Are 1st & Pre-production runs worth more?

Feb 4, 1999
I was at a local hardware store today that also carries quite a few knives. They stock a lot of the Benchmade models, and I noticed several knives that were engraved as 1st run (1 of 1000) and one that was pre-production. Are these worth more to collectors because of these markings? If so, why? Just curious. By the way, I don't have the $$$ to buy any of these myself, but I'll list them below in case anyone on wants them. I don't know how the prices compare, but I'd happy to send them to someone in exchange for postage and maybe a TINY finder's fee. Here they are:
Pinnacle 750 labelled 1 of 1000 First Production Run- $120
710 McHenry & Williams w/ Axis lock labelled First Production Run 1 of 1000- $130
720s Pardue design. Labelled Pre Production Run 0961/1000- $110.
Actually, looking at the benchmade catalog I picked up, the prices are below MSRP by quite a bit, especially if these markings give them higher collector's value. Anyway, just thought I'd find out and offer these up to people who are interested.
Hello Chiro,

Isn't it strange to find several knives engraved as 1 of 1000? I mean, how many 1's out of 1000 can there be?

Unless they are from a batch of 1000 units, and the 1st of each batch was taken in.

Then again, that also sparked my curiousity as to whether or not it would put it to collector's item status or not.

I think this varies all over the board. I've had some customers e-mail back that they were pleased to get a "First Production Run" knife and I've had other customers return them. I can't imagine why quality control would be any better with a first production run knife either. I'd rather wait until any of the bugs are out of the production. I'm not an early adopter, I guess. I'm usually willing to let other people follow the bleeding edge of technology and design. I'm usually willing to wait to learn from someone else's experiences. Take care.

Knife Outlet

Danny, I think the idea behind the 1 of 1000 designation isn't that that particular knife is #1 out of the 1000 knife run, but simply that it is one of the thousand that are being made in that production run. See the difference? #925 of 1000 knives would still be considered 1 of a thousand. I guess this brings up another question...if they have no other value to the designation, then why engrave them or mark them as such? Also, why did they actually designate a number to one of the knives while the other two examples I posted were simply "1 of 1000"?
IMO, those prices are quite high. -AR

- AKTI Member ID# A000322

- Intelligent men, unfortunately, learn from fools, more often than fools learn from intelligent men.


Precisely my point when I said that it's the first out of 1000 knives on a particular batch. So, if they (BM) came out with 10,000 knives, that means 10 batches of 1000 knives, and 10 pcs. of "1 of 1000" knives, right?

Hmmm... as to value, not sure if there's any, other than it's one of the first to come out of the machine among that batch to be delivered.

The term "1 of 1000" began with the Winchester 1873 rifle. Winchester would select one barrel and action that was particularly well made (a likely occurance before CAD/CAM) and give it extra finishing such as checkering, etc. and then mark it "1 of 1000" to indicate that it was a select model. Today, those rifles are extremely valuable, if you can find one.

Walk in the Light,
I thinks BM switched from the infamous "1 of 1000" markings to actual individual serializations due to such questions. My new Nimravus Cub, Dark Star, and Mini-Axis all say something like 330/1000 indicating the order in which produced; a beautiful change for collectors I would think.

I don't know how these prices compare to most mailorder, but as I said, they are well below MSRP. The 710 is $160-$170, the 750 Pinnacle is $150-$160, and the 720s is $140.
I agree with Fred (Knife Outlet). I usually avoid first production run knives on the assumption that improvements will be made in subsequent runs.

As for the designation "1 of 1000", this has no value to me. If I were a collector, it might be meaningful if there were actually a serial number, but I am not a collector, and I think it is presumptuous, even patronizing, of the manufacturer to suggest that a run-of-the-mill production knife ought to have intrinsic value on account of the "1 of 1000" designation. Of course it's "one" of a thousand. Duh!. Perhaps it's a little bit interesting to know that Benchmade produces knives in batches of 1,000, but even this is meaningless if they subsequently produce additional batches. Besides, I like my knives to be no-nonsense cutting tools. As a matter of principle, I don't like the idea of paying a few cents extra for a feature that has no functional purpose. It's kind of like the sprig of parsley that comes with a hamburger in a restaurant. It doesn't really hurt anything, but I wouldn't ask them to put it there, and I certainly wouldn't want to pay extra for it.

I might buy a knife in spite of the "1 of 1,000" designation, but never because of it.

David Rock