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Thread: Why are Buck collectors different?

  1. #21
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    Interesting responses. I don’t have any really strong feelings one way or the other, but in many (or actually, all) cases, not even Buck’s best work in the spa can return a knife to factory new condition.

    While they may look new at first glance, if the bolsters had pits, dings or scratches as many do, a certain amount of metal has to be removed to smooth those defects out. In my experience with those I’ve sent in, especially the older slab sided 110’s, that process results in softened edges. It may take a micrometer to measure the difference but there can be no doubt that its there. They turned out to be great looking examples and very displayable but no way are they in factory original condition.

    Just my own early morning rambling thought and opinion.
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  2. #22
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    I think im in the 2.5 group ,
    I do not use my knifes or sharpen modify etc, i try to only buy with paperwork boxes .I love to display my knifes to friends family in a big glass cabinet. I like getting home after work and getting that horrible patina off haha

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 300Bucks View Post
    Fellows, Let me present my feelings or opinions actually.

    The "don't touch the finish on the collectable" is valid in knife collecting also. I see three levels of Buck nuts presented here, even at shows and while talking to other "knife" folks. I see us in three groups.

    1. The "I like nice knives and want several but plan to use them all, but some less frequently" person.
    2. The "I like lots of different nice knives, want to handle them frequently, keep them out where I can see them and use or carry some of them, show them to friends in person and by photo" collector person.
    3. The "collector", who wants them in original packaging, edge not touched after leaving factory, no or few marks of the blade being opened on the tang, all paperwork in undamaged form, patina of age not removed unless displayed to peers at an special event or by photograph and then only after carefull consideration. This person likely puts the value of 'pristine' above all else.
    This is a great post.

    I come at it from a slightly different perspective, thinking more about the collected object and less about the collector, although they are related obviously.

    My experience with collecting is more formed from my interested in vintage bicycles, so some of my language will be transported from that domain. I'll try my best to translated into knife-knut as I go as well as to cycle round (ahem) to David's question about why this is more true about Buck than other brands.

    In terms of knives (and bikes and probably with cars), I think there are 4 basic groups:

    1) ORIGINAL - In knives, this is often NIB with papers. There are cycling equivalents, to be sure. I'm sitting on a 1982 Fuji America in 99.9% original condition. It's really flawless and was an amazing find. Sort of like finding an old Mustang on blocks with the stickers still in the wheel wells.

    2) RESTORED/PERIOD CORRECT - Some parts of a bike are wear items and it's expected they'll be replaced at some point. The question then becomes, replaced with what? In bikes, we talk about "period correct" restorations, which allows for parts from the era of original manufacture of the frame. Repainting the frame is the next question. Original and hammered is one thing. Restored with non-factory paint and better protected is another.

    3) DAILY USER - Some old bikes still get used on a regular basis. Parts could be from any era. Is this collecting? It is of a sort. It's the kind of "collector" who believes the bike was meant to be ridden and the knife meant to be used.


    4) MODIFIED/HOT RODS - Some non-period restorations go well beyond just making them capable and modernized. They become highly modified hot rods. Here is a link to a picture of a c1980 British Mercian frame with high end c2005 components. The frame had to be "stretched out" to accept the new drive train.
    http://home.comcast.net/~pinnah/dirt...es/hot-rod.jpg

    This is somewhat equivalent to the Buck modifiers like Yellowhorse and many others.


    Now to cycle around to David's original question... I think some brands (intentionally or unintentionally) drift towards one kind of collected object or another. If you were a collector of vintage Raleigh bikes or Rene Herse bikes, it would be correct to collect original or period correct restorations. The old Raleighs were made as complete bikes and it's sensible to think of them in this way. Same could be said in the car world about, I dunno.. Ferraris. You don't see many modified Ferraris. For that matter, you don't see many Ferraris that have been driven hard or a lot. Garage queens. My sense is that a lot of Case or GEC collectors of this type.

