Brick & Mortar Stores and other places to buy knives
The days of going to a general store to buy a knife are long gone. You may find a knife or two at the local big box discount store will but the selection will be severely limited. Hardware stores may also carry a few work type knives. A better source might be outdoor sporting goods store that specialize in hunting, fishing or camping. But even some of these stores, especially near major urban areas will have a limited number of knives. The Army Navy Surplus Stores, if you can find one, will also be a good place but again, the variety may be limited. If you have a Boy Scouts of America Store in your area, they will also carry a limited number of knives.
While many of these stores also sell online as well as in person, sometimes, there is an advantage to checking them out in person. In some cases they don't sell all their inventory online. Also, depending on shipping charges, you might get it cheaper in person. But in the case of all of these stores, you’ll usually find only a small sample of the knives available and it is doubtful you will find any older knives (except for Army Navy Stores). Even if you have decided to collect Swiss Army Knives, the stores mentioned are only going to offer a limited number of styles. Fortunately for Swiss Army collectors there are Swiss Army Stores, at least in the bigger cities.
You may want to consider pawn shops, garage sales, estate sales, and flea markets for older knives. If you do consider this, make doubly sure you know what you’re looking for. You may find some great deals, especially at estate sales but the only way to know for sure is to know a bad knife from a good knife before you start shopping. Flea markets are especially dangerous as many dealers are selling imitation or rebranded knives. A rebranded knife is a counterfeit. The dealer will file off the tang mark or take an unbranded knife and stamp a different tang mark from an expensive knife on to a piece of junk and pass it off to a would-be dupe. Don’t be the dupe.
When it comes to flea markets, don’t buy anything unless you can inspect it, and only buy the piece you’ve inspected. Don’t allow the dealer to show you a display item and then sell you a different still factory packaged item. There is no guarantee the items are the same. Garage/Yard sales, will vary by geographic location. In the larger cities they will probably be a bust. You may have more luck in rural areas.
You will eventually need to make your way to knife shows. Knife shows will have dealers of all sorts from factory reps to independent knife makers. Again, you will need to know a little bit about knives in order not to get hoodwinked. If possible you should attend your first knife show with a seasoned knife collector. Listen closely to the dealers. Trust but verify. Knife shows will also attract disreputable dealers looking to make a fast buck selling counterfeits. Make sure there is a way to get your money back and only buy what you inspect. Buy only items that you know something about. Be aware, that most knife shows are for custom made knives and will not have factory knives, or factory representatives on hand. Factory knives will usually show up at larger trade shows. If a camping, fishing, or outdoor show is coming to your area, call and find out if knife dealers will also be present.
Caring For Your Knives
Return to Index/Main Page