Knives: Think it’s Easy to Spot a Fantasy Knife?


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Old Weapons


During the Third Reich, millions of fancy dress daggers were ordered and distributed to the party faithful.

Coming in a variety of patterns, with various motifs and designs, these daggers have become popular collector’s items.

By the way, there are lots of dagger fakes around! However, that is not my story today.

Pocket Knives from the Third Reich


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Nazi Knives

If you attend many gun shows, swap meets or weapon extravaganzas, you are sure to see a variety of Nazi pocket knives.  Some have swastikas, Third Reich emblems, the Nazi eagle – or even Hitler’s likeness and/or autograph!

The only problem is that the Nazi’s never ordered pocket knives! Someone decided that if there was a market for fancy Nazi daggers, surely there would be those who would want to collect Nazi pocket knives!

A Fantasy Knife  Example

This is a twist on the ‘fantasy knife’ idea I mentioned yesterday.  Instead of the knife being a total fabrication, pocket folders were created as companions to the “real” Nazi daggers.

These fantasy pocket knives were created in the 1970’s for the swap


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Nazi Knife


meet trade. This should give you some idea of the care you need to take at  swap meets!


Most of these fantasy pocket knives were produced by Parker Cutlery of Tennessee.

Where These Knives are Now

These pocket knives are now available at estate sales and in antique stores.  This is why it is so hard to eliminate fantasy knives; if the pros in antique stores are fooled (or turn a blind-eye to them), what chance do you or I have?

If you don’t know your knife seller, know your history — before you buy a commemorative knife!


* Before I get into trouble:  I’m not implying that all pocket knives from this era are fakes. Individuals may have produced Nazi knives – to fit in or to show their admiration for Hitler.

However, if a seller has several similar pocket knives and says they were produced for the Nazi’s, it didn’t happen.


Full Disclosure: I don’t sell knives any more.  Because they have been popular, I left these articles online.


This blog is a companion to my website:

Knives: How are Knives Faked?

There are 3 types of faked knives: counterfeits, re-worked knives and fantasy knives!



Bowie needed an extra horse to carry all the knives he's 'said' to have owned!

Bowie needed an extra horse to carry all the knives he's 'said' to have owned!


These are created by consciously copying quality knife brands for gain. Usually, they use the original’s name on the knock-off knife.

Counterfeiting shows in (1) the quality of  the materials used. Obviously, the idea is to use cheap materials and sell it for the high prices the originals command.

(2) The quality of the workmanship. If there are gaps or gapes in the way the knife is constructed, it is probably a fake.

(3) Pay particular attention to the markings. If you know a knife is made in the US and the knife states it was made in Taiwan, Korea or India, it is probably a fake!

Re-works – A Gray Zone

Sometimes a genuine old knife has been reworked. It might be as small as replacing a rivet or a bigger change — replacing a broken blade.

This may be an acceptable change if: the restored or replaced part is using authentic parts or using parts from that era and the seller reveals the change.

If the seller does not mention any changes made – this is outright fraud!

A much more troublesome area is when a cheap brand name is ground off and the knife is re-stamped with a more expensive brand name.

It’s important to study the evolution of lettering styles over the years in knives.  If the lettering does not fit the era of its construction, it’s probably a fake!

Fantasy Knives

These are knives for the gullible! They can’t be called counterfeits because the knife never existed!

These are knives that someone has created with the intention of tying it to a historical event or era.

Here’s an example.  A seller might offer a knife from the doomed ship, Arizona, from World War II (Pearl Harbor bombing by the Japanese).

Unless you know that the US government issued a knife with “Arizona” on its case to the sailors of this ship, pass this “treasure” by and don’t buy the story!


You really need to know your history before buying artifacts and knives from someone you don’t know.

Remember, if the knife does not work (and never did work) — it’s a fake.  Before knives became collectibles, they were used by their purchasers.

This may seem hard-nosed, but I assume all knives are fakes until proven otherwise!


Next Time: An interesting story about “fantasy knives” that still fools some buyers!


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on March 2, 2009 at 12:21 am  Comments Off on Knives: How are Knives Faked?  
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