My Experience. My Thoughts.
I have been a knife collector for over 25 years. My first experiences related to knife collecting were more that of accumulating knives I liked. I had no particular style or theme that I focused on. I began reading up on knives and knife collecting and came to the conclusion that I should focus on a style or theme because that’s what the experts said I should do.
I liked Gunstock pattern knives and I began collecting production and custom Gunstock pattern knives all the while accumulating other types of knives just because I liked them.
I reached a point were I had a great collection of production Gunstock pattern knives with a focus on those from the early 20th century and I had Gunstock pattern knives made by most of the greatest custom knifemakers that specialized in that genre (multi-blade slip-joints). In many cases I had the first of that pattern made by many of these great makers such as Tony & Reese Bose, Dan Burke, Terry Davis, Joel Chamblin, Joe Kious, Warren Osborne, Tom Overeynder, Richard Rogers, Eugene Shadley and many others.
I had, what I believe, was one of the best collections of production Gunstock pattern knives in the country and probably the best collection of custom gunstocks in the world. So I then asked myself OK were do I go from here? I changed direction, sold off most all of my production pieces and many of the custom Gunstocks. I lost money on some pieces and made money on most.
Tastes change. I now focus only on custom knives; gentleman's folders, some fixed blade knives, tactical knives and engraved knives. I enjoy my collection and the collecting, the chase.
So, I have gone both routes collecting knives, focused and not so focused. I have experienced great pleasure from both. My recommendation is always buy what you like first, worry about re-sale second. Remember, this is a hobby. Enjoy it. Collect what you like.