Totally confused over tang stamps...


Aug 28, 2004
Hi Folks. I am trying to get a handle on what the real story is with Buck's tang stamps for indicating the date of a knife's manufacture. So far, I have two completely inconsistent sources, the Tom Ables book about the history of Buck Knives, and the Buck web site. This first pic shows the stamps as they are described on the Buck web page, but I don't think they are accurate, at least for the the last several years, since I've already seen two different facing "T" symbols, including the upside down one, which according to the second pic, which is a scan of the chart from the Ables book, won't even be used until next year. You'll also notice that they don't agree on what year the minus symbol started to be used. The web site says 1992, the book says 1993. If I have a Buck with that symbol, how can I know for sure what year it was made? All of the symbols after that are completely off by one year also! What gives? Is there some sort of TRULY authoritative source to clear up this confusion?


Steve, welcome! The web link is correct. Th e other is off with the addition of the vertical line. Larry or Buckcustom should be along to add any additional info I miss. There is another symbol used in 2002. It is the square box with the opening at the top. At the end of a production run there may be leftover blades an are used at the beginning of the next year or they may start the new symbol at the tail end of the year for a last minute run. But its close enough and accepted by collectors.
Have you thought about joining the Buck Collectors Club?
I actually am a member of the BCC, but since the web site has been down for about a month, I thought somone here would know. Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully, there is some sort of article on this issue on the BBC web site too.


hello steve,
enclosed is a copy of something i recived last year in a reguards to a request jest like yours....

Dearest David,
I have been watching you and also over heard your wife saying that you have been a good man this last year. I have left most of the things on your list and this letter is concerning the rest. … concerning the ‘Gospel and Final Word’ to collecting and dating those Buck knives you so dearly love and want to put in order… I am much afraid that I can only provide you with a Buck knife once a year as it seems that there is NO Final Word on Marking & Dating on what has come from those incorrigible boys and girls at Buck. I checked with Father Time and he said it was locked in the Time Past Vault and the New Year Baby only giggles over what is coming and wont say a word….I hope you continue to be a good fellow and be try to be kind to others.
Most fondly yours
Santa C.
PS: I missed him but maybe you could check with your Uncle Sam other wise your best bet is to gather every bit of information you come across your self. Humm … let me know if you find out anything as that seems to come up often on my request list. SC
The Story of Buck Knives, by Tom Ables has the wrong date code list in it. About the only thing wrong in that book by the way. He did a great job on getting most of it right.
The BCCI web site should have the correct list, as does the Buck web site. One thing to note is that in 2002, we eliminated the squared off "U" and replaced it with an anvil mark. Also, to make sure we keep everybody good and confused, the date code mark for 2005 with not be the sideways capital T. We will use an outline of the state of Idaho to signify our move there.
If you have any other questions, send me an email and I will help figure it out.
Take care,
fashionbiff said:
So why didnt you have an outline of California sinking into the ocean for 2004:D
:barf: 'caus dey is leaving 'for the water gets too deep u fool! :D
besides it gives us collectors some thing to talk about and freet over cause we can not get a compleat collection :grumpy:
heck jow goes hunting hard for buck knives he dont have and cant get :D
(kiss a toll to day)
dave :p
It kind of looks like the outline of a hand with the index finger pointing straight up. (at least I think it does) :)
FWIW there are some knives out with the original 2002 mark. The ones I have are on the Taiwan Made knives.
Mike Kerins said:
It kind of looks like the outline of a hand with the index finger pointing straight up. (at least I think it does) :)

Think you have that confused with CA. :p