One to Watch: Case Winkler Skinner
Tony Sculimbrene 01.23.18
Case Knives is probably one of the most famous knife brands in the world. They have such a large and devoted following that their niche, Case Collectors, is as big as any in the knife world. Some of the old Case Tested knives routinely sell at auction for more than $1,000 and the record for a Case production knife is an old Case Tested 6488LP in green bone that sold for a staggering $14,300. Case is a brand that prides itself on heritage. Innovation and bleeding-edge steels are not their stock and trade. But with the Case Winkler Skinner, they have proven that an old dog can learn new tricks.
Dan Winkler has been making knives since 1988. In that time he has made some extremely sought-after fixed blades. According to his site, many of his fixed blades have been used by special forces around the world. He has also dabbled in historical recreations of famous blades, even supplying some authentic reproductions for films, including the axe used by Daniel Day-Lewis in the truly great film “Last of the Mohicans.” Despite a penchant for making old-looking stuff, Winkler has always been on the forefront of steels, adopting 3V quite early in the steel’s product life. He also dabbled in a very tough steel called 80CrV2 for a while.
80CrV2 is a high carbon steel known for its extreme toughness. It also happens to be a steel that can readily forged and used in stock removal. Finally, like a lot of high carbon steels 80CrV2 can produce a hamon. In many ways it is ideally suited to Winkler’s style, given that he does both forging and stock removal. 80CrV2’s cost, though not as high as some of the PM steels, is quite high for its high carbon status. As such, until now there have not been many, if any, major production runs using this steel.
Case Knives has collaborated with Winkler to produce the Case Winkler Skinner in 80CrV2. The end result is a knife that, on paper, stands out from the crowd. Its one of Winkler’s first collaborations, it is a new knife from a company famous for variants on old stuff, and it is, to my knowledge, the first knife with 80CrV2 steel.
The knife itself looks great on paper. The handle comes in a variety of materials because, after all, this is a Case knife. But the design itself is quite pleasant-looking with a good parrot’s beak and a nice palm swell. The blade is a 5” skinner-type trailing blade with a black stonewashed finish. It comes with a nice leather sheath with a reversible attachment point. Finally, the knife weighs in at a pleasant 6.5 ounces.
- What: Case Winkler Skinner Fixed Blade
- Cost: Starts at $295 and goes up depending on handle material
- Where: Internet sources and high end cutlery stores
- When: Available Now
- Made in the USA: Yes
- Highlight: A production fixed blade in 80CrV2