Recommendation? How to make the hard Choices?


Gold Member
Apr 16, 2021
For my first post here I will bare a part of my soul that not many of my day to day people see or understand. I feel like this group might relate to the emotional connection this hobby has for me. So, I'll say it outright; I love knives. Just objects, sure. Then again, for me they embody the idea that there can be a perfect tool for a task. And I get to have it in my pocket!

New here but not to fixating on knives. I'll also follow with my approach to knives has only ever been from the acquiring/gathering/collecting view of this hobby. Now, I find myself (and my knives) at a crossroads of sorts. I'm realizing that we (my knives and I) may not all be able to continue travelling together in the same direction.

Here is where I'm asking for help. When faced with the fact that some knives have to go, how do you all evaluate which do / don't make the cut?

Judgements are based what criteria? pocket time for folders? interesting/innovative design? rarity/collectability? or maybe which have a market to move them out quick and be done with this internal (and now external) debate?

My taste in and usage of my knives have changed faster than my ability to let go of the ones that don't fit and need to move on.

If any of you have had to work through a similar process, any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

midnight flyer

Basic Member
Jan 12, 2009
You should get some interesting answers. When "thinning the herd", I'd look at the knives that I have that see the least use, or have been relegated to being too valuable to use. Those guys go on the chopping block first.

Different things have occurred in my life that make me realize what a luxury it is to have more than a few knives. I find myself carrying my favorites over and over and over, and the only knives that I really rotate through are my bigger work knives. Sometimes that's just because one gets dull and another one is still sharp.

I am at the point where I have seen many knife collections disposed of by relatives, wives and through divorce. It would break my heart to see my nice knives go for ten cents on the dollar at an estate or garage (tag) sale, or being given away to someone that needs a combination screwdriver and hand tool to dig in the garden.

I still remember the absolute Joy of having a really nice pocket knife. I remember how much even more a knife meant to me if it was a gift from someone. With that in mind, the knives I have that are more of a specialty item are all gone. I don't need the ego stroke of keeping up with the latest and greatest, and with about a hundred folders (I know that's very few to most here) I realize that at 64 I will probably never wear out any more of my knives, not even my work knives.

And in today's society there just aren't that many folks that are really interested and knives for the sake of having them. With that in mind, I am on a new tack, and if someone really likes a knife that I am using a great deal and I know they will appreciate it then I will give them that knife or another one. Of course they don't get knives that were gifted to me or a knife that has special significance known only to me.

I did honestly try to sell a few of them but unfortunately I was not buying collector knives that were worth a lot of money. And I found out the hard way as I did with my guns that as tastes change so do values!

I haven't gone wrong yet giving away a knife. My only problem now is that they want me to sharpen them to get them as fine and edge as they had when I gave it to them. That's okay too; he gives us a chance crack open a beer smoke a cigar while I sharpen them. I like the system I have now much better than the sale system.

Trying to sell a used Spyderco, ZT, or
lesser quality knife, or models that weren't really popular can really hurt your feelings, where gifting a Spyderco with a lot of years left on it is a joy.

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Gold Member
Apr 16, 2021
Yeah, I can get on board with both points. Already sold my biggest purchase, and only safe queen an few months ago. My once beloved Randall #17. Don't miss it a bit.


Gold Member
May 17, 2012
My method of purging the collection was primarily based on use. The knives I used the least were obviously not ones I enjoyed as much as the ones I carried all the time. However, some of those knives that were uncarried were ones with a ton of sentimental value so in that case they stayed. After that, I decided to only keep a few of the most iconic pieces from each brand. The knives that were either flagship models or ones that were staples in the catalog.
Mar 20, 2021
Sounds like thinning your collection down to a few of your favorites might benefit you. If you buy too many knives too quickly you won't have a chance to figure out what you actually like.


Sanity Not Included
Platinum Member
Aug 21, 2013
My tastes and opinions have changed. I'm a firm believer in using my knives, no safe queens. How ever, over time I have refined my tastes. About five years ago, as my marriage went south and finances became tight, I had to sell off a good amount of my collection to pay bills. It started with selling off the most valuable ones. Then it was more of keeping designs I liked the most. I ended up getting rid of most of my "hard use" knives. I just don't like heavy knives clipped to my pants. Even more so now that I CC.

For example, some of the knives that left were:

ZT's 0561, 0801, 0770CF
Brian Tighe Tighe Rod mini
Strider SnG
DpX Heat

I miss the Brian Tighe. If I ever have the opportunity to get a medium Tighe Rod, I'd probably jump on it. However, its also one of those things where I wonder if it will be as good as remember? Or is it worth not having one to keep that high standard in my mind and not worry about being disappointed?

The only "hard use" or heavy folders I kept were the Spyderco Gayle Bradley and TSF Beast. I've frequently thought about selling the GB, despite knowing I'd take a big loss. I never carry it.

When it comes to selling now, its basically only if I have to, or I no longer use the knife.


Basic Member
Apr 15, 2021
Sell the ones you’re on the fence on, keep the ones you like, or have sentimental value.

If at some point you find yourself wanting one of the ones you sold, buy it again.

Good luck.
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Gold Member
Sep 3, 2008
Welcome to the forums!

I tend to "thin the herd" every now and then and the biggest question I ask myself, "when was the last time I carried it?". If it doesn't get regular pocket time, I tend to sell it off. Other things like interesting design or rarity doesn't apply to what I own.

