Deposits for Custom Knives: Yes, No, Maybe?
The subject of whether to pay a custom knife maker or a custom knife dealer a deposit or not, comes up on a regular basis. What I have learned (sometimes the hard way) over the last 34 years comes down to these categories.
I cannot over emphasize that when ordering a custom knife, communication is key. It is imperative that both the maker and the collector are on the same page as to the knife, the materials, estimated (note I wrote estimated) delivery time, price and when payment will be required. There needs to be clear communication when it comes to a deposit. Some makers will require one and some won’t. Often those who require one do so because they have been burned by a client in the past. The main reason for this is poor or no communication. My recommendation to both makers and collectors with regards to orders are pretty straight forward. The maker should contact the collector PRIOR TO STARTING the knife (not after it is built.) This allows both the maker and collector to discuss the knife one more time, especially if several months or years have passed. This lets the collector know the knife will be ready in a few weeks and payment will be do upon completion. This allows the maker to insure the email or phone number is still working and the shipping address is still accurate. This communication allows both parties to know exactly which knife is being built, when it will be completed and when payment will be due. While this sounds simple enough, you would be amazed at how many knives are built not knowing if the client still wants the knife, the email still works, etc.
Robertson’s Custom Cutlery is your source for custom knives from today’s leading custom knife makers. We only feature the highest quality knives at value prices. Our custom fixed and folding knife selection includes tactical fixed and folding knives, presentation fixed and folding knives, bowies, hunters and skinners, and a large selection of forged blades. Les Robertson, author and owner of Robertson’s Custom Cutlery, is also a Field Editor for Blade Magazine and an instructor at Blade University. If you have questions about the content in this article or about any knife or maker on our website, you can contact Les directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (706) 650-0252.