Since 1964, Puma Knife Company has included a date stamp on both fixed-blade and folding knives. The coding system has changed throughout the years, but you can easily determine the year of your knife's manufacture through the company website or by knowing how to decipher the code.
Finding the Code
Locate the date code on your Puma knife. The number will be from two to five digits long and might be followed by the letters RC. Look for the number on the finger guard – the protective divider between the blade and the handle – on Puma fixed-blade knives. On a folding knife, look on the pushing spring, used to open and close the blade.
Dating a Knife With a Two-Digit Code
If your knife has a two-digit code, such as 17/RC, determining the year of manufacture is simple. The two-digit code is the year in the current century the product was made. A knife code of 17/RC was made in 2017, whereas a code of 07/RC was made in 2007. The two-digit dating system has been in use since 2007.
Reading Three-Digit Codes
You might also be able to tell the manufacture date of your knife from a three-digit code. For example, entering 105 on Puma's "How Old is My Knife?" webpage yields the result that it was manufactured in the first half of 2005. Likewise, 205 date stamps indicate that the knife was made in the second half of that year. The code holds true for date stamps 102, 202, 103, 203, 104, 204, 105, 205, 106 and 206, which were manufactured during the years 2002 to 2006.
Cracking the Original Five-Digit Codes
Five-digit codes debuted with models manufactured in October 1964. The original codes featured the digit of the year as the third and fifth letter of the code. The quarter of the year in which the knife was produced was the first number. For example, the control numbers for knives manufactured in October 1964 began with 4, indicating the quarter of the year, with 6 as the third digit and 4 as the last – such as 40604. From 1965 to 1967, the quarter was indicated by the second digit. The number sequence in the five-digit code changed many times over the years, even transposing the numbers of the year within the number, making a visit to the manufacturer's website the best way to determine the date.
Visit the Website
Both Puma's USA and German sites have pages where you can enter your knife's control number to find out the year and time of year it was made. Knives made prior to 1979 will show in which quarter of the year the knife was manufactured. Those made after that year show only if they were made in the first or second half of the year. On the Puma Knife Company USA website, visit the "How Old is My Knife?" page or go to the FAQ page of the German Puma Knives site.
Be sure to use your cursor to click the "view" button each time you enter a new number. Pressing the "enter" key on your computer keyboard will not refresh results accurately.
If your Puma knife doesn't have a control number, visit the company history page on Puma's U.S. website. You'll get a rough idea of when major Puma models came on the market.