The manufacture of Puma knives started in Solingen, Germany, in 1769. The first imports to the United States began in 1957. Puma creates sporting and hunting knives in several styles. The antique Puma knives are collector's items due to their quality workmanship. As with all collectibles, there are replicas for sale that do not bear the distinguishing marks of a true Puma product.
- Skill level:
Observe the blade of the knife to find the name of the Puma make. All authentic Puma's have the name printed on the blade.
Look on the blade for the knife number of succession in the make or line of the Puma knife. Each blade is stamped with a number indicating how many knives of that make were produced through the manufacture date. For example, the knives are numbered in ascending numbers over the years to establish the age of the knife in the same manner as numbered collectable artwork.
Examine the type of steel in an imprint on the knife blade. Antiques bear the words "Genuine Pumaster Steel Germany." These have carbon steel blades. The newer models that do not have these words on them incorporate stainless steel blades in their manufacturing process.
Look for the official Puma insignia on the blade. The insignia includes a diamond shape with a profile view of a puma head inside it and the word Puma underneath the diamond.
Tips and warnings
- In 1965, Puma included a number system that is a code for the manufacture date of that particular knife. Imprints on each knife include these numbers along with the model number and a certificate of authenticity with the same distinct number.
- Antique models include the words "Handmade" along with the make and knife number.
- Classifications of Puma knives include Hunting, Scouting and Trekking; Folding-blade; Fixed-blade; Steel-lock Frame; Snake Series; White Hunters;Traditional Lock Backs; and Hobbytec and Sportec. Within each of these classes, there are many makes.
- Before purchasing an antique knife for a collection, it is a good idea to make sure the knife is authentic and get a knowledgeable estimate of value.
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