"858OT" or just plain "858"?

Discussion in 'Schrade Knives Collectors Forum' started by afishhunter, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    1) Is this a 1973-1986 tang stamp?

    2) There is no "OT" in the model number even though it is an Old Timer.
    (a) Is/was this common? I thought all Old Timer's included the "OT" designation.
    (b) Is this properly a "858OT" or a "858" since it lacks the "OT"?

    3) At 4 5/8 inches/115mm closed, it is not "too big" nor "too tiny" for a in the bottom of a pocket carry EDC. Why was the medium size 8OT and small 34OT stockmans more popular?

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
    Larry303 and TonySal like this.
  2. tongueriver

    tongueriver Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    It is a bit of an anomaly in that it does not say OT on the tang, but the regular line had an Old Timer shield. Many of them did not have a plus sign in the tang stamp, but so far most of us believe that all of them were stainless steel anyway. They appeared in catalogs from 1978 to 1986. Meanwhile, they never caught on in large numbers because most people DO think they are too big. I don't. And there was not much 'collecting' going on then. Just tools, they were, Grasshopper. My opinion.
    afishhunter, Grateful and TonySal like this.
  3. bladecollectorr


    Oct 7, 2017
    Just for fun, I looked at every 858 and 858OT that's currently on ebay or in Worthpoint's database. There wasn't a single knife that looked to be 1095 carbon steel. Zero patina anywhere.

    I'm of the opinion that (like the 51OT) the 858 was an "exception to the rule" knife that always had stainless blades even though it was an Old Timer and sometimes didn't have a "Schrade+" stamp. Until someone posts a carbon 858 with an obvious patina I'm calling them all stainless.

    I went through the catalogs and Old Timer flyers as well. "Old Timer" flyers continue to say nothing about the 858 having stainless blades even after the catalogs added a "Schrade+ steel" designation. My guess is people were buying 858s and felt mislead when they got a stainless knife so Schrade added the stainless notation to the catalogs.


    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
    TonySal likes this.
  4. delmas2nd


    Apr 14, 2008
  5. koldgold


    Jul 2, 2010
    The 858OT, was not listed in the Jan 1979 Price list! or before that time.
    So, did the Schrade "858OT Lumberjack" started life in the middle of 1979?

    In the March 1979 Schrade Almanac, Schrade listed,Two blade steels used in their knives.
    A High Carbon Tool Steel and Schrade+
    "A specially developed super hard blade steel, that will not stain or rust."
    Schrade had been using stainless steel, for many years, and my guess is that + steel was not the same old stainless steel.

    The "858OT", is listed in Schrade's price list for the first time as "New", in Jan 1980.
    The Flyer for the 858OT states:"High Carbon Tool Steel."
    It looks like I will have to test one of my mint 858OTs to see.... Ken
    Has anyone seen an 858OT, with a rusty blade ?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  6. bladecollectorr


    Oct 7, 2017
    Wow, this really complicates things.

    koldgold, most everything you said is incorrect. I will take the time to sort it out for future collectors who see this thread. Posting incorrect information really muddies the waters. Please check and double-check before posting things as fact. Posting source materials is always good too.

    The 858OT (no sheath) or 858OTS (with sheath) first appeared in 1978 pricelist and catalog. It was then listed in every following catalog and pricelist up to and including 1986. In 1986 it was only available with sheath (858OTS).

    1978 catalog and pricelist:

    1979 catalog and pricelist:

    The "High Carbon Tool Steel" was 1095. Schrade started calling their stainless "Schrade+" steel to imply they used something unique to them (which was never true but you bought into it) and so they could change their choice of stainless whenever they liked and not have to tell anyone. "Schrade+" steel was 440A, 440C and 420HC at different times in their history. I do not know whether or not other stainless steel formulations were used during the Schrade Cut Co years.

    First listed in 1978 not 1980 (see 1978 and 1979 catalogs and pricelists posted above).

    Jan 1980 pricelist does not say anything about the 858OT being "New":

    The flyers do not specifically say the 858OT is "High Carbon Tool Steel." At the top of the page there is a general description of all the knives in the Old Timer line. It describes them all as "High Carbon Tool Steel."

    1982 flyer (implies that 858OT is 1095 carbon):

    1982 catalog (definitively states 858OT is a Schrade+ stainless knife):

    I maintain that the 858OT and 51OT were always stainless regardless of what it said at the top of those Old Timer Flyers.

    Note that the flyers and the catalogs do not match steel-wise from 1982 forward. The top of every Old Timer flyer implies that the 858OT had 1095 carbon steel blades. Starting in 1982 the catalogs definitively state it is actually a Schrade+ stainless knife. The flyers are proven to be incorrect from 1982 through 1986 (they all imply a 1095 carbon knife when catalog states Schrade+).

    Full circle to where I started. I looked at hundreds of these knives on Worthpoint and ebay. Some were stamped "Schrade" and some "Schrade+". None of them have any patina at all. Stainless (steel that will stain less) will rust under extreme conditions but will not develop a patina.

    I too would like to see any example of an 858OT with a proven 1095 blade (as in someone stuck it in an apple and a patina developed). Until I see someone post a pic of a 858OT with a patina I am staying pretty convinced that the 858OT was always made with stainless blades.

    What does a 1095 patina look like?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  7. koldgold


    Jul 2, 2010
    Schrade was a knife manufacture, and they took orders for knives, from distributes. If you have time, look up the meaning of "Wholesale" - it may help you understand the Wholesale catalogues you have found, and how they work. Then when the distributes have stock, they sell knives to the public.
    You cannot sell anything without making it first, and have them in a shop.

    The distributes then use a "Retail catalogue" to sell their knives. You could also look up "Retail". I have most of the Retail catalogues from 1930 to 2004.

