Question of the Day: Do you have a “Safe Queen”?

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I use the “common” Model 15 on a near-daily basis. The presentation model is unlikely to ever be used.

As I mentioned the other night, I am now the proud owner of a presentation grade Damascus steel, snakewood scaled, Kim Breed Model 15. The “common” version of this knife, with g-10 scales and 80CrV2 steel was the first custom knife purchase I ever made, at the 2014 Blade Show.

I carry that knife probably 50% of the time. It is a special knife, with a greater emotional value to me than your typical EDC tool. While it is a fantastic knife, and the most expensive one I had ever purchased, it is meant to be used. I am not afraid to scratch it up – at least once I began to put a patina on it and it was no longer in new condition.

My other expensive knives, namely my Wilmont Wharny and Caleb White Penance, are in my regular use rotation. Granted, those knives were given to me with the express purpose of putting them to the test, so I would be out of line putting them up on the shelf.

that Damascus…

My new Breed is in a class by itself. It is slightly thinner than my “common” Model 15, but still plenty robust enough to be a strong tool. However, I don’t imagine that I will ever use this knife. I would be more tempted were I not to own my other one, but even then I don’t think that I could. It might seem like blasphemy to put a knife away to remain unused, but I want to leave it pristine.

I use my Caleb White despite it being worth more than a several EDC blades combined.

I have one safe queen firearm, my Grandfather’s 100-year old LC Smith side-by-side 20ga. It was used for a portion of its life, and I felt no qualms about taking it dove hunting a couple of times. It is a wonderfully light and balanced gun, and while I don’t want to stress the stock (it has some slight cracking/wood-grain separation on the stress point when the barrel is broken open), I am happy knowing that it remains usable.

Both of my Kim Breed knives are heirloom quality, and I hope to one day pass them on to each of my children. Only time will tell which one will be the most appropriate version to give to which child, but barring a massive mind-fart on my part, they should easily outlast me.

Do you have a safe queen? Is it because of the knife’s inherent value, or are there sentimental reasons for putting it on the shelf? Do you have a major disagreement with my choice?


  1. Spencer says:

    Most of my stuff was acquired “used” in various stages of condition (and then tuned up or restored by me) but it gets used with care. A few things I own are so pristine and valuable (at least to me) they remain only on display.

  2. Grindstone says:

    Nicest piece I have is a ZT0560 which was gifted to me. It’s my current EDC, but I take care of it.

    I don’t believe in safe queens. I buy for utility, not to show off my wealth.

  3. Jsmith says:

    If I buy it I use it whenever Ican. Although, I do have stuff that stays in the safe because I have no use for it (almost all gifts).

  4. Kevin says:

    I’ve got plenty of safe queens. Even if you discount the collector blades, I’ve got safe queens. I just like having them. They weren’t easy to get and I like to look at them in their pristine beauty. I’ve got some pretty nice users, and I don’t feel bad about using them, but my safe queens live a good life because I’ve got other knives and I just don’t feel like I need to use them for the sake of using them.

  5. Daniel J. Benoit says:

    I have a Safe Queen.
    One of a kind custom made fighting/skinning knife. 4 3/4 inch long fossilized walrus.
    Made by Mr. Jerry M. Snell. Member and office holder of Georgia knife makers guild.

    Mr. Snell was 84 when he passed away in 2011. Knife is impeccable. Not one blemish, not one scratch. Knife was (NEVER USED TO CUT AND HAS NEVER TOUCHED A SHARPENING STONE)
    Highly polished blade, even the bevel part of grind is a “mirror” as is the blade.

    Wished I could post photo.

    1. I used my Kim Breed Damascus Model 15 to cut some gun cleaning patches from an old t shirt. So I can say I used it.

  6. Daniel J Benoit says:

    On my post above I did an edit but it did not save.

    I meant to say “fossilized walrus Ivory.

    Brass hilt, 6 brass pins. Not sure what I left out.
    But I did say it is for sale. email me for photos.

  7. Daniel says:

    I’m sorry. I’m disabled thus my focus is not to good.
    The knife is 10 7/8 total length. Full tapered tang. Much more. Contact me if interested then I can share the many photos I have.

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Question of the Day: Do you have a “Safe Queen”?

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