how to tell the age of an old timer knife

Determining Your Old Timer Knife’s Age: What do you need to know?

As a collector or enthusiast of Old Timer knives, you may be curious about the age of your beloved pieces. Determining the age of an Old Timer knife can provide valuable insights into its history, rarity, and desirability. Fortunately, there are several clues that can help you pinpoint the age of your knife.

One of the key indicators to look for is the tang stamp. The tang stamp, located near the base of the knife blade, changed over the years and can help you narrow down the age range of your Old Timer knife. By paying attention to the changes in the tang stamp, you can get a better idea of when your knife was produced.

In addition to the tang stamp, changes in the name used on the tang stamps and advertisements can also provide valuable clues. For example, the addition of “USA” after the company information on the tang stamp in the mid-1940s or the removal of the name “Walden” from the tang stamps in 1973 can help you narrow down the age of your knife.

Print materials such as old company catalogs and magazine ads are also valuable resources for determining the age of an Old Timer knife. These materials often include images and details that can be used to identify specific models and variations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Look at the tang stamp to determine the age of your Old Timer knife.
  • Pay attention to changes in the name on the tang stamps and advertisements.
  • Use print materials such as old catalogs and magazine ads to help narrow down the age range.
  • Consider the model number of the knife for further identification.
  • Newer Schrade knives may have different model numbers, so consult the manufacturer’s website for information on newer models.

Tang Stamp Clues

The tang stamp on a Schrade knife is a great indicator of its age. The tang stamp, located near the base of the knife blade, identifies the brand. Collectors use the changes in tang stamps over the years to determine the general age of a specific Schrade knife.

The oldest tang stamp, used in 1904, shows the words “Schrade Cut. Co” followed by “Walden, NY” and “Germany.” From later in 1904 to 1917, the tang stamp spelled out “Schrade” in an arc, with “Cut. Co.” on a straight line beneath it. From part of 1917 through 1946, the same words were used, but the name “Schrade” was written in a straight line.

By examining the tang stamp on a Schrade knife, collectors can determine the age range of the knife and gain insights into its historical significance. The changes in tang stamps provide valuable clues for dating and identifying different Schrade knife models, making them highly sought after by enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Name Change Clues

The name used on tang stamps and advertisements by Schrade also changed over the years, providing valuable clues for determining the age of a knife. In the mid-1940s, “USA” was added after the Walden, New York, company information on the tang stamps. In 1973, the name “Walden” was dropped from the tang stamps and literature entirely. Paying attention to these name changes can help narrow down the age of an Old Timer knife.

To illustrate this further, let’s examine some examples of name changes on tang stamps:

  1. “Schrade Cut. Co Walden, NY Germany” (1904)
  2. “Schrade Cut. Co” (1904-1917)
  3. “Schrade Cut. Co” (1917-1946)
  4. “Schrade Cut. Co USA” (mid-1940s)
  5. “Schrade USA” (1973 onwards)

These changes in the name on the tang stamps indicate the evolution of the Schrade Cutlery Company and provide important insights into the age of Old Timer knives. By carefully examining the tang stamp and identifying these name changes, collectors can narrow down the age range of their cherished knives.

Schrade Old Timer Knife

Antique Old Timer Knives

The Old Timer line of knives, known for its quality and craftsmanship, has a rich history that began in 1959 with the release of the 20T model. Over the years, Schrade Cutlery Company produced more than 75 different models and iterations of the Old Timer series, making it a beloved choice among knife enthusiasts and collectors.

When it comes to differentiating between antique Old Timer knives and newer models, one key factor to consider is the model number. The model number is typically found on the tang stamp, near the state or country of origin. By researching the model number on collector sites or referencing knife catalogs, collectors can gain valuable insights into the age range of their Old Timer knives.

Old Timer knife

The values of Old Timer knives can vary based on their rarity and desirability among collectors. Some models may be more sought after and command a higher price due to their limited production or unique features.

Collectible Models and Variations

  • 20T: The original Old Timer model, released in 1959, with a carbon steel blade and a saw-cut Delrin handle.
  • 108OT: A popular lockback folding pocket knife, featuring a stainless steel blade and a classic Old Timer design.
  • 152OT: A large, sturdy hunting knife with a fixed blade, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and hunters.
  • Guthook Series: Old Timer also produced a range of guthook knives, designed specifically for field dressing game.

