Dating back to the 1800’s, Case pocketknives are an American legend. They’ve held their lofty standards for more than 100 years. With superior quality compared to most other brands, a case knife will last a lifetime – or longer. It’s no wonder so many collectors focus exclusively on collecting Case knives as a hobby.
Case and Sons Cutlery is a well-known American manufacturer of high-quality knives. The company was founded in 1889 by four brothers, William Russell, Jean, John, and Andrew Case, in Little Valley, New York. The operated out of a horse-drawn wagon.
Initially, the company started as W.R. Case & Sons, and it produced knives for everyday use. In 1905, the company moved to Bradford, Pennsylvania, where it’s still located today. In 1915, the company incorporated as W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. The popularity of the knives exploded when Case began making knives for U.S. servicemen beginning with World War I.
During World War II, the company produced various knives for the US military. The most famous of these knives was the V-42 combat knife. The V-42 had a unique design, and it was used by the First Special Service Force, a joint US-Canadian commando unit. Their legend grew when Case pocketknives were carried by astronauts on the Apollo moon missions.
In 1972, the company was sold to the Zippo Manufacturing Company. Zippo is known for its cigarette lighters, but it has since expanded into other products. Under Zippo’s ownership, the company continued to produce high-quality knives and expand its product line.
Today, Case and Sons Cutlery is one of the most respected names in the knife industry. The company still produces knives in its Bradford, Pennsylvania, factory, and it’s known for its attention to detail and quality craftsmanship.
Case Stockman pocketknife design
The Stockman pocketknife incorporates a three-blade design housing clip, sheepfoot, and spey blades. Each blade is stamped with a tang marking (a Case logo using a specific typeface) that identifies the blade model and production date. The clip and sheepfoot blades are located on the pocket end. The spey blade is situated on the cap end. All blades have nail nicks to assist with opening.
The clip blade, the largest blade on the knife which most consider the “main blade”, is a 3-inch long multipurpose blade that is ideal for cutting, splicing, and detail work. The sheepfoot blade is a 2-inch blade that excels at wood carving, cutting through rope and cords, and good clean cuts. The spey blade is also a 2-inch blade. It’s an all-purpose blade good for sweeping strokes. Serrated and non-serrated main blade versions are offered.
The Case Stockman is fairly large – 4 1/4 -inches when closed – and weighs 4.1 ounces. The small versions of the knife is 2 1/2 inches while the medium version is 3 1/4 -inches long. The length of the large version makes it easy to hold at the expense of portability.
The blades use two backsprings – one for the clip blade and another for the sheepfoot and spey blades. The blades do not lock but the backspring is sufficiently heavy to hold the blade in place during use. Liners terminate in nickel silver bolsters that give Case knives their distinct look. Blades are solid with little to no wobble.
Case Stockman materials
The Case Stockman blades use Tru-Sharp surgical stainless steel, a special high-carbon steel that holds an edge longer than conventional steel. The blades are stamped and hardened using Case’s proprietary heat treatment method. Case’s stainless steel blend offers excellent blade strength and corrosion resistance.
The handle of the Stockman is typically built of bonestag and hand-flamed to look and feel like an authentic stag antler. Other handle materials are available in a wide variety of colors.
Pros and Cons of the Case Stockman pocketknife
- Beautiful design – the handle is a work of art, blades throw a mirror-like shine.
- Optimal size – big enough to do just about anything yet compact enough to carry in your pocket.
- Combination of three blade types covers just about any task.
- Case quality can’t be beat.
- Case’s CV steel maintains an edge well, has excellent blade strength, and will not corrode when exposed to the elements.
- A wide variety of colors and handle materials are available.
- Clip spring is slightly lighter than the other blade springs.
- There can be slight blade rub but not so much that it hinders opening/closing or scratches the blade. To some this is a con but to others, it just shows that Case’s handmade manufacturing process allows them to eliminate the gap between the liner and the handle.
- Blade may not come from the factory with an ideal edge. May require sharpening on arrival.
Final word on Case pocketknives
Case takes great pride in their work and all Case knives come with lifetime guarantees. Their knives are not only beauties to look at, the variety of blades on the Stockman make it exceedingly versatile too. It’s no wonder so many Case knives are cherished possessions passed down through generations.
Remember, there are smaller versions of the Stockman available. The small Stockman is just 2.63 inches long. The medium version is 3.63 inches long.