Gerber #450 'trout and bird' skinning knife, $25.

You must be aware that certain brands of cutlery and hunting knives cost much more than you'd ever think, and the more you know about, the more money you stand to make. If there is one knife company whose products you absolutely must be able to spot, it's Gerber. An older specimen like this one, in such fine condition, is certain to be of great interest to Gerber's fanatical followers who love to use, as well as collect this company's knives!

Back in 1938, a Portland blacksmith named David Murphy had a business making knives and selling them locally. One of Murphy's customers was the owner of a local advertising agency named Joseph Gerber, who loved the knives, and offered to help Murphy improve his sales. An agreement was reached, and the Gerber Knife Company began. Gerber became very popular during the Vietnam War era, when the company began marketing its Mark II fighting / survival knife directly to the troops overseas.

What's interesting here is that although both the knife and sheath say model #450, the box says #400S, so they're obviously in the wrong box. I accidentally listed this knife as a model #400S and within five minutes of the start of the listing, I received a friendly email from a collector of Gerber knives, informing me of my error. So, not only is this a great knife made by a popular and highly respected company, but there are also avid collectors of these knives just waiting for new ones to be listed on eBay!

Here's an important warning about buying knives to list on eBay. A search of eBay's closed auctions will reveal that some old knives with great historical significance sell for a great deal of money, no matter what condition they're in. But insofar as the vast majority of knives that you or I are likely to find in our travels, the issue of whether the blade has been sharpened always has a great impact on the knife's value. For this reason, you should always inspect any knife for signs of sharpening - but how do you tell?

I'm no knife expert, but I know that a factory sharpen job is perfectly even along the length of the blade, with no marks or scratches outside of that narrow edge. A knife that has received an 'aftermarket' sharpening, on the other hand, often looks more uneven and may even have scratches along the side of the blade. This will detract from the knife's value. I'll admit that it can be a tough call, but just remember - although it's sometimes to tell if a knife has been used and sharpened, it's normally not too hard to tell that one hasn't.

This Gerber 450 knife sold on eBay for $115.

Photo of Gerber model 450 trout and bird skinning knife