Author Topic: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings  (Read 7660 times)

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Offline Heirphoto

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Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« on: November 07, 2014, 03:18:44 PM »
I had some questions on the various markings found on older Grohmann and Russell knives and how that may apply to dating them.

Were the Grohmann knives originally just marked Russell Belt Knife and the Grohmann name was added later?

How about the letter / number code, ie. Rd-1962, etc.... does that designate a certain model or is that a year of manufacture?

I have seen a few examples with the letter S etched inside a circle right on the center of the blade, what does that signify?

Also if they are not specifically marked as carbon steel does that mean stainless or, were the different steels even identified at all on the blades?

Thanks for any help

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2014, 03:22:55 PM »
The RD1962 is the year the design was registered.  That was used for twenty years.  The S in a circle is a stainless blade.  Here is a link to the blade markings:

http://www.grohmannknives.com/pages/years.html
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Offline Heirphoto

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2014, 04:01:09 PM »


I did just check their website and found a little history info as to the Rd-1962 marking and the S and C being older markings for stainless and carbon.

I have seen a few marked Rd-1958 so guess this was a slightly earlier design but these same markings and designs continued for many years it says.

Really been enjoying these little knives and just want to learn a bit more about them.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 01:16:20 PM by Heirphoto »

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2014, 08:23:25 PM »
If I buy another it will have to be an older one as the current production is not what it used to be from all the reviews and forum comments about them.
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Offline Heirphoto

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014, 10:20:18 PM »
I have been staying with the vintage ones just for this reason.

Offline What Cheer

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 06:39:44 PM »
I discovered the Russell Belt Knife in the last half of the nineteen fifties while attending high school in northern Ohio. I don't remember now whether I first saw the knife in a magazine advertisement, or in a sporting goods store. Given my close proximity to lake Erie and Canada, it may have been in a shop. Having an interest in art, I was very impressed with the design which was quite different from the knives we then had. Naturally I wanted one. However at this time I had also discovered automobiles and girls, both were then, and still are, high maintenance items, so the Russell Belt Knife had to wait, along with the Buck and Randall knives that I also wanted.

I got my first Russell Belt Knife 1971/72, a #2 Trout & Bird Knife in Carbon Steel, and have used it over the years as a general use field knife, primarily  field dressing small game with a few fish thrown in. Although I have never used it on anything larger than Javelina, I found the design to work very well. In the years since I have added a few of the #1 Original Design Knives, and like them also.

Due to my interest in these knives I became interested in their history and began keeping notes on them about five or six years ago. With that said, I will offer my thoughts and opinions in an effort to answer the original poster's questions.

According to Grohmann they began manufacturing the Russell Belt Knife in 1957, This was before the design was registered in 1958. Please understand that I am referring now to the #1 Original Design Knife only. After the design was registered the knives were marked,

Right side of the ricasso/tang___ 'Rd-1958'
Left side of the ricasso/tang____ 'Russell/BELT KNIFE/Canada'

The design registration was issued for twenty years, so the knives were marked as above from 1958 to 1978.

Now we can consider the first year of production, 1957. At the present I do not know for sure how these knives were marked. It may be that they are marked as above without the 'Rd-1958', and I do have one knife in my notes that is so marked. This knife could be a 1957 production, or it could have been made after the registration expired in 1978 and before the next ricasso/tang markings were implemented. They were marked,

Right side of the ricasso/tang___ Blank, no markings
Left side of the ricasso/tang____ 'DHRussell/BELT KNIFE/Canada'

Note that Grohmann's name does not appear on the above knives. I have cataloged a total of eight different combinations of ricasso/tang stamps and blade markings and still may have not seen them all. Grohmann is on all of the subsequent ones.

The only method I have of dating these knives is the memory of the owner's as to the year they purchased them, or original sales receipts. Then a general time period may be established.

I hope you find the above information, if not useful, at least interesting.

If anyone has any questions I will try to answer to the extent of my knowledge, they are interesting knives.

Best regards,

What Cheer

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Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 06:49:54 PM »
If I buy another it will have to be an older one as the current production is not what it used to be from all the reviews and forum comments about them.
Sadly, I totally agree. (And this from an old fan...)
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Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2014, 06:58:56 PM »
So, does anyone know what these markings mean?



There are no other markings on the balde of this old #4.

