Shipping Knives-If you deal or trade please read.

Oct 5, 1998
In the past several months I recieved three seperate, very expensive knives that were damaged in shipment (or almost damged)from fellow forumites on this and other boards.

Today I recieved a large 10" bowie with 3" of extremely sharp blade sticking out of the shipping box. Miraculously, there was no damage, although the knife apparently traversed hundereds of miles that way! Needless to say, the mailman didn't know what to think.

Last week I pulled a gorgeous little hunter out of its shipping container (cardboard envelope)to find the wooden handle in two pieces from the mail sorting equipment.

When packing knives, especially for US Mail please pack well and securely. Use a priority or other box if you can, but remember to stabilize the knife so it cannot move or shake in transit-wrap up in newsprint, or foam etc.

It will save a LOT of grief in the end.
Believe me.
Good points. I always make it a point to package the knife well. I secure the knife in its box and then use styrofoam peanuts to cushion the knife around the inner side of the priority mail box. If there is no box, I put the knife in a zip lock and wrap newspaper around the knife and then put it inside the box with the peanuts. Before I seal it, I cover the top and shake it to gage the movement of the knife. People appreciate a well shipped knife.

The priority boxes from the USPS are free and those video boxes are perfect for smaller FB and all folders.

No one likes to received damaged goods. Especially a blade.


Good advice. Here is an additional note for shippers. Do not presign a release for packages that you ship. FedEx allows you to have a standard release that lets them drop off a package without a signature if the driver feels that the location is secure. In the case of the FedEx driver in my neibourhood, secure means within arms reach of the bus stop in front of my house.

I found this out when a well known custom knife supplier accidentally shipped a knife to my home instead of my work. I went home for lunch that day, thank goodness, because there was a package sitting on my doorstep. To compound matters, I was even sent the wrong knife! I contacted the seller and shipped the knife I had recieved to its proper destination, and made sure that the seller had my correct shipping address to send the correct knife to.

Two days later, my wife came home at around 2:30pm to find someone trying to reach a package that had once again been left on my doorstep by someone without the brains of a goat. It was the correct knife this time, a smaller version of a knife I had just purchased with matching serial numbers. It almost ended up in a pawn shop instead of with its big brother, where it belongs.

So please, include a space for a shipping address on your order forms, and please use that adress. And when shipping a costly, one of a kind item, you might just ask for a signature as SOP. Its just that simple.

Thank you Anthony! I would like to add that just as important is to agree to have the knife(s) shipped _INSURED_ for its value! I always ship insured and ask others to do the same. While I' ve not currently experienced any lost with transactions with fellow forumites, it may happen and there is NO WAY to file a claim for its loss if one does not insure at time of shipping. If and when this occurs who is going to take responsibility?? The situation may very well turn out to be rather unpleasant.

I' d like to point out that there were several times where I received knives that were NOT insured even though it was AGREED beforehand. People, please do your part.

And finally, when sending prepayment and using US Postal a confirmation # may be in order. The sender makes this request for a .35 fee and can provide this # to the addressee so both will have a record of the transaction. Makes sense?

Thanks for listening.


"To earn a million is easy, a real friend is not."
Mr St. James,

You can put a sign (it doesn't have to be gaudy) on your door that says, "Deliveries: If nobody answers, please do not leave packages, but call XXX-XXXX for delivery instructions." The phone number given can be your work number, for example. FedEx will hapily re-direct a package. The driver will take it back to his local terminal and give it to the driver who delivers to your office. The next day, the package will be delivered to your office. You may want to ask them to write "PERSONAL" on it in big letters so that your receiving department doesn't try to match it with an outstanding purchase order.

Blades are made to cut things. They can cut their own way out of a box. So, you must cover the blade somehow. Folders, of course, are find, but fixed blades need some protection.

Keep in mind that it's illegal to ship autos via US Postal Service.


Package well, insure fully, track the package, and when someone says they will express you a packege for $3.20, that means it is coming uninsured and untracked. It costs me $6.00 to send a Money Order USPS Priority certified, with a confirmation card for reciept. Shipping a knife this way, with insurance, costs only pennies more. Thats about 2% of the cost of your $300.00 custom knife, and well worth it.

