The NKCA grading system was devised by James F. Parker as President of the NKCA, and at the time there was no grading system. Anything was better than nothing. Olde Towne Cutlery uses the NKCA Grading Standards when assigning condition to our Vintage product. We feel this is the most universally accepted standard in the market and is relatively easy to understand. However, there are nuances to the standard which can cause a deviation from the general category descriptions. Since there is no “official” grading standard across the industry, any system is meant merely as a guide. We will do our absolute best to take high-quality images of all sides of a knife, in order to reveal any imperfections, wear marks, or other attributes which would devalue the knife. As always, if you are unsatisfied with the condition of the knife you have purchased, you may return it for a full refund, provided it is in the same condition as when it was shipped.
MINT: A factory fresh knife, absolutely original as it came from the manufacturer, not carried or sharpened, a perfect knife.
NEAR MINT: A new knife that has seen sometimes, show some slight carry or shop wear, blades snap perfectly, handles show no cracks.
EXCELLENT: Shows no more than 10% blade wear, handles are sound, no cracks, blades snap good.
VERY GOOD: About 25% blade wear, slight cracks in handles, may have one lazy blade, stamping clearly visible to the naked eye, no blades changed or repaired.
FAIR: 50% blade wear, blades lazy, cracks and chips in handles, handles replaced with same type, blades repaired, stampings faint but readable with a glass.
POOR: Blades very worn, handles bad or missing, blades have been replaced with the same type, reading of the stamp is almost impossible, even with a glass, good mostly only for parts.