How To Date A Kinfolks Knife

How To Date A Kinfolks Knife?

How old is your Kinfolks knife? This question is tricky because it’s notoriously difficult to find out the exact year a kinfolk knife was made.

However, that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts, owners, and prospective buyers from trying to date the knives.

Kinfolk knives are categorized as vintage. Hence their value is high in the market. The knives’ production ended decades, so they are rare, driving their value higher.

As a result, collectors and enthusiasts are always looking to acquire more of these blades.

The best way to ascertain the authenticity and value of a vintage knife is to determine its manufacture date. Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know to date a Kinfolks knife.

Why Is It Difficult To Date A Kinfolks Knife?

Why Is It Difficult To Date A Kinfolks Knife

The biggest problem in dating a Kinfolks knife is that the company stopped manufacturing activities long ago.

Hence, most of the records associated with these knives are lost, making it extremely difficult to pinpoint exact dates of manufacture.

Another problem is the existence of fakes. Because Kinfolks knives are associated with the second world war and ceased production a long time ago, they are very valuable today.

The high value has motivated some cunning dealers to create fakes and pass them off as originals, causing confusion.

New versions of these knives were introduced after the firm’s closure due to other manufacturers’ use of the Kinfolks brand name. These new models also contribute to the difficulty in dating these knives.

How To Date A Kinfolks Knife

Dating a Kinfolks knife is a massive challenge because of the general lack of information about them. However, the following four methods should help you in the quest to date your knife;

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Use A Guide Or Catalog

Kinfolks Knives - A history of cutlery and cousins

Several books have been written about Kinfolks knives and the firm’s founders that manufactured them. These books or guides contain cataloged information that will help you date your Kinfolks knife.

The beauty of using a guide to date your knife is that you don’t have to know anything about knives – all necessary information is provided in the guide.

Besides, a catalog can help you determine whether the blade you’re considering is an original before you buy it or list it for sale.

Kinfolks Knives: A History of Cutlery and Cousins By Case, Dean Elliott is one of the best guide book you can get online.

Ask Experts And Dealers

Academics and dealers depend on their knowledge for their livelihoods. Hence, asking an expert is an excellent idea if you’re unable to date your knife.

Since Kinfolks knives have a long and often confusing history, it is wise to consult many experts to get a more accurate date.

Check The Stamp

Check The Stamp

Not all Kinfolks knives have tang stamps, but those that do, have etchings that show the era of manufacture and the materials used.

For instance, a marking that begins with the code ‘TC’ shows that the blade was made using tungsten carbide. These letters show that a knife was made between 1957 and 1965.

Ask In Online Forums

If you try all the above methods and fail to find any information, then your last resort is the internet.

Asking in forums will allow you to reach a much larger audience of experts, making it more likely to date the knife. Ensure you ask in large, reputable forums to get the best answers.

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To avoid losing your knife to cunning scammers, send only pictures to any enthusiast who wishes to help, never the actual blade.

Kinfolks Knives History

Kinfolks Knife Company was founded in 1924 by three relatives – Dean Case, Russell Case, and Tint Champlin.

The company was based in Little Valley, New York, and was created to plug the production deficit of their other ventures – Cattaraugus Cutlery and Case & Sons.

In the 1930s, Dean Case bought the company and focused on supplying bayonets to the army during world war two. At the war’s end, the company returned to supplying kitchen and hunter’s knives.

Robeson Cutlery, owned by Dean Case’s cousin, Emerson, continued production of the knives until the mid-60s after the company ceased operations in 1957.

Since 1965, different knife makers have used the Kinfolks brand name on varying versions.


Here are some answers to the most common kinfolks knives questions.

How to differentiate an original kinfolks knife from a fake?

Most of the Kinfolks knives in existence today were made decades ago, so the first way to check authenticity is to look at the material.

For an original knife, the material used will be consistent with the era. Ensure that there is no mixing of modern and old materials, especially if any repairs have been done.

Catalogs and guides also possess vital information that may help spot a fake, so use them. In some cases, fake knives’ stamps look odd compared to original knives’ stamps.

Which Kinfolks knives were used in world war two?

Kinfolks Knife company produced several blades that were supplied for war. Variants included long knives and machetes.

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One of the rarest of these knives is the V-44 survival knife pilots used during the war.


Dating a Kinfolks knife is a challenging problem. Because records are scarce or non-existent, the company closed ages ago, and the knife have stamps with manufacture dates.

These issues make it nearly impossible to determine the exact manufacture date of a knife.

Guides, catalogs, experts, and online forums are some methods you can use to determine when a kinfolks knife was made. When consulting experts, ensure you talk to as many as possible for the best answer.

You can authenticate your knife using the manufacture date you obtain and determine its value if you want to sell it.

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