Robeson swing guard folder


Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
Here is my latest..
I would most appreciate your help in finding out as much as I can about this knife.
To be honest folks..I know little about the company as well, I do have a most helpful bit from a friend, but looking for more.
What year is this?
Were there many made?

The knife closed measure just under 4 & 1/2 inches long.
Stamping on the Ricasso face side ROBESON, SHUREDGE, USA
Etched on the same side of the blade reads: ROBESON SHURedge"frozen heat"
Scales are Celluloid
Bolsters are Nickell Silver-as is the Swing Guard

I would be over the moon if someone could find this knife in a catalogue-OR do you own one?....if you could help me that would be absolutely fantastic.

p.s...sorry about my crappy photo,s the batteries were running out in the camera :eek:

Sellers image #1

Sellers image #2





Last edited:

This knife is a Robeson 812872 by Robeson Cutlery, Rochester, NY. It appears to be a post WWII knife by the block letter marking. I think that the "Frozen Heat" marking was only used post WWII.

The knife itself is not uncommon but certainly very collectible. It was made in both a shielded version, like yours, and an unshielded version, of which I happen to own an example.

The knife shows up in Stewart & Ritchie's "Big Book of Pocket Knives" and probably others as well.

Robeson went out of business in 1977, however I have seen some modern knives with Robeson tang stamps that were made, I believe, by Queen.

Here is a sight that I think one of the members here has out. Great way to get started on your research. Maybe Charlie will even chime in himself. Your knife can be seen in Gallery 1
msteele6 & Pat...awesome..thank you very much...I will most certainly look into this...A GREAT start!!
Pat..thank you VERY much for the link!! :thumbup:

ps...msteele6..if you wouldnt mind-could you put up a photo of your model at your convenience?...that would be great!!..or if you wanted you could e-mail it to me, or through pm, but thank you so far guys.
Last edited:
Well, I'm sort of late coming onto this topic/thread. I usually confine myself to Mr. Levine's Knife Collecting forum.

Robeson made the 872 pattern knife starting in the 1930's. The earlier versions were stainless and carried the Robeson "NO-RUSTAIN" raised letter nickel-silver shields with a blue painted background. They also made a spear bladed version early on. I believe the last three digits of the pattern number on that one was 873. The NO-RUSTAIN knives had jigged bone handle scales and both versions had locking blades.

I do not know for what length of time the knives were made. I suspect they ceased production on them sometime prior to WWII. I've never seen a locking blade version of the knife that had the post war block "ShurEdge" stamp. Every one I have seen had a ROBESON / ShurEdge (script) / ROCHESTER N. Y. tang stamp.

The later versions of the 872 were non-locking. They came with hollow ground blades and sabre-cut blades. Clip bladed knives are all I've seen in the post-war period. They made the knives with genuine gnarly stag, burnt stag, a brownish-red jigged bone and yellow composition. I've never seen any other color of composition handle than the yellow.

Some knives had a blade etch, some did not.

"Frozen Heat" was a patented heat treatment / cold quench tempering process that was way ahead of its time. Mr. Levine has written about the positive virtues of the Frozen Heat process in other publications. My wife and I use old 1950's to 1960's Robeson Frozen Heat kitchen knives every day. They are hard to beat and can be obtained through Ebay auctions at bargain prices. I think the original purchasers or recipients of the knives are dieing and their heirs are putting the knives on Ebay as estate sale items. I recommend them to anybody.

I have an undated Robeson Cutlery Company, Perry, N.Y. catalog, but it appears to be from the late 1950's or early 1960's, that has the yellow handled 812872 knife illustrated.

A stag handled version would be 512872 and a bone handled version 612872.

Robeson Cutlery actually went out of business in 1965. That is when the factory in Perry, New York was closed and production there ceased. The name "Robeson" was bought by a company called Cutler Federal and they had knives made for them by Camillus, I think, and marketed them for several years. The quality, fit and finish were not the same, however.

Cutler Federal sold the name to Ontario Knife and they continued to market a few patterns until 1977.

Ontario, through its Queen Cutlery Company, has been producing some "reproduction" knives since the early 1990's. They are what they are, but they aren't "Robesons", in my opinion. I do not collect anything made after 1965.

Knives marketed after 1965 by Cutler Federal or Ontario Knife had the pattern number on the mark side of the tang and are marked, ROBESON / XXXXXX / U.S.A. The word "ShurEdge" was dropped.

The reproductions by Queen have the pattern number back on the pile side of the tang, but the letter "Q" precedes the six digit pattern number. Some might have had a year date stamp on them. I'm not sure about that, as I do not deal with the knives at all.

You have a nice knife.

Charlie Noyes
Man...where have I been, to Charlie Noyes, and Dennis,...please accept my appologies for not replying to you, as I didnt realise there was a reply from you 2 gents!
Thank you both, and to everyone else...I think this knife is a beaut, it has very slight issues, but is very much a lovely, lovely knife :D
Duncan, it took three months for me to find your post and respond. No problem your not knowing it was there.

You've got a good knife. Congratulations.
Thank you Charlie, and I appreciate yours, and everyones comments on this very cooll knife, I do admit, I do not carry this knife, I just admire it.
Charlie, I havent seen too many of these around these this just me being out of touch? or is it that the numbers of manufacture werent all that great in the first place?
Once again Thank you :thumbup:
I have no knowledge of the numbers on this pattern. I will say, that
anecdotally, the yellow composition post-war example shows up on
Ebay with more frequency than any other variation.

I'll post photos of some others:

This is a "NO-RUSTAIN" pre-war lockback with clip blade, brown jigged bone handles and a NO-RUSTAIN shield.

This post-war knife has gnarly genuine stag and a hollow ground blade, as opposed to the usual sabre-cut clip.

This one is post-war and has sort of burnt stag handles similar to some of Case Cutlery's stag. This one has a sabre-cut clip blade.

This one has an odd jigged brownish-red handle material. The clip blade is sabre-cut.

This is my yellow composition. I'm posting it because it differs from yours in that the blade is hollow ground
Charlie...all I can say is WOW!!...those are very, VERY nice examples, and I can see just why the yellow composite handle shows up more so than these stunners!!
The 2nd to last one has absolutely lovely jigging, and a very nice coloured bone, let alone the norustain and the Stags-thanks very much for showing us all these fantastic knives :thumbup:
Those really are some fantastic examples of Robeson swing guards and I bet their is a great story of how you found them too. The hunt is always the best part of collecting knives to me.
Nice score Duncan. It's great that you were able to tap into the vast storehouse of knowledge here to find more information on the Robeson.
duncan it was great your knife brought in so much interest. thanks charlie for the great collection, the oldies are so exciting but when you have such a fantastic representation of the same pattern it triples the enthusiusm.--dennis
Thanks. I'm pleased to share.
I've been posting quite a bit in the "Old Knives" sticky thread above. If you like Robeson knives, you might enjoy taking a peek.