The one exception, an old Barlow my grandpa gave me. That has sentimental value. I rarely spend over $100 on a knife. I've learned over the years that I'm quite content with an Endura, Rat 1 D2, or Recon 1. Nothing I own is rare or a sprint run that would be deemed "collectible" really.
Sep 24, 2002
Just remember, the knife you sell might be the one you regret parting with. Only after it's gone will you recognize how great it was and how much you really liked it. And then you'll spend the rest of your life searching for another just like it, but your search will be in vain because it was discontinued and you can't find another. Then you'll be kicking yourself for letting it go. And oh the long and tortured nights moaning "Why?! Why?! Why did I let it go?!"

There, did I help?:D

I speak from experience on this. Although I dont sell knives, I have given several away. Most of them I won't ever miss, but there's one I came to really miss, and I've never found another. But I gave it to a friend who did me a big, unsolicited favor. He really liked the knife, and I really appreciated what he did for me, so I can't say I regret giving it away (and no tortured nights).
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Gold Member
Mar 11, 2016
I sort of envy the 1 knife 1 gun guy.

To be able to say I’m gonna get my gun, as opposed to saying which one should I get?

Then again it’s nice to have options. I have kids so I’m not worried about selling my stuff. They’ll make good use of them.


Gold Member
May 18, 2015
Good question, and welcome to BF! :) Over the years I think I'd probably have answered your question a few different ways, but they've all evolved into and informed my current approach.

I use and carry all of my knives. Some might have a specific niche and not get carried for months, or even years, and that's OK -- but I don't do safe queens. (No judgment implied about folks who love safe queens! They're just not for me.)

So that's my first sniff test:
  • Will I ever carry this?
If a knife passes that test, I follow up with the second:
  • Will I carry this knife over [other knife or knives]?
If not, it's getting sold unless it has strong sentimental value.

I then usually try to group my knives by general purpose, and ask the same question again. For example, I own two waved Emersons with blades of 4" I really need them both? In that case, they're different enough, and each special enough in their own way, that the answer was yes and I kept them both.

Anything I'm on the fence about gets set on a felt-lined shelf for a few days (or weeks!) until I'm sure one way or the other.

I've sold almost 50 knives this year, over half my collection. Lots of tough choices, and I took my time with it over the course of three rounds of trimming (so far!). I might have a regret or two down the line, but so far I'm 100% thrilled that these knives all went to people who were excited to have them, and I'm enjoying focusing on fewer knives that mean more to me. :)
Nov 22, 2019
I am also going through a downsizing phase. Knives are just part of it as is everything else in my house. I was taking an inventory of my knives and taking a close look at them - blade steel, lock type, condition, scale material, etc. - and put this graphic together of my main collection. After doing this I realized I was able to go over the collection without having to pull each one from its storage pouch. I could see them all at once. So it helped with prioritizing them. I marked each knife I don't want to keep with a yellow asterisk. It became an easy task.

Reasons why I selected knives to get rid of:
*lock designs I don't like or trust, but didn't know better (e.g., old Benchmade liner locks)
*poor / worn condition (e.g. AFCK)
*ill-suited blade design (e.g. Sentinal)
*Rarely if ever used (e.g. several Benchmades)
*mediocre or clunky designs (e.g. 830 Mel Pardue, 330 Mel Pardue)
*never really liked them in first place but bought them anyway (e.g. Howser, 875 Sentinal)
*some serious design or usability flaw (e.g. single X)

Reasons why I decided to keep a knife:
*innovative or exceptional design (e.g., Shirogorov, Rockstead, Olamic)
*quality knife steels (many)
*interesting handle materials (e.g. mnandi)
*Pleasant to use/carry/hold
*quality craftsmanship (e.g. TA Davison)
*good or great action (Shirogorov)
*knives I use and carry (e.g. mini bugout)
*Rare/unique knives that I like (e.g. Rogovets, CRK Umfaan, Spyderco Dyan Jr.)

Those were just my reasons for selection/deselection. Yours are likely to be different.



Gold Member
Oct 21, 2010
I just got a new custom and was thinking of selling off some of my other knives. Knives that were inexpensive to start with are more gift items to friends. The ones that are worth more than $100 to sell are on the chopping block.

I made up a list of knives in the sale category that I really not attached to and never carry. For example two of my three Hinderers (Half Track, Firetac) will be listed soon. I never carried one and the other just doesn't fit me or my current preferences. Another way is if you have similar knives and you like one more than the other. In this example I will keep my Drop/FF/Protech Mordax and sell the Protech Malibu. I'm going to sell off two of my seven Spyderco's.

My list of seven knives should get me about $1400 back into my hobby. One thing that helps is I have a spreadsheet with every knife I have that shows when I bought it and what I paid for it. I have all of the boxes and paperwork they each came with on all of the over $100 knives and some of the cheeper ones. Knives are not good investments and in most cases you will lose money on selling unless you bought used or got a great deal on it. Just remember your time, shipping, and PP fees have to factor into if something is worth selling or not.

Good Luck.


Basic Member
Jan 18, 2011
I'm getting ready to start thinning as well. I have to figure out how to start/manage paypal.
I will probably get rid of my case knives, XLs, and the ninja stuff first.
I'm not sure where I will go from there

I have already been thinning by gifting to family, and good friends.
My end goal is about 50.

Ron Sabbagh

Platinum Member
Sep 15, 1999
Welcome to bladeforums

only you can decide which to keep and which to sell. There is no “system” or logical algorithm.

We all have our own personal preferences. We can probably help guide you along your journey but ultimately you will have to perform your own trial and error to figure out what works for you. Just be honest with yourself. If you aren’t gonna use it - sell or trade it. Or give it away.

To quote the late, great Burt Reynolds, “I can show a newbie where the land mines are. But he’ll probably have to step on them anyway”