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The Curse of the Safe Queen

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by SeppukuSamurai, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. SeppukuSamurai


    Aug 19, 2014
    Good afternoon everyone,

    Lately I have been really thinking about knife collecting and what it has done/does for me.

    What I concluded? A hell of a lot of enjoyment but an equally large amount of stress. As much as I adore the knives I have come through my hands, most everytime, I cannot bring myself to use/enjoy these knives in fear of compromising my investments (F.Y.I. guys, I'm so far into the rabbit hole that scratches can mean the difference in hundreds of dollars...)

    Then I think about all of the anxiety generated from ritually and diligently maintaining a collection as large as mine. Dehumidifiers, safes, lubricants, maintenance. On knives that just sit there. Shoot, I bet if I added up all of the time I spent baking off desiccants, relubing knives, and resituating them all, I lose a week out of my life a year.

    That's ridiculous. Beyond that, what about all the time I spend on these forums and others chasing grails i will never bring myself to use and that will only further exacerbate the already present stress.

    Unacceptable, after all, I have a beautiful family to enjoy. All for knives that just sit there??

    Anyway, I have really began to disband my collection and only keep what I will use, enjoy, and do so with reckless abandon. I don't want to deploy my blade with tentative hesitation in fear of biting off more than I may be willing to...I want to mess up and fix it later, and be happy to do so.

    I've since began using my knives. Not like divas but like tools. With an intended and necessary purpose. My $1000 Shirogorov is littered with scratches and it's liberating. Dropped it today, while installing a door, right onto tile. A beautiful ding right on the corner.

    If you're someone like me, who enjoys knives and tools so much that it's a staple in your life, yet, cant bring yourself to indulge....take my word for it, let go and enjoy. If you can't use it, you have no business having it. Really though, for what reason? So some distant relative can sell it on Ebay after a thorough researching session? No thank you, for me at least.

    Have a great day everybody.
  2. akguy59


    Aug 19, 2017
    I don't have to worry about your kind of stress because all the knives I own are users. I equate it to my gun hobby, I have never owned a gun that I didn't shoot within the first few days of having them. I guess that just like everything else I own I get the most pleasure out of the use not out of just owning them.
  3. SeppukuSamurai


    Aug 19, 2014
    Soon, I too will only own that in which I am willing to use. That's true enjoyment.
  4. TheFactor

    TheFactor Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2015
    I’ve kept one safe queen and the rest are users/entertainment :D
    But I feel ya no doubt and understand we’re your coming from . Sometimes a love for something can turn into a obsession and it’s just a matter of drawing the line which is much easier said then done .
    I guess when you feel it’s not fun anymore and overwhelming it’s time to take a different avenue wether it be trimming down the heard or adding more :eek: :D
    GegKnife and SeppukuSamurai like this.
  5. CableGirl


    Aug 19, 2018
    There was a time a while back when I lived among the the many treasures of a very long storied family history, treasures acquired by family long since passed from all around the globe like masterfully hand made chandeliers, china, silver, textiles and art/documents. One day I came to the realization I had become a slave to things... Things that influenced how I thought about vacations, (duration gone leaving stuff unattended). How I entertained, (these days affluence is something to be hidden). I also noticed, like you, how long I spent maintaining things like having stuff cleaned, polishing silver, brass etc. Having parts fixed or replaced (fabricated on some of the older things)..... My bed alone requires twice a year maintenance on the brass and the canopy is sent out for cleaning. Its not worth it.

    I am glad you to have found a way to not be a slave to your things. I too have sold off the more perishable things that require high maintenance and I find I don't miss them. Welcome to a happier freer life.
  6. dirc


    Jan 31, 2018
    welcome to the land of the living ; ) all knives should be users imho... the only exception for me would be truly unique/historical/maker has passed away situation, where you know it's better to save it for showcase type situations
    GegKnife and SeppukuSamurai like this.
  7. unwisefool

    unwisefool Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 22, 2007
    I'm going to need to see a picture of this collection...for verification purposes and whatnot.
  8. sharp_edge

    sharp_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 30, 2015
    OP - I am close to the state you were saying and am also thinking about downsizing.
    GegKnife and SeppukuSamurai like this.
  9. eveled

    eveled Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    Wise words in this thread.
  10. rexromic

    rexromic Gold Member Gold Member

    May 28, 2011
    Kept the users but I will have only one special knife which will be non user.
    The one I will hopefully past down to my son.Cheers.
  11. jill jackson

    jill jackson

    Sep 5, 2006
    A well off man died awhile back and he was a knife collector. There was 1000's of knives sold at his estate auction all NIB. He had so many he probably never even looked at them. Collecting is sort of a mental illness. No doubt hardwired into our DNA from the days of hunter gatherers. You either leave it while you're here, or leave it behind when you go!
  12. JBC6650

