Your favorite shop.

Oct 11, 1998
I keep seeing posts about why you should buy from one shop versus another. But I haven't really seen posts on what people's favorite shops are.
I was just wondering which dealer, whether internet or local, is your personal favorite?
And why.

I'll start this one off.
I really like Knife Center.
Good service and all the product info you could wish for. You may pay a few dollars more than other dealers on the internet but I feel the value is in all the effort set forth by the staff in maintaining such a great site.

My second choice is random knife show dealers. These people are the fanatics that make knife collecting so much fun.
You may pay a little more from them (sometimes much less), but you get some of the best information by just talking. It's also really neat to talk to someone who's just as crazy about knives as you are!

Now it's your turn.


I think by now most of you probably know that the KnifeCenter is my favorite
Another good dealer on the web is Skylands Cutlery. I have made several purchases from them over the years and have been very pleased with the service, selection, fast and curteous service, and competetive prices.

Another favorite of mine is A.G. Russell. They too have a great selection (both custom and production stuff), and one of the best print catalogs going today IMO. Great photography! Though I've only purchased one knife from them so far, I've long kept up with their website, especially the knife reference material on there.

Where I live, there are really no knife shops to speak of. About the only thing closest to that is the local Wal-Mart Supercenter
So having mail order catalogs is essential!
I purchased a BM mini-AFCK from the Knife Center and had no problems. I love their web site. It's usually the first place I turn to when I need to check out a knife I'm interested in. They do a superb job in this area.

I purchased my small Sebenza from Leslie at NW Cutlery. She had one in stock, and even checked it out for me to be sure everything was in good shape. I had it in my hand in just two working days. After talking with her on the phone, and chatting with her on the ABC-Direct chat page, I sorta feel I got a more personal touch from her than I did from KCI.

I bought a BM Ascent and a Spyderco Sharpmaker from a local knife store. He had what I wanted at the time - even had comparable prices to the internet dealers. He appreciated the business. I was glad to give it to him.

I purchased a S&W S.W.A.T., a BM 3500 Pardue auto, and a Leatherman WAVE from dealers at a local gun/knife show. They had the variety that the local store just doesn't have. It was nice to be able to actually put my hands on the knives instead of just looking at the pictures in magazines or on the web. They spent a good bit of time with me and had prices that were even lower than the internet dealers. While I don't expect the same level of after-the-sale service from these dealers, I did choose dealers that were based in-state just in case I needed anything from them.

So... I've used a variety of dealers - each of them for different reasons. I've yet to have problems with any of them. I've tried to do a little homework before making any purchase. I feel that this has been helpful in ensuring each of my dealings have gone smoothly.

Kelly Yates
The KnifeCenter. Why? Friendly personal service, ease of ordering, informative web site, great prices, and outstanding customer service. I'm glad this thread was started. It's another chance to say thanks for one and a half years of great service. Howard, you are the man.
I like ABC-Direct, NW Cutlery and KnifeCenter. If I had to choose a favorite it would half to be ABC-Direct.

I really think there web site is laid out nice and everything is very easy to find. The prices are better than most and Mike and Memi are great people. I like the search engine and the way the pages are laid out I can switch back and forth between to knives and compare them directly. I have ordered from them about 5 times and I got EVERY order the next day! I live in Tampa and they are in Jacksonville so that is part of why they are so fast. The other cool thing is they email me a confirmation on every order and even give me the tracking number if it goes UPS. And to top all that off each knife I ordered came with a free tube of rem oil. I know it does not cost much but it is a cool freebie.

Just ordered a Leatherman Wave for $59.95 from ABC-Direct thursday. Got it friday and it is really cool. Just ordered 4 more for gifts for Christmas. Mike Gallagher even called me to make sure I liked it. He did not have to do that but it is cool and show he cares about keeping the customer happy. Also thanks for the Chat room. I actually found this place from there site.

Ranking of dealers I deal with:
NW Cutlery
Discount Knives (Only ordered there once, took 3 weeks to get my order, maybe just a one time mess up)


Dave, I notice that you mentioned that Discount Knives took 3 weeks on your order. My order with them is going on 2 weeks now and they haven't responded to any of my e-mails to verify if they received my order okay. Hmmmm.
All of the bigger places are pretty good. Skylands went out of their way when they knew I was leaving on a trip to get me a knife on July 4th! I was gathering up stuff and getting ready to go off to a picnic and fireworks (and I think it was a Saturday or a Sunday no less) when the delivery guy shows up with my package! Incredible!

