Puma knives have always held a certain fascination for me. One of my very first big game knives was a Puma folder. Regrettably, that knife accidentally ended up in the garbage disposal and was damaged beyond repair. Anyway, sometime later I acquired another Puma knife, this time a traditionally designed fixed-blade skinner. To date, I’ve used that old knife on every manner of big game, from elk to eland.
In the early 1980s I had the opportunity to visit the Puma factory in Solingen, Germany. At that time it was located in a spacious three-story house, far away from the center of town. The fact that the production facility was in a suburban neighborhood allowed the factory to escape Allied bombing raids that virtually destroyed the other cutlery factories in Solingen during World War II. Needless to say, I was deeply impressed with the knife building that went on there. Unlike many of our own cutlery factories that operate on a much larger scale, what went on in the Puma plant was more like watching the creation of a hand-made knife.
Puma knives have been produced continuously since 1769 when Johann Wilhelm Laughter added his trademark to the roll of knife makers in Solingen, Germany. More than 100 years later, the name “PUMA-Werk” was also entered into the Solingen register of companies producing cutlery. And by the early 1920s Puma knives were being exported far beyond the borders of Germany. In the late 1990s, the original factory was destroyed by fire. However, this internationally recognized company quickly shifted production to a new modern industrial park.
Puma Prowls On
Currently, Puma continues to expand its range of knives to include cutlery produced in their Solingen facility, knives designed in Solingen and made in Spain (Puma IP), and other edged products produced in conjunction with partners at off-shore locations (Puma Tec). When looking over the entire Puma product line at a SHOT show, both expansion and diversity were clearly evident.