Oldest continuously produced knife models?

Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Just Tom., Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Just Tom.

    Just Tom.

    Apr 24, 2019
    What model knives have been in more or less continuous production by the SAME company for the longest time?

    -The Opinel in its current form (minus the locking ring) has been in production since 1897, I believe.

    -The Higonokami by Nagao Kanekoma has been made since around 1894, although their website says the blade shapes have evolved, so I don’t know if that counts.

    -Okapi has been in business since 1902, and I believe the 907e was among their original offerings. The company has changed ownership and location, but the South African buyers purchased the German tooling and machinery as well as the name, so maybe that counts.

    -The Douk-Douk has been in production by Cognet since 1929.

    (Correct me if I am wrong about any of this)

    These are just from the ones I own. Any other ideas?
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  2. black mamba

    black mamba Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    I'm not much of a knife historian, but Green River fixed blades have been made for a looooooong time.
  3. Just Tom.

    Just Tom.

    Apr 24, 2019
    Good one!
    The Dexter-Russell website has this to say: “The Dexter 4215 5" fish knife is just not for fishing. This is a great all-around carry knife that can be used for both fishing and hunting. This is part of our Green River collection and has been a popular classic dating back to the 1800's.”
    I couldn’t find any info on any other models.
    The company seems pretty much the same despite mergers - I guess my only question would be, has that model been in continuous production since then?
  4. Arathol


    Jan 1, 2003
    I believe that the Green River skinner pattern has been around since the 1840s or so, and several other currently produced patterns were also introduced at about the same time.
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  5. Mustang11


    Jun 12, 2011
    I would say Nontron for pocket knives, roughly 500 years

    Oldest I’ve read about is Kikuichi, 750+ years. Specialize in kitchen knives now, used to make swords in medieval japan.
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  6. Stelth


    Jul 15, 2007
    Moras maybe.
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  7. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    The Green River Dadley has been made in Sheffield since sometime in the 1700s.The Dexter-Russell version has been made in this country since around 1830 or so.

  8. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    My guess would be the Dexter-Russel Green River Works wood handled "old timey" fixed blades like the "Buffalo Skinner' and butcher knives, and the Old Hickory versions of the same. (NOTE: Old Hickory may have been producing those patterns first?)
    Both companies have been making those knives since the early/mid 1800's.

    For pocket/folding knives, I would guess either the Opinel or maybe a 4 blade SAK by Wenger or Victorinox?
    (Victorinox took over Wenger a few years ago) I think the SAK's were introduced around 1895?
    I know there are older patterns (the Barlow, for example) but I don't think there is a company that has made the Barlow continuously since 1800 or before.

    I may be mistaken, but I don't think Case has a contender.
    Is there a pattern Case has made continuously from the day they opened their doors to today?
    (If I am mistaken, no doubt a Case expert will inform me. Politely, I hope. :) )
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  9. Corso


    Aug 16, 2007
    I've read the Barlow pattern that was first produced in the 1700s in or around Sheffield
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  10. Pinemoon

    Pinemoon Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Good thought on Case.
    Maybe the Trapper or Stockman? An email to the company might produce the answer.

    Boker is celebrating 151 years this year. Puma is even older. They'd be worth a query to.

    The Ka-bar USMC is about 80 years old.
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  11. Just Tom.

    Just Tom.

    Apr 24, 2019
    This one seems like the oldest of those mentioned so far.

    There may be older companies and older patterns, but I was specifically wondering about currently available production knives which have been continuously manufactured in substantially the same form, by companies which can arguably considered the same as the original manufacturer.

    According to the repository of all knowledge (Wikipedia), the Mercator K55K has been made since 1867, but the original manufacturer went out of business in 1995.
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  12. Henry Beige

    Henry Beige Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    A little more digging gives the following:

    Old Hickory as a brand dates to 1924. The patterns are much older.

    Mora - 1891

    Opinel - 1890

    John Russell Green River knives - 1834. These would presumably include the Russell Green River Dadley, as well as the butcher knives similar to the OH.

