When I started out I accumulated knives....shiney sharp objects....didn't really matter what...only if they were intriguing. I accumulated literally hundreds...antiques, POS's, production, you name it. Somewhere along the way someone suggested that the real secret to the hobby is to SELECTIVELY collect...rather than accumulate. The operative word is "selectively"....it suggests that you KNOW something about the object(s) of your affection. For me that meant study, read, listen, go to shows, anything to accumulate knowledge about metalurgy, technique(s), materials, design issues re: use as well as re: construction. I subscribed to mags, purchased books, haunted the library and the web and more.
My "collection" has shrunk to less than 20 pieces these days but my "interest" is more piqued than ever. I now can really appreciate and enjoy waiting for my funds to accumulate so that that "perfect" piece I've got in mind from that "perfect" source in the "perfect" materials and with a "perfect" design can be mine. I've found that the anticipation is THE thing that defeats the "blahs" and since there really is no PERFECT knife, the search for the perfect knife can go on, with pleasure, as long as we have breath.
We often think that when we have completed our study of "one", we know all about "two", because "one and one is two". We forget that we still have to make a study of "and".
My love for knives started when I was around 7 years old. Never has it faded, it only grows stronger.
I agree with PhilL also. Once you get into the custom aspect you no longer feel limited to what the production companies put out. You don't have to wait for that "perfect knife", you can just have it made.
Even when there are no cool knives out on the market, my desire and love for cutlery still does not fade because it is not just the "knife" that I love, it is every aspect of them. I can still read about them, learn what makes them perform, find out things I never knew about steel etc. etc.
You are only limited by your desire. If you are not "feeling" it, then maybe you don't have "it". When you have the love, it is there forever. IMHO
I've kind of hit the blahs myself as of late. I think that's just what lots of buying does to you. I do have a couple of Buck autos coming, and 2 nice knives by Neil Blackwood. One of them scheduled for next year. That'll jump start me again I'm sure.
If I had back all the money I've spent on knives during the past year, I think maybe I would use half of it to buy a nice .257 or .270 Weatherby Magnum. And I'd still have some fine knives.......
"When loss and gain are alike to one, that is real gain.."
I got very interested in custom knives about 8 years ago when I saw a copy of Blade magazine featuring the knives Daniel Winkler made for the movie 'Last of the Mohicans'. That was my wake up call to the world of hand-made knives as Art. I read Blade on and off for several more years, and then sort of lost interest in knives for a while (I carried a Gerber LST everyday, however).
In 1996 while on vacation with my family in the Yellowstone area, I went into Seldom Seen knives, a custom knife shop in West Yellowstone Montana. I got to handle some extraordinary knives for the first time in my life. A rancher was buying his 12 year son an incredible custom stockman knife. I ended up buying my first custom knife, a 4 inch random damascus fixed blade knife with engraved brass bolsters and beautiful burnt jigged bone scales. I told myself at the time that this would be my last custom knife. I could not see ever needing another. I thought I had found perfection at last. Hah!
That fall, I went to my first knife show, the annual Chesapeake show in Timonium MD. I spent all day there, collecting business cards and talking to folks like Don Fogg. I was hooked. At the end of the day, I made the rounds looking to finally buy at least one of the beautiful knives I had seen. All gone. Lesson learned. I did end up going home with a really nice 3 inch diff tempered knife forged from a file by Tim Morgan. At that time, I thought $85 was a lot for a knife. Hah again!
Anyway, I have been hooked ever since. I scour all the major custom web sites several times a week, read the big three knife rags (Blade, Knives Illustrated, and Knife World), and hang out here. I attend the Chesapeake show every year in December. And am looking forward to a weekend hanging out with local makers at the Appalachian Knifemakers Rendezvous in the Spring. I even took the train up to the NY show a couple of weeks ago. It was time well spent. My focus that day was on meeting makers and forumites. The knives were sort of secondary (I had a fundage shortage). I was much more interested in people that day, than things.
I enjoy looking at knives, and reading about knives as much as owning knives. Searching for that next perfect piece is a lot of fun. I am even enjoying waiting for three pieces I have on order. These are Tim Herman plain sliver folder, a PJ Tomes two-bladed 'moose' folder in stag, and Schuyler Lovestrand hunter.
My tastes seem to be changing. Initially, I collected mostly forged fixed blade hunters. But recently I have purchased some stock removal pieces (Denning, Lovestrand, and Warenski). My new focus seems to be on natural handle materials (mammoth ivory and pearl) on small lock-back gents folders. I have an all damascus and Mammoth ivory lockback made by Daniel Winkler that I got a few months ago. The only knife I bought at the NY custom show was a small 3-inch mid-lock folder with a 420V flat ground blade, and outstanding pearl scales made by ABS Mastersmith PJ Tomes. It is my new daily carry knife. I haven't abandoned my interest in forged knives, but I appreciate stock removal pieces now as well. I'm sure I will develop other curious twists on this knife addiction in the future. There are still lots of different styles of knives to collect and admire.
So I don't think I will ever lose my passion for knives again. It may wane and ebb, but this addiction is here to stay. There is so much to see, and learn, and enjoy in the world of knives that one can never know everything. Learning about new things never gets boring for me. I am very grateful to have found BladeForums so I can share my interest with other passionate people.
Hey, I'm much more charged up just from reading these replies! Got an Arclite coming and back to feeling motivated about knives. Great advice about the customs and the other thing I notice is that many people who post pics of their knives have a relatively small amount of them even though they've been collecting for awhile. Definitely going to focus more on quality and the Custom thing is expensive but everyone is right about them.... You get more options, more control over choices, and sometimes you can get something very unique and possibly one of a kind. Thanks for all the replies everyone and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Not only did I lose interest in knives, but I also lost interest in the Forums, if you can believe that. Good thing that it only lasted two months though. What got me interested again? A few choice high-quality productions, Spyderco's Bob Lum, and then a BM axis lock, and then, the SOG PE 2, and the quality on these knives completely rejuventated me. Now, I've got a William Henry on the way, and I couldn't be happier. Thanks for all the inspiration, guys!!
Instead of helping guys like not2sharp and me (also not so bright..) get over it - you go on directing us to more and more websites where gorgeous knives lure us into spending our hard earned $$$$$...
And you PhilL - have you no heart? Go ahead, make us start getting customs - and from well known manufacturers at that!
Really - we have hungry children to feed here.
Shame on you.
BTW - I got a Star of David ninja throwing star in my last visit to France - wish I could scan it for you - I just couldnt resist it - after seeing your post in the JKM thread...
Youd laugh your heart out if you saw it...