Support BladeForums! Paid memberships don't see ads! A recent post or two, and some thinking back and reminiscing about the past, (always a dangerous thing at this age.) gave me a few thoughts. Mostly about collections and safe queens. A lot of us keep our 'collections' in mint conditions, and sometimes even thinking that you're leaving a legacy of some sort behind. I thought this for many years, many years ago. I was wrong. I noticed that when my dad passed away, myself and sister Ann, and a few other family, deeply cherished the items that he was known to carry/use the ever lovin dog poo out of. His old Case peanut, the old Colt Woodsman, his Filson coat, his small collection of pipes, the battered old WW2 era Zippo lighter. When we were packing up his stuff, we came on some brand new pocket knives that he'd been gifted over the years, and had never used. They'd been put away in the sock drawer and never touched. We, the family looked at them, but there was no great rush to grab anything. They weren't "his" knives. They were just some soulless items that obviously didn't mean much to him. They were as pristine as the day he received them. I noticed the same thing when I did my great downsizing. I laid all of what I considered excess stuff out on the table, called over kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces, friends and old co-workers to pick out whatever they wanted. There was a lot of nice stuff on the table, some almost new, that for whatever reason, didn't make the final cut for me to treasure. Almost new knives that I had tried a new pattern, and ended up kind of 'meh, not really what I want' kind of thing. Some were kind of picked over and some went home with new owners. But the fight was over what I had carried for years and used the ever lovin dog poo out of. My old Buck 301 that had seen me through some years of army service and many years of soccer dad and Harry home owner use was beat up, blades sharpened down to pale shadows of what they used to be, some blade wobble, the black delrin scales worn smooth with no trace of the saw cut pattern left. My grandson Ryan and nephew Mark almost came to blows over it. The much newer Buck 303 cadet with very little wear on it was almost unnoticed. The Japanese have a thought that the longer you use something, some of your spirit goes into the item. Maybe it's true. I've looked at lots of those old knives that have blades worn down to toothpicks, handles worn smooth by countless times of use and maybe even worry stone fondling. They do have a certain feel that the sterile new stuff doesn't. A well worn old trapper that is the veteran of years of hunting trips has a feel that no new trapper can ever have. You wonder what tales could be told of far off campsites it could speak of. That new knife, that has been lovingly oiled and stored away in a collection has nothing to say, no memories have built into it. Your family will look at it as just more of your stuff that you coveted, but never used, and they'll probably sell it at .25 cents for the dollar value. I've reached a stage of life that I understand that the material stuff doesn't matter at all. It's just stuff. What will matter is the memories that you leave behind for your family when you leave. The memories that are built in because they saw you actually use the thing. I could be wrong, I've been wrong before. But I think its a mistake keep the knives in pristine condition. Use the heck out of them. Let the blade develop a nice patina. Don't fret over the dings and scuffs it will pick up in use. Especially if that use is with some family members out on a fishing trip, or camping trip, or hiking trip, or all of the above. Forget the metal polish and protective wax. Just rub it down once a while with a nice soft oily cloth and let it go. It will keep the memories better that way.