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How can I tell the date of my Case knife?

Note: The fixed blade knife dating guide is at the bottom of this page.
Since its inception in 1889, the Case Knife Company has been at the forefront of knife manufacturing. Collectors of Case knives have the unique opportunity to hold pieces of American history in their hands, with knives from each era of the company's production. Each knife isn't just a tool; it's a piece of art that represents a specific time in craftsmanship and industry.

Decoding the Age of a Case Knife

This article is here to sharpen your skills in dating your Case knives by looking at their tang stamps. But what exactly is a tang stamp? It's a marking found on the blade—often at the handle—that usually includes the brand name and often includes the production year of the knife. Case has been one of the few companies that consistently has used tang stamps to date their knives throughout their history, making it easier for collectors to verify and appreciate the age of their collectibles.

Use this handy tang stamp guide as a way to determining the age of your beautiful Case knives.

Case Select

Oddball Tangs

Pre-1920

1920-1940 Case Tested XX era

1940-1964 Case XX era

1950-1964 Case XX era — Stainless

1965-1969 Case XX era

1970s

10 dots → 1970
9 dots → 1971
8 dots → 1972
7 dots → 1973
6 dots → 1974
5 dots → 1975
4 dots → 1976
3 dots → 1977
2 dots → 1978
1 dot → 1979

1980s

10 dots → 1980
9 dots → 1981
8 dots → 1982
7 dots → 1983
6 dots → 1984
5 dots → 1985
4 dots → 1986
3 dots → 1987
2 dots → 1988
1 dot → 1989

1990s

19 USA 90 1990 → date stamped
19 USA 91 1991 → date stamped
19 USA 92 1992 → date stamped
19 USA 93 1993 → date stamped
1995 Case Knife 7 dots → 1993
6 dots → 1994
5 dots → 1995
4 dots → 1996
3 dots → 1997
2 dots → 1998
1 dot → 1999

2000s

5 x 5 dots → 2000
5 x 4 dots → 2001
5 x 3 dots → 2002
5 x 2 dots → 2003
5 x 1 dots → 2004
5 x 0 dots → 2005
4 x → 2006
3 x → 2007
2 x → 2008
1 x → 2009

2010s

5 x 5 dots → 2010
5 x 4 dots → 2011
5 x 3 dots → 2012
5 x 2 dots → 2013
5 x 1 dots → 2014
5 x 0 dots → 2015
4 x → 2016
3 x → 2017
2 x → 2018
1 x → 2019

2020s

NOTE: We've seen all block letters on the tang (exactly like the 1970s) and also tangs with block letters and a lightning S. The main feature of the 2020s is they are reusing the old dot style from the 1970s.
10 dots → 2020
9 dots → 2021
8 dots → 2022
7 dots → 2023
6 dots → 2024
5 dots → 2025
4 dots → 2026
3 dots → 2027
2 dots → 2028
1 dot → 2029

Fixed Blade Knives


Who buys Case knife collections today? Finding buyers for Case knife collections can be challenging due to the aging of the market participants and the general decline in the economy. The market has seen a decline in dedicated dealers, largely due to older dealers retiring and a decreased interest among younger people to collect much of anything. This shift has led to fluctuating market values, making it more important than ever to understand who is buying and what they are looking for in a collection. That's not to say the market for Case knives is dead. It is not. But finding someone in your area to buy your entire collection lock, stock, and barrel might not be too easy.

In Closing Whether you're a seasoned collector or new to the world of knife collecting, understanding how to date your Case knives is key to appreciating their worth and historical significance. Remember, each stamp, each blade has a story, and with a little knowledge, you can uncover the tales of craftsmanship that make your collection truly unique. Happy collecting!

About Our Sponsor This article is sponsored by 2nd Markets of Nashville, Tennessee. Recognized as one of the top buyers of Case knife collections in the United States, 2nd Markets offers expertise and passion for these classic collectibles. If you're looking to assess the value of your collection or find a new home for your knives, contact them. Google: 2ND MARKETS KNIFE BUYER or go to https://www.2ndmarkets.com/sell-knife-collection.aspx
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