How to Collect Automatic Knives

Written by jennifer eblin
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Automatic knives respond quickly with the touch of a button that is usually located on the side of the knife. A few examples are stiletto knives and switchblades. These knives are highly collectable and some reach high prices on the collector's market. Before you start to collect automatic knives, learn about the different types.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Learn about the two basic types of automatic knives. One is called OTF, which stands for Out of the Front and is also known as a switchblade because the blade of the knife pops out of the front or the case. The other type is the folding knife, which is also known as a side opening knife because the blade leaves the case from the side.

  2. 2

    Look at the different ways of opening the knife and determine which you'd like in your collection. Some knives have a button on the side that pushes the blade forward, while others have a release that works by pushing down on the side of the blade and letting it come out.

  3. 3

    Decide on an era and location for your collection. Companies from around the world make this type of knife and many collectors buy only those from a certain area. Vintage stiletto knives from Italy are a good example of something that's popular with collectors.

  4. 4

    Determine how you want to display your collection. You may prefer storing some of your automatic knives and only putting a few of your favourites out on display. Using boxes specifically designed for knives is a great way to protect your investment and display them properly.

  5. 5

    Join one of the knife collectors clubs, such as the Sarasota Knife Collectors Club, Case Classics Club or North West Knife Collectors. Collector clubs hold annual events and other meetings for members of the group. You'll also have access to a newsletter, with information on new automatic knives hitting the market, limited edition knives and upcoming events.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider adding a few limited edition knives to your collection, such as those that are released in small batches once a year. These knives typically hold their value better than mass-produced knives and go up in value within a few years.
  • Keep your knife collection in a safe place and away from small children.
  • Always check the laws in your state about automatic knives before you make a certain purchase. In some states, like Ohio, it's illegal to sell, purchase or own a switchblade knife.

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