A newbie must have list -

Jul 13, 2002
At some point in time we all must have owned at least one of each of these. This should be MANDATORY before you can call yourself a collector. Feel free to add as you see fit -
1) Victorinox (almost any version)
2) Buck 110/112
3) Old Timer carbon steel knife
4) Case trapper
5) A good pocket clip (Spydie, Benchmade, etc)
6) A Chinese/Pakistani lockback (just to keep things in perspective)
7) A SOLID fixed blade such as Cold Steel SRK, Buck special, etc
8) A stacked leather handle fixed blade, military style
9) A camp knife with can opener and awl that never gets used
10) ?
I almost hate to say it, but I only fulfill #1 on that list. Never owned a 110. Heck, I don't even own a fixed blade. My small, but respectable collection consists mainly of 9 balisongs and 5 autos (and a couple Spyderco folders). But I'm young, only started "collecting" seriously this year, and while I can certainly appreciate the older classics, my interests are mostly "new and exciting", new meaning little with grandfatherly slipjoints, and exciting meaning autos and balisongs. The "classics" just don't really excite me, although a 40 year old used Old Timer does warm my heart.

I do want a fixed blade, but I haven't decided just what yet.
i kind of agree with planterz, i don't think #'s 3 and 4 are 'must-haves' perse. the classics i consider a specialty-interest, JMO.

btw, what you mean at #9 ? isn't that basically the same as a SAK (#1)?

i agree with 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7.

personally i fulfill on slightly more than half of your list. i did own a buck 110 in my early stage as well, but gave it away to my little brother. right now, i don't actually feel naked without having it, but it is indeed a knife-industry icon.....granted.

as an addition i'd like to add this for #10: a Leatherman multitool

Hmmm, I've had or have about six of those. Never had a Buck 110 or an Old Timer carbon fixed blade.

However, because all the others get some regular use, I never thought of myself as a real collector. I'm more of an "accumulator."
10) Sharpmaker.

Gota keep um sharp.

#8 has gota be a Ka-Bar. (O.K. it doesn't HAVE to be but why not?)


And don't forget about

12)Assisted openers. (Kershaw is my favorite.)
Your list looks more like what you consider to be Classics rather than something you could call Must-have. I sure don't know if I would consider it a collection. It doesn't seem to have much of a theme to it.

The main focus of my collection is Stag and my collection is made up of customs, hand made and production. When I first started I made a list of the baic knife styles or patterns I wanted. For Fixed blades; Bowie, Fighter, Hunter, Skinner, Dagger, neck knives. For folders, Slipjoints, Liner locks, Lock backs. You can see most of my collection on my album site by clicking on my logo and going to My Knives.

Now a stag Buck 110 would be a nice addition to my collection. or a stag handle SAK. ;)
I buy knives that "turn me on." It might be an unusual locking device, a less-common Swiss Army Knife, or a beautiful hunter. The only requirement is that it must be a knife I don't aready have. Still, over time I have accumulated everything on your list except #8 and #9.

I don't think there's anything such as a Must Have knife. A 'collection' or 'accumulation' can be as varied or as narrow as the owner wishes. I admire those who have the discipline and determination to focus their buying on one particular pattern, company, or knife charateristic. Aggressive "collectors," casual "accumulators" like myself, and a third category of knife buyer, "users" are all well-repesented on these forums.

Best Wishes,
LOL at #6.
I remember buying the Pakistani 110/112/ copies at the flea market when I was a kid back in the late 70's. In retrospect they indeed sucked. I wish I still had them though, for sentimental reasons.
I dont have a Case trapper, Although I do have a couple of the Shark series from the early 80's. I have the rest however and if Imight quote PhilL "Classic" is a great term for them and could be a catagory in itself to start a display.
This is my must have list for a well rounded knife collector/user:
1. a Swiss Army Knife
2. a Multi-tool (however owning a Swisstool does not waive req. 1)
3. a single bladed lockback (Buck 110/112, Spyderco lockback, benchmade lockback, ect)
4. a good tactical folder with either a frame lock, axis, compression lock, or liner lock
5. a fixed blade
6. a traditional style folding knife, preferable with a non-stainless blade (barlow, trapper, jack knife, boy scout/demo knife, stockman, canoe, even an opinel, ect.)
7. an automatic or assisted opening knife (if legal)
8. a balisong/butterfly knife (if legal)

I think everyone should own those or atleast owned them at one time. That way you get a good feel for what you like and what others like so you can offer a better opinion and be well informed.
While i'm not a collector i think everybody should have an Opinel - they beat pakistanis with price and functionality, if anything "puts things into perspective" it's an Opinel #8.
Would be the knife that everyone says "you've just gotta have" but you find COMPLETELY USELESS.

Yes, I have (or have had) all of 'em but the 110 (I've got a Case Mako instead...)

Ahh, the hunt for the PERFECT knife. The fun is in the journy, not the destination...
"Must Haves"

I must have several fixed blades, a Bud Nealy, A Michael Birch, and something in the way of hand forged damascus. Also a Himilayan Imports Khukri.

I must have...or I am required to have several new folders, a Camillus Dominator and a Heat, an auto that I haven't decided on yet, could use a Spyderco Szabofly when they're released, and just something simple and plain in Spyderco's line(I don't own a Spyder and should!).

I absolutely NEED a Sharpmaker. And I could definitely use a new Commander-Sized 1911 and a reloader. :D

There we go, those are my "must haves". ;)

I personally don't subscribe to any of the "must have" lists. I go along with Bob W in collecting whatever personally interests me, and to some extent for investment purposes if the maker is well known and well respected.
If what interests you is Case, or Cronk, Uncle Henrys or Gil Hibben, lock backs, skinners, fixed blades, balisong, dada,dada,dada, go ahead and collect that.
Collections can be whatever size you want, from a small sock drawer, to personal display case, or enought to fill a separate branch of the Smithsonian (by then I'd probably classify it as a compulsion or serious problem).

I guess you could argue, anyone who wants to be called a true collector, would have an organized categorized collection containing antiques or period pieces up to modern examples of a particular style possibly of one manufacturer or several manufacturers, as opposed to a simple hodge podge of different knives.
One gentleman I met a few years ago only collected and traded knives made by Robeson, whether they were mint, used or repaired. He even tried to restore a few with authentic parts from more damaged and unrecoverable knives.
The entire list has passed through my grubby paws. The only one that I would call a "must have" is a Victorinox SAK. Everyone should have at least one. ;)

I think that if you polled most knife makers they would agree with the original post. I think a couple of you guys started out collecting Hibbens fantasy knives instead of slip joints. The new wonder knives are great! I have almost everything that was mentioned above except Hibbens and Paki JUNK.
When I have to cut a belt or hose off my car , I still use my Bucks. A 110 or the titanium equivalent. For opening boxes I use a Cold Steel or a Schrade of some sort.
When I want to kill a car door or a 55 gallon drum I use.... well... I have never needed to do that, but if I did I would use a 44 mag.
When I cut down a tree, I use a chain saw. You guys should stop making life so difficult. Use the proper tool for the job at hand. I have NEVER had a slip joint close accidentally.
That being said, bone, stag or pearl handled slip joints are the most beautifull knives made. My opinion only, of course.
Mike Morris
Hm, I've got 5 and 9 (had 1 once, ages ago, but lost it), also a variety of whittling, woodworking and kitchen knives. Been thinking about getting a bamboo knife (maybe see how badly I can cut myself trying to make a tea whisk ^-^) and a deba
I did not see a scout knife on the list. I would like to find the SOB that stole mine. Happy holidaysto all. :)