Focused, or broad spectrum?

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May 9, 2000
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For the longest time I was determined to keep my collection to forged bowies. As time passed my interest in Loveless style knives, particularly chute knives, caused me to adjust my thinking. Still, I wanted to stay with forged knives, so my first couple of chute knives have been made in that manner. However, I have come to the realization that if I restrict my collecting to forged knives, I am going to exclude many of the top Loveless style makers, and I think that would be foolish. I will continue to collect only fixed blades, because my only interest in folders is as users, but I am going to start to add some stock removal knives to my collection.

How do the rest of you approach your collecting? Do you have a narrow focus, or do you collect across a wide range of styles? Do your knives have to be forged, stock removal, or does it matter?
 
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My primary focus always has been and always will be forged fixed blades, but it has never been a strictly exclusive. I have picked up the odd stock removal knife over the years - fixed or folder - and have generally been quite happy with those purchases. I have an emerging interest in custom slip joints, and the vast majority of knives in that genre are stock removal (though a damascus DHIII or forged carbon slippie by Dean, Dunn or John White are definite future possibilities).

I completely get why Loveless knives are highly sought-after. Innovative and timeless designs by a living legend in the custom knife industry and all that. But buying faithful reproductions of Loveless knives by other makers has never really captured my imagination. On the other hand, I have been drawn to a number of knives inspired by classic Loveless designs, but with the individual maker seeking to express his or her own design creativity.

Roger
 
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I do not place any restrictions on the things I collect. I have an appreciation for finely crafted things (not just knives) and if I like something that is what matters. Unfortunately, my predominant restriction is $$$$.

Peter
 
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I have begun to enjoy and appreciate a wide range of knives, especially since participating here on Blade Forums.
My passion is still more towards forged fixed-blades and recently auto folders.

Whether it be collector cars or knives I won't put my money down until I feel I'm pretty knowledgeable about what I'm buying/collecting. I haven't been collecting knives that long and I don't have the knowledge to successfully, or at least what I consider successfully collect a broad spectrum of knives.
So my collection is quite focused on ABS forged fixed-blade knives and even more focused in that I collect less than 10 maker's knives.

I really try to learn from each buying experience with a maker. I just recently had Don Hanson make me a folder and he gave me quite an education over the couple weeks it took him to make the knife.

IMO, there's advantages to being focused in your collecting in that you probably pay less, don't have to wait as long for orders and you make less mistakes with your purchases.

I did attempt to branch out into Loveless knives a couple months ago, but it didn't work out. But I learned something from that endeavor too.
 
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Like peterinct, my predominant restriction is money. My current collection is so spread out you could probably criticize me for having no focus.
 
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I know that my collection would be classier if it were more focused, but I collect knives because I enjoy them. I haven't really been able to say I enjoy one type to the exclusion of others. One day I enjoy picking up a Scagel or Moran, another day I get a kick out of a Hartsfield fighting knife, another day a Kious or Dunkerly art folder will feel good. On yet another day, an antique Russian kindjal does it for me. You get the idea. Why limit myself? ;)
 

CAB

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Oct 17, 2006
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I have been collecting knives since I was 16, always considered myself a collector of bladesmith forged knives. However in the mid-90's I became fascinated with bowie repros by Alex Daniels and Steve Rapp, hence crept in the stock removal. Found my way to a few other stock removal guys as well, Broadwell and Casteel, BUT to this day, my true passion is with forged work by the best bladesmiths.

CAB
 

Lorien

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I'll take what I can get.
nOOb:)
 

jdm61

itinerant metal pounder
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My small collection is MUCH smaller than it was a couple of years ago because I had to sell most of it when finacial distress hit after the collapse of the real estate market. It consisted (and still does) exclusively of forged blades. That is what I got hooked on back in the early 90's and how I wanted to make knives. With that said, every forged guy and probably every stock removal and folder guy has at least one makers outside of their primary area of interest who tickles their fancy. Loveless and his students and disciples, Brend, etc are the easy ones to pick in the stock removal category, but for me, the stock removal guy who's stuff I loved from the first itme I ever saw it was the late Ron Gaston. I have yet to aquire one of his fighters, but I will one of these days.:thumbup:
 
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Do you have a narrow focus, or do you collect across a wide range of styles? Do your knives have to be forged, stock removal, or does it matter?[/QUOTE]

I think that one can have a narrow focus and still collect across a wide range of styles.

My focus has been knives in the 5" to 7" range from makers that exhibit exemplary fit, finish, and attention to detail. An added plus for me-when possible- is to have a good working relationship with the maker's I collect.

