97OT questions

Nov 25, 2005
Since I'm just a beginner here, please forgive me if my questions seem simple to those of you with more knowledge and experience. I've already picked up a bit by lurking here, but obviously need to learn more. If "a little knowledge is dangerous" I'll be lucky to not injure myself seriously, and soon.

A bunch of single and double-blade "97OT" knives with staglon-looking handles and no shields has popped up on e eBay recently. Some of them are loose packs and some are offered with certificates and boxes similar to:


Questioning a couple of the sellers about the origin and history of the knives, I got one "I don't know", and one obviously evasive answer which did not address any of my doubts. I'm sure the final days at Ellenville were chaotic, with knives and parts in all stages of assembly making their way into the marketplace. These no-shield handles look especially suspicious to me, and I'm guessing these are "put-togethers" out of the post-closing parts inventory? What about that box? I don't recognize it, but then I don't usually buy from wholesalers or the big mail-order retailers.

Mr. Clemente's "A Catalog History of Schrade Knives" lists the 97OT as delrin-handled with the Buzz Saw and Turkish Clip blades and the tweezer and toothpick in the end slots of the rear bolster. The only staglon 97OT's I've previously seen were the Ducks Unlimited models, which had a DU shield and no toothpick/tweezers or slotted rear bolster.

I like the various Trapper patterns, but am not interested in buying non-factory productions. I'm trying to "read the knife" per BRL, but my Ouija board doesn't work worth a darn over the internet. Any advice or information is welcome, thanks.


Sep 24, 2003
Woodsbum, please please please ask any question at any time. It is how all of us learn.

The Schrade 97OT is exactly as Robert Clemente described it, with sawcut delrin handles, saw and clip blade and pick and tweezer. That is that. Yes, I thnk this knife (97OT) was used as the basis for a DU edition, but I don't think this is it.

In this case, don't read the knife, read the item description and look at the photos. Hah! Don't tell Mr. Levine that he is sometimes wrong! The seller is trying to make this sound like a planned production knife that fell through when Schrade closed. I doubt it. A production knife would have had it's own model number on the tang. And look at the Certificate of Authenticity.. that was issued by Smokey Mountain Knife Works, unless this seller just made a bunch of copies. And the box? Schrade used plain white boxes sometimes, but this one says on the side of it "Final Production Run"... how did Schrade know that before it happened? They did not. I'm betting Smokey Mt had the cheap box made to make a couple extra dollars out of selling a knife that was 'NIB".

No doubt the eBay seller bought a bunch of these things from Smokey while the getting was good and is now peddling them. You are correct in doubting this knife, the present collectibility and the future value of it.

Any other opinions from you other guys?

May 8, 2005
This is the basis for the 2 blade version with Staglon handles and without the tools, it's a 2003 DU knife:


There may have been a single blade version for DU as well, perhaps from a different year. The knives on eBay without the shields are most likely unfinished knives, just as there are similar versions for almost all of the other recent commemoratives. These are still Schrades and are good knives if you aren't concerned about collector value, and like anything else, if the price is right.


Sep 14, 2003
I found an un priced entry for this knife in the 2003 price list.
It should not have the 97OT blades but whom am I to say!!


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Custom Leather Sheaths
May 18, 2005
Larry; I've got a 97OT "pattern" knife with wood scales, but it is plainly marked Schrade + USA LTD. I also have a tang marked Schrade USA 96OT with spey blade in place of the saw blade with pick and tweezers and Brown Derlin. I got both of these off of eBay and based on what I could find out at the time I believed them both to be legitimate. Any evidence to the contrary?



Oct 8, 2004
Here is the best information from an insider as to where these oddity "end of days" knives came from. This longtime Schrade Employee posted this just before the auction in October of 2004. Remember that the plant officially ceased operations in early July of that year. For almost four months, Schrade workers (the lucky ones) showed up every day and cobbled together,,, well...

UH Fan said:
Actually, Schrade still has a skeleton crew down there trying to fill out the last of the orders and use up the last of the supplies. They are scrambling to get as much production out as possible to bring down the huge deficit that they had.......


"If it fits, assemble it!"
Dec 31, 2000
You're correct that the 'real' 97OT should be a two-blade knife, one blade and one saw blade, with tweezers and pick. The staglon-handled knives are merely Old Henry (or unfinished D.U.) knives made with OT blades, either one or two as you've noticed. Regardless, I've added them to my Old Timer collection alongside the 'real' 97OT.

They (the staglon 97OTs) are quite common and inexpensive. I don't know if they'll have any future value to collectors; I bought them simply as items of interest.

The box is a stumper. Could be some distributer or large seller had the boxes made up? I bought plenty of the closeouts and final-days knives from SMKW and never received a box like that.

Best Wishes,