schrade swiss army style knives

Discussion in 'Schrade Knives Collectors Forum' started by gradall5200, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. gradall5200


    Mar 12, 2006
    I remember another thread earlier this year about the schrade swiss army style knives, so I thought id bring it up again. I have several of the schrade capitan style of knives and have recently bought 2 swiss army style schrade knives that I believe were made in germany for schrade but havent recieved them yet. I know they were called centurion I believe and dont have a tang stamp that reads schrade I believe its ISC. Were there swiss army style knives that do have the schrade stamp? and also do these fall into the lightweight category or someother category.[​IMG][​IMG]
  2. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Both are from the Century series. There were about twelve variants I think.


    There was a SAK type knife made under the Schrade tang, the Army Officers Knife #906 I think, but I don't have an image available right now.
  3. Upstream


    Jul 1, 2005

    Attached Files:

  4. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    Schrade Century Series Research

    For many years, multi-purpose pocket knives with attached tools have been known as Swiss Army Knives, or SAKs, after the popular products offered by Wenger and Victorinox of Switzerland. These two companies produced knives for the Swiss army and shared the name of the “type” of pattern, both going to the patent office and receiving a special disposition to register the trademark for both companies, unheard of before this action. However, popular usage has made the name Swiss Army Knives an accepted description of this pattern (or rather genre of patterns) an accepted term, and more used than the earlier term Utility Knife. Now, due to events I’ll not delve into, Wenger as an independent entity is no more, the failed company being acquired by Victorinox in a bid as much designed to retain copyright and trademark control as to save jobs and Swiss industry.

    Schrade entered the SAK market with a line of knives under the Century brand name. With components produced in Germany and assembled in Ellenville, many variants appeared before the line was deleted in favor of increased importation of knives and tools from Schrade’s Listowel Ireland Imperial Stag/Imperial International facility.

    This was not Schrade’s first entry into the genre, as a brief cruise through the 1926-1938 “Catalog E and Supplements” will show. There we see quite a few blade patterns that are quite at home on modern SAKs, and a bounty of knife patterns fitted with them, including scissors, files, screwdrivers, bottle cap lifters, can openers, corkscrews, wire strippers and more. Even earlier, every Boy Scout and Camp knife is a forerunner, as is the familiar Mil-K818 stainless U. S. Army Knife. (USAK?) (1948), and the “Mountain Knives” produced during WWII.

    The Century knives were a cooperative effort between the Schrade Cutlery Corporation division and Imperial International Europe division of the parent company, Imperial Schrade Corporation.
    Stainless steel blades and other components manufactured in Germany were shipped to Ellenville for assembly and finish, and likely the designs originated from there as well.

    The first appearance of the Century name that I find is in 1987 with the introduction of the first two simple patterns, the 2 5/16 inch DL2R, and the DL2B. The two knives were identical having three blades (pen, scissor and file), a shackle (or bail) and both knives were called Captain. As the suffix letter suggests, they differed in cover color, R being red and B being black. The DL prefix refers to the trademarked cover material name DuraLens. Suggested retail was $15.95.

    In 1993, the Century line was greatly expanded consisting of ten patterns in all. This large introduction also gives us the trademark series name and logo of Century. The previous DL2 is now a 2 ½ inch three blade CN21 and lists for $19.00. It is now named Star.

    A simplified version reminiscent of the predecessor Office Knife pattern appears without the scissors, the 2 ½ inch two blade CN11 Genesis ($13.00). The pen blade and file blade open lobster fashion, taking advantage of the frame shared with the Star.

    The 3 5/8 inch three blade CN31 Steward ($20.00) has a corkscrew, pen blade and cap lifter/screwdriver.

    The 3 5/8 inch five blade CN41 Pulsar ($21.00) adds a short spear blade and a can opener blade.

    The 3 5/8 inch six blade CN51 Omega ($27.00) adds yet another blade, an awl (the best I can discern from the illustration).

    The 3 5/8 inch six blade CN61 Mercury ($27.00) replaces the corkscrew with a phillips head blade.

    The 3 5/8 inch seven blade CN71 Gemini ($31.00) adds a saw to the six blades of the Omega.

    The 3 5/8 inch seven blade CN81 Orion ($40.00) replaces the saw of the Gemini with the scissor of the Star.

    The 3 5/8 inch eight blade CN91 Appollo ($44.00) adds the Gemini saw back to the mix.

    The 3/58 inch eight blade CN101 Galaxy (48.00) replaces the saw blade with a scaler/fishhook disgorger blade.

    As you will note, these ten new knives of the series is composed of two frame sizes, two shackle sizes, and a selection of eleven common blades. Common components arranged into variants is a very economical production detail.

    In 1994, another variant was added, the 3 5/8 inch three blade CN111 Endeavor ($20.00) with pen blade, phillips screwdriver, and cap lifter/straight screwdriver.

    For 1995, the 3 3/8 inch two blade CN121 Discovery ($12.00) is introduced with a master spear blade and a small pen blade, both top opening. Note that this is a new frame size.

    In 1997 there is a catalog notation that the CN21 Star is also available with a black handle as the CN22.

    In 1999, the CN21 Star and CN22 Star were discontinued leaving eleven variants in the series. The CN65 Mercury was offered in the SGS-11 gift set with a 147OT Pro Fisherman fillet knife for $52.95.

    This was the last year where I see the Century line listed, though I have seen them used for SFO’s, promotional items etc. with custom imprints. This was standard operating procedure for Schrade to use up overstock of discontinued knives.

    Why were they discontinued? The only answers that come to mind are increasing costs of doing business with Germany and other associate rising production costs, and the decision to concentrate on production of cheap knives and tools from the Ireland division.

  5. Upstream


    Jul 1, 2005
    I'd like to see somebody make a knife with the scissors like the ones on the little Captain, only bigger. That is a very ingenious design to use the back spring and a lever for the scissors spring.
    El capitian.jpg
  6. Eyegor


    Feb 22, 2006
    That style of scissor spring is still one of the main differences between Victorinox and Wenger SAKS. Wengers use that style (along with serrated scissor blades ) while Vics use a leaf spring design (no serrations).

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