EDIT: I take it H1 is the steel, but can I tell anything from that?
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Offline Heirphoto

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2014, 01:24:13 PM »
What Cheer, thanks for the info you provided. I was curious about the early markings. I did gather from the Grohmann website that the Rd-1958 markings continued for 20 years as you said and that would be for the #1 model. My #2 has Rd-1962 which I suppose is when that design was introduced and likewise the marking was used for 20 years as well. Mine say Russell Belt Knife, none say Grohmann.

Do you know roughly when the C in a circle and the S in a circle were used to designate carbon and stainless steel? My knives are not marked as to the steel but the lack of stains makes me think stainless. I think the newest actually say carbon or stainless by the tang stamping.

How about the #3 model. When was it introduced and anything about them to roughly designate age?

Thanks

Offline What Cheer

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2014, 03:10:35 PM »
I have yet to see, if they exist, any Grohmann knife of the Russell Belt Knife series with a 'C' enclosed  within a circle. The later knives were designated as Carbon or Stainless in the ricasso/tang stamps.

The information I have accumulated to date indicates that Belt Knife series, numbers one thru four were all available by 1964.

The only way I know of to date these knives is as I have posted above.

Best regards,

What Cheer
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Offline Heirphoto

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2014, 05:54:14 PM »
That is interesting about the C in a circle. The Grohmann website mentions it yet has two photos, both with an S in a circle, no C in a circle.

Anyway, I am getting great enjoyment from my Grohmanns. My only disappointment is that it took me 58 years to actually try one.....all those years wasted  :)

Offline willis

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2014, 06:40:17 PM »
I had a friend in the early 80's who had a Canadian belt knife his father bought while stationed on a Canadian island in the USAF in the fifties.It was almost black from use and he give it to me to sharpen.I guess it was my introduction to what is now called ergonomics,it fit the hand.It was easily brought to a very sharp edge using an Arkansas stone and was a joy to whittle with,I have never handled one since.I am wanting one now,and like the flat grind available and the non stainless blade steel.

Offline kanukkarhu

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2014, 08:49:29 AM »
I had a friend in the early 80's who had a Canadian belt knife his father bought while stationed on a Canadian island in the USAF in the fifties.It was almost black from use and he give it to me to sharpen.I guess it was my introduction to what is now called ergonomics,it fit the hand.It was easily brought to a very sharp edge using an Arkansas stone and was a joy to whittle with,I have never handled one since.I am wanting one now,and like the flat grind available and the non stainless blade steel.
I have a #1 in stainless with the full flat grind. I bent the tip on it. I personally don't think it's a stout enough blade to handle the full flat grind, IMHO.
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Offline Heirphoto

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2014, 05:55:16 PM »
I wonder at what point did they add the lanyard hole to the knife handles? It does not seem to be used on the earlier knives.

Offline What Cheer

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2014, 10:40:40 PM »
Heirphoto,

With the information I have now, I believe the lanyard hole became standard in the late 1980s or possibly the early 1990s. I also believe the hole was available as an option before then. I have in my notes, earlier #1 Original design knives with the lanyard hole, including one with the Rd-1958 ricasso/tang stamp.

Best regards,

What Cheer
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2014, 11:10:21 PM »
I bought an old one from a friend of mine this weekend.  It is the 1958 design and was probably made in the sixties.   It has the molded leather sheath and no lanyard hole.  The blade has RD-1958 on one side and Russell Belt Knife Canada on the other.

The one I bought new about 1980 had a lanyard hole and the leather sheath that wasn't molded to the handle.  It also had Pictou N.S. engraved on the blade among other things.




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Offline What Cheer

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2014, 10:56:51 PM »
wsdstan,

Thanks for posting photographs of your new knife. It appears to have the nickel silver rivets, and if so, I would agree with your thoughts on the production period. By the early seventies the brass rivets were in use, my #2 Trout & Bird knife, purchased new in 1971/72 has brass rivets. The blade appears to have a very symmetrical grind, nice.

If you have the time there are a few details I would appreciate knowing.

Blade thickness at the ricasso/tang to three decimal places?
Number of grooves in the jimping?
Is the sheath marked on the back,'Made in Canada', and is the stamp in one or two lines?
Rivets nickel silver or brass?

A very nice early Grohmann Russell Belt Knife, I love the dark rosewodd, nice find and a keeper for sure.

Best regards,

What Cheer
 
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2014, 09:35:48 AM »
Hi What Cheer,

The grind on this knife is very good.