    Sheffield Dadley. I have run across knives of this pattern supposedly from the 1700s, but in going back could not find any that old tied to any particular manufacturer. I can’t say that any of the Sheffield Dadleys were ever called Green River knives prior to 1834.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  13. wardcleaver

    wardcleaver Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 17, 2017
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  14. afishhunter


    Oct 21, 2014
    (yeah, it be a copy and paste)
    (Emphasis mine)
    Wikipedia Claims:

    Harrington Cutlery Company

    The Harrington Cutlery Company was established in 1818, in Southbridge, Massachusetts by Henry Harrington, a New England craftsman and inventor. The Harrington Cutlery company was the first cutlery manufacturing company established in the United States. Harrington manufactured surgical equipment, shoe knives and firearms. Some of his firearms are on display at the Old Sturbridge Village Museum in Sturbridge, MA. In 1884, Harrington introduced the Dexter trade name. Named after one of his sons, Dexter Harrington, the Dexter line of kitchen and table cutlery became known for its high quality in American homes and restaurants.[1]
    (My comment: Did Harrington produce kitchen and table cutlery prior to 1824? If not, then Dexter-Russel is out of contention, since Old Hickory predates both the Dexter name, and John Russell Cutlery.)

    John Russell Cutlery Company
    The John Russell Cutlery Company was established in 1834, in Greenfield, MA by John Russell. Russell built his water powered factory on the banks of the Green River at Nash's Mills. This site is now part of I-91. He first produced chisels and axe heads, but as the company grew, he began to produce large quantities of high quality hunting knives to supply the needs of the American frontier.[2]

    Russell Harrington Cutlery Company
    In 1933, the Harrington Cutlery Company and the John Russell Cutlery Company merged to form the Russell Harrington Cutlery Company. The newly formed company was relocated to its present location in Southbridge, Massachusetts.[3]

    Dexter-Russell, Inc.
    In 2001, the company changed its name to Dexter-Russell, Inc. to reflect its history.[1]

    As with everything Wikipedia, the accuracy of the above may not be exact.

    Old Hickory has only been making their butcher knives and skinning knives since 1824.
    Unquestionably other cutlery firms were making butcher knives, cleavers, skinning knives, etc. long, long before Harrington Cutlery and Old Hickory started manufacturing them in the early 1800's

    However, these are the two oldest cutlery firms, at least in the United States.

    I did find this:

    "J.A. Henckles opened its first trading outlet in Berlin in 1818. It’s one of the oldest cutlery manufacturers in the world, tracing its origins back all the way to 1731."

    I would have to guess that one of J.A. Henckles "kitchen knives" (or their cleaver?) is the oldest "Pattern" in continuous production by the original manufacturer, regardless of mergers and/or name changes.

    I have little doubt either a butcher knife, paring knife, or cleaver holds the record for longest continuous sharpened production knife pattern,
    (The lowly "butter knife" may be older?)

    If you want to consider folding knife patterns only, I would have to guess the Barlow pattern. I heard it has been around since the invention of the backspring, in the late 1500's(?)

    @waynorth As our most knowledgeable and respected Resident Barlow Expert, Is that correct concerning how long the Barlow pattern has been around? :confused:
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  15. Just Tom.

    Just Tom.

    Apr 24, 2019
    Looking at pictures of the 1908 and 1951 Swiss Army knife models, they don’t really resemble the current offerings at all, so I’m not sure about this one.
  16. Elgatodeacero


    Jan 5, 2014
    Isn’t the Buck 110 basically unchanged for 70 years?
  17. TheChunk91

    TheChunk91 Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 15, 2013
    Some of cases patterns have been in continuous production since the earlier 1900's. Obviously they are different now but still technically the same pattern. The x375 jumbo stockman is just one example.
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  18. Will Power

    Will Power

    Jan 18, 2007
    Iisakki Järvenpää 1859-1929 began producing Birchwood and Birchbark Puukko in Kauhava Finland from 1888. His signature is etched on the blades and Puukko have been in continuous production there (different factory buildings) since the onset. The company almost closed bankrupt in 2014 but two investors saved the business and it has grown in strength, some of the tools and equipment from the early c20th are apparently still in use.
  19. Just Tom.

    Just Tom.

    Apr 24, 2019
    Very nice! Just the type of info I am looking for. :thumbsup::)
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  20. redcanoe

    redcanoe Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 12, 2012
    Can't give a date but I believe the Skean Dhu has been around a long time. IMG_1262.JPG
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