Growing up, you might have come across some old Schrade knives. They were mostly owned by our grandfathers and uncles. The uniqueness of the blades gives one the urge to discover how old the knives date.
Schrade cutlery company dates back to 1904 and has been characterized by change of ownership and mergers with other companies over the century. Such changes have made it hard to date the Schrade knives over the centuries.
Luckily, you can learn how to date a Schrade knife, such as checking the tang stamp.You can use several other methods to date the Schrade knives with ease and precision. This article will look at the various methods for dating a Schrade knife.
How to Date a Schrade Knife
Several Schrade knives such as the Old-Timer knives, Uncle Henry Knives, and Federal Duck Stamp Series have been produced. These different types necessitate different methods of dating. Here are proven methods of dating a Schrade knife.
Finding the Schrade Serial Number
Involves checking for a serial number of four digits on the knife blade. Each digit represents a unique aspect of the knife.
The first digit represents the number of knife blades. The second and the third digits denote the handle pattern and design, whereas the fourth digit refers to the handle’s type(material) and color.
The Schrade serial number is unique and resonates with specific blades. One can find the Schrade serial number in the Schrade catalog.
Checking for Specific Markings on the Blade
Markings on the blades give more precise information about the blade. Uncle Henry knives are marked “UH” on the blade. The Uncle Henry knife is made of stainless steel and dates to between 1965 and 2004.
Old Timer knives are marked with “OT” on the blade. The Oldtimer was made of a carbon steel blade and was manufactured from around 1956 to around 2002.
Looking at the Knife’s Tang Stamp or Logo
Looking at the tang stamp is one of the quickest methods of dating a Schrade knife with the help of a Schrade tang stamp chart, as discussed later in the article. The stamps are located at the base of the blade.
It is possible to determine when a particular Schrade blade was manufactured with an appropriate tang stamp. It, however, gets complicated to get an accurate date since the logos have been modified severally over the century.
It is advisable to research well on other stamp charts online since some are written full of personal findings and experience. Despite the number of knife blades, one stamp is embedded.
Inspecting the Handle Material
Handle markings are another reliable way of knowing the period in which the blade was manufactured. The Schrade cutlery company has switched between bones (plain and colored) and synthetic materials.
Initially, from its inception, they used bones to make handles before moving to the use of synthetic materials. With time around the late 1970s, they switched back to colored bones but with technology improvement, the use of synthetic materials was now adopted as the primary method.
Going Through the Schrade Catalogs
Schrade Catalog keeps documented information about the Schrade knives over the years. By checking the catalogs, one can identify unique features and designs that help in dating the Schrade knives.
While using the catalogs, it’s a task to directly pinpoint the knife’s age without the combination of other methods of dating, such as checking on the serial number.
Checking for Images on Handles
By checking the images on the knife’s handle, it is possible to know when a knife was manufactured. Schrade cutlery company used the images at specific times; hence it is a more accurate dating method.
Images found on the handle can be counter-checked with images from the internet for more accurate dating.
Exploring the Internet
The internet platform has increasingly become one of the most sought-after sources of information. Some of the information from the online sites are reliable, while others are misguiding.
Verified sites for Schrade cutlery companies help estimate the year that a particular blade was made. The Internet may be biased, but working closely with documented materials can help achieve high precision and accuracy.
Schrade Tang Stamp Chart
The tang stamp chart is a guideline to help date the blades using the stamp embedded. The Schrade logos have a range of years during which the company used a specific stamp.
Over the years, the logos have considerably changed to suit different purposes. It is therefore advisable to keep updating to have the latest chart.
Below is an example of a Schrade tang stamp chart –
How to Identify a Schrade Knife’s Year
Schrade knives are still the most sought-after knives due to their durability and uniqueness. From the inception of Schrade cutlery company in 1904 until 2004, changes have affected the choice and style of stamps.
The commonly used method is checking the stamp/logo found at the base of the blade. Below are the different ways of identifying a Schrade knife’s year of make.
Hints and Clues on the Tang Stamp
Words used in 1904 have the word ‘Schrade Cut. Co’ on the first line followed by ‘Walden, NY’ and ‘Germany’ below it.
From late 1904 to 1917, the company changed the word ‘Schrade Cut. Co’ in an arc while maintaining the rest of the wordings.
From 1917 to 1946, the word ‘Schrade’ was now written in a straight line maintaining the rest.
Antique Old Timer Knives
The company released the first Old Timer (OT) knife in 1946, namely the 20T model. Others include the Schrade 34OT made between 1964 and 2004, and Schrade 33OT made between 1976 and 2004.
One can find the model numbers in the collectors’ catalog on the internet.
Going Through the Print Items
Involves reading the print materials such as the collector catalogs and any other documented written materials. The information helps pinpoint the knife-specific year of manufacture.
For the old and worn-out blades, dating them proves to be a task. The print items in such scenarios help narrow the preliminary information to data that can be relied on for dating.
Latest Schrade Knives
After the closure of the Schrade and cutlery company, many others emerged. Taylor brands came into the market and had their own method of dating.
One can find the model numbers and logos on Taylor Schrade’s information website. Other companies include Battenfeld Technologies, which adopted the Schrade knife.
NOTE: It is important to note that different methods of dating will give different results. This is brought about by the application of different data.
For the last century, the Schrade cutlery company has manufactured one of the best military and hunting pocket knives with multiple blades. In acquiring one of these knives’, it begs for one to know the year of manufacturing.
Dating a Schrade knife is a process that requires accuracy. The listed methods make it easier to determine the year or period of manufacture. Some of the methods are dependent on other methods for better results. Internet exploration is mostly used with all other methods of dating.
However, some blades may prove hard to date due to having been poorly stored and counterfeit products. with the above methods, most of the knives are accurately dated. In contrast, others are dated within a range of years due to insufficient data.