Thickness at Ricasso  .130
Jimping grooves              9
The sheath is stamped "Made in Canada" and is on one line.
The rivets are nickel silver.

Let me know what this "says" to you.

Regards,

Stan
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 10:20:20 AM by wsdstan »
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Offline What Cheer

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2014, 09:30:49 PM »
wsdstan,

The early knives had thicker blades, later ones are approximately .015 inch thinner, plus/minus a couple of thousandths. I do not know at this point when the change occurred.

The jimping is in agreement with those I have seen from this time period, nine grooves in a course pattern. Later knives have a finer pattern, but I do not believe this change occurred during the Rd-1958 ricasso/tang stamp period.

With the information I currently have, I believe the one line 'Made in Canada' stamp on the sheaths is the first stamp used. The later two line stamp, 'Made in/Canada' was in use by the early nineteen seventies.

The nickel silver rivets were replaced by brass also by the early nineteen seventies.

Everything considered, your knife has all of the characteristics I would expect to find on an early vintage one.

Best regards,

What Cheer
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2014, 09:42:52 PM »
Thanks.  Your information fits with what the seller told me about it regarding date of manufacture in the early 60's. 
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Offline MikeyBlue

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2017, 11:20:38 PM »
Bringing this thread back from the dead  O:-).....

Just bought this knife and wondering if there's a way to find out the approximate year it was made from the markings. 

Says "Russell / Belt Knife / Canada" on one side and "Rd-1958" on other.  Has what appears to be Brazilian Rosewood handle with nickel-silver pins.  No stamps or markings on leather molded sheath from what I can find.

http://i1376.photobucket.com/albums/ah18/Jobooie/Mobile%20Uploads/E57A8BD0-A536-4D35-83D0-F0DA880A56BE_zpspjyvpok3.jpg

http://s1376.photobucket.com/user/Jobooie/media/Mobile%20Uploads/96D113FF-91AB-4199-BAC1-B66DF1848FF5_zpspbdl0a0x.jpg.html




Thanks for looking !

Offline wolfy

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2017, 11:51:18 PM »
Why don't you just call or write Grohmann and ask them? :shrug:
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Offline MikeyBlue

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2017, 06:53:38 AM »
Why did I post here and not just contact Grohmann? 

Two reasons.  First, it allows future readers to use this site as a resource and to share knowledge on these vintage knives.  That wouldn't happen if I sat in my bubble and contacted Grohmann.  Sharing is one of the best parts of the internets my friend. Heck, that's how I found this site and this goldmine of info on these knives. 

And second, What Cheer is cataloging these knives from the sounds of it and here's another one for his records.

And as a new member, thanks for the warm welcome wolfy.


Offline wsdstan

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2017, 09:50:23 AM »
The RD 1958 stands for Russell design which was done in 1958.  Has been used for years and is not indicative of the year of manufacture.  I don't know if there is a way to date these knives from the blade stamp as they used the same stamp for many years.  I have a couple of them, one very similar to your sheath and they were made between 1958 and 1978.  I have another that says Pictou Nova Scotia on the blade.  Another has an S in a circle to note it is made of stainless steel.  You, of course, may know all of this already.

Here is a link with a few comments about the Russell knife and Russell's son posted about the Grohmann and Russell link.

http://canadiandesignresource.ca/sport/grohmann-knife/

The story of Russell belt knives (but no info on dating one)
http://www.grohmannknives.com/index.php/about/the-grohmann-story

Here is a bit of information from the same site about the various blade stampings used over the years that would give one the ability to get a possible date range for their knife, but not the exact year.

http://www.grohmannknives.com/index.php/about/through-the-years

I like the three I have a great deal and use them from time to time.  There are better knives for some tasks than the original Russell design but not many are as useful as an all purpose knife.  They are particularly good gutting and skinning knives and work well for food prep, at least in my opinion. 
 
What Cheer has a lot of knowledge about these knives and was very helpful in providing information regarding mine. 
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2017, 10:41:01 AM »
Why did I post here and not just contact Grohmann? 

Two reasons.  First, it allows future readers to use this site as a resource and to share knowledge on these vintage knives.  That wouldn't happen if I sat in my bubble and contacted Grohmann.  Sharing is one of the best parts of the internets my friend. Heck, that's how I found this site and this goldmine of info on these knives. 