    If you look carefully at the 858OT flyer, on the right hand side of the knife, there is a number of "bullet points" . The second bullet states: " Blade made of finest high carbon tool steel."

    I was told almost 70 years ago.

    The Young Fool thinks the Old Fool, is a Fool. However, the Old Fool knows the Young Fool, is a Fool.
  8. bladecollectorr


    Oct 7, 2017
    Schrade never made a single "retail catalog". What I posted were pages from Schrade's wholesale catalogs. They are the only Schrade catalogs that exist. I am completely aware of the difference between wholesale and retail, irrelevant as it is.

    I finally found the flyer you are referring to: https://collectors-of-schrades-r.us/FLYERS/SC-1973-1979/pages/SC-77-9.htm

    Sorry it took so long, I had missed it. It does say "finest high-carbon tool steel". 440A, 440C and 420HC are all high-carbon tool steels. They can also be described as stainless steels. I think the "HC" in "420HC" actually means "high carbon". 420HC has a higher carbon content than 420 steel.


    The flyer for the 51OT also says the 51OT was made from the "finest high-carbon tool steel". I am convinced that every 51OT had stainless tool-steel blades that did indeed have a higher carbon content than steels with a lower carbon content.


    There may or may not be some 1095 Lumberjacks out there but I've never seen one.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
  9. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    I'm almost positive that just recently (last 6-7 days) someone on the traditional forum posted a pic of a patina-ed up 858, but now I can't find it.
    I hope they see this and post.
  10. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014
    I know the blades on my 858* are stainless. Says "Schrade +" right there on/in the clip point tang stamp. :D (it only has the one tang tamp.)
    The backsprings, on the other paw/hoof/foot/hand, are carbon steel, (10xx? 5160? other?) complete with a patina. :D

    * My example's tang stamp says:
    "Schrade +
    USA 858"

    (It lacks the "OT" after "858".)
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
  11. bladecollectorr


    Oct 7, 2017
    Here's a 2016 post by someone who seems to agree that all 858OT knives are stainless:
    This gentleman seems to disagree. He says he did a carbon test (some years previous to 2019). Perhaps he took some pictures of the results and will soon post them:

    It seems he cut an acidic lemon. That should definitely turn a 1095 carbon blade quite dark.
    I don't want to argue with 2020 Ken, some years previous to 2019 Ken or even 2016 Ken. Perhaps they can sort it out among themselves.

    I've looked at every picture of 858OT's that Google search, DuckDuckGo search, bladeforums search, aapk search, iknifecollector search, Worthpoint search, etsy search etc. could come up with. I didn't see a 1095-like patina anywhere.

    I had hoped to put this matter to rest by spending a couple days researching it. Two-days in I'm pretty sure there are no 1095 steel 858OT knives. I just think something would have spit out a picture of a used knife with a heavy patina. Nothing did.

    Unless I see an obviously 1095 knife, I'm going to leave this 858OT discussion for others to continue.
  12. koldgold


    Jul 2, 2010
    Both the 858OT and the 61OT were in the pipeline in 1978-79.
    They are both shown in the wholesale price lists, so both knives were made in 1978-79.
    The big question is how meany were in the first batch? 10 may be?
    Both knives are shown in the early wholesale price lists with out the "OT stamp blade"
    The 1981 retail price list states, the 61 Big Timer has Schrade + steel.
    I will go out on a limb hear and say, a small number of these knives may have 1095 blades.
    If so, we would all like to see one... Ken
  13. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    In 1976 there were 18,026 of the 61OT shipped by year end but no 858OT. In 1977, there were 38,785 of the 858OT shipped and 18,269 of the 61OT shipped.
    koldgold likes this.
  14. koldgold


    Jul 2, 2010
    Thank you Codger, now we know 38,785 knives were shipped in 1977, so we should be able to find one with a non stainless blade. This is like looking for a golden ticket to the chocolate factory.
  15. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    They did stranger things so it is possible I suppose. The only proof would be an unaltered example.
  16. afishhunter

    afishhunter Basic Member Basic Member

    Oct 21, 2014

    You are correct. 440A, 440C, and 420HC are all a "high carbon"/"high carbon tool steel".
    I'm not sure about 440A and 420HC, but I know 440C has a higher carbon content than 1095. 440C has over 1% carbon. True/"real" 1095 has 0.95% carbon. In the 10xx carbon steels the "xx" is the 0.xx% carbon content. 1050 is 0.50% carbon. 1055 is 0.55%, and so on. :)

    You are also correct in that the "HC" of "420HC" indicates the higher/highest carbon version of the 420 series steel, which is also a "stainless" steel.

    Recall that only "high carbon" steels can be hardened and tempered. "Mild Steel" such as automotive bodies and frames, "tin" cans, butter knives and other 300 series stainless steel flatware/cook ware, and regular/plain rebar cannot be hardened or tempered, "carbon steel" or no.

    "Stainless" does not mean "low carbon" It just means chromium or some other corrosion resistant material as been added.

    Schrade's use of the term "high carbon tool steel" while it could be considered "misleading" and that it suggests/indicates a non-stainless steel, is an accurate description of stainless steels used for cutlery, too.


    If the "Schrade +" was ever 440C, what knives? Early "Schrade +" 6OT/7OT/LB7/LB8 to match/compete with, Buck's use of 440C in the pre-circa 1983 110's or to "better"/"One Up" Buck, post circa 1983, after Buck switched to 425M?
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  17. delmas2nd


    Apr 14, 2008
    420HC has 0.45% C in it. and it is in the Martensitic family of stainless steels. and a small point but your statement "only "high carbon" steels can be hardened and tempered" is somewhat incorrect. i guess all depending on your definition of "high carbon". almost any steel can be hardened and tempered. now the higher the carbon content the higher the hardness is true.

Share This Page