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Why does cleaning knives devalue them?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by stdwdh16, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. stdwdh16


    Sep 17, 2006

    I have learned a lot through this thread and I certainly hope so.
  2. jackknife

    jackknife Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Not just knives, but anything old. So many old things have been totally ruined by some nitwit "polishing it up a mite".
    sunnyd likes this.
  3. STDK

    STDK Basic Member Basic Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    Thanks for the info. It does make sense.
  4. navihawk


    Feb 21, 2006
    I wish half the people that sell knives on ebay would know this stuff.
    Jack Black and Fodderwing like this.
  5. Ice Tigre

    Ice Tigre Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 17, 2004
    I see the points explained here, I especially hate the guys that do this over polish/high gloss buff/re-edge then sell higher as a mint un-used knife.

    But, there is another class of cleaning- a service offered by some professional knifemakers/modifiers, which is just that; cleaning. patina and crud removal, conditioning/oiling of the bone, spring action/pivot grit removal. No sanding or heavy buffing(if any buffing at all...usually none).

    This I see as different because there is no metal/bone removal, or alteration of the original metal finish under the patina.

    I've cleaned several knives, both mine and as a service when I was doing folder work... Ruin value in the general collector market? Probably. But you have to remember that for each person, value is different; If the current owner hates patina, and wants his knife shiny, he has every right to have the patina and crud removed. Especially if the knife is a user,---I'm always told that using an old/antique knife will de-value them more than cleaning them, so the user might as well have it look as he wants it too.

    I am not trying to argue guys... just give another view point is all... I am not a collector and see safe queens and knives for show only as a waste. BUT I respect collectors for following their passion, and furthering our common interest... I just don't 'get' their passion in several ways.

    Superdave1 likes this.
  6. navihawk


    Feb 21, 2006
    I know what you mean Ice. I have a few that I have cleaned up to use. Why let them sit in a box? Especially if you found one in a flea market or garage sale for cheap money.It sat in some tool box for years, it deserves to be used.
  7. Bastid

    Bastid Goat herding fool and resident vermin breeder. Staff Member Super Mod

    Feb 27, 2001
    Great thread. I have been a coin collector since a very early age. The coin hobby is very much the same way. Clean a coin and the value drops incredibly. At the same, time if you see an old knife and you only want to carry and use it, you have more choices.
  8. Steve_Holt


    Dec 21, 2008
    Interesting subject, and one I've seen debated a few times on the switchblade forums. I guess I'm lucky that I can only afford newer knives. If I ever luck into an old valuable knife, I'll probably just try to sell it for enough money to buy a bunch of new, shiny ones.
  9. Knife Outlet

    Knife Outlet

    Jan 4, 1999
    I've always found it curious that car collectors are the opposite. Restored cars are worth more than original ones. Detailing is a given.
    GABaus likes this.
  10. db


    Oct 3, 1998
    I'm fairly sure if you are removing patina your removing some steel. I'm on the fence when it comes to how others treat knives they own. Heck if I'm going to carry and use a knife I pretty much regrind the blades thinner and put an edge on that I like. Doesn't matter to me if the knife is new or old.
  11. Berkley


    May 5, 1999
    That may be changing somewhat. See this post, featuring Bernard Levine's well-known opinion on the subject of cleaning knives:
  12. navihawk


    Feb 21, 2006
    Bernard Levine has a great way of looking at things.
  13. Leo M.

    Leo M.

    Jun 1, 2018
    Hello, I know this is an older thread but I have a question that I hope someone can answer. I have an old Randall knife with the engraving SPFLD, Mass (with two scimitars) on the blade. I believe it is a knife from the WWII era. This beauty has a lot of issues. It has rust on the blade, no handle and the bar portion of the handle is slightly bent. I realize in reading the thread that most knives should not be restored but what about my knife? Can anyone offer advice?

    I appreciate the consideration
  14. supratentorial


    Dec 19, 2006
    There's a lot of good information in the prior posts of this old topic. It's your knife and you can do with it as you please. But here is my 2 cents...

    If you value the history and want a knife made by Randall, then leave it alone. You can PRESERVE it with oil.

    If you value the history and want a knife made by Randall that has a handle, then buy another knife.

    If you want a useable knife that is made in 2018 from the parts of an old Randall, then replace the handle. "Restoring" is not accurate. Unless you have a time machine, the work won't be done by Randall. And it won't be done during the WWII era. It will become the work of the "knife mechanic" more than the work of Randall. Whether it is done well or not will depend on the skill of the "mechanic". But it won't be the work of Randall. And it won't be from WWII era. Same goes for buffing the blade. You will be buffing away all the work done by Randall. You might also consider just buying a new knife.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
    Leo M. and MerryMadMonk like this.
  15. Rookie82

    Rookie82 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 25, 2014
    In terms of collectibles, they are only in "original condition" 1 time in their life. Once they are altered, they can never go back. That is what gives them extra value. If it is something to be used, who cares if it is original. But for investment/collectibility, mint original condition can't be beat.

    *edit - I just realized I'm responding to a 9 year old post. ;)
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2018
  16. Ernie1980

    Ernie1980 Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 19, 2012
    I was about to chime in on the original topic when I saw the original age of the thread! Now, I would just like to see a picture of the Randle mentioned a couple of posts up.
    Superdave1 and Vaporstang like this.
  17. Lansky1


    Apr 12, 2016
    My sentiments exactly ... I must be part magpie - like shiny knives !
  18. waynorth

    waynorth Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Nov 19, 2005
    I agree with Bernie Levine!!
    And I don't care who owns the knife. Why take a piece that has so much to teach us historically, and destroy its history??:eek:
    And of course, I'd like to see pictures of the knife/relic!!
    Shurke likes this.
  19. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    Your knife sounds like a wreck; it's not really a knife w/o a handle. There are other SPFLD Randalls out their to keep the Randall historians happy. Post your question in the Randall Knives Collectors Subforum. You'll get your best answer from members there, particularly from one going by the name Melvin Purvis (I think:))!
  20. BigJim2x

    BigJim2x Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 22, 2016

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