Victorinox Tang Stamp Guide

On Victorinox (and many other) 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 on the main blade and one, or both, sides of the blade may be stamped. The various tang stamps can also be very helpful in determining dates of manufacture and can also 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 forum provides a listing of over thirty threads containing various dating and identification information and resources.
There is also an excellent table of tang stamps, created by MultiTool.org forum member Ulli, the most recent version is listed here. (It is also accessible via the link above).

Please note that these pages are continuously 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.


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
Credit: kamakiri	 
c. 1947
Elsener Schwyz Swiss Made/Inoxyd with Crossbow
credit: kamakiri  
c. 1947 - 1952
Armée Suisse with Swiss Cross/Victoria Switzerland Stainless
Credit: jnoxyd  
c. 1952
Victoria Switzerland Stainless/blank reverse
Credit: jnoxyd  
1952 - 1957
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
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Victoria Officier Suisse Crossbow
91mm VSSR/blank  
late 1973 - early 1976
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/blank reverse
credit: Max Stone  
early 1976 - 1986
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Officier Suisse Crossbow with Swiss Cross
credit: Max Stone  
1986 - 1992
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Officier Suisse Crossbow with Swiss Cross
The V in Victorinox is larger
credit: Max Stone  
1992 - 2005
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Officier Suisse Crossbow with Swiss Cross that does not touch Crossbow or Officier
credit: Max Stone  
2005 - 2009
Victorinox Swiss Made Stainless/Officier Suisse
91mm VSS large - OS  
2009 - 2011
Victorinox Swiss Made Stainless/Officier Suisse. Swiss Made almost as wide as Victorinox
credit: Max Stone  
2011 - current
Victorinox Swiss Made Stainless/Officier Suisse. Swiss Made almost as wide as Victorinox
The V in Victorinox is back to the same size as the other letters
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
credit: kamakiri  
c. 1957 - 1965
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
Elinox with Crossbow/Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei
Credit: kamakiri  
c. 1973
Rostfrei Inoxydable Stainless/Blank
Credit: kamakiri	 
1973 - c. 1977
Elinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei (right aligned)/blank reverse
Higher contrast image. Credit rookie  
Elinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei (right aligned)/Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei
Credit: kamakiri  
c. 1977 - 1980
Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei/Economy


Hoffritz was a significant importer and reseller of Victorinox Swiss Army Knives in the USA, with SAK models uniquely branded for Hoffritz, including a variety of different blade tangs between 1951 and 1982. The Hoffritz models continued for some time after 1982, but had regular Victorinox tang stamps, eventually the brand folded - See linked page for a few more details.

Tang: Obverse | Reverse
Date Range
credit: kamakiri  
1951 - 1952
Armée Suisse with Swiss Cross/Hoffritz Switzerland Stainless
credit: kamakiri  
1952 - 1957
Hoffritz Switzerland Stainless/Victoria Officier with Crossbow
credit: kamakiri  
1957 - 1973
Hoffritz Switzerland Stainless/Victoria Officier Suisse with Crossbow
credit: kamakiri  
1973 - 1976
Hoffritz/Victorinox Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei
credit: kamakiri  
1976 - 1982
Hoffritz/Switzerland Stainless Rostfrei

Created by ICanFixThat. Last Modification: Monday 18 of December, 2023 15:19:35 CET by Huntsman.

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