Finding vintage knives?

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

oolor13

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2023
Messages
18
Reaction score
38
Location
Washington, DC
I'm curious where everybody is finding their vintage kitchen knives? I haven't really seen anything of note at antique shops. Thrift stores have been suggested by some people, but I haven't visited very many. Flea markets seem to have tons of pocket knives, hunting knives, and even swords, but I can't remember seeing many kitchen knives at the ones I've been to. So, where else do you find them?
 
Ebay. I have about 25 vintage knives and they pretty much all came from ebay. I've scratched that itch fully now, but when I was actively looking I had saved searches for the knives I was looking for and checked pretty much every day. There's a couple of guys that always have stuff, but they tend to be way overpriced. You have to be diligent and keep a look out for the deals.
 
A few things to be aware of though. Prices have got crazy. A few common issues are generally obvious: a protruding finger guard, reverse belly, damaged tip. Not much less frequent but not obvious: fatigued steel after abusive honing or uncooled grinding. Have seen blades where some 3/16" had to be removed before reaching steel taking an edge. Rare: steel impurities causing huge moving carbides. At the edge, to be abraded with a diamond stone. If a bit deeper, causing a hairline breakage.
There was a time you could get a decent vintage carbon for very little money, making the risk acceptable. That's over now. When it's about functionality better look for a cheap Japanese Western handled carbons. Will probably require some good thinning, but no bad surprises to be expected. Another solution: New Old Stock. 40, 50 years old Japanese yo-blades, sold for very reasonable prices. In those times the grinding was done by hand, and you may find even 270 who are pleasantly thin behind the edge. Japanesenaturalstones.com often has them.
 
I'm curious where everybody is finding their vintage kitchen knives? I haven't really seen anything of note at antique shops. Thrift stores have been suggested by some people, but I haven't visited very many. Flea markets seem to have tons of pocket knives, hunting knives, and even swords, but I can't remember seeing many kitchen knives at the ones I've been to. So, where else do you find them?
Can you narrow down what kind of vintage kitchen knives you're hoping to acquire? Ebay was mentioned and I agree that almost everything that's not in need of very serious refurbishing is going to be more expensive then it should be. For vintage ones made in the US, I have reasonable success checking craigslist/marketplace for listings nearby, I pretty much always dig through the thrift shop bins of kitchen stuff when I'm in one, and I keep an eye out at the open air seller's markets when it's warmer.
 
I didn't have anything particularly in mind, it's more of a thrill of the hunt type thing. Ebay isn't what it used to be in many ways, so I was I hoping that some in person places might be good for finds. For example, I found an awesome vintage Bourgeat copper sauté pan in a small antiques shop once for $30. But, I hardly ever see knives other than silver flatware and slicing sets.
 
I didn't have anything particularly in mind, it's more of a thrill of the hunt type thing. Ebay isn't what it used to be in many ways, so I was I hoping that some in person places might be good for finds. For example, I found an awesome vintage Bourgeat copper sauté pan in a small antiques shop once for $30. But, I hardly ever see knives other than silver flatware and slicing sets.

Flea markets and antique stores are extremely hot or miss. I spend a lot of time in them because it's one of the main ways me partner and I spend our free time together. I rarely find anything worth purchasing. Not that I haven't.

But eBay is easiest. If I need a project I can find 2 or 20 in no time.

American brands are cheap. Forgecraft, Case XX, Ontario/Old Hickory, Clyde, Dexter, etc.

Here's a small fraction of the ones I have had over the years. I fix them up and use them for gifts.


https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/...ft-knives-please-educate-me.11041/post-868307
You can also find French and German ones if you search for "carbon chef knife" and filter to used.

Screenshot_20231212-074041.png


Chinese cleavers are pretty affordable and readily available. Even Japanese ones pop up. Look at that top listing. Damn this is dangerous. Search for "Chinese chef knife" and filter condition to used.

Screenshot_20231212-074341.png




There are a number of sellers with vintage Japanese knives. Shipping prices have gone way up but they're are still deals to be had.

Screenshot_20231212-074612.png
 
For sure, searching “carbon steel chef knife” is a good way to find stuff for a good price where the seller doesn’t know what they have.

Also shout out to American brands. Forgecraft have gone up in price, but the dexters can usually be found cheap and can be really good knives.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top