Also, don't use the word "knives" or "cutlery" in your return address. Use the company initials instead, or just a personal name. If you write "knives" on your package, you might as well write "steal me".

When I ship a package containing knives, I box or bubble wrap them Individually, then bury them in an oversize box full of styrofoam. The uglier the box, the better. I then tape it up heavily. I usually like to ship UPS, because they don't have the value of the package right there on the shipping label the way FedEx does. The last time I shipped 3day it took six, but at least I could track its progress. When it arrived, the recievers wife didn't know what I had sent him, he was expecting two folding knives and recieved a box large enough for a case of beer.

I don't know if it helped, but I doubt that anyone suspected what was in the packege.

Gollnick, Very good advise, I think I will post it. Of course, I had asked to have the items shipped to my work, where our friendly and helpful shipping/recieving/supply person always calls me up whenever I have one of my "little boxes" arrive. He hasn't asked what it is I am recieving, just lets me know it has arrived and I hustle right over.

[This message has been edited by stjames (edited 25 May 1999).]
I also recieved a Bowie in an cardboard envelope, a week ago. Broken open on each end. I never did have to open it, it just slid out. I showed some Forumites at the SF Bay Area get together. Maybe I should tell people who it was that is shipping this way?
I bought it thru these forums.
Maybe we need a comment system like E-Bay...

Mark Camp

We have a comment system, of sorts, if a knife is posted for sale. Many prospective purchasers email and post a reply to the post. After a sucessful transaction, the only kind I have had, or otherwise, just go back and edit your post. If both the seller and buyer do this it provides a history of a sucessful transaction. Then when purchasing a knife you can check the posts for that seller. If selling, you can make sure payment was OK, by doing the same thing.

This does require a bit more effort. By using the edit function the poster avoids bringing up an outdated thread of a knife that is no longer available FS. If one has a lot of posts, hopefully that is some reference. Further, you could inquire as to some FS posts that you could look for.
No one likes to receive a damaged
knife, but sometimes it happens. I know it would break my heart, it hasn't happened yet to any of the knives I bought or traded via here(the sound of wood being knocked on). Ask Savman how I packaged his goods.....


If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!

Military "Military" fans unite!!!
I always ship via Priority US Mail using their Priority Official Boxes as well as packing the merchandise securely. I also
use glass filiment tape to wrap around the
Priority Shipping Boxes too, to give it more strength and to keep the boxes from breaking open especially at the folds and edges / corners (Some of you here can testify to that). It may be a bear for the receiver to open, but at least it comes to them in one piece and undamaged.

This is usually how I have items sent to me as well. I request U.S. Priority Mail all the time. Not only is it cheaper to ship, it is more reliable, faster, and better care is used by the US Postal Service than others especially UPS. Can't tell you the amount of times I have had lost, late, and damaged packages arrived to me via UPS. It wasn't the shippers fault either, UPS is just way too rough with their delivery of goods, at least in my area!

Have had companies ship FED EX to me before, can't say I have had any problems there, either.

My #1 choice is USPS. NEVER EVER had a problem with using U.S. Priority Mail or even U.S Express Mail.


I ship all over the place, both knives in sheaths and bare blades. In either case I find that packing the knife tightly to prevent movement within the box reduces the risk of damage to the knife and others.

Knives in sheaths are very easy to pack, the only problem is finding the appropriate size boxes. My solution was to go to the local shipping supplies warehouse and purchase corrugated cardboard slip sheets about 40" X 48" and make up my own custom sized boxes.

These boxes are made to allow 1/2" extra room on all sides of the knife and sheath to allow for paper packing. The box is sealed and then overaped with clear shipping tape for added security. Not one has failed in the mail ... yet.

When shipping naked blades I make a temporary cardboard sheath about 1" longer than the blade to prevent the blade sliding forward and puncturing the box. With this extra measure coupled with tight packing risk of puncturing the outer box is virtually nil.

We all can do ourselves a great deal harm by creating a risk of injury to those hard working postal workers.


When I won my Military, Spyderco sent it in a UPS box almost 10x bigger than the Military's. It was full of styrofoam peanuts, taped heavily and labelled "folding pocket cutlery tool".
Don, sounds good.

Tim, hopfully the weak packers will be paranoid when they read these posts,
that they will be exposed.