John Primble Knives have been around the market for 100+ years, and people prefer them due to their excellent craftsmanship. Do you want to be a proud collector of these vintage knives? In this case, learning how to date John Primble Knives is crucial.

A few certain features will help you date a knife. For instance, if you notice a “Made in the USA” label, be sure the knife was engineered before 1950. 

If you are a collector or enthusiast of vintage knives, perhaps you’ve come across a John Primble knife and are curious about its history and value. Dating a John Primble knife can be a challenging task, but with a bit of knowledge and patience, you can uncover its secrets.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks on how to date John Primble knives. From examining the blade and handle materials to researching the company’s history, we’ll guide you through the process of determining the age and value of your John Primble knife.

So, if you’re ready to delve into the world of antique knives, keep reading!

How to Date John Primble Knives

John Primble offers a variety of traditional pocket knives. More interestingly, this is the longest continuous line of cutlery in America. As mentioned, you can date these knives following several methods.

Method 01: “Made in the USA” Label

All kitchen items come with a label mentioning their manufacturing country. John Primble knives are also no exception. Intently looking at the construction of a John Primble knife for the mark “Made in the USA.” If this writing is labeled in your knife, it was built before 1950. Generally, you will find this label in the body of the knife. On the other hand, this label’s unavailability means the knife was made after 1950.

Method 02: Type of Steel Used for the Blade

Before World War II, most John Primble knives were made of carbon steel. Later, this material becomes less available. As a result, the manufacturer started using stainless steel for the blade. So, try to figure out the material used to make the blade. If it is carbon steel, the knife was made before WWII. While for the stainless steel blade, the knife was built after WWII.

Method 03: Handle Material

John Primble knives are renowned for their top-notch craftsmanship and durability. They use wood, bone, nylon, or plastic in their knives. However, newer models’ handle material is synthetic, like nylon or plastic. Whereas earlier models’ handles were made of wood or bone.

Method 04: Check the Bolsters

The bolsters are another good indicator of John Primble Knife’s age. If you are unsure what bolster is, let me explain. It is a piece of metal where the blade meets the handle. Carefully examine the bolsters. Brass bolsters were used in earlier models. On the flip side, later models use stainless steel bolster.

Method 05: Search Online or Catalog

Online is a great way to identify John Primble knife’s age. How? I suggest taking pictures of your John Primble knife and posting them to dedicated forums. Someone will surely reply to your thread and help you know the knife’s age.

You can also look at old advertisements or product catalogs. Visit antique stores that collect vintage knives. You will gather more information by browsing and visiting websites, forums, or antique stores.

Is John Primble Still in the Business?

George Belknap founded the company named Belknap Hardware in 1866. This company was a leading manufacturer of tools and hardware.

They built top-class products and never compromised on quality. An employee of the Belknap company developed John Primble knives. The knives were manufactured in Louisville between 1860 and 1985 by the John Primble Belknap Hardware Co.

Unfortunately, they went out of business in 1987 after operating for over 100 years in the industry. Wondering why this renowned company demises their business?

During 1960-1985, cheaper foreign manufacturers entered the hardware and tools industry. At the same time, consumer tastes changed. Belknap failed to keep pace with these changes and stopped production.

Later in 1985, Belknap company closed its doors. However, the John Primble name remains, and the Blue Grass Cutlery Corporation bought it. These knives are still in production under Blue Grass Cutlery Corporation in the USA.

So, we can say that the mother company is not in the business, while the John Primble knives are still in the market. The reason is the Blue Grass Cutlery Corporation makes the knives.

Are John Primble Knives Worth It?

Definitely, John Primble knives are a worthy investment for a knife enthusiast. Why? These knives have been in the industry for 100+ years and are built to last. Although the price is expensive compared to other knives, these are well worth it for their performance and quality.

John Primble knives are made with great care and maintain every detail. High-quality steel is used for the blade. This way, the edge remains razor-sharp for many years, even after using extensively.

Handles are also comfortable to grip as they are made from top-notch materials like nylon, plastic, wood, and bone. You can grip them securely, even with wet hands.

In terms of the overall design, these knives are functional, efficient, and stylish. If you are looking for a reliable knife, consider buying John Primble knives. They are really worth considering due to their quality, craftsmanship, and performance.


When were John Primble knives first made?

John Primble knives were first designed and developed by an employee of Belknap Brand in 1947. These knives were made following high standards and specifications. They became one of Belknap’s primary lines, and with good reason.

How old are John Primble knives?

John Primble knives have been in the industry for over 145 continuous years. Premium craftsmanship and reliable service are the keys to such an excellent run. This is one of the longest continuous cutlery lines in America.

Where are John Primble knives made?

Earlier, John Primble knives were made in Louisville under Belknap Co. In 1987, Belknap Co. stopped their business, and the Bluegrass Cutlery Corporation bought John Primble. Then, they continued manufacturing these knives in Manchester, Ohio.

Final Words

When it comes to purchasing a John Primble knife for personal use or as a collectible item, it’s important to understand the knife’s history, materials, and unique features. 

Hopefully, learning how to date a John Primble knife can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for collectors and enthusiasts alike. Bear in mind owning and using a John Primble knife is a privilege. Simultaneously treating it with respect will ensure its value for years to come.


Oliver aka Arannyk Monon is a versatile content writer, editor, and content strategist. He has been writing for the last 10 years to help people get the actual information that they are searching for on Search Engines. He has proven expertise in Kitchen, automotive, camera, hosting, and other technical topics.

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