What is a copperhead knife?

The Copperhead is a sizeable traditional design. The 49 pattern is the name given to it in Case’s tang stamping method. It has occasionally been created over the years with other blade shape combinations, but the most traditional kind is a two-bladed jack with a clip point main blade and pen secondary blade. The distinctive bolster with the hump that encloses the corners of the blade tang and functions as a phoney guard distinguishes the pattern. At 3.875′′ closed, it is a pattern of medium to large size. In my case, the main blade is a traditional clip point, and the secondary blade is a pen. The pen blade measures 2.25′′ with a 1.875′′ edge, and the main blade measures 3′′ with a 2.625′′ edge.

As of right now, Case has also revealed single-bladed clip point models as well as ones with a wharncliffe main blade and pen secondary blade. Like most Case patterns, the Copperhead is offered with a variety of cover materials, including abalone and yellow synthetic (like mine). Case produces certain variants in carbon steel (CV) and others in stainless steel (Tru-Sharp).

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Beginning in early 2021, the Case Copperhead will be offered in more than a dozen different handle designs and a range of blade combinations, so there is likely to be one to suit every user’s tastes in a premium all-purpose knife. Before the design retires again at the end of 2021, it also makes a wonderful gift and a welcome addition to knife collections.

The Case Copperhead was first released before to the 1920s “Tested” era of the brand. Since more than a century ago, the pattern has been a favourite of Case knife lovers due to its serpentine curve, generous size, and distinctive pocket end bolster. The Case Copperhead has been confined to the Case XX Vault during the past few years. But for 2021, the Case Copperhead is back in the lineup of products.

The Copperhead is the ideal utility knife for general use around the house and outdoors thanks to its 3-7/8-inch closed length and 3.8 ounce weight. When pulling the knife out of your pocket, its smooth, rounded, and noticeably raised pocket end bolster prevent the edges of the main blade tang from snagging. The tagline that goes with our reintroduction, “The Case Copperhead gets sharp but won’t bite,” captures this unique quality.

Each Case product is covered by a limited lifetime warranty and is still expertly constructed to the company’s own time-tested quality standards to assure a proper build and dependable operation. The official 2021 tang stamp, which is based on the “dot-dating” technique created by Case in 1970, is inscribed on each Copperhead main blade.

The Copperhead is a vintage Case pattern that was created at least 100 years ago during the company’s pre-tested era. The knife is significantly less prone to wear through pockets thanks to the distinctive bolster construction, which covers the tang corners. The sharp edges of a blade’s tang, where it meets the backspring, frequently cause hot spots in the hand during use as well as wear on pockets and discomfort when carried by jabbing into the leg. While I believe that Case occasionally overpolises or rounds the edges of their knives, especially the tips, other manufacturers, like GEC, frequently leave the tangs of their blades with extremely sharp edges.

The interface between the blade and spring while the knife is open looks cleaner with sharp edges on the tangs, but the Copperhead type bolster can provide the best of all worlds. The bolster’s hump is said to resemble the head of a snake, notably the Copperhead, hence the name. Although, if I really search for it, I suppose I can see the similarity, I do believe it to be a bit of a reach. The Copperhead is allegedly also known as the “Vietnam Knife.” Despite seeing this allegation made online multiple times, I am unable to locate any proof that the phrase was actually used or that the pattern was particularly common during the Vietnam War.

In addition to the build quality, I’m really digging this knife. The main blade is large enough to handle the majority of daily activities, and the pen blade serves as a backup or for fine work. The guard and coated tangs make the grip particularly comfortable. Additionally, I believe it looks fantastic; with the pronounced clip point and distinctive bolster, it has a really classic appearance. I chose the yellow synthetic because I also owned yellow synthetic Vault knives from the previous two years. Interestingly, the 2020 Pocket Hunter was Tru Sharp, the 2019 Barlow was CV, and the 2021 Copperhead is CV.

CV needs to be maintained similarly to Case’s carbon steel by wiping off after usage and occasionally oiling. Although I don’t think Peter’s Heat Treating’s CV was heat treated as severely as GEC’s 1095 was, it still performs admirably for my purposes and develops a vibrant patina. I like that both of the blades move smoothly, there is no blade rap, and the tips fit snugly inside the frame. Every day I have been placing the Copperhead in my pocket and removing other, fancier knives. My current favourite Vault Release knife is the Case 2021 Copperhead!

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