I have nothing but good things to say about all the regular "players": Northwest Cutlery, ABC, Discount Knives, Knifecenter, etc. Don't forget some of the smaller folks like Skylands (fantastic Benchmade prices!), Central Florida Knife&Tool (can I mention them?), Triple Aught Design (friendly folks, hard to get stuff), Les Robertson (legendary cool stuff!), Arizona Custom Knives (lotsa stuff!) etc.

I can't think of any real lemons that I've found yet!

RT and Dave,
I've had a similar experience with Discount. I got the impression it's a one-very-busy-man shop. Keep trying.
With Christmas coming up, I'm making up a list for Jim Mattis at Chai Cutlery. I like his percentage policy for charity. It's rare to see that kind of ethic and sense of community these days.
Every now and then I pick something up from a local surplus store. The owner supports all the local scouting troops for their camping supplies. A stand up guy, and he kicks in an occaisional "frequent flyer" sort of discount for his regulars.
For run-of-the-mill stuff, like Benchmade, Spyderco, etc. I've had great luck with The KnifeCenter of the Internet (excellent web page), James Mattis (Chai Cutlery) and ABC-Direct. For top-end stuff, like MicroTechs, Emerson's, etc. I go to my man, Rennie Raines at Tactical Options (334-564-2912). His level of service is unequalled and he is truly a gentleman in the finest southern tradition. My experience is that if Rennie can't get it for you, no one can.
Prices are always going to vary from one source to another especially on close outs or other types of specials. I check all knife sources, but only have bought from a few. Knifecenter has exceptional serice but not always the lowest price, but they make up for that with their specials page. NW cutlery are very polite business people but the prices havn't been there for what I'm usually looking for. ABC Direct also seems to have some great deals every now and then, but have never ordered from them. Discountknives comment!!!! I'll never do business with that company! Let's not forget all the independant small knife dealers who browse the forums, that is really where I have gotten the best deals. Lets face it there is some pretty stiff competition around, I try to give everyone a little business!

I just discovered that internet dealers offer some mighty fine prices (duh, I'm a slow learner) and I've used Bullman Cutlery, ABC Direct, Discount Knives, and Little River Knife Company. I just discovered Bullman ( and I find Bruce to be a very pleasant person with excellent communication as far as the status of your order. I expect to be spending a lot of time at his site as Christmas approaches. ABC Direct is where I have done most of my business and they're very speedy and offer great prices. Little River Knife Knife Company sold me a Wegner (which I kept calling a Wenger) and I LOVE it! Frank was very helpful and I liked his personal service. I'll definitely buy from him again. Discount Knives I've had mixed experience with as far as timely delivery. I also plan to use chai cutlery because I think Jim Mattis has done a lot for the knife hobby, from improving the image with his "good karma" cut for charity to giving advice and information to anyone who asks, even if it's a stupid newbie question. He's active in the area of knives and I want to show my appreciation of this with my business and my dollars.

Antonella Giordano

[This message has been edited by Antonella (edited 11-03-98).]
I've purchased knives from AZCK, Les Robertson, Chin Ng, Rennie Raines and PVKAT. All had acceptable service, Josh, Les, and AZCK have similar levels of customer service I get my knives from these sources within 2 days of email order. Chin is great too but I just have to drive down the road to p/u from him. No problems w/Rennie either just seemed that the transaction took a little longer than w/the others.
I just talked to a dealer and he said the reason for the untimely deliveries from Discount Knives is that they (Brian) does not stock that much product and that he orders it when we buy it. I am not sure if I like that or not. I may save a buck or too but he charged my credit card the day I ordered the knife and then I did not see it for three weeks. I actually got my credit card bill before I got the knife.

I really don't have that big a problem with it but at least an email or something telling me that would have been nice. He does have good prices but heck I could start a internet knife dealership if I did not have to stock anything and I would get the money before I ordered the item my customer wanted. Guess that's why he has good prices. No inventory + no overhead = low prices & slow service. I guess if I want to order something for a birthday I should give him at least a month notice. I will try him again to see if this is the norm and not the exception.

Another vote for the knifecenter. Admittedly I'm new to the world of knives and have only ordered one Benchmade, but the guy I talked to was very very nice. When I told him I go to George Washington Law he struck up a conversation about how he went to GW undergrad. It was a very pleasant ordering experience, and the service is great. The only other thing I order over the Net is DVDs from an internet dealer, and with that as a frame of reference, Knifecenter is FAR easier to deal with. So when I need more knives, Knifecenter will be gettng my business.