W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery is one of the most well-known and well-respected makers of pocket knives in the U.S.A.
In 1889 William Russell Case and his three brothers began selling hand-made knives in New York from the back of their wagon. Now, over one hundred years later, W.R. Case is based in Bradford, Pennsylvania and has a stellar reputation as a maker of top-quality pocket knives.
Today, Case’s catalog includes over seventy different knife models including some that have been in production for decades. Recent additions to the line include the XX-Changer, the Cheetah and several others.
Case Knives are often marked “XX” or contain that term in their model number. The “XX” term was originally used by Case to indicate that a knife blade had been heat-treated not once (“X”) but twice (“XX”), ensuring quality and durability. Today, the “XX” has come to symbolize Case’s long-standing commitment to quality and craftsmanship.
Case knives are made with three different varieties of high-quality domestic steel. Chrome Vanadium is an alloy that is known for its re-sharpening ease. Tru-Sharp surgical steel is a high-carbon steel that offers corrosion resistance and edge-retention properties. Finally, ATS-34 is used in some premium knives. It’s known for edge retention and hardness, but may require special attention for re-sharpening.
Case handles are hand-crafted using such natural materials such as animal bone, ivory, mother-of-pearl and hardwoods. Brass, nickel and silver are used to make other knife components, such as bolsters, pivots and locking mechanisms.
Because of Case’s rich history and their process of dating and, in some cases, numbering each blade, many of their knives are now considered collectibles. Some hard to find models sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay. The Case Collector’s Club boats eighteen thousand members, which makes it the largest knife collector group in the world.