Is Spyderco’s Upcoming Discontinued List a Good Investment Opportunity?

As 2015 winds down, most knife manufacturers are preparing to release their catalogs for the upcoming year. We’ll soon get to see what new designs and inventions manufacturers have in store for 2016. But we’re also about to learn which knives reached the end of their product life-cycle.

With its cult-like following, no company gets more attention this time of year than Spyderco. For some Spyderco fans, finding out the knife they own and use is getting the axe marks the disappointing realization that the knife hasn’t been getting love from enough other knife enthusiasts. When a knife goes out of production it also means that users will soon no longer be able to get back-ups without turning to the secondary market.

“Spyderco couldn’t come out with 20 new models every year if they held onto those products.”

But as Cutlery Shoppe owner Jeff Loffer explains, there are good reasons why some knives must end up on the chopping block: “For knife manufacturers, managing a product portfolio is like minding a garden. You have to weed and cull the plants that aren’t strong enough – and if you plant too many the garden doesn’t grow. The biggest question is: ‘does the knife justify the time, effort, and capacity used to make it?’ Spyderco couldn’t come out with 20 new models every year if they held onto those products.”

“You would probably do better than on the stock market”

As an established knife dealer, Loffer has seen many Spyderco models come and go and says he has watched as prices of discontinued Spydercos continue to rise. “If you bought everything on their discontinued list and you put it in your closet for 5 years you would probably do better than on the stock market. There is always a risk that your 401K will get wiped out, but with a knife you have a tangible asset that can be kept for investment or pressed into service should the need arise,” says Loffer.

Historical Price Increases Have Been Remarkable

While it’s hard to predict what the future will bring, historical price increases have been remarkable. The Spyderco Phoenix could be purchased for under $200 in 2010 but would cost you nearly $500 today. The Spyderco Sage 4 which was discontinued last year has already appreciated by 50%. “The Spyderco Kopa series is a perfect example of what can happen with knives that get discontinued,” Loffer said. “We had them listed for $150 and since Spyderco stopped making them, Kopas can go for $600 or more even though they were slow movers.”

What’s driving the price increases?

“The people who have long wanted to buy the knife but have procrastinated realize this will be their last chance,” says Loffer. “Also, since the knives are now out of production and most of them are out there being used, the supply of ‘new in box’ knives is always decreasing. Now imagine what happens when a guy comes along who feels the need to have every Spyderco ever made.”

When will Spyderco’s discontinued list for 2016 be announced?

While Spyderco hasn’t announced a date, it traditionally releases its annual discontinued list a week or two before the catalog. The official discontinued list for 2015 was released on November 26th, 2014 and the catalog was available for download on December 12th, 2014.

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