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Solengen Blades

May 12, 1999

Is there anyone out there who's an
authority on Solengen Blade Steel and
Solengen history or knows how to access
such info?
Solingen is a city in Germany with a lot of knife factories. Talking about a Solingen knife is like talking about a Detroit car -- only worse; there are more knife factories in Solingen than car factories in Detroit. Somehow a legend got started in America that any blade stamped Solingen is of wonderful quality and well worth any price asked for it... many of them are good, of course. No one has yet written a history of all the knife companies in Solingen or any attempt at cataloging the knives manufactured in that city.

-Cougar Allen :{)
By the way, Rostfrei isn't a brand name, either. You probably already knew that, but I made that mistake in my youth. I had a knife marked Solingen on one side of the tang and Rostfrei on the other ... first I thought Solingen was the brand ... when I found out otherwise I thought it was a Rostfrei brand knife made in Solingen. Rostfrei is German for stainless (rustfree).

-Cougar Allen :{)
The term "Rostfrei" shows up on a lot of non-German knives too. I see it a lot on Italian knives. Perhaps the word is the same in both languages. I don't know.

I've seen "Rostfrei" on one side, "China" on the other many times. So, don't assume that you just because a knife as some German on it, that it is.

There are companies in Solingen that make cheap blades for folding knives which are stamped "Solingen" (being in Solingen, they're entitled) and then exported, blade only, to usually China or Pakistan where finished knife is assembled around these blades. The factory there then inks "Assembled in China" on with soluable ink or puts on a sticker. This gets it through US customs. Disreputable dealers then remove the stickers or wash the ink off and sell the knives as Solingen German knives. I've seen knives where, with a magnifier and a strong light at just the right angle, I could still read the ink residue on the blade.

Finally, I kick myself for not buying for something like $5, a China cheapie that I saw in a flea market with the blade marked "Rostfrie". My guess is that they made a million of 'em before anyone noticed.

I guy I know adamantly stands by his conviction that solingen blades are the best! I beg to differ, my Talonite Battle Mistress with carbon fiber handles scales can whoop any solingen blade's but hands down! OK, I tell a little white lie...but if there were such a BM, I would have one
Before, Solingen.

Now, Seki City.

I wouldn't trust one unless its also marked Spyderco or Fallkniven or Cold Steel...

[This message has been edited by Titan (edited 08 June 1999).]