Nowhere in the Puma lineup is the difference between the International Puma (IP) brand and the original quite so obvious as in this knife. This stripped down version of the famous Puma White Hunter — the Puma IP White Hunter with stacked leather handle — is clearly a very good knife. Solid polished brass hand guard and pommel offset the buffed leather full length rat tail tang handle, with a look that brings to mind the classic K-Bar fighting knife. The 5-1/8-inch 440C stainless steel blade certainly has the White Hunter style, the weight of the blade forward and shaped with a double edge hollow grind. Knife enthusiasts will like this knife.
Put the White Hunter IP beside the current model of the one made in Solingen, and it’s suddenly clear how the company lowered prices by shipping work out to Spain. The IP is a good knife; the original is a great knife. In other styles, the difference isn’t so glaring, but the White Hunter has been Puma’s flagship knife for decades. The IP White Hunter costs less than half what the original White Hunter currently does. As a working hunting and skinning knife, it’s a good value. As a collector’s piece it makes me understand again how much personal pride and individual craftsmanship comes out of the Solingen factory. The art didn’t cross over to the Spanish branch as yet.
The purpose of the IP division was to bring Solingen quality and design down to a price level the more average buyer could afford, and the savings are certainly appreciated. Quality is high in the IP line. Buyers should judge this 1.1-pound fixed blade on its own merits, because there’s this knife — the Puma IP White Hunter — and then there’s the real thing. Puma should call the IP version by another name.
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