While my primary focus had been in collecting forged blades my purchases were also directed towards buying knives from makers ( maker-knife) where if I found I had to sell knives from my collection that I would stand a fair chance of at least hopefully breaking even on my initial investment. This line of reasoning lead me to investigate stock removal knives-initially fixed blades- as a way of balancing my collection with an eye to the future.

I now sit with a collection that is approximately 50% forged -50% stock removal. I found a parallel universe on the stock removal side that has given me a greater appreciation for what the "smiths" do and vice -versa. I have also opened my collection to slip joints and collaborative pieces.

I will in the not so distant future add a collaborative piece to my collection from a M.S. and a master engraver. For me the learning curve has been hastened by collecting both stock removal and forged knives.
What could be better than having exposure to twice as many knives, twice as many makers, and twice the enjoyment?

Paul
 
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For me it has been (art) daggers from the past and present masters in this artform for the most part of my knife collecting days. For this type of knife it can be forged or stock removal I don't mind either way.

The last year or so I have been branching out into the realm of the forged Bowie. With the emphasis on forged. I've been lucky enough to acquire a few nice examples.

For the coming years I'm aiming to mix it up 50% - 50% in acquiring daggers and Bowies.

Maybe it's an acquired taste but for now Loveless style knives and all its derivates aren't my cup of tea.

Marcel
 
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May 28, 2007
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I have a very focused small collection but like Kevin said, this forum has turned me on to fixed blades. I was only collecting folders until recently. My focus is/was on small mosaic damascus folders with lots of color.

I also like smooth operating tactical folders as well but only buy one here and there for carry.
 
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I am predominantly a folder collector, but have been getting into fixed blades slowly.

I recently placed an order for a Damascus Bill Buxton hunter. I am very excited about this knife.
 
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i have been focused on forged blades (mainly hunters and camp knives) for several years, since i got in touch with american bladesmiths and american knives thanks to the internet, but not exclusively. like many others i like a lot of the loveless designs, but i never felt i should have a knife made by mr lovless himself, so i purchased a couple from other makers. traditional slipjoints got my attention maybe a year ago, and in the meantime i bought one and have one on order.

hans
 

SharpByCoop

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I find I focus on quality and unique designs or engineering. With this in mind the spectrum is VERY broad, indeed.

A Hill Pearce forged integral has these qualities as does Kevin Wilkins' Ghost Dog folder, even though they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Same thing.

I like to think outside the box. ;)

Coop
 

Steven65

Traditional Hog
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Mar 11, 2008
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For the longest time I was determined to keep my collection to forged bowies. As time passed my interest in Loveless style knives, particularly chute knives, caused me to adjust my thinking. Still, I wanted to stay with forged knives, so my first couple of chute knives have been made in that manner. However, I have come to the realization that if I restrict my collecting to forged knives, I am going to exclude many of the top Loveless style makers, and I think that would be foolish. I will continue to collect only fixed blades, because my only interest in folders is as users, but I am going to start to add some stock removal knives to my collection.

How do the rest of you approach your collecting? Do you have a narrow focus, or do you collect across a wide range of styles? Do your knives have to be forged, stock removal, or does it matter?

In my case I can say that as time has gone by my tastes have changed in most things.
I have been collecting customs for almost 25 years but my collection has changed and followed different patterns over the years.... As with most things in life.

My feeling is that if you like it and it appeals to you and you want to enjoy owning it... then buy it. For me this is a hobby, and as such if something new comes along that almost re-invigorates my excitement in customs no matter what it is I buy it. I do however temper this with the knowledge that the knife will have value in the future.

I have collected to a "pattern" for years but every now and then a knife comes along that just looks and feels right.....(sounds silly I know) and I want it. Just for the joy of ownership and to appreciate the design and execution.

Loveless designs are classic and timeless...........
 
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Intelectually, I agree with the focused approach. However, my personal tendancy makes me very attracted to quirky, different designs, and I ended up with a diverse collection. I still have a strong emphasis on forged pieces.
 
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My focus as far as makers is concerned has definitely tightened up. There was a time that I wanted to get one knife from as many makers as possible. Though I am not, and never will be, a collector of only a few makers, I now think that when you order directly from makers it is wise to develop relationships. You don't do that when you order one knife from the maker and then move on.
 
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Sep 3, 2004
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I have a very small collection, mostly guys I know or that have help in some way, but the way I look at it , forged , stockremoval,folders, fixed, autos
they are all knives, simply collect knives....not everything needs so proper,


If you like it get it, not because of who made it or how it is made but for what it is..a knife you like ..

cya
jimi
 
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