How To Date A Buck Knife?

How To Date A Buck Knife? All You Need to Know About The Symbols, Dots & Stamps

From finding new methods of tempering steel to supplying knives for the troops in war, buck knives have a rich history.

Maybe you found a buck knife from the closet that brought you here. Did you get one from the chest in the attic? The buck knife could be an old item your father or grandfather used to carry.

But how to date a buck knife? The easiest way is to check the chart of symbols made by the manufacturers. You can also learn about the year from the number of brass pins used in the buck knives.

Let’s know more about them below.

How To Date A Buck Knife?

There are 4 main methods that you can use to figure out the making year of your buck knife.

Stamp Recognition

Stamp Recognition

This method is a piece of cake. Just match the symbols stamped near the knife’s handle with the charts below.

This chart will tell you about the knives manufactured from 1961- 86.

1967-72BUCK, USA
1972-86BUCK 110, USA (Added Model #)

Symbol Recognition

Symbol Recognition

If the symbols in the previous chart do not match your knife, go to the official page of buck knives.

On the official website, you will find a chart of symbols that indicate the manufacturing years after 1986. Check that site to match the symbols with your knife.

Dots On The Knives

Dots On The Knives

You can determine if the blades are 110 and 112 models from the dots on the model number of the blade.

  1. 1974-80 – Both Sides of the model number have one dot.
  2. 1980-81 – Left side has one dot, and the right side has two dots.
  3. 1982-86 – Both sides have two dots.
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Brass Pin Numbers

Brass Pin Numbers

The number of brass pins used in the older knives can indicate their manufacturing years. Through this method, you will figure out the blades from 1974 – 1979.

  1. Two Small Brass Pins – This indicates the knife was made in 1974 – 75
  2. Three Small Brass Pins – Knives made in 1977 had three small brass pins.
  3. Four Small Brass Pins – In 1976, buck knives were made with four small brass pins.
  4. Three Large Brass Pins – From 1978-79, the knives were made with three large brass pins.
  5. Exceptions – The knives made in 2002 had anvil symbols instead of model numbers, which was only for that year. On the 50th anniversary, they made two types of symbols. One with Buck USA and an anvil side by side, and the other has an anvil over the USA.

Buck Knife History

Buck Knife History

Mr. Hoyt H. Buck was the founder of Buck Knives. At the age of 10, he joined as an apprentice to learn blacksmithing, and his knowledge made him a popular knife manufacturer later in his life.

The Buck knife was popularized by supplying the troops and fixing the scarcity of knives during WW2. But how did Mr. Hoyt Buck go from being a blacksmith apprentice to becoming a knife supplier?

The year 1902 marks the start of buck knives. While Mr. Hoyt was learning blacksmithing in Kansas City, he was trying to innovate new methods to temper and treat the steel.

The new approach would allow the knives to have an edge for more time than before. The technique used garden hoes to treat the steel.

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But buck knives were from the 1960s, 1961 to be precise. So the buck knives were not born yet. From Kansas City, Mr. Buck went to Northwest and joined the Navy.

But he was not there during the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. After returning from the Navy, Mr. Buck began his journey as a knife maker company.

His shop, in the beginning, was in a church basement with an anvil, grinder, and forge.

He made the knives by hand using the method he invented years ago as an apprentice. After that, he supplied the knives to support the troops in WW2.

What Do The Symbols On Buck Knives Mean?

The manufacturers stamp a symbol on the buck knives to date them quickly.

In the previous section of Symbol Recognition, we talked about the symbols, and here are some examples to understand more about the symbols.

  • Less Than Sign – This symbol means the knife was made in 1986.
  • Greater Than Sign – In 1987, the knives had greater than signs.
  • C – The symbol ‘C’ indicates the knives were made in 1995.
  • V – ‘V’ symbols are given to the knives made in 1989.
  • Inverted V – During 1988, the knives had ‘Inverted V’ on them.

How Old Are Buck Knives?

If we consider the beginning of buck knives from the innovation of the new method by Mr. Buck Hoyt, then the knives are nearly 120 years old.

But if we count the beginning of buck knives from 1961 during WW2, then we have buck knives for around 62 years.

How Can You Tell What Year A Case Knife Is?

Similar to buck knives, there are stamps made on case knives. Look for the stamps made on the tang part of the case knives.

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For different knives, you will find other stamps. From the stamps, you can quickly identify the manufacturing year.


Here are some frequently found queries about buck knives for your convenience.

What Is The Most Valuable Buck Knife?

You may know about the Legacy Series of buck knives. It is the name of the collection of better-made buck knives. Materials, craftsmanship, and price are all premium for this collection.

Among them, Buck 907 Expert Hunter was one of the most expensive knives. The most valuable knife is the Legacy 212 Fixed Ranger, made in 2018.

What Steel Is Used In Buck Knives?

Buck knives are made using stainless steel. Stainless steels meet the requirements of resisting corrosion while challenging, and they also hold their edge longer than other materials.

How Old Is The Buck 110 Knife?

Model 110 Folding Hunter is a famous knife and a best-seller product made after Mr. Buck incorporated the Buck Knives in 1964. So the Buck 110s are nearly 59 years old.


Now you can finally figure out the manufacturing year in which your buck knife was made.

You can check out the symbols or the dots to determine the year, and brass pins can also indicate their manufacturing year. If you have a buck knife from old times, then you have history on your palm.

The buck knives made in 1961 have their footprints in the history of America, and they have not lost their edge from WW2 to the modern age.

If you have found the knife among old things stored in a closet or attic, then ask about it. Maybe you will learn a story about WW2.

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