    JBC6650 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 19, 2008
    I don't have any true safe queens just a few cheap but sentimental pieces, gifts from my wife and kids, everything else is a user. Most of the larger folders are light users, I find I use a 3 inch-ish blade more and for harder work. I do have a couple of grails on my wish list but I still think I'll carry them.
  13. SeppukuSamurai


    Aug 19, 2014
    I would be hard pressed to overstate the significance of this shift in mindset. I feel like a tremendous weight and burden has been lifted off of me. The joy I get from using something truly excellent, with details and features present that have been refined over years of borderline obsessive collecting....it's a good feeling. Even better when I compare it to the anxiety laden mess I found myself in before....
  14. SeppukuSamurai


    Aug 19, 2014
    LOL I am a little nervous to picture the whole crew. That's almost as dangerous as putting it into hard numbers!

    I'll pull them out of the safe sometime soon and will be sure to picture the lot of them. Probably for sale posts!

    I will, when I take the tarps off of everything (doing renos) picture all of my EDCs. It's worth noting that what I still have in rotation is only after selling off roughly 5-6....it's bad.
    GegKnife likes this.
  15. Daedric Panther

    Daedric Panther Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 27, 2019
    I too am guilty of this. I have a $400 Spartans Blades Horkos I don’t use out of fear of something happening to it. It’s a solid chunk of s35v, full tang. And yet every time I need a substantial fixed blade, I end up reaching for my long abused 119 special
    Mr. Tettnanger, GegKnife and dirc like this.
  16. Cobalt

    Cobalt Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 23, 1998
    I have knives that are worth more than 1k that I routinely beat on without care. All my knives are purchased witg the intent of using. Even very limited knives.
    FullMetalJackass and GegKnife like this.
  17. 4mer_FMF

    4mer_FMF Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2016
    @SeppukuSamurai, I haven’t been on BFC that long, but obviously there are protean ways one can be engaged in this hobby. I think it’s fine if your focus has shifted.

    We’re all here because it provides us joy. If your former means of engagement provided you with joy once upon a time, be grateful you had the opportunity and move onto a new phase with happiness.

    Honesty, I’m going through something similar right now with a former hobby. When my kids were young I got really in to LEGO. LEGO with the kids for sure, but also collecting on my own. Think Will Ferrell in the LEGO movie. We had thousands of dollars invested and had an amazing time.

    My kids are grown up now and everything is in boxes. I get a little sentimental about it sometimes—it’s hard to let go. While preparing for a household move last week, I came across a NIB vintage pirate ship. The thing has REAL monetary collectors value—but screw it! I’m giving it to my neighbor’s kid for his birthday tomorrow.

    It hasn’t brought me joy for years and I’d rather it get used for its intended purpose than wind up on the shelf of some geeky old fart like me! ;)

    TL;DR: Joyfully embrace that your interest in the hobby is changing and go forward with gratitude!!! <<Sounds like what you’re doing already, yes?>> :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
  18. TRfromMT

    TRfromMT Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 4, 2016
    I don't have a huge collection, rather small by most standards. I also don't put most of my knives to any *real* use. Some of them have never even sliced paper.

    I make knife handles. I absolutely love this aspect of the hobby. My shop is my own world. My mindset is to keep my shop time as my hobby and never a business. I could get way over the top and burn out, but this is what I want to do when I retire, so I try to keep it quiet and simple on purpose.

    Some of the collection. I don't know much about the steel here, but I can tell you about every piece of wood here. None of these is ever used, but I enjoy the heck out of them.

  19. CableGirl


    Aug 19, 2018
    I love the handle in the bottom drawer far left. I have a Fallkniven that would look fantastic in wood of that sort, and the finish is perfect! You do good work.
    TRfromMT likes this.
  20. Kreyzhorse

    Kreyzhorse Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    I don't get that way often with knives, but I understand with firearms. That first scratch takes a ton of stress off me.
    Bob6794 and Mr. Tettnanger like this.

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