Case Guide 101 (Buying For Collecting)


Well, we got the utilitarian aspect of knives taken care of, what with discussing blade steel types and buying them for working purposes, now we get to the design aspect and collecting!

Collecting is done for a multitude of reasons. Some like certain handles, some like certain patterns, some like sets of particular series, and some just buy what catches their eye. There’s no real wrong way of doing this, and talking with people about their unique collections can be just as fun as collecting yourself!

If collecting by pattern sounds exciting, well, take a look! There’s a variety of pattern styles allow shown in silhouette for convenience.

There’s the opposite as well, collecting by handle material. Many people adore things like mother of pearl, stag, the exotic series that gets put out every year by Case, and will built entire collections out of that particular handle.

There’s also serial number collecting. Case will produce pocket knives for us here at Shepherd Hills Cutlery we colloquially refer to as SFO’s. (For information on what, exactly, an SFO is, I encourage you to look here) A lot of these SFO’s will have what’s known as serial numbering—a stamp at the base of the blade showing a number. This number shows that it was produced in a limited quantity and is the only one of its kind in that series—if you got number fifty in a certain knife, that was the only number fifty they made for that particular one, and many enjoy having a knife that is a sort of one-of-a-kind deal.

And, lastly, one of the other major styles of collecting is by purchasing mint sets. Mint sets are a collection of knives from a series that will be numbered and are typically housed in a display case, ready to be displayed and presented. There are some that enjoy these, as it helps make sure that they have the same serial number in every knife within a series.

While those are the most common ways to collect, everyone has their preferences, some of which might not have been touched on here. If you do decide that collecting is right for you, the only real important thing, and the best advice you can get for any hobby, is to have fun!