How to Spot a Counterfeit Knife

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If you're a passionate knife collector, there's nothing worse than realizing that you've purchased a forged or counterfeit knife.  Unfortunately, the counterfeit knife business is quite lucrative, as forged products can be made for as little as $5-$10 and then sold to unsuspecting buyers for as much as $250.  Here are some tips to avoid buying counterfeit knives.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is

Why would someone sell a $200 knife for $20? They're either out of their mind or they are selling a forgery.  Don't be sucked in by cheap prices and convince yourself that you're getting a deal.  By simply going to a vendor's website, you can find out the list price of their knives.  If a knife is suspiciously cheap, it's a warning sign that it's probably a fraud.

Avoid vendors without established credibility

Would you deposit money in a bank that you had never heard of?  Probably not, which is why you shouldn't buy knives from online vendors without established credibility.  If you're visiting a knife e-commerce store, check the testimonials and search the web to see what sort of interactions customers have had.  If you're buying through eBay or another auction site, check the seller's feedback score to make sure they're legitimate.

Watch out for fake tactical knives

What are the most frequently forged knives? They are tactical knives, which, not surprisingly, are also some of the more expensive.  Knife brands like Cold Steel, Dark Ops, Smith & Wesson and others are popular targets for forgery.  Almost every highly-recognizable knife brand has counterfeit versions made in Asia, which is why it's crucial that you're cautious when buying.

Do your homework and examine the knife closely

There are a wide variety of knife guides available, which can prevent you from purchasing a forged knife. However, fakes look identical in appearance to real knives.  This is why examining the craftsmanship of knives is important when trying to recognize a fake.  You'll want to examine the knife up close, most likely under a microscope.  Weigh and measure the knife to make sure its dimensions match up with the specifications the manufacturer lists.

Buy a knife, not a story

One of the telltale signs that a knife seller might be trying to pull the wool over your eyes is if he or she attempts to make up grand stories about who has used knife or where it comes from.  If a knife seller tells you the Bowie knife they're pushing on you was carried by Bowie himself, it wasn't.  Watch out for tall tales, because they are signs that the vendor is trying to distract you.

Bring in an expert

Any legitimate knife vendor won't object if you bring in an independent expert to inspect their wares.  If you're going to make a hefty knife purchase, it makes sense to have an experienced knife collector take a second look.

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