsmanship behind these pieces. Out of curiosity, how do factors like age, brand, and historical significance influence the value and demand for a particular knife in the collector’s market?

  • Avery Mitchell, TX

    Hi guys! What are some rare and expensive knives?

    Noblie

    The world of knives is vast, and many factors can make a knife rare and expensive. Factors can include the materials used, the craftsmanship, the history or provenance of the knife, and the reputation of the maker. Here are some notable categories and examples of rare and expensive knives:

    Custom-made Knives: Crafted by renowned knife makers, these knives can command high prices due to the quality of materials, artistry, and limited production numbers.
    Bob Loveless or Ron Lake knives, for instance, can be very sought after and fetch high prices.

    Historical Knives: Any knife with historical significance or that has been owned by a notable figure can be extremely valuable.
    The Bowie knife purported to have belonged to Jim Bowie, for example, would be priceless if it could be verified.

    Antique Folding Knives: Old and rare pocket knives, often from the 19th or early 20th century, can be highly valued, especially in mint condition.
    Brands like Case, Remington, and Winchester have produced folding knives that are now considered collectibles.

    Art Knives: These are often more pieces of art than functional tools, crafted with precious materials like gold, gemstones, or rare woods.
    The Gem of the Orient is one such knife – it’s decorated with emeralds and gold, and it’s one of the most expensive knives ever made.

    Tactical and Combat Knives: While many tactical knives are made for broad markets, limited edition or custom-made tactical knives from well-respected makers can be very expensive.
    Knives made by Chris Reeve or Strider Knives have become collectibles in certain circles.

    Damascus Steel Knives: While Damascus steel itself isn’t rare these days, high-quality, custom-made Damascus knives, especially with intricate patterns and made by renowned craftsmen, can be costly. For example:mosaic Damascus steel.

    Knives with Rare Materials: Knives made from materials like meteorite iron, mammoth tusk or featuring rare gemstone inlays can command high prices.

    It’s essential to understand that the knife market, like any collector’s market, can be subject to trends. A knife that’s highly valued today might not necessarily be as sought-after a decade from now. If you’re considering investing in or collecting knives, it’s a good idea to connect with established collectors, visit knife shows, and perhaps consult with experts in the field.

Related materials
07.11.2022
One of the most popular types of steel, Damascus steel, is well known for having a light-dark pattern, but the texture of the material resembles waves and water surfaces. Such steel is popular not only because it is very beautiful. One of its valuable qualities is the hardness and flexibility of the material.
Read
18.02.2024
Damascus Steel has a rich history dating back to ancient civilizations and continues to be a highly sought-after material in the world of metallurgy. It is known for its distinctive, swirling patterns and exceptional strength, making it ideal for use in knives, swords, and other cutting tools. 
Read
21.02.2022
Since ancient times, the knife has been a constant companion of a man. It changed along with people, and went from a primitive stone cutter to the finest and most precise tool.
Read
Rating: 4,9 - 64 reviews