Though knives are an essential part of any kitchen, they are also very popular collectibles. In fact, some of the same companies producing high-quality knives for the kitchen, pocketknives for hunting or other outdoor uses, also produce knives designed to be collectibles.
When purchasing collectible knives, unlike kitchen or pocket knives, your eye will generally be on style rather than on the quality of the blade. A collection of these knives may be centered on a certain theme or style of knife; many also have ornately designed handles.
Pocket knives or folding knives make some of the most collectible knives, in part because their small yet standard size allows for convenient displays. If you decide to collect pocket knives, look into special display cases built specifically to hold them. Many collectibles feature a themed handle, such as a movie character, cartoon, animal, or company logo. Even the most well-known knife brands produce collectible and commemorative pocket knives. The many manufacturers in the world of collectible knives means that you will always be able to find something new and interesting to add to your collection.
Besides pocket knives, collectibles knives often come in the form of a unique set, such as a fantasy set or dagger set. They can be made in nearly every material, including many that would be impractical for everyday use knives, such as wooden blades.
If you enjoy collecting larger knives and daggers, you may also find yourself drawn to collectible swords. These swords are meant to hang on your wall or rest in a tabletop stand. Like collectible knives, swords may also come in a variety of styles and unique designs.
Another area of collectible knives is the purchase of antique or vintage knives rather than new ones. These knives are often built in much higher quality than some of today's knives. Because knives have been produced for centuries, there is a wide variety from which you can choose when starting your collection. When purchasing a vintage knife, consider not only the style but also the quality, including the knife blade material. If you plan to sharpen and use the knife, make sure that it is able to be sharpened first.
Many collectible knives and swords come with a decorative sheath over the blade. To protect the knife from scratches or nicks in the blade, keep the sheath on whenever possible. Your collectible knife should not need sharpening if it is kept on display and never used. Depending on the quality of the blade, you may or may not be able to sharpen it. While some collectible knives are built to withstand frequent use, others are not meant to be used at all, and are purely decorative.
While many are mass-marketed and relatively inexpensive, there are still many sources for handmade or limited edition collectible knives employing expert craftsmanship. For serious collectors, these high quality knives are well worth the price. They may use Damascus Steel or other modern materials allowing a very sharp, high quality blade in a unique color without using any dye or paint. They may even be etched with an intricate design on the handle or blade. Very expensive collector knives may even have precious or semiprecious stone inlays in the handle.
Several times per year, carefully wipe the blades of your knife collection with a soft, clean cloth. Then polish the blade, and re-sheath it. Avoid touching any part of the blade with your fingers; the oil can damage many blades. Proper maintenance can ensure that your collection remains in the best condition possible.