And second, What Cheer is cataloging these knives from the sounds of it and here's another one for his records.

And as a new member, thanks for the warm welcome wolfy.


You will find that if you go to INTRODUCTIONS first, as is customary for new members on most forums and tell us a little about yourself first, you will receive more attention in successive posts.  Had you done that you would have found that I am usually one of the first in line to welcome new members. 

The reason I suggested calling or writing the company was that What Cheer has not been active here since April of 2015 and it is unlikely to respond to this old thread.  Most of the rest of the respondents to the thread, with the exception of wsdstan & I aren't even checking in anymore.......so don't sass ME, boy! :taunt: :rofl:
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 08:17:00 PM by wolfy »
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Offline MikeyBlue

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2017, 11:19:03 AM »
The RD 1958 stands for Russell design which was done in 1958.  Has been used for years and is not indicative of the year of manufacture.  I don't know if there is a way to date these knives from the blade stamp as they used the same stamp for many years.  I have a couple of them, one very similar to your sheath and they were made between 1958 and 1978.  I have another that says Pictou Nova Scotia on the blade.  Another has an S in a circle to note it is made of stainless steel.  You, of course, may know all of this already.

Here is a link with a few comments about the Russell knife and Russell's son posted about the Grohmann and Russell link.

http://canadiandesignresource.ca/sport/grohmann-knife/

The story of Russell belt knives (but no info on dating one)
http://www.grohmannknives.com/index.php/about/the-grohmann-story

Here is a bit of information from the same site about the various blade stampings used over the years that would give one the ability to get a possible date range for their knife, but not the exact year.

http://www.grohmannknives.com/index.php/about/through-the-years

I like the three I have a great deal and use them from time to time.  There are better knives for some tasks than the original Russell design but not many are as useful as an all purpose knife.  They are particularly good gutting and skinning knives and work well for food prep, at least in my opinion. 
 
What Cheer has a lot of knowledge about these knives and was very helpful in providing information regarding mine.

Thanks very much for this information!!  Greatly appreciated! 

Offline wolfy

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2017, 11:23:16 AM »
So long, Mikey. ;D
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Offline MikeyBlue

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2017, 11:28:21 AM »
Why did I post here and not just contact Grohmann? 

Two reasons.  First, it allows future readers to use this site as a resource and to share knowledge on these vintage knives.  That wouldn't happen if I sat in my bubble and contacted Grohmann.  Sharing is one of the best parts of the internets my friend. Heck, that's how I found this site and this goldmine of info on these knives. 

And second, What Cheer is cataloging these knives from the sounds of it and here's another one for his records.

And as a new member, thanks for the warm welcome wolfy.


You will find that if you go to INTRODUCTIONS first, as is customary for new members on most forums and tell us a little about yourself first, you will receive more attention in successive posts.  Had you done that you would have found that I am usually one of the first in line to welcome new members. 

The reason I suggested calling or writing the company was that What Cheer has not been active here since April of 2015 and it is unlikely to respond to this old thread.  Most of the rest of the respondents to the thread, with the exception of wsdstan & I are even checking in anymore.......so don't sass ME, boy! :taunt: :rofl:

Why are you even posting in this thread, other than to be trolling?  You've provided nothing to this thread other than clutter.

I will head to the INTRODUCTIONS and post there as is customary...sorry if I stepped on your toes there Sass Master

Offline MikeyBlue

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2017, 11:29:23 AM »
So long, Mikey. ;D

Geez, tough crowd in here

Offline Dano

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2017, 08:04:09 PM »
So long, Mikey. ;D

Geez, tough crowd in here

You will find in time that Wolfy is one of THE MOST helpful members we have here at B&B.  I took his response regarding contacting the company directly, because of the age of this thread, to be nothing other than ask the ones who will know for sure.



Offline dancan

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2017, 08:26:45 AM »
Wolfy ,I might be wrong but I thought the "S" was stamped to indicate that it is a factory second and with that stamp no warranty .

Offline wolfy

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Re: Grohmann / Russell Knife Markings
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2017, 09:49:35 AM »
Wolfy ,I might be wrong but I thought the "S" was stamped to indicate that it is a factory second and with that stamp no warranty .

That's what I always thought too, but according to their 'clearance page' the 'S' is not enclosed in a circle on the seconds.. :shrug:

http://www.gknives.com/index.php/products/2015-08-06-10-51-34/clearance
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