Unless you’re already a Puma enthusiast you’re certain to find surprises among the offerings of this old company from Solingen, Germany. Looking through the hundreds of selections introduces you to classic knives from the 40’s, production knives that look like today’s best custom blades, and folding knives with both old and new mechanical tricks. Puma’s best may be beyond the budget of some potential buyers, but Puma’s average knife remains affordable. Their average knife quality beats many knifemakers’ best.
Puma began in 1769 when Johann Wilhelm Lauterjung recorded his Puma trademark in the “role of knifemakers” of the Master Cutlers Guild in the German cutlery center of Solingen. Lauterjung actually worked in a water-powered shop located on the Wupper River. Grandson Nathanael Lauterjungen moved the company’s works to Solingen early in the 18th Century after steam power ended manufacturing’s reliance on water-driven machines. Puma’s early products included razors, scissors, stilettos and swords, but the company focused on household cutlery until the war machine of WWII took over. After the war, Olswald Von Frankenberg Und Ludwigsdorf entered the business through marriage to Renate Lauterjung. Ludwigsdorf focused Puma’s production in a new direction, using the ideas of a forester friend, Walte Frevert, to create new hunting and sporting knives. Many of those knives remain in production today. In 2003 Puma introduced the more affordable Puma-IP line, and in 2008 Puma TEC added modern folding knives to the company’s designs.
One of the collaborations between Ludwigsdorf and Frevert created the best-known Puma knife, the Puma White Hunter. Puma offers standard and customized versions of this beautiful sporting knife, as well as simplified models in the Puma-IP style and a smaller model called the Puma Pal. Puma combines the White Hunter and Puma Pal blade styles in a hunting set which features three interchangeable blades including a bone saw. Fishermen will find knives of comparable quality created especially for angler’s needs. Modern adventurers like divers and trekkers can choose from dependable traditional patterns of fixed blades and folders, or high tech knives built with new materials and a combination of modern manufacturing and old-world hand craftsmanship.