Loading...
 

Victorinox Tang Stamp Guide

On Victorinox knives the stamp on the tang of the main blade is an important element in determining the authenticity of the manufacturer. The stamp is usually always on the main blade and can be a single stamp or one on each side of the blade. The actual stamp, or stamps, can also be very helpful in determining the date of manufacture and highlight other historical aspects of the knife.

Tang stamps are just one of many ways to date and identify a SAK. This link on the multitool.org forum provides a listing of over thirty threads of various dating and identification discussions.

There is also an excellent table of tang stamps created by forum member Ulli. The most recent version is listed here.

Please note that this page is continuosly evolving as more tang stamps are added, and more Swiss Army Knife categories are included.

If this page has been helpful in dating your Swiss Army Knife, please consider making a small contribution to help keep SAKWiki going.

The Tang Stamp Code

Each unique tang stamp is identified by a unique tang stamp code, typically in the format XXXX/YYYY where XXXX represents the facing (obverse) stamp, and YYYY represent the stamp on the reverse side of the tang, while the number of capital letters in each group indicates the number of lines of text on that side of the tang. Each letter is associated with one or more words used in the stamp, for example, S can represent Schwyz, Suisse, Stainless, Switzerland or Swiss Made.

Each letter in the code assumes its correct association when part of a specific tang stamp code. A lower case w is used to indicate a wide variation of the word associated with the preceding letter and an underlined letter indicates the first letter of the associated word is larger that the rest of the word, or in the case of E it indicates the entire tang stamp is a larger variation. Less common coding includes the plus (+) sign, used to signify the Swiss cross when used next to Armée Suisse and Va used to signify Victoria separately from Victorinox. A blank tang is indicated with a hyphen (-). Addtional letters for other markings, such as the Crossbow, are unnecessary, as the codes for tangs with Crossbows are already unique.

Using this coding system, exact tang stamps can be easily described, for example, the simple five-letter code VSS/OS describes the following tang; Victorinox with a large V, Swiss Made and Stainless on front of tang, with Officier Suisse on reverse of tang.

Date Ranges

The date ranges listed on this page are based on many years of research and discussion on the multitool.org forum, and represent the broadly agreed dates for each tang stamp.
Where a date is not clearly defined, either through uncertainty or a period of transition, the date is preceded with c. (circa), to indicate this estimation.

Sometimes, example tang stamps can be found that fall outside an agreed date range. These cannot be assumed to be only Victorinox repairs or custom made knives, as the factory has also been known to produce "Monday stamps". This was when a production line restart happened using the wrong tooling, resulting in a short production run with unique tang stamps. As these were technically not faulty knives, they often found their way into customers' hands.

91mm

Main Line

Built on the legacy of the original 1897 Officers' Knife, and set at a family length of 91mm from the early 1950s, the 91mm Main Line is today the largest category of Swiss Army Knives.

Tang: Obverse | Reverse
 
Date Range
 Notes
Credit: kamakiri	 
c. 1947
 
ESS/I
Elsener Schwyz Swiss Made/Inoxyd with Crossbow
credit: kamakiri  
c. 1947 - 1952
 
+AS/VaSS
Armée Suisse with Swiss Cross/Victoria Switzerland Stainless
Credit: jnoxyd  
c. 1952
 
VaSS/-
Victoria Switzerland Stainless/blank reverse
Credit: jnoxyd  
1952 - 1957
 
VSS/VaO
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless/Victoria Officier Crossbow.
Note: There are at least three variants in this date range, (1) sans-serif VSS font and wide-spacing between Victoria and Officier that causes the bottom edge of Officier to be obscured, (2) from c. 1953, sans-serif VSS font with normal spacing between Victoria and Officier and (3) serif VSS font with normal spacing between Victoria and Officier, as per example left.
Credit: kamakiri  
1957 - late 1973
 
VSSR/VaOS
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Victoria Officier Suisse Crossbow
91mm VSSR/blank  
late 1973 - early 1976
 
VSSR/-
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/blank reverse
credit: Max Stone  
early 1976 - 1986
 
VSSR/OS
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Officier Suisse Crossbow with Swiss Cross
credit: Max Stone  
1986 - 1992
 
VSSR/OS
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Officier Suisse Crossbow with Swiss Cross
credit: Max Stone  
1992 - 2005
 
VSSR/OS
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Officier Suisse Crossbow with Swiss Cross that does not touch Crossbow or Officier
credit: Max Stone  
2005 - 2009
 
VSS/OS
Victorinox Swiss Made Stainless/Officier Suisse
91mm VSS large - OS  
2009 - 2011
 
VSwS/OS
Victorinox Swiss Made Stainless/Officier Suisse. Swiss Made almost as wide as Victorinox
credit: Max Stone  
2011 - current
 
VSwS/OS
Victorinox Swiss Made Stainless/Officier Suisse. Swiss Made almost as wide as Victorinox
Note: V indicates large V in Victorinox    

Economy Line

The 91mm Economy Line (known later as EcoLine) started with the Elinox range in 1957 and were typically differentiated from the Main Line by their scale material, scale emblem, lack of scale tools or packaging. From 1980, the tang stamp of The Economy Line adopted those used for the Main Line family, so only the tang stamps unique to the Economy Line are shown below.

Tang: Obverse | Reverse
 
Date Range
 Notes
credit: kamakiri  
c. 1957 - 1965
 
E/VSSR
Elinox with Crossbow/Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei.
Note: E - The Elinox, crossbow and stamp on reverse are all larger than the 1965 - 1973 version
credit: kamakiri  
1965 - 1973
 
E/VSSR
Elinox with Crossbow/Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei
Credit: kamakiri  
c. 1973
 
RIS/-
Rostfrei Inoxydable Stainless/Blank
Credit: kamakiri	 
1973 - c. 1977
 
ESSR/-
Elinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei (right aligned)/blank reverse
Higher contrast image. Credit rookie  
c.1977
 
ESSR/VSSR
Elinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei (right aligned)/Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei
Credit: kamakiri  
c. 1977 - 1980
 
VSSR/Eco
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Economy

Hoffritz

Hoffritz was a significant importer and reseller of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives in the USA, with the product uniquely branded for Hoffritz, including a variety of different blade tangs between 1951 and 1982.

Tang: Obverse | Reverse
 
Date Range
 Notes
credit: kamakiri  
1951 - 1952
 
+AS/HSS
Armée Suisse with Swiss Cross/Hoffritz Switzerland Stainless
credit: kamakiri  
1952 - 1957
 
HSS/VaO
Hoffritz Switzerland Stainless/Victoria Officier with Crossbow
credit: kamakiri  
1957 - 1973
 
HSS/VaOS
Hoffritz Switzerland Stainless/Victoria Officier Suisse with Crossbow
credit: kamakiri  
1973 - 1976
 
H/VSSR
Hoffritz/Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei
credit: kamakiri  
1976 - 1982
 
H/SSR
Hoffritz/Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei

Created by ICanFixThat. Last Modification: Wednesday 25 of November, 2020 19:11:17 CET by Max Stone.

Help keep the lights on

Victorinox Models

Delémont Collection

Size Layers Pics
130mm 1 2 3 4 Image
85mm 1 2 3 4 5 + Image
65mm 1 2 3 Image

Wenger Models

Additional Information

Additional Galleries Image