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Mittwoch, 9. November 2011

White Hunter - How a design becomes a tradition

 So many of you bushheads might have heard of the Puma White hunter knife design, which quickly became very popular in the 1950s. Originally modelled after a design by "Oberforstmeister Frevert", who is largely idealised by German hunters. By the way, that guy was an old Nazi, something to think about if you ask me. The knife, however, has little to do with that, but I think, one should keep that in mind. The design proved popular with generations of outdoorsmen and has proven solid as a rock. In fact, for a long time it was a unique selling point for the Puma corporation, resulting in the fairy tale prices they calculated. As is a tradition in Solingen, there are many corporations who copied it after the trademark license ran out. Boker Solingen was one of them with their "Explorer" lineup of knives, presumably made in Solingen, Spain and Argentinia (Arbolito). Those two knives above and below are from that lineup. I got them dead cheap in a Solingen surplus shop. Blade is 1.4116 steel. Above is an olive wood handle, below one made from ebony.
 The sheath are top grain leather. I really like these knives and would gladly use them if only I were permitted to carry them, for they are too long.
 This is a Weber Bundeswehr pilot´s knife, originally given to Tornado pilots as a survival device and to lever off the cockpit shell in an emergency. For that purpose, it has a differential temper from 57 HRC to 54 HRC tip - to - handle. Burned stag scales and brass bolster I made myself. I also added a convex bevel. It´s more of a cleaver, with a 6 mm spine thickness and 1.4116 steel.
And the original original, Pumaster crucible carbon steel from the first ever production run of the White hunter. I got this one from Mr. Rudolph Broch´s garage in Solingen, which is a paradise for any knifehead;-). Have to mount it sometime... but too many projects...

All in all I find it interesting. In the meantime, the original White hunter design has seen  hundreds of variations, not only in the Puma lineup, but all over Solingen, and even the world. I even saw a Pakistani replica of the knife or a damascus version from Stefan Steigerwald.

There´s a morale in there.

The world is round.


  1. Hmm..... do u have those too much ? You see,i dont have any !

  2. Only my personal opinion of course, but I once bought a Puma White Hunter, I still have it somewhere. Worst hunting knife I ever had. One of those knives that tried to be a hatchet and a knife, & in my opinion it never works. Your better off with a decent butcher knife and a tomahawk, and that is what I have now.
    Regards, Keith.

  3. @Perkunas: Want one? :-)
    @Le Loup: Not my primary choice, too;-). You see, I once was heavily engaged in knife collecting, and dreamed of a collection depicting the historical development of Solingen hunting knives. I used the Weber pilot´s knife a bit and I am with you: It does not work so well. Too thick, to dull, more of a prybar than a knife. If I need a knife for chopping, I´d rather take a billhook or a Khukhuri. But a hatchet is socially more accepted and suited better for carving, too.

  4. Well, i sure would like to get one, as i havent ever held one nor have i seen one ever here. BUT,i googled for those and i must say that i was shot down, by the over 300 hundred !

    I have only one user knife thats so highly priced as new, the TOPS TRACKER, that i like but , seriously speaking, for same price i´ll get my own better working version just like that. I have F1 too, as well as S1, not to mention Hackmann "Vietnam" knife, theyre all pricey enough for me, especially the vietnam knife, as i keep it as a collectible,not a user in anyway. all depends, on your suggestion / price,man :). Factory new is pretty much out of the question i think, due to prices. I simply dont have the funds, nor guts to spend that money in to knife that i dont know at all, even the Puma as a brand & reputation is mostly unknown to me.

  5. First and foremostly, Puma makes a cheaper version (Puma IP).

    I am with you on the prices, it´s really fairy-tale. They (the Solingen lineup) are made in Solingen by very few old "Reider" persons (little-mesters), most are pensioners even!

    And as I have to say, there really are better knives around. The F 1 qualifies, even if you cannot quite compare those two!

    You can contact me at Fimbulmyrk {ätätärä] gmx [dotot] de, if you want the one with the ebony handle (oh, and this is not a Puma, but an Explorer by Boker, but also made in Solingen), I will also trade for something you made. Otherwise, my price will certainly not be fairy-tale;-).

    Just mail me, will reply in two weeks course.

  6. Thinking about that, you can also get blades from the pilot´s knife from the webshop, also in drop - forged carbon steel (C 60). But that knife certainly is more prybar than cutter... but they are bargain priced.


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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