Case Collectible Knives
Case is one of the world's most collectible knife brands. With hundreds of patterns emerging since the company's beginning in the early 1900s, as well as several types of steel, and a wide variety of handle materials, the choices are practically limitless. Choosing the right knife depends on how the knife will be used, along with personal preferences for color, type of blade, and handle material.
A Case Knife for a Special Occasion
The first consideration when purchasing a Case knife is the type of use it will see. If the knife is to be given as a gift or as a memento of a special occasion, a calendar series knife or other special addition may be just the ticket. Many Case commemorative edition knives come with display cases so they can be viewed and enjoyed in an environment that will preserve them in pristine condition for years to come.
Case Knife Handles
Case is famous for its natural handle materials, such as buffalo horn, deer antler, and exotic wood. While these handles are durable and meant to stand up to everyday use, poured plastics made of Delrin or Thermoplastic rubber are highly impact resistant and stand up to heavy use. A knife with a handle made of Delrin or Thermoplastic rubber is easily identified by the knife's pattern number beginning with 2, 3, or 4, depending on its color. Delrin comes in a variety of colors, such as high-visibility yellow for uses where it may be set down among leaves, rocks or other landscaping where natural colored knives may blend in and become lost. For jobs where high impact resistance and strength are needed, choose waterproof Micarta or G-10, designated by the number 10 as the first number in the pattern. Other handle materials are easily discerned from the first number in the pattern number using the following chart:
Black Synthetic - Delrin or Thermoplastic Rubber
Yellow Synthetic - Delrin
Smooth Synthetic - Delrin in various colors
Exotic Woods - Ebony, Rosewood, Curly Maple, Zebrawood, etc.
Synthetic Shell - Corelon, Imitation Mother-of-Pearl
Case Knife Blades
The second number in a Case knife's pattern number tell you how many blades a knife has. Blades come in a wide range of designs and include skinning blades, fish scalers, hawkbills, saws and more. Blades are made from quality steel in several varieties. Chrome Vanadium (CV) is easily honed to maintain a sharp blade and is kept rust-free with a light application of knife oil. Stainless Steel (SS) and ATS-34 keep their sharp edge longer and provide additional strength to a blade, but take longer to sharpen due to higher amounts of carbon and chromium. The type of steel used is easy to identify in recent models by the abbreviation immediately after the pattern stamp, which reads SS, CV or ATS-34. In older models, look at the letter S in the word Case on the tang stamp: If it looks like a lightning bolt, the blade is ATS-34 or surgical steel. Stamps containing a regular S are made of Chrome Vanadium.
Case Knife Designs
With over 140 patterns to choose from, Case knives have a knife for just about anything a knife is used for. Each knife passes through the hands of about 125 artisans and 160 steps by the time it is fully complete. The Hobo knife is popular with campers because of a folding spoon and fork that detach from the knife's handle, giving outdoor enthusiasts a full set of cutlery in their back pocket. The Hunter Trapper has a gut hook, saw blade, and skinning blade and folds to just over 4 inches. A look at W.R. Case & Sons' website gives a feel for the many combinations available to help select the right knife for the job.
Buying a Case Knife on eBay
When shopping for a Case knife, check out eBay's website to find knives ranging from commemorative pieces to EDCs you won't leave home without. Sellers of Case knives usually post multiple pictures, giving clear views of tang stamps, handles and blades to help buyers select the knife they're looking for. Case knives are found under Knives, Swords and Blades in the Arts and Collectibles section of eBay. To find a Case knife for hunting, fishing, equestrian or other specific outdoor sports, check out the Sporting Goods section of the site. Limit search results to Case knives only by placing "Case XX Knife" in the search box . Including the XX in your search excludes knives of other brands that come in a case.