- Parent Company: Zippo
- Headquarters: Bradford, PA, USA
- Product Focus: EDC
- Target Markets: Budget ( < $50), Mid-Range ($50-$150)
- Production Facilities: USA
W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company (generally known as “Case” or “Case XX”) have been producing fine quality hand-crafted knives in the US for well over a century. Their knives are highly respected by knife experts and collectors throughout the world and we are continually impressed by the distinct elegance and craftsmanship exhibited by their products. Their main focus is sporting, hunting and collectable knives that bear classic designs that have stood the test of time through decades of use by outdoorsmen. Make no mistake, Case is the epitome of the true American knife company.
The business was established back in 1889 after the four Case brothers started to craft knives for sale to the wagon travellers in New York. They incorporated in 1900 and later relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1905. The team later began producing and selling knives to the military with the advent of World War I where their brand really began to take off. In more recent times Case was bought out by the Zippo Manufacturing Company (who make the popular Zippo lighters) who are also based in Bradford, PA.
Case knives are manufactured from US steels and incorporate many of the Company’s patented production processes, particularly with heat treatment. The most common steels used are Case’s own Tru-Sharp stainless steel which carries a high carbon content to promote edge retention and Chrome Vanadium which is Case’s own unique formula allowing for easy re-sharpening (though this does require frequent oiling to avoid discolouration). In addition, many Case knives use premium ATS-34, 154CM and even BG-42 steels.
They use a wide variety of handle material including cattle bone, buffalo horn, mother-of-pearl and even precious stones. The bone used by Case originates from Brazilian Zebu cattle which is far denser than other types of cattle.
Each Case knife is handled by over 100 employees during its creation process over 160 steps and this results in a truly impeccable quality control process. What’s unique about Case knives is that they stamp each blade with a special tang marking that can be used to identify the knife and production date. This is of great appeal to collectors and hobbyists and Case boasts the largest knife collecting association in the world with almost 20,000 members. Case has agreements with popular celebrities and iconic groups such as the Boy Scouts of America and John Deere.
Case has a staggering selection of pocket knives, each available in a variety of sizes, patterns and materials for both the blade and handle. The more popular patterns are generally the Trapper, Stockman, Peanut and Copperhead.
The Trapper is perhaps the most popular Case pattern since the early days of the company and averages about four inches in length. It was designed for trapping and skinning small game and is extremely lightweight. The Trapper is a jack-knife with a versatile clip blade and a long Spey blade. It really is an excellent pocket knife design and gives its popularity it can be had in a large variety of handle colours, materials and designs.
The Stockman is another popular Case design originally targeted towards ranchers and includes three blades – a clip blade accompanied typically by a spey and sheep foot blade. Extremely practical and a joy to use, the Stockman also comes in a large array of colours and materials.
The Copperhead is a jack-knife like the Trapper with a master clip blade and secondary pen blade. It became popular during the Vietnam war and carries a recessed tang to avoid the edge causing wear and tear on pockets. In addition, the pocket end bolster extends upward to shield any blade corners. It’s generally smaller than a Trapper or Stockman but not as small as the Peanut.
The Peanut is a small but extremely versatile knife which includes a main clip blade and usually a pen or spey blade housed on the same end of the knife. The clip blade is used for the most challenging tasks while the pen or spey is usually put to work on smaller jobs. The dainty little Peanut knife is perfect for junior outdoorsmen or boy scouts.
In addition these favourites there are dozens of other Case designs and to the uninitiated, their knife selection can be rather overwhelming. To help we have handpicked some of our favourite Case knives for your reference below:
A true classic. The Case Medium Stockman #042 comes with an Amber bone handle which has delicate peach seed jigging. It carries the famous clip blade using Tru-Sharp surgical steel together with sheep foot and spey blades. The medium stockman weighs in at only 2.5 ounces and is just over 3.5 inches long. Many will agree this is a real joy to own. It’s extremely well made, tremendously effective and will last you close to a lifetime. An excellent gift for Father or Son!
Case Canoe Chrome Vanadium with Amber Bone
The Case Canoe got its name from its canoe-like shape and is another favorite among the Case community. This model features Chrome Vanadium spear and pen blades which are extremely sharp and can be re-sharpened relatively easily as required. We do recommend a thin film of oil to prevent discoloration after lengthy periods of time. Weighing in at just under 3 ounces and about 3.5 inches long it’s a perfect size to slip into your pocket. Again we see the beautiful amber bone handle on the #263 Canoe which exudes timeless elegance. You also notice the spear blade comes with an etching of a Native American paddling in a canoe.