"Grading The Condition of a Knife 4/26/05"
The widely accepted guidelines are those established by the National Knife Collectors Association:Mint
- A knife that is absolutely original as it came from the manufacturer. Never used, carried, sharpened, nor heavily cleaned. An unblemished knife. Near Mint
- A new-condition knife that may show very slight signs of carry or shop wear. Blades are not worn and snap perfectly. Handles show no cracks. Most of original finish is obvious. Excellent
- A knife that shows no more than 10 percent blade wear. Handles are sound with no cracks. Blades snap well. Some discoloration of blades or handles is acceptable. May have been heavily cleaned. Very Good
- A knife with up to 25 percent blade wear, slight cracks in handles. No blades nor other parts replaced or repaired. Stamping clearly visible to the naked eye. Fair
- A knife with up to 50 percent blade wear, cracks, or chips in handles. Blades "lazy" (lacking snap) and may have been repaired. Stamping faint but readable with magnifying glass. Poor
- Blades very worn or may have been replaced with ones of same type. Handles bad or missing. Reading of stamping nearly impossible. A knife valued for its parts.
Reposted from NKCA.orgwww.eknives.com/article-cond.htmlETA another link: cutlerscove.com/kwg/knife-grading.htm