First off, let me start off by saying thank you so much for answering my question about which knife you were currently carrying a few weeks ago. I was pretty astonished by the variety of gear in your pockets & packs; your responses were definitely interesting enough for me to make a post about, and so that will be coming, but no promises when!
The next thing I’m curious to know: Where do you guys happen to buy your knives?
I know it might sound like a weird question to ask, but it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about considering our move from Canada to the UK has changed our own knife-shopping behaviours considerably. I definitely didn’t realize how dramatic the shift would be.
Knife Shopping in the UK
Here in the UK, Thomas and I primarily use Heinnie Haynes to buy knives, and every once in a while we’ll snap something up on Amazon. But Amazon.co.uk doesn’t have many knives at all, so that’s definitely a rarity. We did manage to snag a Spyderco Matriarch with an Emerson opener a short while back for a really good price, so it happens, just not as often as we’d like.
Sometimes, if Thomas spots something he likes, he’ll scoop up a knife or two, second hand off a For Sale section on one of the forums. It’s how he got me my second Sage 1 since we left my first one back in Canada; don’t worry, it’s still sitting at my mum’s house in my childhood room closet – we’ll get it back one day.
Buying second hand is much more affordable here in the UK than it was in Canada, mostly because parcels are incredibly cheap to mail out (from a Canadian perspective). And since second hand is always already a little cheaper than buying new. It’s by far been our favourite method of acquiring new-to-us knives in the UK, at least whenever we see something that piques our interest. This option may no longer be available to us sometime soon, however, since there’s been plenty of word that in the UK, home deliveries of knives ordered online may be banned. Of course if this happened, it would mean we wouldn’t be able to use online stores to buy our knives either, meaning even our use of Heinnie and Amazon would be impossible. If this happens, we’ll of course move our shopping over to physical stores, or to try buying from American retailers all the while crossing our fingers that customs doesn’t catch us. If that doesn’t work, this change is likely to make us go to many more knife & survival/bushcraft conventions than we otherwise would’ve needed to go to.
Knife Shopping in Canada
This is of course a dramatically different way of shopping compared to back in Canada, where we essentially had access to everything on the US market if we paid a little extra for shipping, and where Amazon.ca was fully stocked with nearly any knife offering available in the States anyway.
In Canada, we’d primarily shop on Amazon. Thomas would stalk the forums to see if there was anything interesting to buy, but if he did find something, he’d usually prefer to buy multiple knives at once from the same seller since shipping in Canada is so expensive.
We’d use knife retailers from the States like Blade HQ & GP Knives and pay a little extra for shipping if there were knives we wanted that were not available in Canada (really rare, but it happened once in a blue moon), or in case we did the math and it was actually cheaper to make a big order containing what we wanted and pay the extra shipping + currency conversion fees (again, rare, but it did happen).
We’ve never really shopped on eBay all that much, not in either country. That being said we have snapped up a few knives on eBay, so it’s never been completely off the table, just usually wasn’t as easy/wasn’t worth the risk of getting a fake knife. When we shop on eBay for knives, we often go for quirky vintage/historical knives instead of new, branded ones, where we’d rather pay full retail or snap up second hand on the forums to be on the safe side. That being said, Thomas has a good eye for spotting fakes, and so while it would take a little more effort to buy on eBay, we were never all too worried about ending up with a fake considering he somehow easily sizes up what’s being sold (a skill I doubt I could ever develop).
Your Experiences Knife Shopping
What about you? Where do you usually buy your knives? Do you prefer to buy them online or in person?
- Have you bought any knives at conventions? Do you buy used knives through forums?
- Do you prefer to hold your knives in a store before you buy them? Would you only shop from specialty stores in person or do you use department/hardware stores for knives sometimes? Canuks, have you ever picked up knives at Canadian Tire?
- For those who shop online, what specific stores do you use? Blade HQ? Knife Center? Amazon alone? Has anyone bought knives through Walmart’s online store? And do you trust eBay? To what extent?
Would really love to know! Especially from the context of whether people in different States/countries have dramatically different shopping experiences and if you guys in the UK/Canada have similar experiences to our own in those countries.
Looking forward to your comments!