How to Date a Case Knife

It is possible to date a Case knife. Through the tang stamp, you can tell how old a knife is. 

We will talk more about this process in this blog post.

case knife

Case Knife Basics


A pocket knife of this design is a great design and since it is so popular, it is available in a wide range of colors, materials, and designs. Knife experts as well as collectors around the world highly respect their knives. Their products impress with their distinct elegance and craftsmanship. 

With decades of use by outdoorsmen, they have become innovators of stylish, classic hunting, sporting, and collectible knives. The Case knife company embodies all that is authentically American.


Case knife production has a rich history that is viewed by many as an American tradition. The company was originally founded in 1889 and the first Case knives were made just one year later, which makes it seem like this brand of blades has always been around.

However, there have actually been quite a few ownership changes over the years with most recently being purchased from Zippo Manufacturing Corporation which still owns them to date.

Dating Case Knives Through Tang Stamps

Tang Stamp Backgrounder

Case knife tang stamps provide important information to collectors. The markings will reveal the manufacturer, pattern name, and year in which the knife was made.

The tang stamp is the name of the manufacturer as well as a code number which lets you know what year the blade was made.

Dating Process

The process whose steps are listed below is an effective day of checking on the stamp to determine the manufacture date of a knife.

Step 1.

The knife’s largest blade should be assessed. The largest is the master blade. Usually, marks are made on it.

Step 2.

After doing so, it is time for you to examine the tang. Tangs are pins that anchor the blade and casing together at the end of the blade. In the case of a Case knife, you’re likely to find the marks there if you clean this area first.

Step 3.

After that, study the style and content of the mark. Through the years, the brand has altered its style and content of stamping.

Step 4.

Form a conclusion through the date that is indicated by the knife’s tang stamp. This is because most marks include dates that are relevant to specific patterns or years in which they were made following the manufacturer’s numbering system.

Step 5.  

As you analyze your information. You may want to look up old catalogs and other prints or credible internet sources for references.

Evolution of Stamps


A dot was added to the tangs of all Case knives in 1970 beneath the “USA.”. The dots were removed one at a time as each year passed. In 1971 there were 9 dots, in 1972 there were 8, etc.


Two subtle differences were made to the dating system in the 1980s. Two lightning bolts appeared on both “CASE” and “USA.” Additionally, dots appeared above “USA”.

1990-1993 mid-year

From 1990 to mid-1993, a major change happened. Instead of dots, the date was stamped. 

Middle of 1993-1999

However, in the succeeding years, customers demanded the dot system of dating. Eventually, the brand adhered to the clamor of its customers. 


Case knives introduced a new system of dating. It makes use of Xs and dots to identify the manufacture date of each blade.  

Final Verdict

In a nutshell, dating a Case knife is something that hundreds of collectors do. But the most memorable experience will be when you pull out your own pocket knife, check its tang stamp and learn about how old it really is.

Collecting this product can be done from time to time, but unlike other items, they are more than just decorative pieces in your home.

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