Each model and variation within the Old Timer knife line has its own unique characteristics that appeal to collectors. Whether you’re looking for a specific model for your collection or simply appreciate the timeless design and quality of Old Timer knives, understanding their age through the model number can enhance your appreciation for these iconic blades.

Print Materials

Print materials are invaluable resources for determining the age and type of an Old Timer knife. Company catalogs, magazine ads, and literature that were included in the box with a Schrade knife can provide valuable information and insights.

These print materials often feature images and detailed descriptions of different knife models, allowing collectors to compare and identify their own knives. By examining the illustrations, collectors can spot unique markings, handle materials, blade shapes, and other distinguishing features that can help determine the age and authenticity of an Old Timer knife.

Furthermore, print materials can also aid in identifying any wear, damage, or modifications that a knife may have undergone over the years. For example, a torn advertisement or a missing page from a catalog could suggest that a knife is older and has been well-used.

Even experienced collectors find print materials to be a useful tool for narrowing down the age of a knife and confirming its provenance. These materials serve as historical documentation, offering a glimpse into the evolution of Old Timer knives and the marketing strategies employed by the Schrade Cutlery Company.

Visual References

Accompanying images in catalogs and advertisements provide visual references that can aid in the identification and authentication of Old Timer knives. By comparing these images to their own knives, collectors can make informed judgments about their age and origin.

As shown in the image below, an example of a Schrade knife catalog offers a comprehensive overview of the Old Timer knife line. The catalog showcases different knife models, provides specifications, and includes pricing information:

Examining print materials and utilizing the visual references they provide can greatly enhance the collector’s understanding of their Old Timer knives, enabling them to make better-informed assessments about their age, type, and historical significance.

Newer Schrade Knives

After the closure of Schrade in 2004, Taylor Brands took over many of the trademarks and reintroduced some of the popular Schrade models. Later on, Taylor Brands was acquired by Battenfeld Technologies, a division of Smith & Wesson. Under the ownership of Battenfeld, the production of Schrade knives, including the beloved Old Timer line, continues. However, it is important to note that newer Schrade knives may have different model numbers compared to those produced by the original Schrade company.

To obtain accurate production information and details about newer Schrade knives, it is recommended to visit Battenfeld’s website. The website serves as a valuable resource for collectors and enthusiasts, providing up-to-date information on model numbers, specifications, and the latest additions to the Schrade lineup. Navigating the website will enable collectors to stay informed about the newer Schrade knives available in the market, ensuring they can add these exceptional pieces to their collections.

When exploring the website, you’ll be able to find comprehensive details about the newer Schrade knives, such as the materials used, design features, and functionality. This information can help you make informed decisions when considering a purchase or expanding your collection. With Battenfeld’s commitment to maintaining the legacy of the Schrade brand, you can be confident in the quality and craftsmanship of these newer Schrade knives.

Key Points:

  • Taylor Brands acquired Schrade trademarks post-2004 closure.
  • Battenfeld Technologies, a Smith & Wesson division, now owns Taylor Brands.
  • Battenfeld continues production of Schrade knives, including the Old Timer line.
  • Newer Schrade knives may feature different model numbers.
  • Consult Battenfeld’s website for accurate and up-to-date production information.


Determining the age of an Old Timer knife can be an intriguing endeavor for collectors and enthusiasts. By carefully examining the tang stamp, noting any name changes, reviewing print materials, and researching model numbers, one can narrow down the age range of these prized collector’s items. The age of an Old Timer knife holds great significance, as it directly impacts its rarity and desirability in the market.

One of the key indicators to consider is the tang stamp, which undergoes variations over time. This stamp, found near the base of the knife blade, provides valuable information about the knife’s age. Additionally, changes in the company name used on the tang stamps and advertisements can further aid in determining the knife’s age.

Print materials, such as old company catalogs, magazine ads, and literature, serve as valuable resources in identifying and dating Old Timer knives. These materials often contain images and details that can help collectors identify their knives, even if they are worn or damaged. Consequently, these resources are crucial for narrowing down the age of an Old Timer knife and uncovering its historical significance.

As highly valued collector’s items, Old Timer knives captivate enthusiasts who appreciate their craftsmanship and nostalgic appeal. Understanding the various indicators of age, such as the tang stamp, name changes, print materials, and model numbers, empowers collectors to delve into the rich history and unlock the true value of their Old Timer knives.