    In the bike world, it's silly to talk about an "all original Trek". There's no such thing. Trek got it's start selling bare frames and any competent cyclist was expected to select his or her own parts to build out the bike to suit their tastes. Buck's custom shop is nosing up to this in a much more limited way. Harley's have this in spades. Harley actively encourages and supports an entire cottage industry in customization and modification. A stock Harley is a sad lonely thing owned by somebody too timid to bend it to his or her will. It's like a stock '70s muscle car. What a waste of potential. How sad.

    IMO, Buck knives are primarily either daily users or modified/custom. For things/knives of this sort, getting a spa treatment totally makes sense to me.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinnah View Post
    This is a great post.

    I come at it from a slightly different perspective, thinking more about the collected object and less about the collector, although they are related obviously.

    My experience with collecting is more formed from my interested in vintage bicycles, so some of my language will be transported from that domain. I'll try my best to translated into knife-knut as I go as well as to cycle round (ahem) to David's question about why this is more true about Buck than other brands.

    In terms of knives (and bikes and probably with cars), I think there are 4 basic groups:

    1) ORIGINAL - In knives, this is often NIB with papers. There are cycling equivalents, to be sure. I'm sitting on a 1982 Fuji America in 99.9% original condition. It's really flawless and was an amazing find. Sort of like finding an old Mustang on blocks with the stickers still in the wheel wells.

    2) RESTORED/PERIOD CORRECT - Some parts of a bike are wear items and it's expected they'll be replaced at some point. The question then becomes, replaced with what? In bikes, we talk about "period correct" restorations, which allows for parts from the era of original manufacture of the frame. Repainting the frame is the next question. Original and hammered is one thing. Restored with non-factory paint and better protected is another.

    3) DAILY USER - Some old bikes still get used on a regular basis. Parts could be from any era. Is this collecting? It is of a sort. It's the kind of "collector" who believes the bike was meant to be ridden and the knife meant to be used.


    4) MODIFIED/HOT RODS - Some non-period restorations go well beyond just making them capable and modernized. They become highly modified hot rods. Here is a link to a picture of a c1980 British Mercian frame with high end c2005 components. The frame had to be "stretched out" to accept the new drive train.
    http://home.comcast.net/~pinnah/dirt...es/hot-rod.jpg

    This is somewhat equivalent to the Buck modifiers like Yellowhorse and many others.


    Now to cycle around to David's original question... I think some brands (intentionally or unintentionally) drift towards one kind of collected object or another. If you were a collector of vintage Raleigh bikes or Rene Herse bikes, it would be correct to collect original or period correct restorations. The old Raleighs were made as complete bikes and it's sensible to think of them in this way. Same could be said in the car world about, I dunno.. Ferraris. You don't see many modified Ferraris. For that matter, you don't see many Ferraris that have been driven hard or a lot. Garage queens. My sense is that a lot of Case or GEC collectors of this type.

    In the bike world, it's silly to talk about an "all original Trek". There's no such thing. Trek got it's start selling bare frames and any competent cyclist was expected to select his or her own parts to build out the bike to suit their tastes. Buck's custom shop is nosing up to this in a much more limited way. Harley's have this in spades. Harley actively encourages and supports an entire cottage industry in customization and modification. A stock Harley is a sad lonely thing owned by somebody too timid to bend it to his or her will. It's like a stock '70s muscle car. What a waste of potential. How sad.

    IMO, Buck knives are primarily either daily users or modified/custom. For things/knives of this sort, getting a spa treatment totally makes sense to me.
    I don't know squat about bikes but what I do know is, I have no idea what this post means. In addition I don't agree with the last sentence

    IMO, Buck knives are primarily either daily users or modified/custom.

    I'm going to have to refer back to my original thought "Industry Standard". We as the collector, create the standard for which we deem exceptable, and cleaned, restored is what we deem exceptable.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbjannusch View Post
    I don't know squat about bikes but what I do know is, I have no idea what this post means. In addition I don't agree with the last sentence

    IMO, Buck knives are primarily either daily users or modified/custom.

    I'm going to have to refer back to my original thought "Industry Standard". We as the collector, create the standard for which we deem exceptable, and cleaned, restored is what we deem exceptable.
    I'll take another run at it without the bike & car collecting references. I think we're actually very much in agreement. I totally agree that the community establishes what is acceptable and I think your point on this is absolutely spot on.

