As a general rule, I try not to mention other brands of cutlery in any article featuring a particular company but there are exceptions. Frankly, ignoring the fact Buck Knives first created the brass framed “110” pattern lockback folding hunter in 1964 is kind of like failing to acknowledge that John Browning and Colt Firearms designed the now universally popular Model 1911 .45 pistol over a hundred years ago. And, like the dozens of 1911 clone handguns made by other companies, the Buck 110 has been copied by vast numbers of cutlery makers around the world. One of the first to do this was the German brand Puma. Even today, Puma offers probably the most extensive line of 110 clone knives on the market, with a size and price range for every user.
While Puma has also long been known as one of the premium German brands, in recent years they have contracted out the production of many of their models to other cutlery producing countries. Puma’s approach to importing folders is more unique. I was told they felt that their average customer was primarily interested in obtaining a quality German-made blade. On the other hand, a large part of the production costs in any folder are in the assembly and finishing of the handle, spring, lock, and pivot pin. With that in mind, they now manufacture blades in Germany that are then shipped to China where they are assembled into an economical line of Puma working knives.
Puma still makes the Military line in Germany. Top down, the General, Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Corporal. They range in size from 3 inches up to 4.9 inches closed, thus providing a practical folder for every need.
For those who would still prefer a 100% German-made product, there are also the traditional Stag-handled Earl, Prince and Duke knives; as well as the lightweight aluminum-framed ABS-scaled Corporal, Lieutenant, Sergeant, and General. Current Chinese assembled variations run in size from the 3-inch close “Gentleman SGB” to the 5.5-inch closed “Boss SGB,” with a at least four sizes in between those two extremes. Thanks to their American importer, I have had a chance to evaluate a number of these different models for several months over spring and summer of this year.