Knives in Retirement

Feb 13, 2001
I'm 56 years old and am thinking I'd like to turn my living room into a knife showroom (instead of renting a space in a strip-mall.) Not to make a lot of $, but just something to do for the next 20 years,like talking to knife people who'll be coming around (hopefully.) I live in a town of 95,000 with no place to buy knives but Walmart and Ace Hardware. I'm not a knife expert, but I know where the experts hang out, and I have a ton of questions:

1) Should I start with good selections of 3 or 4 brands, or not so deep selections of many brands?

2) What should those brands be? I already love Spyderco, so that's one. Maybe BM? Microtech?

3) It's tactical folders that I like most, but what percentage of my stock should be fixed blade?

4) I've never dealt with any knife companies on a wholesale basis. Are there any that I should avoid? Any that are especially good?

Of course I've got more questions, but this seems like enough for now. Any help will be much appreciated.
I would start with some of the most popular knives of quite a few different manufactures and then, as I got to know more about what people wanted, I would expand those lines.

Spyderco is an excellent choice. I would also go for CRK&T and BM. Microtech would be a good choice for an upper quality line as would M.O.D. or TiNives(Microtech is better known and might be the best to start with). You might also want to look at Cold Steel because they have an excellent selection of fixed blade knives. Another good company to look at would be Camillus. They have good folders and good fixed blade and also some nice slip joint pocket knives. Please do not think that these are all the knife companies that are worth your investigation. Check out as many as you can. Get a feel for what manufacturers knife people think are the best.

As for whether you should have a good selection of fixed blades, I would say yes. Start with the more popular styles and as time goes along, people will tell you what they would like you to have in stock. As for companies that specialize in fixed blades, take a look at Busse and Ontario knives. In my opinion both these companies offer great value.

As for companies to avoid, do not carry junk. Frost Knives and Joy Enterprises come to mind. You may also find that BMs' draconian dealer agreements are not to your liking. They tell you what you can advertise your knives for and seem to go out of their way to make things hard for stores that don't tow the line. This should not be a problem for the type of store you are thinking of starting, but if you don't like someone else telling you how to run your business then BM might not be the right choice for you.

These statements are my opinion only and I am sure that others will have differing thoughts. I hope that many people answer you, because we have a lot of very knowledgable people that could help you make some good decisions.


AKTI Member #A001338
Before you go too deep into this you'd better make sure your local statutes don't prevent you from running a retail busines out of your home. Some municipalities have ordinances against this, to prevent commercialization of a residential area. Of course running something like an internet retail site is a different story, as you're unlikely to be drawing many visitors to your neighborhood. Just a head's up to help prevent unforeseen surprises.

"I can't believe you stabbed me with this cheap piece of mail-order sh*t"
James Caan in 'Eraser'
Is this something that you could afford to break even on, as a sort of a hobby, or are you going to be relying on this business to produce an income?

Semper Fi

I agree with e_utopia on this one. Where you live will make a big difference in the knives that you should choose to sell. Hunting knives will be much more popular in some areas than others. The same can be said for any other kind of knife as well.


AKTI Member #A001338
I've been reading BladeForum and have been much impressed by the generosity of it's members. This project will be mostly a hobby that hopefully will supplement my income a little. The suggestion to check with my city govt.about home business is a good idea. I'm sure I would have thought of it eventually, but maybe not before I'd spent some $. Also, I was absolutely going for knives I like without considering what the men here in the middle of Oklahoma might want. There's a lot to think about. Thanks.