    The question that I think Plumbrdv was asking though is why is the Buck collector community different from other knife collecting communities.

    I think the key point I want to add to the discussion is that understanding the set of collectors of particular brand is better done when you consider them in the context of the larger set of owners and enthusiasts of the brand (who may not be collecters, strictly speaking).

    Here's my take on some other knife communities and how they contrast with my experience with Buck and hopefully this will make my previous post more understandable.


    I have a few old US made Schrades and will probably get more over the years. My sense is that Schrade collectors tend to be older and tend to favor either NIB/unused knives or knives in their original used and unrestored condition. For the most part, collectors dominate interest in Schrades. A few will actually use old Schrades as EDC knives, but I think it's fair to say that collectors outnumber users by a long shot. I think the same is true for other old, out of business knife companies like Imperial, Western and the original Marbles. The few folks who are users may have a knife rebladed or rescaled, but in general, my experience is that Schrade collectors don't spiff up and polish their Schrades. Instead, they try to maintain them in their original or "as found" condition.

    I find Case and GEC collectors to be another type of collector. My experience is that, as a group, they tend more towards the hoarding side of collecting. Not uncommon to to hear Case collectors talking about filling out their collection of a particular pattern in every available of scale material. My sense is that while many of them will have a subset of their Case or GEC collection that they put in their EDC rotation, that for most collectors of these brands, they have more "safe queens" than "users". I'm not saying that there aren't people who put their Case or GEC knives to hard use. Just saying that judging from my conversations with fans of those brands, the "big pile" collectors of "safe queens" outnumber the "use it hard and put it away wet" types.

    I think the set of Buck owners and enthusiasts is a different type of knife owners. Here is a story from last week when I was up visiting the family home in Vermont. I stopped by Robinson's Hardware in South Hero, VT. It's a 2nd or 3rd generation hardware store that serves as something of the second town hall (across the street from each other). The current generation remembers my grandfather by name sort of place.

    Robinsons sells one brand of knives - Buck. For as long as I've been going in there as a young kid (in my 50s now), they've had 3 counter-top display cases of Bucks. There are some Bucklites, 1 Ecolite, several 110 and 112s, along with run of black handled fixed blades, 1 or 2 Vantages and a very small number of 55s, 503s and 300 stockmen. On many occasions, I've walked into the store and heard the owner talking with people about knives. My family is from these parts and I know these people and where Buck knives fit into their lives. Knives are everywhere, as are guns. Cheap Chinese beaters are kicking around in the bottom of tool boxes and the door panels or center consoles of their trucks. But at hunting camp, they carry of Buck of some sort. Bucks are the "nice" knives they save up for or give or get at Christmas. Last year up at deer camp, I noted that my cousin was carrying a new different knife than I remembered. He had lost his old one in the woods somehow and his brother gave him a new Buck for Christmas.

    My sense is that a huge number of Buck "collectors" come from similar backgrounds. I see this in BG42's comments that a knife is a tool to be used and cared for. It's a sentiment I share.

    This is what I was getting at (and failed to convey well and still may be failing) in my earlier post. When you see a knife as a tool to be used, it makes more sense to maintain it, sharpen it well, get a spa treatment and perhaps even get it customized.

    Short version to the answer to Plumbrdv's question as to why Buck collectors are different? IMO, a larger percentage of Buck owners and enthusiasts buy their knives for the purpose of hard use than collectors of other brands like Schrade, GEC or Case. This isn't a dig at these other brands or those who collect them. But there's a reason I carry a Buck most days and this is why.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinnah View Post
    Short version to the answer to Plumbrdv's question as to why Buck collectors are different? IMO, a larger percentage of Buck owners and enthusiasts buy their knives for the purpose of hard use than collectors of other brands like Schrade, GEC or Case. This isn't a dig at these other brands or those who collect them. But there's a reason I carry a Buck most days and this is why.
    Now wouldn't it have been easier to just say that without all the verbosity? Just my opinion and no offence meant, but all the unnecessary verbage makes most of your posts pretty much unreadable for me. I usually just skim them because my attention span isn't long enough to read through your whole post. This is not meant as a personal attack on you, just an observation and a little constructive criticism. Please take it as it's offered.

