W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co., also known as Case, has been in the business since the late 1800’s. Case brothers began selling cutlery in New York villages from the back of a wagon.
Case has been producing very high quality, hand-finished knives since their inception. To this day, you will find that the quality of the knives have not deteriorated since their early years to now. However, that can be said mainly of their middle end to higher end knives. Some Case knives on the lower end of the spectrum, mainly the folders, are not very high quality owing to obvious cost-cutting reasons, although it can be said of some other knife manufacturers as well. The higher end folders are extremely high quality, from the handle right to the blade.
Case 316-5 fixed-blade knife
When we’re talking about hunting knives of Case, it is debatable whether they are better than Buck or Gerber. Most of the middle end to higher end knives are as good if not better than the aforementioned manufacturers. Take, for example, the Case Cutlery 381 Case 316-5 Leather Hunter with a clip-point fixed blade. It is a sturdy, well built knife that has a 5 inch clip point blade, and comes with a leather sheath out of the box. It has leather handles which provide a firm grip and the overall length of the knife is 9 ½ inches. Now, this is a knife of the 70’s. It is a truly great product that has stood the test of time.
Now, about the warranty, Case offers lifetime warranty on their knives. If your Case knife was damaged because of misuse, it won’t be covered in warranty. However, if your knife cannot be repaired but is eligible for warranty, you will get a replacement for the knife. The service time for warranty specified on the Case website is 6-8 weeks.
Additionally, you can be a Case Collectors Club member and get some benefits which you might or might not necessarily find beneficial. For this, you have to pay $20 annually if you wish to be a Regular member wherein you will get subscription to The Case Collector magazine, annual Case catalogs, exclusive limited knife promotions, access to online forum community, updated listing of Case Authorized Dealers, eligibility to purchase the Annual Club Knife and an opportunity to sponsor up to 2 Junior members for free. You can also choose to be a life member by paying a $150 one-time fee. The only real added benefit to that is the opportunity to entire set of Case Annual Club Knives which are serial numbered with the collectors Life membership number.
Overall, Case makes good knives. The most important thing to pay attention to, even with well known knife manufacturers is their warranty and support, especially if you are buying a middle end or a high end knife to last longer than lower end products. With lifetime warranty on their knives and good quality products, you can safely opt for a Case knife if you wish to.