Knives are tools that man kind has been using for thousands of years, and it is almost impossible to get through a day with out using a knife of some sort. For many, knives are not just tools, but also a valuable collector’s item both monetarily and emotionally.
Many people recount tales of receiving there first knife from a loved one as a handed down family heirloom, or as a brand new tool just waiting to create its own stories.
Knife manufacturers recognize the collectable nature of knives, and many companies are known for creating knives specifically for the collector in mind.
They accomplish by creating limited series knives, many of which feature a limited number made with individual serial numbers. Sometimes these knives are released seasonally or annually, and many are just a single run of knives never to be made again.
While there are hundreds of knife makers out there, and just about any of them can be considered collectable to someone, I’ll be covering some of the more popular collectable brands available today.
Collectable Case Knives
Case Knives date back to 1889 when 4 brothers began selling hand made knives out of a wagon. They've since grown to be a premier American knife company!
Case understands what collectors want, and they founded the Collectors Club in 1981.
Case makes a variety of styles of knives including slip joints, locking folding knives, as well as fixed blades. Though they have modern designs, they are most well known for their traditional-style knives.
As far as collectability, you’d be hard pressed to find a company that produces more commemorative knives.
They offer such a wide variety of styles, colors, and materials in their standard production that you are almost guaranteed to find at least one knife that suits your taste.
Case produces knives that can cost as little as $65, some that cost over $1000, and just about everything in between, ensuring collectors at just about any budget can get in on the fun.
If your are intrigued by traditional folding knives, collecting Case Knives is a great place to start.
Buck Knives have been producing knives for both everyday users and outdoorsman for many years. They are known for producing good knives at reasonable prices.
The Buck Model 110 is credited as being the first folding hunting knife ever made, and the Model 119 fixed blade is one of the most well-known fixed blades ever produced.
This had led to early production models of these knives being highly prized by collectors.
Buck also creates a number of limited run and collector specific knives.
The 'Buck of the Month' program features a unique variant of a normal production knife made in limited quantities and released monthly.
Buck also offers limited run variations of their normal production knives in higher end materials, some are even done in exotic materials. Some of these runs are only available in a specific year, and some are even done as a small one time run.
The great thing about Buck Knives is that collectable knives can be obtained by collectors of every budget. Great collectors’ pieces can be obtained for under $100, or as much as a few hundred dollars.
Either way you go, Buck Knives is a great entry point into the world of knife collecting.
Spyderco is perhaps one of the largest and most well-known knife manufacturers on the planet.
The popularity of these knives has made older discontinued models highly sought after by many collectors, often being sold for well above the original price of the knife.
Spyderco Knives is also the undisputed king of sprint runs and dealer exclusives.
Sprint Runs and dealer exclusive models are similar to their regular production counterparts, however they are made from different, and sometimes more exotic, materials.
Some of the common differences are handle scale colors, as well as different blade steels and coatings.
Some of less common variants include entirely different handle materials, such as wood, titanium, and carbon fiber.
If you are looking to add one of these to your collection, you better have fast fingers as these limited drops can often sell out in a minute or less!
They can be found on the secondary market, but often at higher than retail prices.
Benchmade Knives is a well-known American knife company, and one of the largest knife manufacturers in the world.
Although most of their knives are not know for their collectable value, the Gold Class and First Production Run knives are notable exceptions. Benchmade Gold Class knives are models found in their Blue and Black class of knives, but made in very limited numbers from ultra-premium materials.
These have been made with different handle materials such as high-end carbon fibers and exotic material inlays, as well as high end steels including Damasteel.
The use of high end and exotic materials, as well as the very limited nature of these knives, command very high retail and resale prices.
When Benchmade releases a new model, the first production run of these knives are laser marked and numbered.
Though these are not different from future production runs, they are individually numbered, which appeals to many collectors. They also don’t cost any more than normal, giving anyone the opportunity to grab a potential collectors item at a great price.
Rick Hinderer Knives
Rick Hinderer is a living legend in the knife community. He has designed knives for several popular knife manufacturers including, but not limited to, Kershaw, Zero Tolerance, Ka-Bar, and Viper.
He also owns and operates Rick Hinderer Knives. Hinderer knives makes high quality folding and fixed blade knives that are 100% designed to for hard use.
The immense popularity of Hinderer Knives has made almost every Hinderer Knife collectable, but Hinderer has also produced some limited run series of knives, including the highly sought-after Battlefield pick up series, the Vintage Series, Signature Series, and the Playing Card series. He's also made some rare one-off pieces and fully custom knives.
Knives from each of these series feature additional style work, much of which is often done by hand, and some of them have been finished or made by Rick Hinderer himself!
One look at any of these knives will tell you that they are special, and it is clearly apparent that they can be the pride of any knife collection.
If you are a collector of high-end knives with a larger budget, or you just want a unique knife that is also a highly functional tool, Rick Hinderer Knives is a definitely a brand you should look into.
Conclusion: What Are The Collectable Knife Brands
Knife collecting is a great hobby for those who appreciate fine cutting tools. With the massive variety of knife makers out there, a potential collector can find knives at just about any budget.
There is a strong community around knife collecting both online and in person. Social media networks, public forums, and private groups exist so that you can easily connect with people who share your interest in collectable knives.
There are also many in person shows that you can attend and many of the online groups host local meet ups.
If you are new to collecting or are interested in starting a collection, there is no better time than now!
Check out the brands mentioned but also understand that this is just a few of the hundreds of knife brands out there.
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