    I disagree with your short version. I started accumulating Bucks late in 2008 and now have them numbering in the hundreds. Not one, repeat, not one was bought with the idea of using it hard. In fact, the vast majority of them were bought with the intention of never using them at all. I may be in the minority, but I know quite a lot of collectors that buy most of theirs strictly to collect, not to use.
    Last edited by Plumberdv; 08-21-2012 at 06:49 PM.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plumberdv View Post
    This is not meant as a personal attack on you, just an observation and a little constructive criticism. Please take it as it's offered.
    No worries. I see the same advice yearly in my reviews at work!!

    I disagree with your short version. I started accumulating Bucks late in 2008 and now have them numbering in the hundreds. Not one, repeat, not one was was bought with the idea of using it hard. In fact, the vast majority of them were bought with the intention of never using them at all. I may be in the minority, but I know quite a lot of collectors that buy most of theirs strictly to collect, not to use.
    I recognize that this forum has a good number of Buck collectors who, like you really "accumulate", as you put it. That's all cool and I'm not invalidating that in any way.

    You've posted an interesting question. Why are Buck collectors different and more prone to putting old knives through a spa treatment while collectors of other things and other knife brands are more likely to leave something in original or "as found"? I've put up my (verbose) theory. It's because a larger percentage of Buck owners/enthusiasts (bigger set than collectors) buy Bucks as users.

    What about you?

    Has anything in the thread brought you to an explanation that makes sense for you?

  8. #28
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    I have to agree with Dave here and say that most of my collection were bought for the sole intention on never using and for collector purposes only. I have Buck knives that I use every day and beat the snot out of but they don't sit next to my collection. As a matter of fact they don't even get to be in the same room as my collection. They might talk to each other and compare stories
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbjannusch View Post
    The other thing I can think of is Industry Standard. We as collectors like the shiny new condition a knife would have come out of the factory looking like. We have brought up collectables that would loose there value if refurbished, but lets consider an old car. If you find a rusted out '57 Chevy its going to be substantially less than if it was restored to the way it looked when it rolled off of the line. We as collectors create the industry standard, that being a shiny new looking knife...

    This is a really excellent analogy.

    I love watching car restoration shows of all sorts. Don't have the money for any of them, so I get my car fix by watching the tube - Barrett's, Chasing Classic Cars, those guys from England... I think you're spot on that among collectors of 50s/60s vintage Chevy's, the industry standard for top value is in well restored (period correct, close to original) cars. Seems to me that modified restorations (modern brakes and such) get the next level of value. And then there are "as found" barn finds coming in last. I think you are absolutely correct to say that most Buck collectors are like old Chevy collectors who set the industry standard to spiffed up.

    But, with other types of cars, there is more interest in "as found" or non-restored. I think collectors of vintage knife brands like Case, Imperial and Schrade more often fit into this category. They would recoil at sharpening such a knife, much less cleaning it up. With those brands, the industry standard is different.

    Do you have any thoughts as to why that is the case? (Plumberdv's question, as I understand it.)

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sitflyer View Post
    1.Buck has the Spa Treatment, and openly offers it.
    Nobody commented or seemed to notice this, but it's the main answer.

    Buck collectors don't set the standard.......Buck set the standard by OFFERING the spa treatment.

    Buck collectors are prone to getting knives restored simply because Buck makes it so cheap and easy to have an old knife look like new.

    No other manufacturer does this.

    In fact, I can't think of another product of any kind where you can get a beat up, forty-year-old example restored to beautiful and like new condition for about a third of the original purchase price.

    Try it with your '57 Chevy.


  11. #31
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    BG42, right! The "spa treatment" is an extension of Buck's core warranty and repair policy.

    IMO, it's this basic position that Buck knives are made to be used, abused, repaired and rebladed that sets the tone for spa treatments and polishing. I think this is directly linked to why, back in the day, Buck moved production of their 300 series away from Schrade, who used the difficult to repair key construction, to Camillus, who used the easier to repair peened pivot pin construction.

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