Levine Question

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beresman
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Levine Question

Post by beresman » Mon Jun 07, 2021 12:54 am

I was using an old copy of the first edition of Levine's "Guide to Knives and their Values", and decided to get a newer edition. I got the fifth edition, and for whatever reason the relative value column (L,M,H or V) is missing from the brand list near the beginning of the book. I probably use this as much as anything in the book and was a little unhappy to not see it in this edition. Is the 4th edition also missing this column? I wanted to get the most complete list I could, but without the relative values, it's not as useful.

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Re: Levine Question

Post by Gunsil » Mon Jun 07, 2021 1:31 am

Levine had nothing to do with the fifth edition. His publisher sold the rights to his book and he was no longer involved. The fourth edition still has the relative value guide, but all those books are way outdated. They also have some information which has been proven incorrect with newer info that has come to light since they were printed as usually happens over time. I have seen mint condition 4th editions sell for near $100, they are out of print and sought after but still perhaps the best ID guide available.

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Mumbleypeg
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Re: Levine Question

Post by Mumbleypeg » Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:38 am

I have both the 4th and 5th editions. They are almost identical, save for the values. If for some reason you want the values guide (as Gene says the values are all out of date), then you’ll want an earlier than 5th edition. Otherwise don’t waste your money on an expensive 4th edition - the content in the 5th edition is the same as the 4th. The chapters on folding knives authored by Pete Cohen are still the articles on folding knives authored by Pete Cohen. :roll: The only other problem I’ve noticed with the 5th edition is they apparently didn’t update the index - in some cases the pages referenced don’t match the content so they’re off by a page or two.

Ken
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Re: Levine Question

Post by tongueriver » Mon Jun 07, 2021 2:48 pm

Interesting to hear that one can get the 4th edition content by buying the 5th edition. Good to know. My take on any kind of document, digital or in print, that purports to suggest a value on a knife: nearly worthless. However, by looking at such document, one can see if a knife is popular and has sometimes brought a lot of money, or, conversely, if they had not been going for much at such and such a time. Most people have found the 'completed listings' on Ebay at least slightly useful. Nothing can be counted on, however. I was prepared to buy a certain knife on Ebay recently and, being very familiar with the knife, knew after years of study that I could buy it for somewhere between (say) $30 and $75. Wrong. Some fool bought it for well over $200 because of a slight anomalous tang stamp that was sort of interesting. It was in 'fair' condition. All good theatre.

beresman
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Re: Levine Question

Post by beresman » Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:38 pm

I get that the actual value numbers are not going to be realistic; this hobby isn't as well defined as, say, coins, where values are pretty well understood (well, a lot of the time, anyway). I'm really more interested in relative rarity and desirability of a brand. There are so many small companies that made knives over the last two hundred years, and learning the history of all of them is going to take me a while. In the meantime, if something comes up that I find interesting, I'd kind of like to know whether the general perception is one that the knife is higher or lower value.

A lot of what I buy (in the way of knives) is what I like, not what I expect to resell. But I haven't been at it long enough to know what might be fairly common and what is scarce. eBay listings only go so far in telling me that, because they only go back 3 months or so. So I use the relative values (L, M, H and V) to tell me whether I should wait until I can get something for $5 or pick it up at $25.

I know the latest (not-quite-) Levine is 20 years old; is there anything else that is near that comprehensive and more recent? Again, I don't need actual values, just some idea what is more/less desirable.

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1967redrider
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Re: Levine Question

Post by 1967redrider » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:40 am

This is my go-to book for everything but Case knives, even though Case folders and fixed blades are in here too. I like the way it's organized and includes a lot of makers. 😉👍

I have Levine's 2nd and 4th Editions, which are nice to peruse, but I like this Price & Zalesky reference better.
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Re: Levine Question

Post by Ridgegrass » Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:36 pm

My 2 cents worth, (true value). I'm looking at an old copy of a famous guide to values and on the page I see values as follows: $686, $54, $39, $42, and $108 for a variety of samples of a certain pattern.
Now I truly appreciate the work that went into all the "values" guides by all the good authors. I have used them and my copies are dog eared too. But I must agree with the comment that using them for pricing doesn't seem sensible. They are great identification guides and have wonderful company histories and give good info on the relative quality and rarity of knives. Numerical estimates just seem to be arbitrary and useless, (especially in the whacko world of on-line trading). Additionally, applying a set of percentage formulas to arrive at a possible price. How many deals were studied and how much data went into determining a final average value of $42, or $686 ?
Maybe most seasoned collectors have an "experienced" sense of values for knives. We all probably still feel the sting of a bad deal in our learning days.
I know I do!
I hope the newer members of our hobby/obsession don't put too much faith in "book values". The true value is always the price agreed upon between a knowledgeable buyer and seller. JMHO..... ::tu:: J.O'.

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1967redrider
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Re: Levine Question

Post by 1967redrider » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:13 pm

The best price guide is an eBay completed listings search in my opinion. ::nod::

Reference books are great for making sure you're not getting a cobbled knife, but so is AAPK. ::tu::
Pocket, fixed, machete, axe, it's all good!

You're going to look awfully silly with that knife sticking out of your @#$. -Clint Eastwood, High Plains Drifter

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Mumbleypeg
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Re: Levine Question

Post by Mumbleypeg » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:24 pm

All good points. I’ll add that it’s a rare situation where the L, M, H, or V (relative value) rating of 50 years ago is not still the same today.

Ken
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