Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

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JulesVane
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Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by JulesVane »

Obviously, I love the Robt. Klaas leverlocks, but I can't seem to find dates of productions. Here, are my only 3 examples, which seem to be the most popular/common, as far as availability. The 8" model, with the shorter exposed spring area and imitation red picked bone scales, I thought was the "newer" model. But, it has steel liners, which for some reason, I thought would be an older trait(?).
The two 7" models, with fully exposed (longer) spring area, are both genuine stag and brass liners. All stamps seem the same. I'm "thinking" the knives COULD BE in the 1960's to 1980's range, but, I honestly have no idea. Is it possible to narrow down production dates/years? Many company online sites, don't seem to discuss older automatic knives. Thanks in advance!

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"By accepting you as you are, I do not necessarily abandon all hope of your improving"- My Wife (1963-Present)
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jim d,
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by jim d, »

Chris,

Here is all I know. I have one just like yours on the left in the photos. That model was sometimes called the "root beer" KC presumably because the translucent scales have a root beer like color when light is viewed through them. I bought mine as new stock from Knifeshop in Austria in 2003, and have no idea how long it had been in their inventory.

What seems inconsistent to me is the requirement for the "W" in front of Germany for pre-1989 knives. We have seen it on Hubertus etched knives, but the earlier tang stamped ones that I have or have seen simply say Solingen. I have seen various old leverlocks that just say Solingen as well. You have me interested so I'll do some research.

Jim
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JulesVane
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by JulesVane »

jim d, wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 11:11 pm Chris,

Here is all I know. I have one just like yours on the left in the photos. That model was sometimes called the "root beer" KC presumably because the translucent scales have a root beer like color when light is viewed through them.

Jim
Thank you Jim! I hope you can find more info as far as dates of these nice knives than i could. Is it safe to assume, that your 8" model also has steel liners? Maybe, that's a trait of the model size, and not the age(?). Or, would be Interesting to know if they went from steel to brass, or brass to steel. Thanks for your help Jim!
Last edited by JulesVane on Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sammy the blade
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by sammy the blade »

Those are some nice ones!
TazmanTom
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by TazmanTom »

Wouldn't the W prefix still be related to the "fall of the wall" being pre 90ish. Straight Germany marking following that. (Hubertus like dating). Just my take, not that familiar with KC levers. Tom
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JulesVane
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by JulesVane »

TazmanTom wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:34 am Wouldn't the W prefix still be related to the "fall of the wall" being pre 90ish. Straight Germany marking following that. (Hubertus like dating). Just my take, not that familiar with KC levers. Tom
Hi Tom! Honestly, it's not like I have a huge collection of German leverlocks, but I do have a few going back to the 1940's and 1950's, and Hubertus is the only brand I've personally seen to use the "W" in their etch. Like Jim said, the real old German pieces only have Solingen and/or Germany, and they were naturally long before the wall fall of 1989. I sure do appreciate you being part of the conversation...Thank you!
Last edited by JulesVane on Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Tkreil66
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by Tkreil66 »

Those are great looking Lever Locks, is it common for Klaas LL’s not to have the lever drilled through like Hubertus?
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JulesVane
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by JulesVane »

Tkreil66 wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:49 am Those are great looking Lever Locks, is it common for Klaas LL’s not to have the lever drilled through like Hubertus?
Thank you, Robert Klaas certainly made attractive, sturdy knives, I agree. The solid lever must have started later, as I believe the earlier ones had the hole completely through. Again, what years all the Robt. Klaas leverlocks were produced, is still unknown to me. The solid lever trait was also shared by the several Boker leverlocks I have, but, they are yet another leverlock, with their various blade etchings, that I can't seem to find solid answers on years of production. And, now that Hubertus leverlocks are being made by Otter, they too have solid levers.

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TazmanTom
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by TazmanTom »

Glad to throw in my "nickel" every now and then, for what it's worth. HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE !
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jim d,
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by jim d, »

Chris,

Yes, mine is steel lined as well. I looked through all my literature and couldn't find anything to help with the dates. An internet search yielded some interesting information about Klass as a company, but nothing relevant to your knives.

Jim
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JulesVane
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by JulesVane »

jim d, wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:05 pm Chris,

Yes, mine is steel lined as well. I looked through all my literature and couldn't find anything to help with the dates. An internet search yielded some interesting information about Klass as a company, but nothing relevant to your knives.

Jim
Thanks for looking Jim! Same dead end I seem to hit. Go to Klaas/Kissing Crane site, no info on the older automatics. Same with the Hubertus site, not much info on their old autos either. At least, with Hubertus, their tang stamp, light and dark blade etchings, W Germany and Germany etchings, are much easier to age.
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jim d,
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Re: Aging Robt. Klaas LL's

Post by jim d, »

Chris,

According to the Kissing Crane knife company history on kissingcraneknifeco.com the "Kissing Crane brand is now owned by On The Edge Brands, Inc., a 25 year old family business in Moultrie, Ga." I have no idea what records they may have of old lever lock production, or what records they obtained when they bought the brand. Perhaps if they don't have the applicable records they might know who does. The many mysteries of collecting...

Jim
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